R.O. Kwon on our Climate in Crisis
An Essay for the #ClimateVisionaries Artists' Project for Greenpeace
by R.O. Kwon
I believe we can all still help it, us, do so. If nothing else, why not try? Why not hope, and then act as if? This is our one wild, lone home; what other choice do we have?
Back when I was a child evangelist, I used to tell people, friends, in the attempt to save their souls, that all that stood between them and paradise was a single line, five words like a bridge over a gulf: I believe in Jesus Christ. That’s all, I said. Recite the line, and they’d be saved.
“But what if I don’t believe it?” they’d ask, sometimes, or “What if I’m not sure?” I told them that if they said they believed, if it was what they wanted, then it’d be enough: Christ would turn the proclaimed desire into truth. I used to love putting my hand on top of their heads, the scalps hot with life as they uttered into being a newborn credo. Souls rebirthed, sallying over the bridge of salvation. Once spoken, the wish became a fact. Desire as truth—if only, I thought, by the time I left the faith.
These days, though, I think a lot about the value of wanting. Of at least saying I believe, and of acting accordingly. I want to live on a planet that can hold us. I believe we can all still help it, us, do so. If nothing else, why not try? Why not hope, and then act as if? This is our one wild, lone home; what other choice do we have?
As we begin this critical new year in the fight against climate change, Greenpeace is giving over space on our channels to authors and artists working within the climate crisis. Acclaimed author Lauren Groff prompted artists and thinkers to write essays and art about climate change for us, and so every day this month we’ll have a new piece from that project that addresses, in some form, what it means to create in the midst of this crisis. The forces fueling climate change have the most powerful networks in history pumping out their devastating propaganda at unimaginable scale. It’s going to take everything we have from all of us – imagination equal to the task – to create the climate we’ll need to stop the crisis.
We need these voices and these visions, but they won’t be enough. We need you, too. We encourage you to check back on the Climate Visionaries Artists’ Project every day to see what’s new, and to join the conversation by sharing your work on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and tagging it #ClimateVisionaries.