23 July 2012

Depression or Demise?

I'm currently on vacation, visiting family and friends in Hades (the hotter than hell part of Canada these days). So only a short and late post this week.
Had a lovely brunch with ecoSanity's Glenn MacIntosh a couple of days ago. Glenn is someone who deeply understands what's happening in the world, and his website/blog is an excellent source of compiled information, links and videos on the most important climate change topics. So our brunch wasn't your normal "Hey, how's life been?" sort of meal. It was a heart-rending sharing of our deepest fears about what's happening right now (heat waves, droughts, crop failures, Arctic sea ice losses) and what the ramifications are going to be – much sooner than anyone was expecting.

But perhaps the scariest thing Glenn told me is that one of his best friends, while supporting his efforts, refuses to read anything that he writes because depression runs in her family. That little story is haunting me. His friend is someone who cares and who attends rallies and protests. But she just doesn't want to learn about the depth and breadth of the climate change emergency because she's afraid she might become depressed.

The question struck me, would people really choose famine rather than depression? Death rather than depression? Extinction rather than depression? It reminds me of the comment we heard at a climate change presentation a few years ago: "Canadians (or insert your own EuroAmerican culture) would rather die comfortable than live uncomfortable." That one stunned me, too.

So there we have it. I don't want to get depressed therefore I don't care if the biosphere dies and life on this precious planet is extinguished.

Frankly, I can't think of anything more depressing.

p.s. I've suffered from clinical depression, so I know how immobilizing it can be. But potential depression is not immobilizing. And if the thought of extinguishing life on Earth doesn't motivate and mobilize us, what will?

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?