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In many of these chronicles I’ve stressed the need for us to help young adults deal with climate change. Most of the time when we adults try to help young people we call upon our own personal experiences. But most of us don’t have experience dealing with climate change. We are trying to figure that out for ourselves. So is there any other experience we know about and can share with them? I think there is. I think we can get some insights from war zones.
I want to start this week’s post with a story. It’s about a Christmas event but it is not about Christmas. It is about our children and grandchildren to whom we owe an inheritance of a healthy planet—an inheritance WE are failing miserably to provide.
You likely missed them, but on December 30, B.C. Liberal MLA and trade critic Ben Stewart launched two tweet missiles. They were duds. Stewart's first tweet: “Just confirmed Premier Horgan is shutting down ALL BC Trade offices in Asia immediately! Is it budget...
As impressive as the demonstrations were, the students are relatively powerless to change things. They are depending on many of the same people who are causing the climate change problems. But what would happen if they had some real power? What would happen if sixteen year-olds had the right to vote and run for office?
Tonight, as I contemplate what lies ahead for the new year, I am overpowered by the lyrics and melody to a song, “Can Anyone Tell,” I heard many years ago at an antiwar conference in Nelson, BC. The song envisions the Sun, Moon and Stars in a conference. The Sun, in this celestial gathering is saying to the stars and moon, “I see that you are sorrowful. For ages we shone for her (our Earth) and loved her so well, but now she is turning/busted and burning. Why would they do t is Can Anyone Tell?” The song goes on to paint a musical picture of this beautiful life-sustaining planet, beautiful in its seasons and life sustaining and asks repeatedly, “Why would they do this (destroy this beautiful, life giving planet)? Can anyone tell?”
In the unconvincingly feeble argument over the democratic value of the internet some have pointed to the effects of online discussion and incremental small bit fund raising as a counter to big money influences on political campaigns as proof positive that the internet has been good for democracy.
B.C. may have developed an allergy, an allergic reaction, if you will, to getting to the bottom of things.
It’s the only explanation. Whenever there’s more than a whiff of a scandal in the corridors of power, the government of the day often falls back on a line that could be easily lifted and paraphrased from the 1992 film A Few Good Men: “the public can’t handle the truth!”
The Comox Valley is known for many things but one aspect that attracted me to move here 18 years ago was its long record of activism. You merely have to take even a cursory look at all the different events, demonstrations, coalitions and campaigns and you can’t help being impressed by people’s commitment.
We all live in frames. They are the intellectual, psychic and emotional contexts within which we send and receive messages, establish and maintain relationships, see the world and give it meaning. In a word we don’t see the world the way it is; we see the world the way the way we are. And, we live in our stories about our world. When we work with people in different cultures and want to communicate with them we have to reframe. We have to try and understand their cultures and perspectives.
According to Dauncey, “When we frame our thoughts around the negative language of “energy descent” and “deliberate contraction,” we confirm people’s fear that solutions to the climate and ecological emergencies will wreck their comfortable lives. This is so harmful. It’s like a sports coach telling her athlete that winning a medal will ruin her family life, and besides, it’s impossible.”