Two very different attitudes presented here.
The first, Bill McKibben, refuses to give up. Not only an intellectual, but an indefatigible environmental activist, he keeps on keepin’ on, either exhorting us to continue the good fight, or demonstrating yet another way to move forward, or serving, as here, like a messenger, traveling incessantly, bringing the good news from one isolated place to the next, praising activists by name, lovingly helping us not just to see but to feel how we really are all connected, how our actions do dovetail, how we must and can shift from takers to givers.
On the other hand, I keep wanting to kick Chris Hedges in the shins and yell, HEY, YOU! TAKE A PERMACULTURE COURSE!
Because I too, felt like Hedges did, for most of my life. And permaculture saved me. Not gods or ETs from above, or “authorities” from below, but permaculture. The very real possibility of permanent culture.
For the first time I recognized that we do have a chance to turn this world around, and that we can do it, each of us, acting together, in our local communities.
Yes, truly. The way permaculture sees and interacts with the natural world, actually saved me. Within permaculture teacher Peter Bane’s first hour lecture of the two-week Permaculture Design Certificate course, I realized that this is how we change the world. By focusing right here, right now, in our own communities, on food. By remediating every square inch of ruined land. By learning how to perceive and interact with the natural world as participants rather than as rulers. By re-membering our interconnectedness not only with nature but with each other.
Once we do that, once we make the intricately interwoven community of life our overriding value, we won’t need to continue to bloat ourselves bigger and better by consuming everything we can get our greedy little hands on and still feel lost, hungry, craving more.
Chris Hedges has interviewed Richard Heinberg. So he does know that a steady state economy of small, interconnected, interacting, sharing, trading, and localized communities must surplant the corporatist capitalist engine of rampant growth. He realized, at least during that one interview, that we all need to get to know our neighbors. That anything less than this profound intimate shift augurs civilizational collapse. But I sense that until Hedges gets out of his head and down on his knees with his hands in the living soil that he might not be able to shake off the pervasive odor of despair that now infects his written work. And that’s too bad. His language is so gorgeous that he could be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.