How can we be motivated to act unless we can see a world worth fighting for?
The climate struggle, the effort to survive the human folly of destroying our common home, cannot be won as merely an effort to avoid the worst. We need a positive vision. We need to see, at the other end, something wonderful.
I sometimes see a vision of a better world coming from techno optimists. But never from climate activists, from scientists, or even from politicians and ideologues.
Nearly everyone is focused on who they hate and fear. And, as for the future, mere survival is the best that activists seem to offer.
We need to do better. We need to provide a vision of an exciting yet achievable future. We can.
A Joyful World
I don’t mean to diminish the crisis we face and the inevitable suffering. We are too far down the road of climate destruction to avoid it.
And we’ve had this before. We’ve had a Holocaust. We’ve had two World Wars. We’ve had all kinds of mass suffering in the past, yet joy and beauty and love never died. There was life (for the survivors) after death.
If we stabilize the climate (no small task) and repair what we can, our next world can and should be much, much better than the one it replaces.
The seeds of this better world are in our approach to rescuing our dying planet. We will work together, in a common cause, with an attitude of caring and love. It’s these values that will provide the basis for our better world. We will not only fix the climate, but remove the sick values and systems that make today’s world such a mess.
This can be transformative.
We Can Reject Bad Attitudes and Bad Systems and Embody Better Ones
We always worry that there are bad people in the world. We react to them, often with fear or anger or frustration. Reacting is a bad strategy. Taking charge of yourself and doing your own part to be better and to set and example — THAT is the way to go.
That’s how small numbers of people begin changing the world. And that’s how small numbers become BIG numbers. We attract support, new followers, a bigger body of activists, by SHOWING how to live better and how to be better.
Our good example implicitly indicts existing attitudes, values and systems without wasting time or energy attacking them. This is the way of the Saner.
Saners are people who are determined to end fossil fuels and rescue Nature from human-created destruction. We will protect the Earth so that our children can have a future. But not just ANY future; a truly wonderful future.
Yes, even with fossil fuel use reduced to near zero, and even with all the work done by scientists, engineers and young climate activists to fix the planet, our Earth will still be grievously damaged — but livable.
And HOW we live on this diminished Earth will make all the difference.
In this new world:
- We will never be controlled by wealthy people, or crazy ideologues, or self-serving phony “representatives.” WE will control things with our own actions and by setting an attractive example of how to live — for all to see, to emulate.
- We won’t waste our hours, our days, our lives in the folly of producing endless mountains of commodities — useless crap we don’t need. Instead of throwing away our time (and lives) on such senseless pursuits, we will produce ONLY what’s valuable and useful. We will produce food and shelter and medicine.
- With more time (and therefore more LIFE) we will actually live as humans should live. We will spend quality time together, alone time in Nature, time producing expressive works of art, time to play, time to pursue hobbies. With work reduced to merely contributing to the production of necessities, humans will be truly free for the first time in history.
- We will reject pettiness. We won’t worry about the few who take advantage, who don’t contribute. Indeed, every one of us will, at some point, be unable to contribute. We grow older, or suffer disabilities or have other situations which make us unable to contribute to production. All of us should be understanding and supportive of such situations. We cannot afford to be fools. We must and can be wiser than in the past.
Now, I don’t want to give the impression that the future will be utopia. It will not. We will still have death, heartbreak and all kinds of suffering. This is a part of the human condition.
However, this future, if we choose it, will be much better than the past and perhaps much better than nearly anyone can even imagine. At least just yet — until it happens.