The Planet Is Acting Out

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By Doug Studer, Galvanizer, Lifelong Learner, Thoreauvian Naturalist

Deskey and BluEarth CEO


Most of us have probably lived through or witnessed the dreaded toddler meltdown in the grocery aisle. And many of us, myself included, have had the pleasure of being on the receiving end of our adolescent children acting out for whatever reason. In both cases, especially the latter, psychologists tell us that our children are seeking our attention — they’re trying to get us to notice something, to meet a need or just acknowledge them somehow.

         While our planet is more senior by billions of years, I think her behavior lately is like that of our children. She is desperately trying to get our attention. She is acting out. Her behaviors are taking the form of extreme weather events such as droughts, hurricanes, floods and tornadoes, as well as more frequent, more intense fires and earthquakes. On top of all that are the impacts on a global scale of warming oceans, shrinking ice fields and rising sea levels.

The short-term results of these earth tantrums are devastating, but they will pale in comparison to what’s coming if we don’t start giving the earth the attention she is seeking. There are no time outs or grounding for these episodes. Unheeded warnings from the planet and unchecked behaviors on our part could end with all of us paying the ultimate price. This time, the behavior modification is on us, and let’s hope it’s not too late.

Let’s hope the planet is resilient enough to respond to a new parenting approach, one that meets her needs for better care. Healing takes time, and a shift is required if we want to continue to coexist with all the other species on the planet. We created this mess and we can correct it but only if we don’t ignore the bad behavior — ours, that is. We need a time out before our time is up.