Loving your neighbor

Loving your neighbor

We started Canada to Key West to create Day for Tomorrow and Telerehabilitation International. Now, it’s time to explain what they are and their importance.

What is Day for Tomorrow and why do we need it? Our earth has changed rapidly over our lifetimes. The carbon level has increased due to our use of fossil fuels in the 20th century and as a result the temperature has increased. With temperature increase comes volatility of the weather and such new terms as bomb cyclones and polar vortexes.

While some may be confused about the increases in cold, this is part of climate change. In fact, a report just indicated in places such as Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey there used to be ice fishing on the lake and people used to drive on the lake in the winter. Now, this never happens. Additionally, animals such as the black tip shark that has moved from North Carolina to off the coast of Long Island are responding to this change. The beautiful corals in the world have not been so lucky and are showing bleaching and then just dying. As a consequence, we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction. Humans tend to think of ourselves as separate from animals. We need to realize, however, that we too, are just animals, and we are vulnerable. And who amongst us is the most vulnerable? Persons with disabilities, the elderly, the homeless and the poor. If you are reading this now and you are not amongst the group, eventually as you age you will be and this is when the climate emergency will be worse, so this is everyone’s problem.

Day for Tomorrow is necessary now to make sure that we stop this sixth mass extinction in the tracks and we care from our fellow humans. It is the equivalent of Earth Day for People or “People Day” Why do we need it? Well, the earth will always be here. It may be uninhabitable, but it will be here. People, on the other hand will suffer great losses due to climate change and will also be vulnerable as a species.

Why is it called Day for Tomorrow? Because we can no longer be ready for tomorrorow’s weather as when we were growing up and your mother put your clothes away for the winter and the summer. Because of climate change there are more weather extremes and you need to be ready for a potential 40 degree temperature drop or raise and for surprise rain or snow every day.

What do we do on Day for Tomorrow? Get to know your neighbor. The idea is that we come together in community to be prepared for events that may happen. It is also a time to prepare as a group for extreme weather and to educate and take action against climate change. Recently, I was speaking to a resident in New Jersey who explained how FEMA was not so useful after Super Storm Sandy, rather it was the communities that brought people together and helped people with recovery after the storm. So, get together with your friends, your school or your church and have an educational luncheon. Or have a walk, turn off your power for a few hours or don’t drive on Day for Tomorrow. Having an event for the whole community is best, but even acknowledging the day on your own will work.

In addition to Day for Tomorrow, we are working to start Telerehabilitation International. The goal of Telerehabilitation International is to educate people about quality of life for persons with disabilities. Because when it boils down to it, the climate crisis will decrease the quality of life of people with disabilities the most; but it will also decrease the quality of life of everyone, except probably the top 1 percent. I am also a physical and medicine physician and I would like to help with disasters that are increasing in frequency. Therefore, I am also planning to start a volunteer network of rehabilitation physicians through Telerehabilitation International that will perform consults in disaster areas via telemedicine.

So what can you do right now? Right now, we have tshirts and athletic shirts that you can buy and wear on Day for Tomorrow. This is a first step.

The other step is to speak up about some of what is going on right now in the world. I am especially concerned that nationalism is being empowered around the world and this is the exact opposite of what we need now. The leader of Brazil has turned down money to fight the burning of the Amazon. The leader of Britain is cancelling Parliament so as to increase his chances to pass Brexit and the US is building a wall. Also, every day we see stories about ways our countries natural resources such as the Tongass Forest are being opened up to for potential use for business purposes.

In these troubled times, we’ve got to remember, it’s about people, not profits. We need to help each other and live in community. So, please show your support and get your Day for Tomorrow shirt now. You can send me a note, either via messenger or just on the Day for Tomorrow page and then venmo me.

Thanks so much for reading. We can do this. We are just going to have to work hard. But we need to start now and get our neighbors on board too.

#climatechange #climate emergency #climatecrisis #disability #humanrights