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Facing the Emotional Reality of Accelerating Climate Transformations

by gmoke Thu Oct 12th, 2023 at 05:18:52 PM EST

Once you know:  growing our capacity to face darkening climate predictions

2023 Charles D Keeling Memorial Lecture, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
May 8, 2023
Susan Moser, Affiliate Faculty at University of Massachusetts Amherst; Research Faculty at Antioch University of New England

Lecture:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6pCZ1-K0To
Once You Know documentary:  http://www.videoproject.org/once-you-know.html

Moser first learned of climate change in 1985
"We're moving outside the range of the familiar in terms of frequency, intensity, and how expensive they are."
growing acknowledgment of mental health threats from climate
extreme heat causes people to be more aggressive
"It is really intense how domestic violence and abuse of children goes up in those [climate] events:  any time another storm hits, a man hits a woman" is a bitter irony known among those who work in that field
Climate change is not the same for everybody, the people who did the least to cause the problems and least able to navigate climate change are hurt worse and have to look at the effects almost constantly.  

[Moser repeated this point several times.]

The confluence of racism and poverty with climate is potent.

There is also first responder burn-out
Is This How You Feel - letters from scientists to the future on climate

"Climate change doesn't capture what's happening here... We're dealing systems collapsing.  A complete shift... It is impacting everything - culturally, ecologically, economically."  Gay Sheffield

How do you go home knowing that?
In some way this is toxic knowledge.

what is meaningful work on the way down?
[A Prosperous Way Down: Principles and Policies New Edition by Howard T. Odum  (Author), Elisabeth C. Odum (Author) - 1991, the great ecologist's last book]

local officials are key
people don't learn about trauma informed communications
the same people who are trying to work with the whole community on climate/resilience are part of the government which is perpetrating police violence and callous social policies on those very marginalized people who need the most help.  

National Adaptation Forum (http://www.nationaladaptationforum.org/) is one resource

How do we know all this about climate and not do something?
Those for whom the apocalypse is their day job are predominantly women (hence, double, triple burdens)
fear of spreading "doom" and despair, obsession with (easy) hope... personal attacks (including threats to life, work, reputation, person)
[around the world people doing practical work on the environment are murdered, often]

'The challenge
A world of rapid and constant and complex change with great uncertainty, unknowing and surprises;  more frequent and pervasive traumatic disruptions for more and more people;  inevitable (chosen and/or imposed) transformative change."

The Adaptive Mind Project (http://www.susannemoser.com/documents/AdaptiveMindOverview5-27-19.pdf pdf alert) building the skills needed for coping with transformative change while reducing their own trauma and trauma to others.

First ask is simple acknowledgment [that climate change is already here and we are suffering it.]

Adaptive mind is not just in individuals but in the community [including non-humans]
community care [not just individuals or nuclear families]
"We are so imagination challenged and we cannot imagine that there is a future that's not just a doom future."
"Covid showed us how quickly we can change and how little stamina we have."
We need to learn more about how social change can happen.
Acknowledge the doom and gloom and move from there

end of notes

I've used this quote since I first read it:
the war that matters is the war against the imagination
all other wars are subsumed in it.
Diane di Prima

It and the following two quotes inform how I view the world:

We remain alert so as not to get run down, but it turns out you only have to hop a few feet to one side and the whole huge machinery rolls by, not seeing you at all.
Lew Welch

Quite clearly, our task is predominantly metaphysical, for it is how to get all of humanity to educate itself swiftly enough to generate spontaneous behaviors that will avoid extinction.  
R. Buckminster Fuller

This lecture was an event I found while compiling Energy (and Other) Events Monthly (http://hubevents.blogspot.com), the website archive and free listserv.  These kinds of things happen every day all over the world and many are available in real time as well as archived online.   What I do and why I do it (http://hubeventsnotes.blogspot.com/2013/11/what-i-do-and-why-i-do-it.html)  explains how I'd like to see this resource used.

More facing the emotional reality of accelerating Climate transformations?
. yes 100%
. no 0%
. not yes 0%
. not no 0%
. neither yes nor no 0%
. both yes and no 0%
. don't understand the question? 0%
. none of the above 0%

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