Sunday, February 8, 2015

No Self meets Climate Change

The biggest mistake is to believe oneself separate from all beings and one's life separate from all life.

My teen brother, witnessing my sacrifices of sense pleasures (such as disinterest in treats packaged in plastic), decries the futility of one person's choices in the face of global misconduct. What such a protest fails to account for is the body of reforms, work begun by our ancestors, whose benefits we now enjoy. At the same time scale our work will be continued by generations to come.

I make one exception in the current body of work whose consequences could set back the pace of progress in our lifetime: climate change. Already climate disruptions disproportionately kill people of color and historically colonized people. When agricultural disruption impacts food supply the first to suffer will be the poorest -- again disproportionately people of color.

Yesterday I saw a joyful, creative show of support for responsible energy policy in downtown Oakland. Missing was awareness that the consequences of wimpy policy change and market regulation are racist.

My one-a-day this month will be to identify two self-sacrifices, one I do and one I miss, that reduce my carbon footprint. I will send it to an elected representative and post it on social media. We have to unite against racism with the urgency of the extinction of peoples, cultures, and living systems.

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