Many of us are grappling with news stories about how our climate is changing irrevocably and that species after species are dying out, that our Earth, our home, is dying. We may want to disengage from this “news” because it feels too painful to contemplate. We may fear for our future. If we have children we may fear for their future. For the first time in our history we are looking at our children having less than we do. So often I have heard young people being told they are our “hope”. I have said it myself. We place an immense burden on them every time we say it. Not only have our, and previous generations messed up the world for them to the extent they may not actually have a future, we then burden them with being the ones who must turn it all around.
What to do?
Joanna Macy, long time climate change activist and author of Coming Back to Life, suggests that we allow ourselves to feel the grief for all that is being lost, to really allow the feelings to flow, and then to connect with others for the loving support we need in order to act for our planet. She is a deeply compassionate woman who knows that we cannot all be activists in the generally accepted meaning of that word, and, that we each have a place. Our work may be joining organisations that are making a difference, signing petitions, writing a blog on our website (!), talking to friends and acquaintances about what’s going on, creating a piece of art, encouraging others to make changes to their lifestyles, or, indeed, going on marches and demonstrations. Our work is to discover our place in it all.
There are wonderful organisations that are making a real difference. Check out Stop Ecocide (Polly Higgins’ work), and Tree Sisters as a start.