What to Think About Climate Anxiety

“I have canceled my plans to have a family because I am so concerned about the future of the planet.” Jordan Druthers

I suppose if we could get everyone to feel this deeply about the lack of progress toward reaching a carbon-neutral state, then we might have a platform for a  meaningful climate discussion. But we are not there, and the process toward effecting meaningful change is being corrupted and compromised by industry capitalists, political ambition,  and, yes, even well-meaning environmentalists. 

Change is a hard, scary state. We all know that we have a lot of disturbing things to deal with right now, and elevating one over the others may seem evangelical and self-serving.  But if we don’t want to make too many changes in our lives in the near future, we will have to be more scared and anxious than we have been in the past.  Change does not happen in a state of complacency; it occurs in a state of complexity, where norms are confronted, and the past ways of living are challenged by those that see a future based on science and the historical patterns of short-term human interests. 

No one wants their children to cry themselves to sleep over the fear that rising global temperatures will rob them of their geological inheritance, and shame on any parent who would let this vision populate a tender soul. We cannot let our enemies, posing as our friends, contaminate the climate rhetoric to encourage us to back off the intensity that must exist to create change. Does change induce anxiety? You bet your sweet ass it does, and it needs to be, to be effective.  

To rock folks from their ‘comfortable place,’ be it an elected office, a traditional behavior, or a profitable history, we need to get them scared.  We need to change how we are consuming, wasting, and warming, and we are not going to get there without some discomfort and anxiety about how our lives must change to protect the future. Becoming uncomfortable about where global warming is headed and how poorly we have handled the turn-around to date should keep you up at night. Maybe then you will keep someone else up at night, worried about our children's children’s future. Perhaps some of them will be decision-makers, and if we can keep enough decision makers and politicians and leaders of industry, and spiritual beacons anxious and sleepless at night, then maybe we will create the base for that state of anxiety that we need to make real change happen now, during our watch, which should not be as comfortable as it has been. We need more anxiety, not less, if we are serious about changing the Climate.

Thanks for listening; get involved, do something!

JF Carpenter

“What to Do if Your Chute Doesn’t Open!”

“Survivors Guide to the Coming Climate Inferno”

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