20 June 2019

we can fix it

. . . the narrative that has both driven and obstructed the climate change conversation for the past several decades (. . . ) tells us climate change could have been fixed if we had all just ordered less takeout, used fewer plastic bags, turned off some more lights, planted a few trees, or driven an electric car. It says that if those adjustments can’t do the trick, what’s the point? The belief that this enormous, existential problem could have been fixed if all of us had just tweaked our consumptive habits is not only preposterous; it’s dangerous. It turns environmentalism into an individual choice defined as sin or virtue, convicting those who don’t or can’t uphold these ethics.

Climate change is a vast and complicated problem, and that means the answer is complicated too. We need to let go of the idea that it’s all of our individual faults, then take on the collective responsibility of holding the true culprits accountable. In other words, we need to become many Davids against one big, bad Goliath.

We need to broaden our definition of personal action beyond what we buy or use. Start by changing your lightbulb, but don’t stop there. Taking part in a climate strike or showing up to a rally is a personal action. Organizing neighbors to sue a power plant that’s poisoning the community is a personal action.
Voting is a personal action. When choosing your candidate, investigate their environmental policies. If they aren’t strong enough, demand better. Once that person is in office, hold them accountable.
Mary Annaise Heglar

It is important (. . .) to take care of your body. You have to have pleasure, joy and humour in your life, otherwise you just become bitter and full of sadness. Nature is critical, dance is critical, sex is critical.
Pleasure is what fuels us. Sometimes when we are doing this work, it can feel like we are not allowed to feel anything but pain, yet having done this work for a long time, if you want to keep going you need to have joy, as that’s what will keep you motivated to go back.
Eve Ensler

There is no way around this is horrible. There are things to do. Draw together with people you love, work hard at making spaces, times, networks in which our ideals and values prevail, reach out for the vulnerable, and pitch your tents big (. . .). Love is what you have, and generosity, and imagination. What we have.
Rebecca Solnit


Barbara Rogers said...

Great combination of quotes...I'd like to share this on FB. Can I have your ok?

Sabine said...

Go ahead!

Anonymous said...

I so love your passion for our one and only beautiful earth. I'm sending my virtual hand across the 5500 miles between my home and yours so we can walk together to save her. United in our efforts.

ellen abbott said...

I do what is within my power to do but until corporate greed is curtailed what I can do is like spitting in the ocean. I don't believe humans will ever be selfless enough to come together and make the hard changes that will allow the species to survive. the planet will survive and overcome our effect given time after we're gone or if we manage to consume ourselves back to near stone age. it will be and look different considering all the extinctions going on now.

Barbara Rogers said...

Thanks, my friends will enjoy reading this. It made me feel much better about things. I didn't use your blog link, let you stay anonymous.

Ms. Moon said...

Today I bought a box of pickling salt and it wasn't exactly leak proof. A bit of the salt was making its way out of the bottom but nothing much. The bagger, trying to be helpful popped the box into a plastic bag before he put it into my canvas shopping bag, tying it tightly and said, "Here, I'll put this in plastic so that it doesn't leak all over." I felt, at that second, a rage come over me. I'm in a bad and hurried and harried mood this afternoon so that's probably it but why, why, why aren't we even trying? A bit of salt in the bottom of a bag? Oh who cares?
As if my little efforts mean a damn thing.

am said...

Thank you once again, Sabine, for an introduction to a voice I needed to hear:

"It’s not our fault, but it is very much our problem. At the same time, we have to be patient with each other, and kind. And then we need to dig in our heels and fight, for each other."

Mary Annaise Heglar, from "When Climate Change Broke My Heart And Forced Me To Grow Up"

Elizabeth said...

All good reminders. I'm trying to figure out how to protest what's happening at our borders. Other than taking concrete action by donating to organizations that are helping these people, I wish there were an organized protest. I would buy a plane ticket and go down there in a second.