Attitude of Gratitude: Day 6 — This Fragile Earth, our Island Home


Today I am grateful for our planet.    Truth be told, I’m not a real nature person.  I’m not a lover of the great outdoors. Nature doesn’t move me the way it moves other people.  I’m a people person.  I meet God in other people.  I like conversation and ideas, preferably in a comfortable, climate controlled environment! 🙂

But this past couple of years I have gotten to see more of this planet than ever before, and the beauty and intricacies of creation were not lost on me.  I hiked the rainforest in West Africa, and spent an afternoon sailing down the Thames in London. I’ve experienced record breaking heat in Indianapolis,  and record breaking cold in the Berkshires.  I witnessed the majesty of Yosemite and the expansive beauty of Napa.  It is truly an amazing planet.

But lately, it feels like the planet has become a sick friend.  The weather is, in a word, bizarre.  This morning it was 55 degrees here in the Berkshires.  Now we are experiencing heavy snow.  The high temperature tomorrow is expected to 11. My son is, at the moment, stranded at the Denver airport because, as the airlines told him, New York is an inhospitable place to land a plane right now. He is one of thousands of people who had their flight cancelled yesterday due to severe weather.   What is going on?

Some people in our society say “nothing”. But I don’t think so.  Something is not right. I’m not a scientist. I don’t pretend to be able to explain the changes in our weather patterns. But, clearly, we have not cared well enough for this fragile Earth, our island home.

In an article in yesterday’s Huffington Post entitled Cold as Hell:  The Chilling Effect of Global Warming , the Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlewaite says that the term “global warming” has little or no effect on people anymore.  She says:

” “Global warming” has no emotional pull whatsoever. “Global Warming” sounds like we’ll all just be wearing bathing suits earlier in the year, and “climate change” just sounds like taking a trip from Chicago to Miami. The emotional case has not been made in the public’s mind for the catastrophic effects of our lack of creation care…….. I argue that instead we should use “global weirding,” a term credited to Hunter Lovins, cofounder of the Colorado based Rocky Mountain Institute.The climate is where the weird things are. You may not know the cause, but everybody knows the weather sure has gotten weird. ”  

Read the article in its entirety here.

Things certainly are weird here on Earth.  But it is all we have. So today I am grateful for our planet, and promise to learn more on how to help our sick friend.


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