What do you think will save us, if anything? (in terms of climate action)

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My facebook acquaintance Jack posed the following questions on his feed and I really appreciate the ways Jack digs deep and asks the hard questions surrounding climate change. Because the discourse, in my opinion, is so much better in Steem-land than on Facebook, I wanted to pose the question to you all and provide you with my answers to the question. You can read my answers before or after you answer the questions, but I do think it would be interesting if people answered the question before reading other responses.


This is a neutral, compound question. I am genuinely curious. I have two questions. If you can directly and succinctly respond to the questions, that would be most helpful:

1) If you are not taking radical climate action, why aren't you?

2) What do you think will save us, if anything?

Thank you.


A2EB0B0F-5224-4E35-8228-7EAB18F730F7.jpeg

My responses:

  1. If you are not taking radical climate action, why aren't you?
    I am
  2. What do you think will save us, if anything?
    These days my emotional state surrounding this matter isn't very positive. To survive I think we need a fundamental shift in the way things are going and in the way we are relating with the earth. People are still caught up in partisan arguments and the mainstream environmental focus is on curbing plastic use, which, though part of the problem, isn't tackling some of the largest issues. as a radical, i think we need a full scale stepping away from our disastrous culture and anthropocentric paradigm which would look like (to start with the USA), a deep inner --> outer shift in the lives of many people who are already busy trying to survive within capitalism. after that step we have to re-learn sooo many skills to create resilient cultures and this is HARD and quite taxing on all levels. It's also fun, but as someone who has been living this shift I can say it also requires a lot from each of us because we weren't raised this way. hence my lack of hope.

people have to take a leap and not only does that go against all of (most of) our programming, but it is often impossible for people just trying to make ends meet.
with all that said, i'm open to this shift happening and there are glimmers of hope everywhere, but then when I go to cities (and even town centers near where I live in the country) I see the majority of humans may be incapable/unwilling to make this shift. we're too addicted to all of the "comforts". somebody change my mind, please!

and i want to say that - at a theoretical height- what i mean about taking a full scale stepping back does look a lot like barter/trade culture/neighbors depending on each other, moving to bicycle use within cities, trains for long distance travel/ biofuels, food forests/gardens everywhere, the non 1% getting serious about the 1% and the ways they are ruling the use of human energy (by this I mean jobs/slave wages)/natural resources/ruling the government/generally creating the largest negative impacts on our globe -- i think we should be setting up in masses outside of their houses with understandings of the issues ... we need people to stop consuming new things & to stop going to their jobs and that's where the alternative economy comes in/ to stop watching tv and start creating things, to start coming together...

we have to halt the current economy which is on a hamster wheel of disaster. this speaks to the deep paradigm shift that needs to happen, an immaculate weening of what has become our identity as modern humans (cuz that shit just ain't healthy and it's not progress!).. there is a huge lie that so many have swallowed and it's that wealth is had in isolation, $$s, being at the top of the current hierarchy and so a lot of people hustle to get this and it's contributing to so much of environmental devastation.

things we have to ask ourselves:
when is enough enough? what is my deepest radical dream in creative response to the cataclysmic shifts that are facing our beloved earth? and live that out. the time is now.

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Really good to be asking this question, over and over. Reboot, Reset, Rethink and NEW PARADIGMS - tweaking at the edges of old broken paradigms really isn't cutting it.


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You've been visited by @minismallholding from Homesteaders Co-op.

I'm going to share this in the newsletter, because it's a conversation which needs to be had, but there's not going to be a simple answer. In many ways it makes me think of The Matrix. Most people can't cope with being taken out of the Matrix. It's going to be the young that will cope best with the shifts which need to be made. We may well end up at disaster point before things change because nobody has a choice any more. Then there's that ongoing cycle of why should we change and deprive ourselves of comfort when nobody else around us is willing to? Are we then just being the suckers who suffer for no reason?


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thanks for sharing it @minismallholding.

Then there's that ongoing cycle of why should we change and deprive ourselves of comfort when nobody else around us is willing to? Are we then just being the suckers who suffer for no reason?

ah great points. for me, many have shed useful light on this subject that has helped me to understand. i appreciate your response and agree the younger generations, who have grown up hearing of this their whole lives, are the ones bringing change and they're also the most adaptable.

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i think it depends on who remains in control in the political arenas.

right now we have politicians who are willing to obscure the issues and blame other factors, or pretend it doesnt exist, in order to not deal with the realities of how it will effect business and buying habits. they want to keep making money. they will put money into smearing and belittling to keep it from being a relevant issue, just like they put money into keeping their position.

I think there are many people who will follow that lead, because admitting the earth is in trouble is just too damned scary, and trying to change the habits of a lifetime and give up all the wasteful perks of living the entitled life we lead brings out the greed, racism and ill will inherent in our social structure.

i think what could possibly save us is technology, and awareness. but it might just take a revolution, or war, to overthrow the people at top who just dont give a damn.

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Collective awareness, yes! I'm not even sure if such a thing is possible. Like a mass awakening? If so, THAT could be the thing that saves us. Otherwise it will be the usual stuff that's been mentioned: poverty, starvation, political instability, violent revolutions and counter revolutions, racism, genocide, oppression, only to start the list again.

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yes collective awareness, and at some level we are starting to see it, but not enough to go to war. one lesson from my school days talks of a paradigm shift. it can occur suddenly, or gradually, depending on social forces. for instance when copernicus discovered the sun to be the center of the universe @1543, he was ridiculed by the church. it wasnt until newtons work almost 100 years later that it started to become more accepted. so it is with climate change, which scientists hypotheisized on way back in the 1970s. here it is 50 years later and science is still divided, the populace even more so. why? because the nature of climate change challenges the way we view the earth and our economics. since our life is based off the belief that capitalism is the best thing since sliced bread, the two ideas cannot exist harmoniously. we need to wait for the synthesis of ideas. hypothesis-antithesis > synthesis.

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right now we have politicians who are willing to obscure the issues and blame other factors, or pretend it doesnt exist, in order to not deal with the realities of how it will effect business and buying habits. they want to keep making money. they will put money into smearing and belittling to keep it from being a relevant issue, just like they put money into keeping their position.

spot on.

I think there are many people who will follow that lead, because admitting the earth is in trouble is just too damned scary, and trying to change the habits of a lifetime and give up all the wasteful perks of living the entitled life we lead brings out the greed, racism and ill will inherent in our social structure.

it is so so scary, isn't it? i feel like the collective unconscious of our time is also grappling with this reality that we are in a very scary time. i know i am having a hard time "dealing with it" - facing it emotionally, really, because it's so heavy and horrible and what do we dooo? i can't imagine how kids are psychologically dealing with it. where is the future? not that there is ever any "real security", but other generations haven't had to grapple with the end of the species within their lifetimes in such a big way as this (there have obviously always been apocalyptic scenarios.

but it might just take a revolution, or war, to overthrow the people at top who just dont give a damn.

agree. we are starting to have more awareness around this aspect: https://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/names-and-locations-of-the-top-100-people-killing-the-planet/?fbclid=IwAR3uRWbqSNFXmE43b7Yw6fQ8a5-Rd62JzW9ljEDepXvXJJfY-34sPp7R4hg

what does it look like to address this? i'm not such a fan of just killing the people at the top because i do believe more people will just pop up in their places, that's why in my answer to this question i also think it's a part of everyone who makes up the system as it stands now must leave their roles. if people stop going to work (obviously people need money, but we can also start to create alternative economies as a part of taking our power back), these companies that are destroying the earth will take a major hit. if people stop buying their products, another hit. there are ways to make monoliths topple and if we are upholding them, that means us walking away. but as you say, people want to keep their habits and their things, and that is a very real aspect of our current predicament.

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well, how easy would it be to get rid of the people at the top? it would take a nation, and while we are busy fighting over democrat vs republican, they keep playing their game. it requires a strong show of "none of the above" or votes for an independent libertarian to make them edgy.

other than that it would take a war. we are already undergoing a silent war, waged by the people at top who want to control the worlds economy. ie world bank. i think this is a huge danger, and to be avoided at all costs.

we basically need to change the structure of the government to include no money in politics, getting rid of the perks like lifetime salary and unlimited healthcare. politicians dont really care about the pay as much as the perks and power to influence legislature.

making laws to write in loopholes for tax evasion and environmental "gifts" like access to natural resources is a huge boon for businesses. also. we need to control crossover - people from business/banks to cabinetholders and special interest groups needs to be curtailed imho, so there is no conflict of interest. thats just a minimum.

another place that needs to be controlled is the power of the banks/stock market. did you notice how quickly FB get dragged into court over libra? the main concern was that libra would not compete with the federal reserve and take over the currency. that FB even has the power to do this is attested to by financial backers.

i used to be a "democrat", i guess, because im liberal. but i do agree that the government has way too much control, even in the republican aspect of it. I would urge decentralization of government, to put the control back into the hands of the people.

Your question is well-timed. And I appreciate the way you've worded it, which is different from the verbiage I see elsewhere. I get the impression you see it like I see it: Mama Earth is probably strong enough to heal herself, but we people inhabiting the planet are endangering ourselves by overwhelming the surface area where we might otherwise survive and thrive.

In other conversations, I hear people say that our planet is "wounded" and "suffering" and "dying," which may be true to some extent, although I personally believe she is capable of releasing the surface tension any instant with raging fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanos... She has colossal powers we probably can't even imagine, I'm thinking, and beyond her is the entire cosmos with their astroid crashes and star novas and big bangs... But Mama Earth, she's very patient with us people, and she adjusts for us, I feel.

So I like the way you seem to make the focus about us people, and what we're doing to preserve our wellbeing by safeguarding the surroundings. To me, my effort right now is focused on one word: consumption. I recognize the strains of my over-consumption, and I'm working to remedy this for myself. I believe there's a large number of us who are looking at consumption now, and developing better, more sustainable patterns in this area. Conscious consumption feels like something we can all embrace as a value that is good for all life on this planet.

BTW, I'm fresh back on Steemit after nine months away. Glad to see you're still bringing your brilliance here. Hope life is treating you well.

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I agree, it's not the planet that's in danger of dying, maybe a bit of reorganization, which has happened a few times already. However, it's us humans. And I wouldn't even go as far as talking about our biological species, but our culture and civilization. Our amassed knowledge, so fragile and precious, is in danger of going down the drain together with all the exploitation, unsustainable practices, and privileged arrogance, that we would like to get rid of anyway.
You know what, though? Since Mama Earth hasn't unleashed her colossal powers yet... does that mean we haven't been as bad of a problem as we could be? Or do we still have it coming?

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Thanks for seeing eye-to-eye with me. Yeah, I think you're right things could be worse. I think we can thank that good old conscience for helping us (and our ancestors) to discern right from wrong along the way.

Jiminyumbrella-935x1024.jpg

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hey cabe!!! welcome back!!! great to hear from you :) it's been a while! though my posting is less involved than before, i'm still here indeed :)

yes, surviving and even thriving i agree is indeed possible here... and yet our current situation as a whole is sooo much different than that.

But Mama Earth, she's very patient with us people, and she adjusts for us, I feel.

mmm so much love there.

and yes to less consumption! i believe that is a huge part of it. again, welcome back <3

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thanks, i will give your article a read. i agree permaculture is a great mindset/practical application.

I believe they say that the world will be unrecoverable by 2050 which is pretty alarming.I do think alot of countries are taking steps in the right direction but unfortunately it is the larger polluters that don't tend to play ball. For example In Ireland every house built since 2008 must contain a certain amount of renewable energy to fuel the house.Many other countries do likewise but as I said this also has to come from the larger countries.

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it is alarming indeed. many days i wake up with that awareness on my mind. i think it is doing something to our collective psyche and imagine being a child --> young adult right now growing up with that awareness. i'm in my 30s and it still shocks me that within my lifetime we may see horrendous, shocking changes.

agreed that large polluters, like the US, isn't playing ball -- in fact they're on the opposite end and the current gov't regime and big businesses are ramping up exploitation. good to hear that about ireland.

The better we learn to work with the earth, the more likely we can survive disaster when it strikes. Catastrophe is unavoidable, unpredictable, and inevitable.

Generally I avoid the supporting the hysterical political garbage. The crux of the disagreements seem to stem on methodology, beliefs, future forecasting, and whether or not we can actually prevent an imagined future random disaster. All of the methods presented by government are dangerous, divisive, costly, controlling, wasteful, and take years of expensive study to research the effects of their damaging policies.

I have nightmares about the government creating a global weather system that tinkers with controlling the temperature. It ends up killing everyone because the earth attempts to counterbalance it with chaos and extinction. The machine's stabilizing/sterilizing effects produce a nullifying effect, shutting down cycles of life that can no longer function to support various species. Or perhaps the machine glitches or develops a AI God-Complex-Consciousness and so it and freezes or melts the planet.

When a earthquake, tsunami, pandemic, or meteor hits, who is most likely to survive? I doubt it will be the genius climate scientists hiding in bunkers eating protein bars. I think it will be the scattered remnants of people surviving in the isolated forests, mountains, icelands, and deserts. They already know how to live sustainable lives, how to hide, and how to survive crushing circumstances. If anyone can find unpolluted lands, they can. If anyone can heal the polluted aftermath, if they can't, the world eventually will do so on its own, after millions of years if necessary.

I hold no belief that people exist so that they can be ever-present on this world to exist for eternity. Civilization will fall one day, and become a ruin. Civilization cannot be preserved by allowing it to grow, and I do not think it can be forced to trim down and live like a past era. People are always creating new solutions with technology. People have to want less. Civilization grows too fast to sustainably feed its insatiable hunger.

Not everyone will have the same mind about this. Wars. Pillaging. Enslavement. Chaos. Genocide. In a morbid way, tyrannical nations have a feral way of balancing out populations so that only the strongest groups of people can survive the next generation. Hunter and Pray Prey among humans, just like animals do to balance out their populations from becoming too invasive.

Maybe humanity will eventually embrace peace. Not likely if they are unable to reduce their human desire to perpetually want more for themselves. Sometimes to survive, it also spells death for others. Should people be forced to not want to survive? Should they be allowed to kill others so they can be able to survive? I'm going down a very dark philosophical road.

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Completely with you on the gov't part. I can fully see how the first actual impactful effects of climate change will be used to implement draconian policies... not to actually mediate the harm, or let alone to turn things around, but in order to do what the powerful have been doing always and everywhere: gain an advantage in controlling us. You can see that on how fanatic so many fools are about plastic straws these days. Oh yeah? So why didn't you stand up against straws three years ago, before they became so uncool? Unfortunately, it is so easy to implement severe oppression by following the rules of democracy, especially if the populace is in panic. As much as I hate Donald Trump, I get scared when I imagine the rebound it will have.

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The better we learn to work with the earth, the more likely we can survive disaster when it strikes.

totally agree. and i also agree when you say that these large scale implemented from above "balancing measures" would be disastrous. i believe the solutions are small, simple, attainable and when implemented by many bring great change. i think many of the problems facing us today are because people have done things at too large of a scale without properly understanding the implications of their actions.

as far as the rest of your thoughts are concerned, a morbid road indeed. part of me hopes that the social experiments and "natural culling" that you speak of will never come to pass because we humans not in those powerful positions will finally get a clue and rebel against these forces through taking our power back. i agree that the most adaptable, skillful humans will flee to the mountains and other climes and survive - who knows where the best spots truly are however because we cannot predict in exactly what way climate catastrophes will hit the earth. i agree with you for sure about the need to want less. i think we see it in some ways and on a small scale with the voluntary simplicity movements, but it's no where near a mainstream trend.

as you're talking about balancing effects as well, i have to wonder too if the simplicity and "want-less" actions that become movements aren't also our interior response to collective unconscious understandings that if we adopt those trends we might have a better chance at survival. yet perhaps the powers of ignore-ance and insatiable appetite will continue to dominate as our overarching modern narrative is that of the hollywood mansions variety.

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Like how you tied in the collective consciousness.

Yesterday I was pondering what the world would be like if mainstream society became dominated by a computerized internet linked MK Ultra type brain. All middle class and wealthy people are hooked up to a Borg headset, with different models and tier levels based on how important you are, which means different levels of control might be enacted on you to feed the goals of the machine.

In my fantasy, I thought of a collective consciousness as a Star Wars Force type cult called The One, unable to be exterminated because they grow in strength and numbers even beyond death. They would be known by the masses as being aesthetic, poor, terrorists, and known to perform Japanese style ceremonial acts of suicide to achieve dimensional ascension of the mind.

Thanks for the response. I really have no idea what solution is best. One thing I think gets overlooked is culture. Although it is a social construct, it is an instinctual human behavior development based on the land where a person comes from. Family size, arranged marriages, dowry, etc. These things have a direct relation on how quickly the population will grow. When people bring culture to foreign lands, they are often surrounded with racism and bigotry. Their culture is clashing with another that has been the established norm there. It can lead to more of the culling effect that is so awful. Without getting into that issue, I will say that some of the region specific cultures must be part of the key to unlocking a balance between population and consumption/pollution for their zone of origin. Each place on earth requires different lifestyle choices in order to survive.

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Thanks for these two very engaging questions. Let my try to answer:

  1. Though last year my answer would have been completely different, this year I'm actually not taking any radical climate action, so here are some reasons why: My funds are low, but rent wants to be paid, ends need to be met, my wife is tied to this city by her job, my job is exploiting me more than I expected, and besides I have a piano. (This last point is not actually true, it is merely intended to symbolize that all the reasons listed are just excuses, really.)
  2. As for what could save us, my views are even less optimistic. What can change collective addictive behavior? Whatever it is, it is likely going to hurt... a lot! I have seen enough people struggling with addiction that affects only them and not everyone in their "normal" surroundings. Now a small minority of us may have realized our collective addiction to money and the privileges it grants, while most people aren't even aware of this addiction. Withdrawal is not pretty, and in serious cases it may even be fatal. Since most of us (even many of the urban poor in struggling 3rd world countries) haven't known anything else but this addiction, it promises to be horrible. But one thing is certain: we have to go through it. Because anything that's not getting us off the good stuff only prolongs our addiction. Certainly, a comfortable rehab would be best... and I can see that in the form of permaculture networks, homesteading circles, ecologically conscious communities, and the like. Unfortunately their numbers are too few, and more importantly the interest in them is far too little, to be a viable option for the urgent need this whole global society needs. To end on a brighter tone, I don't think we really need to be saved. I'm certain we all will lose something, and some may actually lose all, but in the end there will be survivors who come out of this bitter cleanse, hopefully wiser and more capable than many of us who are heading into it today.
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i really liked your response and the framing of our current predicament in the terms of an addiction. i think it's totally this... you can see it when you start to talk about the necessary changes, like consuming less or consuming differently or weening off of fossil fuels or tv -- people get foremost defensive which points to the addiction revving up its protective mechanisms... sadly, as i said to ecoalex above, usually addictive behaviors only change when rock bottom is hit or things get really bad. perhaps this "really bad" will come from outside of us (in the form of climate catastrophe, wars, famines, etc), but that stuff in many ways is already hitting poorer parts of the world and it's still out of sight out of mind for the majority of north americans. but, again, thanks for this framing as i think it's a really great way to think about and understand these issues and also find ways to "tackle them"!

Great question! My answer .. a pretty significant gobal disaster either natural or Man Made...
One that basically forces us to reboot.. the best i can think of (that would cause least suffering or damage) is a polar shift that renders all technology useless...

it may sound sad but great change is needed and most people are still flocking to the cities and adding to the problems... I can’t imagine what else would lead the massess to change... unless we can so it slowly step by step... but i wonder if the planet can carry us that long...

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I agree on the disaster part... not so sure if a polar shift would be best though. Losing all technology would just suck! But maybe you're right, and that's exactly what we need. Though in the end we can't pick the disaster that strikes us. So it may well be a man-made one, or several accumulated ones.

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You right,
That would be harsh!
U know i just realised my almost
Very first steem post was a story i wrote exactly about this! I chose a very different natural disaster And wrote how we were all saved by a very special company!

Quite a fun read actually!

https://steempeak.com/story/@eco-alex/a-glimpse-back-to-the-future-a-short-story

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Awesome story, and an interesting way of looking at that very special company. I don't know enough about them to feel one way or another, but merely the fact that they are publicly traded raises my suspicion... However, that has little to do with you story. Great job, and thanks for sharing. I would never have looked at it otherwise, it's been so long that you posted it.

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thanks brother! Yes it is a bit far fetched,, and of course it makes a company that many are very sceptical about looks quite wonderful.. but the truth IS that if they wanted to do this .,., in a far fetched theory at least.. they could.. the power of the data they have is really incredible and if used in the right way could indeed do much of what i described.. They are also working on many of the thing i spoke about, such as AI, driverless transport, free internet for all from the sky.. and much more besides...

anyways!.. thanks for your comment, im glad you read it.. <3

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it may sound sad but great change is needed and most people are still flocking to the cities and adding to the problems... I can’t imagine what else would lead the massess to change.

agreed. sometimes things don't change until the way things are becomes untenable. in this way we live in a society addicted to that which is killing us and, like an addict, things wont change unless we hit rock bottom. rock bottom might be "forced upon us" collectively by mother earth and it may be too late at that point. thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Fabulous response.
All I can say is we need to slow down, slow down at a much faster pace because we have been galloping and in the bargain overlooking everything around us. Less dependency on gadgets, technology is good but majorly it is also use for irrelevant purpose. Having more of greens around, less use of fuel, so much that we can think of can be worked around

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agree agree agree, it is so much about slowing down. and yes it can be worked around, i think one of the main blocks we are having as a culture is "the bottom dollar" -- within capitalism what is the incentive to "work around"? if "the way things are" is working for the people making the money, it takes a big shift in consumer consciousness to stop consuming these products if they are damaging the earth and poorer people who are making them in places that are out of sight out of mind. it is a moral incentive at this point and, though the warnings are getting more frequent and more brash within the news (climate change warnings from scientists), people are not finding the impetus to change. perhaps when things get even worse...

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So much agree with you. What I see is the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. We as a society have learned to become slaves and lost our true identity. There is so much out there then just the dollar, but people can only see the dollars all around. You have such profound thoughts @mountainjewel 💗

I agree with everything and feel utterly dejected now. Thank you. (No, seriously. I am a truth monger, and I believe the only hope we will ever find lies in understanding our true - spiritual - nature.)

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as one who also loves the truth, i get it. yes, our true spiritual nature, i believe, while we are on earth is intimately tied to all of these issues so there's no elevating beyond it. so much spiritual bypassing (not saying that's what you're saying, but i see it a lot in spiritual circles). the fact that the spiritual beings in human bodies who have names and addresses who are directly culpable for the highest percentages of this earth destruction is a hard fact to grapple with, but a very true one. if the rest of us ignore that, what's going on with us? i'm not sure the action items, but this fact is hitting me very hard lately.

Names and Locations of the Top 100 People Killing the Planet
“The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” – Utah Phillips

https://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/names-and-locations-of-the-top-100-people-killing-the-planet/?fbclid=IwAR3uRWbqSNFXmE43b7Yw6fQ8a5-Rd62JzW9ljEDepXvXJJfY-34sPp7R4hg

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I am taking climate action and i believe the only thing that will save us is Us. I mean you and i, i mean we. We are the solution to the environmental disaster we have created and like you have said we need a new paradigm.
I wouldn't want to say much but inspire you with this great piece of song we made with our Ambassadors, Colby and Awu:

At @thegreens, we always say, From little things big thins grow and if you check our Green Quote of the week, you will see how we believe ARKs can change the world.
We strongly believe if more and more persons ask such thought provoking questions, it can inspire people to lead the change we seek. Great post @mountainjewel. Together, we are are small group of thoughtful and committed persons who will change the world. Keep taking Climate Action.