Muse in Brief

Effective Communication for Tree-Hugging Dirt-Worshippers » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, a recent xkcd comic inspires me to reflect on the ways that earth-loving environmentalists sometimes undermine their cause through a preoccupation with doom and gloom, and how modern Pagan spirituality gives us tools for finding better ways to share the love:

Environmentalists spend a lot of time telling everyone how close we are to destroying the planet, or at least disrupting the delicate balance that allows the human species to survive on it. But they spend almost as much time complaining about how it seems like all that their fellow environmentalists ever do is run around frantically preaching doom and gloom, trying to harass and frighten people into action.

It’s only natural. When you see a loved one in danger — whether they’re suffering abuse or neglect because of someone else’s ignorance, selfishness or greed, or because there’s an on-coming mac truck speeding down the street with the breaks out — your first response is to cry out in alarm, to yell for help! You don’t stop and wax philosophic about the numerous existential and ethical reasons why your curmudgeony old aunt deserves not to be hit by a truck.

Many of us feel the same way about the planet and her diverse ecosystems and wild places. It’s hard to take the long, calm view when the mountain you love — this mountain, right here, right now — is being stripped and raped for coal and natural gas, or when the river you love is being polluted and all its diverse lifeforms strangled and suffocated by toxic waste. It doesn’t even occur to us that we need to explain why it’s important to protect these habitats and landscapes from destruction and abuse. The reason is obvious: because we love them.

Why aren’t we better at expressing our love and appreciation for the earth? How can we communicate more effectively and meaningfully with a larger audience? What can modern Pagans do to share the love and protect the planet?

You can read the full article here.