It's an effort, sometimes, to remember that this kind of life is rare in the world, and not to be taken for granted. I saw an enlightening video on Facebook yesterday about Syria, with a little more background into its troubles. Yes, Assad is a harsh leader and has caused a ton of suffering, but it's not all on him. It's not all on the extremist groups calling themselves religious, killing, torturing, destroying, causing families to flee for their lives even though the chances of escaping alive are slim.
It's drought. Syria has suffered so many years of drought that farmers have had to give up, move their families to the cities, and try to find other work. The cities, already lacking water, cannot accommodate so many sudden new residents. People are still thirsty,, hungry, poor. They start to fight over basic resources. A few teenagers paint a protest message on a wall. They are jailed and tortured. Citizens rise up in protest, and before you know it, there's a civil war.
A similarly severe drought is underway in California. We're starting out in a far more advantageous situation with wealthy corporate farms and political freedom and modern science and ingenuity. But the water is running out anyway. Powerful corporations will last longer, but smaller, privately-owned farms are being run out of business, and it will only get worse. What happens to California if agriculture is no longer a viable industry?
Climate change is very real. Debate all you want about whether it's a natural earth cycle or caused by the drastic changes in our atmosphere, land, and water caused by human carelessness and greed. It is creating need for change -- for some people, change as drastic as giving up the family farm and moving somewhere else, anywhere else, where a new livelihood can be found.
It's easy to glance at Europe and note over the morning paper that there's a refugee crises and somebody's going to have to do something different. What if that somebody is us? What if our failure to drive less, recycle, compost, or boycott irresponsible corporations is what's causing the refugee crisis in the first place? Oh no, that would mean that it's only a matter of time before OUR precious lives are impacted. That cannot be possible. We're entitled to our luxuries and our choices, aren't we? Well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see about that.