There are Limits: Ecological and Social Implications of Trans and Climate Change

Originally posted by Robert Jensen on Nation of Change

We are biological creatures, part of an ecosphere, living in communities. Like any other organism, our genetic code sets parameters within which we live. The ecosphere is governed by laws of physics and chemistry that set the parameters within which all organisms exist. And we encounter the world not as isolated, independent individuals but through social systems that affect how we understand ourselves and the possibilities for our lives.

Stated this generally, few people would disagree. Yet in practice, contemporary high-energy/high-technology society ignores these ecological realities, and people routinely endorse practices—or ignore the need to change practices—that leave us dramatically out of sync with the larger living world.

In short: There are limits, to our bodies and to the ecosystems of which we are a part. A denial of these limits is one of the greatest threats to the possibility of a continuing large-scale human presence on the planet. The threat is magnified by our fears of challenging—and our uncertainty about how to challenge effectively—unjust and unsustainable social systems that dominate contemporary life.

In this essay I argue that the success of the trans movement and our collective failure to respond adequately to climate change are both manifestations of this inability to accept limits and the fear of challenging systems that distribute power and wealth.

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