Why Being Realistic Feels Like Doomsday Thinking
Joe Brewer
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Right where I live. Having lived in Alaska for 35 years, I have had a front row seat to the changes that are occurring on planet earth. In that regard I am long past denial and am in mitigation mode on a personal level to do my part to reduce our footprint and to advocate for comprehensive social changes to our relationship with the planet and the beings that share it with us.

Enter the election of 2016. I’ve been processing the grief and shock of the election and what it portends since July. I was physically sick for what seemed like months and since a lot of this intersected with entrenched family dynamics, it was a double whammy that required the help of a therapist.

I’ve never been good at denial. It isn’t in my nature. Having come through a few stages of grief in the past few months, I’m learning to accept what constitutes the state of humanity at this present time. I understand that I’m early. I’m usually one of the first to see a trend, a movement, a new reality often decades before it arrives to become experienced reality and that leads to cognitive dissonance when others do not see what is so clear to me. This is not an enviable gift.

I have been accused by family of getting uppity over politics because there is no understanding that this thing that I/we wrestle with is way beyond politics but rather the survival of species including our own. Both parties have failed us in this regard. Politics in general have failed us but the GOP is far deeper into their denial, and they are acting against our planetary interests in a deliberate manner hastening the harm, thus politics are involved. Just as they find it upsetting that their time of preeminence as a dominant race or creed has passed, or that economic opportunities are shriveling never to return, I find living on a planet without the dying species untenable. I do not want to live on our planet without polar bears or sea otters or fish or birds and that folks is where we are headed.

I’m glad I’m old. I’m glad I have no genetic destiny in the game in the form of children or grandchildren because life is going to get hard for them due to the denial of our parents, our generation and now theirs. Probably about the time that I leave this mortal coil, it will become undeniable. For the sake of future generations I hope we wake up. The sooner, the better.

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