This post was originally written in May 2017 around the time the U.S. pulled out of the Paris Agreement and mysteriously it was not posted. As I revisited this post in light of our current roiling planet, it made sense that I publish it now.
In the last few weeks many of us have been experiencing an apocalyptic foreboding as fires rage through brittle dry trees creating falling ash and dark skies filled with smoke resulting in unbreathable air; violent hurricanes dismantle islands and pummel cities — storm surges create overwhelming deluges as hurricanes, one after the other, batter our cities tearing up lives and structures as if they are weightless toothpicks to be tossed aside; earthquakes flattened areas in Mexico and we watched all of these events with deepening alarm. One could not help but feel the climate chaos and our sustained blindness to planetary suffering. (See: This Season, Western Wildfires Are Close By and Running Free; New York Times, 9/16/17.)
My son, Kyle Lemle, published a potent and psychologically provocative article titled in June 2017: Beyond America & The Paris Agreement: Eco-Cultural Regeneration as Climate Justice.
Kyle writes of our country’s climate denial: our contactless relationship to planet earth, our habit of squandering vital resources as it relates to our historic and current American psychology of consumption, manifest destiny and chronic absence of collective responsibility. Currently, American leadership is but an exaggerated parody of our enduring American style of plundering the weaker; a culture that preserves selfishness, self-centeredness and greed and harbors a delusional, non-inclusive attitude that we are not all in this together. We have always lacked reciprocity, “the process of giving back what we have taken.” Kyle reminds us that this has been a continuous cultural mandate and we must not deny and fall into the current blame game. Rather, we must look deeply within to alter the ways we interact within our environment. I encourage you to read his article.