So you’ve already signed A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment, and you don’t want Earth Day (April 22) to go by unobserved. What can you do? Over the next 21 days, I will be offering practical and productive suggestions for how you can honor the Earth this Earth Day.
One thing you can do to honor the Earth this Earth Day is to educate yourself about the connection between climate change and capitalism. Read This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein. Also check out “A Pagan Anti-Capitalism Primer” by Alley Valkyrie and Rhyd Wildermuth and the writing at Gods & Radicals.
Our capitalist economic system is fundamentally incompatible with a healthy planetary ecosystem. We live on a planet with finite resources, but our economic system is premised on infinite growth. And since we can’t change the laws of nature, we must change our economic system. This means challenging some of our most cherished myths: the myth that capitalism and democracy are equivalent, the myth that capitalist societies are the most happy, the myth that capitalism was proven to be the “one true economic system” with the fall of the Soviet Union, the myth that consumers have all the power in a capitalist system, and that most pernicious myth of all, the myth that things must always be the way they are now.
We can unlearn capitalist ways of thinking. Capitalism infects all of our relationships: with other people, with other-than-human beings, and with the Earth. Consider the way we “value” other people and how we sometimes calculate whether what we get from them is more than what we give in return. Think about your relationship to the place you live. Is it a place you “use”, or is it a world you inhabit, cherish, and care for? We learned these ways of thinking, and we can unlearn them.