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Here’s something that probably won’t come as a surprise to regular readers: I struggle almost every day with the emotional toll of climate change.
As an economically comfortable white man with health insurance and a regular therapy bill, that struggle mostly manifests in the form of blankly staring at my computer screen when I read about a new bombshell climate report.
My mind will race with anxiety, despair, and grief. I’ll think of how most people are oblivious of how bad things are, and how we’re not listening to the folks who really get it. And then I’ll remember how society is already failing those who are already bearing the brunt of the impacts. While I’m losing sleep, others are losing their lives. I’m fully aware how privileged that is (though my privilege doesn’t make the situation any less dire), which is when the guilt kicks in. I’ll tweet about how I’m feeling. And after that I lastly begin to compose.
That cycle occurred recently when I composed about how the oceans are warming 40 percent quicker than researchers believed.
On the exact same day that story released, Mary Oliver passed away. Oliver, whom the New Yorker called “America’s most beloved poet,” invested her life proclaiming the redeeming power of nature.
Among Oliver’s primary obstacles to us, stuck in our mad techno-fueled world, was to simply get outdoors. It’s a message that’s been duplicated frequently throughout the years, by everybody from Wendell Berry to data-driven psychologists to spiritual leaders. It’s timeless recommendations due to the fact that it works. A walk in nature can actually alter how your brain runs. It’s a suggestion that we’re all linked. I understand I require to take that recommendations and step far from the web more frequently.
If you check out a great deal of climate modification news, it’s in some cases tough to feel anything beyond paralyzed and frightened. However having the nerve simply to stand, leave your phone or your desk, go outdoors and feel the cold or heat or sun or shade on your skin might suffice to break the cycle of misery and grief and assist you to refocus on what deserves defending. With that additional clearness, who understands what sort of modification is possible. Attempt it.