Cataclysm Today: There Is No Third Path

I posted this earlier on Facebook, and it seems to be going viral. Very happy to contribute it here to the valve turners conversation leading up to tonight's Webinar on "Climate Doom."

I've spent decades horrified by the systemic ecological collapse we are experiencing. Yesterday was the first time I could palpably feel so many of my friends experiencing at least some of this horror. It is indescribably sad, and on some level I feel fortunate to have had so much time to anguish over, and thus emotionally prepare, for what is happening all around us.

It is a fatal misconception that we have any time at all to address climate chaos (or any of the other ecological limits we are violating). Fires like the ones currently raging through the forests of the West ARE the feedback loops that put climate change irreversibly on course to get worse and worse. We are not at the brink of the cliff. We have plummeted over it. What we can try to do now is ecologically analogous to grasping a rock outcrop while already falling, like in a movie.

If you haven't before, and you're one of my friends from outside of the tiny circles where people are trying desperately to stop the world from ending, perhaps take this moment, when normal life seems to have decisively halted, to consider whether it isn't time for you to put some effort into halting global collapse.

If you think there's a big climate movement and it's kicking ass, if you think renewable energy is on the rise and that should take care of it, if you think the Paris Agreements mean anything, you're woefully wrong and everything you love is threatened by this misconception.

We desperately need people, money, energy. We are tired. We are hungry. We wake up every morning completely overwhelmed by the scope of the task, the lateness of the hour, and the capacity almost everyone around us has to pay attention to something other than the apocalypse. Please come help us.

If this sounds preachy, I'm not sure what tone other than a religious one is suitable for the end of the world. We are in the final and decisively losing moments of a war for life on earth. We have the choice of abandoning our current trajectories to desperately struggle against the ecological crisis, or abandoning our current trajectories to struggle against fire, floods and each other. There is no third path.

Arnold Schroder began working against ecological collapse in the forest defense movement of the 1990s, halting industrial logging with administrative appeals and direct action alike. In 2011, after binge reading scientific papers on the subject, began devoting the majority of his activist energies to climate change. Since that time, he's reconciled himself to abandoning his purely scientific ambitions, and has been on a journey that has taken him to tar sands equipment blockades on the frozen desert highways of East Oregon, the oil and coal laden rail lines of Washington, the burning barricades on North Dakota State Highway 1806, and beyond. At large for over a year, he claims to be settling in Olympia, WA.

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