And so, like history, the climate is both something that happens to us and something we make.

John Green

This line1 from Green’s delightful almost memoir slash zen-like meditation on our world The Anthropocene Reviewed is so perfect because it can work as a jumping-off point in other contexts. Just as he’s made the connection to our involvement in history, we can say the same about culture. Culture is something that happens to us, but it’s equally something every single person contributes to whether through action or inaction. In either case, we have a clear role in the outcome.

In the case of our climate, where we end up does entirely depend on what we’re willing to do. How we get there is going to require some choices that few will like, but the alternative will be much worse.

Footnotes

  1. p76 The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green (Random House, 2021)