By the mid 70s, I had harbored a belief that frenetic societal norms were approaching a tipping point. Unfortunately, I did not turn that gnawing Angst into a Greta Thunberg moment. Since that time, generational thieves continue to place the young closest to the brink. The wealthiest of the most privileged draw up CYA plans, such as keeping a pilot on call and insuring that the bunkers stay well stocked and well armed.
Solastalgia: a form of mental or existential distress caused by environmental change.
An item from today’s (28 May 2019) New York Times:
In the next few months, the White House will complete the rollback of the most significant federal effort to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, initiated during the Obama administration. It will expand its efforts to impose Mr. Trump’s hard-line views on other nations, building on his retreat from the Paris accord and his recent refusal to sign a communiqué to protect the rapidly melting Arctic region unless it was stripped of any references to climate change.Trump Administration Hardens Its Attack on Climate Science
Everyday ecologies slip away every day and every where. My particular “where” is in a fly-over State, the point where Ohio and Kentucky meet Indiana.
What I saw a generation ago, that I do not (or very seldom) see now:
- fire flies,
- mole hills,
- ants crawling up a tree,
- inch worms,
- bag worms,
- native flora,
- native-blossoming trees,
- diverse wild birds,
- earthworms in puddles,
- groundhog colonies,
- water bugs,
- praying mantises
Cicadas flew by the billions here in 2004. Will they hatch in 2021?
Plastic molecules form islands in every ocean, plastics permeate lungs and digestive tracts, they extend to the peak of Everest (see photo below) and drop into the Marianna Trench. Sea life ingests those products manufactured using fossil fuels, transported with fossil fuels. Furious resource-extraction teams purchase ice-breaking ships to the Arctic for rare minerals needed in throwaway electronics.
An urgent suggestion: stop eating fish — and all other sentient things. Industrial nets extending 75 miles behind enormous tankers cull sea life efficiently enough to shorten the intervals between individual eco-extinctions.
Did you know that Greta Thunberg is vegan? She confronts eco-criminals with action plans that address the root of the problem. It’s not Climate Change, it’s not Climate Crisis, it’s nothing less than a Climate Emergency.
Go Vegan like there’s no tomorrow.
- Accumulating crap,
- wasting lives by consuming them,
- trashing lives for folly, fashion, fad, or geopolitical advantage,
- frenzied shopping experiences,
- joining traffic jams on the highways if avoidable,
- frenetic frequent flying,
- idling your ass in a drive-thru for the In and Out of it all,
- ingesting the toxins that dwell in fast food,
- tossing single-use plastic utensils and drinking straws,
- salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, secret sauce, soy, sugar… packets into an environment already fulsomely (my favorite word) thick with them.
Thanks for reading.
5 thoughts on “Solastalgia In The Late Anthropo Scene”
Trump and his policies are a cancer which must be excised. It’s shocking to see the extent of damage he’s been able to inflict in less than 3 years, especially to environmental policy, through judicial appointments and now to abortion rights. Enough is enough!
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Thank you for well-placed outrage, Henry. The entire regime has been handpicked by Trump himself, or by obedient henchmen who destroy any shred of decency, peace, justice, checks and balances, respect, independent thought, careers, aspirations, dissent, fair play, or basic value systems. They are ruthless thugs, bullies, thieves, and groveling toadies. The Republican Party cowers and rubber stamps. We live under an absolute kakistocracy that fits the mold with precision. Fox and Friends merrily stab all critics, even within their own organization. It *is* a State-run media. Period.
At the same time, rightwing evangelical institutions join in lockstep with Mr. Trump. Abortion-rights denial is job one. There are no significant progressive voices in the Roman Catholic Church. They are absolutely giddy at the prospect of restricting a woman’s voice to the lowest-range of simple supplication. The likes of Steve Bannon seek to reinstate Benedict as soon as liturgically possible, yet Francis stands in Rock-solid solidarity in controlling the women who have always been marginalized. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh went to the same schools, they are both Constitutional Originalists, both disdain women who would dare shake off any yoke. McConnell took that “nuclear option” to make Senate approval turn on a simple majority. He also refused a single hearing for Merrick Garland — for eleven damned months. For the Republicans, enough is always too much to yield.
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You forgot to mention stars. Although they tell me they’re still out there. Maybe. As for the moles, they’ve all came to my place. BTW, I know who Trumps is; or I should say what he his (although I would caution one about rallying behind the Democraps, just the same. Venom’s venom no matter the two heads it spits from). But, I did not know who Greta Thunberg was. Thanks for the introduction. I wonder what her mother’s holdup is, though. Anyway, well played Bill, inspiring in typical Ziegler fashion.
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I remember sleeping in the backyard many a hot summer night in the 1950s, looking up at a brilliant panoply of stars. Our house was only 7 miles from downtown Cincinnati, about 1/4 mile from a dirt farm (Huenefeld) with a tomato field that was at least 100 yards long. 🙂
Say hello to our moles, then. And wish them happy grubbing! I actually have a photograph of our cat Whiskers and his unnamed mole from 1961.
Indeed, geopolitical movers, shakers, and bombers accept funds from any political party, from corporations, from infinitely wealthy individuals, or our generous colonies.
Greta Thunberg is a planetary treasure, very pleased I am to introduce her to you, and to anyone reading these words. 🙂
Compliments always gratefully acknowledged, they greatly encourage me to keep writing on the important stuff.
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I had to go DuckDuckGo ‘CYA’; I took it as ‘see ya’ at first read, but then thought there might be another meaning. I suspect that it’s intended as ‘cover your arse’ – though my initial impression also works: Those In Power are clearly waving bye-bye to those of us on Spaceship Earth who lack the resources to roll with the punches (apparently oblivious to the reality that they, too, are unlikely to survive The Encroaching Dark).
I don’t believe I’ve encountered the term ‘solastalgia’ before, but I’ve suffered from it for a long while. You’ve survived a few more circumsolar navigations than I have, Bill, but I’m no spring chicken myself. Back in the 70s I recall having a nascent form of that malaise, having realized that our entire civilization was slap-bang in the middle of a transient fossil-fool energy surplus blip. But that subsided; for two or three decades I was seduced by the shinies, and the angst faded. It returned with a vengeance about twenty years ago, when I began to study climate science. I reached ‘stage 5’ of Paul Chefurka’s ‘Ladder of Awareness’, and am in what I think of as the ‘holistic path’ through; attempting to do what I can to encourage action, as futile as that may seem, while at the same time studying phlyarology, because humour eases the pain somewhat.
Your list of ‘Bad ideas’ strikes chords with my ‘Just Say No’ list. And here’s another must-consider (IMO) bad idea: adding a road trip from Madrid to Moscow (and back again) to your bucket list.
Greta Thunberg is indeed a global treasure. Given the chance, I’d vote for her as first World President.