Amongst all the dark news on climate change and the chaos rising around it, it is important to remember this degeneration of land and culture is a fairly new thing on the grand scale of human existence on earth.
Modern humans have been around for 200,000 years, but we only began pillaging the earth around 12,000 years ago through our ignorant farming, systems and habits. The industrial revolution, which bolstered our great leap to the brink of extinction, only showed up to throw us further off track a few generations back.
95% of the time we have been on earth, we’ve lived in symbiosis with the natural world, a reality of existence long forgotten by most. Yet despite nearly constant violent oppression for hundreds of years, this knowledge and way of life is protected in the hearts and minds of Indigenous peoples around the world.
In learning this, along with the principles of building healthy soil, cultivating regenerative cultures, and embracing lessons of sacred ecology (all Traditional Ecological Knowledge / Indigenous Ecological Knowledge), I find hope.
Hope in the wisdom of minds who are training their brains to think critically and those journeys with vulnerability. Hope in the resilient rise of those oppressed by this world’s systems of supremacy. Hope in the possibility of a better world we’ve only just begun to (re)imagine and (re)build. Hope in daily acts of kindness, allyship and Love which are happening throughout the world.
Fredric Jameson said, “It is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism (and by proxy, colonialism)”, but we can, and we must, and it has to be now that we join forces, regardless of our beliefs and take collective action.
If we (mostly white peoples) are responsible for the cause of climate breakdown, capitalism and colonization, we are then capable and responsible for dismantling the continuation of these abuses as well.
Currently, 10% of the human population is responsible for 50% of carbon emissions and it is only the pattern of our daily lives that makes us believe we can do nothing to stop them. In reality, it only takes 3.5% of our population to overthrow what is and create what could be: a kinder, greener world, built with equality through regenerative reciprocity.
We are not governed by capitalism and colonialism; these systems are buttressed by us. As eco-anxiety and social justice issues rise rife, don’t push away. No one knows the perfect path nor solution to the fairer future that awaits us, it’s something we collectively, and imperfectly, create by changing our collective fictions. Enabling instead a human story that is written by those who hold the conscious wisdom of our forgotten past (indigenous peoples), amplified and supported by those who have lost their way (white peoples).
It is a story built from listening, learning, amplifying, acting, thinking, and sharing. Creating outside, but also with, the systems surround us. Remoulding with speed what was, into an ever-evolving web of what must come.
Embrace, lean in, and learn, share ideas, reflect on criticisms, delete defensiveness. Amplify others’ thoughts, you never know how far a seemingly small idea may ripple to a wave of discovery that changes everything as we know it.