Climate crisis…

“Here’s the sobering news, the climate crisis is worse than you think. Though it is often presented as a problem with a known solution, in reality, civilization is facing a dire situation with no realistic scenario that will avoid profound consequences. Consequences for civilization, and the fabric of life itself.

On top of this, the situation is from another time, literally. We have already changed the atmosphere to a composition that last existed before there were humans on the planet. The ice we are melting is millions of years old, and holds the memory of a time before humanity. The coal and oil represents half a billion years of plants storing up the sun’s energy. We have unleashed a story way older than humankind. Way, way older than civilization.

In short, we have a civilizational koan.”

— Carter Brooks

http://carterbrooks.org

Perspective on climate change…

“Our concept of nature as a symbol of 
virtue results in an incredible overemphasis on what individuals can 
personally, virtuously, do to ‘save’ it. This, unfortunately, comes at the 
expense of focusing on systematic changes. We can see it play out in 
the public conversation, the vitriol of the political spat, right down 
to neighborly tensions over SUVs versus Priuses.

Conceptual
 metaphors in language unrelated to nature also shape our actions. Think
 about the dominant conceptual metaphor: ‘Change is motion.’ We speak of
 climate change as ‘speeding up,’ having ‘momentum,’ and are even so 
bold as to suggest the goal is to ‘stop’ climate change. For substantial 
natural changes a big rolling boulder comes to mind. Our general 
call for mass behaviour change is, in a way, an organizational principle 
that is a natural entailment of this metaphor. We can conceive of 
’stopping’ climate change because we can imagine the boulder coming to 
rest.

The
 truth, I daresay, is more complex — a bit more sobering, too. A 
better metaphor might be a big wave.”

— Carter Brooks

http://carterbrooks.org

Civilizational organism…

“As an artist looking at the situation in the world, I look at it differently than most people. I don’t see a bunch of individuals greedily using oil. I see a civilizational organism metabolizing the stored energy of the planet. Which isn’t a problem that can be solved in exactly the same way we’re often trying to solve problems.”

— Carter Brooks