Happy 2020?

Happy new year!Greetings from me in this new decade and new year! I want to say happy new year, but I have to tell you, I’m not sure it is a super happy new year. If I see one more image of a charred kangaroo or a drowning Jakartan, or hear one more rant of Donald Trump, Scott Moe, or Jason Kenney. . . Despair abounds.

Honestly, to see pictures of blood-red skies in Australia is to believe the apocalypse, or at least, an apocalypse, is upon us. Headlines remind us that even if our little lives at home seem to be okay or even great, the world is crumbling and burning and becoming plastic around us. And still, world leaders deflect lest we link anything to the climate crisis explicitly.

To hope, to endlessly hope? Or, as Margaret Wheatley suggests, to understand that it’s all over but the crying and try to figure out how we can best serve in these end times?

I was just at the grocery store this week, a large chain, where a notice was posted along the less-stuffed-than-usual produce shelves. It read:

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I had described this notice to several people who were unmoved, and I tried to understand what about it bothers me so much. In the end, I decided it was because this is just a little signal, a tiny portent of the nightmare that is unfolding around us, in all its cheery and comforting banality. What of this notice suggests that there will soon, if not now, not actually be “alternate” supplies? Surely there will soon be a time when Saskatchewan people will never access eggplants and avocados at all, let alone in January? Won’t there soon be a time when we are in the gritty clutches of a drought that will see scarcity even in local produce? Won’t these shelves soon be emptier, more regularly irregular, and that there is no possible way to return to old, predictable cycles where drought and flood are exceptional?

I don’t even know how to end this post. I want to give you hope, but I have learned from the Thunberg-ian admonishment that people don’t want my hope; they want action. There can be no hope without acting. In 2020, can we rely on one another to act?