Dissatisfied with the Satisfied

Climate Earth
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.

Following his grandfather's advice, "Grow food. People always need food," has led Wayne to a lifetime of cultivating and processing food. He spends much of his time encouraging people to become more food independent by growing their own.
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7 Responses

  1. Avatar david kerr says:

    Over the next four or five years, the world will see what AB-32 does to the California economy.

  2. Avatar EasternCounty says:

    There was a recent PBS series titled Cosmos. One episode described the dire outcome of our current way of life but then gave real hope for a drastic change for the better by using nature to energize our world: solar and wind power.

  3. Avatar david kerr says:

    Strident pronoucements that AB-32 is going to succeed are as ineffectual as strident pronoucements from Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party.

  4. Avatar Ginny says:

    Cleaning our air that comes just not from the USA, but from China and India, is ineffectual basically.

    Look to change China and India before you worry so much about the USA. Yes, be prudent here, but use some common sense. Our emissions are so little compared to those two emerging industrial countries. We don’t wear gas masks or masks of any kind on our faces as they do in China. Before the Olympics in China a few years back, the people couldn’t even drive their vehicles in the area for many weeks to try to clear the air pollution before the games. And, it was still bad.

    Well, hate to mention this in one way because it is a spoiler, but their lousy air comes over us every minute of every day. So, why not begin working on those countries and worry a little less of about our own emissions.

    For global warming, I have lived over 80 years through times when they said the same about the dust bowl years, but then I remember when we were becoming the ice age. Some things have nothing to do with us, but come from nature/God.

    Maybe we ought to be more concerned about the pot grows that are taking over the north state than emissions right now. And, their cause and effect on our youth, especially. They will become the “thinkers” of tomorrow. But, blowing one’s mind doesn’t bring good thinking!

    • Avatar A. Brady says:

      Ginny, Ginny, Ginny;
      Legal MMJ grows are the least of our problems in the Northstate. Most MMJ growers use good agricultural practices, organic and water conserving methods. The cartel grows that destroy the environment, pollute the soil and watersheds, and erode the landscape are the big local problem.

      You point to the West as the source of the air pollution problem. Yes, there is a huge amount of horrible air being made in those vast regions. But to excuse or even deny that WE don’t have a duty in cleaning up our own air is just plain short-sighted. While we can encourage, fund and collaborate cleaning the air in foreign lands, we have NO right to point at them while keeping our feet anchored in the “denial” cement. This falls under the “do what we say, not what we do” category and is ill received by other governments.

  5. Avatar Ginny says:

    Oh, when did it become OK for the so called legal grows to be 90 or more? When is it OK that others to draw stream water out of streams get crowded out by the growers for their not so legal grows and huge pipelines. Maybe you have better check into some of the areas. Legal doesn’t always make for good bedfellows!

    Guess it is OK not to be concerned about our youth who think blowing weed is good! Even adults are not very bright, either.

    Yes, we can do things, but stopping what comes to all the world from China and India is very short sighted. Our own emissions are clean in comparison. Don’t you think it would be worth your while to work on those countries first as we have cleaned up our air very much over the last number of years? Don’t be short sighted to not try to work on those counties for our good here.

    Anyway, that is my view.

  6. Jennifer Jewell Jennifer Jewell says:

    Thanks for the always needed reminder to be more aware, more mindful and more proactive Wayne. You and Laurel are great models. And I agree that everyone should listen to the bioneers whenever and however they have the chance. A wonderful program of active hope.