We live on a volatile planet. The earth has always changed, and the evidence of natural cyclic patterns of cooling and warming are preserved as historic records within our ice sheets. But today, climate patterns are changing at an ever-accelerating rate well beyond predicted models, exacerbated by our over-consumption of fossil fuels. The results tend to capture our attention, at least temporarily. In 2005, the world’s focus turned to New Orleans and the devastating impacts of Hurricane Katrina. Recently, more than 400,000 people were displaced in Tabasco, Mexico by the most powerful storm the region had ever experienced. Such events are becoming more frequent as well as increasingly powerful.
Deep within our glaciers, there are signs of an even more catastrophic pattern: recurrent Abrupt Climate Change Events (ACCE’s). Glaciologst and climatologist Dr. Paul Mayewski has coordinated the efforts of international teams of scientists to collect the evidence frozen below the surface in Greenland, Antarctica and the Himalayas. In this issue, Mayewski speaks with SuperConsciousness about the correlation between ACCE’s and the fall of known civilizations due to the desolation of agricultural growing regions. Glaciers, Gases and Global Warming: Interview with Dr. Paul Mayewski
Whether or not we are currently facing another ACCE, it is clear our planet is in a time of climatic upheaval. So how ready are we, collectively and individually, to deal with the effects of such change? Two-thirds of the earth’s population lives in cities, moving from one climate-controlled environment to another, office to car, car to home. Subsequently, we’ve lost our intrinsic connection with the ever-changing natural patterns.
This separation is most obviously demonstrated by the alienation from our own food sources. Photojournalist Peter Menzel, who traveled the globe documenting what families eat during the course of a week, sums it up best: We’ve lost respect for food. The preponderance of packaged food has created a missing link between humanity and an authentic relationship with nature. A Global Food Crisis: An Interview with Peter Menzel
How did we become so removed from our most basic needs? According to author Laurence Gonzales, it’s a matter of rewards and punishments. What rewards us in the short term is disastrous in the long-term, yet because of how our brains are wired, it’s difficult for us to change. Functioning as agents of a system that is inherently destructive to the planet leaves us vulnerable, particularly when it comes to food. Suzanne Nichols further explains the neurological underpinnings of fight or flight, and how short-term fear can become long-term stress and anxiety in the face of an intangible threat like climate change. Both Gonzales and Nichols suggest steps we can take to reclaim control over our thinking and take appropriate action. Bucking the System: Interview with Laurence Gonzales
And taking action is exactly what we need to do, according to Steve Craig, Homeland Security Exercise and Training Coordinator for Washington State. Having witnessed both Katrina and the recent Lewis County, Washington floods first hand, Craig knows how unprepared for natural disaster Americans are at the personal, municipal and county levels, never mind state and federal. As he points out, preparedness begins with the individual.
But when it comes to preparedness, we’re often our own worst enemies. Editor-in-Chief Heidi Smith explores the kinds of illogical rationales many of us maintain that prevent us from acting in our own best interests.
If we truly understand the precariousness of our current global situation, and are willing to overcome our brains’ natural resistance to change, we’ll want to take what steps we can to ensure our own safety and that of our families. So where do we start? Stockpile food, says financial expert Andrew Tobias. Stockpiling to Save Money: The Greatest Investment You Can Make. Not only will it increase your personal sense of security, it will also enhance community and national security. Survival expert Cody Lundin discusses what to store and how to store it. More importantly, Lundin emphasizes the critical need to take personal responsibility in an emergency, whether it’s long-term or short term. The Art of Being Prepared for Any Catastrophe by Cody Lundin
Ultimately, to prepare or not to prepare is a personal decision. No one can make it for us. But choosing to take responsibility for our own safety and taking the actions that render us preservable in tumultuous times provides an unexpected benefit: the ability to see the future, come what may, as a grand adventure rather than an outcome to be feared. The resulting freedom is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.