“If we are to survive, we need to discern the difference between real and false hopes. We must eliminate the false hopes, which blind us to real possibilities, and bind us to unlivable situations.” — Derrick Jensen
(So-called) Renewable energy is a false hope.
The Green New Deal is a false hope.
Electric cars are a false hope.
Geo-engineering is a false hope.
Carbon trading is a false hope.
Carbon capture and sequestration is a false hope.
Nuclear energy is a false hope.
Oil spill response teams are a false hope.
Killing sea lions to “save” the salmon is a false hope.
Public comment on environmental impact statements is a false hope.
This list goes on. We tell ourselves lies in order to maintain our way of living in this destructive culture, because we are too afraid to reclaim what our ancestors have long since forgotten: what it is like to live off the land; what it is like to give back what we take to protect the landbase for future generations; what it is like to hear all the voices of the community in which we live, including thunder and lightning, birds and trees, salmon and orca, human and non-human.
No one’s going to come along with a miracle to save the day. No magician on a white horse, no fantastical technology, no politician with just the right story. Our only hope is to put down our weapons of mass destruction, give up our attachment to infinite growth and stock dividends, wean ourselves from instant gratification, and start paying attention to the real, physical world—the world with clean air, water, and soil, the world with millions of thriving species, with rhythms and cycles and relationships and interconnections, the world we cannot live without.
Our only hope is to fight for that world with everything we have.
Photograph titled “No false hopes” by yours truly.