There is something in all of us that flickers when we see a bird fly. That shivers in the wind, and softens in the sun. That sparks when we look into the eyes of another living being, and eases at the ocean. We all know the satisfaction of quenching our thirst, and the rush of adrenaline. We all know how good it feels to touch another, to love another.
These moments – when we are in touch with our humanity – are when we truly feel alive. But they are not what we live for. Society is more concerned with money, politics, careers… In fact, the messier our world gets, the less we tend to embrace what enlivens us. Thinking about the beauty of the natural world reminds us of how we are destroying it. Loving humanity reminds us of how many human beings die needlessly every day… Relishing the wonder of life reminds us of how much life is at risk. And we don’t want to go there.
And yet life on Earth is 3.5 billion years old. It emerged from
microbiota swarming our oceans, made it through many
mass extinctions and climate fluctuations, and eventually
took over this planet, learning not only how to survive, but how
to flourish. Humans are a part of this legacy. The fundamental principles telling us how to live sustainably are engrained deep within us and at our full disposal so long as we listen. But we have our hands over our ears and our heads to the ground, because the chaos of the world makes us uncomfortable.
We have many challenges ahead of us, from water conflict, to extreme weather and biodiversity loss, to climate refugee galore… But if we can learn to accept the turmoil and listen to the signals our planet and human nature are sending us, I believe we can we can deal with these challenges, and emerge a stronger, more connected species. This involves, however, changing the way we think. Our current mindsets don’t give much consideration to long term sustainability and our innate or historical intelligence. In order to access our greatest potential, we need to challenge the stories we’ve been telling ourselves and take a true look at who we are, as members of life on Earth. Then we will realize how we are capable of making it through the climate crisis, and we will know how to act.
This growing inability, or unwillingness, to sense and connect with our world, is dangerous. It impedes us from listening to each other’s cries for justice, to the warming temperatures, to growing global inequality and the influx in extinction rates… to the many signals telling us that our
way of life is not sustainable.
This is my goal. To craft a new narrative around climate change, one that uses the full story of humanity to remind us of our capacity to adapt and change the world. It worked for me. Learning about our history as a species and the fundamental solutions to our current predicament — and how many people are already figuring these out on their own — took me from living in constant anxiety and fear, to feeling empowered and excited to be part of the future. I hope I can do the same for others.