Dear Partners in Green,

During the last few weeks, I have been thinking about the word choice and its relationship to the Climate Crisis. It seems so simple, so obvious, but I also find it to be thought-provoking, profound, and chilling.

Choice is, by definition, an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.

We are constantly making choices: oatmeal or Cheerios, this television program or that, coffee or tea, vacations, careers…

Derrick Jensen, in his book titled Walking on Water, discusses the ubiquity and complexity of choices. He writes, “Simply because we may be punished for making certain choices does not mean we’re not choosing. In fact, a central way our culture moves forward is by making destructive or self-destructive options seem or be,
the best choices in a given situation.”

A chilling example he gave was that “every person who dropped Zyklon-B crystals into rooms of doomed Jews made a choice at that moment. Every bureaucrat who kept trains running smoothly to death camps made choices.”

Every deforester makes choices, as does each engineer who helps drill for oil. And the choice may depend on which lens you are looking through, whether you are
a criminal or an engineer, whether you are defrauding your company or deforesting a mountain.

Jensen writes: “It is possible to perceive yourself and others such that it makes sense to destroy the planet in order to make money and amass power, to perpetuate and make grow an economic system. They may not be wise choices, but they are choices.”

He also stressed that often unquestioned assumptions frame our choices and that if we wish to make different choices, we must smash the frames that constrain us.

If we care about our own lives, and if we care about the life of the planet, we must remember to think critically, to think for ourselves, and make wise and sustainable
choices.

This month be aware of the consequences of your choices.

  • If you choose to eat beef, what are the environmental consequences, and what message are you conveying?
  • If you choose to be a “frequent flyer,” what effect does that have on air quality?
  • If you choose to shop for “fast fashion,” what are its effects on oceans and landfills?
  • And, of course, what about your vote? Do you choose pro-business over pro-Earth, or maybe you choose not to vote at all?

The choices you make are indeed your power. Weigh the options and the consequences, and most daunting, bear the responsibility.

The future of our planet, of all life on this Earth, is your responsibility.

Be mindful of the choices you make.

 

Wishing peace and health to you and your loved ones.

Thank you for being on this journey.

Till next time,
Beth


Quotes:

Jensen, Derrick. Walking on Water (White River Junction, Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2003) 117-120.