In our engagement with the completion of 2020 or Bust and life post-2020, here are some initial notes (and I use the word “initial” loosely as there has been much conversation about this), and it has only recently begun to take real shape and direction.
First, I have often said that once 2021 hits, I am “out of here” as far as climate change is concerned, that an investment of 5 years is enough. I am no longer saying that. When I look into the world, the crisis that got me into this, the crisis that called for 2020 or Bust is still very much intact, the predictable future is the same, and our mission is still calling to be fulfilled.
Now there is the matter of completing 2020 or Bust and in that completion, listening for what’s next. I offer the following to get us into that work.
I think it’s important to keep in mind that what’s next is the next expression of what we are, and not a change in what we are. 2020 or Bust was never the end game, the end game has always been a shift in consciousness, a shift in how we relate to ourselves, each other and the world, and with that a new future for humanity and the planet. The climate crisis as the situation we selected as the on-the-ground opportunity to cause that kind of shift.
2020 or Bust didn’t come from us, it came from the world, it came from the situation of the climate crisis, it came from science and facts. Which is why I think it is critical that what comes next isn’t some attempted revision of reality that extends the same work beyond 2020. There really is what needed to happen in the time-frame set forth, and regardless of our success or failure in causing what we set out to accomplish, reality is reality.
We’re not going to move the goal posts so that we can still make it look like we can win that game. One of the critical elements that we have been out to bring to the world is the power of what’s so, absent interpretation, hope, despair and significance. What we want to deal with post-2020 is the world, not us.
One aspect of our work has been to alter the daily behavior of 500 million people to dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. In the stark world of action as action, that was accomplished. Emissions in 2020 were reduced by 17%. However, given that the driving force of that was the pandemic and not the empowerment of people, it’s not what we said. And the pandemic has certainly busted one of our myths that a change in individual behavior won’t make any significant impact. 17% is major.
If we follow the path we created, the one consistent with reality that gives us 2020 as the window in which to turn the ship (both of our emissions and our humanity), then we can say that we did not accomplish that. And 2020 doesn’t care. The glaciers don’t care. It is what it is. The condition of the world and humanity is what it is. And here we are.
If it is as we say – 2020 or Bust, then it follows that with our not fulfilling our mission, that after 2020 we will find ourselves in the Bust. In being with this logic over the past few days, it has opened up a whole new world for me, one that I offer as one of the offerings of completing 2020 or Bust. What if what we now get to offer the world is the opportunity to wake up to, confront and begin to powerfully engage in our current state of existence, which is The Bust? Leaving us to create The Bust as a distinct state of existence for the world, not backing off from our stands and mission regarding the climate crisis, and perhaps not limited to that either.
What if The Bust is the state of existence in which all that has seemingly worked in the past no longer works, the tried and true is breaking down, the economic, social and political structures held sacred have become obsolete, and the only thing that lays before us are versions of what has been? And that all of that begins to show itself as such. We get to tell the world “You’re busted!” not as something negative but as an opportunity to bring the unworkability out for authentic examination and for what comes of that.
Maybe the job of 2020 or Bust was to create the environment in which the futile redundancy of humanity could begin to show itself, and something beyond what’s known and believed could at least begin to have a shot. Where the underlying context shaping it all, shaping us all moves out of the shadows and into the light.
Also, to keep in mind that whatever the next expression, it lives within So You Want To Change The World, our 501(c)(3), with its mission to empower ordinary people to impact global issues at the level of root cause.
Yesterday I purchased the domain “thebust.org.” Not that that will be the next expression, and I was pretty thrilled when I found out it was available, so a I snatched it just in case.
I look forward to our engagement in this amazing completion and to the emergence of the future unforeseen.