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Earth Day is coming — how’s your eco-anxiety level?

<p><a onclick=”window.open(this.href, ‘_blank’, ‘width=469,height=530,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false” href=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2008/04/20/hummingbird.jpg”><img title=”Hummingbird” height=”226″ alt=”Hummingbird” src=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/pardonourdust/images/2008/04/20/hummingbird.jpg” width=”200″ border=”0″ style=”FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 5px” /></a>Do you feel guilty about every drop of water that trickles through your flow-restricted shower head and every minute of light that your compact fluorescent light bulbs produce? You may have eco-anxiety and may need an <a href=”http://jscms.jrn.columbia.edu/cns/2007-03-13/nobel-ecoanxiety”>eco-therapist</a>.</p>
<p>The feeling of anxiety is understandable. We humans are putting so much carbon into the air and so many poisons into the water and land that you wonder how we, and all of nature, are going to survive.</p>
<p>I don’t have eco-anxiety. I’m totally digging my time on the planet. My theory is that I am doing what I can, and doing better all the time, to have a smaller footprint so the earth can heal, and that’s the best I can do. I do not eat animals, which I think is my biggest contribution. I did not have children because I decided there were already enough people. I wouldn’t expect others to adopt these two strategies.</p>
<p>On a lesser scale, I don’t drive much. I live modestly. I choose lifestyle changes over medications. I don’t pour toxins into my land, and I provide food and water for nature to thrive on my little plot. I use CFLs and Energy Star-rated appliances and am working hard toward getting photovoltaics on my roof. And I totally connect with nature. That is my therapy. On the downside, I do love my long baths.</p>
<p>The planet can cleanse some of what we throw at it. Such is the miracle and power of nature. But it cannot handle the burden now. I do my part. But I cannot control corporate greed. I cannot control religious zealotry. I cannot control ignorance and evil.</p>
<p>What keeps me calm is that no matter what we do, nature will prevail — cells will continue to divide and bacteria will continue to transform matter. That’s a comforting thought.</p>
<p><em>How about you? Do you have eco-anxiety? How do you deal with it?</em></p>

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