Day 142 of Self Quarantine Covid 19 Deaths in U.S.: 157,000
At the top of my existential crisis list is the climate change dynamic disaster. To see he who shall not be named ( Tя☭mp), not only be a science denier and a climate change denier, but also a strong supporter of the coal industry is beyond repugnant. As we see an expanding range of climate anomalies around the world, we no longer have to imagine what the future holds for humanity.
My oldest daughter, Elizabeth, is constantly after me to get more involved in helping with climate activism. She urged me to join the Citizen’s Climate Lobby (CCL). I’ve enjoyed the companions on the journey of learning and advocating for legislation like the carbon dividend act. I admire all that Representative Derek Kilmer is doing for our congressional district to advocate not just for climate change, but for the native Americans living along WA state coastal lands adversely affected by rising seas.
Recently, Elizabeth urged me to read The Future Earth: A Radical Vision for What’s Possible in the Age of Warming by Eric Holthaus.
“Dad, it is the first book that gives me some hope that I/we can make a difference and that we have some time to make the critical changes,” she said.
Holthaus grabbed me by my “time to make some changes” ethos early in the book and didn’t let go:
“Scientists are now certain that our use of fossil fuels and our destruction of the planet’s ecosystems are quickly bringing the future of human civilization into doubt. My goal with this book is to help you imagine your own part in building a better world that works for everyone, regardless of status or class or gender. And to remind you that you were born at exactly the right time to help change everything.”
Holthaus, Eric. The Future Earth (p. 5). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.
I posted the following on Facebook:
Reading the following as I gaze out on the Puget Sound:
“The projections have been clear for a long time: more than $ 1 trillion of coastal real estate in the United States is expected to be literally underwater by 2050—almost 10 percent of our current economy.”
— The Future Earth: A Radical Vision for What’s Possible in the Age of Warming by Eric Holthaus
Holthaus looks at the next 30 years of change we need in 2 to 10 year increments. He shares the thoughts of many current change activists, the innovations that climate scientists are proposing, and then narratives of what the earth could be like if we get started transforming now.
The path forward will not be easy. Experiencing all the science denier loons who will not even wear a mask to protect themselves and others in the middle of a global pandemic does not give me confidence that humans can collaborate to bring about a “future earth.” Yet, anything that can recommend actions that I can do is desperately needed.
I love any author who can explain difficult topics so elegantly:
“Climate change itself is simple. I can explain it in one paragraph: by a quirk of physics, fossil fuels are an almost perfect store for energy, and their discovery helped accelerate centuries of colonialism, locking us into an extractive relationship with our planet and one another. The subsequent imbalance in resources was exploited by those with economic or military power, enriching the few at the expense of the many.
“But the fix is not simply technical. The too-familiar apocalypse narrative leaves no room for justice or regeneration. We must do better. Somehow we must also learn to treat one another better.”
Holthaus, Eric. The Future Earth (p. 197). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.
While I can’t do all of his recommendations, I regularly walk in the woods “across our island.”
“In the meantime, my most immediate advice is to go outside and enjoy your present Earth. There are physical and mental benefits of getting outdoors. Do a bunch of these things (or at least a few of them):
Go for a walk in the forest.
Make art (outside).
Actually meet another living person with shared interests.
Look at the bugs.
Go to a star party and ponder your place in the universe.
Hike across an island.
Go to an orchard and pick fruit at peak season.
Stay in a tree house.
Go to a baseball game.
Thank you, Eric Holthaus, for giving me hope for my future, my children’s future, and my grandchildren’s future.