I had another birthday this week. I haven't been too excited, but it's not the birthday. It's the flooding.
No, my house is not flooding. Yes, I live in Texas, but not anywhere near the coast. Here in Lubbock we've been having the wettest and mildest August I ever remember. We are looking downright tropical. It's raining a lot in our desert. Our morning temps right now are in the high 50's and the days are hardly hitting ninety. Everything is green and there are mushrooms everywhere. This is not normal. This is not Lubbock.
Of course, Hurricane Harvey is not normal either. Or at least it wasn't in the past.
Yes, tropical storms and hurricanes are normal phenomena, but not with this intensity. The same can be said for droughts. We are still having the weather we've always had, it's just massively more intense.
I listened to my work colleagues yesterday asking how anyone could know about or prepare for Harvey, but scientists have been warning us strongly for a decade now that this will become normal. It's pretty simple - if you over-indulge, you start paying for it somewhere. We have been gluttons for carbon and we are paying for it.
Our planet is suffering from the same types of things that we humans suffer from. If you consume too much sugar, or drink too much alcohol, or inhale too much smoke, symptoms will start to show.
So the next time a scientist tells you that we need to cut back on plastic and gasoline and coal, remember that it's no different than your doctor telling you that you need to cut back on calories and carbs and salt.
May we start listening to people who know what's good for us, and may our planet, our kids, and all the creatures we love thrive.
Remember those suffering from Harvey in your prayers and your actions. We are at our best when our hearts and our hands are serving others.