Earth Day is an innocuous thing. There’s nothing wrong with it, except maybe that it fakes us out, thinking we’re doing something (like social media activism). The party-like communal celebration of our complete dependence on this planet, and our love of the ecosystems it supports is a greenwasher’s dream.
I’m thinking we need a day of mourning, too, or some kind of process to tune into and acknowledge the now decades-long experience of climate grief, the feeling that it’s all going to hell and there’s nothing we can effectively do about it within the current economic and governance models, that our efforts to coordinate a big shift are stymied at every turn by bigger interests with a more actionable agenda (It’s much easier to accomplish narrowly targeted goals: “I want to drill HERE, and will get it eventually if I put the right person in the decision-making seat” is easier than looser regulatory agendas like “stop carbon PPM” that have tens of thousands of inputs). Maybe in the process, we can get a new story together in ourselves, something that Leah Lamb has been working on at The Whale Dreamer, about the infinite creativity of life.
Can you even imagine what it would have been like to not live with the underlying sense of dread at an uninhabitable planet, intensifying with each climate induced storm, each failed crop, each drought and flood? Each political rejection of the popular desire to survive, in harmonious relation with all things?
The urgency of UK-based Extinction Rebellion, disturbing the so-called “peace”, with clear demands for government action, is spreading. 1000 Grandmothers Bay Area is a local incarnation of the Society of Fearless Grandmothers, and there are others whose love-in-action is getting more fierce.
While you plant trees today, or get your zero-waste house in order (the Sikhs have committed to plant 1 Million trees!), download or watch David Attenborough’s new documentary on the BBC. Link in the comments.
Happy earth day. Be in inner peace, act in the world.