Climate Change, & the Casual Hatred of Men.

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Climate Change.

As Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just said, we need to understand that it’s not just important to fight climate change—it’s urgent. We’re out of time.

In Vermont, snow will stop falling within a few decades. They’ll be able to farm yearround. Throughout the US, ticks and wildfires and beetles have spread, killing 100,000s of trees and infecting 100,000s of humans. Glaciers—water sources for billions of humans in Asia—are rapidly melting. Fish—a basic food source—are dying in rapidly acidifying (and overfished) oceans. Coral reefs are blanching. Mass migrations, wildfires choking our air, flooding…we are driving fast into a wall, and the time to apply the brakes is now.

The good news is, going green is possible. We just have to focus, all of us, not just liberals—as if we were readying for a war. Because this will be a war—a war for harmony, in the face of irreversible suffering wrought by ourselves. The good news is, like any crisis, the opportunities are rampant—and we can turn things around…if not completely (too late for that, what we’ve done to ourselves will continue for decades) enough to save many species, including ourselves.

Maybe you know all this. Maybe we’re sick of hearing it. But small actions, and activism, can help. What can you do to help this war effort, for peace?

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Manhood is a fraught term, these days.

It is about corrupt power, but it’s also about basic kindness. It is about loving compassion, but it’s also about anger and guilt.

White men, in particular, get a lot of hell from liberal circles, these days. So much hell that a majority of them, saying, hey I didn’t do it, I’m not racist, I don’t have it so good—helped elect a racist corrupt joke of a President who’s effing our whole country for allllll of us.

It ain’t right to run from guilt and vote for a bad human, but it also ain’t right to accuse an entire gender of fundamental sin—no matter how understandable and justifiable that anger is.

Accountability is necessary. Healing is necessary. Working together is necessary.

So let’s stop warring with ourselves and unite around equality–around honesty–around caring for those more vulnerable than us. Let’s establish healthcare and safe streets and a decent education as basic rights—what FDR called the second Bill of Rights. Let’s fight climate change “before” (or after, I’ll take after at this point) it’s too late.

Let’s turn our nation toward decency—toward a civilization where all of us can live together. After all, we have no choice.

Even the mercilessly, heartbreakingly bloody Civil War didn’t “get rid” of that command: figure out how to live together.

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.

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Sal Cuciti Nov 18, 2018 6:06pm

First, as a man, I will say I am sorry. Coming from a family where women were more than respected, were revered, it took me decades to realize what other people were actually doing. And once or twice as a young man I'd get screamed at by some imperious woman who felt she was "teaching a lesson" about her perceived victimhood, while she was completely and utterly unaware of her priveledge. And I felt it was unjust but it didn't change anything. But I understand Trump as much as I understand Hitler. I have little more in common with him, and I despise him. Unfortunately Hillary said " the future is female" and in my very liberal family, not a single male in 3 generations voted for Hillary. We ended up voting green. I wish Hillary and Bernie could have been on the ticket, she would be president right now but her ties to Wall Street were too strong ,essentially her greed.. Half the pie, or 2/3 of it was still not enough, she wanted all of it. And she grossly misjudged the situation.

Sal Cuciti Nov 18, 2018 5:59pm

Now the reason we're here As man and woman Is to love each other Take care of each other - Chrissy Hynde

Susanne Marcy Katchko Nov 18, 2018 2:48pm

Love this!

Susanne Marcy Katchko Nov 18, 2018 2:46pm

I agree. My ultra-lefty ex-boyfriend transitioned to being a woman, and I suspect that self-hatred as a white man in lefty circles helped drive that decision. In this case. Please, no debates re legitimacy of trans desires. I know that’s a real thing and it may have been a real concern of my ex. But his knee-jerk radical leftism had him hating on white men. That is ridiculous. Waylon, I’m glad u spoke to this prejudice against male Caucasians. Good and bad people come in all genders and races. Come on, people!! Reverse racism is not a solution.

Jenni Lynne Aug 13, 2018 8:58pm

I think it a bit difficult to put the casual hatred of men in a vacuum and come up with something clean and clear at the end. Messy, for sure. I grew up with men like Trump subsequently growing to love them regardless of their misogynistic and abusive ways. Once Trump was elected I, like so many women felt and still feel, betrayed by our system and those who are supposed to protect us from such disobedient and dangerous characters. I had serious PTSD for months. This said I can see your point on the dangers of lumping all men into such categories. I have known a few amazing men in my life and they are carrying the weight of the ones who are disconnected from their divine masculinity. The war between the sexes began the moment they came to “be” and still continues today. It is a marvelous idea to join forces, to begin to work together so we can unite to create a better world for those more vulnerable than us. The bigger problems in the world can and should be solved above the human body and physical experience, from a spiritual plane. As above, so below.

Lita Brooker Aug 10, 2018 4:27pm

The heading of this article today focused on the casual hatred of men, as did the first line of my comment in relation to females. Neither you nor I mentioned sexism in our opening thought. The second line of my comment suggested an educational solution for all genders in the art of compassion and kindness. An expansion of my thought, for what it's worth, follows. Do anything else but read it, if you'd rather. :) If this type of education were to be implemented - by example - worldwide among the human race, from infancy to mature adulthood, maybe those young human beings, with the kind of psychopathology that could lead to an inner need to oppress other human beings, might channel their energy toward a different, more positive behaviour. All adult human beings teach their children by example; their words and deeds, and behaviours are observed and copied. We human beings have an opportunity to be great models for our children and others around us. It's never too late to change our words and deeds, and behaviours; to sincerely apologise and atone, if possible, for wrongs done to others, especially if we discover (through our new self-education) we have oppressed them or shown hatred toward them in any way and thereby lessened their joie de vivre and robbed them of the freedom to be themselves. This kind of leading by compassionate and kindly example might, over time render the inclination to oppress as a behaviour of the past: This particular 'category' could then disappear and no human being would ever fear again that they were being numbered amongst the oppressors. I hope this clarifies my point. I don't believe in unicorns or utopia, by the way. I do believe in the extraordinary ability of our species to effect change without hatred, destruction, or oppression.

Waylon Lewis Aug 10, 2018 2:51pm

Of course, and amen--we cover sexism toward women, trans, minorities all day long, every day. The point of this article is that those caught in the category of oppressor are, in fact, human beings.

Waylon Lewis Aug 10, 2018 2:51pm

I supported (and donated) to Bernie, until he was no longer an option. I was happy to support a candidate, Hillary, as was Bernie, who supported equal rights and science. Sorry: the number of minorities, including Africa-Americans, who voted for Trump was low. And yes, you're right on--affluent women did vote for Trump, in a slim majority, and that's astounding. Class trumps caring about our fellow sisters, perhaps.

Barry Wilkins Aug 10, 2018 2:42pm

Please check your sources.A majority of college educated females voted for Trump.Please explain this.Please also explain why a surprising number of African Americans also voted for Trump.Sanders supporter here who dislikes the easy theory that angry,rascist white men elected Trump. Thank you

Lita Brooker Aug 10, 2018 1:04pm

Agreed. And, at the same time, let's also consider the casual hatred of females. Education for all genders in the art of compassion and kindness could be a daily activity.