Is The Landlord Evicting Us?

I was planning on taking some time off from writing, but I got attacked by a tornado.  I kid you not.  Yesterday, on my first day back at work in my private practice, a tornado’s center came down the street two blocks over from where I work. In my office, I saw bits of tree fly by (my office faces away from the street) . As I stepped out onto the street a bit later, to my left I saw this:

.

and to my right I saw this:

All of this took place in Springfield, Massachusetts yesterday. When was the last time Springfield had a tornado? Never.  Springfield is about 1500 miles east of “tornado alley” if i remember correctly. My housemate said last night, “Not to downgrade your experience, but have you seen the pictures from Joplin? It looks like just a bunch of sticks”.

We have gone from a brutal summer — incredible heat — to an even more brutal winter — the worst in a very long time to unusually high temps in the last few days to… tornadoes. What the heck is going on??!!

We know what the heck is going on. We have messed with the environment too much and it is fighting back. It’s as simple as that.  In today’s newspaper this morning, there was an article that says “environmental security found lax at Nuclear Plant”. The article goes on to talk about the plant in Japan and how engineers didn’t take the threat of earthquakes or tsunamis seriously enough. Ya think?

My wife is far more knowledgeable about the environment and climate change– she’s one of those people trained by Al Gore and she gives presentations on this stuff. People stuff is more my thing. Remember when Hummers were all the rage and Detroit kept putting out bigger and bigger vehicles?  I — and nearly everybody thought that was just stupid for the environment and unnecessary in any city. Potholes would have to be craters for those things to be needed. We all knew this, but it was our way to thumb our nose at reality because we didn’t want to be told what we could and couldn’t buy.  Compare John Prine’s song “Paradise” which talks of devastating strip mining “”where Paradise lay… Mr. Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away” and James Watt — who headed the Interior Department under Ronald Reagan who said something like “It doesn’t matter if bulldoze forests, the world’s going to end soon anyway”. My point is that we know what we should do, but we thumb our noses at it like we’re running things.  Yesterday’s tornado  confirmed what I already knew: we’re not.  The more stupid stuff we do, the more deadly things we’re going to see.  The planet is kicking us off.

How and why? “Natural events” seems to be how and why is because the planet that’s bigger than all of us wants to survive. Rather like an old Star Trek episode, we think of ourselves as “life” while a bigger context reveals us to be an invading body like a bad cold or at least a foreign body.in a much larger larger system. When that body poses a problem to the larger body, the larger one fights it off and gets rid of it.

Years ago, this was called the Gaia hypothesis, “Gaia” being the Goddess of the Earth or what we would call “Mother Nature”, the premise was “what if the earth can be seen as a system with it’s own way of finding balance — a balance we disrupt with our actions? Mother Earth will get mad.”Rush Limbaugh scorns the Gaia hypothesis because he sees it as related to Goddess worship and radical feminism and whiny liberals. Rush, for years, didn’t believe in “Global Warming” aka “Climate Change”, either. While I don’t worship the planet as Goddess, my friend Cathi — a Pagan — does.  Even if Rush is right about Cathi (she IS a feminist AND a liberal — oooo, scary!), he might be wrong about the Hypothesis.

As a Christian, I don’t worship the earth,  but I try to respect it.   Biblically, we are told we have “dominion over” it. As my friend Charlie Crook ( a fairly conservative baptist, said years ago, “That doesn’t mean we get to do anything we want. A King or Queen doesn’t get to kill the people under them. That’s bad dominion”.

As a systems therapist, as I wrote in my book, “All systems do  3 basic things: 1) Take things in 2) Use the good stuff and 3) “rid of the bad stuff”. If Earth is a system, it takes in light and water and gives off carbon dioxide and — us?

Just because God created the Earth, doesn’t mean it’s not alive. God creates all kinds of life, as we in the Judeo-Christian tradition already know.  And if it’s alive, we better behave. We know what we need to do and what we shouldn’t. Let’s start acting on the good.

Peace,

 

John.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Is The Landlord Evicting Us?

  1. Unfortunately I feel like conservationism and environmentalism have become our society’s “joke” – “That Al Gore, he’s crazy.” Most people don’t want to change their behaviors substantially as we’re creatures of habit, so they tell themselves, “I’m only one person. If I do something for the environment it won’t have much impact so I just won’t.” Internal crisis resolved. But what they don’t realize is if one person starts, others may follow. “Be the change you want to see.” But that’s just crazy liberal talk to some 😉

    • Liz: When I first read your post, I thought it said, “be the crazy you want to see”. I like that. If “trying” is crazy, then BE the crazy you want to see”. Or get washed, blown, or otherwise thrown off the Earth.

    • Liz: I wanted to respond to your reply a little more deeply. I still like what I said, but there’s a more human response. One of the things that has absolutely astounded me while writing this blog is that I am not alone in my opinions. Based on what I was hearing from the mainstream media I used to think I was the only liberal left on the planet. I have found that I am not. But more to the point, there are truckloads of places where my conservative friends and I have the same opinion but for different — equally valid — reasons. I point you to the blog post entitled something like “an incredibly intelligent conversation about….” It’s about conservation (an old, maybe apolitical, word) and “saving the environment” that nice, new, political concept that liberals supposedly espouse. My wife has been talking lately about “political correctness” and “more-environmental-than-thou” within the environmental movement and how it gets it the way sometimes. She’s really been excited by a book called “Stuff” — about the movie Stuff” environmental ideas. I assume you know about it, being a professor and all.
      Anyway, people from the left, center, right, and the totally apolitical, have great ideas about ecology,conservation, the environment and so on. My friend Joe Roberts quietly does incredible things. My friend Cathi quietly does incredible things. In our house, we’re trying on so many levels, and Michelle does those presentations and has a garden. If, in fact, you’re “crazy” for thinking about this stuff and trying, there’s a LOT of crazies out there just like you. Keep up the good work! Keep up the good fight! And BE the crazy you want to see. Peace, John

  2. John, I heard one “expert” on PBS’s “Need to Know” say that the tornadoes themselves were not due to global warming, as higher temperature would result in one type of wind increasing but the other decreasing, thereby not making tornadoes more prevalent. Someone else on NPR this morning said that global warming is changing the jet stream path, so I suppose that could change the locations where the tornadoes show up. That being said, what we do does affect the environment. Even people who don’t believe that our actions are causing global warming should at least know that we are causing pollution of our cities. There is evidence that this pollution increases both autism and asthma in our children. (The theory that vaccinations cause autism has been shown to be unfounded; autism tends to be diagnosed at around the same time that children are receiving their vaccinations.)

    It may be that Mother Earth is trying to evict us. At least, we may make conditions so bad that we can’t exist in them. Then once we are gone, Mother Nature will be able to heal the earth. The cockroaches may indeed be the ones to survive and start to evolve. I remember once at Andover Newton that I turned on the microwave only to a witness a cockroach inside it bouncing all around. When I opened the door, it ran out, apparently unharmed.

    I am glad that you were unharmed in this tornado and mourn the lives of those who were killed.

    • Val: As always, a great and thoughtful response. I remember that Newt used to deal with Chemical Waste or something prior to going to seminary. I’m sure Skye Farm teaches, and acts on, environmental issues. As people get more knowledge about what works and what doesn’t, some people will try and some people won’t for awhile longer and others until they HAVE to. People who like nature itself, and feel a kinship with it are more likely to take care of it — like carry in, carry out camping, which I believe you have done. I have to say that Tornadoes now happen in Red and Blue states and the storm doesn’t care about politics.

      Oh, and I, too, am glad i was unharmed. Springfield’s a mess, and I could have been, too.

      Peace,

      John

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