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The Human Party

I averaged about three epiphanies a day in college, or so you’d think if you read my journals from that era.

Since then, I’d say I’ve averaged about, oh, zero epiphanies annually. I’ve had one the last few days, and I need to write about it pronto.*

The temperature in the North Pole is 36 degrees higher than normal for this time of year. Some portion of that might be random, but a great deal of it is not: we humans are rapidly making our world less habitable.

We are destroying the planet that is essential to our children having any kind of hope for the future. We’ve expected Other People and Politicians on Boards Somewhere to solve this, letting a huge problem take up a smaller and smaller fraction of our individual attention spans.

Right now, U.S. citizens are up in arms with each other over the results of a presidential election. We’re drawing all kinds of unreasonable conclusions based on corporate-sponsored news and mistaking those conclusions for truth, all while dehumanizing the very real, very hurting people all around us.

Here’s the thing. To the earth, there’s a single party: the Human Party. Each and every member of this party is bound together unequivocally, and all of us are equally bound to this planet and her destiny.

We have precious little time to save this world, all of us together. We must take each step we can, not as members of any political party, but as members of the Human Party. We must do this for our kids.

When we band together to do this, relinquishing the extinction-level myth that someone somewhere else is taking care of things, many other ills will be resolved.

See, we’re all victims of corporate globalism and neoliberalism, a devastating economic system that destroys earth and people alike for the profit of a few.

The sooner we see that, learning to embrace and fight for each other, the better our children’s prospects.

In no particular order, here are some steps you and I can start taking right now:

  • Buy local. Get offline, skipping all the waste that goes into powering enormous fulfillment centers and having all those individual packages shipped to you with lots of needless padding, at great ecological expense.
  • Go to farmers markets. Buy foods that didn’t guzzle loads of gas to reach you, grown by local farmers who value your support. Look for gifts and household items at the market, where you might find soap, candles, clothing, lotions, scents, and bunches of other items brought directly to you without any money lost to lots of middlemen.
  • Buy less. Instead of buying gifts for every holiday and occasion, offer a few hours of your undivided attention. Seek out local adventures to share. Ask your loved ones where you could donate some time, money, or love in their honor. Arrange with friends to donate to their favorite charities instead of buying objects.
  • Buy used. Go to swap meets. Add a little quirk to your home decor.
  • Drive less. Take shorter trips, group your trips, and travel with friends when you can. Telecommute if you can, and talk to your employer about the benefits–to local infrastructure, to the environment, to you and your family–of telecommuting if it’s not yet permitted. (I’ll be writing some letters shortly; please let me know if you’d like to work with me on these.)
  • Make your own bath, beauty, and cleaning products.
  • Call, email, mail, and tell your legislators in person that they must–for your children!–take major steps to protect the environment, and that you’ll work hard to see them not re-elected if they don’t.
  • Reuse as often as you can. If you don’t know how you can reuse something, store items in an “opportunity box” for when you can poke around online for ideas.
  • Grow some spices and veggies, in your yard or in planters.
  • Donate what you can’t use. Share what you can to limit waste.
  • Compost. Recycle.
  • Unplug your appliances when you’re not using them.
  • Take shorter showers and shower less frequently.
  • Buy fewer packaged foods. Be kind to planet and self; forego fast food as often as possible, packing snacks if you must.
  • Drink less coffee. When you do drink coffee, drink fair trade coffee.
  • Talk to your friends about what you’re doing and why. Challenge each other to find new ways to conserve the planet that sustains us.
  • Find pleasure not in objects but here and now, in each other.
  • Favor care and community over convenience. Come together, right now. It’s our kids’ only hope.

I’m no expert. I’m simply a parent who understands an increasingly urgent need to fight for our kids. I welcome your links, your ideas, your encouragement, and your outpourings of love for your fellow Human Party members. Please share.

We can’t expect anyone else to save us anymore.

We must work together now to save each other.

these boys

I’m in it for my kids, and yours

* Why pronto over perfect? Recently I’ve been reading about “agile” projects,
or projects begun early that take clearer form as you go,
which means improved ability to respond to new data,
and–often–better resolutions than when you
come up with a perfect in principle
(but, oops, actually unworkable)
plan.

 

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  1. November 17, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Well, your article is quite inspiring I must say. I will do my share to save the planet. I am a strong advocate for science and I know the ecological changes are real. But I have a calm assurance that we earth dwellers are going to be okay. We are just tenants and not the best ones. Frankly, we were intended by the Landlord to be stewards of the planet, but we have failed in our stewardship. Yet, I am hopeful for humankind and the planet. Why?

    Well, the Landlord instructed us to pray for His kingdom to come that His will may be done on earth as it is done in heaven. So, I still envision a future when the lion and the lamb will lie down together and a little child shall lead them.

    • November 17, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      Our faiths diverge, but I appreciate the calm and hope your faith brings. 🙂

    • November 17, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      (Especially given it’s, as my husband said, coupled with an awareness “the garden must still be tended … “)

  2. November 17, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    “We don’t inherit the Earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children”. Love this post! You have some great tips for helping out our Mother Earth. Thanks for this!

    • November 17, 2016 at 5:56 pm

      I love that quote! It’s so, so true.

      (I’m also glad for Ra’s Nano Poblano challenge. Any other month, and this post might not have occurred … while waiting for unachievable perfection!)

  3. November 17, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Very inspiring post, Deborah 🙂
    Where I live now in Spain, there have been economical crisis for years now and here we are re-using all possible, which has been necessary for many to survive.
    I agree with you to buy local, when possible.
    Wish you a good coming weekend,
    Irene

    • November 17, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      I’m doing Ra’s Nano Poblano this month, and I expect a lot of what I write the remainder will involve buying local.

      I had only the vaguest, most distant ideas that “sometimes things aren’t made in very human rights sensitive ways.” I’ve been astonished and horrified the last few months and see just how much devastation it’s wrought, all with me failing to notice any of it. I’m trying to buy more and more local stuff at prices I know sustain real people. That’s more important to me than dirt cheap prices bought by someone else’s dirt cheap labor that barely sustains them.

      I read The Shock Doctrine followed by The New Rulers of the World. Both were eye-opening (and the former involved a lot of me crying, wishing I’d read it a decade earlier). Somehow, though these dealt more with corporate globalization specifically, reading a Noam Chomsky pamphlet (9/11) last night really helped cinch it.

      I’m glad for books and new perspectives. I’m glad to know that, though my heart aches for everything I can’t change about yesterday, there’s a lot I can do tomorrow.

      Best weekend wishes to you, too. ♥

  4. November 17, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Hear, hear! I’m on board our Human Party!

  5. November 18, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Excellent suggestions! I’m in for the Human Party, and I’ll bring the wine!

  6. November 18, 2016 at 10:33 am

    The “Human Party” – I join!

  7. November 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Where I live, on a farm in the middle of no where, there’s a saying, “Make it, Mend it, or do without.” Maybe that’s why my blog is about sourdough bread. It could just as easily be about making spectacular homemade soap, healing hand lotions, or why some herbal remedies work, and why some should be avoided. Yet, since the day we moved to a used up, basically sterile “farm” we’ve done something even more important: planted trees and a wide assortment of bushes and plants that are “native” specifically to our county. In doing so we’ve rebuilt the soil, and regained a lot of wildlife.

    In town you’d be surprised how much you can do if you have any kind of a yard. First find our what grew wild in YOUR county. Trees take a lot more space than some yards can handle, but native grasses and bushes take care of themselves. You’ll also be incredibly surprised by how much you can grow for summer eating — even if all you have is a terrace. Look up “intensive farming” “sustainable farming” and “organic farming.” (Make sure you also check your city’s regulations — since some cities don’t permit things like native grasses, or chickens, or some types of vining vegetables.)

    In cities, always fight for more trees! Rooftop gardens! Terrace gardens. Lawn gardens. And, politically, fight very, very hard for “Sustainable farming” — NOT “organic farming” but “sustainable farming.” Do this not just for air quality, but because famine is coming to the USA very, very rapidly. (Doesn’t matter what political party is in charge.) In fact we’re seeing the beginning of famine already… It takes almost 50 years of expensive, very hard labor to convert the huge farms we have now to the “sustainable” farms the future must have. And as small farmers go broke (which is happening at an astounding rate) our farms get larger, more mechanized, and LESS SUSTAINABLE! Expect most foods to be imported within the next 10 years. Unless you want to survive on cornmeal mush and milk, eat your pets for meat, and have veggies and fruits only in season, change has to start happening now — or better yet, yesterday.

    Yes, I am now, and have been for at least the last 50 years, an active member of the “human party..”

  8. November 20, 2016 at 9:16 am

    i am happy to report that i am doing ALL the things on the list…except contacting legislators…unfortunately, my anxiety makes it hard (feels impossible) for me to do that. i try really hard to live as an example…maybe phones are a fear i can confront one of these days. or start writing letters. i will start writing letter.

  1. November 19, 2016 at 4:19 am
  2. November 20, 2016 at 1:10 pm
  3. November 24, 2016 at 2:25 pm
  4. November 30, 2016 at 12:14 pm

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