I want to share a conversation with you that I had with a few friends. But before I tell you the details I want to mention that the one who started the conversation called us eco warriors, which I partly love because it captures the heroic energy that we try to bring to the world. But I also don’t like it because, in our society, words like “eco” and “environment” make us think of a single political issue, and this so-called issue gets ranked nationally as something like our 17th most important one. Environmentalism is not just a category that we can compartmentalize. It is inseparably intertwined with a bunch of other issues like economic, racial, and gender inequality, psychological isolation and anxiety, spiritual disconnectedness, and the inherent problem of having a growth-based system on a planet with finite resources. So I want a broader title for us… maybe something like aspiring bodhisattvas, which, for those of you who don’t know, are conscious, loving people who work to heal the suffering of the world.
Now, back to the conversation.
I just read this article and thought of you. I think it provides a brilliant model for how we can move away from our fossil fuel addiction. There are many cases to be made for why we should do it, but this provides a template for how. I welcome any thoughts.
To my fellow eco warriors,
Great article. Essential to have a grounded, practical vision. I’d only add that we need, individually and collectively, to unlock the very best in ourselves to inspire the creation of this vision.
Loving having eco warrior community,
Hi eco warriors, 🙂
I like the info graphic. Makes it look possible to accomplish. I do think we need a zero emissions goal by 2050, then we can plan on how to get there and we can organize and take actions to help achieve those goals. (If we need to shut down X number of coal plants by Y time, if the government doesn’t close them, we can march on them, occupy them and shut them down.)
Thanks D. I feel better knowing you guys are thinking and feeling through these issues.
Four things from this conversation stand out for me. One, the goal. Let us make zero emissions by 2050 our north star. Two, let us be guided by the path laid out in the article. Three, let us consider how to achieve the goals on this path and then let each of us take responsibility to carry out the solutions. And four, let us bring out the best in ourselves. Let us transform our numbness, complacency, indifference, denial, apathy, paralysis, distractedness, hopelessness, despair, guilt, shame, fear, grief, and anger into brilliant, bright, radiant, powerful, positive, joyful, inspiring, clear, loving energy.
May we each unleash our inner bodhisattva eco warrior, and may we all come together as a worldwide bodhisattva eco warrior community to achieve zero emissions by 2050… which is a boring scientific way to say protecting each other from unimaginable suffering.
P.S. If you’re interested, here is a Dharma talk I recently gave at the Austin Zen Center that is very related to this newsletter. Activism, spirituality, and psychology