Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletDecember 15, 2017

Earth Concerns News

Waiting for Bees by Sister Marion C. Honors, CSJ


Last spring, my newly planted vegetable garden struggled through five weeks of rain and cold. Seeds failed to germinate; seedling plants died but most hung on, barely growing at all. Five critical weeks of the growing season had been lost. This same weather pattern had occurred several times in the last few years around the end of May, but it was never this long. Words like "global warming" and "weather extremes" crept into my mind. I began to worry. What if the bees came at their usual time and there were no blossoms yet, no nectar for them. How could they survive? Without the bees, how would my garden get pollinated? I waited for the bees. Eventually some came, though not the throngs that used to turn the raspberry patch into a humming festival. In the end these few were enough.

The scientific evidence documenting the reality of global warming is clear and strong, and indisputable for almost all scientists. In Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth, the audience saw Arctic glaciers that had taken thousands of years to form suddenly disappear within ten years! We know that large businesses, especially oil, gas and coal corporations, have obtained scientists-for-hire who with false or misleading information publicly deny that global warming exists, and many people have believed them. Denying that global warming exists allows a person to maintain his/her status quo: no change in lifestyle, no personal sacrifice, no shift in consciousness about Earth's deep distress.
 
However, facing the challenges of global warming can offer us real hope. Years ago Daniel Berrigan spoke in the auditorium at the Provincial House. He said then that he had never met anyone in the social-justice movement who was without hope because as long as a person did something to help, no matter how insignificant it seemed, that person did not lose hope. In the winter 2010 issue of YES! Magazine, Colin Beavan lists ten actions for "powering cultural change." Listed among the actions are the following:
 
Eat your vegetables.
Worldwide beef production contributes more to climate change than the entire transportation sector.
 
Drink from the tap.
The production of plastic water bottles together with the privatization of our drinking water is an environmental and social catastrophe. Bottled water costs more per gallon than gasoline.
 
Build a community.
Have dinners with friends. Sing together. Enjoying one another costs the planet much less than enjoying its resources.
 
Believe with all your heart that how you live makes a difference.
Every step toward living a conscious life provides support to everyone else who is trying to do the same thing, whether you're aware of it or not.
 
As we read through these actions to reverse the effects of global warming, we saw ourselves in them, without doubt, already doing something to help, whether or not we were aware of it!