Which Place on Earth Do You Most Love?

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I’ve been discussing Naomi Klein’s superb new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, with my first-year Mt Holyoke College students.  Klein argues that our only hope of really solving the terrifying consequences of climate change is to radically change how capitalism functions today, both in the US and the world.

In the first 2/3 of the book Klein shows the intricate relationships between the corporate drive for profits and growth and a political system increasingly serving that corporate agenda.  In the last third, Klein reports on the myriad examples of local resistance, of local communities around the world organizing to protect their land, water, air, and lives from the destruction caused by the hunt for ever more fossil fuels.  People mount this stunning resistance our of love for their own place on earth.  Their love for their land and their community dissolves their fear of corporate invasions, threats, and claims over their land and resources.

Last week I asked my students to be quiet for a few moments and to think of a place on earth they so love, they would fight to protect it.  To my dismay, only about half of them could identify a beloved place.  And I was saddened as well; how can one live in this challenging world without a beloved place?

It resonated deeply for me with Manjushri’s teaching about the relationships between fear and love.  So much of our self-destructive behavior arises from fear.  Fear must be addressed with kindness and clarity, and love and compassion are far more powerful energies than fear.  It is a deep truth well born our in Klein’s powerful new book.

The Place I love
The Place I love

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