Okay, so maybe Gaia IS mad at us. After a year’s worth of rain fell in five days last week in Colorado, causing massive floods and damages, I’m beginning to wonder.

On this week’s call I reported first hand from the center of the storm, with my guest Huy Lam, a local integral leader who had a harrowing adventure escaping his property in raging knee-deep water after his car stalled and was washed away. We explored his story and the collective story in developmental terms, looking at the different perspectives each evolutionary altitude can take and what each brings to the situation.

Primal Altitudes — at a primal level a catastrophe like this reminds us of the awesome power of  nature. Humans have had remarkable success at creating comfortable environments the are shielded from the elements — they’re called the indoors. But when you see your sweet backyard creek rise up into a pounding river that surrounds your house, sweeps away hundred-year-old trees, heaves and crashes multi-ton boulders and creates a ten foot deep channel where your front yard used to be (this is what happened to Huy) you have the same realization of your primal vulnerability as archaic people lived with full-time.

Traditional Altitude — In this last week Boulderites have seen the best of what real community means. People all over have dropped their busy schedules and turned their attention to helping their friends and neighbors. I saw this first hand at the Integral Center, which is housed in an old church building and whose basement flooded with 18 inches of water. The members of the center, over 40 of them, came and worked as hard as people can work to clear and clean while a remediation service pumped out the water. We all saw a dimension of grace and grit in our community that deepens our connection, both as Boulderite and as integralists.

Modern Altitude — Though we had double the rainfall of any single storm in recorded history, and there is much devastation as well as eight deaths so far, the modern infrastructure of downtown Boulder was hardly touched. You can walk along West Pearl Street, just north of the Boulder Creek, and see flood marks on old buildings from several historic floods, yet this time the water never got near. The main reason is modern flood control infrastructure, including dams and reservoirs, and new streets  that were designed to double as rivers when necessary.  For instance during the worst of the storm, Canyon Blvd, a four lane highway, ran with water six inches deep; the next day it was filled again with cars.

Post-Modern Altitude — This storm has been a gold mine for the climatists who point to all extreme weather events as evidence that humanity is headed to an eco-dystopia. I often point out the religious aspects of the post-modern environmental movement and how they have updated a powerful, age-old story: humanity has sinned against the Deity (in this case, Gaia) for which they will be punished by an apocalypse (often a great flood), unless they repent, sin no more and fight the evil ones who deny the truth of their revelation. The big problem with the religion of climatism is that it contains clear streams of anti-modernity and turns off a great majority of non-liberals, thereby hurting the chances of actual intelligent climate responses. There is plenty of science that points to the truth of human-caused climate change and extreme weather events; the religion, though powerful (and believe me, last Thursday night I was confessing my sins), can be counter-productive.

Have a listen!

Listen or download an excerpt below. The full audio is on