Can’t see the forest?
Can’t see the forest for the . . . fears?
Yes I am toying with this idiom to get your attention dear community.
Please read. Please take just a few minutes to check in with yourself. Please share if this resounds with you.
This week the findings of a very big, very important report went into the world. Likely you noted the heft of it; urgent words accompanied by imagery of burning, flooding and/or orange, red and yellow graphs?
Yes, I am talking about the 2021 report by the Intergovernmental Committee on Climate Change. Stay with me! What was your reaction? What did you feel? What will you do?
Take a few minutes please to reflect on this. Was it an emotional cocktail of overwhelm, fear, despondency, shutdown? This would be so understandable, especially for you who are already striving for so much socio-environmental good. But, BUT reflect on the amplified danger of this.
If we shutdown, if it is “too much”, if we bury it, or if we reject . . . where is the action? Where is the resolve and dedication to change? Where is the empowerment? Where is the future?
It is such a difficult and delicate dance in how to communicate the urgency for change while not stimulating the fear that catalyzes paralysis or for “hope” to replace action.
What to do? Feel it and then . . . do it.
We don’t need to be perfect in our actions. That notion also manipulates / debilitates us into eco-paralysis. But we do need to act.
At the very core of what needs to be done is that we need to reject that the use of less fossil fuels is about loss. We need to know the great gains achieved by our consumer and voter actions. We need to act on the knowledge of the common solutions to so many problems being achieved through less fossil fuels, less consumerism (consumerism most often fuels fossil fuel use), and more nature.
We need to model the happiness that comes from empowerment and valuing our reliance on the natural world (like the kelp and trees that absorb our carbon).
We need to embrace that disempowerment is not only individually disabling, it is the denial by those who have power over the rights and choices of others.
Care more. Consumer less.
Vote for future generations. 💙
Photo: Bull Kelp Forest in Kwakwaka’wakw Territory. Kelp forests too are in a state of change through a suite of variables that are related to climate change. More heat and/or more wind challenges their health as does the balance of their predators e.g. more grazing by urchins as a result of less Sunflower Stars. ©Jackie Hildering The Marine Detective
Do you need more red, orange and yellow graphs? Probably not, but if you do or if you want to look at the scenarios for the best future:
IPCC, 2021: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis.
Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S. L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L.
Goldfarb, M. I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J.B.R. Matthews, T. K. Maycock, T. Waterfield,
O. Yelekçi, R. Yu and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press.
For those who have found their way here but, for whatever reason, are not able to believe there is a climate crisis, my empathy to you. If this post provokes you, there is emotional truth in that too. There are of course deep reasons for why you believe what you do. Please know that I understand but I will not tolerate any comments that are motivated by countering precaution and/or countering science and reasoned and respectful dialogue.