Disability And Global Warming Have Much In Common
Disability and global warming go together.
Yes they do. After all its a disabled world through human attitudes that resulted in an impaired world through climate change.
And its a permanent change – at least very long-term, like several millenia.
So too, the experience of disability is shaped by public attitudes.
Impairments, be they paralysis, blindness or a mental illness, are one thing. The discrimination and social exclusion on the basis of such impairments shapes disability.
Global warming impacts are felt by people with disabilities more keenly - like canaries down the coal mine!
You'll notice that both global warming and personal afflictions are impairments. We just need to learn to live with those as best as we may.
Living with global warming, as is living with an impairment is greatly shaped by the attitudes we bring to them - our most powerful alternate energy sources!
And supportive relationships are the key. Disability experience has a lot to teach. It can be a guiding story in living with global warming.
Interdependence, care and community
In the disability experience dependence and vulnerability often loom large. For example, I myself have quadriplegia and without people helping me with many tasks, including dressing and showering, I could not live.
It is supportive relationships that help me realise that it is truly an interdependent world. No-one is independent or invulnerable. Disability just magnifies that human condition.
Did you make the bed you woke up in? Did you make your own clothes or grow your food? Were you born all by yourself. And who raised you and looked after you when you were vulnerable and helpless?
And isn't it our rejection of human dependence and vulnerability that has allowed us dig up the Earth? And not just for our needs and comforts, but also to make all kinds of stuff we don't need. Gadgets that distract us from our connection with nature and a car each to choke our roads and skies.
Here is how Anthony Thanasayan of Malaysia's The Star (the biggest English-language newspaper in that country) reported me.
Living within limits
Besides, many people who have a disability are expert at living well within limits, sometimes severe limits. Is that not an essential skill in our limited world?
Disability and global warming will never be fixed with the latest technology. It takes a way of thinking and acting to live well with either.
It is the acceptance of human dependence and fragility that leads to a socially connected and whole life. And if we can do that with other people you can appreciate and care for your environment too. Because you know that everything you do has an effect somewhere. Interdependence is a fact of life. Independence is an illusion.
Wisdom from the margins?
Disability and global warming. Living in a disabled world. What will it take? An unprecedented situation but perhaps we do have the experience among us to tackle it? Think about that: Disability and global warming have a close connection.
What do you think? Can disability experience be a guiding story for living with global warming?
Here is how Anthony Thanasayan of The Star (Malaysia's biggest English-language newspaper) reported these issues
And here are two more articles to stimulate your thinking:
Disability, interdependence and community
People with disabilities in a disabled world—threats and promises
And your way to jump in, telling your story on global warming impacts:Do disability and global warming go together? Why not tell the world here?
More links here:The Cause Of Global Warming At Four LevelsThe Cause Of Global Warming At Four LevelsThe Health Effects Of Global Warming - What Are They?Effects Of Global Warming - Affecting Everyone
Still need more answers?