Here is what is happening where I am:

Autumn heat;
The red sun sets
In a smoky sky

The smoke is from distant wildfires.  Wildfires are a part of Nature, so the scene in the hokku is not unusual from time to time.

But lately — because of the changing climate — wildfires have become widespread and more frequent — along with heat waves and drought — and that, scientists tell us, is only the beginning.

We are quickly moving — sad to say — toward the edge of an environmental cliff.  I would encourage everyone to read this article:

Dyer: Scientific word is out on coming ‘Hothouse Earth’

Things have reached a crisis point.  We need to do what we can — including some basic lifestyle changes — to attempt to slow and if possible eventually reverse this disastrous course; and of course we must as quickly as possible vote out of office anyone who refuses to seriously work to offset climate change. Hold politicians accountable.

There are lots of little things that can be done. If  you eat meat, stop.  The raising of cattle for meat contributes substantially to the destruction of the environment and to climate change.  Of course the worst offender is the burning of fossil fuels.  Be aware of the companies and businesses that are the worst offenders in fossil fuel consumption, and deal with them accordingly in your personal habits.  Apply an awareness of fossil fuel use in your daily life.  Look for alternative transportation when possible.  If you have a lawn, use a push mower — or better yet, reduce your lawn to a minimum or take it out entirely, and plant flowers that encourage bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.  Cut your water usage by favoring drought-resistant flowers and other plants in keeping with your region.

I have a very small flower garden.  This summer my neighbors’ lawns on both sides were like mini-deserts devoid of life, while my little garden was filled with blossoms and honey bees, bumblebees, butterflies, and regular visits from a hummingbird.  It not only makes an environmental difference, but it is far more pleasant than a monotonous stretch of lawn.

Climate change will not go away by ignoring it and going on with business as usual.   The heat waves we are seeing now in various places around the world — and the deaths and discomfort resulting — are only the beginning of what are likely to be even more catastrophic and widespread events as normal weather patterns become increasingly disrupted and abnormal. Food and water supplies are threatened; mass migrations and social upheaval will be serious consequences.

I don’t like to talk about these things, but the situation is far too serious and the resulting effects on the world climate  — and consequently on human, animal, and plant life — far too dangerous to ignore.  We all need to become advocates for climate and environmental protection.   What we collectively and individually do — or do not do — will determine the future of our species on this planet — including whether our species is to have a future.


  1. Ashley

    I agree! Each one of us needs to something to protect our planet but those in power, those people we put into positions of authority, do nothing but protect their own egos!

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