I just read an excellent essay by J.B. MacKinnon, “In an Age of Eco-uncertainty,” reprinted in Utne Reader. MacKinnon begins: “Environmental responsibility, of late, is an increasingly epic-scale pain in the ass...." She goes on to say, “... every possible choice from diapers to cremation is overwhelmed by conflicting information about what’s better or worse for Spaceship Earth. That sound you hear? That’s every ounce of fun being sucked out of your life.”
I just laughed. MacKinnon is spot on and doesn’t hold back when describing “eco-douchebags,” those people whose holier-than-thou judgmentalness crushes every last speck of both blessed denial and even more blessed joy. But while naming the huge challenges we face in choosing accountability (as MacKinnon would say) or MOGO (most good), which I address in my book, Most Good, Least Harm, MacKinnon does not let us off the hook.
Doing nothing is not an option even as we struggle to decide what somethings are worthy of our time and energy and refuse to become self-righteous as we diligently research and strive for the accountability we wish everyone would embrace. Her rule of thumb for choosing which somethings to do? Those that feel like an adventure. That’s a nice alternative to epic-scale pain in the ass.
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