Letters to the Editor: In an era of climate change, we’re doing Halloween wrong
I’m at a loss as to why even Halloween, the one holiday that celebrates not death but life, ends up being a holiday steeped in fear.
Halloween is about trick-or-treating, about going door-to-door to collect treats for a special friend or family member. And it’s about making a statement. Halloween is not supposed to be a day of solemn reflection.
To me, Halloween is a time when people can feel good about themselves and can celebrate that they are alive and that this new year has brought them something new.
And for me, that means not being afraid to enjoy the time I do have. I’m all for enjoying the time I do have, and so am my partner, my family and most of all myself, but I want to be able to see a bigger picture than simply my own safety and comfort. I want to be able to celebrate the life of a child who wants to dress up like a princess for Halloween this year, and I especially care about my children’s feelings and what they think about their culture.
But in this age of climate change, I think that Halloween is more dangerous than it has ever been.
The science is clear: The climate is changing. People are having to deal with storms, droughts and floods. A study from the University of California showed that by the year 2050, more than two-thirds of people in areas within the continental U.S. could expect to lose their homes to climate change. More than half of the people in Puerto Rico may be displaced by rising seas by the year 2070.
And while people who don’t live in areas at risk for climate change might not understand what a real disaster feels like, they are going to understand a lot more by the time the climate change has already taken their homes or ruined their way of life.
I don’t think we should be ashamed of celebrating Halloween, or of being scared out of our minds. But I do think we have to be honest about the future of our culture. We have to admit that we are in for rough times.
In the world as we know it, Halloween is about trick-or-treating. It’s the day after Thanksgiving. And it’s about enjoying a day of freedom. It’s about enjoying treats (