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Your Choices Matter

Robert Traer

 Robert Traer

What is an eco-choice? A choice embracing the living-world, which is seen and unseen, heard and unheard, known and unknown, loved and unloved.


Albert Einstein after World War II urged us to “widen our compassion” to include other persons who are different from us. I suggest we now include all life in the natural world.


As we face a climate crisis of our own making, which is accelerating species extinctions and threatening human life on earth, we need to embrace the other species that make up our “living-world.” Not only the animals and plants we love, but also unseen, unheard, unknown, and unloved species. These species, too, contribute to the earth's biosphere. We should widen our compassion to include them.


The carbon emissions that humans have released into the atmosphere will continue to warm the earth. Seas will rise, rainfall will bring floods in some places and drought in others. The choices we once had to prevent these disasters are no longer available. Many species will migrate to survive or die, as will millions of people. How many depends on what we do.


To survive we must reduce our waste as well as our pollution. To revive the seas, air, and soil we must live within the limits of the earth's evolving ecosystems. To thrive we may need to discover that our “living-world” is conscious, has meaning and value, and will continue beyond our physical death.


How might you respond to animals, trees, plants, fungi, and bacteria who share our living-world? Are you hearing their cries of distress? Do you recognize their delight in just being alive? What eco-choices would widen your compassion? 


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