“Today I give you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”- Deuteronomy 30:19
Today I’m going to offer one over-arching strategy for the work ahead, along with three climate-specific strategies, and one very specific tactic, that will help us address other big problems as well.
FIRST: the overarching strategy:
What does it mean to choose life in these times? Especially:
- with daily injustices and lies and horror—an affront to sane and rational and sensitive people?
- with young people asking “How do I even hope?”
- with the rise of political violence in America?
- with the climate crisis looming, and COP26 falling short of what is truly needed?
I know this: This is not the time to wallow in cynicism or despair—to give in to a crisis of spirit… but rather it IS time to double down on LIFE ITSELF. Choose life!
So, let’s look at three strategies for addressing the most immediate threat to life on Planet Earth: climate catastrophe:
- Transform or dismantle the destructive systems and structures that are annihilating living systems, disproportionately affecting communities, indigenous lands and people of color, and perpetuating the release of carbon in the atmosphere and toxins into the biosphere. Humans created these systems, it is up to us to dismantle them.
- Preserve and regenerate living systems. Take Actions to: Create habitat and Rehydrate the landscape. In other words: Turn atmospheric carbon into frogs and trees and newts and otters.
- Activate humans (everybody)to do one or both of the above.
And now for the one specific tactic for all of this:
Focus on regenerating LIFE in devastated places TOGETHER: whether these places are in nature, in our community, our family or in one single human heart.
ENGAGING PEOPLE in LOVING LIFE is central to the work ahead.
- It transform humans from paralysis to action.
- It activates people to a mission larger than themselves.
- It requires that we learn how to navigate the grief cycle–especially anger and despair.
To change hearts and minds requires that we somehow find a path to joy in the work ahead.
Why do this work at all?
Perhaps it is because we LOVE and CHOOSE JUSTICE.
Perhaps it is OURS TO DO–our purpose, it’s the reason we are here on Planet Earth right now…
Perhaps in living our purpose (especially with others) sparks joy.
The good news: there is JOY in the work ahead. It is up to us to find it, to activate it, to cultivate it in ourselves and others.
In other words: it is up to us to choose life.