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Is it climate change?

Chicken Little

There are two forms of denial with the matter of climate change.

The first is the obvious:

“There is no such thing as global warming. It is just the natural cycle of nature.”

Yeah. Glaciers come and glaciers go. These folks believe science does not support the evidence and the causal relationship between carbon emissions and global warming.

With saturated atmospheric carbon rising beyond 400 ppm, and the ice caps and glaciers receding with remarkable speed, even the most ardent deniers would reconsider purchasing that beach-side condo in Florida.

The second and less obvious form of denial is:

“I can’t see the North Pole from my house.”

Short-sightedness has always been a curious human trait. When Chicken Little screams, “the sky is falling” none of the other barnyard animals listen because the sky hasn’t hit them on the head yet.

One hundred years ago, the proverbial 100-year flood occurred, inundating and destroying the lowland core of the city. Last week after 16.8 inches of rain up in the mountains, the sirens screamed. “Boulder, wonderful, fun, energetic, mountain-beautiful Boulder just got hit squarely on the head,” lamented a woman last week.

These floods, however circumstantial they may seem, were caused by climate change. There is no denying it. And they could happen again in less time than 100 years. The experts now say that this wasn’t a 100-year flood, but a 50-year flood. It could have been much worse.

I drove up high in the Front Range last week to survey a water-damaged home. Luckily for these homeowners, there was only an inch or so of water in the basement. Still, trauma pervaded the mountain scenery as I drove up Sunshine Canyon to Gold Hill and beyond. Evidence of the powerful Four Mile Canyon fire remained; coupled with the erosion of the torrential rains, the canyon is a moonscape of devastation. Gold Hill was ravaged.

Topping out on the Peak to Peak Highway far above the cataracts of the canyons, I saw little evidence of catastrophe. It wasn’t until I headed downhill to Boulder, being among the first to drive down the canyon from the west, that the trauma of the geography was deeply physically and emotionally felt.

I’m a “rock guy.” I collect stones from all of my journeys. Stone holds energy in its molecular structure – as geologic time is vast and deep. That afternoon I could feel the depth of the pain in that canyon. It made me feel queasy and unbalanced. My truck was reacting to the trauma as well; it felt like the brakes and steering were funky. It took clear focus to get down that road driving past and through all that destruction.

In the natural healing world, it is well known and appreciated that the symptoms of disease often get worse before they get better. It is hard to tell a client that their pain could worsen before the great healing release begins.

There is no denying it, the Earth is currently in the throws of a great release. She is shifting and turning and unleashing great gouts of held physical and emotional toxins. Denying this situation and pretending it won’t happen again is avoiding the great opportunity, however tragic, that has and will continue to present itself. Can we learn from it?

The answers are complex and will take time to implement. We are – none of us – immune from the changes taking place on this beautiful planet. We each live in our own ecosystem of planetary stewardship. Using our bodies, our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities, and our nations as templates for balanced living through intention and action sends a signal to the planet that will result in eventual balance.

In time, we will be able to walk up into the beautiful, strikingly changed Boulder Canyon again. The energy of turmoil will still be fresh in the spirit body of the stone. Will we drive through without a thought of what happened? Or will we choose to take responsibility for our piece, however small, in the creation of this planetary crisis, and begin to act as if all the consequences of our actions matter?