Friday was the worldwide youth climate strike. I didn’t go. I went to work which was fixing bikes that are used for free programs that teach kids and adults how to ride. I told myself: my work really does help offset climate change. So it’s better for me to go to work than to the strike.
But the more I think about it the more I’ve been doubting my decision. My job helps offset climate change. But do I help offset climate change? If I didn’t work at this job they would just find someone else to do it. It’s nice to have a job that helps people/the world/whatever. But is having a job that’s good for the world really about the world? Or is it about the individual? My job makes a tiny dent in the climate fight. But it makes a huge dent in my personal morale, giving me a reason to get up in the mornings. It is a privilege.
There is the inverse argument too. If you work at a job that is damaging to the environment–well, if you leave they’ll just hire someone else to do the same thing. So what’s the point, right? It’s the same circular argument that continually prevents us from solving this problem: the individual is weak, helpless, a mere pawn in the great machine of capitalism.
And maybe therein lies an answer. Which is to forget about the individual, the ego. To know that one person is nothing but many people are everything. I should have gone to the climate strike!