Some stray observations about climate and global change, in the form of a list:
– Everyone’s on their own journey in terms of their relationship with the crisis. We’re all feeling different things, moving between different emotional responses, at different times. Whatever you feel right now (anger, terror, despair, fascination, grief, numbness, confidence, all of the above, none of the above) is fine.
– Your feelings are gonna change and keep changing, there’s no final state, no equilibrium, no ‘correct’ state of being. The crisis is going to be a big part of our lives for the rest of our lives, our relationship to it will keep changing.
– Anyone who says ‘we need more art about climate change’ or ‘we need work that can say [this particular message]’ is probably just telling you what they need to hear at this particular moment.
– Reading more about climate change will not make you more sad or more scared. Ignoring the problem will not make you feel better.
– Don’t read short articles on news websites with scary headlines. That short-form stuff will trigger a feeling of panic without giving you more understanding. Read longer stuff, more thoughtful analysis, go a bit deeper. It’s worth the extra effort because you won’t feel so overwhelmed.
– Reading about the problem is not the same as taking action. Taking action (in whatever way makes sense to you) will make you feel better.
– Because the problem is intersectional, it cuts across every aspect of our lives. That means the solutions are intersectional too. Wherever you choose to bite off the problem, you’re helping. Clean cookstoves in India? Education for girls in Afghanistan? Writing a letter to your local MP about renewable energy? Whatever issue you choose to engage in, it all helps.
– Criticisms about hypocrisy (‘how can you care about the environment and fly / use plastic / eat meat?’) are often (not always) a way for the critic to displace their own guilt about the fact that they’re doing nothing to address the crisis. It’s boring and inane. If that’s you, stop it.
– We could turn this around right now if it weren’t for the actions of a few thousand wealthy men who are happy to sacrifice our collective future for their personal profit. It’s not a cosmic problem, it’s a human problem. That doesn’t make it easy but it does bring it within our reach.
– We all happened to be born in the midst of a planetary crisis unlike anything anyone’s ever faced before. This is a crazy moment in the earth’s history. No-one has the answers, no-one knows the future, don’t let anyone make you feel stupid for not knowing the right facts.
– No matter what happens in our lifetime, our obligations are the same: to fight rich fuckwits, to bear witness to what’s happening without hiding from it, and to be kind to each other.
A glimpse of Ceduna in South Australia, c/o Google Satellites.
For those who are interested, I’m presenting a couple of things at the Edinburgh Fringe at the end of August:
You’re Safe Til 2024
11.30am – 12.30pm Tues 20 – Fri 23 Aug, The Pleasance Attic
Kids Killing Kids: A Wake (with JK Anicoche)
11.30am – 12.30pm Sat 24 – Sun 25 Aug, The Pleasance Attic
Take care, yall.