I started to write this post in August but clearly never finished it until now. What a summer it has been here and throughout the world. Climate change environmental disasters: Forest fires raging in so many parts of the world often accompanied by drought, or flooding, incredibly heat & humidity to the point where people die because their bodies can’t perspire. There is war and conflict in so many places of the world, with the accompany dire economic circumstances of so many in the world. Just the plain evil that is out there. It is easy to go into a spiral of despair.
I have been feeling a sense of urgency when it comes to the problems the world faces, These feelings are never far away for me but they came to the fore when I was asked at the last minute to fill in for a speaker on a panel to do with alternative economies. I wasn’t sure what I was going to talk about especially when you only have 10 minutes. I always feel frustrated since all you can present is not much more than soundbites when the issues are so multifaceted although not necessarily complicated.
I began by referring to the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (Elizabeth Kubler & David Kessler). So many are stuck in denial (climate change doesn’t exist) or anger (think of the hate being spewed by nationalists/white supremacies), bargaining (those who think technology will solve our problems), and depression. Some of us are in the acceptance phase, however this doesn’t mean we don’t return to the other stages on a regular basis. The stages are not so neat so you only progress in one direction.
Climate change caused by us humans is completely to blame. Period. Let’s stop the bullshit of trying to argue otherwise.
It is utterly ridiculous that media and our so-called political leaders do not name what is causing the environmental destruction, repeating it like a mantra over and over again. The silence is deafening and infuriating. There is an absurdity with the Canadian prime minister Mr. Trudeau buying a pipeline with Canadian tax payer dollars to combat climate change. I mean how else could we afford to institute changes to fight climate change. Well maybe we could tax the rich & close all the tax evasion loopholes. What a concept – fairness in the tax system. I have no confidence the current political leadership will do a damn thing except line their pockets. The lies they propagate is truly outstanding. The revolving door between politicians and corporate leadership is sickening. The immorality of it is disgusting. The normal reaction should be one of rage. Rage at the system, but channel that rage to realize social change.
I am a realist, not a pessimist even though I am not hopeful for the fate of humanity or for much of life on earth. I will not sugar coat things when I talk about what is happening. People need to wake up, stop being in denial or try to bargain, thinking there are solutions that will fix the world in time.
I see such pain and turmoil. It is heartbreaking. If you are not moved by what is taking place right in front of your eyes (or should I say screens) then there is something wrong with you. You are selfish, focused just on YOU. The planet is screaming for YOU to do something to stop the catastrophic changes taking place, and failing this to institute changes in your life to prepare for what is coming.
The human species so desperately needs to disappear from the planet but there is one problem with this. You see we still need some humans to operate, maintain the nuclear power plants, the hydroelectric dams, the tailing ponds & similar of despicable natural resource extraction industries, and similar infrastructure that might cause irreversible damage as it implodes, killing all the remaining living beings on our world.
I have to laugh that I continue to meet more and more people who have no qualms in saying they hate people. Who wouldn’t when you think about the damage humans cause. What species willfully destroys their home. As agent smith in the matrix said, we are a virus.
A friend posted an interview with Joanna Macy and her work on the great turning on crackbook. I was so thankful to once again read her words. I cannot recommend her enough. If you ever get an opportunity to attend one of her workshops – GO!! Check out … https://truthout.org/articles/learning-to-see-in-the-dark-amid-catastrophe-an-interview-with-deep-ecologist-joanna-macy/ This explains exactly where I am at/how I feel about what is going on.
On a more practical level, I see hope in localism. Small communities taking back control for their energy needs, their food needs, their shelter needs. It is possible. Transition towns are a case in point. There are examples of intentional communities. The problem is that most folks don’t want to do the work that would be involved in living in community with others. It will only happen when they realize their very survival depends on it but by then it will be too late for the majority. I am thankful that I am connected with folks who have individual homesteads but we do and will continue to support each other, help each other with infrastructure needs, barter and trade for the needs we have. And of course have fun together. It will be a difficult journey filled with conflict but with open hearts and minds, experience, conviction, compassion and passion, we will prevail.