Ash Sanders at The Believer:
In 2009, discouraged by the failed climate talks in Copenhagen, Chris told me he believed it might already be too late to stop catastrophic climate change. “The old world,” he said, “is gone.” It was a torch-passing moment. Chris was paralyzed by a conviction in his own failure. He had become complacent, he felt, and addicted to television: the sort of person he used to despise. But I was just beginning my own journey into environmental despair. I was full of guilt and anxiety and anger and fear about a future filled with loss and death. I began to draw my own elliptical lines through the ethics of the climate crisis. I turned off the heat in my house, even during the bitter Utah winters. I was late everywhere, determined to take a bus to another bus to a train. I obsessed over plastic bags and Styrofoam plates, and insisted on bringing my own plate to a local sandwich shop. I carried my garbage around for a week and roped my friends into doing so, too, each of us hauling a stinking reminder of our consumption from class to class, clearing rooms as we went. I joined a direct action climate justice group; I planned blockades of city streets and got arrested. I joined with Utah Valley farmers to organize against urban sprawl.