Living in a Rogue State

I live in a state where the governor has imposed sweeping punitive measures on any local governments, school districts, or businesses who are trying to exercise their choice to follow the federal guidelines on protecting the public health. The governor of my state is staging huge rallies to fight any local efforts to mandate vaccines and masks.

I live in a country where the president and some legislators are engaged in good efforts to address climate change by transitioning from fossil fuels, but where these efforts are being stamped out by a coal-state legislator and others who apparently would rather see humans go extinct than make the effort to change our ways. This while people in less-privileged countries are facing forced migration and perishing in heat waves, droughts, floods, and other disasters fueled by human-induced climate change.

When you live in a place where some people’s efforts to do the right thing, in accordance with scientific findings and basic human decency and global consensus and the ever-stronger nudgings of Mother Earth, are steamrollered by other so-called “government leaders” who are abusing their power, you are living in a rogue state.

In a rogue state, building community cohesion and household resilience is the best form of resistance. One often-overlooked way to build self-reliance and resilience is to constructively disengage, to the greatest extent you are able, from feeding the institutions that are leading us to death and destruction.

If my state’s governor succeeds in preventing schools from exercising local choice to protect the health of students and parents in accordance with CDC guidelines, I would love to see a massive school strike by parents and teachers (though that isn’t my call to make since I’m not a teacher or parent).

I would love to see more people walk off their jobs if their employers are forbidden to require masks or vaccines. And I will help anyone who wants guidance in how to radically cut their expenses and boost their options so they have the economic leverage to walk away from their treadmill job — and pursue a livelihood that truly calls to their heart and is on their own terms.

As a resident of a country that in many ways has gone rogue despite the best efforts of its president and other climate-aware individuals in its administration … Right now and for as long as it takes, I would love to see people become ruthlessly thrifty about their use of electricity and gasoline, and I’m working on doing that myself and helping others do so.

Energy goes into everything we use. Since most energy being used to produce our stuff is nonrenewable, every bit of stuff we do without is part of an energy boycott.

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

One great way to do without is to stay home. I’m not saying hide in our houses and never go anywhere; I’m saying be really selective about the energy we expend and the institutions we feed.

The revolution is decentralized and on a micro level. Every little act of conservation and non-consumption we do is an act of resistance to the rogue states we are living in. What can I not buy new today? NextDoor and Craigslist and thrift shops are packed with great stuff for sale in your local area, in many cases barely used. The waste stream is full of expensive furniture, near-new clothing, unopened jars of gourmet food. Even if I didn’t already have most all the stuff I need, it’d be easy to get it from the free curbside department store.

I take my marching orders from Mother Earth. She rules over all of us, even the most thuggish rogue states.

There’s a climate sign-waving rally in my area today (part of the global ClimateStrike organized by Fridays for Future). It’s 17 miles away and I’m getting there by bicycle. There are getting to be more and more of us; we’re not stray isolated weirdoes; we are part of a growing worldwide movement.

Here’s the Climate Strike website where you can look for a march/rally in your area.

Long live the Grassroots Green Mobilization!