Practicing the Yoga of Despair

The clip below is from the HBO series, The Newsroom. In the scene, a deputy director of the EPA is being interviewed by a news anchor.

I love that video. It’s funny, but it’s also accurate.  Except for the part about permanent darkness, everything the EPA director says in that video is true.

I especially get a kick out of the reaction of the producer, when the EPA director says, “The person has already been born who will die due to catastrophic failure of the planet.” And she says “What did he just say?!”

I had my own “what did he just say?” moment a few years ago. I was participating in a protest at the tar sands refinery in Whiting, Indiana. I was part of the group that was planning an act of civil disobedience and planning on getting arrested. Bill McKibben, the founder of was speaking. At the end of his speech, he said,

“I wish that I could guarantee you that we’re all going to win in the end, the whole thing. And I can’t, because we don’t know. The physics of climate change is pretty daunting at this point. The momentum of it is pretty big. We’re not going to win everything. We’re not going to stop global climate change. It’s too late for that.”

I heard that and thought, “What did he just say?!”

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