By Joan Cope Savage
Communication about climate change is challenging, we know that. The diagnosis of climate change sometimes lacks an agreement about a preferred alternative to the disease state. What's the description? And the prescription?
We can be confused when an indecisive doctor hands off a complex list of What you can do. What we need are coaches, those who get up close and personal, expecting us to exercise daily, and sticking with us while we apply our energies towards a greater goal. We have to imagine ourselves healthy to make ourselves healthy.
In coaching our way through climate change, what is the greater goal?
Like Israelites fleeing Egypt, do we have the slightest clue what the old homeland may look like when we find it at last? Do we have to wander for forty years, figuratively or literally, until we reach a place of beauty, safety, and abundance, and know we have found our home?
I propose that imagining a beautiful post-apocalyptic world is essential.
About that word - apocalypse is a revelation, an 'un-covering.' The unfortunate human tendency to loll around and wait to be dragged kicking and screaming though destruction to a new perception is why the word apocalypse has become linked with the kinds of catastrophes that it sometimes takes to get human attention.
So let's see if we can pay attention without more catastrophes.
We as all humans, catastrophes include several floods, droughts and storms from 2010 onward.
What could a lovely sustainable 2054 world look like?
Or at least what would we prefer, if we can do it?
Imagine agriculture productive enough so that people can eat healthily, yet without waste. That would mean reducing both food waste and transportation waste, so probably a mix of longer-distance transported and locally grown food. So that might mean long distance via train, and local distribution via electric trucks and vans.
Imagine clean skies without soot, acids, or undue ozone.
Imagine occupying buildings that are well insulated and oriented to sun and wind in such a way that supplemental heating or cooling is minimal. Imagine buildings well adapted to the extreme weather events that are likely to continue for some time. So if that means stilts near a shoreline, or earth-sheltered in Tornado Alley, let us get on with it.
I'd like the South Pacific nation of Kiribati to still be above the waterline, without having to have had a mass evacuation. I'd like the nation of the Netherlands to still exist.
This is just the initial spin, looking for a happy expectation for 2054.
This is intentionally unfinished.
PS No more nuclear contamination.