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Eco-Justice Team - November 2023

The holiday season is fast approaching! Don’t miss the rummage sale for your Christmas shopping, and don’t forget your BHCC bag! The warmth, joy, and sharing of Thanksgiving often give way to the stress, hurry, and overspending of a consumerist Christmas.

This newsletter has been suggesting sustainable alternatives for several years now. You should have an arsenal of ideas for a responsible holiday, at least in part. It would be a good idea, though, to change our collective mindset about dealing with climate change as a chore and a sacrifice. Historian and author, Rebecca Solnit, wrote this for the Washington Post (much abridged):

“Much of the reluctance to do what climate change requires comes from the assumption that it means trading abundance for austerity, and trading all our stuff and conveniences for less stuff, less convenience. But what if it meant giving up things we’re well rid of, from deadly emissions to nagging feelings of doom and complicity in destruction? What if the austerity is how we live now — and the abundance could be what is to come?

What if we imagined “wealth” consisting not of the money we stuff into banks or the fossil-fuel-derived goods we pile up, but of joy, beauty, friendship, community, closeness to flourishing nature, to good food produced without abuse of labor? What if we were to think of wealth as security in our environments and societies, and as confidence in a viable future?

To respond to the climate crisis — a disaster on a more immense scale than anything our species has faced — we can and must summon what people facing disasters have: a sense of meaning, of deep connection and generosity, of being truly alive in the face of uncertainty. Of joy.

This is the kind of abundance we need to meet the climate crisis, to make many, or even most, lives better. It is the opposite of moral injury; it is moral beauty. A thing we needn’t acquire, because we already have it in us.”

May your holidays be filled with abundance.


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