Friday, January 6, 2012

David Roberts, who blogs at Grist about sustainability issues is tired of being such a critically-minded downer:

What we need now, more than ever, are not critiques of the extant but models of the new -- new institutions, new social practices, new identities, new purposes, new ways of measuring and valuing what matters. If we're ever going to get off the sinking USS Fossil Growth and into lifeboats, we need to know where we're heading. A new North Star.

We need people who can make a prosperous, enjoyable, sustainable world vivid and real. That will be the work of creators and dreamers . . . It will mean acts of social and economic entrepreneurship, art and storytelling, irrational hope and optimism. It will involve lots of experiments undertaken by people unwilling to be constrained by the limits of the "realistic," people who are willing to try, to risk failure or absurdity.
Much as I don't like risking failure or absurdity, he makes a good point.  Working to get people to notice that something's gone amiss with our society is one thing.  But to actually do something about your own participations is the hard part.

Personally, I put in my 30-odd hours per week on the project of getting the public to notice some dysfunction or another - and ideally helping them understand some potential solutions, but on my own time I ought to be able to pick up D.R.'s gauntlet and flirt with irrational optimism and constructive trying.

So what do I want?  I want to live in a society that is sustainable in every sense.  One that enriches our earth and our ecosystems rather than despoiling them.  I want to live as part of a community that is progressing into greater wisdom and deeper living rather than what we have today - islands of faltering struggle in great, oceanine turmoil of delusion, denial and destruction.  I want to live not in rejection of something, but in affirmation of something.  And I don't want to have to invent it all myself.

So what do I do?  Something absurd?  That is what I have to figure out.