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Why We Must Grieve the Climate Crisis

Amazon Rainforest burning
Fires burning in the Amazon Rainforest have gotten much press. But, they are only some of the record fires burning across the globe. Furthermore, fires are only one of several crises raging across the planet.

You would have to be pretty unconscious to have not heard about the record fires that are raging in the Amazon rainforest. It is an unimaginable catastrophe that is literally leaving scorched Earth where there used to be lush, wet, tropical jungle. The burning in the Amazon has been getting a lot of press. It has captured much attention.

It has captured our attention so much, in fact, that some people are forgetting that just days ago we were all talking about the record fires raging across Alaska, and then the fires sweeping Siberia. What is less known is that there are even more fires burning in sub-Saharan Africa than there are in Brazil. Everywhere you look across the globe there are record, unprecedented and catastrophic fires destroying some of the most important and delicate ecosystems on the planet.

As shocking and horrific and disastrous as these fires are individually, collectively they are unlike anything we have experienced on Earth in human history. Yet our situation is more dire than that would even suggest, because these fires - as bad as they are - are only one part of a much bigger series of disasters that are striking the planet even as you are reading this. Glaciers are melting at never-before-seen rates. Sea levels are rising. Hurricanes are churning. Entire species are disappearing from the planet daily. We could go on, but think we have made the point: Earth is in crisis; a crisis made worse because many people have yet to come to terms with how serious it actually is.

One of the things that keeps people from facing the state of the world today is the fear of grieving, because, as anyone who has faced the loss of a beloved family member knows, grieving is horrible, hard, painful and exhausting. It is the kind of thing that can leave you feeling wrung out, empty and lifeless. Our brains, therefore, seem to have this built-in mechanism that tries to keep us from doing it, even to the point of refusing to let us see what is right in front of our faces. (Fill in your favorite meme about "denial" here.)

There is, however, another aspect of grieving that is maybe more important. Yes, the stresses and losses that bring us to the grieving process are painful. Yes, the grieving process is hard and painful. But, after we're through it, the grieving is good. It brings a clearing of the mind, a letting go, a new and fresh perspective that can only come by moving through the grief and surrendering to the uncontrolled catharsis that comes with it. It brings about new ways of seeing our lives and we can never see those new ways until we have grieved - and let go of - the old. So, grieve the climate crisis we must.

At a very fundamental level, no one who has honestly taken scope of the situation currently facing humanity knows that we will not be able to continue to live as we have been living. Regardless of whether or not people believe (as many do) that a collapse of society as we know it is underway, no one can pretend that our lives as we have lived them to date can continue on as they have been.

Life as we have known it is not going to continue under any reasonable scenario put forward by any climate model. Only when we really come to terms with that can we unleash the new energy and perspective with fresh, clear minds so that we can begin building the new ways of living into the future.

That, in a nutshell, is what we are doing here at Our Urban Farms, and why you see a mix of the horrific news about the state of the world, mixed with our growing list of fun new ideas for the future. We hope you will join us by subscribing, joining and sharing.

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