I’m trying to get a foothold back into the blogosphere, and have been for months. Dozens of attempts fill up a document folder titled “Possible Posts”, and each beginning has a paragraph, or a series of sentences, none of which got finished. Missed opportunities to connect on topics that range from rental goats and possible goat adoption, to heritage breed chickens, broody hens and chicken deaths, and on to a debate about the necessity of winter prep for our resident frogs. (We didn’t, and recently scooped out four corpses from the pond-pool; lesson learned but at such a cost . . ..) The last was about book writing. After fifteen drafts, I have finished At Crossroads with Chickens and now face the daunting process of seeking agents and a publisher, and then publishing, and it’s far easier to write.
(That is a lie. Rather, choosing to write is my choice and, therefore, within my power. I have no control of agents and publishers who might, or might not like, or even read, what I send them.)
When in the final throes and pages of At Crossroads with Chickens, I began a series of articles on energy with an aim to raise awareness about the true costs of fossil fuels, and educate myself and whoever read the articles, on how energy works in the U.S. of A.. Easier said the done. The articles had the wrong tone, from too “lite” to too pedantic. And where to begin when energy in our lives is so far reaching, and each fact requires pages of supporting evidence because ever in the background are the doubters, the deniers, the giver-uppers, and too-laters? So much background noise on top of the cognitive dissonance of the world is ending but isn’t it a beautiful day?
Note to self: The world is not ending, it’s just that Mother Nature, not Homo s.sapiens, will bat last. The world as we knew it, though, is long gone. Coming up is the world without us, and just what will that look like?
That is where I draw my line in the sand. Here. I want to make the world a little bit better. I am done with the question “Is there climate change?” Because the answer is a resounding yes, and it is human caused and more aptly described as climate chaos. We are at ground zero. And, as Derrick Jensen says in his article “Nothing Else Matters” . . . nothing else matters.
Except, perhaps, tone. Tone matters. If I get too dark, people will get depressed and overwhelmed. That brings to mind a conversation I had with a local dairy farmer. A cheerful, kind fellow who spends time with his cows because they have so much to teach him, he smiled when we got on the topic of things climate, Big Ag, soil health and pesticides. He laughed and said that, when he first started in organic and biodynamic farming, he was radical. It was his way or the highway but with time, he calmed down, and adopted a live-and-let-live attitude. After all, it takes all kinds. But now—and here his voice hardened, his jaw tightened, his expression became intent and serious—now he is back to militant because who will protect, nurture and heal the earth and its sentient creatures if he doesn’t?
I’m with him. I can’t control other people, and yes, the situation is absolutely and undeniably overwhelming. And no one person can save the world. But each of us has his, her or their personal being with which they can change the world. Think energy. Think electrons connecting us to everything around us. Our actions make a difference. What we bring to the table, each of us, is our own unique being. That’s all. That’s everything.
Change a lightbulb, and turn out the lights when you leave a room. It matters.
Walk, don’t drive. It matters.
Hang your laundry, don’t use a dryer. It matters (and will lower your electric bill, too.)
Eat less meat, and try for happy meat. It matters (especially for those sentient animals living in CAFOs).
Call your legislators and tell them climate change matters. Talk to your neighbors and create connections because they are who you are going to need when things get tough.
And they will need you.
Whatever you do, don’t do nothing, because there is no perfect, no single answer, and everyone of us is accountable. We have the chance to save the world. Don’t miss this opportunity.
Only time will tell if it’s easier than finding a publisher.