Fear VS Love: Why I Got Into Environmentalism In The First Place

heart earth

I’ve been reading about the environment quite a bit lately trying to answer my own questions so that maybe I can better answer yours. What I found thought was more surprising and profound than stats about shrunken polar ice caps, chopped down forests, decreased biodiversity, Frankenfoods and inner city asthma rates.

When I started this So Fresh And So Green experiment I thought the premise for this and any argument I might make here was the Earth is warming, the climate is changing, we need to be aware of what we’re doing so we can make changes to mitigate the suffering we will go through, particularly for our most vulnerable segments of the population.

christies-green-auction-sm

I knew somewhere in there that wasn’t true. I’ll speak for myself and not all environmentalists when I say this: the foundation of why I care about the environment is not fear of a changing and inhospitable planet– it’s actually love of this planet, that is, how I experience this planet.

Sure the fear is there and the fear of what we will do while we’re busy not changing to mitigate the effects of global warming, but when I think back to my own childhood and what pulled me into environmentalism it was never fear, only love. Love of nature, animals, science, Canadian Monarch butterflies on their way to Mexico, lightening bugs my sister caught in a jar then released all over the house one night when we were young, the pear tree in our backyard that yielded enough fruit to share with family friends who came to visit, snowflakes on black construction paper that really did look different from each other. No fear.

trampled flower by madam toussaint
Photo Credit: “Trampled Flower” by Madam Toussaint

I’ve wondered about the best way to convey the importance of awareness about the current state of our planet. I’ve wondered if words like “planet” and “green” are too abstract to you at this point to mean anything. I’ve wondered what you care about and what I should and shouldn’t post based on that. I’ve wondered why I should bother arguing that global warming and climate change is real if Bill McKibben announced The End of Nature in 1989. It occurred to me recently that perhaps the best way, or one of the better ways to convey the message is to write about what I care about about and why I care about it. The same goes for my writers as well.

The type of environmental concern I’d like to show here is not a “What does this have to do with me? How do I benefit? How do people benefit?” kind of concern. A personal testimony about someone’s passion moves people more than cost-benefit-analysis stats. At least that’s what I’m hoping. Either way I would rather show you what I care about more and why I care about it than feeling like I have to prove to you why you should care.

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