ONE OF my favorite lines in the movie “Gandhi” came from one of his maharaja benefactors, complaining that, as a group, it was “costing us a fortune to keep you in poverty.” Now, it seems, I’ve lived my own version of that.
It has cost us a fortune to downsize.
Ironically, it was our idyllic quest to downsize and simplify while moving back to Reno that escalated my concern—from profound to panic—about humankind’s ability to grapple with our escalating climate crisis:
- First was all the stuff we still hauled down with us even after shedding much of it.
- Along with that, all the fuel consumed and carbon released.
- Then, the exponential growth in housing sprawl and traffic during our eleven year absence. (Note: Reno is STILL in the desert).
- Then, all the new stuff we purchased (and landfill we created) to make our seriously downsized and simplified new digs workable.
All leading me, like a bullet whizzing towards an overripe pumpkin, to the conclusion that if this is what downsizing and simplifying (AKA smaller carbon footprint) looks like, we are likely doomed as a species.
Thus, leading me to:
- My brief public “Fasting for the Future” campaign to at least be doing something to raise some awareness.
- Writing and recording a new climate crisis song, that—as near as I can tell—no one likes or feels the least bit uplifted by. And for good reason, I’ll admit.
- Getting myself a little bit active with the little bit of climate activism in Reno.
- And, hectoring all of you to also get: 1) involved or, 2) more involved before time runs out and our brief window of hope closes.
So how are my efforts working out for you?
Are you feeling:
Let’s talk. Let me know how you see this crisis.
POSTSCRIPT 1: Good news, bad news.
AND YES, many good things are happening around the globe to bend the escalating curve of carbon emissions towards sustainability. However, in total, they are currently far too few to stop civilization’s slide into oblivion. Meanwhile, our emissions continue to escalate. As I’ve said before, if you want hope in this crisis, you’ll have to earn it.
POSTSCRIPT 2: this just in.
TURNS OUT one of the climate activists I’ve connected with here has been fasting every Friday since the Student Climate Strike. I had no idea! So now we’re joining forces—starting next week, fasting every Friday and meeting on the steps of City Hall from 4 to 5:30 in solidarity with Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for the Future campaign. Since change requires sacrifice, I think that should start with we elders who’ve lived the dream of endless consumption as if there would never be consequences.