Patheos Pagan’s series, “Has Pagan Environmentalism Failed?” has gone live.
My contribution, A Call To War, has already garnered some grumpy attention. Whenever one talks about Capitalism, one’s guaranteed to get any configuration of the following responses:
- Communism is just as bad (they’re right, but it’s quite American to assume Capitalism has an opposite. The Coke/Pepsi, Democrat/Republican, Top/Bottom dualistic thinking in the American mind is quite ingrained)
- Capitalism isn’t the problem, it’s Industrialization (yes, yes, of course, but why’d we industrialize in the first place? To maximize profits with minimized and exploited labor through mass-production…that is, Capitalism)
- You’re a hypocrite–you use a computer or You couldn’t have this conversation without Technology (this one gets really, really old. As I’ve mentioned before, the notion that Capitalism is responsible for technology is ridiculous. Worse, people are too addicted to their blue screens to realize that these conversations occur on the street, in cafes and bars and public places all the time. Also, remember ink and paper? I bloody hate this computer shit.
The other contributions are better than I’d expected. Only a few people suggested we “start buying eco-friendly products” and “eat organic,” as if you can consume your way out of devastation caused by consumption. I’m not, of course, saying that we shouldn’t do those things, but that’s no answer at all.
Particularly good entries from others were:
- from Niki Whiting, Pagans and the (zombie) Apocalypse
- Sarah Sadie, Moving Beyond “Enviromentalism“
- Rua Lupa, Climate Change And Ehoah
- Sara Amis, Failure is Not an Option
- and John Beckett, We’re Still Here and the Earth is Still Sacred
A fantastic thing to note is how many people quoted Peter Grey’s Rewilding Witchcraft. Damn influential piece. You should really read it.
Also, a theme running through many of the contributions is that there hasn’t really been anything of an actual Pagan Environmentalism to speak of. I suspect this is more from the fact that Pagans are just getting used to the idea that they have anything interesting to say to the rest of the world, let alone important and vital. Too much of our closed covens and groves and secret online identity play is mostly just cowardice, I fear. I get it, of course. It’s scary to tell strangers that you’ve seen gods and spirits. But most of the time when I say this stuff? My interlocutor gets really excited and wants to know more. Sometimes, even, they’ll say “oh! me too.”
We’ll get there. Sort of hope there are forests around by then, though.
I’m hosting a divination hook-up/trade fair on this site.