Love Letter to the Doomers

This letter to you all has become somewhat longer than intended, so I have inserted topical music clips to listen to if you’d like a break or for related contemplations anytime. You will need your favourite beverage and a comfortable place to read. Feedback is very welcome; I’m always looking to make things better.

So you know who’s writing to you. Food growing and farm tasks leave a lot of time for close listening to podcasts and music.
Biodiversity conservation reserve at Red Moon Sanctuary

In the 12 years since moving off-grid to protect remnant woodland/heathland and run a smallholding, I have listened to countless podcasts on all sorts of subjects. One long-standing regular programme is about people born into a fundamentalist religion growing up, encountering different world views, and having faith crises – where everything they ever believed is necessarily up for grabs.

Typically it is a very painful process, involving feelings of betrayal and an erosion of trust in a person’s community and in the wisdom of their elders and experts. While many find it a relief to let go of their religion’s unfair ideas and bigotry, a critical re-evaluation of an inherited belief in endless life, eternal love and eventual justice is far more difficult. From this angle, suddenly that person and everyone they love has a terminal medical diagnosis, and the universe is a cold uncaring place where nice beings can live and die in horrific circumstances without any kind of happy ending in the arms of a just and loving deity.

While grappling cold turkey with deeply existential issues unacknowledged by their community, people going through a faith crisis are often required to choose between maintaining a facade of conformity while their real thoughts and feelings go unexpressed, or potentially losing friendships, family, social support networks, work opportunities, reputation, even their entire community. So people suffer silently, or speak up and then it will never be the same.

The people raised fundamentalist most likely to have faith crises are the outliers and the marginalised – such as the thinkers, the artists, the neurodiverse, and of course the LGBTIQ, whose very identities are generally denied, condemned and shamed by religious fundamentalism. For anyone in that position to live authentically means they have to break out of the shell that sets the limits of their community’s creed, and live their own values and ideas instead, whatever the consequences or backlash.

Does any of this sound familiar, even if you were not from a religious family and community?

♦ ♥ ♦

The only angels you should hear are reason, honesty, equality and love
The only devils you should fear are hatred, ignorance, greed and a world full of people scared dumb
(The Cure, Step Into The Light)

Pelicans, Albany, Western Australia

♦ ♥ ♦

I would like to tell a hypothetical story, composited from many stories I have heard over the years. Imagine a girl called Sam, who grew up in a faith community and had some of the advantages that can come with such an upbringing: Plentiful friends and social connections, shared community activities, good social skills, a feeling of belonging and security, confidence, privilege. Our Sam is bright at school and eventually studies science at a secular university. When she comes home in term breaks, she gradually begins to notice things she previously took for granted.

She sees as if for the first time that her family use fly spray regularly in indoors spaces, surface spray on the skirting boards and in cupboards, termite treatment in the roof cavity that she can smell permeating through the ceiling, air freshener spray in the toilet, pesticides sprayed in the garden. They don’t rinse their dishes so these always have detergent residue on them. They spray water repellent coatings made of PFOAs on their rain jackets in enclosed spaces. One time they re-seal their slate floor with solvent-based varnish while continuing to live in the house.

None of that has anything to do with their religion – these are things many people in the West do, without thinking about it too much and despite of warnings on some of the labels. Sam is studying toxicology and is getting alarmed by these practices. She attempts to inform her family of the potential health consequences. She is also the youngest member of the family so no matter how she tries to approach it, these attempts are largely shrugged off. “You’ve gone all environmental!” they say. “Relax, we’re fine! Don’t stress so much! We’re all healthy, it’s all good.”

Sam is in a quandary. Every time the fly spray comes out she worries about the incipient toxic load and says, “Do you have to? This isn’t good for us to breathe. Can’t we get fly screens instead?” and they laugh it off, so she leaves the common areas of her family’s house to retreat to the cleaner air of her bedroom, or the outdoors. The more she attempts to raise these issues, the more tension and conflict results, and her family is getting resentful. They don’t want to change how they do things, and she is not in a position to insist – all she can do is remove herself as best as possible from the chemical exposures. The family’s friends and neighbours don’t help – they behave much the same. And sadly, the only way to completely avoid getting dosed with toxic chemicals at her family’s house is to stay away.

Fast forward 25 years, and Sam’s mother has cancer. The prognosis is poor, but everyone at home is upbeat. Why? Because they have talked to the pastor, and the church have prayed for her to be healed. Sam is not so sure. Her mother now skips the rest of her cancer treatment; prayer is more than enough. This alarms Sam, but nobody else in her family or faith community. And to raise it with them presents the same problems encountered 25 years before. It’s all dismissed, and if she doesn’t drop it, tension and arguments ensue. The unspoken rule is that relationships can only be normal if she doesn’t mention things nobody wants to hear.

(Sinéad O’Connor, Famine)

This time it’s worse. Her mother is likely dying, everyone is oblivious, the general social atmosphere is completely at odds with this fact. Sam feels isolated, anxious, sad. Her mother’s illness breaks her heart, but everyone else is behaving as if this is not happening, and as if medical treatment is superfluous. Attempting to talk about it is not well received, and Sam herself comes in for sharp criticism. Where is her faith? Does she think mere man is above God, that a doctor can do anything God cannot? They cite Bible verses: Ask, believe, and you shall receive. Does she think God doesn’t love her mother, doesn’t hear their prayers, isn’t true to his word? Why does she have to go around upsetting everyone?

They start to scrutinise Sam’s life. She studied science, does she now think she is cleverer than God? Does she now think humans evolved from monkeys? Is she prideful, unfaithful, boastful, mean, churlish? Is that a spirit of contention on her? Does she like to sow dissent? Why isn’t she married, at her age? Why has she wasted her potential? And what about the community that raised her and loves her, why is she white-anting them like this after all they have done for her?

Sam’s anxiety about her mother is painful enough; but she’s also clearly living in a different universe to everyone around her, a totally different reality – and she is completely on her own, lonely, second-guessing herself, scrutinising her personal flaws, wondering if she is perhaps mad. She can’t talk to anyone in her community about this; she is getting seriously depressed.

Three months later, Sam’s mother dies at home. When the family and community recover from the shock, they say, “It was the will of God to take her home; God has a plan for the best, she is with the angels, we will all see her again.”

(The Cure, The Promise)

♦ ♥ ♦

Doomers everywhere will see the multiple allegories here. It is not only fundamentalist religious groups who are trapped in their set and largely unexamined world views and who behave like cults, ostracising anyone who deviates from the script. You see it in dysfunctional families and workplaces, in politics and economic theory, in sporting organisations, militant veganism and other lifestyle cults. But what doomers understand is that Western industrial civilisation is itself a cult, and that it no more occurs to the average Westerner that this is so, than it occurs to the average Jehovah’s Witness, Exclusive Brethren, etc.

As with every other cult, at the heart of the cult of Western industrial civilisation is the belief that this is the superior and “right” way to live, and that people who question its tenets – particularly its central tenets – are barbarians, heretics, heathens, mentally ill, intellectually inferior or misguided, heartless, morally suspect, difficult, dropouts and just plain wrong.

(Ruth B, Golden)

It’s so easy to point your finger at others without counting how many of your own fingers point back at you. Especially when you have a large peer group that is most willing to join in the fingerpointing with you. And doomers, well, they’re such a tempting target, so easy to caricature, a doddle to distort into something most people, atheists included, can be induced to dismiss or despise.

And it’s so much easier to do that, than to face the fact that what you and yours have blithely done all your life is dangerous and has inbuilt consequences. Especially when it was all so normal, and you’ve never given much thought to other ways to live. Monkey see, monkey do. And so, many millions of people take it as a given that normal people drive cars, live in suburbs, buy their food and other necessities in a shop, fly overseas on holidays, acquire material possessions to the limits of their income (and frequently beyond, on credit), have electric lights and gadgets, rely on heaters and air conditioners to be comfortable in poorly designed houses, complain about the electricity bill, buy new clothes and redecorate the house whenever whim or fashion decree it.

(Chris Rea, Road To Hell, original video clip)
Artwork by Horst Haitzinger

When they go into a supermarket they accept as completely normal that most of the “food” on the shelves is packaged and processed and has come to them on container ships from other continents. That you can live in a fishing town and your local Woolies doesn’t have a scrap of the fish caught off your coast, but fish that’s come from across continents and seas to lie in their display. That you could be eating Scottish smoked kippers while someone in Scotland eats Thai farmed barramundi. It mostly doesn’t register that this is a completely unnecessary use of fossil fuels, mining and manufactured products, at a rate hundreds, even thousands of times over and above what would be needed if you ate as locally as possible; that the food people eat comes wrapped in materials made from mountains, trees and petrochemicals, mostly used once and thrown away, with re-use a rarity these days and recycling largely a fiction to distract conscientious consumers from the elephant in the room.

(Pink Floyd, Money)

Because money is the measure of everything and thanks to unseen exploitation and the world economic game, it is so affordable for millions of people to do something so environmentally and socially destructive and senseless. It’s literally a race to the bottom. Ecosystems are obliterated and the powerless exploited to rip materials out of the ground, or living things from above the ground or from the oceans, as fast as possible, to make them into commodities, sell them to consumers any and every way you can, even employing psychologists to help create desire for unnecessary products, and have things move into landfill as fast and as wastefully as possible so that new demand is quickly created and those profits continue to pour in for the people holding the strings and/or investment portfolios of our dysfunctional societies.

(The Cure, The Hungry Ghost)

And that is the lifestyle of the fundamentalist religion that is the neoliberal, necronomic West, that is sadly aspired to by many of its colonial and globalisation victims in developing countries who have lost connection to their own roots and heritage. For an introduction to how this machine makes it illegal and nigh impossible for ordinary people around the world who object to its ecocidal and socially oppressive tenets to fight back, read Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything.

(Pink Floyd, Welcome To The Machine)

Inside of this machine, many ordinary people in the West live quite obliviously, trying to get through their responsibilities and daily challenges and keep their heads above water, trying to pay their increasing rent, often anaesthetised by the soma of modern media or by addictions or distractions or lack of reflection and insight from the very machine they were born a part of. Since the families and organisations of a deeply dysfunctional society are often deeply dysfunctional too, many people are psychologically traumatised and in various stages of emerging or not emerging from the fog of that dysfunction. This costs untold time and energy in individual life spans and collectively, although for those people who do emerge from the fog, the advantage is that what you learn to recognise in a microcosm, you tend to wake up to in the macrocosm as well, and the insights – and the process of getting insights – tend to translate well and grow from there.

Remember all those dystopian novels you had to read in high school? Camus, Orwell, Wyndham, etc? Remember when dystopia was something your very young self thought happened in books or in the future – and when the penny gradually dropped that you had been born into a very dire dystopia? If you’re like me, it was an evolution with lots of a-ha moments along the way, and that very few authority figures aside from your English teacher would have allowed you to acknowledge in words without negative consequences happening to your person.

(The Cure, Killing An Arab)
For those who read Camus’ The Outsider…with lyrics for Snow Wolf 😉

The hallmark of dysfunction is that it likes to hide in secrecy behind socially palatable veneers and to punish those who say what really goes on inside. According to reliable witnesses, I’ve spoken up since I was three years old and borne the consequences. I have complex PTSD from living with family violence in a respectable middle-class home, where I was Cinderella (later Cinderella, B.Sc.) and didn’t have a lot of things children at our school from far poorer families had because their parents scrounged if necessary to provide those things – like school shoes suitable for winter, a proper rainproof jacket, music lessons if you were talented, a dress and dancing lessons for the school leaver ball and the money to attend it, graduation photographs (ironically despite being top graduate in middle school, senior school and in my undergraduate programme).

I did not, in fact, speak up about those material things when I was a child – that realisation came later – but I spoke up about the violence, and took the consequences, which were ostracisation and more violence. In the middle of a beating over thinking differently from the rest of my family, I remember instances of looking them in the eye and saying that beating a person smaller than yourself was cowardly and that being beaten would not change my mind. It’s not that I thought I was cleverer than everyone else and had all the answers, it’s that I felt I had an existential right to be myself, and to make my own mistakes instead of someone else’s. I would have defended that right to my death, because to me, if you’re living someone else’s life instead of being authentic, you are not alive anyway.

Looking back I was a kid who kept her room tidy, pitched in with chores, had good friends, did exceptionally well in school, didn’t go to parties, didn’t experiment with alcohol or drugs, didn’t hit people or pick on others. In kindergarten and primary school I was afraid of people because of the violence at home, and was affected by the lack of good social role modelling in my nuclear family, as you’d expect. There was major conflict at home over personal things like not liking the colour pink; different preferences to my mother’s. I didn’t feel loved or understood in early childhood, not until I had the incredible luck of getting a fantastic Year 1/2 teacher.

My family, by the way, have conservative neoliberal ideologies and no issues with bulldozing native ecosystems or contaminating wetlands with sewage – they engaged in that personally, and nothing I could say or do as a child and later as a qualified biologist/environmental scientist would stop them. They refused even to attempt to recycle – rinsing out bottles and cans was too much effort – and produced mountains of rubbish for landfill, aided by a buy-cheap-low-quality, throw-away, replace mentality. I was so different to them that I used to wonder if I’d been mixed up in the hospital and had nice, kind, caring biological parents somewhere else.

It’s perhaps a good thing that my parents didn’t like the idea of leaving marks on me or having to take me to hospital and explain my state. The one time my mother (who was the main agent of violence towards me from toddlerhood onwards) actually came to my defence was when I was on the ground and bleeding with my out-of-control father still bashing and kicking me, at the age of 13. The situation had started with my father informing me that a poster on my wall was unacceptable and he wasn’t having perverts depicted in his house. It was one of several pop posters I’d put on my bedroom wall, as adolescents do. In the 80s a lot of pop stars either sex wore make-up and played with gender norms – Annie Lennox, Adam Ant, Boy George, Marilyn (not Manson, he came later and was an entirely different proposition) – really most of the New Wave artists did this, the same way opera singers all wear stage make-up.

Something about the poster brought out my father’s homophobia, words like poofter were screamed about the room by him, and I took exception to this verbal abuse of a third party and my father saying that my bedroom wasn’t mine because I hadn’t paid for it and therefore I had to do his bidding and remove the pervert from the wall. I stood up for the pervert and for myself, questioned my father’s language and values, and paid the price.

(U2, The Troubles)

In essence this scenario is the same as every other scenario in our society where a person lower on the social hierarchy than another stands up for themselves or others instead of acquiescing to the more powerful person’s demands. Look at what happens to whistleblowers exposing the corruption of the powerful; and conversely, look at how the powerful are rarely held to account for their abuses of the comparatively powerless, even as we have laws whose claim is the fiction that every man (sic) is equal before it. How many rapists end up in jail? How many paedophile-enabling Archbishops do you see paying the alleged legal price for such a crime? How many embezzlers at the very top of the ladder face repercussions? The loopholes they and their friends write into legislation makes most of their theft from and injustice towards the community and their destruction of the planet legal on paper. The idea that the law and the police protect the citizenry from crime is a myth believed by those who haven’t seen what really happens. The law and the police protect some of the citizenry from crime – and those same people from the justified anger of the people they fleece and abuse unhindered.

(TV Smith, Not In My Name)

Sometimes, the police may actually be helpful to you even if you’re not rich, important or well connected. Your case might be easy to solve and serve to adorn someone’s CV, or maybe your officer is one of the few idealists who joined to genuinely help other people, and s/he has not yet been worn down by the corruption, incompetence and apathy around them. But as some forensics officers once said to us off the record, don’t hold your breath.

(Sinéad O’Connor, Black Boys On Mopeds)

It really is quite extraordinary how the veneer of our civilisation and what it purports to stand for is so entirely different to what is inside. Don’t expect the label to prepare you for the thoroughly rotten contents of the can. It’s the ultimate marketing trick and you’re encultured into it from before you learn to walk. Most people to a large degree believe the myths. Breaking out of those is a painful process, akin to the faith crises of those starting to escape their religions, whom we met earlier. Many people in a cult will never make it out.

♦ ♥ ♦

I had no idea what a doomer was until I experimented with social media for the first time in late 2022 – having hitherto stayed away because of its format, superficiality and bad reputation. Surprisingly, social media has its good points if you use it judiciously. It’s actually an excellent database for connecting you with other people all over the world who share your interests (and on the down side, creates echo chambers of political positions, and further siloes society). Trolling is relatively simple for non-celebrities to deal with on Twitter by using the block function – end of. It’s pretty easy to cultivate a circle of pleasant people with whom to exchange ideas, experiences, stories, articles, etc, sort of like an online book/music/art/gardening club and social group, and not to engage in the vile stuff for which Twitter is infamous (and to block it if it pops up in your stream).

(Lou Reed, Good Evening Mr Waldheim)

Twitter had a rather larger and more diverse population than the special-interest forums I’d been a part of previously, and was far more representative of the general public. In that way it’s much less cloistered and suits people who have broad interests and don’t want to be in a dozen different forums. For social reasons I’d participated in various forums since we moved off-grid in 2012. The longest-standing was an open-journal group whose participants worked with animals and mostly lived in the countryside in isolated locations across various countries. That lost its appeal for me partly because of PG restrictions on discussion topics and partly because it just felt too much like a tunnel when I wanted a broadening experience.

Also I could no longer grin and bear the anthropogenic climate change denial and other neoliberal excesses of some of the participants, not with the world sliding ever deeper into a multifaceted apocalypse caused by the majority looking the other way. I used to re-post our hiking photoessays to this forum and noticed a lot of frost in the air when my ecological commentary didn’t align with some people’s political ideologies. So I ramped up on the commentary instead of toning it down – I’m a biologist, this is important – and took it experimentally to Reddit and Twitter, where it got a very positive reception.

Inside an ancient Tingle tree carved out by fire, South Coast WA

I never intended to be particularly involved on Twitter, but two things happened: Firstly, I could look at the range of public thinking and media reporting on various environmental and social issues. I mostly avoid mainstream media – we rarely watch any kind of TV news – so this was both educational for me, and deeply depressing. So depressing that it caused me to hit a significant low in which I had to process the same kind of grief over our society and the state of the planet as I’d had to process over my family of origin in my early complex PTSD recovery back in 2015. This is what happens if you step back and look with your eyes open, beyond the surface veneer. Neither of those times were easy – you hit the deepest black and from that very bottom you entirely reassess your relationship with the world and with yourself. But it’s so, so necessary to do that – to face those awful realities, and come to terms with them.

(The Cure, Where The Birds Always Sing)

The second thing that happened is that I bumped into interesting and lovely people. I’m from a generation where people had snail-mail pen pals they got fond of and then spent holidays with; and even behind a computer screen I remained deeply aware of my own humanity and that of the people I was getting to know. The people who consciously operate as Mensch-type humans online subvert Twitter; I love them for it. Also, it’s a bit like passing notes to each other in a sociopathic teacher’s classroom – you can create meaning right under the nose of the kind of person who wants to suppress connection and authenticity. At the end of the day it’s not about technology, it’s about the values in your heart.

And many of the people I was getting to know and like were doomers. I’d never heard of such a thing. They seemed to think I was one of them. And it turns out they were right. My husband is one too.

♦ ♥ ♦

The label is so derogatory I wonder who invented it – probably an unpleasant person who wanted to insult and discredit his targets. The funny thing is, doomers just recognise doom and see it for what it is – they’re not the ones dooming everyone else, which seems to be the implication – every narcissistic circus wants a scapegoat. The world isn’t going to hell in a handbasket because doomers refuse to think positively and buy all the greenwash on offer, but because Homo colossus has been exterminating the biosphere; has for thousands of years been treating the intricate web of life and the land itself as a commodity to sell in the marketplace, and has for hundreds of years been developing modern technologies that allow him to do it ever faster and more effectively.

(Goanna, Solid Rock)

I am indebted to Sir Autumn Mandrake from Twitter for the following graphic, which attempts to clarify where doomers sit in the various responses to the ecological crisis.

He posted it as a draft for feedback. The contents of the table tally with my own observations of the various main camps. It’s my personal impression from talking to people about the environmental crisis (which is actually a human behaviour crisis) for over 30 years that most Westerners are either techno-optimists or denialists; both those positions are ultimately in serious denial of physical reality, and are heavily culturally indoctrinated into the “pro-science” versus the “religious” respectively. I would expect quite a few of the environmental crisis denialists to be religious and anti-science, young earthers/creationists, and people who believe that the religious have supernatural help and will be delivered from major problems by their omnipotent deity.

I think most people confuse doomers with nihilists: People who believe we are doomed, that life has no meaning and knowledge is too hard/impossible, and who simply give up because they believe they can’t change the ultimate outcome. It is not a position I personally share, but neither is it one that I think deserves the vitriol that its proponents tend to get. Again, this is a commonly scapegoated group. You can disagree with nihilist philosophy without throwing its proponents under the bus. If a person gets a terminal diagnosis, some will say, “OK, that’s it, I give up!” because they may not have the energy or the mental resources to handle that diagnosis differently. I think that person is deserving of compassion instead of scorn, and shouldn’t be confused with a martyr or a narcissist.

(Mike Pitts, A Happy Jam)
Thanks for this one, Renzyt! 🙂

The doomer with a terminal diagnosis also takes it seriously; they aren’t unrealistic about something like that. Yes, mistakes happen, but we can double check. Yes, spontaneous remissions occasionally occur, but you wouldn’t bet on them. Yes, very occasionally a new helpful medicine might come along, but you can’t manifest that with positive thinking, regardless of what some new-agers might say. They come closest of all the listed camps to a healthy acceptance of the highly likely, but they don’t lie down in it and fade away. You can believe in engaging in positive behaviours regardless, because we live life in the present and the time left to us can have so much meaning, so much service for the things we care about, and so much love.

Many of my doomer friends believe in the importance of doing good things with the time that is left, and in high-quality palliative care – very like the friend I had with a terminal cancer diagnosis, who taught me a lot about life through her attitude to that diagnosis and her determination to live and connect well and leave good memories for those she loved.

Bluetongue lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) living in our protected native ecosystem remnant

The majority of doomers I’ve met on my 8 months on social media have integrity, high levels of subject understanding, and are far more engaged in creating positive change on this sinking Titanic than pretty much anyone else I’ve met, and that’s despite the fact that they’re honest that the Titanic is sinking. Many are, like us, on the land somewhere, defending a scrap of native ecosystem from other humans and diverse threats with their presence and stewardship. That land may be public land; I recently met a woman who removes a lot of litter from a lake ecosystem that has heavy recreational use by “nature tourists” who can’t do nature the courtesy of taking responsibility for their rubbish. All of us stewarding land see the beauty that’s there, and the insults to nature routinely perpetrated by mainstream people in Western culture. Some doomers are planting trees, wildlife corridors, constructing habitat, rehabilitating wildlife, physically protecting forests, risking arrest by trying to block “development” AKA ecocide. Some live in suburbs and plant wildlife-friendly gardens, some look after other people in various ways. Many try to awareness-raise and educate, and to speak out about the bright green and other lies being disseminated. Some Irish doomers of my acquaintance come up with snippets of the blackest humour and social observation, which serve to remind us of the predicament and to laugh at the absurdities of modern humans – both are very good for helping with mental health.

Where the doomers do so much better than the eco-optimists is that they have a much more comprehensive understanding of physical, ecological, social and historical realities, and that they do not support industrial-scale use of alternative technologies and the concomitant further destruction of the biosphere through mining, transportation and general industrial activities required to produce them. These technologies will not avert the accelerating ecological catastrophe; they will merely allow Homo colossus to continue to exploit and destroy on the way down.

(The Cure, One Hundred Years)

If we humans were really serious about addressing the damage we have caused, we wouldn’t be ramping up industry, we would be dismantling it. We would protect with our own lives every last scrap of remnant native ecosystem we haven’t already destroyed. We would understand that our species is in severe overshoot and immediately move to having small families (preferably 0 or 1) to reduce our overshoot and the suffering and annihilation this is currently inflicting on other species. We’d do it without whining about human rights and convenience, primarily for the sake of the unravelling web of life which is now experiencing ~200 species extinctions daily, but also for the sake of people already in the world today. We would immediately stop consuming things we don’t really need, and go back to basics.

(World Party, Ship Of Fools)

We would be voluntarily clamping down hard on unnecessary fossil fuel and other resource use – that means dismantling globalisation, cargo ships, passenger planes, production of unnecessary consumer items (most of the stuff that’s sold in our shops), the entire Ponzi scheme that’s our modern economic system, the Idiocracy of our societies. We would immediately stop making new cars and building roads and new suburbs and would as a community make do, mend and repair what we already have. We would produce and eat local food. The inequality of resource ownership would cease along with the idea that land and living things can be bought and sold. We wouldn’t have committee meetings about any of this, or commission more inquiries and scientific papers. We would just do what is right, without any more argument and delay. We would understand that we are not lords and masters of the planet, and not more important than other species, but a mere strand in the web of life – and we would act accordingly.

And we should have done all this over 50 years ago – we have been told by many naturalists (including Attenborough, lately silenced by the BBC who are afraid of rightwing backlash like these printed lies and distortions) and other scientists since before I was born where all this was heading, and been warned by Indigenous people even before that. The warnings were ignored by the majority, and continue to be, as Homo colossus sleepwalks into accelerating catastrophe.

Here’s a link to some photos that break my heart.

(Johnny Cash, Hurt)

Having left it too late as a society, why would someone who understands that a human-induced mass extinction is well underway and that few multicellular species, our own included, are likely to come out of that alive, bother with conservation efforts? Because the lives of species other than humans have intrinsic value and meaning, and those species have an right to exist for their own sake – an idea rarely given more than lip service by the mainstream of our culture. And because if we can get a particular species through the next 5 years, it at least has a chance to still be around in 20. If we can’t then it definitely won’t be there in 20 years. In any case, our hope is that the more species we can protect now, the more ecological building blocks will be left for nature to work with after Homo colossus is gone.

And because the here and now still matters. What we protect today is alive today. The trees and bushes we plant begin to make habitat for what is left. The birds in the trees and bushes we planted a decade ago are there only because of that – because they found food and a place to live, in an increasingly apocalyptic world. They live natural lives and raise young. Some of those young will survive and live in what we planted today. The rest will be food for something else in the food web, and help those species to carry on. The important thing to us is that wild species carry on for as long as possible.

So many doomers are doing the right thing regardless of the anticipated outcome, just because it’s the right thing, and because the moment is all we have and matters and has meaning. If the general public, and for that matter the mainstream environmental movement, had done as much in the last 100 years we’d not even be in this position. And yet doomers get spat on in public spaces. That’s why I am writing this love letter.

(The Cure, If Only Tonight We Could Sleep)

♦ ♥ ♦

This is a love letter to doomers. The first part of love is to try to see and understand someone and the predicaments they are in. This has been the work of the first 5,000-odd words of this piece, and it has necessarily been a summary.

I no longer think every human is worthy of love. Every child, yes, but not every adult – I no longer love people whose primary modus operandi is the exploitation of others for their own gain. I do not love sociopaths and I do not like their enablers – but would caution the latter to seek insight into their enabling so they can stop. Adult sociopaths will not stop and they will not truly change.

These days I understand that my time, love and energy are precious, and I direct them to what is deserving of them. Such as other species, and thoughtful, compassionate, biocentric people. It is amazing how much wildlife habitat I was able to conserve and plant so far as a result of that understanding, and how domestic animals (both for human food and for other species; we will all feed someone else one day) found decent lives and humane deaths on our permie smallholding because of it. It is also interesting to compare the qualities of the people in my social circle to what they used to be when I wasn’t as selective about such things.

(Julian Lennon, Saltwater)

If the first part of love is to try to see and understand someone, the next is to support and encourage them on their journey and with their growth; we are social animals and works in progress. This the ongoing work of love and community.

An important part of that is to explicitly appreciate and thank others for the good things they do and aspire to – and out-of-the-closet doomers get little of that from the general public. So I wish to conclude this epistle by sending love and thanks to doomers everywhere.

I want to thank doomers for their personal struggles to get through the fog of modern society and possibly their own family or general social backgrounds. This is hard stuff and ongoing work. ♥

I want to thank them for the love, care and respect they extend to other species, and to nature as a whole. For being biocentric, not anthropocentric – I’ve never met a doomer who believes in human exceptionalism and supremacy. ♥

I want to thank them for their critiques of the propaganda of our civilisation, and for not falling for those who have been greenwashing business-as-usual, which has been going on a long time. It is never easy to take a different position from the general cultural narrative. ♥

I want to thank them for the love, care and support extended to other doomers, who are not well loved by the mainstream (with exceptions such as David Attenborough, but most people wouldn’t know that about him). We aren’t perfect, we are human; we make mistakes and we have issues to deal with, just like everybody else – but none of us ignore the peril that the biosphere is in, nor do we feel entitled to wipe out other species. ♥

And above all I want to thank doomers for being themselves, and applying themselves to their various arenas. For speaking out, for keeping track, for defending nature in various ways, for collecting and analysing data, for planting habitat, for cleaning up, for not keeping up with the Joneses, for whispering, for raising hell, for growing your own food/eating local, for making films and art, for making lunch, for writing aphorisms and poems and songs and oddities and essays and papers and blogs, for picking each other up, making each other laugh, and making us dream of how things might have been. Thank you. ♥

Spot the Baudin’s Cockatoo. A once numerous, now endangered species, from “development” AKA habitat destruction and being historically shot as a pest of orchards, we are happy to see small flocks of them and the other two West Australian Black Cockatoo species visiting the woodlands we are stewarding. We will defend their home as long as we live. They will have a here and now.

♦ ♥ ♦

I feel like my words are feeble in comparison to what I would like to convey, and may revise this letter with reader input or further thought. Meanwhile I will leave with some songs about beauty and acceptance in difficult scenarios. If you have more songs you’d like to add to the list below, ping me on Twitter and I’ll put them in for you.

(The Cure, Trust)
(The Cure, And Nothing Is Forever)

36 Replies to “Love Letter to the Doomers”

    1. Thankyou, Sir Autumn Mandrake. ♥

      Also for the table, which made me think.

      I don’t feel better about the world, but I do feel better about some of the representatives of our species I am bumping into lately, albeit we’re a minority – I feel less awful about belonging to Homo allegedly sapiens.

      1. Excellent piece of writing and pretty much sums up how I see things too. I notice things like the lack of insects, wildlife, like the ever expanding housing estates, increasing traffic, urban creep and ugly warehousing, ugly logistics centres springing up everywhere. Most people do not seem to notice or if they do, it doesn’t seem to affect them.

        1. Dear Jo

          I am currently in our state capital for the first time in nearly a decade so what you say has hit me especially hard in the last 24 hours. As we were driving in I was literally going OMG! OMG!

          I’ve never liked cities even though I had to live in them for years of my life. I’ve been off grid looking after remnant natural ecosystem for over a decade and in our spare time we hike in beautiful conservation areas. The worst things I usually see travelling near to my home are broadacre cleared pastures, corporate tree plantation woodchip monocultures and small towns/villages. The suburban and industrial sprawl of Perth is an especial shock to the system after that – and because of Australia’s rapid population growth, whole swathes of what used to be bushland and dairy country are now swallowed up under endless Legoland suburbia, warehouses, big box stores and new industrial estates.

          It’s been such a shock I took photos and am writing about that next. Nothing like being away from a particular insanity for a while to bring home to you just how insane it actually is.

          And for most people in the state where I live, this is normal life, even desirable!

          Perplexedly and with 🖤


  1. Brilliant
    And thank you too for your and your husbands conservation work.
    To be honest I couldn’t live any other way.

    1. Hello John!

      Thank you, and thanks to you too for your work with nature. ♥ Given where we are at ecologically and the worsening collapse etc, I’d not move back into the human feedlot either, not even for a little bit…

      Also thanks for your horticultural insights and music sharing! Plus giving me an alternative view to consider on various awful happenings with the military-industrial complex. Always good to have other thoughtful people’s perspectives.

      Hugs to you


  2. Great read and writing 💚. Study of backgrounds of those who become “doomers” might be interesting. Your childhood beatings (and of course, psychological beatings) sound pretty terrible! The religious fundamentalism analogies are very apt. USA-brand evangelical fundamentalism colors my background.

    Thanks for writing this! Personally, I’d love to read a full book version 🙂, but that’s a lot of work for questionably practical ends 😄.

    1. Thank you, Professor Doomfrog of the Fandangled Name!;) ♥

      Bwahaha, indeed, practical ends. 😀

      I just wanted to give some much-overdue appreciation to doomers and to help explode the stereotype/distorted caricature. I think you’re right that back stories could be interesting. It’s a chicken-and-egg thing, isn’t it. The different are more likely to be ostracised, and the ostracised are more likely to differentiate themselves further unless they get broken first.

      But it is the outsider who has an external perspective and the clearer view, not the insider, who is also more subject to groupthink and its distortions.

      There’s so many in America who are affected by religious fundamentalism and sometimes I find it hard to distinguish the US in principle from Afghanistan in terms of fanaticism and theocracy…looking from the Antipodes.

      Hugs to you and yours.♥

    1. Thank you, Lyle.♥

      Yeah – it’s good to know that there are some people who would have cared enough to ramp themselves back enough not to destroy everything. I really wish all the people who don’t want to do that had been shot to Mars decades ago (in a TARDIS to prevent environmental impact), or recycled into the humus layer so that more harmonious life could use the building blocks.

      Instead, humans are behaving like a bacterial culture, in spite of all the airs they like to give themselves. I remember looking at a bacterial culture as an undergraduate, which I was plotting a growth curve for, and actually thinking, “OMG, this is how people behave…”

      Hope you’re having a decent spring all things considered. ♥ to you and the Bee Lady! 🙂

  3. Oh Sue you’re truly lovely and I’m sending a huge virtual hug.
    It’s a wonderful piece of writing and I’m somewhere between smiling and crying.

    You’ve articulated “our” position beautifully and I’m so very proud to be a fellow doomer.

    This resonates with my personal experiences growing up and our lives today.
    I wish this had a happy ending, but I’ll take the smile today and carry it forward until the end.

    Much love to you both xx
    Andrew & Liz

    1. Virtual octopus hugs to you and Liz, Andrew! (I always think octopuses must be the champions of all huggers…)

      Brett is doing a polite bow to the northern hemisphere, he’s an introvert and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is his version of social hell bwahaha! 😉

      Occasionally one must use one’s wordsmithing skills in the service of a greater good etc. I’m really happy it’s doing what it should; I almost went comatose writing this thing hahaha. But I was so fed up with the hypocrisy of people who ignorantly slang off doomers and thought some setting straight was needed, plus appreciation for all the lovely people out there I’ve bumped into who go under that umbrella.

      Much love to you and yours.♥

      Sue & Brett

    1. Dear Kevin

      I suppose I’ve always tended to argue for:
      1) the reclaiming of words that have become smeared in some ways by some people. It’s not language’s fault that people do that and we shouldn’t annihilate words willy-nilly just because someone has used them in their slingshot.
      2) sticking up the middle finger to people who smear in multiple ways, but most of all by living well.

      Thanks for the link and the intro, that’s so beautiful. I like her intensity, her voice, the look on her face as she conveys her message; and it breaks my heart to hear her sing this; she’s a generation I taught and she sings for all of them, all the birds that flew the nest and found only a dying world.

      ♥ Sue

  4. Hey Sue,

    Thanks for the essay – not to mention, the life that enabled you to write it.

    I have a hard time calling myself a “doomer” because I know how to “save the world” – enough of it, anyway, to maintain an aerobic ecosystem. It would take 4% to 5% of the population of the major industrial powers standing up and making unconditional demands, enforced where and as necessary by boycotts, blockades, strikes and sabotage. The objective: Make it cost more than it is worth to kill the Earth’s ecosystem.

    Break the physical feedback loops that drive our rulers’ pan-genocidal profit motive and viola: We only lose about 3/4 of the world’s human population, vs. 50% in 30 years, 50% of those who remain in 20 years, etc. until it’s down to a few tens of thousands of billionaires and slaves in sealed underground facilities that might last a few decades after everyone else (in the broad sense of anything with a central nervous system) is gone.

    Just one problem: Inertia. Almost nobody understands our situation well enough to make them willing to “step out of line” and disrupt business as usual. Knowing that the odds of a successful popular uprising stand in the low single digit percentages and falling fast, doesn’t stop me from making whatever efforts I can: Working to prepare the soil and scatter seeds just in case, against all odds, it does start to rain.

    I’m going to die. You’re going to die. Every one else, too. What matters is what we do before then. It’s clear that you understand that as well or better than I. Everyone who knows what’s going on should recognize one another as comrades. Shared pain is diminished; shared joy is increased; going forward, the quantity of life seems to be destined to shrink fast; it’s up to us to make the quality of life grow faster. That way lies the last ray of hope, or so I believe. I’m gonna follow it.

    Thank you for all you have done and will do.

    1. Dear Steve

      Thank you too for everything you undoubtedly try to do to make positive change. ♥

      I’m not going to argue you out of optimism; it tends to help energy levels. Though I’ve been lucky that I often just have a sheer bloody-mindedness to see me through as well. I’ll do it just because, not because I’m optimistic about it in the wider or long-term sense.

      Best wishes for everything! 🙂

      1. It’s been quite a month in terms of weather data. Enough so that I have to start reorganizing a lot of my ideas about global warming: Specifically the ones related to trying to halt and reverse the process. Looks like this summer closes the books on any reasonable hope of keeping the Arctic methane bomb from going off. 40 years of following the news in climatology, and all I got was… some extra time to adapt before the global economy collapses. Dammit.

        Oh well. The world for World is Hospice.

        “It is good to cry in ceremony. It reminds the Gods that we are still their children.”

        1. Dear Steve

          It is so so sad and terribly infuriating in the same measure. Sad for obvious reasons, and when I sit back and look at it from a long distance off I feel mostly for the many other species, none of whom asked for this or orchestrated this – and by this I mean our breaking of the Holocene climatic stability, but also our general unthinking unfeeling ecocide which directly and indirectly drives to extinction ~200 species a day.

          When I see what we have done to this planet and this biosphere, and what we continue to do to it day in, day out, including easily avoidable things like logging or bulldozing the few remaining native ecosystems, or choosing out of laziness and a complete unconcern with anything but personal convenience to throw rubbish everywhere on roadsides and in natural areas, or choosing to have fossil-fuel driven recreational toys, or large families, or a hundred other things that are personal choice rather than systemic and therefore more difficult for concerned individuals to eradicate, I only see poetic justice that those who poisoned the chalice for all life must finally drink of it themselves.

          And yet I am also, when I specifically look at our own species, sad for the many for whom this hasn’t even registered because they are scientifically illiterate or otherwise unable to negotiate a jungle of misinformation to understand our state of affairs, and/or completely nature disconnected from birth and brought up in essentially a human zoo, and for all the poor all over the world who are bound to hamster wheels created by our economic system just in a struggle to eat, shelter and survive, and for those many everywhere who are stuck in traumatic personal situations (both family and systemic) or currently working their way out of those, and above all for the children who didn’t ask to be born.

          And there is no way to avoid extraordinary mass suffering, the reasons for which many humans may never really understand, despite the information being available and having been available for over 50 years, and despite the warnings from more biologically benign cultures than our own that go back centuries, and which our own insanely destructive culture laughed at, and still laughs at.

          And it is a mass suffering that our culture has already inflicted on wild plants and animals for centuries, as well as the less fortunate of our own species. The circle is now closing. I wonder what kind of play Shakespeare or the Ancient Greeks would write were they brought to our time and an understanding of what has happened.

          Sending love


    1. Thank you Trent, and you’re welcome. Why don’t you drop a link in to some of your work so it can be shared around with people reading here. Songs and poetry are often really helpful for catharsis, both for the writers and the readers the work chimes with! ♥

  5. Canadian Artist Valdy sang a song called “Play Me A Rock And Roll Song. Your writing reminded me of it.

    1. He was a bit before my time so I had to look him up! 🙂

      Imagine if his first name had been Viv. 😉

      ♥ Sue

  6. Thank you! I love you all right back!

    A minor thought: Will we all really become food for others? In the USA, typical mortuary and burial treatments seem to oppose this.

    A larger thought: Mirrors deployed at ground level as described in the MEER:ReflEction framework at haven’t really been given the attention they deserve. I think using our social media platforms to advance the idea, or at least adding a phrase here suggesting we incorporate mirror deployment as part of our ecological preservation attempts, might be a worthwhile edit.

    Some linked videos don’t play for me in the USA; perhaps people would enjoy being able to look up what they’re missing via a heading that describes the video.

  7. Dear Josh

    That’s a great comment about becoming food and the topic usually results in one of my long rants, but the letter was already so long I wondered how anyone would get through it!

    Modern humans take disproportionate amounts of resources from the biosphere that are meant for *all* species. After taking taking taking biological building blocks from most other living things in the food web, they then typically lock them away from immediate re-use by other living things by either embalming, putting in a box and burying 6ft below the humus layer where natural scavenging and recycling takes place, or by burning down to ashes in a last act of fossil fuel consumption.

    By “we” in this letter I was thinking about normal living things in the food web and those of our abnormal kind who aspire to the same. Some of our circle here have discussed our own ecological burial preferences, much to the shock of the more mainstream participants overhearing, who can’t imagine why someone would welcome being eaten by coyotes, Tasmanian devils, various insects and worms etc after death and are trying to find ways that would allow it to happen. Apparently that is macabre and revolting; our culture doesn’t get that life is a circle and a constant flowing gift from one life form to another. Many are stuck in this idea of preserving the body for some kind of everlasting life as more or less the same individual – which shows you how far from community and sharing we’ve gone as humans. Homo colossus acts very like the Pharaohs did, and tend also to extend the same thinking to their selected companion animals. It is actually far from natural.

    Thanks also for pointing out that some of the clips don’t play internationally. I will put titles and artists in the captions this week!

    The mirror idea, I will leave for others more in tune with that to champion. I’m also imagining the resource use etc.😊

    Best wishes 🖤


  8. Thank you, Sue! I am yet another “doomer” who writes about the predicaments we face and how annoying it is that most of society reduces these predicaments to “problems with solutions,” not recognizing that the Maximum Power Principle and the unsustainable systems (collectively known as “civilization”) we live within don’t allow for solutions. The absolute best anyone can now wish for is some mitigation to reduce the harm to the biosphere we inhabit.

    I’m also very appreciative of your posting of all the different songs and artists along the way; that really adds more dimension and texture to your love letter!

    1. Hello Erik!

      Thank you for your comment and introducing me to some of your “doomer project” – it’s so good to be talking to more doomers as a result of writing this letter. Pretty much everyone in the group I’ve met is hoping to mitigate the impacts on the biosphere a little. It’s shocking to think that the best thing that could happen to the biosphere at this point is that a pandemic with 100% human mortality came around tomorrow. Well – I don’t know if you read The Girl With All The Gifts – the apocalypse there targeted the author’s problem humans more surgically if I remember correctly, but still wiped out most humans. Maybe a slightly better thing than that immediate and complete wipe-out would be if enough people with their hearts in the right place were left after the mass die-off to be able to mitigate some of the problems Homo colossus has put into the world – so that dams could be blown up, nuclear reactors made as safe as possible, fences cut, hazards removed as much as we possibly could, to give what was left a better chance for whatever time they had remaining, both as individuals and as species.

      Yeah – I thought the music was the best bit personally! Takes a village to raise a child. 😉

      ♥ Sue

  9. This essay does not apply to real Doomers.
    You say :
    “The label is so derogatory I wonder who invented it – probably an unpleasant person who wanted to insult and discredit his targets.”
    That is grossly incorrect, real Doomers call themselves Doomers and are proud of it
    people who are not Doomers are regarded as Normies and Clueless Morons
    Some self defined Doomers are:
    Sam Mitchell
    Guy McPherson
    Michael Dowd
    Eliot Jacobson
    Jennifer Hynes

    You also have a chart posted by a Sir Autumn Mandrake. It has 5 categories of “Characteristics of commenters on issues of ecological sustainability”
    On of those categories is “Doomist”. This show whoever wrote this is not very familrair with Doomerism. Doomers call themselves Doomers not Doomist.
    Then on the chart we see the following traits attributed to the Doomer
    1) YES Eco Alarmist
    2) YES Eco Activist
    3) NO Techno Activist
    4) YES Eco-policy Activist
    5) YES Accounts for Laws of physics

    ^^ However this is not accurate on some points
    Eco Activist (not required)
    Eco-policy Activist (not requited)
    Accounts for Laws of Physics (not required, although select climate predictions are required)

    The only actula requirements of being a Doomer is that you believe that modern civilization will collapse, the environment will get progressively worse and there there is nothing that can be done to stop it. That’s it, that’s all
    Thus being an activist in any way is a futile waste of energy unless it is only to enlighten people to the absolute futility of the situation, by definition Doom. Some have called Doomers “Inactivists” .
    This is not to say some people who call themselves Doomers might also call themselves activists but the point is activism is not part of the definition of being a Doomer in any way. Being a Doomer is entirely an observation and does not determine choices people make in life in reaction to doom.
    And once the observation is made, one Doomer might go live off grid in the country and grow an organic garden but another Doomer might cut down a thousand trees on a property, build a house , buy an SUV and a motorboat and go on a raping spree.
    Being a Doomer is not a broader philosophy with a code of ethics. Many Doomers might be good people. Other Doomers might be evil . Being a Doomer does not determine this.
    Are Doomers alarmists? In a sense but an alarm is usually sounded so that people can make preparation.
    Doomers are decidedly not preppers because being a prepper implies something less than doom might occur. Such people lack faith in doom.

    1. Hi Sat, and welcome!

      I hope not to be misrepresenting anyone – and if anyone feels misrepresented, obviously they need to speak up. So I do value your feedback and will take it on board. Thank you. ♥

      (BTW this essay does apply to “real” doomers – just ask all the people who responded if they are real. Even if you feel that certain subtypes weren’t included here – the people I wrote to are still doomers. 😉 )

      Do you know who invented the “doomer” label? It may well have been intended as a slur, and then people have given the middle finger and worn it to make a point or two. That’s how I am approaching it personally. And if the people I have met who answer to that term are at all representative, then of course it is in reality an accolade.

      It does seem to me you maybe missed some nuances behind my discussion of the doomer label (e.g. where that was discussed in the comments already made), and that I and everyone responding here does answer to that label, just like the people you listed. That doesn’t change that most mainstream people out there I am encountering are using the term as a slur. I was addressing that observation, and have lately felt the brunt of those slurs and the misperceptions behind it myself online and in real life. In this letter I set out to help break down those common misperceptions, by describing my own experience of doomers and how it is very different from the stereotypes. I didn’t realise I was a “doomer” for a long time because I’d not met any self-described doomers until last year, and because I only knew the term vaguely from how the public at large tend to use it.

      If you want to quibble with Autumn Mandrake’s table, you might perhaps take it up with him directly as well, since he did put it out for feedback and would in all likelihood value constructive criticism. The contents of it tallied with my own observations of the doomers I had met (which might have been a skewed sample). Many are eco-activists either by being involved in movements/awareness raising or by privately doing things that are beneficial to nature (or both), although the private on-the-ground activism seems to be the preferred method, possibly for reasons including it’s a better use of one’s time with direct results, and because it prevents a lot of tedious discussions with non-doomer-activists about how enlightenment and significant change are just around the corner etc (I am still hearing about “the power of love” at regular intervals).

      I read Autumn Mandrake’s table as a “generally it’s like this” rather than “every doomer is necessarily like this” – and not as a prescription. More like a, “Where do doomers generally sit on these parameters?”

      Of course doomers don’t all have to be good people (and it would be unrealistic to expect it). But I’ve not met one yet who was awful and I didn’t like – and Ian from Collapse Aphorisms, who has answered to being a doomer for a long time, made that same observation in an online discussion months ago and got me thinking about that in the first place. I wasn’t discussing hypotheticals, but my own experience of such people. I may yet bump into awful doomers – it’s only been nine months! You might like to write about your own experiences with the subcategories of doomers I did not include in my letter because I hadn’t met any – that would be really interesting. Maybe also, the inevitably evil subcategory of doomers that exists out there stay away from the type I have bumped into over and over.

      Your hypothetical raping, excessively consuming and destroying doomer seems to me to be a nihilistic sociopath – but you might see them as a doomer-sociopath?

      Your observation about preppers got me thinking. I’ve not met any doomers who were preppers, even if some of them do live off-grid and grow some of their own food etc. Preppers often seem to think they will inherit the earth after the apocalypse, or at least have a good shot at it – and that includes the billionaires with their bunkers. Most of the doomers I have met here understand the dire realities of ecosystem and climate breakdown, and are essentially going for good palliative care.

      And of course, I don’t see doomers as alarmist but as realist – while the mainstream sees doomers as alarmist/extremist/unhinged/giving up etc.

      All right – feedback and discussion on these points most welcome, everyone – and I hope people will chime in! I’m new to all of this. 😉

      Best wishes ♥


  10. Hi Sue,

    It’s been wonderful to discover your writing via KateTaz on twitter. I just finished Nowhereland Part 3. Really appreciate the vicarious travel to Western Australia! My actual trips these days are few & far between.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever come across Gail Zawacki aka “diva of doom,” who sadly died last June 2022. In case you haven’t, I wanted to share a couple of things here; like you, she’s an eloquent writer who intersperses her writing with photos.

    First, from her blog, an essay on doomers:

    Second, her version of “doom for dummies”:

    Last, a 2018 interview with Gail by Sam Mitchell:

    I don’t know how you have time for reading & writing & listening in the midst of everything else you do… but then again, I don’t know how any of us do; I guess we make time for what feels compelling.

    Thanks again for sharing your writing, very happy to have discovered your voice!

    cheers, @sunsetfoglight

    1. Hello, @sunsetfoglight!

      Glad you found something useful in that piece! I’d write it anyway as it’s therapeutic but it’s good when it chimes with others too.

      I will have a look at those links soon, thanks for posting!

      Much appreciate you dropping in! ♥

      Best wishes


      PS: Just reading some, fantastic writing, love it!

  11. Thanks Sue.

    Too many thoughts for text boxes, but here’s a couple.

    You mentioned distortion of words in one of your responses to comments. I’ve come to think of that problem as: Word have histories. People have meanings. The trick to understand someone’s usage of words to convey meaning requires deeply listening.

    Also, you reminded me that I’d forgotten my conclusion of about a year ago that we are all (we humans) living in hospice right now, whether or not we want to acknowledge it.

    I handle the inevitability by painting my paintings, writing my commentary about them so I can try to figure out what I’m coming to understand about this Find-Myself-Alive-as-a-Human-Being experience, and watching the plants grow….wishing I could talk with them.


    1. Hullo Chuck!

      Just fished your comment out of about 100 spam messages which I have to go through manually so as not to delete genuine posts like yours. Thank you for commenting. 🙂

      Talking to plants is easy. Just do it! A good start is to find a very old tree and lie on the ground beneath it, looking up at its canopy and the sky, noticing the many living things interacting with it, and just chatting to it in your heart. I will link you to something like that on Twitter. Plus if you’ve not read it, I recommend Derrick Jensen’s “A Language Older Than Words.” Also Lyle is a good person to talk to re plant sentience. And of course, there’s “Entangled Life” by Merlin Sheldrake, which is a fascinating and enjoyable read.

      Best wishes


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