Pollyanna: a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything. That’s been me my whole life. To the extent that others have often told me I’m naïve, over-trusting, or ‘don’t live in the real world’.
61 years later, I now find myself morphing into a Cassandra. Based on the ancient Greek myth, Cassandra was gifted and cursed by the God Apollo. The gifts were foresight and prophecy. The curse was that nobody believed her. Her valid alarms were ignored and disbelieved.
I’m talking about the climate and ecological crisis.
Since early June this year I have woken up to the emergency, and become what Professor Jem Bendell calls “collapse aware”. I have read countless books, and scientific papers. I have watched 100’s of videos. I have participated in many webinars and zoom calls with the Deep Adaptation community around the world. I have joined many forums, and subscribed to many newsletters.
After my four days with Jem in July, I came back home fired up with a deep and profound ‘calling’ to take some action.
(A kind of update from my last blog “The Hopium of the Bamboo Toothbrush”)
The last two months has, for me, been characterised by huge amounts of research, a wide range of conversations, and deep inner reflection about the climate and ecological catastrophe we now face. And because I’ve been thinking about these things, I have experienced too the subsequent roller-coaster of deep emotions, including the most profound grief I have ever felt.
I have looked into the abyss.
The most recent part of that journey was a 4-day programme led Professor Jem Bendell at the University of Cumbria. The theme of the course was “Leadership in the Climate Crisis”. This was a profound and very connected four days, in the company of 25 loving and conscious human beings.
I was the only person who doesn’t work in the field professionally.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Please don’t hear anything in what follows that says “You should be doing this, or that”. I don’t even know myself what to do yet. But it has helped me to just express all this, and I had a ‘nudge’ that I should share it here. And I am genuinely curious…. about where you’re at with this whole thing.
Hardly anybody is a full-on climate change denier these days (except maybe a certain President). But the denial has become more subtle and nuanced.
Early June 2019 (my God, has it only been just over a month?) I stumbled upon some of the latest science about the climate crisis. I don’t know why – I was nudged or something. I’d known things were getting pretty bad, I’d watched Blue Planet II along with most other people. But I really had no idea. As is the case with the inter-web, one article, paper or talk neatly led me into the next.. and the next… and the next.