It’s Too Late, Baby

Carole King’s Tapestry, the concert based on her album and performed last year in Hyde Park, London, has been turned into a film and opened in theaters across the U.S. yesterday for a one night stand. We bought our tickets in advance online, imagining the show would sell out.  It didn’t.  In fact, attendance at the Providence Mall Cinema was sparse. As her fans know, King’s album transformed her overnight from a songwriter best known for writing hits for others to a star in her own right. If you missed the show last night, keep your eyes open.

As she launched into her opening number, I Feel the Earth Move, well, I did. Feel the move, that is. It has been that kind of week — New York Magazine’s The Uninhabitable Earth, the Guardian coverage of the sixth extinction, and then this morning, the news of the collapse of the Larsen C shelf, an ‘iceberg the size of Delaware,’ forming a new island. A small piece of the earth. Moving, we don’t know where or what else could change as a result.

For me, these events tend to crowd out the news about the G20 meeting, mounting cries of Impeach!, and anxiety over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions given the current state of our own governance. I know my own diplomat father who spend several months a year as a delegate to the Geneva disarmament talks in the late 50’s, would be turning over in his grave, if he had one. I put my trust in the quiet, behind the scenes, work of special counsel, Robert Mueller, to help bring a shameful chapter of our history to a conclusion.

That said, I found myself weeping when Carole King launched into It’s Too Late and the cameras panned over the faces of the immense crowd (estimated 65,000) of Londoners, many of them young, many of them singing along.  For the same reason, I feel rocked by the sounds of little children in the playground right next to the AirBnB where I am currently living, and when I think about our teenage grandchildren — all children — whose lifespan may expose them to decades of life-threatening hypothermia, water and food insecurity, disease we had thought vanquished, and the breakdown of civil life.  Maybe, as my friend (father, poet and blogger, The Green Skeptic), Scott Edward Anderson says (and not for the first time), “We’re toast!”

I was in the process of pounding out a post more in keeping with Transition Tales (Tip, Tools and Ideas for a More Resilient Future), about how decentralized solar power is bring electricity and positive change to parts of Africa, when Scott’s social media comment attached to the said link popped into the screen.  Usually I ignore these, but I stopped writing and read the New York Magazine piece — “too scary,” “climate disaster porn, ” could spur cities into action or make people feel hopeless” — and that was that for the upbeat post I was working on. Even before the Guardian’s piece or today’s news from Antartica.

So, I put it to you readers: Do you agree it’s game over?  Are we toast?  Is it too late, baby?  And if so (given that climate crisis denial is not an option here), what are you doing to keep your spirits up, to press on with your climate and political activism, to keep on keeping on. Seriously, I want to know because it has been that kind of week.  Whatever you care to share, my comment section awaits. I’ll be there, yes, I will.

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4 responses to “It’s Too Late, Baby

  1. Thanks for your post, Marika! I don’t believe it’s ever too late to make a difference. Everything we do has an impact and ripples out far beyond what we are able to see or understand. None of us knows exactly what the future holds, and even if the worst-case scenario were confirmed, would we do anything different? When I am feeling somewhat hopeless about the state of the world, I try to call my bluff like this. My primary motivation for working for positive change every day is more about heeding the deepest call of my own soul in the present moment, rather than trying to prevent a fearful vision that may or may not come to pass. Fortunately, many of the things that will help the most to forestall environmental, social, and economic collapse (growing local food systems, strengthening local economies, radically reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and fostering more interdependent and compassionate local community) also align with our highest aspirations for what life can be at its best. Transition is right in the sweet spot where all these threads converge. Keep up the good work!

  2. Marika C Stone

    Thanks, Don! You inspire me, and I will! And here is a somewhat mitigating comment on the New York Magazine piece from Michael Mann: https://m.facebook.com/MichaelMannScientist/posts/1470539096335621

  3. Doing what you can, when you can, is the only way we can go forward without such feelings of despair – living in the moment and continuing to work for the highest and best good for all is our saving grace – so for this moment, here is one simple phone call that can be made today. And, phone calls and emails to politicians and supporting organizations working to make things right might help, who knows – really – but it’s worth doing when there is not much else one can do. Love your writing and love the responses…..here’s the phone number for today….you never know…..cross your fingers!

    Patrick McHeffey It started with a simple petition, ‘We the people support the Paris Climate Agreement.’
    In a matter of days, over half a million people signed on in support. We urged our leaders to take action, and several of them listened. Yesterday, the U.S. Climate Alliance grew to 14 members when Governor John Hickenlooper signed on for Colorado. Let’s make one more push before the National Governors Association meets this week Will you take 30 seconds today to call your governor and ask them to join the U.S. Climate Alliance? You can use this number to be connected automatically to your governor’s office:1-844-559-9552
    You don’t have to say much. Just say something like this: “I urge you to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of states committed to honoring the Paris Climate Agreement.”
    Last week, at the Group of Twenty (G20) summit, an international forum for the world’s largest economies, it became clear that our reputation as a world leader has been severely harmed by President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Moreover, as the United States waits in limbo for its leaders to take action, the world moves ever further along a path of irreversible climate damage.But, we refuse to give up hope. Together, we have the power to build a state-based resistance that will reduce carbon emissions and show the world that we remain committed to mitigating climate change, despite Trump’s shortsighted decision.
    History is not written solely by political leaders, but also by average citizens standing up for their shared beliefs. Thank you for your continued efforts,

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