Solar Flares: Election Night Musings

No formal newsletter this week, just a quick note. As I write this, polls are closing on the east coast of our sprawling country, but it will be many hours before the western ballots are counted. And since it’s shaping up to be a very close race, we might not even get conclusive results in the morning. There could be recounts; there will surely be accusations and double-dealings and power grabs.

It has been, and continues to be, torture.

But in this day and age, we are accustomed to uncertainty. Even if we awoke to some landslide majority or other — hell, even if we awoke to a miraculous Green Wave — we would still not have a clear path forward. The “Green New Deal” legislation that can ensure a swift, fair transition off fossil fuels remains a hint of a glimpse of a blueprint. And the social and regional rifts that have been created (or, more likely, revealed) by this election will take years to heal. Years we don’t have.

But even amidst uncertainty, and faced with the possibility of a huge setback — it’s worth reminding ourselves of how far we’ve come in a short time. Extinction Rebellion was formed in the UK one year ago, with 100 activists and academics signing a call to action. In twelve months, XR has gone from 100 people in a single country to a global movement of thousands. In Canada alone, October’s Week of Rebellion saw bridge occupations occur in 10 cities from coast to coast.

And of course, that doesn’t hold a candle to the exponential growth of #FridaysForFuture, which began in August 2018 with a lone 15-year-old girl carrying a single sign, and reached numbers around 7 million last month. When, before in history, has any movement grown and spread so fast, without any hint of violence?

Humanity, like nature, wants to survive.

Friends, I am daunted by our chances of success, and depressed by the backlash of anger and entitlement that grows alongside us, like a self-destroying shadow. But I am encouraged by the groundswell of support for climate action. If it’s not going to come from the top (and it’s not), then it has to come from below. And it is.

Further, I am emboldened by the certainty that our cause is not only right, backed by a tsunami of scientific evidence, but also good — a manifestation of lifeforce, a yearning for healing, a global expression of compassion for other humans and for nature itself.

In a time of uncertainty, it means a lot to know I’m on the side of right and good. Thanks for standing here with me.

I’ll be quiet(ish) next week, too, but expect more news and noise from me in November and beyond.

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