Who doesn’t love Raffi? Remember him? The kids’ singer? You had an album when you were a tot. Yeah, Raffi.
I loved Raffi. He had cute little songs, his voice was so charming and comforting. As a children’s entertainer, he wasn’t creepy like Captain Kangaroo or John Wayne Gacy. Instead, he seemed very lovely. When you’re a kid.
When you’re a grown-up, however, the act wears out significantly, especially when he sets down the guitar and pens an incredibly naive piece for a far-left digital rag.
Are we tweeting while Earth burns? Is climate collapse our new collective Titanic? How do we best describe the survival struggle of 7 billion in a way that connects?
The science on global warming is clear and compelling. Earth is in serious climate crisis. That’s why many writers have recently upgraded climate change to climate collapse, climate catastrophe, the long emergency. We need a new story to convey the threat.
That’s right. All the other euphemisms for the ongoing the-end-is-nigh globapocalypse ranting we’ve been subjected to for decades just don’t cut it. You know what we need? Another euphemism!
The modern version of the story is about a gold rush called globalization, a monetized world order that commodifies everything and poisons all that it touches: air, water, soil, whales, indigenous cultures, mothers’ milk, and babies, now born with a body burden of toxic chemicals. Money, as symbolic reward for goods and services, when elevated above all else, becomes a curse. The symbol turns tyrant and casts a plague on the living. We’re currently in the atonement chapter of the tragedy, praying we have time to write a happier ending.
I’m praying for a happier children’s entertainer. Preferably one that doesn’t fantasize about commodified mother’s milk.
Experts use escalating phrases to describe climate change. James Hansen: “the coming climate catastrophe,” “our last chance to save humanity;” Gustav Speth: “system failure,” “looking into the abyss.” Lester Brown writes: “The signs that our civilization is in trouble are multiplying.”
Al Gore: “Come on, baby. Release my chakra.”
That’s why we need a new lens and lexicon for conveying climate change as the greatest threat on Earth, a tragedy of epic proportions, especially for the world’s young.
This is nothing compared to the tragedy of the world’s young being preached at by a harping hippie.
Here are the main elements of the new story. The lens is Earth & Child–Child friendly means Earth friendly. The lexicon is a whole-brain “linking language” of systems, not fragments. The frame is climate change as The Crisis, the compound threat to the human future. The story aligns present with future, connecting climate change to kids, health, and behavior so families get that it’s about them and their future … The story’s protagonist is the Child, our conscience.
If the Child is also our conscience and our conscience is the protagonist of the story, which is a tragedy of epic proportions, does that mean that my conscience itself is the compound threat to the human future? Is it because I grew up Catholic?
If our species could be granted one wish, what would that be? Wouldn’t it be to lift the Midas curse, reclaim what we have lost and restore our sanity?
I’m wishing someone would restore his sanity.
Climate change is not one among many issues, it is the crisis, the greatest threat on Earth, the cumulative damage that has no partial remedy. It’s best addressed with systems change, beginning with belief systems learned very early. To cut pollution and GHG emissions for good, change personal belief systems. Start young.
How the young have personal belief systems that need changing is never explained. Maybe they’re born with it, as I was told during catechism.
To grow Earth stewards, steward the children and youth. This is where the restoration must focus–strategically and morally. Not only do kids get sustainability, they have the most to lose or gain.
Am I the only one creeped out over the idea of stewarded children?
In 1990, two words (20 characters) brought down the Soviet Union and the Berlin wall: glasnost and perestroikia–openness and restructuring. What if the enormous convening power of social media gave the existing global disorder a “glasnost & perestroika shakedown” just as unimaginable? Can the abusive globalized money system unravel by people flexing their tech muscle to collectively demand “the right to a future?”
No, what brought down the Soviet Union were three characters—Reagan, Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II—and one word—economy (or, rather, the lack thereof). The Soviets weren’t able to keep up with American military expenses (i.e. “tech muscle”) and the entire Communist economy buckled.
Which is why we have a relatively functioning globalized money system that Raffi & co. are desperately trying to unravel.
We’re in the moral moment. We must thoroughly detoxify our world, cool this planet down, and redesign societies to be systems smart. With utmost compassion, let us steer a course away from icebergs and towards a welcoming shore.
Yes, we are in a moral moment, one that needs to resist closest totalitarians whose dream is to “redesign societies”. We used to call them Soviets. Now, we call them Ecofascists.
Stick to writing kids’ songs, Raffi. Your lexicon of worldwide doom and gloom is scaring the children.