Iceland’s Volcano: How Environmental Crisis Informs Evolution…or Not


Evolutionary scientists claim that at every juncture when our species was making a major evolutionary shift, climate played a large role. Now, we can understand how primitive man became nomadic in order to find better food sources and thus a less harsh climate but how exactly is that playing out today? It seems that every time we get hit with a tsunami, earthquake, or most recently, volcanic ash, it stops mobility. People are either wiped out in large numbers or stranded from flying. When the 1989 San Francisco Quake hit, I was getting on a plane at Kennedy International in New York and it took 24 hours to get home. Rescuing Hurricane Kartrina victims was a travesty in delayed response.

The recent chaos that ensued from a lack of coordination of European airlines cost them $1.5 billion dollars and kept 9.5 million people on the ground.
According to the Wall Street Journal today,http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704133804575197363596504510.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLTopStories
“Airline-industry officials said the initial response of regulators across Europe was haphazard and created confusion for airlines and passengers, illustrating the urgency of implementing the European Union’s “single sky” project, under which air traffic and oversight will be coordinated across the 27-country bloc. Currently, airspace closures, airplane movements and most aviation rules are handled independently by national governments. Mr. Schulte-Strathaus said efforts by EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas and his team over the weekend that led to Monday’s decision to reopen airspace showed the value of close EU cooperation on aviation regulation.
Journal Community

Mr. Kallas’s spokeswoman said that if the new rules—planned for 2012—had already been in place, Monday’s decision could have been taken on Friday, avoiding four days of disruptions and financial losses.” This marks the biggest disruption in global aviation since 9/11.

Ok, so let’s go back almost 9 years. We now know there were many warnings the government was given that an attack was imminent. We were warned about the levies in New Orleans. So, it is seductive to blame governments for not implementing policies or strategies that would prevent massive crises like these. We could make a case for asking, “why does it always take a crisis to get change in the world?”

We could do that or we could do the harder thing and look into our own lives and ask the same question, “how is it that I wait until a crisis hits in my life before I move forward and make changes?” In my book, The LifeQuake Phenomenon: How to Thrive not Just Survive in Times of Personal and Global Upheaval I assert that the evolutionary mandate at this juncture is surely not the one that Neanderthal man had to face: those who ran the fastest tended to survive. No, the evolutionary mandate now is how quickly do we assess that the ways we have been doing our lives are now defunct and make a change before it reaches crisis levels?

Mother Earth is doing her best to wake us up, for sure. If we continue to rely on devastating crises to implement change, we will be living out Darwin’s survival of the fittest. Those who are hearty enough to survive climate catastrophes, plagues, and continuing economic contraction will be the ancestors of a newly evolving species. Adaptation to a crisis driven world is one vision for this evolutionary shift. There is however, another vision. If Gandhi and a myriad of quantum physicists are correct and we individually take on healing our addiction to crisis as a catalyst for change, our dear Mother, the planet may not have to “quake us up”.

Here’s a vision: Individually, our LifeQuakes start to show up as mere awakening to the next level of our consciousness. We no longer hold the belief that change means loss. Change now is informed by a developed intuitive mind that creates a vision for one’s future that embodies thriving. We actually slow down long enough to notice when a chapter of our lives is coming to a close and we prepare for it, not resist it. The whole world then makes an evolutionary shift that eliminates scarcity.

If I just choose to face what I need to change today to make my life thrive a little more and not just be in survival, just today, it starts to feel attainable.

Dr. Toni Galardi is a licensed psychotherapist/career coach, noted public speaker, columnist, and author.

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