Don't Walk Away From Me.
Those people, hanging out in malls, around grocery stores, waiting to catch unwitting passersby within their green-logo-shirted grasp, with those unbelievably sincere eyes. These are the environmentalists that work “out in the field.” They are not activists. They are fishing for people to join their cause. You have somewhere to be. So you walk away.
I don’t blame you. I would not do that type of work even if I got paid to do it - it’s annoying. Simply put, no matter what your schedule looks like, even if you fancy yourself an extrovert, when one of them starts to reel you in, you immediately have somewhere else to be.
Don’t walk away from me, asshole. I’m trying to help save the world, and you’re not making it any easier.
Most of them are too polite to say it. While I wouldn’t stop for them - or join them - I feel for them. Don’t walk away from me. Treehuggers, as they are nick-named, are a specific type of environmentalist - they are too passionate for their own good. They care more about animals and the environment than they do people or culture. They feel it’s a form of balance, after humanity’s lifetime of putting humans first. That makes sense, in a way, but this outlook does not help them socially. They are judged, endlessly and somewhat brutally.
Because they take things too seriously! I was having a conversation about veganism/vegetarianism, racism, and global warming with a friend a while ago. I don’t know if he knew this about me at the time, but I’m proud of my global-warming-fueled fury. I’m proud to be callous, and bold, and unforgiving to an extent. People are so used to being coddled, being told its okay that they haven’t done enough, because its not their problem! My friend made it clear to me that he wasn't going to make strong personal efforts against climate change, because he lives in the moment, does whatever he can to survive and then moves on. Lack of money was a complaint, too. Okay, look. I’m sorry we live in a capitalist, Western-prioritized society. I don’t like it either. We should change that. But on the road to a better world, action against climate change can’t wait. If we don’t use our money and resources wisely now, to slow climate change to a manageable, adaptable pace, money will be worthless and unspendable because we’ll all be dead! Get your head screwed on right, man! Excuse me for being harsh!
Yes, even though its uncool to be passionate about animal rights, and even though its uncool to be excited about scientific solutions to our biggest problems, that is exactly what we need right now! I will not force you to go vegan! That’s not even the best solution to the emissions problem! Eat! Meat! But what I will force you to do is get over yourself! Do not play “spot the vegan,” that stupid game, ever again! In doing that, you’re making it uncool to care - is that some sort of coping method for you? Because you don’t care?!
Please, don’t walk away from me.
Don’t walk away from this.
When the first settlers of the United States came over from Europe, they killed, raped, and starved the original stewards of the land, the Native Americans. I can feel that displaced energy, and the results of the much worse job we’ve been doing in their place. White guilt doesn’t help anything, but this isn’t white guilt - this is human guilt, over f*cking with the other humans who lived here. I don’t feel at fault. I feel…it was wrong. But even more than that, I can feel what we did to Mother Nature. I can feel her still here. Deep inside of me, its the big-strong-melancholy-bright feeling. I’m here. I haven’t always been grounded like this, but I’m here now. I’m ready. I want to undo the damage we did. Because I can feel it. Certain locations enhance the feeling, like cliffs near the beach where you can see the edge between sand and spray. Hills sticking up out of the city, with declining fields of waving grass. Mt. Wilson. Where you can see the tampering that has been done.
When I was younger, I kept dreaming of a quiet apocalypse. A natural one. A freeing one. The imagery would be scenes of tranquility, like streams in a mountain, rivers freed from human touch. Sunlight on the tips of wildflowers. Not quiet. Just…subtle. New societies, small, forming and failing. Chaotic, but not violent. Now, with a reread of The City Of Ember by Jeanne Duprau, I realize why. I’ve always been looking for a way to undo the damage. Even building on the land, taking energy from it, feels like too much. I’ve been looking for a way to start over.
Maybe it requires the end of the world.
Build, but build underground, or minimally, or sustainably. Live, but live kindly and aware. I wonder. Can this actually happen? Can we actually change in time to avert the worst? It starts with everyone taking this seriously. That way the burden isn’t passed to a few select environmental activists and politicians, overwhelming them and leaving the rest of us untarnished. No one can work alone. No one can save the world alone.
So please, don’t walk away.
Your Planet, your Problem.
I’ll make it your problem. #TheFireZMKF