Climate and YOU

Reflections on Living in a Climate and Ecological Crisis

Recent Episodes

20 – Liberation from the Trap of Green Consumerism

The first place most of us start when comes to taking action on our climate and ecological emergency is green consumerism. Unfortunately, for many us, green consumerism ends up being a dead end. We think it’s all we can do, or all we need to do. This is exactly what the inactivists want us to think. We won’t escape climate catastrophe unless we demand systemic change – a future in which we all have better choices. Fortunately, there are three benefits from escaping the trap of green consumerism.

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19 – Imagination as an Antidote to Despair

If you really try to Face the Truth and Take Action in our climate and ecological emergency, it’s pretty easy to feel despair. There are many reasons to feel discouraged, but one antidote to despair is to engage your imagination in a radical way – in a way that lets you reframe the world and your place in it and invites your spirit to roam outside the dismal constraints of the status quo.

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18 – The Climate Movement Is Failing Miserably

Just in case you had great hopes for it, the climate movement is failing miserably. A relatively small group of activists - no matter how dedicated - can't bring about change by themselves. The primary role of action campaigns is to engage and mobilize the public, and this is proving incredibly difficult to do with respect to the climate and ecological emergency even though it threatens everything we love.

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17 – The Best Climate Action: Get Together with Friends!

What's the most effective thing you can do for our climate and ecological crisis? You might be surprised at my answer: Get together with friends! A group of 3-12 like-minded folks (friends, neighbors, people with common affiliations or interests) can form an affinity group and support one another in facing and responding to our climate emergency.

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16 – Waking Up to Our Anthropotragedy

When we step back and look honestly at humanity, it’s clear we are living in the midst of an unfolding tragedy of our own making. I suggest we create a word for it, “anthropotragedy:" The lamentable, preventable, disastrous downfall and utter destruction of humanity through our own actions.

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15 – The Self-Immolation of Wynn Bruce and the Question of Personal Sacrifice

How much should we personally sacrifice in order to fight the complete breakdown of earth’s natural life-support systems? This is a very difficult question. I reflect on it as I discuss the self-immolation of Wynn Bruce, climate activist and Buddhist, on Earth Day 2022 in Washington DC outside the Supreme Court. What would make someone do such a thing? Is there a way we can hear Bruce’s message without condoning his method?

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14 – How Everything is Okay at the Same Time Everything is NOT Okay

Reality has two dimensions. Along one dimension, our world is unequivocally full of greed, hate, delusion, and suffering, and any moral person should feel compelled to do something to make things better. Along the other dimension, things are just as they are, and when we don’t impose our expectations and preconceived notions on the world, it’s a miracle anything exists at all. The two dimensions do not conflict with one another but are simultaneously true. The challenge is to be awake to, and live in harmony with, both dimensions, without clinging to either one.

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13 – Is a “Crazy” Response an Appropriate Response to Climate Insanity?

In one of my Facing the Truth episodes, I give a brief update on the state of the climate and ecological crisis as reflected in the recent IPCC report on the mitigation of climate change. Then I reflect on our situation to help us absorb the insanity of it, and discuss whether or not a “crazy” response is an appropriate one. Finally, I invite you to give you to consider how we are experiencing entirely new kinds of human distress by living in the midst of a climate and ecological emergency.

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12 – The Coal Baron Blockade: My Story of Participating in a Nonviolent Direct Action

This episode takes you on a journey with me as I travel to the Coal Baron Blockade action, prep for it, participate in it, get arrested doing it, face the aftermath, and then reflect on the experience. If you haven’t already listened to my last episode, Episode 11 – My Upcoming Climate Action: Doesn’t Civil Disobedience Just Piss People Off?, I recommend doing so before you listen to this one, because episode 11 gives you the background of the Coal Baron Blockade (#manchinblockade) and discusses the intentions of nonviolent civil disobedience.

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11 – My Upcoming Climate Action: Doesn’t Civil Disobedience Just Piss People Off?

I explain why I plan to participate in a climate-related mass, nonviolent, civil disobedience action that will take place on April 9th. I give some background on the action, and then try to address the questions: Why nonviolent civil disobedience? Isn’t it extreme? Doesn’t it just piss people off? Regardless of you feel about nonviolent direct action, I hope I can help you understand what we’re trying to achieve and why we choose the methods we do.

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