Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Redrawing Boundaries

A Christian Science Monitor article caught my eye this morning: "Climate change could redraw national borders." The article mentions, by way of example, that as the ridge crests defined by the glaciers in the southern Alps shift due to glacial melting, the border between Italy and Switzerland, defined by treaty as those ridge crests, has likewise shifted - northward by hundreds of feet. Melting glaciers may also play a role in redefining the boundaries in already-disputed sections of India’s borders with Pakistan and China; a somewhat chilling scenario, if you'll pardon the reverse pun. And as lowland and coastal countries become more and more submerged by rising seas, those coastal boundaries, too, will change.

Sometimes boundary changes are forced upon us, as in the cases above. At other times, if we are prescient enough, we can shift our personal, political and positional boundaries - our perspectives if you will - voluntarily. Impending changes in our climate, along with all of the attendant changes in economy, ecology, lifestyle, health, natural and human built resources, hold the power to force a change in perspective upon us - a change in the boundaries that we may be very comfortable living within at the present. But forced change is rarely the preferred, efficient, agreeable and enjoyable path forward. And unlike the shifting ridge crests, our perspectives are not physically or legally defined. We can choose, ahead of time, voluntarily, to listen to others, to find common ground and to follow shared interests.

Before those changes are forced upon us.

Before the foundations of our relationships literally shift beneath us, as assuredly as the glaciers are melting and the boundaries shifting in the Alps and Himalayas. - Mark Gorman

1 comment:

  1. [...]Climate change could redraw national borders[...] Good one....

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