A few of us met in Salt Lake City tonight to discuss Step 2:
Step 2 is to acknowledge the ways in which we’ve been complicit in causing global climate change.
Derrick Jensen, in his essay “Forget ShorterShowers,” says:
“I want to be clear. I’m not saying we shouldn’t live simply. I live reasonably simply myself, but I don’t pretend that not buying much (or not driving much, or not having kids) is a powerful political act, or that it’s deeply revolutionary. It’s not. Personal change doesn’t equal social change.”
A Very Condensed (and filtered – through my lens) Recap:
Our conversation felt like it ended too soon – it was full of insight and penetrating questions.
We talked about the upheaval required to tackle climate change (and systemic issues more broadly). If we look back at the Civil Rights Movement, it took people en masse on the streets, demanding change, risking arrest, rising bodily injury and death. We glorify the result (note: civil rights is still a struggle today…) without taking the time to understand the depth of the movement – all the preparation and courage and organizing and unity.
We have a million mini-movements that we can (and maybe ought to) invest our time in…. but how can we do everything? How can we show up to each rally/meeting that is important to us? And, where is everyone else?
How do we engage at all levels – feet, mouth, and brain? (Some insights from a rad blog writer, here. (Victoria/Sophie/Ray/Amy/Dick/Alli – this may be of interest to you.)
We talked about how the energy transformation is well underway. Books like The Switch or Clean Disruption of Energy & Transportation provide encouragement that we can produce low or no carbon energy regularly.
But, what about all of the carbon dioxide/methane we’ve released and the energy requirements it takes to create the technologies for solar panels or wind turbines (which is not insignificant)?
We moved into a discussion about how human beings are, at our core, irrational beings parading as rational machines. Our intellect is at odds with our instinct. (See: Predictably Irrational, Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change, and What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming: Toward a New Psychology of Climate Action)
So is the way out of this mess to focus on self-work? Build psychological resiliency? Where does action come in? What about folks who don’t have the privilege of taking time to meet in community and self-reflect?
Of course, there is no hard conclusion: “There are no answers, seek them lovingly.” And there was much more that I didn’t capture.
But – we know that we cannot show true compassion for others if we don’t have it toward ourselves.
Now, onto Boycotting the Trump Inauguration.
1) Turn your television on during his inauguration
2) Turn the channel to ANYTHING BUT the inauguration
3) Creeper ratings programs in an NSA fashion will be able to figure out what percentage of the population is watching (and more importantly, IS NOT watching).
Note: If you’re television is off, you don’t count.
A HUGE thank you to everyone who came out tonight! And HUGE thank you to Alli for being such a great host!
That’s all for now.