Solving climate change alone will not save us—especially when the so-called solutions involve ramping up technologies that are decimating the biosphere. Nothing can make a difference unless we find a way to end our fatal addiction to economic growth.
As news of the climate crisis and mass extinction currently underway underscore the gravity of the moment, it is natural to turn toward despair and defeat. However, taking a deep-history perspective, which includes five other mass extinctions and re-frames our role and participation in worldwide ecosystems helps to move beyond grief. We enter a dynamic peace where our present blessings and future joys can dialog with the deep, ancestral history of extinction and apocalypse on Planet Earth, through our varied consciousness and experiences. We learn to speak with and through the pain of loss, and hopefully, to transmute this apocalyptic moment into a different tomorrow, beyond disaster.
After viewing Michael Moore’s latest film, “Planet of the Humans”, I got into some intense discussions with progressive friends who really disliked the movie as well as my promoting it online. One progressive friend, Mark Green, wrote a response, and there followed a back-and-forth series of posts between us, which I think was very illuminating.
Whether it’s climate change or White supremacy, it’s not about changing one thing. It’s about changing everything, together.
I’m not going to try to tell you where to focus your energy. But I will say this, if your choice is being motivated by a fear of despair, if you are fighting down a feeling of hopelessness, consider letting yourself feel it. Really feel it. Trust that there is wisdom in all of our feelings, even the dark ones, maybe especially the dark ones. And see where it takes you.
I’m realizing that it’s one thing to believe that industrial civilization is on the decline. But it is another thing to recognize it happening in my own life. And it is another thing altogether to find the wisdom to live through it.
“The film is asking us to come to terms with some difficult realities which we have yet to face: namely, that sustaining our infinite growth, industrial civilization on renewables is neither desirable nor possible, yet that is exactly what green capitalists are intent on pursuing.”
Please invite your friends and join me next Sunday (May 3, 2020) at 10am (CDT) for a virtual presentation by eco-theologian, Michael Dowd, about living beyond hope and despair in a time of civilizational collapse. Michael’s message is especially salient during this time of social distancing and global pandemic.
Michael and I talk about a post-doom perspective, living beyond both hope and despair, embracing death, mental health during collapse, and the power of gratitude and love.
If your question is “How to we scale up sustainable ‘solutions’ so we can keep living the way we are?”, the answer is, “We don’t.”