I’m Done Being Polite

Nov 17, 2021

These last weeks have been all about COP26 and about how it fell short of what we need to save humanity.

At first, as I read the many articles about the various failures of COP26 and Greta Thunberg saying it was mostly “blah, blah,” I found myself saying, ”Careful! Don’t focus on the negative. We need to keep people hopeful.”

But then I read this MUST READ article by two of the best climate writers writing today and I decided that nice isn’t going to save us.

In fact, I saw how my nice is really just the patriarchy telling me to sit down and shut up.

Every time I write this newsletter, I feel that pressure, that internalized shut up. I hear “What do you know?” and “Careful, you’re going to piss people off” and “How dare you write about climate change? You aren’t smart enough.”

Watching Lauren MacDonald sit next to Shell CEO Ben van Beurden and say the truth made me realize how pernicious and dangerous my internal voices are.

Nice is playing by rules that don’t help anybody but a few very corrupt people in power.

Nice equals death.

We are going to have to use our anger if we are to survive.

Of course, we can’t be rageful all the time – it’s too hard on our bodies and souls. We can’t go on anger alone but we must resist the narrative that says be nice. We need more time. We don’t have all the solutions.

But that’s a lie too. We have a lot of powerful solutions right now but the men in power are still backing the fossil fuel industry.

But what can you do?

Share your anger. Talk about the fact we have solutions. Keep talking! Keep calling your political representatives.

Focus locally – how can you use your creative voice and talents to change the local conversation? Check out what Xavier Cortada is doing in Florida to raise awareness and spark conversation. Or what Jeppe Hein did with Breathe with Me.

Look into how to invest your savings in ways that solve the climate crisis. (Note: I am not endorsing this company, just sharing resources.)

Ask everyone on your gift list to skip buying gifts this year but donate instead to climate action efforts.

Need more ideas? Great!

Whatever you do matters!


Here are previous posts.

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Know that creating anything for anybody is going to feel so good. Action + stubborn optimism is what we need! Don’t make this a big ding-dang-do, just make it a do!

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