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Compassion Speaks: brrr…freezing; sizzling…sweltering

Climate change in our world and in ourselves

by Mary Alice O’Brien, RDC

“It’s frigid!”
“I’m freezing!”
“I’m so cold.  It’s so cold out!”
Sound familiar?  At the recent inauguration of President Barak Hussein Obama in D.C., on the streets of NYC, on the campuses in White Plains, these phrases echo as we face very cold temperatures.  In a local apartment, it’s so cold that it doesn’t feel as if the heat is on. 

We’ll stay local for now. 
Then I reflect what’s it’s like in New York City tenements, in homes in Long Island still without heat, in chilly locales in California., in the Windy City, in – you name it! 

Stepping into a hot shower each morning, I reflect on places where there’s no hot water, no water.  So why should I think about this?  To be grateful for my circumstances!  To be aware of the have not’s!  To educate myself and be an advocate for the cold and needy! To give away that coat sitting in my closet, that sweater that I never wear!

Sizzling…sweltering 
May, June arrives.
“I’m so hot!”
“It’s sweltering!  Where are those cool breezes?” 
Climate/weather:  always a topic for conversation.  It’s either too cold or too hot! 

How can we deny global climate change?!  Many plants’ demand for water is flexible, but scientists report prolonged drought conditions have put their resilience to the test.  Then there’s too much water, and warm at that!
 
Fascinating new studies of two of the world’s regions with accelerated melting, the Antarctic Peninsula and the Andes are worth a closer look:  One paper, published in The Cyrosphere, finds that glaciers throughout the tropical Andes have been shrinking at a faster rate than at any time since the peak of the “little ice age,” 300 years ago.  Here’s a direct link:” Current state of glaciers in the tropical Andes: a multi-century perspective on glacier evolution and climate change.” 

What do extremes of cold/hot weather have to do with me? 
Simply, amid the chaos of life, be grateful for our blessings – For heat in our homes, for that warm coat, for the smile of a friend that warms our hearts.  Look around at those who are COLD in so many ways: educate ourselves about the needs we can do something about, and act, give from our bounty, give that seemingly isolated colleague a warm smile. 

Will it cure all ills? No!  Will it make a difference? Yes. We each have the choice to bring cold or warmth: that cold shoulder that glare, that not speaking to another. With reason? For how long? An easy healing? Certainly not! We say it’s called for?  Naïve, you say?!  Does it bring us peace?  Who is the heat of our anger hurting? 

Is it just summer that brings heat?  How can we deny the warming of the planet? The droughts? The melting glaciers?  The extreme weather conditions?  How does this affect me?  Let’s educate ourselves about climate warming?  Do our part recycling!  Help keep the planet’s temperature down!  Such easy statements to make, I know; but self-education about and care for our planet are imperative.

Say, what’s this blog all about anyway? Cold, hot, drought, melting, climate, personal education, personal choices . . . Live with gratitude, educate yourself on critical earth issues, spread human warmth and compassion, and make a positive difference in your/our world!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

MaryBeth Maney February 06, 2013 at 03:58 PM
M.A. At my age, every day counts. Thanks for your posting reminding me my attitude should be gratitude NOW - savoring the present moment, affirming and learning.
Sisters of the Divine Compassion February 06, 2013 at 10:39 PM
Yes, Thanks! A friend recently sent me this reminder: we should be grateful for growing old -- not everyone gets that opportunity! Doretta

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