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“Them” and “Us”: Shifting Perspective on Responding to the Ecological Emergency

“We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes with a separate set of facts and separate realities with nothing in common except our hostility for each other.” (Mitch McConnell).

I’ll get this out there before we go any further: the idea of there being no ‘them’ and ‘us’ is a challenge – even for me, and I’m proposing it! It requires a radical reassessment of how one approaches situations. It provides a radical re-set. It is a powerful tool for taking on the ecological emergency as an emergence, an urgent and critical matter that calls for our full attention and reminds us that it is HOW we pay attention, or realize, that matters. 

I will not be discussing whether or not the ecological emergency exists but I will at least clarify what I mean by the ecological emergency because it’s a broader definition than most. I define the ecological emergency as a phrase that encompasses both the environmental crises of pollution, deforestation, desertification, mass species extinction, and climate change, and also the human attempts to conceptualize this impact. This linking of anthropocentric, human-caused, changes in both atmospheric (or climate) and ecological (or terrestrial) systems is not new, but it is also, sadly, uncommon as a representation in media and public discourse. Including how we respond as part of the definition is almost unheard of. 

From turning on the light to turning the ignition in your car, from buying bread to building bridges, each individual act may be statistically and morally insignificant, but when you multiply them millions and billions of times, they add up to the ecological emergency. Coral bleaching isn’t just happening over there, it’s happening because of what we, you and I, do, however apparently trivial the act. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere, Lucy Weir , them vs us,

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