Last night, after a fever dream, I decided that I ought to take this break from the podcast and from my generally miserable week to think about all the things I am grateful for, and to reflect on how keeping a journal about my relationship to the environment has affected me.
The more I thought about it, the more inescapable the feeling of impending doom began to feel. Keeping this journal, and working on the podcast (which takes up an insane amount of my life nowadays), has made it almost impossible not to think about the environment, and global warming. I can’t just carpartementalize my worry and concern for how truly and utterly screwed we all are into a neat 50 minute chunk three times a week, as a matter of fact I’d be a lot better off if there was a fifty minute chunk of my day where I didn’t think about it.
For the first time I’ve actually started to judge my own actions, to evaluate them, based on how effective they are in combating climate change (who am I kidding. there’s no “combating” it, we can’t win, we can just try to mitigate our losses the best we possinly can). However, while I spend my time evaluating my actions, I am not taking any new ones.
Now, like many others, I am guilty of falling into what media scholars call “Narcotizing dysfunction.” I’ve substituted knowledge for action. Armchair activism. I think just because I am cognizant of an issue that I am doing something about it and that’s just not true at all. Every week Alex and I get into a cramped and hot booth and talk about different ways of trying to solve (again, mitigate the losses) these problems, how to eat with the environment in mind, and how to use less, and how to do the right thing, but it just seems so pointless because we’re about 40 years too late. And while yes, the old adage goes “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now,” there is just no way that planting a tree now will reverse the process that has already been set in motion. We might as well rename our podcast from “The Blue Bin” to “Here’s What’s Wrong, and Why We Can Never Fix It.”
To be honest, when I started writing this journal I didn’t know what direction it would take (and honestly I feel like the best entries usually start this way) and now that I read it back to myself I feel kind of bummed out. I guess there is something to be said about having blind hope but Donald Trump is president-elect of the United States, and I have had a fever for four days in a row now.
“In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely.”
– Hunter S. Thompson