EARTH DAY, GOING ON 32 // elspeth

A week from today, I'll be 32 years old. In a lot of ways, my world is exactly how I always imagined it would be at this age. I'm married, my husband and I have a house in the woods and a lab on his last legs and two inquisitive, loving, wild daughters. I have a garden, just like my mom's. I'm on the board of the farmers market. I work mostly independently, producing radio pieces and writing, and in the busy season I make up the difference by throwing myself into the loud, lively chaos that is managing a restaurant. 

But the bigger world now is not what I imagined it would be like when I was little, or at least not what I hoped for. 

It is not that it's so surprising. My generation has been learning about our problems since birth. We are aware that we live in a state of ecological overshoot. That sometime in the 1970s or 1980s, scientists say, we started using more resources each year than the earth can regenerate in a twelve month period. That eventually—maybe in the next decade or two, or if we're lucky a bit longer—this math will simply stop working, and we will no longer be able to carry on. 

And then, of course, there's climate change. The year I was born, the atmosphere contained 343 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Today, we're up to just over 400, and steadily rising. 

The scientifically accepted future is terrifying. The natural state of the earth with present CO2 levels is one with sea levels about 70 feet higher. To reach this is not a question of if—geologic records show sea levels will rise this much if we do not reduce CO2—but a question of how soon. The same goes for ocean acidification, storm magnification, rainfall patterns, and rising temperatures. Even if we change course now, right now, we're in for a lot of consequences. And if we don't, what then? Maybe 2 degrees by 2030 or 2040, as many as 4 between 2060 and 2100. Famine. Extinctions. Violence. Drought.

In my imagination of today as a kid, we'd long ago changed course. But of course we haven't, or at least not fast enough. We're still just carrying on.

All of this makes for a huge psychological disconnect for my generation, for young people trying to plan a life. 

I'm not under any false impressions that no other generations have faced great challenges of imagination and morality, or that somehow we have it "worse." In so many ways, we've had such luck—a life of relative physical ease and security—at least so far. 

But I do think our challenge is unique in the moral confusion of it, in the way that we've learned about it in school our entire lives, being taught, subtly and overtly, that our way of life is wrong, that we are, each day, slowly poisoning the very place we depend on. And at the same time, how we've watched our teachers and parents and friends and selves continue to do these things, and listened as those who attempt to think outside this box are called "impractical" and "unrealistic." 

It feels like we might at least be unique in our confusion. 

But the good thing is that since November: suddenly, it's not confusing anymore. It's still complicated—incredibly, diabolically complicated—but the morality is stark. The only practical and moral way forward is away from fossil fuels, and no one in the highest levels of government is going to deal with this reality. It will have to be us.

Since November, I've stepped further outside my comfort zone than I ever have before. My entire adult life has been a subtle acknowledgement of the future I simultaneously hope and fear we will eventually come to: one where we must rely on ourselves and our neighbors a great deal more than we do right now. I have always been interested in learning the "real" way to do things—to preserve salt pork, to keep kimchi, to make a quilt. The way without refrigeration, without electricity, without sugar or vinegar or whatever cheat we happen to be using. Learning these things is what led me, in the first place, to local food.

But now that doesn't feel like enough. To put up solar panels, to garden, to raise chickens—these are all worthy and wonderful things if you have the land and the time and the money, and I will never stop wanting to learn. 

But what we really need is a sea change: a huge, collective acknowledgement of the trouble we're in by those in power, and an agreement to push our leaders to change course. I vowed at the beginning of this year to do two things I haven't done much of before: to take whatever action I can on the local and state and national levels to fight climate change, and to communicate my environmental beliefs more effectively with family and friends. 

So, here I am. The group I'm volunteering for on a national level is called the Climate Mobilization. It's less of an organization and more of a mission: build a WWII-scale mobilization to restore a safe climate. I found it right after the election, linked in a blog post. When I first read their stuff, it sounded kind of radical. They demand what they call "climate truth" and ask people to go into "emergency mode," a state of extreme focus, putting all of our attention and resources toward solving the crisis. But it also, immediately, sounded right. Like finally, someone came out and said it: we've been handed a world on the brink of collapse. If we want to have a future—for ourselves and our kids—we have to take this reality seriously.

There's a small but growing group of Wellfleetian and Outer Cape residents joining forces on a local level on this issue. We're hosting a climate science training at the Wellfleet Audubon tomorrow (4/23 from 10:30-1, for any last minute interest), and planning a series of climate-related events and political pushes over the few months. If you're interested in helping organize, let me know. Otherwise, know that soon we'll be reaching out community-wide. And thank you, as always, for being here.

(P.S., housekeeping: the kale soup I promised from so long ago was a bust. Blagh. Don't bother. And I'd like to share how to make kimchi and salt pork, because these are both new and exciting skills for me that I think you'd like too. I'll be back with those once I getter a better grip on the process. In the meantime, I keep cooking from my friend Sarah's new cookbook, Feeding a Family. So beautiful, so simple, so good.) 


cheap essay writing said...

This recipe of the Zucchini Parmesan is so much easier than I thought. Thank you for this and also for the bonus information about the pickles.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is so cozy and homely. Here, in addition to useful information and spiritual photos, there is so much warmth. I remember my childhood when every summer my parents took me to my grandmother in the village. I walked, swam in the lake, fed ducks and write my custom paper. It was an unforgettable time. I want to return it.

Annie Frank said...

Avriq USA
CCTV Camera
PC Optimization
Pest control services
CP Plus
Termite control services

Harriet Allan said...

Living in an outside nation is costly as it may be, with the additional expenses of educational cost, lease and course readings, remote understudies can't bear the cost of an excellent write my essay for me uk that can help them with their dialect composing abilities. Be that as it may, with British Essay Writers, understudies from abroad can get the best help with a shoddy article composing administration.


Now download the latest updated versions of mac & pc applications. Get the latest games, applications & much more with just one click


Get serial keys and generators to activate and crack your softwares including Keygens. By mode of softwares you can activate any softwares Proteus 7 Crack

Sheraz Khan Baloch said...

Making such kind of dishes can be really easy only if there are some good coursework writing service are available to provide guidelines to cook it in a better environment.

danish said...

Find prices, specs & Compare Top 10 Huawei battery mobiles in Pakistan. Check on different online stores in Pakistan.
oppo mobile price in pakistan range 10000 to 15000

Liam said...

If you are searching Assignment help.You can suggest them to use different online sources to develop the reading habit in them. Using different online sources can be beneficial for their assignment help for a long run. Organise each topic in a story form to develop their interest in the class.
Online Assignment Help

office com setup said...

Thanks for all the tips mentioned in this article! it’s always good to read things you have heard before and are implementing, but from a different perspective, always pick up some extra bits of information.

Edward Lewis said...

This is extremely helpful info!! Very good work. Everything is very interesting to learn and easy to understand. Thank you for giving information.
mcafee.com/activate | norton.com/setup | mcafee.com/activate | office.com/setup | norton.com/setup

chandan kumar said...

This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information.




jenifferleio12 said...

Before Commenting, I wanna say thank you for providing this great information. I feel too good to read it this awesome blog. Keep sharing this type of content.office.com/setup

jenifferleio12 said...

Your website is so cool. Thank you for sharing a superb information. I am impressed by the details that you have on this blog.

martinapcexpert said...

It really makes me happy and I am satisfied with the arrangement of your post. You are really a talented person I have ever seen.

Sofia Williams said...

It really makes me happy and I am satisfied with the arrangement of your post. You are really a talented person I have ever seen.

Billy Mark said...

This is my first comment here, so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your articles. Your web page provided us useful information. You have done an outstanding job.

ameliwilliam09 said...

I really happy found this website eventually. Really informative and inoperative, Thanks for the post and effort! Please keep sharing more such blog.norton.com/setup

John said...

This website is best for the Lingerie shopping in Pakistan.

ameliwilliam09 said...

I really happy found this website eventually. Really informative and inoperative, Thanks for the post and effort! Please keep sharing more such blog. Norton.com/nu16

Sofia Martine said...

office.com/setup - To get started Office 2019, 2016 and office 365 download or installation you must need valid 25 character product key & visit office.com/setup.
norton.com/setup - Learn how to purchase, install, and activate Norton setup with the 25 digit product key - norton.com/setup .
mcafee.com/activate - find step-wise step procedure for the setup of McAfee antivirus, installation and activation.

charlienoahim said...

Thank you so much for sharing these amazing tips. I must say you are an incredible writer, I love the way that you describe the things. Please keep sharing.

For more information visit on office.com/setup | office.com/setup | office.com/setup | Norton.com/setup | office.com/setup | Norton.com/setup

Chris Greenwalt said...

In my opinion, people needs to be provided some of the best ideas by which they can save the Earth. However, some dissertation writing services have also played the best part to educate people.

office setup said...

Nice one! thank you so much! Thank you for sharing this post. Your blog posts are more in
Visit : mcafee.com/activate

jolly said...

wonderfull blog!!

ameliwilliam09 said...

I really happy found this website eventually. Really informative and inoperative, Thanks for the post and effort! Please keep sharing more such blog. Norton.com/myaccount

martinapcexpert said...

I wish to say that this article is an amazing, interesting and nice written. Thanks for sharing this article with us and I would like to look more posts like this.

John said...

This is really helpful post, very informative there is no doubt about it Keep it up. Visit - internet and network security | internet and network security | internet and network security | internet and network security | internet and network security

norton.com/setup said...

This is really an amazing article. Your article is really good and your article has always good content with a good powerpoint with informative information.




Anjali Miglani said...

McAfee always does an amazing job of keeping you safe from different viruses, malware, online threats, and cyber attacks. It is the complete, accurate, or handy antivirus security software. Learn how to download, install, and activate mcafee.com/activate without creating an error. Get assistance for how to enter 25 digit alphanumeric product key code.

Anjali Miglani said...

McAfee dependably works to perfection of protecting you from various infections, malware, online dangers, and digital assaults. It is the finished, precise, or helpful antivirus security programming. Figure out how to download, introduce, and enact activate without making a mistake. Inspire help for how to enter 25 digit alphanumeric item key code. Visit mcafee.com/activate

norton.com/setup said...

I really happy found this website eventually. Really informative and inoperative, Thanks for the post and effort! Please keep sharing more such blog.

Norton.com/setup – Download, install and activate Norton antivirus setup to get robust security at
www.norton.com/setup. We Will help you to redeem product key.
Norton.com/setup - Enter Your Product Key Here


norton help

roadrunner email

webroot antivirus

krik@ said...

topping up the trends!!!

Unknown said...

oceanofgames thank for sharing

Unknown said...

Gta 5 Highly Compressed 1Gb

Smith Leo said...

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. If you are looking for antivirus security for your PC and any other digital devices than. Visit@: my sites :-
mcafee.com/activate |
office.com/setup |
McAfee.com/activate |
office.com/setup |
New Hunt

Marc Lee said...

Norton setup - Norton is an antivirus software offering the consumers and businesses endpoint protection to protect their digital world. Norton.com/setup has provided a number of ways of protecting your confidential information, software and applications.We provide support related to any Norton product questions, Subscription, Registration and Activation, Error messages and any other technical glitches. For any support or help regarding Norton products installed on your system dial into Norton antivirus customer support phone number.

norton.com/setup | norton.com/nu16

anju said...

Great post i must say and thanks for the information.I appreciate your post and look forward to more.

norton.com/setup | mcafee.com/activate | norton.com/setup | mcafee.com/activate | office.com/setup

Anjali Miglani said...

Microsoft Office is providing complete cloud-based productivity package across the globe. Get single solution for downloading, installing, re-installing, and activating it by using 25 digit alphanumeric product key code from  office.com/setup. The alphanumeric code is used for activating the Microsoft office. Get assistance for Office 2007, Office 2010, Office 2013, Office 2016, and Office 365.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
All text, photographs, and other original material copyright 2008-2010 by Elspeth Hay unless otherwise noted.