Posted: March 15th, 2009 | Author: James Glave | Filed under: Almost Green, Habits, top | Tags: atmosphan environmentalist language | 5 Comments »
I’ve been mulling over in my head potential replacements for the word “environmentalist,” a term that in the minds of many needs to be retired, then sent home with a pension and a gold watch.
Why? Maybe it’s that it’s just not a very inspiring word. Maybe it’s that the term suggests that there is this “thing” out there called “the environment” that we need to buckle down and fix. To me, “the environment” feels more like an obligation than something to get excited about fixing. It’s a catch-all collection of planetary ills: Deforestation? Overfishing? Whales? Particulates? Mercury? E-waste?
Can we please turn down the earnestat a few degrees?
Look, you’re all smart people out there. Maybe we can put our heads together and come up with some more upbeat words to describe those of us who know everything is ridiculously out of whack, and are working on the solutions, at home, at work, around the neighborhood, or across the country. Something a little more, er, marketable….
Let me throw one out to start. For me, it’s still all about climate. Attentive readers of this blog will note that I’m a big supporter of the atmosphere. It’s in rough shape, and pretty much everything down here depends upon us getting it back into balance, asap.
So call me an atmosphan. There.
Okay, now you. Go.
Posted: March 1st, 2009 | Author: James Glave | Filed under: 350.org, top, Transformational Change | Tags: Collapse Anxiety | No Comments »
I’ve never been so good at the whole relentless optimism thing. So I’ll just come out and admit it: I’m feeling pretty anxious these days. It’s an odd twinge in my gut telling me that—despite the assurances from economists who swear up and down that “these things are cyclical”—that the present situation feels more “cyclone” than “cycle.”
Who among us can honestly keep a smile plastered on when the earth is heaving so mightily underfoot?
Oh, I know, I know, I’m supposed to keep a laser focus on solutions. It’s the only productive response to all this. There’s no shortage of good ideas out there, important goals to work toward, and, thank god, at least one gushing firehose of hope to sip from.
But can I propose we ditch the talking points for a moment, and allow ourselves to feel terrified.
Because the current “correction” feels more like a sudden and dramatic contraction, a massive pandemic stitch, the first few nanoseconds of a star going supernova. It’s the sound of a paradigm breaking. Let’s call our associated collective “oh-shit” response what it is, folks: collapse anxiety.
If there’s wiggle room to feel good here, it’s knowing that we’ll emerge on the other side with a much-improved society. It has to get worse before it can get vastly better. Like the prez says, “we will rebuild” and make something much better, a place of greater understanding, sensitivity, awareness, happiness. A place where we define prosperity based on something other than profit. We’ll get there. But there’s no harm, I’d argue, in a good scream on the way down.