How Do We Prepare for Climate Apocalypse?
1 Jan, 2019 11:21 am
Hey friends! Welcome to this space! It’s pretty empty here as I write this, but I’m hoping that by the end of 2019, I’ll have cultivated and harvested a fruitful & vegetableful abundance of stories/photos/videos/ideas up on here. What is the Cautious Optimist/Life as a Learning Lab about, you may ask? To put it simply, it’s the documentation of my journey investigating what it would take to survive the Climate Apocalypse. (DUH DUH DUH)
The idea for this project came to me while I was listening to a podcast (How to Survive the End of the World) hosted by a phenomenal someone (adrienne maree brown) who has radically impacted me this past year in more ways than I can count or list. Seriously, if you haven’t read Emergent Strategy, this is your nudge - it filled me with hope, direction, inspiration, and energy, as did this podcast episode. The thought of the Climate Apocalypse can be daunting and paralyzing. Sometimes when I think about the stress that land, ocean, its inhabitants are feeling, I can’t help but feel powerless and small. This shouldn’t be surprising, I am an inhabitant too. Adrienne and her sister, Autumn, talk about what a just transition from a way of living that has been exploitative, greedy, and harmful to a future where we begin to heal our relationship with the Earth. Some of us often forget that we are in relationship with the Earth.
It feels as though I am almost pre-programmed to fall into the debilitating and numbing state of apathy when I read the news. And that’s OK. “Grief is an expression of gratitude”, says Adrienne. It’s OK to feel sad. Somehow, along the path of human existence, we have severed our relationship to our home. It feels tragicomical (my new favourite word) to start this blog on an uncharacteristically warm New Years Day. On my way home from a friend’s cottage, I stopped at Lake Simcoe and watched and listened to fractured thin ice wash up onto shore like shattered glass (see photo above). The sound alone made me pause in silent reflection of how shattered I feel sometimes living in grief with the state of this world.
In the midst of changing times, in the midst of a looming future, we can also revel in the idea that such a change/collapse can bring upon a new way of life. So I choose hope, and that’s what I hope to share with you through this multimedia project.
It’s important to feel this grief. Grief is an emotional signal that we are aware of loss. But it is also important to work towards healing, always.
In the podcast, which I have attached below for your personal listening pleasure, Adrienne and Autumn also discuss ways that we can imagine and envision a future in which we work towards living in relationship to the land. In the midst of changing times, in the midst of a looming future, we can also revel in the idea that such a change/collapse can bring upon a new way of life. So I choose hope, and that’s what I hope to share with you through this multimedia project.
For every month this year, I will be learning a new skill/family of skills that I imagine will help me survive the Climate Apocalypse. Some ideas so far that have come to mind are fixing and repairing things like bikes, cars, toasters, sewing, growing and preserving food, storytelling, reading the weather, using medicinal plants. It’s partly a silly way to embrace a changing world, partly a way for me to take action within my own life, instead of falling into “preprogrammed” apathy, and partly a way to start a conversation with those around me. So feel free to hit me up with your thoughts and ideas, join me in a couple of projects, or come on over for tea (you would have to hop on over to Winnipeg this winter… I’ve got some really good tea).
The Cautious Optimist