When all is “said and done”
What will matter most
are all the things said and Not done. (Io & wk)
Every day we hear of another scientific report or prediction for climate change. Climate change will impact our food supply, increase chances of pandemic diseases spreading worldwide, damage our economy, increase the severity of destructive storms, etc., etc..
Considering all the scientific information and existing plans that could be implemented, and considering the static state of politics, I’ve become a very pessimistic optimist. You can tell that I’m still optimistic because I’m still writing, yet pessimistic because I’m dissatisfied with present-day society with its complacency and lack of urgency regarding climate change.
Typically three groups form around any problematic issue: the deniers, a large group of satisfied “don’t carers,” and the few dissatisfied activists. Since 99% of the info for mitigating climate change is already out there, why aren’t we doing what is needed? I look at this issue this way. If the scientists are wrong but we implement all the measures needed to prevent drastic climate change anyway, our world and lives will be cleaner, healthier and a more pleasant place to live. If the scientists are right, but we do nothing, we are doomed to fight over food and water, struggle with our health, and deal with severe weather such as heat waves and droughts, huge tornados and hurricanes.
Unfortunately, our lives are being controlled by a powerful interlocking combination of corporate, military and political leaders who want to continue the current economic and political system. Their approach is to maximize profits now and solve climate problems later. We’ve become a divided country. We don’t trust each other. All of this has created a sense of helplessness in me. I don’t have control over my life. I’m pessimistic that, as a society, we don’t have the political will or the smarts to change this corporate control over the world and us. But, unless we do change quickly, our lives will become more and more uncomfortable. Plus, we’re dooming our grandkids to a fight for survival.
I look at our future with frightening anxiety. How do I keep going without going crazy? I grow food. That’s about all I feel that I can control. Digging and watering. Seeding and transplanting. Weeding and harvesting. Cooking and eating. Preserving and storing. Also, I’m trying to grow extra food to give to some of our neighbors.
Now for my soapbox sermon: Food may be a good way to overcome division by bringing people together in neighborhood gardens, over dinner tables and in community discussions on growing more food.
What are you doing to keep from going crazy? One place to start is to read this practical book for maintaining hope and sanity. Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone. Active Hope will help you realize your capacity to deal with the crazy future. It all starts by doing something positive, regardless of how insignificantly small it seems. Another place to get some encouragement is by listening to the Bioneers radio program on KCHO/KFPR every Friday morning at 10:30. It showcases what individuals are doing to help build a better life without going crazy.
Got to stop now to go out to pick some tomatoes for supper.
Wayne Kessler with editorial assistance from Laurel W. Kessler
Wayne Kessler is the former owner of Shambani Organics, former Peace Corps volunteer, and founding member of Growing Local.