10 Reasons Why We’re Not Going to Be Saved

We’re doomed. But the reasons why have less to do with parts-per-million or degrees centigrade than they do with human psychology and culture:

  1. Civilizations die. Ours is no exception.
  2. Unlike war, climate change does not present us with an easily identifiable enemy whom we can “other.” The enemy is us.
  3. We don’t want to question the (il)logic of growth on a finite planet. To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, it’s difficult to get a person to understand something when their whole way of life depends on not understanding it.
  4. Forty years of neoliberalism has succeeded in convincing too many people that (in the words of Margaret Thatcher) “there is no alternative.”
  5. We are unlikely to change until a crisis forces us to, but the nature of climate change is that the effects of our actions today are “baked” into the earth’s climatic system and don’t manifest for decades, by which time it will be too late.
  6. Capitalism has proven to be impressively resilient and able to absorb dissent and capitalize (pun intended) on its own failures.
  7. Our democratic system of government is structured to discourage rapid change and encourage compromise. We have the luxury of neither now.
  8. The very solutions we come up with have a way of making the problem worse, because we are still operating from within the same level of alienated consciousness which created the problem.
  9. Eco-theologian Thomas Berry said, “We will not save what we do not love.” Most people do not love wild nature. We dismiss it or hate it or fear it.
  10. Nature bats last.

Published by John Halstead

John Halstead is the author of *Another End of the World is Possible*, in which he explores what it would really mean for our relationship with the natural world if we were to admit that we are doomed. John is a native of the southern Laurentian bioregion and lives in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago. He is a co-founder of 350 Indiana-Calumet, which worked to organize resistance to the fossil fuel industry in the Region. John was the principal facilitator of “A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment.” He strives to live up to the challenge posed by the Statement through his writing and activism. John has written for numerous online platforms, including Patheos, Huffington Post, PrayWithYourFeet.org, and Gods & Radicals. He is Editor-at-Large of HumanisticPaganism.com. John also facilitates climate grief support groups climate grief support groups affiliated with the Good Grief Network.

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