the weather is, in fact, going to get worse.
i found this blog post on the wall street journal today describing several methods scientists could potentially use to control the climate. why not install huge solar mirrors to divert solar radiation, some are asking? please, yes, let’s spend money to send thousands of crop-dusting airplanes to blanket the arctic with engineed “particles,” others say.
the salient issue in any yoga or meditation class always comes back to control: what is in your sphere of influence, and what is not. one of the practices of raja yoga (the yoga we do in studios, the yoga of the mind) is to consider all possibilities. maybe crop-dusting planes in the artic is actually the answer. perhaps the long view is that this practice will save the earth.
i’ll be honest, though: it’s when i get to this level of justification–save the earth–that i have to stop and ask myself what we’re really considering here. what are we doing, and what are we reacting to?
the sudden hype over global climate change is obviously justified; only the diehards at this point are calling the rest of us chicken littles. but the question is: what are we trying to change and why? does anyone seriously think that a 4.5 billion year old rock won’t balance itself out, even if that means destroying everything on the planet that we–its squatters, effectively–call life?
crop-dusting the arctic is like taping the sprained ankle of a basketball player and telling him to get back on the court. as any fan has watched, this star might still be able to play and, position depending, will block, defend, and/or shoot for the rest of the game. but playing will in fact make that ankle worse, which in turn will lengthen the icing, xrays, and rehab when the game is over.
it isn’t even that our short-term, scientific solutions won’t help–the player with the sprained ankle might win the game. it’s rather that these scientific forays, and indeed the money and resources backing them, run the risk of diverting the attention from the real issue, which is where we actually are now. as a collective group of 5 billion people, and certainly the billions before us, we have created this.
the questions, then, are: what human practices have directly caused this problem? how do we stop them? how do we all accept responsibility for the fact that “developing” to this point has necessarily been derived of selfish, greedy, short-sighted, and in fact quite brilliant behavior and decisions? most important, is it possible for us to let go of the hubris of control, and to recognize that the 100 years we’re here, and any decision we make during that time, is not really going to impact the 4.5 billion more years this rock might keep spinning around the sun?
the point i’m making is that looking outward and upward is not always the place to go. the weather problems we are experiencing, and will continue to “suffer through,” are nothing more than a slap from earth, like any of our moms disciplining us as children because we reached for too many cookies at once. mom had a point: eat too many cookies, and you’ll get sick.