There's Your Problem


Global weirding, the climate emergency, is picking up so much steam it's become a challenge to keep up with it.

As climate change worsens it seems we're resigned to steadily falling behind on both mitigation (cutting emissions) and adaptation. As the years fly past the risks become greater and more intractible as our ability to rise to the challenges wanes.

Author Kent Shifferd writes that all is not lost if we're willing to go on a multi-generational campaign to right our own wrongs. We need to go on a war footing, a war against ourselves.


Let’s face it, we are losing and will lose many battles in this struggle, just as the British lost at the beginning of World War II. They could not see the road ahead, the road to victory, but they fought on anyway because defeat was not an alternative.

Nor is it for us. Gradually they began winning some battles at great cost while still losing some, and then winning more than they lost, and then after great sacrifice, the war was won. That scenario is what we can look forward to unless we just decide to give up and call in the giant asteroid like the one that extincted 99 percent of life when it hit 60 million years ago.

What do we do? Where do we start? We take to heart the instruction: “Don’t just do something, stand there.”

Why? Because before we act, we need to rethink ourselves. This great trashing of the Earth is the result of our holding the wrong ideas. We need a conceptual revolution.

More is not better, nor is faster. We are not Lords of the planet, not the most important species. (Actually, the insects are.) The good life is not defined by acquiring more goods or bigger houses.

We are not fit in the least to be the directors of the further evolution of the planet, as the Apostles of the Anthropocene think. We are foolish if we think the great corporations know best.

We need to realize the utter folly of thinking we can have unlimited economic growth on a finite planet. Any third grader can see that, but not our economists and politicians. ...We humans are not even possible without the bee and the dung beetle, the lowly earthworm, and the oxygen-generating, life-making plants.

So, we need to turn these old and dysfunctional ideas on their heads and find new ways of living, each of us starting with ourselves and each of us, banded together, fighting the ideas and the social organizations that are driving us along the road toward ruin. The fight will be long and costly, but the victory will be worth it and, in the end, all the children will be safe.

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