Posted by Henry Lewis

Unconventional artist, writer, videographer and teacher. Personal Quote: It isn't easy being me ;-)

56 Comments

  1. I think your article is a good read, and its beginning section is impeccable, but it seems well past the time to indulge in basic clarion calls.
    You say “The future is ours to either create or destroy,” but that assignment of agency to us denies the gargantuan weights of history, social reality, and biology. We as humans do not “create” anything but the slightest ripples in our immediate pools. We destroy, though, as a matter of being, culture, social obligations, perceived necessity. Oil pours through our beings like blood, being supplied by an insatiable global supersystem. To think anything within this purview can be changed toward “sustainability” is a simple wish, but aren’t we too far gone for that?

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    1. I agree that humanity’s historical record is bleak. In the ’90s while living in Seattle, my Subaru wagon sported a bumper sticker proclaiming “Save the Earth, Kill Yourself,” a sentiment I still share. Your description of ‘oil pouring through our beings like blood’ is an apt one.

      I suppose I’m naively hoping for a a great lurch forward in human evolution, one that will allow us to coexist with our natural environment. While such a scenario isn’t likely, that vision keeps me going these days.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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      1. Thanks for keeping going!!

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      2. Thanks Mathias! Isn’t that what each of us does–keep going until we reach our expiration date?

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      3. Thank you!!!! Yes, true, well said. Regarding the immaterial life/soul, I like to even think of no expiration date though:-)

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    2. Brett Stadelmann May 18, 2019 at 7:41 am

      Well there could be room in a subsequent issue for an article exploring the nihilistic counterpoint…

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      1. Yep, I was reading some nihilistic views on climate change this past week and it might be fun to write such a post. On a personal level, I tend to care ‘too much’ (if that’s possible) and will admit I can easily get caught up in being a ‘do-gooder’. However, this fight has been going on too long and I’m convinced I’m on the right side of our collective history this time.

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      2. You’d have to really be ready to contend with your readers’ anger if you went that way, but you’d really be living up to the promise of the title of your magazine.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Brett Stadelmann May 19, 2019 at 6:19 pm

        If I never receive hate mail, I will consider that a failure.
        Preaching to the choir is important, but our words also need to reach the other side of this cultural divide.

        I’ll just be careful not to disclose my exact location 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Have at it – it should really be a form of fun, even therapy, to look at the world’s predicaments with as much honesty as the process of communication can bear.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on being asked to write an article for this magazine. 😃

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    1. Thanks Dracul. It isn’t a big deal. I would, however, like to help the nice, young Aussie editor promote his site. Cheers!

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  3. Well written and very comprehensive, Henry. I share your conclusion that [t]he future is ours to either create or destroy. We’ve just got to get beyond our differences and work together.

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    1. As naive as it may sound, I still maintain hope Rosaliene. Thanks for your kind words!

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  4. The comment you make about climate change deniers being more focused on preserving personal lifestyles is especially important. Ignoring climate change and man’s role in causing it is really a form of selfishness. As long as I get mine, who cares what happens 20 or 30 or 50 years from now.

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    1. I agree Ken. Selfishness and greed are the two main human qualities that have put our planet on the brink.

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  5. Thanks for the succinct points, Henry. The unexpected happens: The Trump regime was not widely expected, but in retrospect, it is perfectly explicable. Many are enraged by the rise of a seemingly unstoppable capitalist free-for-all. I join in solidarity with the resistance: if only because I recognize the immorality that generational theft flaunts. Greta Thunberg has my ears and my eyes. So does veganism, the greatest single option that springs from individual volition.
    By the way, I also agree with that bumper sticker from the 90s 🙂

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    1. Hi Bill,

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. The young seem to be leading the way now and I’m happy to be part of their movement. And, a big YES to veganism!

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  6. Congrats…well done.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Jim.

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  7. Congrats, it’s very good indeed!

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    1. You are too kind Flavia. The important work is to convince others to take action.

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      1. Yes, it is important and not easy at all

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  8. VERY INTERESTING AND INFORMATIONAL – AND YES, SOBERING AND THOUGHT PROVOKING – THANKS FOR ALL THE WORK ON THIS TIMELY ARTICLE.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words.

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  9. Congratulations. What a horrible mess we’ve made of things.

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    1. Thanks @hitandrun1964. We have definitely made a mess of our home.

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  10. Bravo Henry. With your broad vision and knowledge you could do make some very important connections between science, culture, history, and technology.

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    1. What nice things to say! Thank you. Honestly, I don’t think of myself as a writer at all, but I do have very passionate feelings about saving as much of the natural world as possible.

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  11. Brett Stadelmann May 18, 2019 at 7:38 am

    I would like to join the others in saying thank you, Henry.
    If we are to succeed at changing the fated course of future events, it will be due to an immense turning of the tide, with each person represented by a single drop of water.
    Thank you for pushing to turn that tide, and thank for your support. It has encouraged me, and made me feel that, no matter how small or late it may be, I might be able to make a difference.

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    1. Thanks Brett. I wish you great success in promoting sustainable lifestyles through your new online magazine!

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  12. Brett Stadelmann May 18, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    Meanwhile, my country just voted to keep in power a party that is dead set on destroying the environment. It’s a shameful day for Australia.

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    1. I had hope the voting results would turn out differently too. It just another signal that individuals must organize and work closely with NGOs to bring about change.

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  13. Excellent article! Congratulations.

    I wish I could be more optimistic, but from what I’ve seen over the decades, I don’t believe we’re far-sighted enough to surrender a few luxuries and stop using the Earth as a toy box and dumping ground.

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    1. I agree Mike, but can’t live without hope. In the end, nature will have its way.

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  14. Thank you for your illuminated perspective, Henry! Your article is timely and necessary. Congratulations! It seems like a daunting task, for sure, but I believe that humans are not just a group of individuals. There is a common consciousness, an egregore that learns and acts through individuals like you. The threat to the biosphere is gaining more and more awareness, and eventually we will come to realize that it is not only through small measures alone, but by changing the fundamental ways in which we see the world and the manner in which we relate to one another that we will really evolve.

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    1. Thanks Koyote. Let’s hope humanity is up to the task.

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  15. Great that you were asked to write an article! Our food production (meat and dairy) also contributes to as much CO2 emissions as transport and other industries as well as species loss because of habitat loss.
    Here’s a link….hope you can open it! 😊

    https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/veganism-environmental-impact-planet-reduced-plant-based-diet-humans-study-a8378631.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1559382669

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    1. Hi Peta,

      Thanks for the great link! I’m also very aware of the environmental damage factory farming (in general and the meat and dairy industries in particular) has unleashed on our planet. Charts show the spike in CO2 emissions beginning in the 1950s, the same time that the Green Revolution began to change traditional farming methods. These ‘modern’ practices led to rampant use of fertilizers and total commercialization of the meat and dairy industries–creating massive feed lots (methane factories!), chickens crammed beak to beak in giant sheds (making it necessary to pump them full of antibiotics) and the scaling-up of the dairy industry where cows are now completely confined to tiny stalls where they have no freedom of movement. All these changes have been terribly unhealthy for consumers of these products as well as a major contributor to Climate Change as you note. I grew up on a small family farm in the 1950s and ’60s and the changes have been profound.

      “No-Till” farming is the current fad which involves massive infusions of a variety of sprayed chemicals to kill plants and then more of the same to make the seeds dropped on the ground grow. I see all this happening whenever I visit my sisters who still live in a farming area of Western North Carolina, and it makes me feel lucky to live in a developing country where the food I buy is from local growers and mostly organic.

      When writing this article, I had to make some hard decisions about what to include and what to omit due to the word limit. Properly documenting the horrors of our food production methods is a post all its own.

      Would you be interested in writing a guest post on the topic? I would welcome that at the moment as I’m still recovering from an accident–major burn–and things are not conducive for writing at this time.

      Thanks again for sharing!

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  16. Hi Henry,

    yes food production is probably a subject on it’s own! And I understand you had to keep to a word count. Interesting you come from a farming background and have seen the industry changing over the decades!

    I didnt know you had had an accident, have sent you a separate message!

    I would’nt mind writing something on this topic, just let me know a few more details and word count etc!

    All the best and speedy recovery

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    1. Thanks Peta. I will send you a private message.

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  17. The magazine looks interesting and your article was really informative! I forgot to mention..have you seen the documentary ‘Freightened, the real cost of shipping’? It’s an absolute eye opener on world commerce and how goods are freighted all over the world…with dire consequences.

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    1. I haven’t seen the documentary, but will look for it.

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  18. Hi Henry, I taught in climatology labs while a graduate TA between 1969 and 71. That experience gives me a benchmark date for comparing the stable climatic, soil, vegetation…boundaries that are etched in my mind — in an 80-column punchcard world. You inspire me to write as an informed witness about the impact that such a backdrop provides. Inexcusably tragic that talented researchers working within the confines imposed by all the petrochemical juggernauts (not just Exxon) were not able to warn all of us — at a time when prevention was possible and when a gradual change would have been a cakewalk. Your voice carries.
    Thank you, kind Sir!

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  19. Thanks for the kind words Bill. I look forward to reading your observations based on your past experience in climatology labs.

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  20. Onthewaytowork June 28, 2019 at 8:32 am

    Very interesting article, thanks for shedding more light on the subject.

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  21. About 1/2 way through the article. Great job!!!!!

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    1. Thanks for reading Resa!

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      1. I just finished. It’s well done, concise and convincing. However, I was already convinced. There was a recent/poll survey in Canada.
        How much extra would you pay in taxes each year to help combat climate change?
        The average was $100.00. That is LESS than a one year NETFLIX subscription.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for sharing that info Resa. We are all in this one together and everyone will have to make lifestyle sacrifices to solve the mess we’ve created. The countries with the largest carbon footprints–the USA, Canada, Australia and most of the Arabian Gulf countries–should be the first to step forward. It’s imperative that Trump not be reelected in 2020!!!

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      3. Agree. Yet, Trump could be re-elected if the Dems don’t stop creating division amongst themselves.

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  22. Hi Henry,
    This is an amazing article and it very eloquently puts into perspective the grave consequences of our very own anthropogenic processes.
    I just recently started blogging because I too believe it is very important for people to understand how dire the situation of climate change is.
    Here is a link to my first ever blog post https://climatechangeconversation.home.blog/2019/07/24/64/
    Any feedback is appreciated 🙂
    Thank you!
    -Ashita

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    1. Hi Ashita,

      I just read your first post and it’s excellent! As you point out, many still developing countries such as India–which have contributed least to climate change–will suffer the worst effects. Time is running out and we must all make our voices heard. First and foremost is to replace the current climate change denying, self-serving, incompetent leadership in Washington, DC in 2020!

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