Two weeks ago, Clark County Clean Air started the first of what we hope to be many discussions. These conversations are called, for now, an exercise in community resilience. The first meeting was all about what we love.
Why start with what you love? Because you won’t defend what you don’t love. And if one thing is abundantly clear to people who are paying attention, what we love actually needs defending. Some may think this is hyperbole, ridiculousness and doomsaying, but they are wrong. And wrong from a realistic and honest standpoint. Both conscience and science tells us that we must do better and care more than we have done to preserve what we have. As well as to restore what we have neglected and lost.
After 20 years of observation and geeking around with scientists, historians, anthropologists, as well as activists, and all them “old people”, what I have come to understand in my deepest of beings is that the worldview that is running our world is also ruining it as fast as it can.
Now, I am sure to find arguments about progress and modernity and wonder. And many of those arguments will ring true. But what will also ring true is that we are systematically ignoring the interdependence and fragility of the system that we are part and parcel of. There is no mind/ body problem unless you insist that you are decapitated and are viewing your own body from far away. Nonetheless cannibalizing it for rubber ducks and ski-dos. Mind /body problems are illusions and part of magical thinking about the lack of consequences of our activities on the planet. And I don’t apologize for being a bit esoteric because we are conscious, philosophizing animals in as much as we are science, reality living beings. And the two are only mutually exclusive when what someone is really after is power and domination, but that is a tangent for elsewhere.
The first get together over beers and laughs was all about naming and acknowledging what we love. And though we were a small group at the Brickhouse, we are a larger group of friends and neighbors. And the point of getting together is to see one another, to greet and hug one another in the real world and build trust and time and be human. And what we love, we will defend. And what we love is:
- Our neighborhoods.
- Our river.
- Our mountains.
- Our families.
- Our friends.
- Fish and forests.
- Our health.
And at each time these were mentioned we nodded in agreement. And these community resilience conversations are about these things that we love because we must acknowledge what we have or it will largely move into the past and be forgotten. Like the mythical fish runs on the river before the dams. Like the fear of buffalo spooked by lightening storms. Like white river dolphins. Like so many things that have been paved over for automotive convenience.
People can get used to anything. Well, just about anything. And, in fact, we praise our selves for a tolerance level that we should reevaluate. We tolerate pain. We tolerate misery. We tolerate thieves. We tolerate and teach people to tolerate in lieu of loving because we confuse when we should be tolerating for when we should be fighting. Tolerating cultural and religious differences is one thing. Tolerating systematic ill health and being poisoned is another. And that leads me to the issue of details and education.
What we don’t know can actually harm us. Thinking that representatives actually represent us or know more than we do is not proven true. Thinking that the Columbia is healthy is a lie. But what would a healthy Columbia watershed look like? Would we know? And if we knew, would we care? That is part of this discussion. And, shortly, I will post the details of the second meeting that we just ended. But, for this evening, I am satisfied that the momentum has started, and that people are actually fierce in their love, and, as I suspected, they will become fiercer in their will to stand up and defend what they love. All of this will bloom the more we get a grasp on the reality of where we live now and how it is being threatened by the extension of the poor and greedy vision that has led us to where we find ourselves.
coal, air pollution, and boiling frogs – you know the story about slowly boiling frogs vs. throwing them in hot water. and this is a funny if long video worth watching.
and a very nice little bit from Derick Jensen on hope. This is great piece about moving into action, whether or not you agree with anything that Mr Jensen writes about.