Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What Happens to a Common Life Destroyed?

Does it fester, or just shrivel up like a raisin in the sun?

In response to a blog entry on the credit/financial meltdown by David Houlihan at
I wrote this response:

Great column! In all the many words I’ve read the last two weeks, I haven’t heard anyone talk about how this affects the three different generations you mentioned.

I’m noticing that young people seem to like Derrick Jensen’s eco-doomsterism. One thing I was thinking about yesterday was how our failure to confront global warming affects our collective mood.

During the 80’s I could sense people shrinking into their cocoons as talk of nuclear winter increased. Christopher Lasch pointed out that a downside of anti-nuclear organizing was a psychic numbing in the general populace as we collectively said no (in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America) to omnicide.

There was a brief opportunity to breathe easier in 1988 as the cold war rapidly and unexpectedly wound down. Then the announcement of global warming we started a twenty year game that was a combination of Chicken and “Who Wants to Bell the Cat?”.

I can’t help but think that this common evasion of a problem is affecting our global family. It isn’t the case that a family ignoring an alcholic parent doesn’t know about it– to the contrary, a tremendous amount of energy is spent in the labor of Active Denial.

What happens when all the tens of millions of people in the industrial world who DID mobilize to reduce the risk of nuclear war pretend that global warming isn’t a problem, even thought they were concerned and civic enough to create a successful anti-nuclear movement?

I think there might be some interplay between your excellent post and my comments. I’d love to hear thoughts on this

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