Not Giving In To Powerlessness
Rachel Riederer wrote a good article about facing the changes we have coming on the New Yorker,
"In 2008 and 2009, the American Psychological Association put together a task force to examine the relationship between psychology and climate change. It found that, although people said that climate change was important, they did not “feel a sense of urgency.” The task force identified several mental barriers that contributed to this blasé stance. People were uncertain about climate change, mistrustful of the science, or denied that it was related to human activity. They tended to minimize the risks and believe that there was plenty of time to make changes before the real impacts were felt. Just ten years later, these attitudes about climate feel like ancient relics. But two key factors, which the task force identified as keeping people from taking action, have stood the test of time: one was habit, and the other was lack of control. “Ingrained behaviors are extremely resistant to permanent change,” the group stated. “People believe their actions would be too small to make a difference and choose to do nothing.”
Wallace-Wells hits this note in his book, too, writing, “We seem most comfortable adopting a learned posture of powerlessness.” As uncertainty and denial about climate have diminished, they have been replaced by similarly paralyzing feelings of panic, anxiety, and resignation. As we begin to live through the massive dangers imparted by climate change, as one psychologist put it to me, “We are in psychological terrain, whether we like it or not.”
I believe that we have the power to adopt personal change, and that change will help each of us survive and even prosper in a "World Growing Harsh".
Its easy sometimes to give in to the futility of trying to make change in our Lives and the Lives of our Family and Friends. Especially if those people in your tribe don't recognize the predicaments that face us, and the difficult Future before us.
We don't have to make the big changes, we just have to keep getting better each and every day. We over estimate the power of big ideas like the "Green New Deal", hoping they will solve things, and we underestimate the power of little ideas, like growing sprouts, cutting back on our energy use or even just talking to a friend over lunch about what's coming and how perhaps you each can modify your lifestyle.
I don't believe that I'm powerless to make change. You shouldn't either.