Guest Blog: Thought Processes and Climate Change by James Nash

For our latest blog, Anorak’s James Nash talks about their inspiration behind it’s alright everything’s okay and the different ways people are coping with climate change and global warming.

it’s alright everything’s okay arrives at CPT on Fri 1 – Sat 2 Feb. Click here to find out more.

For the last few years I’ve felt worried about the end of the world, specifically our at-best slow, and at worst inactive response to climate change. Any news about it is always the same. We have this long to sort it out, this is what we can do it to stop it (or at least mitigate the worst parts of it) and we need to start right now.

But we don’t. Some people do, but some people genuinely don’t believe in it. Others (motivated by profit) are aggressively and consistently furthering this change. And the rest do nothing, sometimes due to ignorance, others (I’m projecting my own thoughts) believing that nothing can be done about it, that the only real way to fight the abstract horror is to ignore it, pretend it’s not happening, to think about something else and hope to god that we don’t experience the worst it can be. And in that way, along with our consumption, we are all complicit.

And I don’t know what amount of action I take will make a difference, if any action I do will be truly effective within a larger group trend of inactivity. But I also feel I should do it anyway, it’s the least I can do as someone who has the ability to. And it goes in circles, everything hopeless and that there is still hope. It’s like a snake eating its own tail and it just gets worse.

Climate change makes me ask a lot of questions. How can we make things better? What change can we realistically make? What are we willing to give up? How do we police those who further this change? What does it mean to punish those for something we are all complicit in? For me these are necessary questions but ones I don’t have a definite answer to.

I also don’t know what will happen next. Any depiction of the outcome of climate change becomes a horrible apocalyptic event in my head. It’s a reality that I feel simultaneously divorced from and shockingly close to experiencing. The world around us feels on the verge of collapse and I can’t help but imagine fires on the horizon, one that grow closer and closer until they engulf us all.

And I feel it’s because of that that people (myself included) do our best to ignore it, because it’s so terrifying, so much of an unknown, so much of a challenge that it would be better to just pretend it’s not there. And maybe, if we can distract ourselves long enough, we can happy.

it’s alright everything’s okay is about these thought processes. It’s about the absurd horror and horrible absurdity of climate change. The denial/apathy and why we do it/let it happen. Living with our inactions. Imagining our worst nightmares coming true. And it’s also about wanting to be happy, and living in the world where we don’t have any of those anxieties.

Since making the show I’ve become more active, though not as much as I wish. I don’t always recycle everything I should, I still eat meat, and consume more than I need. I can be much better than I am. And yet I still feel (blindly) optimistic. Part of me feels things will inevitably be alright in the end. The situation will worsen enough for us to act or at least adapt, or the governments of the world will properly pull their collective finger out. Even if neither of those things happen, the world will carry on. We won’t be around to see it, but it will carry on regardless, and another species could arise adapted to the world we couldn’t survive, and live the uncomplicated happy life we wish we could. Somehow, I find that comforting.

(c) Justin Brice Guariglia Climate Signals 2018