Aug 1, 2022Liked by Steven Saint Thomas

I almost didn’t want to keep reading after the opening paragraphs. I’m an ecologically minded person, preferring time spent alone or with loved ones in a creek or in the forest than anything else. My dwindling trips into town for this or that show me how little modernization has of interest for me. That being said I can tell something is not right with the lands. I’ve had that uneasiness of things being amiss for a very long time and yet the way we talk about climate change seems designed to induce paralysis and apathy. There is such an overwhelming avalanche of information pummeled at us with statistic and charts and data. Then there are the ad campaigns featuring scolding teenagers, imploring the “adults” to figure it out. Then there is the green washing machine that just turns manufacturing magically sustainable. It’s all too much. I agree things need to be done. I would argue all the things that need doing and shifting (I too am a permaculturist) would need shifting even if our ecology want in a state of chaos. The misery and emptiness of the modern human experience is exhibit A. Besides the way our actions are hurting the otherkin, the trees and frogs and bears, the mushrooms and bacteria and bees, our actions hurt us the most! There is a deadening that comes from separation of man and the ecological circumstances we evolved in. It deadens us to be always in comfort, never too hot or too cold, to never feel a pebble underfoot. It deadens us to wake up to artificial alarms and the sounds of freeways rather than sunlight on our faces and birdsong.

I’m tired of the framing of this climate struggle in terms of what we are losing and what has been lost. The grief is important to feel and yet to remain stuck there is to abdicate our responsibility for the future. I wonder these days about the utility of giving it to people so grim. Extinction and natural disasters and apocalypse! Even if that is true I doubt it will move anyone. If we are to facilitate the mass scale mobilization of humanity towards a new/old paradigm I think we need to show them a better way. Permaculture is great for this because it exudes abundance and beauty, factoring in humans to their own environments. If we are going to have to move away from the old, we need to help frightened people understand there can be a beautiful future in its place. I love the work of Charles Eisenstein for this reason: amidst the grief there is so much glowing hope and love.

I’d rather poke my eye out than listen to another very stern scientist or scolding Greta Thunberg character. It’s easy to tune out when you feel you are being yelled at.

Expand full comment