The appalling destruction of Hurricane Ian on Florida will not, alas, be an isolated event. There will be more such hurricanes in the near future. That is what global warming and climate change promise. (Just this morning there was an article in the news about how a town of 16,000 people in the heart of the agricultural part of the state of California will have not water by the end of this year.*)
I alluded in a previous DM to a weekend conference on climate change I attended in northern Florida a few years ago, where indigenous leaders and scientists and myself, as a creation-centered spiritual theologian, presented. (To read previous DM, click HERE.) On the opening night a scientist presented slides of what Florida looks like today and then what it will look like in 10 years; in 20 years; in 30 years. The ten year date from today had the bottom fourth of Florida chopped away; the 20 year date had another 25% of what was left of Florida chopped out; and the third, had 25% more cut away. What was left standing was about 25% of today’s Florida.
It was stunning. If was an eye-opener. And it was scientifically factual. The Insurance industry in Florida already knows this. Today, only 18% of Floridians can afford flood insurance.
What about the politicians? Should they not be as well informed as insurance companies? I am speaking specifically of Governor Desantis and Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Scott. They have been peddling denial about climate change for years (Scott as the previous governor). Should they not be held responsible for their denials in upcoming elections?
Denial is a kind of lie. Thomas Aquinas, a great mind and soul who introduced the term “common good” into Western jurisprudence, says this about denial: That to choose to be ignorant of an important truth is a “mortal sin”, i.e. a deadly virus that will kill community and kill the common good.
Clearly the endangerment of the state of Florida is an endangerment deriving from politicians as well as from the ire of Ina and Mother Nature. As waters warm, hurricanes will be more frequent and more fierce and more deadly. And it is folly to talk about “we will rebuild” when the fact is that more hurricanes are on the way and no trillions of dollars will be found from the nation at large or the state of Florida to do all that rebuilding. Especially when Insurance companies have already fled the scene.
There are many lessons to be learned from Hurricane Ian and one has to do will electing truth-telling leaders.
See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, pp. 224, xxiii-xxvii.
To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner image: Miami (How sustainable is it to live here?) Image by tammon from Pixabay
Queries for Contemplation
What are your responses when hearing about the sad future of the state of Florida? Can these realities finally awaken people, their governments and their favorite media in denial about climate change?
Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society
Visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology of evil that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them.
“A scholarly masterpiece embodying a better vision and depth of perception far beyond the grasp of any one single science. A breath-taking analysis.” — Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics