Tuesday, February 20, 2007

UNLESS it's normal...

"But now," says the Once-ler,
"Now that you're here,
the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear.
UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It's not."
'The Lorax' by Dr. Seuss, 1971

Thanks for your comment, Heather, about being normal. I've never wanted to be 'normal' either. I've always associated normal with boring. I've always been comfortable living on the fringes of acceptability, finding my own way for every corner of my lifestyle. I've never had a penchant for keeping up with the Jones' nor have I ever wanted to wear clothes that were in fashion or have a house that was cool.
But lately, it's become painfully obvious to me that unless something is considered "normal" it isn't embraced by the masses. And I feel pretty desperate about that when it comes to the environment. EVERYONE is talking about what the governments need to do. Everyone's watching An Inconvenient Truth and bemoaning global warming. But when I look around in my daily life, I don't see people actually doing anything about it. And this terrifies me.
We've had 2 trees cut down in the last two days -- beetle kill -- global warming. The arborist told me that ALL the scientists agree that by 2011 virtually all of the pine trees in B.C. will be dead. We have seriously mourned the loss of these 2 trees, they have sheltered us from the storms and the heat of the sun, they've sung to us in the winds, they've been food for our squirrels, they've given us mulch from their needles, they've been homes for the birds in our forests. They're JUST TREES, you say. How easy it is to forget that we cannot live without trees. But more than the oxygen they provide, trees are living, breathing reminders of the sacredness of Mother Earth... of the goddess within every one of us. And they're dieing because one species on this planet just canNOT seem to find it within themselves to save them. And it's too late now. Nothing we could do at this point will save these magnificent trees. Ugh. I feel SO discouraged.
WHY isn't everyone doing EVERYthing they can to reverse the destruction of our planet? WHY????? Peak oil is coming. Why aren't we saving every last drop that's left for things that cannot be replaced with sustainable resources? Oh, anyone can poo poo that too and I'm sure you can always find an "expert" (sponsored by oil companies, no doubt) who will tell you this is all a myth and we are FINE JUST FINE and not to worry at all. But we're smart. We know we can't continue the way we have. Right? Do you have pine trees in your backyard? Have you ever googled the number of species that is disappearing EVERY MINUTE because of our collective greed? Imagine how shocking it would have been for your great grandmother to hear that the air would soon be so bad that children would be encouraged to play indoors many days. That we can't drink from our mountain streams. That we can't eat fish from our lakes or even from our vast oceans for fear of poisoning. She could not have imagined a world such as this. I tell my grandmother (who's lived in a nursing home for 10 years) and she absolutely doesn't believe me. "Oh go on," she says.
Why aren't we embracing solar and wind and water power? I'm not talking about THEM. I'm talking about US. About me. About you.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not on a soapbox here. I'm not doing my share yet either, and not even sure why. I'm really discouraged and searching for some encouragement and I'm not finding it. Did you know that some religions teach their converts that caring for the environment isn't their job?! No lie. I have been told by people who believe that they can live as greedy, consumer-driven, polluting, environmentally-damaging lives as they want and "God will take care of the earth". Well, not in those words, but same concept. Truly. Someone SOON is coming and they will all rise into heaven together and the earth will light on fire or something. OH. MY. GOD.
Yeah. Encouragement is not exactly abounding all around me.
It's not even expected yet to bring your own bags to the store. WHY? What could be more simple than just saying no to new plastic bags? It's not even a blip in our lifestyle. Yet it's just not happening.
So that's what I meant, when I said I'm encouraged when people say "but you seem so normal" when they hear or see the wee things I'm doing. Because maybe if they consider me normal then I can help effect change. If I'm doing it, then maybe they can give themselves permission to do it too -- without the fear of somehow not being "normal" or "hip" or "cool" or "fashionable" or "insert insecurity here" enough.
There's just SO many little things we could be doing. And we're not. We keep sitting on our fat asses waiting for someone ELSE to wake up and save the planet for us. Well you know what? THERE IS NOBODY ELSE. It's you. and me. and her. and him. It's US. Are we going to get that in time? The last few grains are falling through the timer and we're still looking the other way. AAAAGH!!!!!!!!! WAKE UP.
For those of you who haven't yet, PLEASE Come and read my weak attempt to inspire you and you and you and you and ME to start with the little things. Come help me get some momentum going. PLEASE. Let your mind drift to what you COULD do. Find inspiration. And share it. Tell me about the little ways you conserve. I'll share them. And together we can make a difference... Gawdalmighty, how sad is it that that phrase is considered corny?
What could I say to light a fire under you? Did you click on any of the links I put in this post? Did you read any of it? Or is it just too depressing. Would you much rather just not know any of that. Yeah, me too. Somedays I wish I didn't care so much. Somedays I wish I could just be happily oblivious and believe that "someone else" will fix it all... or that I'm going to fly up on a cloud to heaven and so it won't matter anyway... Nope. Wasn't made that way.
So? I need your help. Help me find a way to ignite the cool, hip, stylish 'normal' masses. Please.


Andrea said...

Oh Mary Sue, what a passionate post. I totally get where you are coming from. I have felt the same desperate frustration as I look at what we are doing and even as I slow down and change, I see the world around me careening on at break neck speeds. You inspire me to do the things I can and to stop making excuses! Thanks for that!070765

Mary-Sue said...

I just read this post after fertively, passionately typing it in. I just want to make sure Heather and everyone else knows that it's not "to" Heather. It's "to" the planet. I took Heather's simple comment and rode with it, that's all. I've REALLY appreciated your interest and care about the environment, Heather, and especially your tip for gardening on my 3R's blog. Thank you! Just didn't want you to think I was preaching at you! ha!

Heather said...

No worries, Mary-sue, I don't mind who you are preaching to as long as you are getting the word out. I love this post, every single word of it. I hear you and I think what you are saying desperately needs to be heard. I hope you will post this everywhere you can think of to post it. I especially love the bit about "sitting on our fat asses waiting for someone else to come and save the planet", and am glad you have the guts to say it.( that is the kind of eloquence that I admire) Truly, this is what frustrates me endlessly, is it because people are so used to seeing so much doom and gloom on the news that they think they can do nothing to help? I don't know, but it is nice to hear someone else so passionate about this and it really inspires me. I hope people will respond to your call to action. I wonder if you would mind if I put a link to this post in a post of my own?

Mary-Sue said...

Thank you so much for your encouragement, Heather and Andrea. I feel heard by your comments. Thank you. Yes, Heather, you can always put links to my posts. Thank you for wanting to. I went to email you, but don't have your email address, so will put the reply here and hope you get it.
And thanks for the reminder about the law of attraction, Andrea -- it's so true! I have to believe this is working, that we ARE succeeding in order for it ever to be so. Thank you.

new rhodes said...

hear hear! I love the passion and fire in this post - I'm inspired. The past 3 weeks I have been cycling 1/2hr to Uni - instead of driving/public transport and I arrive, covered in mud, peel off that layer, wipe the mud from my face and sit through my lecture in a fast cooling sweat. Then I have to peel the layer of mud back on to cycle home...today I was cold, wet and FED UP with this and wondering why I put myself through this. I feel inspired to keep it up after reading your post - Thank you.
Also, you will find, in this big city anyway, it is the cool and hip that ARE the ones who care. The older and less educated are the ones who don't. Still, there is so much more we can all do. I will contribute to your other blog soon. xx

Anonymous said...

totally inspired and guilty at the same time. moremoremore, what more can i do, give up, get over and contribute too? i agree with holly that alot of our parents generation, and probably older aren't into sacrificing tiny blips in their cushy lifestyle to help their grandchildrens future!! i love reading your 3R's blog and hope to get some ideas of sustainability out there too. keep the fire, be angry, it fuels action. x C