Citizen Deb’s Year-End Recap: The State of the Planet (and My Heart)

New! LISTEN to this blog here. Or just read on . . .
Over and out.

Have I ever mentioned that, a few years ago, as part of a workshop, I created a “possibility” for who I am in the world?

After playing around with various options, I announced to the room:

“I am the possibility of contribution wrapped in fun.”

I often forget that. Or wonder if “contribution” was something I felt I should say. I do like fun, though, and think I’m pretty good at it. And come to think of it, I’m not bad at contributing, either. Some might say that’s an understatement, given my bossy-pants/know-it-all tendencies. At least I can say both come naturally.

I’d already created this blog, as an easily digestable way to help people get their heads around environmental issues, and what to do about them . . . between jobs, dentist appointments, $1 oyster nights at the pub, and so forth. And then I decided to create the book I’m now working on. Which is similar to the blog . . . but longer.

News flash: “Longer” takes longer. But you can read the latest excerpt HERE.

Oh, well, I guess the planet’s not going anywhere. And a new year always feels like a good time to regroup. Especially when December saw your full-time gig end, and your love life go up in flames. (I’ll cover the latter down at the end of this post, if you’re interested. Look for the gas can.)

Meanwhile I’ll take this opportunity to quickly get us all up to speed on the progress, setbacks, and downright insanity of our society’s planetary stewardship (and/or lack thereof), so you don’t have to.

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Happy Holidays, citizens

Well, my Christmas cards are mailed (not), presents wrapped (also not), and I’m all packed for Christmas with the extended family (not either, although I do have a load of laundry in*, which is a start). I did go to three holiday parties this weekend—Friday, Saturday and Sunday—which may explain some of the above.

But the book is coming along! Especially since my 2-week full-time freelance gig (which turned into a year and a half) is finally over. But you don’t need to know about that. In fact, instead of complaining, why don’t I give you a wee excerpt from the chapter I’m working on? That would be the Climate chapter.

This section is fairly close to the beginning of it, so you can just jump right in . . .

“GHGs.” Raise your hand if you don’t even know what that is. Or if you do know that it stands for greenhouse gases, which make things warmer—but you just want to take a nap.

Maybe some of you are like, If things are heating up, what happened to “global warming”? Why did that term get the kibosh?

And how does [climate change / GHGs / eating cheeseburgers] bring on hurricanes that level entire towns in Florida, flattening trailer parks; and fires in California that annihilate—I’ll just say it—a lot of really nice wine?

Like, is climate change really that bad? How hot exactly is it gonna get, and why I can’t I just enjoy the warmer winters?

All valid questions, I think.

Because this is where it’s all at. The real-life “Is the human species going to survive?” front-page story. It truly is an existential crisis putting future generations in a real pinch.

Trouble is, we can’t keep our eye on the ball, because whenever people around here start to realize it’s become an important enough issue to actually do something about, other people suddenly do stupid shit that pulls focus away from this super-important issue onto other super-important but shorter-term fires that need to be put out. Like a handful of randos in fancy robes taking away women’s reproductive rights. Or folks dismantling our democracy, gathering up the pieces, and pitching them into a giant incinerator. Or firing them into a classroom. Shit like that.

But your girl here has you covered. I’ma explain to you what this science-y, bodiless, scary but easy-to-ignore dull roar in the background actually IS, how it started, whose fault it is, and how we’re gonna stop it so your cute nephew (in my case) doesn’t end up wandering around a real-life Mad Max landscape looking for grubs to stuff into his hungry face. You think I’m kidding.

That said, there are widely differing possible scenarios, depending on a) what we do now as a species; and b) who’s reporting the scenario.

Last week, I saw two conflicting stories:

The first story reported that “Thanks to real progress, we’re headed toward a less apocalyptic future.” Does anyone find “less apocalyptic” . . . comforting?

The headline on the second story was “Climate Pledges Are Falling Short, and a Chaotic Future Looks More Like Reality.”

So . . . the future is less apocalyptic . . . but a chaotic future is more of a reality? Is “apocalyptic” farther down on some scientific flowchart than “chaotic”? Does it go, like, “utopian,” “awesome,” “getting by,” “kinda shitty,” “chaotic,” “apocalyptic”?

And by the way, the two stories were published on the same day. Both in the New York Times. Also, climate activists are throwing mashed potatoes on Monet paintings as I write this, and some guy GLUED HIS HEAD to Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”

I’m so confused. And on so many levels.

I’m the cat. (Courtesy

That’s it for now. Like I said, a wee excerpt. My plan is to do a year-end environmental recap here next week . . . so don’t give me anymore eggnog until I’m done with that.


*(I just realized I forgot to put the load of laundry in. Will do that now . . . )

Saving the planet…with a carnival?

My tiny attempts at trying to save the planet are still ongoing, but lately, rather than working on my book pitch for my agent, or writing droll blog posts for you all to commiserate with (*see p.s. below), I’ve switched gears a bit. I’ve been writing press releases. And social media content. And emails back and forth with a graphic designer, and a printer, and a committee of fellow environerds as we plan . . .

[drum roll, please]

A carnival.

A climate carnival, to be exact.

What is a “climate carnival”? Well, in my world, it starts with a crap website housed on a low-tech county Google site. And an acquaintance sending it to me along with the note, “Hey, Deb, you might be interested in this event in July.” Followed by my saying, “Please let me help you.” And their saying, “Okay.”

Which leads to my spending many, many more hours than I intended helping a very grateful committee get this thing on the map. I gotta say, it’s pretty gratifying seeing our press coverage grow, and people following the social media accounts I set up, and more people wanting to participate in the carnival itself as that all happens. I mean, we’ve now booked a juggler. A juggler, people.

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