It’s Sunday morning and the crisp fall weather is creeping into my apartment through my open window. This is the time of year in Buffalo, NY where I keep the windows open as long as I can stand it, because I know that winter is coming and I will be spending way too much time closed into buildings for the next 6+ months.
It’s incredible to think about the fact that I have been back living in Western New York for 4 years now. I just returned from a 10-day trip to Austin, Texas, which was my home for my first 8 years after college. A friend once told me that the longer you live in a place, the more it becomes a part of you. I feel that with both Austin and Buffalo, which is both wonderful and difficult.
So much has been happening on the climate, environmental, and eco justice fronts, especially with Greta Thunberg and the youth-led climate strikes that have been swelling up all over the world. It feels like a larger group of people are finally waking up and saying enough is enough. It’s beautiful to see and I try my best to be a part of this movement where I can.
I used to wonder “how horrible do things have to get before people start saying enough is enough?” It appears that the combination of the melting of the Arctic, death of coral reefs, mass extinction of animals, an overwhelming public health and refugee crisis, apocalyptic hurricanes, ravaging drought, blazing wildfires, and other forms of doom are finally getting peoples’ time and attention.
I am so grateful to young people for stepping up and speaking out years before I ever had the understanding or courage to do so myself. As for the adults that are joining in for the first time, I am grateful but also confused about what took them so long. And then there are still so many people (of all ages) who continue their lives as though it is business as usual. This type of denial is delusional — the facts are in our faces.
I want to welcome everyone to this eco justice fight because we literally need everyone to change their individual lives and the systems that influence them, but it’s been hard to know what to say or how to coordinate. While all of this climate strike energy has been growing, I’ve been struggling with the grief that comes with the realization that the Earth is dying, and because we are all connected to it and each other, we are, too.
To feed my grief side, this is what I’m reading and relating to:
- The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption by Dahr Jamail
- Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy by Jem Bendell PhD
- “What if we stopped pretending?” by Johnathan Franzen in The New Yorker
To feed my solutions side, this is where I go for inspiration on how to live:
- Movement Generation’s Just Transition Zine
- Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change and Changing Worlds by adrienne maree brown
Happy Sunday 🙂