By Professor Daylover
I’ve been thinking more about climate change. Among those who accept its grim forecast, I’ve noticed a pattern: we know it looms over our very future but somehow avoid thinking about it. A new report comes out, you’re reminded that humanity’s likely screwed, but then what happens? You return to the day’s business.
How to break this cycle? After some reflection, I came up with two answers: stop pretending that the day’s business matters more, and to read more, educate myself--retrain my instincts to look instead of ignore.
Recently, President Trump announced (to the UN) that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris agreement next year. ‘Not that we were anywhere close to meeting carbon emission reduction goals, though. While we shouldn’t be surprised, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be outraged enough to take action. At the UN’s Climate Change Summit this past September, 16 year old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg scorched legislators for their inaction, putting it plain: her right to life matters less than making money. And there we have the inherently moral issue of climate change.
While the supportive actions of legislators are crucial, this is everyone’s issue. No one has the luxury of doing nothing. We all know that big government regulation combined with individual lifestyle changes are our only hope. But if we wait around for the big to act, we’re literally sunk.
Little actions do matter: driving less, eating organic and more vegetarian, bringing glass containers for restaurant take-out, using less water, avoiding single use plastics, buying food in bulk bins. These choices are also inconvenient, and here’s the rub. Each of us must ask, how often do I choose convenience over sustainability...and how often do I rationalize it?
While I sometimes choose convenience, I’m starting to see the spiritual value of inconvenience.
Think about it. Does God/spirit bring you messages at convenient times? Usually it’s the opposite. It sucks, but when we get burned, we’re more open to another way of seeing and doing. Regarding climate change, I’m learning to stop deluding myself and take responsibility. Of course I’ll continue to fail, but a stubborn will to honor all life, to not ignore my part in our shared morality, gives me hope.
This isn’t about being holier than thou. This isn’t about avoiding guilt. This isn’t about the earth, even. It’s about our collective right to exist.
What kind of life would you lead if you had no fear? #AlchemistMovement