As a climate scientist, I am doing everything I possibly can to respond to the distress signals from our natural world. If I live to look back at this troubled time, I want to say that I did all that I could, that I was on the right side of history.
Grief calls climate activists to embrace the most difficult challenge: to fight to save as much life as possible and—hopefully—to restore some of what’s gone.
We made the difficult decision to write about Wynn and David, and to share David’s letter, because climate anxiety, climate grief, climate depression, climate anger, and climate desperation are as real as the climate crisis itself.
Such transformation can go much further than cutting emissions, drawing down carbon or simple adaptations. It can even go beyond changing our mindsets. It could transform what I call our “heart-set”, so that whatever comes next, we will face it with an unwavering and universal love.
There are going to be people denying the existence of climate change or saying that we should redress it with next-generation nuclear energy or working-class revolutionary struggle until the waves close over their heads.
A conversation between National Academy of Sciences fellow Dr. Sarah Myhre and National Poetry Series winner Teresa K. Miller on bearing witness to the climate crisis through science and storytelling.
Ellen Bass is an award-winning poet, author and a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Her poems appear frequently in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and many other journals. From her view as a poet, Ellen addresses the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?”
What are the skills needed to witness grief and our deep relationality with the earth and other people? And how can these skills be woven into our community life?
Because there will be no saving of worlds if we are not feeling them first. And it is by loving all life, no matter what, that a more beautiful world already exists.
Humanity and the earth is suffering from a worldview disease leading to a voracious self-destruction. It is a set of values or qualities, held with religious conviction that transforms all novelty into itself: economic growth, control over circumstances, progress, individualism, exploitation of nature, domination of strong over weak, and freedom-as-entitlement.
It’s going to be a rough year. The fatal combination of escalating climate breakdown and the capture of crucial governments by killer clowns provokes a horrible sense of inevitability. Just when we need determined action, we know that our governments, and the powerful people to whom they respond, will do everything they can to stymie it.
Repeating and evolving. We are learning together. You are welcome in. Your voice is needed. Your transformation of shock and grief into response and relief is needed. We’re all in this together. Humanity finally has a common challenge.