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Wild ReSolve.

After years of thought and hope, a lot of circles and circling, and a lot of despair over the changes to our habitat I see taking place ever day — you know the habitat we depend on for life? That one — I finally used my breath to blow the seeds of hope and intent into the wind. I’m starting to create the project I call Wild ReSolve.

It is at the moment living on Patreon (link).

Over the course of the next weeks the project will become a virtual space in the “world wide web” where we can connect. It will feature solutions journalism, updates of all the stories I’ve covered or assigned thru my career as an environmental writer and journalist, but also offer things I’ve always wanted to include: multi-media projects, mini-docs, a podcast of interviews with those who have inspired or informed or warned us for decades about the damage we are doing to the only Home we have here on Earth. And most importantly it will be a cultural center for micro-communities and individuals to gather to find information and ideas that are solutions, solutions, solutions to the habitat destruction and climate changes our human lifestyle fuels. It will be a cultural sphere of hope for our wild and beautiful Earthly habitat.

Why “Wild” and why “ReSolve” you can find at the link above.

Here is my heart: I so love this Eden we live in and share as life itself. We are a part of this natural world; it is our only home as I’ve written previously. I am saddened to the point of despair as I see wildlife lose habitat, or fertile lands dry up with drought, soil destruction, and for marine animals to strangle in plastic or for skies to fill with smoke from out-of control-wildfires driven by increasing temperatures due to our fossil fuel use. I even feel concern as I notice the micro-biome of the soil in my little garden bake in temperatures and heat-intense sun previously unexperienced, all due to climate warming too fast for adaptation.

We humans, every one of us, are driving the change and we are driving too fast.

I want to yell “Do Something!” as I have throughout my long career in writing about environment, but at this point in my age, and in having recently survived yet another year of unexpected illness (this time I’m privileged—lucky? fortunate? yes to all 3—to have survived this novel virus Nature has thrown at us), I feel it is me I am yelling at, not just into the silent void.

So, lets talk about and cheer on rewilding projects. Let’s learn how to foster them in our own communities.

Let’s learn how to connect regional habitats so our fellow wild-living animals have a change to adapt or move to places they can survive in this speeding climate change.

Let’s learn what communities in parts of Africa are doing to use the overflowing ever-present availability of plastic trash to create fuels for lights or cooking. Let’s learn to do it in our own backyard because our communities too too are covered in plastic single-use rubbish.

Let’s also learn how to support those who save, nurture and release orphan elephants to protected areas, work with local villages to foster mutual care for them, and how to support those who die in the service of of protecting the few mountain gorilla left in the national parks of shrinking forests of central Africa.

Let’s learn how indigenous and first nations might have better ideas to steward the land back to health, and how we too can give it a try in our own backyard.

And let’s learn why we need to quit talking about our habitat as if it’s an abstract economic asset. Rather we need to use language that connects us, living-thing to living thing, rather than measuring the value of a place merely by its use or monetary value.

Let’s become inspired rather than overwhelmed. Let’s connect and feel resolve that we can create sweeping change by doing so.

If we all “do something” we will soon find we have assembled a core power of healing action for the only Home, our Earth habitat, sustaining us and life itself. And maybe we will successfully create a culture of care rather than of destruction. With little actions do we express our ever growing love for life itself, in all its amazing beauty.

I hope you love this wild earth, our Eden, too, and will help me to seed a new project!

 

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Or why we face a future with a changed climate and degraded habitat with seeming aplomb … until it’s a crisis.

 

 The Fates, of course, refer to the Greek incarnations to which all — humanity and gods — had to submit. They defined destiny, spinning the line of life, allotting its length, maintaining an unturnable outcome. Fates — or Fate, seeing the ladies in the singular today —are the epitome of destiny, but also a principle of divine natural order, thought to be unchangeable by man… oh, maybe until now perhaps, when we have the tools and the will to tinker on a global scale.

 

We submit to an unalterable power of Fate**, which is why humans are often lauded or accused, depending on circumstance, of fatalism: What happens has to happen. It is a necessity, given the story thus far, the narrative we’ve woven as a global community. There’s nothing to do to change it.

 

But is it a necessity?

 

Enter Feelings, those nice and nasty players shrieking into our brains as first-responders long before logic and reason weigh in. Our survival mechanism perfected, Feelings are insta-fast responses to our world, engaging without our knowing but, explains writer Chris Mooney, determining our behavior and subsequently our convictions about our behavior, in such a way that we can see what we want to see, believe what we want to believe, and against all fact or unchemically-altered observation. “The theory of motivated reasoning builds on a key insight of modern neuroscience,” Mooney writes in Mother Jones. “Reasoning is actually suffused with emotion. … We push threatening information away; we pull friendly information close.” Doing so proves our viewpoint correct: That was a lion about to eat us – or at least it was a lion and we felt afraid so we ran (flight). That is a maniac with a finger on a button of destruction, but presenting himself as a world leader, so we feel we should take him to be able to negotiate a diplomatic solution or take him to battle (fight). That is a huge storm, category 4 or 5 again, and it was a danger to life and limb and city but, now over, I feel my experience of it had nothing to do with my actions previous to today, nor the culture I’ve had a hand in creating (flight or, perhaps, freeze response).

 

“Fatalism is the narrative thesis that some action or event was bound to happen because it ‘fits’ so well with the agent’s character…” the late UT-Austin professor Robert C Solomon wrote in Philosophy East and West (Vol. 53, No. 4, Oct, 2003).

 

“Fate and fatalism… is the story of who we are and of what happens to us and how what happens fits into the larger scheme of things. It is the dramatic story, not the scientific one, even if many or most of the details are the same. … Thus fate and fatalism  focus ‘locally’ on what is most significant about us, our births, our sweetest romances, our best successes, our worst failures, our calamities, our deaths.”

 

 

Our feelings justify our fatalism all too often, creating conviction against all the facts that we can, in fact, call upon our character to meet the challenges of slowing climate change.

 

Climate Access, in offering tools to communicate about climate change in a way that gets us out of fatalism, suggests these tools for a start:

“Understand that hope is a precondition to effective action…

 

“Building and sustaining hope is an interior practice . . .

 

“Be clear on what we can hope for… It is not the climate of yesteryear.”

 

Hope is a feeling that serves every one of us.

 

It is empowering and lifting rather than leading us into the web of the Fates or bathing us in the Feelings that any one of us is just too minor a character in this narrative to make a difference.

 

It is my living hope that we will soon meet the challenge of our own character — individually, collectively, and as players in a great narrative — and thus learn to live in a way that doesn’t further degrade our habitat as we love it, or leave to the Fates our only home.

 

May you day today be filled with hope—

Elizabeth Darby

 

Side note:

**’God’s will’ and ‘Acts of God’ (the ones your house insurance may or may not cover) seem to be different than a Fate, in that they are not ‘necessary’ or dependent on ‘character,’ but rather ‘authored’.  God’s will or Acts of God are based on the idea of being in ‘good hands’ — maybe not always what you or I want, but ‘good hands’ all the same — and thus a relief compared to the anonymity of the Fates.  Since the “Acts of God” clause covers most of what Nature throws at us, I’m always amazed that there is any debate whether Nature is thought to be part of God and vice-versa, but that’s an earlier blog…

 

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