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Light the darkness
Environmentalism is not for crybabies
Light the darkness
I wrote about darkness in my general Substack letter, rather than putting it here at Home Ecology, because it wasn’t as much how-to as why-to. But all this reading and writing about darkness has made me realize that much of Home Ecology has been about creating a little light in the rather gloomy discussion of climate change.
There are well-intentioned writers who focus on climate-change psychology and especially the depression some people feel about the future. That’s not my approach, perhaps reflecting the fact that I’ve been steeped in world history and politics. The current crisis is serious and requires immediate attention. But our lives, as educated citizens in wealthy countries, are not the ones at risk. We are not the people who should be depressed - we’re the people who should be taking action, and be willing to make sacrifices.
Unfortunately, prosperity seems to make people feel entitled to all the good things they’ve had in their lives to date, no matter how rare such luxury is, no matter what happens in the world.
I know plenty of people who vehemently and virtuously acknowledge climate change but make only the smallest changes in what they actually do. If they do anything, they obsess over shopping bags and toilet paper, instead of carpooling and using public transportation. They shop for vegan products but throw leftovers in the trash. They buy expensive beeswax bowl covers but think nothing of ordering take-out packed in throwaway aluminum and plastic.
Change of real significance is often difficult. I’m simply saying that we need to be more realistic about what actually matters, and recognize the layers of western-rich-nation privilege that makes us see climate change as reason for going to counseling.
I’d rather think of this as a war we need to fight together, as comrades-in-arms. No complaints, an acceptance of sacrifice, and a recognition that times like these require fortitude and determination. Environmentalism is not for crybabies.
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