We don’t have time to sit on our hands as our planet burns.
For young people, climate change is bigger than election or re-election.
It’s life or death. ~ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been researching good-news-stories related to climate change. A colleague sent me an article in The Economist entitled “Brian Eno says a new global movement is emerging to save the planet.” It’s rather startling to me just how much good news I found. One website led me to another and another and another. And it appears that much of this good news is in the hands of the younger generations. I went to the website of a conference Eno attended called Fixing the Future (where ‘fixing’ means both ‘repairing’ and ‘focusing’). One presentation I watched was the opening. There were two presenters, one of whom was just beginning her first year at university. They were both so articulate! And so awake.
Which brings me to the T’ai Ji image above. Here’s a bit of what one of the presenters said after she mentioned many of the issues we hear about in the news such as floods in Pakistan and the war in Ukraine. “So that future that we feared has arrived now. And it can all feel a little apocalyptic. But maybe it’s not apocalyptic in the Armageddon, end of the world, sense. The root meaning of the word means revelation. It’s a revealing, a drawing back of the veil, to see the world as it really is. [On the other hand,] what we’ve seen over the last three years is a much needed and long hoped for explosion in public awareness, consciousness, concern, and action. Yet, it would be wrong not to feel grief, anger, fury for all that we have lost, for all that we are losing, and will lose. But equally, it would be wrong not to feel joy and care and love and connection for all that we might yet do together. And perhaps that’s where our collective sanity lies….It’s both utopian and distinctly dystopian out there right now.” ~ Cathy Runciman, Opening Fixing The Future
So one side of the image above is “Bold Sources of Hope” while the other side is “OMG, We’re Doomed.” Also present is the dynamic line that both divides and connects the two sides. That’s where we are living. And it’s very important for each of us to find ways to balance both sides in ourselves because that’s what creates the integrity. If we are not balanced, it affects both our individual and collective sanity. So this means facing into the world as it is today as well as infusing bold hope for the future.
Eno writes, “You may wonder why this planet-wide conversation about the future is not bigger news. The problem is that it is good news, which, as everybody knows, does not sell newspapers or drive clicks. Only the spectacular parts of the climate news (floods and fires) are dramatic enough to make it onto television, so we get to see only the bad news. Underneath the news, though, slow and deep, is a movement of long horizons and structural rethinking….a rich and robust root system is growing, and its first green shoots are starting to break the surface.”
In truth, I think some of what I have found is quite exciting and dramatic. And, it would, in fact, make very interesting segments on mainstream news media. After all, for example, the PBS Newshour regularly does feel-good segments called “My Brief But Spectacular Take On….” And then there’s “Kindness 101” with Steve Hartman on CBS. And so on. However, as far as I know, there is nothing that regularly features messages of hope about climate change. It may be out there and I just don’t know about it yet. Do you know of anything? If so, please let me know. I’d be grateful!
So, for the moment, my way of “fixing the future” is to see if I can find ways to influence mainstream media to more broadly and regularly offer stories of some of the good news happening all around the world. And, in the meantime, I will share some of what I’m learning with you in the coming weeks.
Graphic by Barbara