19 May 2013

It's Like Living in the Twilight Zone

An activist friend and I are both feeling like we're living in the Twilight Zone, a surreal place where reality is like science fiction — but most people don't see it.

Today's reality is definitely like science fiction: a cancerous culture [my hubby hates it when I blame the whole human species when it's really just our globalized EuroAmerican economy to blame], new to the Earth, starts burning a secret, ancient fuel, making life much easier while actually (and secretly) killing off the viability of the planet.

This is all being done so surreptitiously that by the time the people wake up and smell the ocean acidification, it's too late. Rod Sterling tried to warn them, but they were too busy being enthralled to that easy life they were living.

The few of us who didn't drink the Kool-aid are spurned (well, ignored or, at the very least, looked at funny) and no one wants to hear what we have to say.

It is like living in the Twilight Zone. It is surreal. The populace carries on as if life is not threatened, as if there is no climate crisis, as if we are a major inconvenience for them. "Oh, for heaven's sake, why don't you shut up about climate change already? We don't really know for sure that it's happening and I'm trying to watch my favourite TV show."

I got quite depressed yesterday when I looked through the program of an upcoming environmental education conference that I'll be attending. Climate change was mentioned only a handful of times in over 40 pages of workshop descriptions. How I would love the educational community to open its eyes to the greatest threat we've ever faced and get serious about how to teach it in ways that will help transform the evil cancerous culture that has us in its grip.

And I sure as hell got depressed when I woke up the day after our provincial election to the same old pro-growth, pro-resource-exploitation government and the same old nasty premier (who didn't even win her own seat!).

While the chaos in my own heart and my own home matches the chaos in the atmosphere and the oceans, hardly anyone else seems to notice or seeks to understand. They don't want the climate crisis to make them "feel bad" — so environmental education conferences don't embrace the theme and governments win by ignoring the problem, and life, I guess, just carries on until it doesn't. And when things get really bad, everyone will ask "Why didn't they tell us? Why didn't they do something?"

Meantime, I realized this morning that I'm still not doing everything I can do — and that's one of the reasons I've become depressed. So here's to dreaming up wonderfully fun and imaginative ways to educate about this issue. If no one else is going to feel sad about it, why should I waste my life energy being depressed about it when I can get even more active and creative? Indeed, a young activist friend said that when she gets down or angry, she goes out to the garden. And when she's managed to clear the crabgrass away from the rhubarb, she feels — for a moment, at least — as though she's won the fight. 

Surreal, eh?


  1. I'm going to finish reading this a bit later as the non-profit industrial complex has engineered my attention span down to 15 seconds of reading (max.!) Also, the Dancing With the Stars episode I've watched 15 times is coming on again and I really can't miss it.

  2. This post is amazing. Among my family and friends, I am the only one that is deeply disconcerted by what is happening to our poor planet. I also think of us as cancer cells sucking the life out of our surroundings. Is there any other species that aggressively consumes resources will spewing out trash? It hurts my heart to the core. I love the Twilight Zone and never thought of the situation the way you suggested. Now, I seriously think that we are in the twilight zone. I look forward to reading more of your blog.
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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?