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  • Grief and Climate Activism

  • Sharon Blick

    Member
    June 6, 2018 at 11:00 am

    As farmers, we see on a daily basis the damaging effects of climate change on the living systems that we manage and that we love. Now, in this class, we are being confronted with the data which predicts how much worse it will get in our lifetimes and in our children’s lifetimes. Do you experience grief about this? I do. Last December, I participated in grief ritual to help me deal with the grief I was feeling. This was so inspiring that I am bringing the facilitator to my farm this summer to conduct another grief ritual. Let me know if you are interested and I can tell you more details.

    I also believe that our role as farmers is not just to figure out how to adapt to the climate scenario most likely to happen. As those who truly understand that our entire food system is at risk of failure, we need to speak up and get involved in climate activism to help ensure that we do not end up dealing with the most severe scenario. Just as many climate scientists can’t just keep collecting the depressing data without trying to get politicians to do something about it, so must we as farmers get involved politically and socially to turn this thing around. If you want some ideas of how to do that, let me know.

  • Laura

    Member
    June 12, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Hi Sharon,

    Laura fro Follow Your Heart Farm in Quincy, Ca here. I am more at the anger phase as I see how our current leadership denies climate change and rolls back protections of our environment. It is important to be politically involved and I would be interested to hear about your grief ritual along with what you have been doing on a political and social basis.

  • Sharon Blick

    Member
    June 12, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Laura, Thanks for your reply. I’m in Oregon and we tried to pass a Cap and Trade law (like California) this winter but failed. The Farm Bureau lobbied against it. I wrote letters to the editor of my local paper and the statewide ag newspaper and I was interviewed about it. We need more farmers to stand up to the Farm Bureau and speak up in favor of taking action to stop climate change. I also include a section called “Surviving Climate Chaos” in my farm newsletter where I describe how it is affecting my farm and I let my newsletter readers know how they can take action. I’m a member of my local 350 chapter and I participate in their activities when I have time. Here is a link to our grief ritual: https://www.wholeheartedpath.com/drinking-from-the-well Our facilitator, Lara, is looking to do these rituals in California too, so please contact her if your farm would like to host or you know another place to hold one.

  • Jeanne Yu

    Member
    June 14, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Hi Laura and Sharon, I feel fear! Fear about what the future of our world will look like, what kinds of resources we will have, and what life for people will look like. I am a high school teacher. I wonder if I could start a garden club at school that helps educate students about some of these issues, and bring in the science teachers too. These students could become tomorrow’s farmers, engineers, politicians, etc. When Trump got elected, my whole school went through a period of grief. Some students came up to me and said that he was going to destroy the environment. I said, we just have to protect the environment ourselves. I’m not sure how though. This class has been very enlightening and informative! I’m glad we are all networking together and building this online community of diverse backgrounds.

  • Bob

    Member
    June 19, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    Given the current situation with climate deniers throughout government and the EPA abandoning almost all of its efforts to protect the soil, air and water, it’s hard to decide whether to cry or get pissed off. But it is essential not to take it lying down. We need to resist through agro-ecological practices that support healthy communities and at marches and rallies. Think and act locally and globally.

    An activist friend who has been instrumental in organizing the community to restore five local creeks is getting a new knee next week. I told her, “Good; now you can once again kick butt with both legs.” It is important to remember H.D. Thoreau’s observation for inspiration: “What’s the point of having a home if you don’t have a decent planet to put it on?!”

  • Starhawk Simos

    Member
    June 24, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Starhawk here from Golden Rabbit Ranch in Western Sonoma County. I go between grief, rage, and denial, personally. Sharon, I love that you have done a grief ritual on your farm. I facilitate rituals a lot–its kindof my day job, you could say, and have done a number of them around climate change. Yet I’m continually amazed and infuriated on how hard it is to get people to pay attention to the issue and stay focused on it. Thanks for opening up this issue.

  • Sharon Blick

    Member
    June 24, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    When I look at the predicted climate data for my farm in the future, I feel grief because it won’t be the same place anymore. I love my farm for all that it is besides what I do here. I love the seasons as they are. I love the wild plants and animals who live here too. Maybe I can adapt by changing what varieties I plant and when I plant and harvest, and I can change my timing on livestock production, but how are the wild plants and animals going to make it, and what impact will their absence have on the farm? Like native pollinators, for example. The other grief I feel is every time I leave the farm. Since I only leave the farm about once a week, perhaps I see modern civilization more clearly than most. I see how unsustainable it is and feel grief for how much of Nature is being destroyed to produce crap that doesn’t make anyone truly happy. I feel grief for the future, for my daughter and my interns, because the longer we continue business as usual, the worse is going to be the crash that is coming. And still our economic system is based on unlimited growth on a finite planet. It is insane.

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