It's a new year, and almost exactly one year since Ashes Ashes began, so we're taking a moment to step back and reflect on the question at the end of every episode: what can we do? This special episode features both Daniel and David explaining what they work on outside of the show to make the world better (even if just a little bit), why that matters, and different ways that we all can do our part to push things forward towards a fixing everything that's broken around us.

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Chapters

  • 01:24 Daniel's Story
  • 11:40 David's Story
  • 18:35 Community
  • 21:23 Organizing
  • 28:13 Individual Actions
  • 34:12 Collective Action
  • 41:17 Homework

(This transcript is machine generated. We will eventually replace it with an edited and cleaned up version)


David Torcivia:

[0:02] I'm David Torcivia.

Daniel Forkner:

[0:04] I'm Daniel Forkner.

David Torcivia:

[0:06] And this is Ashes Ashes, a show about systemic issues, cracks in civilization, collapse of environment, and if we're unlucky, the end of the world.

Daniel Forkner:

[0:17] But if we learn from all of this, maybe we can stop that. The world might be broken, but it doesn't have to be.

David Torcivia:

[0:26] This week Daniel and I wanted to take a chance and have a little bit more of a relaxing show it's the new year.

Daniel Forkner:

[0:32] 2019 baby.

David Torcivia:

[0:34] This is I guess officially the second year of Ashes ashes we been around a year at this point that's exciting. And instead of doing our intense depressing deep dive on whatever terrible thing we can come up with for the week let's instead sort of look forward we always try to spend a Time on every episode with what can we do, to inspire positive action to end these negative things we talked about. It's maybe instead spend an entire show on this idea and look at people around the world we're doing incredible things, organizations that we can maybe join and also talked a little bit about what you and I are doing in the front of all this disaster and really crappy stuff that went down in 2018 and hopefully this year because of our actions because of other people's actions and because of a world that wants to get better 2019 will be looking up.

Daniel'S Story

Daniel Forkner:

[1:25] Sounds like a great idea David so I guess this episode will be a little bit different from, the normal format and last week was a little bit different to but that's just because it was about Pirates not because it was short or anything like that but. Yeah let's talk about what we might be able to do in 2019 as individuals and as broader communities to maybe, pave A Better Way Forward in the face of all these catastrophes I've been trying to make some changes in my own life David, if any of you listen to our Harvard episode when we went there and spoke in a conference you know that I used to work in real estate and I've been trying to get away from that line of work and maybe find a place and maybe some nonprofit work is still new to me I'm still trying to figure out some work I can do that I can feel proud to do that that's going to impact. My community, I signed up for the volunteering in the near future to try and get my feet wet in the whole non-profit world is still new to me David so I feel like my transition from the business world to something else has taken longer than it should, but it's been a long journey learning about all the systems that interact with my life and coming to terms with that developing my own thoughts and values and and trying to figure out how to move forward is is certainly a journey but I'm hoping to ramp up on the action side since we do a lot of theorizing here on ashes ashes I need to balance that account.

David Torcivia:

[2:51] One thing I really want to drive home Daniel in this episode and throughout the show. Is that it's never too late you sound like you're guilting yourself a little bit for not taking these actions earlier but we all go through a different Journey RR, process to coming to terms with what's going on in the world around us and learning about all these things that are for the most part completely hidden often intentionally so from our day-to-day lives is long and slow and different for everyone and it's never. Too late. Do you realize these things into turn these pieces of knowledge that you get about why the world is messed up and how it's messed up and who is messing up and turning that into instead of depression but some sort of inspiration to do something about it.

Daniel Forkner:

[3:35] Absolutely and I want to talk about that this role that depression and anxiety plays in our lives I think people take for granted just how, much we grasped to certain World Views and how Earth shattering it can be to have our worldviews challenge, before we started this podcast when we were just two people talking on the phone David exchanging books discussing these ideas, climate change was a little bit new for me and when I was coming to terms with the scope of these problems there are days where I couldn't get out of bed I was paralyzed I'd lay on the floor and cry, because it just the way that it affected me and so it's it's a process to come to terms with these things and actually there's a woman in the UK who. Making a documentary for the BBC on climate change awareness, and its role in mental illness and the amount of people that can feel this paralysis when they're faced with these huge systemic, problems of AC overshadowing their lives and if any of you are in the UK and would like to reach out to her she's looking to speak with people directly who are impacted by this but.

David Torcivia:

[4:37] You can contact us and will pass the information on to her.

Daniel Forkner:

[4:40] Sure but I also do my own experience have realized that there is a Liberation that comes from pushing through that initial anxiety and grappling with a new set of values and being okay with a little bit of uncertainty, there's a Liberation that comes from realizing that there's parts of our history of parts of our country's history that have been hidden from us there's aspects of the companies that we support that, are hidden from us in learning about these truths can be really unsettling but once we learned them and we can process them gives us a new way to move forward. And there is freedom that comes with that in a sense of purpose I think.

David Torcivia:

[5:21] Well as the saying goes ignorance is bliss, and I guess the flip side of that means that knowledge is pain but knowledge is also power and it's only when we deal with this pain and we set it aside and we turned it into the drive to do something better that we can start making use of that power otherwise we're the ones being taken advantage of on the flip side so that's really what we want to focus on today the different processes that Daniel and I have suffered through is Daniel's talked a little bit about this already. This whole idea of climate paralysis maybe it is a good way to put it where, we have so much bad news so much collapse going on and I know we're guilty just as much as anyone maybe more than anyone I've just throwing this information out into the world, and that can have a negative effect and and and I feel guilty everytime I hear from somebody from a friend, from family from listeners saying I just I'm overwhelmed by the things you say and maybe I don't make it to the end of every episode where I hear will this is what we can do because it's too much, you have to stop we have to take care of herself in this process when you get self-care along the way and knowing just what kind of situation or it. Incredibly depressing overpowering it gives us existential crises I mean you deal with it Daniel I know I deal with it part of my process of going through all of this pain is the act of creating the show of sharing this information and I'm turning that into actionable change and get to.

Daniel Forkner:

[6:45] I think you hit on something really important there David talking about how we might be complicit in and throwing bad news out there and then adding to the anxiety that some people feel, but I think this is part of a larger problem of our society of moving away from an awareness of our own fragility. And I had this realization recently David and I made it may sound a little bit crazy but even if some intelligent extraterrestrial civilization got in contact with us here. On the blue planet and gave us some magic technology that would give us Infinite Energy. And allow us to solve some of these large problems we would still have really glaring systemic issues to deal with we might still have economic inequality political problems. I think that's just a reality of living life we have to realize that we're always going to be faced with issues that are larger than ourselves but we can't allow that to depress us we can't allow that to paralyze us. Even if you David even if I even if us as a civilization cannot turn this great ship around there are so many things that we can control, in our own lives in our local communities we can impact those around us.

[8:10] Consumption digital online world that we are in is that it's so easy to lose awareness of the things that are immediately right around us and our sin.

[8:28] Society of the spectacle we let the things outside our reality control us and we can end up becoming blind to our own environment, and I'm reminded of this issue we discussed David and episode 20 irresistible that show about a antimicrobial resistant pathogens and that's the loss of local news. And I noticed this now when I go.

[8:56] Come around the world but none of these stories that were all consuming have anything to do generally with our local communities our own neighborhood. Our society is trending further and further away from what is local and immediate in our own lives you could even relate that to Concepts that we discuss an episode 35 plugged in about how our phones are taking our attention away from The Real World. And like you mentioned we are a little bit guilty here on ashes ashes of being a part of this. But look at the end of the day yes the issues we discussed are important and we all need awareness of them because that's how we are going to learn it's how we can avoid making repeated mistakes, and it's how ultimately we're going to design and create a better system for our future. But we have to always keep in mind the whole point of learning and discussing these issues in the first place and that's to inform action and our own decision. If we live in the digital or in a book always consuming information and knowledge of these problems but we never actually do anything we have nothing to show for it but anxiety Despair and fear. We're wasting our time. Don't let the knowledge of some drought and some sea level rise on a distant continent crippled you and prevent you from making a difference in your community Right Where You Are.

David Torcivia:

[10:18] There's an old organizing Maxim that I think applies really well here Daniel on that is think globally but act locally. And we can really take that to heart and all the accents that we do remembering that our actions around us do have Global implications but we can only really touch the people immediately in our communities, then we're on a good step forward from there.

Daniel Forkner:

[10:40] What helps me David is realizing that you know we're all going to die I mean the end of the day right but we were always going to die. Whether this climate change is happening or not even if we somehow avoid the climate catastrophe we still have the heat death of the universe to deal with a mean right, the only difference is we're dealing with it now as opposed to later, so this death is an inescapable both as individuals but also as a species but given that fact we still have life to leave, we still got to get out of bed in the morning we still have our own happiness to pursue relationships to cultivate goals to fulfill hobbies to explore, plants to cultivate. What day did I mention what I'm trying to do in my life you don't get away from the prophet world and volunteer in my local community see if I can find some work to do, what are you doing in your own life what is a day in the life of David torcivia look like how has knowledge of these issues and systemic problems that we discuss on ashes ashes informed the actions that you taking your own life.

David'S Story

David Torcivia:

[11:40] What is no easy answer to that Daniel because this is something that is constantly evolving something that I'm working on at all times. Turn to Stone by guilt to be completely honest I think for you it was about overcoming some sort of depression feeling like you're doing something useful, a lot of what I do in terms of my work and whatever you want to call it organizing activism, these are all loaded words I don't necessarily like using but just living as a political person who genuinely cares about the world and the people in it. A lot of it like I said is driven by guilt for me because I realize here I am I'm in New York City I don't have a car that's like the one good thing that I have going for me but. You know I'm not so good on paper with a lot of these things we talked about I flying airplanes I tried to that less and less but I still do it. My diet's not-so-great I live you know a life where I can sue more things than I should, I create advertising which is something that we reeled against a lot there's a lot of things that I feel sort of guilty about and didn't even more than that I feel this guilt about not doing so much that I knew I could be.

[12:51] I'm in a politically active community. And I know which we try and leave explicit politics out of this show a lot because I feel like a lot of the stats and facts and things that are systemically broken in this world, are Beyond politics anybody can look at them and see like will this clearly isn't working and you can talk about different solutions and things but as time goes on those Solutions become more and more limited explicitly say you know like oh we need deregulate capitalism or we need holy regulated Socialism or whatever like idea that your particular ideology is screaming at you to try and implement.

[13:28] But I am as I'm sure I'll be listening out there can tell very political in my day-to-day Life Light it takes up a lot of my time I do a lot of organizing outside the show but this year especially 2018 in India 2019 is going to be a lot more I really started stepping outside of a small individual political actions I can take and I'm not talk.

[13:58] He stepped in with an amazing group of people and this is something I think I really want to drive home with this episode is that alone. Your actions will be defeated. Everything you do by yourself yeah it's going to make things less bad but you aren't going to make enough of a difference to matter and you will be defeated whatever it is you're sitting out to do. When did its climate change weather that surveillance whatever it is alone you are defeated.

[14:31] But when you can take your actions and step them into the lives of other people. Either by organizing with them collectively among the catastrophes that are happening all around us. By amplifying your actions and taking them into your neighbor's lives making them part of your day-to-day efforts to make things better. Each time you do this step into a group now you are going to start getting somewhere because you have the effect, a magnification of your actions and the virality of your ideas and your passions this past year I've met so many people who are just. Genuinely incredibly amazing inspiring people. And you don't Inspire by standing around getting speeches or proselytizing I'm thinking podcast and radio shows or whatever it is that our media consumption based way of living has taught us that that is how you inspire people, be inspired by living a life that people look at and say.

[15:29] You know I didn't even realize that these options were open to me I didn't realize that we could live a life today in this hyper consumerist capitalist world like you mentioned Daniel where everything is split and individualized and atomized and we are separated from each other as much as possible by your work. Why are social activities by our entertainment and instead they get rid of that or they survive alongside of it and they exist beyond their bodies. So this is a concept I heard recently in a talk with the Silvia federici who's an amazing author and I one of my favorite books is by her caliban and the witch check it out but she had this concept that we need to live in our lives has limited. Are body to basically being just turned in on itself and this is something that's relatively new in human history. For so long because of the ways that we lived in nature that we lived within our communities we felt our body quite literally extended beyond the Realms of our skin.

[16:26] And we were one Within These communities and nature and this is why you would have native Original Stories people could just disappear you could operate you can be in two places at once you could turn into an animal you know because we didn't see these confines of our body as a cage like we do now.

[16:45] It's really hard to wrap your mind around this idea at first but as you start thinking about examples of the way that that we cut ourselves off from our environment whether that's is artificial environments that we treat our social environment where the natural environment assembly starts making a lot of sense. We can separate that and move past that limitation that we artificially created for ourselves you start touching people. You start touching their lies you start touching your community and you start touching the natural environment of the world and honestly. Unfortunately this is sort of a painful process at first because so many people are damaged right now. There's so many lives that are hurt by the world that we're living it by the way that we choose to live our lives and this is it it's painful at first.

[17:30] I've encountered over the last year some people who are living in in really tough circumstances and you want to help them and you reach out to them and you're doing what you can and it's never enough. He will never be enough the actions you take and it's something you have to learn to deal with. But you take those actions anyway and you helped a little bit and somebody else helps a little bit and somebody else helps a little bit and then eventually those wounds heal and you can see it happen in front of you. And it strengthens you cuz you heal in that process as well because you are reaching out and directly touching their body and you two are one at that moment and I didn't know this is getting spiritual and mumble-jumble way but it really is true because collectively we are at the human species and collectively we are the natural environment of the earth and collectively, we are.

[18:17] Earth itself Mother Nature is visual concepts but it's been there for a reason because for most of our Lives the way you experience life has been that way.

Daniel Forkner:

[18:28] Let me step in David and maybe offer, like a practical illustration of what you're talking about or or part of what you're talking about and I was inspired to listen to a talk recently that Jamal Joseph one of the panther 12 was on and he was talking about

Community [18:42] Community organizing and Community is aware that we throw on a lot.

David Torcivia:

[18:46] Especially on the show.

Daniel Forkner:

[18:48] Yeah exactly and it has people pointed out sometimes it's not clear what exactly it means and we talked about in our voting episode how political participation should extend well beyond the voting booth but into your community is actually making change but. I always had this idea that what does it take to be an organized or what does it take. To do these things in and I had this idea that you need to join some huge organization political party or something and join some huge thing but was Jamal Joseph said really inspire me which is, to make a difference in your community all you have to do is recognize that there is an issue. Talk to the people around you brainstorm a solution and then work together to solve that problem Alyssa you live in a neighborhood or you're in an apartment building and maybe you have a problem which is.

[19:45] Unhealthy but said you go door-to-door just 210 neighbors either that's you just walk down the hallway of your apartment building you just go down the cul-de-sac in your neighborhood you just knock on the houses you say look. There's a problem in our neighborhood which is food is expensive and we work a lot, I have this idea what if we pool our money once a week one of us which we can rotate this role will go to the grocery store by a bunch of food and then we'll have a Community Kitchen in which one family will cook for the week and we'll all come to the house and will participate in this and then next week that role will go to the next person.

[20:19] If you were to do that and Implement that you have just participated in your community you just organized the people around you to solve an immediate problem. And it doesn't take much and it's so simple and think about how that one little action would bring people together and now when you're in that Community Kitchen, you're not just cooking you're not just providing Health your food, now you're having discussions what else is a problem in this community I will we don't have enough native species plant species in our neighborhood well let's talk to some other neighbors and maybe we can get something going on there, that's all it is to be a part of a community is just talk with each other identify problems and come up with Solutions and then Implement them in anybody can do that. And I think that idea is really profound and it's something that's so absent from you know what you're talkin about David is our society has, become so far removed from that I didn't nobody even talks like that that's a strange thing, I mean there's people I know who are living in neighborhoods who have been in the house for years and hardly even know their next door neighbor's name and, we can all start to reverse that trend.

Organizing

David Torcivia:

[21:24] This is one of the things that I think is really important to understand and you brought it up earlier Daniel but understanding that, political participation or organizing with his loaded words don't have to be things that are hard that are only done through these card training organizations that the police are monitoring or whatever it is it's, a group of people, coming together and decide to do something or one person saying I want to do this imma talk to some people and we're going to do it and it really just has to be that simple and the group of people most likely is going to be people you know. People you should know people who are around you in many cases like you said this opportunity talking to your neighbors is a great way to jump into that.

[22:05] I had somebody recently who found out about the program is called jail support or prison support and basically the idea is being arrested really sucks and when you go to jail they hold you for how many hours in a release you, and when you get out you know you're feeling like shit you probably don't have a ride home cuz you have been able to contact anybody, you might have your shoelaces taken away from you you're hungry or thirsty or whatever it is like it's a really low point in people's lives and lots of people who were just in the wrong place wrong time or got caught up in some dumb thing.

[22:40] Are at a low point and very vulnerable right there and they're liable to make some sort of mistake that puts him back and in this whole system again, what people have done with Jill support it's just you wait outside of prison with juice boxes shoe laces, snacks codes on the Uber or Lyft or something for him when somebody comes out you say hey I'm here to talk, if you don't want to talk to you some snacks ears these things that they were taken from you let me get you a ride home and just shows that somebody is out there carrying until somebody found out about this like all this is great this is inspiring, where do I find organizations that do this was the first thing they said, and what I told the missus cuz that they live in a different city I didn't know the organization's there's like you don't need an organization to go do this all you need is to go to the store, grab these things ask a friend to come with you and go to the prison yourself and it was like a light bulb went off in their head and, so much of our life has been conditioned that we can only get things done through organizations and groups that already exists that we have to join that we have to vote for whatever it is when there's politicians with its government whatever that's all a lie.

[23:48] All these things happen all these change happens because somebody just does something and that somebody can very easily be you. And this person is now going on doing this thing and other people are joining them and doing it and in this moment in the action of deciding that they were just going to go and take this into their own hands if accidentally created an organization is an organization just a collection of people or doing things together, is have to be formalized it doesn't have to be complicated you don't need bylaws you don't need to vote things in you out the other name you just have to do something. And it's really affected their whole life and they made them a stronger more confident person and they're doing really great work in a whole variety things here just because. That light bulb turned on in their head and they say oh I can take this into my own hands and that is such a powerful idea, and it's something that is stolen from us all the time but when we can get that back realize it and see how effective it is in practice with now we're getting somewhere.

Daniel Forkner:

[24:46] Yeah and if that's a scary idea I know it is too many people as it is to me.

David Torcivia:

[24:51] Yeah I know I'm not saying it's easy.

Daniel Forkner:

[24:53] It wasn't what I was going to say David is you can build yourself up to these things I mean that's what I'm trying to do right now that's why I know this week.

[25:05] Planting trees in the neighborhood and I recognized is not going to change the world we're going to plant some trees and have a good time. Through that process I'm training myself to take action in in through this process maybe I'll meet some people in and through that I'm going to get more courage to say yes I can make a difference in my local community I can actually go out my hands can do something I can bend over and I can move dirt around and I can make a change of people are going to see, and then I'm going to know is there and I think that confidence is what will allow you to then say wolf okay I did that through an organization what else is in my immediate area that I can do without needing to sign up for anything I can just go to work and do it myself or rally the people around me. You know it's a process it's like I mention at the very beginning of this it took me a long time just to get myself out of bed regularly after learning about many of these issues it's a process of the journey should be patient with yourself don't be hard on yourself that's one thing we do a lot in our society's we beat ourselves up for not doing enough and that you mention that David the guilt but.

[26:07] We live in a highly complex society that has built all these systems around us I mean this is something we talked about in episode 11 designing deception, that's the history of our economy in our culture that surrounds the economy it's full of these, public relations companies investment bankers who have all worked so hard, to rearrange our lifestyles behind the scene to direct our Behavior are purchases ultimately to fuel the profits of these companies that are, not responsible for much of this greenhouse gas emissions and the climate catastrophe were now facing but, this deception goes so much deeper than simple advertising to include the floor plans of the houses that we buy that I've been designed to encourage certain purchases, to the celebrities and athletes that are manipulated to espouse a certain way of life we cannot possibly see all the ways were influenced by these hidden forces. But if we question our lives in our Behavior we can begin to uncover some of these patterns. We don't need to feel guilty or feel bad about ourselves we just need to recognize that they're there so that we can start to change them.

David Torcivia:

[27:16] Let me drive home this point once more it's not ever too late. I know we feel guilty I know I said I feel guilty about not doing things but it doesn't matter don't let that hold you back you can step forward at any age at any point in this process and do something really great, I know a lot of organizing activism whatever looks like it's dominated by young people and that's really encouraging and exciting to see, but some of the best work and the hardest working people I've ever met warranty on they were out there, D60 70 years old volunteering making differences in their communities because they are the stakeholders in his community 16 how they changed in the world change. Sure maybe they don't have this much time to deal with the consequences of this world but they care just as much as anybody else and they have the knowledge and wisdom that they can share with everyone in this process to it's never too late to go out and make a positive action in this way but let's pause for just one second and change the topic a little bit,

Individual Actions [28:18] and shift Focus from what Daniel are doing and what you can do in an individual as part of these organizations and it said look what you can do, just as an individual there are some things that organizations like the ipcc media have recommended us to do as individuals to carry the weight. Of fixing all these problems that have been created.

[28:40] These things are ranked in terms of high impact actions and then low moderate impact options everything's you hear a lot in the media are very small things you know recycling driving a hybrid car upgrading your light bulbs you know these very little actions that are easy to do and it's somebody usually Prophet saw thank you doing these unfortunately have almost no effect in the long-term they're good steps I'm not saying that we shouldn't do them.

[29:09] Doing them and thinking that you're making a difference and that you had can stop at that point and absolve yourself of whatever guilty might feel. Is selling yourself and everyone else on this planet short and so they do have the four key high-impact actions, that the ipcc recommends. Number for which saves almost a ton of carbon every year from entering the Earth's atmosphere is switching to a plant-based diet. I don't know this is scary for a lot of people ever look at the angry about vegetarianism or veganism or whatever and ethical considerations aside only looking at the environmental aspect of it, you don't have to just snap your fingers and immediately go fully veg even cutting down the amount of meat you consume to maybe just once or twice a week is going to get you really far in Saving these carbon from impacting the environment. It's something that you can slowly transition transition those around you and I think we're going to really see this explode over the next few years and decades, the next thing above that they recommend is avoiding one round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight which saves 1.6 tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere plus if you have the radiative forcing that we talked about on the show before.

[30:20] Adds up even more because carbon is not all equal where it enters the atmosphere weather from a car from a plane is important and planes are the worst possible way to. That carbon dioxide directly into the atmosphere and so the less we can fly. And the lesson non-essential flights we can make is going to make a huge difference in our battle against climate change, businesses really should not be flying a lot of people around as much as they do especially with the amazing technology we have in that businesses have available to them for teleconferencing for remote work. A lot of the stuff just doesn't need to be done in person but it's in a kind of funny way really reveals how important face-to-face interactions and communities are in this way. Play Kai yeah you could teleconference or something but it's not the same as standing right in front of them and talk to them face-to-face. These are the types of sacrifices we're going to have to make in the business world because we want to.

[31:14] The entire world and our communities and so we'll have to take these face-to-face interactions to our local areas and maybe that'll be good also for limiting the global multinational way that we do business right now and it said redirecting it back on communities which is something I know you talked about a lot on the show Daniel number two is living car-free which state is 2.4 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere every single year. And I know that's not realistic from most people unfortunately lot of us live in suburbs and rural areas where you just basically have to have a car we can all live in New York city where the few cities that are finally adding public transportation options, we can be conscious about when we're driving and drive Less in the same way that we're trying to limit our meat intake instead of going immediately full vid to Terian full vegan we can do the same with our driving habits. Trying to spend a little bit of extra time taking public transit riding a bike walking somewhere that's an option trying to combine ships as much as possible don't run out just to grab some fast food and then come home, these things all add up and by the end of it you are making a measurable difference in how much carbon is being released into the atmosphere.

[32:21] In this last one is often times controversial for a number of reasons some of which we've dealt into and the show episode 39 impacts of growth and that is not having an additional child, every child you choose not to have you save almost 60 tons of CO2 equivalent admissions every single.

[32:45] This isn't to say that we need to go out and sterilize everyone because that's absolutely not what is being said here but it does say that if you have the luxury of choosing to reproduce and if you had a plan for 4 or 3, or whatever children have one less Timmy better for the world and probably better for you and your family.

Daniel Forkner:

[33:07] Or to put it into numbers David, according to the ipcc a US family who chooses to have one fewer child would provide the same level of emissions reductions as 680 for teenagers who choose to adopt comprehensive recycling for the rest of their lives.

David Torcivia:

[33:24] Very quickly can see how some of these actions like recycling are really just passed off on us so that we carry the blame of the actions of, he's giant corporations and state organizations instead of focusing on the fact that well you know by ourselves we're not going to make a difference and we need to collectively come together, did you something about that in there are people who are thinking about that right now.

Daniel Forkner:

[33:47] Exactly I think as useful as it is to think about how our individual actions either increase or reduce our carbon footprint or that's having fewer children flying last again if the responsibility is on us as individuals were never going to succeed because like we mentioned it is the system, through which we all live in in are directed which need fundamental change and like you mentioned earlier David,

Collective Action [34:13] if we are alone in our attempt to change the world we will fail we will be defeated. But there's another concept David and this comes from something that was endorsed by the extinction Rebellion also known as XR, which is a global movement that started in the UK but has rapidly expanded to many countries worldwide and it's a campaign and movement to hold our governments accountable to prevent this climate catastrophe from wiping humans and much of the rest of the life off the face of the Earth, what is the video they endorse in which this concept is driven home that in the west we, often follow a utilitarian model where we look at our actions or was it what is the outcome I mean this is really common when it comes to corporate decisions investment decision we look at cost-benefit ratios we look at risk profiles we say what is the best action to take given the risks, given the possible outcomes but there is another way to evaluate our actions and that's based on ethics and values.

[35:15] And that's what we can all strive to do is transition away from this very Western Scientific utilitarian model.

[35:24] And into a value model that says look this is what we fundamentally believe is morally good morally wrong, we're going to live according to our values whether or not we succeed I think that's a great way to think about going forward with courage and with values, because so often we discuss these issues and I've heard people say but what can we really do can we really make a difference.

[35:49] No one to offer another way of thinking about it which is that fighting for what you believe. Fighting for a better world is a noble pursuit in its own right the struggle itself. Is a journey worth going down whether or not we succeed the fact that our world is in a crisis. And then our future is threatened should mobilize us to fight back or a better world and if we fail at least we went forward with courage and we took a stand. But if you do want to look at the risk analysis we certainly have a better chance if we all go forward in that direction right David.

David Torcivia:

[36:26] Yes we do Daniel. We really encourage you to check out Extinction at Rebellion they're doing some really inspiring work and they've realized that resistance at this point is just that resistance to annihilation and that the only resistance that will work from here is outright Rebellion right there in their name and they encouraged nonviolent protest Civil Disobedience things like that delinquency chosen to use has shown that this is no longer about climate change or the individual action but a collective War, it is being waged by all of us or being shit upon by the elites and politicians of this world who have decided that they would rather protect their bottom line rather than the life of this planet. And the collective of all of us rising up and saying not anymore this cannot go on any longer or you will face the consequences. And and then there's a very heavy... Leaving out what those consequences will be but I'm sure as time goes on they will get worse more when the first event it's actually coming up in just a few weeks on January 26th of 2019 there is a world wide, date of rebellion Disobedience work stoppage strikes whatever you can do to.

[37:39] The attention of what is actually going on right now and then for everyone this can be different not everyone has the luxury of being able to step out of their job on a day winner stand that.

[37:50] Even if it's being aware that this is happening talking to your co-workers family friends letting them know of these demands that XR has made. Check it out on the website extra billion. Org or Rebellion. Earth putting on if you want the us or UK version and bringing these tissues up to the Forefront, exercise not the only organization doing this there is a recently started a group called First Strike which is also coordinating with his January 26th strike date and also a general strike later on this year, set for September 27th and they also have a list of Demands of things they want done it's worth checking out their website as well or Dash strike. Com I think they also have some other sites it's worth is Google and then we'll link the ones that we can find on our website if you want to read out more about all this but these groups are actively meeting up there is probably an organization nearby having monthly or weekly meetings at this point you can get connected to other people who genuinely care and want to make a difference and if there is no group in your community you can be the person who does start that, both these groups are explicitly non-political concerned instead with the protection of life on Earth. But if you do want to get political there are a number of organizations that are doing things in this line we can link some of them on our website you can also reach out to us directly and I can point you towards some depends on what city you're in there are so many ways to get involved, so many things you can do once again if you can't find these if none of these sounds you're liking you can be the person who steps out and creates that new movement that new organization.

[39:18] And drive it forward the Earth strike group actually was inspired by a Reddit post. On a Chomsky subreddit where somebody said am I crazy or could we have a general strike to save the world.

[39:31] And people said yeah you are crazy let's do it. In another's groups all around the world tens of thousands of people organizing this right now because somebody just said hey let's do something. And they want anyone special they warned an academic they want a politician they want a movie star they were nobody just like all of us are but they said something. When you say something and when you do something people respond and in these times these in times Maybe. People are looking for something to do cuz they know the world is broken. We all feel it in our souls we feel it in the way that we interact with each other in the world around us and we're looking for something that we can do. A way to step out of this and when we are given that opportunity in my experience at least people jump at it it's scary but that's where the change dark.

Daniel Forkner:

[40:21] Well here's the jumping into 2019 David but as always David that is a lot to think about.

David Torcivia:

[40:26] But think about it we hope you will and do something about it we hope you are inspired to do so. You can find more about all these groups or organizations. Ideas as well as read a full transcript of this episode on our website at ashes ashes. Org.

Daniel Forkner:

[40:42] A lot of time and research goes into making these episodes possible. And we will never use ads to support the show so if you like it would like us to keep going UI listener can support us by giving us a review recommending us to a friend. We're supporting us on our patreon page at patreon.com ashes ashes cast thanks to everyone who provided that initial support and helped us get to our first goal to meet our fixed monthly cost we're working on what our next goal is going to be we have some ideas that will make the show better but we're still working on the details so stay tuned or that.

Homework

David Torcivia:

[41:18] We also like to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to mini make a couple of New Year's resolutions or do little homework for this show we want to call it that.

Daniel Forkner:

[41:28] Join me in volunteering in your local community maybe once a week once a month whatever you can do anything else.

David Torcivia:

[41:36] Be sure to check out one of these organizations either XR or strike they're both doing great stuff and it's a good way to get your foot in the door to how you can impact some of those positive change.

Daniel Forkner:

[41:46] Meet your neighbors see if you can identify a problem that you all deal with and maybe come up with a plan or how you can all solve it together.

David Torcivia:

[41:55] And if that sounds like too much work even going out and making sure that you know them and that when you pass them on the street you way to them cuz you recognize them I think would be a big step forward for a lot of neighborhoods that I've unfortunately Witness. Get to know your community.

Daniel Forkner:

[42:10] And take care of yourself remember that your mental health your happiness should be a priority we want the world to be a better place and you are a part of this world so. Go out an exercise find a hobby that you enjoy find a way to de-stress from all these issues and treat yourself.

David Torcivia:

[42:29] Not with Mindless consumption.

Daniel Forkner:

[42:31] You get the idea.

David Torcivia:

[42:35] And we'd love to hear about what it is that you're doing in this world and in fact I would love to be able to highlight the interesting things people are doing around the world listeners ever show, Filipino people who are doing incredible stuff that you think are making a difference whether it's small or large write to us about it we'd love to hear about them and highlight it on the show here we just have contact at ashes ashes. O RG and we can also see great messages from people who have started Farms who are beginning to rip out lawns, there's somebody who even through a rave in order to distribute some of these ideas and then we're really pumped and excited about that very interesting creative and clever way that our listeners are taking their actions into this world and making it a better place.

Daniel Forkner:

[43:18] Next week we'll be back to our regular format bringing some research to you on a topic that is to be decided but we've got a couple in mind so.

David Torcivia:

[43:28] We hope you'll tune in this is ashes ashes.