Carrying Water to the Buffalo

The impending climate catastrophe is overwhelming. It doesn’t just seem that way; it really is. No single effort by any individual, group or company (or government) will be enough in itself to stave off the devastating effects of global warming. The problem is just too big, too far along in its cycles, and too global in scope.

That does not, however, mean that we should simply give up taking individual action where we see it being a potential help, however slight.


Take this recent article on the Mother Nature Network. It describes a young man in Africa who, three years ago, recognized the impact global warming was having on his corner of the world. All of the small, shallow bodies of water that animals living in that area depended on for refreshment and sanitation had dried up. He felt that these animals were too important to allow them simply to die, so he decided to do something about it.

Today, he makes multiple trips into the parched regions of a national park, filling the dried-out holes with water he brings in a large truck he rents. Each 55-mile round trip costs him about $250, but the animals have become trained to his delivery patterns and he often finds them waiting for him when he arrives.

Read the interview with this man. You can feel the sense of responsibility enjoy that come through his telling of the tale.

He is not going to save the world. He is not likely to save all of the animals in that jungle region. But there are still benefits, both personal and global, to that behavior.

When we engage in individual climate action, we solidify our sense of purpose and unity with, not only other environmentalists, but also all forms of life -- human, animal, and vegetable. We raise our consciousness by acknowledging our solidarity with other residents of the animal kingdom with whom we are sharing a precious, highly endangered planet.

I think there’s one other benefit to be considered here. Taking action is a positive thing. Even if it’s not going to change anything markedly, it puts us into a positive mind set from which our participation in larger efforts like Job One for Humanity attempting to cope with the global crisis is sharpened and more enthusiastic. And that can’t be a bad thing.


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