This week has been a relatively quiet one at the GIAC! I was here on Sunday working the front desk and welcoming visitors into the center, and I really enjoy these weekend afternoons interacting with community members and families! After my day off on Monday, I was looking forward to helping lead a few programs focused on conservation and invasive species this week, but they were all cancelled or rescheduled due to this nasty heat. This gave me a lot of time to work on other things, such as preparing for other programs and sending emails and making connections to folks who might be able to help us out on our environmental justice project. I also got to release another monarch butterfly, and we found a cute swallowtail caterpillar friend AND a monarch caterpillar egg to put in our enclosure so we can watch them grow! We think the monarch egg is from the butterfly we released last week, so it’s cool to see the circle of life in action.
As I sit here safe in my office with the A/C on, this heat wave is bringing deadly temperatures to people, communities, and wildlife all over the country this weekend. I can’t help but be reminded of the role privilege plays when we discuss climate change adaptation. I took a class on Environmental Citizenship last fall, and we talked about how the wealthy and privileged–who are responsible for the climate change that’s already taking place–will be able to run from the deadly disasters that the warming of our planet will bring. But in the attempt to adapt to climate change, more and more without such wealth and resources are being left behind. And the longer we wait to address that climate change is happening NOW, the more and more people will struggle with losing their homes, their resources, and their livelihoods. Not everyone has the privilege to say that climate change is something we’ll still be able to “reverse” within the next ten or twenty years–the loss of entire communities, species, and ways of life that has already happened can never be reversed.
So with that in mind, please stay safe–don’t exert yourself and take breaks if you have to be outside, drink plenty of water and electrolytes, and reach out to people who might need extra care this weekend!