A missing item on the COP21 climate agenda: Grieving

Categories: Big picture
Published on: December 5, 2015

resilience.org / Robert Jensen / 05 December 2015

climate_mourningPredictions are a fool’s game, but look at any critical measure of the health of the ecosphere on which our lives depend—groundwater depletion, topsoil loss, chemical contamination, increased toxicity in our own bodies, the number and size of “dead zones” in the oceans, accelerating extinction of species and reduction of biodiversity—and ask a simple question: Are we heading in the right direction?

Whether or not we want to confront any of this politically, many people have at least a visceral sense of what is coming. If we want to begin shaping a livable future, we should start grieving, collectively, for what we have lost and likely will lose. Grieving is not surrender but an acceptance of what can’t be changed and a commitment to what can be accomplished, within limits the ecosphere sets. We understand the importance of such grieving in personal contexts, when we lose loved ones, and now we need to apply it to the planet, together.