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How Open To Change Are You?

August 28th, 2011 by Alison · 3 Comments · global warming and climate change

Have you or someone you love been affected by Irene, the storm flooding New York City that prompted the almost unthinkable closure of

Irene, by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

its massive transit system? How about the record-breaking triple-digit temperatures that the Midwest and East have suffered this summer?

Or one of the floods, wildfires, tornadoes or droughts that have made 2011 one of the worst years for extreme weather in recorded history, according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration? Not all, but much of the 32 billion dollars plus in damages from extreme weather is attributed to climate change, i.e. global warming.

I don’t tend to focus on ‘bad news’ at Diamond-Cut Life, unlike newspapers and many journalists. I usually write about the things we have personal control over, like conserving electricity, or my all-time best-selling post (not that I sell anything here except thoughts and ideas) the option of working for rent.

Here in the developed world we tend to think of change as driven by the choices we make — where we live,  what job we have, the clothes or coffee or hair color that best suits our fancy. But I think that’ understanding of what change is is a microscopic view that misses the bigger picture altogether.

Extreme weather events force direct changes in tens of thousands of people’s lives, and indirect changes in millions more. They make us face the uncomfortable fact that ultimately we’re not in control. I’m convinced that adaptation to extreme weather, including melting ice caps, droughts, changing growing seasons and huge numbers of climate refugees crossing international borders are going to change all our lives.

How open are we to these changes that are so unlike our pet changes in the first world, the  lifestyle choices of personal appearance, food and drink, we like to engineer? I’d like to hear from you.

photo courtesy of NASA Goddard Photo and Video

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Colleen

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I’m a “8″ (on a scale of 1 to 10) in openness to change. I try not to take life for granted. I don’t have to do the same thing every day, or eat a particular set of foods. I’ve lived with flush finances, and I’ve lived on a shoestring, even lived out of a backpack for months on end. Nearly 15 years of frequent travels in the less-developed parts of the world have helped, too. I don’t claim to know what it’s like to lose everything (like a refugee might), or to experience a drought coupled with war, like what’s happening in East Africa right now. But I do know that nothing — not even life itself — is guaranteed. We must accept change, always, to survive. Today on Good Journeys, http://goodjourneys.wordpress.com, I write about my solo travels in East Africa several years ago and feeling, at the same time, both scared and ready to face an ‘ugly’ side of the developing world: Africa’s biggest slum.

  • christina

    If Colleen’s an 8 I guess I’m a 2 maybe. Scared of global degradation, scared of change, fretting about sea levels, refugees, fresh water. I mostly want to be an ostrich about this all and focus on the small joys I have no trouble spotting in my daily life. I appreciate your blog, Alison and the idea that there might be something to be said for considering being ‘open to these changes’.

  • Alison

    Great comments, Colleen and Christina. In truth, I’m as scared of changes that are for the worse as anyone else. I just try to cultivate the attitude of looking them in the eye. I’m with both of you on not taking anything in our lives for granted. I agree that to survive we have to accept change. Colleen, this weekend I’ll read your post on Africa’s biggest slum and post a comment.

    Have to get dressed now to bicycle over to my carpool meeting spot!

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