Anyone else feel like the world is kind of falling apart right now? Record hurricanes, wildfires, nuclear weaponry. I’m a wildfire scientist. I’m trying to channel my calm, educated brain to engage and remember that fire is a part of our landscape. And then I feel a little bit like crying because driving through the Columbia River Gorge was such a special part of my childhood. And then I feel like celebrating for all the woodpeckers and insects that are going to thrive in the post-fire environments that are being produced around the northwestern United States right now. It’s a very complicated feeling to watch a place you love burn when you’re a fire scientist.
I wonder if this is true for hydrologists who study the environmental impact of flooding, or if there is enough benefit from sediment enrichment to offset anything at all. We have friends in Puerto Rico right now and are waiting to hear how they came through Irma. There are places in the Caribbean that have been flattened. Not cities, but entire countries. What do you do when there isn’t another place to go?
I’m doubtful that anyone is pleased with the situation with North Korea though. Nuclear annihilation is an even more semi-permanent negative condition than a warmed climate.
In light of all the enormous changes that we are bringing about through simply going about our daily lives now, I feel like a lot of my time is spent thinking about how to create adaptability in my children. The single most useful trait in a changing world being being able to adapt to a broad range of conditions – something that we humans have already mastered, and will need to draw on deeply in the coming decades if we want to survive. We let our kids struggle with difficult things. I already see successes with Darwin. She’ll get frustrated, but if she really wants to do something, she’ll keep working. Sometimes she’ll ask for help, but often she wants to do things herself once she’s been shown how we do them. Linnea came out trying to do everything for herself, and so I see that personality is a big part of this trait as well. But having children has decidedly made me more aware and more concerned about the future, and today, about the present.
For those of you who are also struggling (and my friends, according to those in my life whose work is ministry, it’s all of us), I found this helpful.
Stay safe everyone.