Woke up around 3am this morning after a mediocre sleep. Yesterday was a full day, with family and the inner tribe swallowing up the entire day, leaving me with a sense of panic about all the things that need to be done before I fly out on my swan song world tour for 2019. I am imposing a travel ban and will not venture farther than Australia until the end of the year. My travel carbon footprint is a source of great shame, but travel is the font of all the best bits in my existence. Tough to balance that whole moral dilemma. So I will stay home and focus on strengthening ties with family and friends, while growing the tiny green tech business that has absolutely taken over our lives.
There’s some dark days looming, and I’ve come to kind of accept it and now I just want to be prepared and surrounded by amazing people pushing in the same direction. The bright side to a potential climactic apocalypse is the sense of purpose it has given a lot of people. That’s not even an attempt at dark humour, I mean it. It is an amazing feeling to be pulling together with all manner of weird and wonderful soldiers for sustainability.
Things are on an absolute upswing on the home front. Bill (neighbor, handyman, genius, and dear friend) got back from Ireland via Hong Kong (where he avoided the epicenter of the protests and revolution that are taking place there currently) and we all had a simple dinner and talked at the table about the fact the planet is well and truly broken but we will hope for the best and plan for the worst.
Had the same discussion on the podcast this morning with Bill’s wife, who just happens to also be one of the dearest friends I have ever had, Eva. There are some reports that the climate crisis has already passed the tipping point, and the best we can do at this point is baton down the hatches. There’s a freedom and solidarity that stems from times of crisis. My little electric vehicle commune, replete with orchard, mad scientist laboratory, and gardens feels like the right place to be right now.
Discussions this morning with Daniel were centered almost solely round the seriousness of the climate crisis, punctuated with the painful and pointless reality of the parent teacher interviews we would be attending later in the day. Seems weird to be going about “business as usual” when we truly believe that shit is going to get very real soon. I had the exact same conversation with my neurologist/therapist. I was trying to explain to her that it was a surreal feeling to have kind of accepted that the whole planet, and most of the people and things that I Love (and I Love like EVERYTHING) is in clear and present danger. It may just be, that there’s not much anyone can do about it at this point. What would happen if food security and survival instinct were to eclipse the “keeping up with the Jones’s” adventures of the people who live in our very affluent neighbourhood? What would I do if she showed up on the doorstep to raid what was left of our orchard to save her family? I joked that I’d be resigned to the fact we’d just have to fight to the death over a few oranges, nothing personal of course. But dark humour aside, will it get that bad? Are we ready?
Throughout history, there’s a theme of people being more or less blind-sided by major and catastrophic events. Ask a Syrian family what life was like 12 months before the war erupted. Ask a middle-aged Venezuelan how their lives have changed since the catastrophic economic crisis. Read archeological accounts of Pompeii and the activities people were engaging in when Mt. Vesuvius erupted. Disasters strike if we are prepared or if we are not, and problems escalate even if we ignore them and comfort ourselves by ignoring warning signs or denying that there is a problem at all.
I have no crystal ball, but I know that the planet has survived and thrived after at least five massive extinctions. I also know that human history has seen vast swathes of the population killed through famine, disease, and war, and after almost every significant drop in the population, there has been a period of growth and prosperity. Rwanda has one of the most gender equitable, socially responsible, and environmentally sustainable economies on earth after the Holocaust in the mid 90’s wiped out a mind-boggling percentage of the male population. The renaissance would not have been possible without the Black Plague wiping out most of the human population and freeing up time and resources for the survivors. Yes, I am grossly over-simplifying, but this is my blog, so take a deep breath and carry on or feel free to bounce.
I can’t presume to know what actually lays ahead of us. What I do know is that crisis brings out the best and the worst in individuals, societies, communities and families. I know that I need to learn how to make and fix things, and every single person has a duty to chip in, change, and ready themselves and their communities through food and energy resilience strategies. That’ll go so far, and maybe there will be an eleventh-hour silver bullet, but even if there isn’t, knowing how to do things and be resourceful is never going to be a disadvantage. Some people will shine as we charge into unknown and terrifying territory. Some people will deny there is a problem while the world falls down around their ears. Some people will quietly and resiliently get on with things. Why does this paragraph somehow get me to thinking about the grapes or wrath? Damn that is a great movie. Henry Fonda hits you right in the heart. He’s Jane Fonda’s Dad. Oh my, do I adore Jane Fonda. Goddess. That was an epic digression, but I am leaving it in there and not editing it out, because Jane Fonda truly is a Goddess and deserves a nod. Even an off-topic nod.
All I wanted to say this morning was this:
I don’t see the point of carrying around the heavy brick in my stomach, even though I am absolutely terrified most of the time. This situation is kind of a gift really. Probably not dissimilar to the acceptance stage of the grieving process, or the IDGAF reaction to a terminal diagnosis. Not to sound overly dramatic about it, but we really, very likely, are sitting on a tinderbox of political, social, environmental and general instability. We’re witnessing the beginning of a serious global event that was instigated by greed, short sightedness, and human hubris. What an honour it is to be among people who want to forge a future that can and will sustain life. And I am not going to waste time or energy fretting about the people who deny or contribute to the problem.
I really do like the people who care. I spend all day every day swooning over smart, sensible, KIND people who are kicking it up a notch and looking for all manner of solutions to the limitless supply of serious problems.
So yeah, I may have been shunted awake at a ridiculous hour this morning by an overwhelming sense of doom, but rather than curl up into a little ball, I am feeling rather like there’s not really much to lose, and the regular operational realities of life and society are getting eclipsed by the severity of the situation.
If the planet is going to burn (or more accurately it seems, melt) we may as well grab hold to the good bits and go down scratching and biting with people we Love and respect.
Thanks for reading.