Darkness, Zombies and Dragon Inspection on the Road to Zero Carbon

chat Posted Oct 31, 2016 by Rezwan | Category : Narrative
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Happy Halloween. From me, Rezwan! Founder of Footprint to Wings. I hope you had a chance to check out the cool video from a previous post which went out in our last email. [Not a subscriber? Sign up now!]

Dark Feelings…

I got some dark feedback from an old friend after the email.

Among other things, it seems he feels a race to zero carbon is futile, hopeless. We’ll never win.

Also, he doesn’t have much faith in his fellow human beings rising to the occasion. And he thinks I’m in denial about the true selfishness of human beings.

What do you think?

I’m glad he wrote back. It’s good to know where people are at.

And who can blame him? I’m bringing up a thorny, super wicked problem. It’s bound to stir up fears, doubts and misanthropy. Fears about the future. Fears that you have to give stuff up (like my SUV?) Fears that someone will judge you (for not wanting to give up my SUV?) Defensive anger (at the hypocrisy of those SUV judging…)

You get the idea. But these feelings…

...need to be processed

We’re human. Dark feelings are normal. But we won’t get far in the race to zero carbon if we don’t process them.

Have you processed your feelings about the following:

Please comment on this post. Let me know how you feel. I am genuinely curious. No judgment. We’ve got to start somewhere. I await your response.

On a Personal Note

One other thing my friend said. He didn’t want to get “mass emails” just personal ones.

Just so you know, for me, this race to zero carbon thing is as personal as it gets.

It’s like this:

The Zombies are Coming

Imagine there is a zombie apocalypse. And you and your friends are in this old ranch house.

Your friends want to watch Netflix and eat popcorn and drink hot chocolate. And you would love to! But you look out the window and see the zombies massing.

And you say, hey! I think we might need to reinforce these windows and sharpen some farm implements and stuff.

And they say, “Whoa! Enough talking about work. Anyway, those zombies are far away. Come watch these fake ones on the screen right now.”

So you try to hang out, but keep seeing the zombies out the window, getting closer. You are really distracted. You don’t want your friends to think you’re a drag, but…

What would you do in this situation?

Share in the comments below!

Me? I keep bugging my friends.

I say, hey! Perhaps we can do it as a home improvement project. Not only will we weather the zombies, we’ll upgrade the house and increase its resale value.

But they wave away the crude plans I’ve drawn up. Without looking, they say, “These plans won’t work.”

Some keep watching the movie. Others disperse to set up private panic rooms.

I call after them, “Guys! Why do you want to be stuck in a panic room? Claustrophobia! Plus I think I see a way out of this mess. But I need you. We just have to front-load the brainstorming. Figure out how to solve this problem. Then we can get back to the…”

But my friends are not listening. Like a bad horror movie, we’ve all split up.

And the zombies keep walking.

Dragon Inspection

Part of this is my bad. I’m not doing justice to the path to zero carbon. The dots are connecting in my head and the picture looks clearer and clearer. But getting it outside my head is…a process.

And you’ve got to see the whole picture. If you just look at little bits of it, flashes of the problem, it can seem hopeless.

It’s like this

There are some guys sitting in the dark.

One says, “Anyone got a light? Let’s see what’s around us.”

Another one strikes a match.

And in that weak light, they see gleam of teeth and claws of a number of dark monsters lurking around them.

“Yikes! Never mind!” says the first, and they blow out the match.

I can see why people prefer not to look. Ignorance is bliss. Seeing is fearing.

A bigger light

Photo by Benjamin Lambert

What I’m proposing is that we go in the other direction.

Get a bigger light.

A massive search light.

Shine it on each and every one of those monsters and dragons.

Look at their scales and claws. Count their teeth. Measure their wingspan.

Figure out which ones we can befriend and fly away with, and which ones we need to slay.

So here’s the deal…

Walk through the dragon inspection with me.

There’s a lot to cover, but it’s not insurmountable. Here’s a “map” of the fields we’ll peruse.

From Fear to Freedom

Keep in mind, the thing many people fear the most, “I’ll have to change my life, give up something” may actually turn out to be your favorite part. At first, you may be wanting to keep your life in pretty much the shape it is now. You may be most interested in technological solutions to do the heavy lifting.

But as you check out all the options, you may come to find you like what happens when you declutter your life, rethink jobs and consumption, restore Eden.

Or not. Your choice.

The point is, you have options to explore.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

Will our friends get buried in panic rooms as zombies torch the ranch? Or will they pull together and secure the ranch from the zombies? Better yet, will they figure out a way to harness the zombies for electricity? Stay tuned for the next installment of zero carbon theater.

One final Halloween treat: Watch the Blob and get chills as you realize it’s a climate change story.

Thank you for being a part of my journey for personal and planetary redemption.

To zero carbon and beyond,


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Notes & Related:

Four Person Silhouette photo by Alex Wigan
Farmhouse photo by Elizabeth Lies.

And the zombies sing…

Who we are

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