As the climate and extinction crises accelerates our descent into the abyss, many of us are seeking a meaningful existence as we manage our own grief and more importantly that of our youth, which will very soon become our greatest pre-collapse challenge.Don’t get caught lying to them.
My co-host on Nature Bats Last and I are regularly accused of ‘Giving Up’ because we have synthesized and accepted the science that we are now in the non-linear stage of the Sixth Great Extinction. “Giving up” for me equates to co-hosting NBL with Guy, volunteering at the Rakino Island Nursery on a rewilding project for our “Little Slice of Paradise” Rakino Island and working with a group to create a “Marine Protection Area” in the Hauraki Gulf adjacent to my home. It’s important to carry on doing the right thing without being attached to the outcome.
Any cursory, unbiased glance at my and Guy’s actions will immediately dispell the accusation that we have ‘Given Up’.
Why do Guy and I do what we do? We believe that the youth deserve the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. There will be no ‘sugar coating’ of the sixth great extinction on our watch. The youth’s futures have been stolen from them,surely they deserve the truth at least? The cold hard truth is that the real ‘safe’ level of anthropogenic warming was probably only 0.5C, not 1, not 1.5, not 2C.
The recent discovery of enormous methane ‘Pingo’s’ in the Arctic being yet another example of the rapidity the biosphere is unraveling at. The cognitive dissonance being shown by our so called leaders, who within a capitalist paradigm have no clue what to say or do is plain to see. Effectively they are literally behaving like stunned deer in the head lights of a runaway train. Our one and only space ship is about to crash and burn and there is no pilot in the cockpit. Brace for impact.
Here’s an example from the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Watch her squirm whilst criticising XR activists for holding up the traffic. So much for her grandiose declaration that climate change is our ‘Nuclear Free’ moment. Dear Jacinda, this is a Climate Emergency
Because no one in power is prepared to accept the true severity of the unfolding collapse, and the large NGO’s are lying by omission, we are as a society and culture living a lie. Sending young people off to school or university to train as cogs in the wheel of capitalism which is just about to collapse is a dereliction of duty and in my mind equates to child abuse. Check out the work of my friends Oksana and Joey at The Deep Green Bush School for a rare dose of reality in the education sphere. Personally I would scrap the entire school curriculum and teach first aid and survival skills.
The “Extinction Rebellion” movement has successfully motivated many people onto the streets but they are simply begging those same delusional politicians to ‘Act Now on Climate Change’ and do what pray tell ?
The entire paradigm is being controlled and steered to make it look like something is happening when in reality it is deflecting the youth away from the true severity of the predicament we are confronted with. Guilt tripping the youth about their carbon footprints and pretending that activism will right this sinking ship is intellectually and morally bankrupt, much like the culture itself.
Their time would be better spent developing survival skills than painting banners. I’ll quote Jem Bendell of “Deep Adaptation” fame who interestingly turned down our invitation for him to be our guest on NBL: “Getting busy with action can be a distraction from full acceptance of our predicament”.
Guy and I have toured Aotearoa New Zealand twice discussing the severity of the crisis as we see it. Below is a discussion we had at the end of the 2016 tour;
My recent interview on Waiheke Radio discussing my activism and actions as we face collapse is embedded here
The photo above is of Rakino Island taken from the North. Photo credit Scott Peters.
Additional reading on this theme;
If you want to go down fighting as I do, tell the truth, surely the youth deserve that and the right to decide what to do with the little time that is left for them.