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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

#MyEnvironment, Not "The Environment"

#MyEnvironment, Not "The Environment"

Author: Reilly Capps/Sunday, December 14, 2014/Categories: climate change

[Photo by SWP media.]

The Buddhists say that enlightenment is realizing that there is no difference between you and the universe. 

Maybe enlightenment, for us, is realizing that there is no difference between us and the environment.

We always talk about "the environment" as if it's OUT THERE, as if it's something we can decide to reach out and interact with or not.

We seem to almost still be having debates about whether the environment matters or not. But there is no difference between the environment and us.

We breathe "the environment" every second, we eat "the environment" every day, our bodies are made of "the environment."

So when you talk about "the environment," you're talking about yourself.

It's the way, if you're married, you might talk about "the marriage," in the abstract, as if you're not part of it. This would be strange. Like talking about "the sister," instead of "my sister." 

So maybe one change of language that could help us is to change the article we use when talking about "the environment." 

Maybe we could talk about "our environment" instead of "the." Even "my environment," since there are different environments all over world.

"My environment" is doing things that aren't that good for me.

In a very simple, almost trivial example: the snow that I ski has become wetter and heavier and more variable in its arrival.

So, "my environment" isn't as good for me as it used to be.

While some people's environment might be getting better for them, I suspect a worsening of their environment is happening to a lot of people.

I was talking last night with some smart people about this: when -- or if -- will there be a sea change in the thinking about global warming? 

It has to come eventually, but when? 

There are millions of debates to be had on climate change. But there is no more debate on the fact of it happening and we're doing it. And there's no more debate about the idea that it's really important and scary. 

And so when will the public dialog reflect that? And I guess my thought is that it might change when enough people tweet about their environment.

If enough people tweet about #myenvironment, saying #myenvironment is different, hotter, worse, better, then that might have an effect.

Because too much time is spent talking about what scientists say "the environment" is doing.

But each one of us is a little thermometer, a little weather station, and we can relay our observations via twitter.

My environment here in Denver, is snowing now. Which does not disprove global warming! What's your environment doing?

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