In his new book, The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption, journalist Dahr Jamail laments that the planet most likely “is in a hospice situation.” The premise fits: Jamail, who’s covered the subject for years at Truthout, has been among the most grimly realistic of climate reporters. I recently spoke with him about the false dichotomy of hope versus hopelessness, and why inaction is not an option.
Q:The End of Ice conveys the thought that society cannot start grieving about climate change without trying to make it better for indigenous peoples in the time we have left.
Dahr Jamail: One of the Native American elders I include in the last chapter, Stan Rushworth, believes the erasure, denial, and willing ignorance by the U.S. government and the majority of the population of this country of the genocide and eradication of the indigenous population here after first contact is the moral wound from which all the ailments besetting this country stem.
The horrendous disparity of wealth, lack of health care, racism, violence, wars, sexism, and of course, human-caused climate disruption are all symptoms of this break from reality. These symptoms are literally annihilating the very biosphere upon which our lives depend.
Native peoples here lived in communion with the Earth, understanding that we are part of this planet, and it is part of us. For the dominant European mindset of exploitation, ownership, and domination to obtain a foothold here, it had to annihilate the people here who lived with an ontology of oneness with Earth.
Read the article in The Progressive Magazine, Dec./Jan. Climate Issue