Remembering We're All Interconnected

 

Photo by Courtney Hall on Unsplash

On a humdrum summer day, while working on my farmette, a thunderstorm popped up. Waiting patiently for the storm to subside, I concluded my farm work for the day with indoor administrative tasks. As the rain abated and the sun emerged, the sky brightened to that radiant, peaceful state revealed only on the heels of a summer storm.


Departing from the farm to begin my drive home, less than a mile from the farmette where I grew up, I witnessed my hometown street flood for the first time in my life.


My mind was blank upon seeing it, thrown into momentary disbelief. Dejection quickly settled upon me with the realization that the road flooded because of how we've changed the area. A nuisance flood, it's called.


We've added so much impervious surface, overloading the nearby waterways, facilitating their increase in flashiness – the rapid, large change in the flow of water in a short period of time. It’s not hard to admit reality for someone quickly glancing out the window while driving through town – if they have a comparison to 50 years’ prior like I do, from second-hand familial experiences and access to regional scientific data.


I witnessed this brief flood event, and it prompted a realization of the true cost of human presence, our very tangible impact on ecosystems. The realization prompted a visceral reaction in me: tears sprang to my eyes, creating a personal flood event, obscuring my vision in tandem with the water that splashed onto my windshield as I drove through the saturated roads.


My eyebrows niched together in the center of my face, drawn together by a mutual concern so deeply rooted in myself. At first, it didn’t click that seeing this flood for the first time was even so bad. But then the neurons in my brain fired in the correct fashion, and I understood. I realized I was witnessing firsthand, in real-time, small-scale results of the way that we, as humans, impact this world through suburban development and climate change.


We, the collective we, have developed our systems in such a way that even a typical storm event, a thunderstorm no longer, no more severe, than any other that I have seen throughout my childhood, swiftly covers the whole surface of the road with water, rendering it unsafe for driving.


Both corners of my mouth fell as if pulled down by lead weights. The gravity and spread of the problem felt overwhelming, understandably so. But, I thought, all I can do is take a deep breath and use those emotions to mobilize myself and my peers. The Climate Journal Project provides us space where we "can cope with [our] eco-anxieties in order to move past paralysis to action."


We must increase our collective awareness, focus on sustainability informed by peer-reviewed scientific research, and implement better land management practices – all in an effort to think globally but act locally. 


We can find ways to connect to our local climate action communities. I plan to compile resources for this blog and podcast that will support new scientists as they focus on positively impacting sustainability and climate change.


We can improve science, and science can help us improve. We must act wisely and embrace our interconnectedness. Science is for everyone!



Written in July 2020, first published here on February 8th, 2021. By Nicole Felts.

Comments

  1. I love your story. We are witnessing the world change before our very eyes, and it can feel powerless to stop it. Channeling our climate angst into local political change is a great way to make a difference.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I welcome feedback and I encourage engagement and conversation among viewers/ listeners. Discussions can inspire people, and they can serve as great grounds for testing ideas.
Please embrace a sense of community and move forward with compassion, especially if anyone's views differ from your own.