Posted by: smstrouse | July 6, 2013

Drill, Baby, Drill: Thoughts from the Dentist’s Chair

Sitting in the chair in the dentist’s office, I started to think about President Obama’s climate change speech from last week. Actually, I was trying to block out the high-pitched, high-speed whirring sound of the dentist’s drill. Meditation wasn’t working. Visualizing happy places wasn’t working. The only words that came into my mind were “Drill, baby, drill!” Great, Sarah Palin and a root canal. Hard to know which is worse.

But then I really did start to think more about Obama’s speech. And I realized that, for all my previous rhetoric about keeping up the pressure on his inaugural speech’s promise to address environmental issues, I hadn’t paid a whole lot of attention to this latest announcement.

So I went back and read it again. I also discovered a lot of commentary on it: the immediate criticism from Mitch McConnell et al, the mocking video of Obama wiping sweat from his face during the speech, the usual rants from the climate change deniers and Obama haters. Pretty much what you’d expect.

But then I read the results of a Pew Research Center poll: only 40% of people in the US see climate change as a major threat. Interestingly, the median percentage goes up to 65% in Latin American countries: Argentina,  71%, Brazil, 76%, El Salvador, 64%, Venezuela, 53%, Bolivia, 65%, Chile, 68%, and Mexico, 52%.  The report noted that, by World Bank estimates, Latin America and the Caribbean would be most affected by climate change in the coming future.

I get it. We pay attention to what affects us most. If we worry about global issues, we  think of Afghanistan and Iran and Syria and Israel. On the domestic front, we’re caught up in issues of gun violence and homelessness. Even closer to home, we’ve got worries about the economy, unemployment, the housing market. Who has time to think about global warming?

But how about that heat wave last week?! We just may be getting close to the point when the remaining 60% realize  they need to get with the program.

OK, the president’s plan doesn’t go far enough, doesn’t solve everything, doesn’t have all the answers. Fine. Support it anyway. Support the fact that we’ve got to do something. Drown out the negativity of climate deniers and Obama haters.

And most of all, claim this as the spiritual issue that it is. Make creation care part of your practice – whether it’s within a church, mosque, synagogue or temple – or in your own “spiritual but  not religious” way. Christian churches can find great resources on sites like and

It is a spiritual issue. Deal with it.



  1. […] published on July 6, 2013 by Pastor Susan M. […]


  2. This was a terrific and historic speech, by far the best address on climate by any president ever.I applaud the new measures announced by President Barack Obama this afternoon to help solve the climate crisis – particularly the decision to limit global warming pollution from existing as well as new power plants.


  3. This was a terrific and historic speech, by far the best address on climate by any president ever.


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