One of the hardest freedoms to declare and to sustain is that which detaches us from the success of our actions.
I have no illusions that my letter-writing will actually bring about the social, political and technological transformations which are necessary for the sustainable future of my dreams. The overwhelming probability is that within my daughter’s lifetime, much of Earthly life will be extinguished, some by attrition, some by starvation, some in conditions of pain, confusion, and terror. No matter how many letters I write, how much money I raise with benefit concerts…those are the cold and inexorable equations.
So why go on?
Because resisting evil and destruction is always the right thing to do.
Because statistics are just statistics; somebody does win the lottery. Maybe it’ll be us; maybe we’ll find a way out.
Because while I may not be able to end my personal melancholy, I’m not going to let it stop me from fighting the civilizational insanity.
Because I want my daughter to be proud of me.
I declare independence from despair.
As my engagement with the climate struggle has deepened, so my readiness to speak up and speak out has grown.
I am less and less reluctant to bring up the issue of climate change in everyday conversation; where once I felt constrained by etiquette, now I seek ways to introduce the motif.
Playground conversation, while I watch my daughter running happily:
Random mom: Weird weather we’re having, isn’t it?
Me: Yes, I’m fifty-five and I’ve never seen anything like it. Can you believe that some people still don’t think global climate change is real?
Random mom: I heard on the news that there’s no clear evidence for it…
Me: Oh, far from it. Etc., etc., etc.
or boarding the bus:
Random bus driver: Nice day!
Me: Yeah, but did you hear about those people in (town) who got (rained out) (burned out) (blown away)?
Random bus driver: Those poor folks!
Me: That’s climate change for ya.
I’m actively seeking these conversations. Everybody’s doing something about the weather, but nobody’s talking about it.
I hereby declare my independence from Climate Silence. I’m going to be noisy from now till the day I join the Great Hum.