Produce less. Distribute it fairly. Create a greener world for all.

From Gratitude to Grievance

                “Faith is the conviction of things not seen.” Fate is the coming of things seen too late. They told the farmers to plow up the dry land.“Rain will follow the plow,” said the railroads,the government, the agricultural experts.In the 1930s Dust Bowl the shadow fellon the farmers as…

Written by

Henry Robertson


Originally Published in









“Faith is the conviction of things not seen.” 
Fate is the coming of things seen too late.

They told the farmers to plow up the dry land.
“Rain will follow the plow,” said the railroads,
the government, the agricultural experts.
In the 1930s Dust Bowl the shadow fell
on the farmers as they looked up in awe
at churning clouds of soil that filled the sky.

This new dust bowl is invisible.
The rising global heat slides a manmade layer  
under the spikes and valleys of daily variation.
The invisible dust bowl has deniability.
What is it, really? Nothing new, just worse.
Like Covid-19 it has many symptoms:
droughts, floods and storms, heat waves and polar vortexes.

The whole climate changing is too much!
The changes it warns us to make are too big.
We can’t change it back, we can’t change what we are.
It’s the most natural thing in the world to drive
three tons of steel, glass, plastic and rubber
propelled by burning fossil plants.

If drought kills the crops, we’ll import food
until there are too many droughts at once.
Then we’ll look back down the highway and the railroad,
trace in our minds the sea lanes and air freight routes,
and realize that we’re in chains — supply chains
made possible by those same fossilized plants.
Investors with invisible capital organize it all for us.
They gather, transport, assemble, store and deliver
just about everything with their invisible corporations.
If you want to make something yourself they’ll sell you the parts.
Long supply chains are their monopolies against self-reliance.
But if the supply chain breaks, if there’s nothing to deliver,
if fossil fuels have to be discarded for the sake of our survival,
then we’d better collectively redirect our energy.

We should’ve declared war by now
on coal and oil and methane gas, 
but we’re still enchanted and enchained 
by fossil-fueled ease, mobility and entertainment.
Gratitude must become grievance.
The fossil fuel companies are the enemy.
Whatever they have done for us, 
they are devoted now to our destruction.
The Supreme Court says they are persons,
but they’re bigger than we are, 
potentially immortal,
many-headed yet single-minded, bent on profit.
They will not stop themselves.
Their power must be brought down by boycotts, bankruptcy,
resistance, revocations, new laws, injunctions, dissolution.
Nationalize and phase out fossil fuels;
they can no longer be consumers’ choice.
Make war on hardware with trespass, obstruction, sabotage.

Lay down the old Prometheus.
Transfuse his dwindling fuels into a new one
with power to stand alone, forging with their dregs 
the tools to draw our energy straight from the sun,
a power spread evenly among the peoples,
a power diminished in destructive force,
energy of the present, not the past, 
and energy, not ash, for the future.