Friday, June 22, 2012

Is it Already Too Late?

a suburban greenmom is having a sort of defeated day
This is a post I just found today, even though it’s a couple of months old:
And then I went poking around a little further, and found this:
And this:
There are more, lots more. Like here. And here. And here.
I’ve been having a harder time blogging lately in general. Part of it is that, after about three and a half years of steady writing and probably well over 800 posts, I’m just a little tired; at some point, one runs out of stuff to say.  But I think more of it may be about what this article touches on: I’m beginning to feel a little defeated.
I read articles like these, I look at our 95+ degree Chicago June, watch plants that should be fine shrivel up and conk out while “annuals” I planted last year pop back up as though winter had never happened, I keep abreast of the news with its huge politicization of whether climate change is even real and whether or not it’s anti-American to suggest that states ban disposable plastic bags. I get righteously enraged when I see stupid articles and hear stupid stories about the idiocy of what’s happening, but then I just sort of sigh and go, yeah, that’s nothing new…and I wonder, is anything any of us are doing making a difference at all? Is it…could it be…already too late?
And then I shake my head and go, “naah, I can’t think like that!” and get on with my life.  But the question never quite goes away: it sticks, and erodes the soul, and as a side effect makes authentic blog-writing quite difficult at times.
So I’ll ask you guys the question, because I know many other greenies have been at this place at one time or another: How do you get through? Do you think it is too late, and are we at this point just sort of trying to salvage whatever we can?
Can we still save the world?
Jenn the discouraged greenmom


From a plant... said...

I wonder about this all the time... and I can't make up my mind between environmentalism and survivalism/preparedness. Tbh I think it is "too late" because even if there still is time we humans tend not to change until we have to - and the effects of climate change are delayed... It's all a bit depressing sometimes and like you say I find it hard to keep motivated to make a difference vs running off and become a prepper!

Anonymous said...

We have to remember that we cannot "save" the world. It's a paradigm shift, for sure. Start with yourself, your community. Choose one or two things that are important to you rather than spread yourself thin. Pay it forward. Vote in EVERY election. Incremental change can be tremendously effective. Then push yourself just to the edge of your comfort zone.

knutty knitter said...

Well all I can say is life is for living so do the best you can. That's pretty much where I've been for a number of years. I do get depressed by some of this stuff but always remember that we won't kill the earth, merely turn it into a different place. Whether there will be a place still for our species is neither here nor there.

viv in nz

Eco Yogini said...

yes, I've been feeling the burnout I read about other bloggers having when i first started blogging three years ago.

progress is slow (i blame the economic crisis and our terrible prime minister here in Canada).

I feel like taking a break, feeling hope and enjoying life can help renew our passion. We can't keep giving and investing emotion with no 'refill'. :)

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

I can definitely sympathize with the helpless/doom feeling. It's so frustrating that after many years as a green blogger it feels like nothing has changed. It has made me really admire the passion and stamina of those that have been in the movement for 30/40 years. As for myself, I just remind myself to do the best I can and to focus on all the ways people I'm close to have become greener because of my example. My sister even said to me today that I'm her green conscience and she always thinks now before throwing things away. So we are doing good in small ways even if it doesn't always feel like it.

Rosa said...

I am having a doomy week too. I just spent a week visiting a friend in the car-dependent suburbs and, frankly, if i had to live there all the time I'd have a lot of despair.

In general, i just think: we can't fix it, but we can make it less bad. which is pretty much everything, right? I mean, I can't keep my house spiffy clean either but any minute I can make it slightly less chaotic.

Rosa said...

p.s. this helped me, in a weird way - the global financial crisis has lowered oil usage to the point where oil prices are headed down again. Sometimes things have unexpected good consequences as well as unexpected bad ones.

Halley said...

I'm a graduate student in meteorology and this is a topic we discuss a lot. We talk all the time about how to take this discussion outside of the scientific community and I'm glad that you are doing just that. The only thing I would caution you is to recognize the difference between "weather" and "climate". An extremely warm day falls under the category of weather. This would happen periodically even in a world where the atmosphere isn't gradually warming. Climate, on the other hand, is a 30 year average. Global warming is suggesting that this global 30 year average temperature is increasing, which it is. There are going to be extremes no matter what. But it's the average that shows the climatic changes that are occurring. There are a lot of problems with this being confused in the general public and that makes finding practical solutions difficult. It's going to take some extreme changes in order to slow this train down. But as several have said here, we're an adapting species. It's not over till it's over.

Jenna said...

Do I think it's 'too late'?


But I think our view of 'normal' is gonna have one heck of a swing here soon. It's time to stop trying to use barefeet to pull the machine back - when it was Fred Flintstone's car, that might have worked. A lear jet? Just makes you look bad before you scrap your feet off. And instead learn a new normal and how to adapt as best as possible to the changes. It's not meant to be gloomy, but just, well. How things are. Adapt and evolve or die. It's how things have been for eons.

Wendy said...

I think you have to approach it from a different angle. No, we probably can't save the world, but we can make our little piece of it a little more secure.

I've been blogging about "change" and what needs to be done for six years, now ... and I even wrote a book about what we can be doing right now to make things better, but the more news I read the more it feels like nothing's changing, nothing's getting better.

And then, I look out my front window over to my neighbor's yard and I see a garden, where she didn't have one before, and she has a garden, because she watched me and my family start to raise food and was inspired.

My mantra is: Do what you can with what you have where you are. It keeps me going when it feels like I'm alone against an insurmountable obstacle.

I can't save the world, but I can make my little piece of it a nicer place for my family and friends.

Mitty said...

I have always been eco-conscious, but I have been inspired to make a lot more changes by my reading here. Plus, it has made me feel not so weird or alone. So your blogging has an effect, even if you don't see it reflected in the mass media. If we all do what we can, we'll have a positive effect, and that's all we can really hope to do with our lives, isn't it?


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