Green Living: Stay Informed & Engaged, not Fearful

By Laurie Casey

John Hubbuch's op-ed "The only thing we have to fear ..." (Wednesday Journal, 11/11/14) was right on the money when he said that the cable TV, social media and news worlds are reinforcing creating a climate of fear. It's true that on a minute-by-minute basis, the American media present a myriad of hypothetical scenarios and one-off crimes that are frightening, yet highly unlikely. Turning off the TV or putting down your smart phone is one way to stay sane.

"Stop watching this fear-mongering drivel," he writes. "There is nothing wrong about being uninformed about something that will not happen."

True, we don't need to know about zombie apocalypses. However, Hubbuch's answer, to turn everything off, troubles us.  We absolutely need to know about climate change, social justice and our government's actions both here and abroad.

While Hubbach acknowledges that climate change is a "real" problem, his solution to turn everything off won't help our community address it.

Scary news won't go away because we ignore it. If you've ever dreaded doing something and procrastinated, you know what we mean. When we know the facts, we can make better decisions about how to act.

Most importantly, the sources of our information matter. It pays to take a little time to vet media sources, and that small time investment will pay for a lifetime of good decisions, proactive citizenship and community involvement.

Community engagement is also an empowering antidote to fear-mongering.  When we get to know our neighbors and we become engaged in the positive initiatives that are happening we learn that we are not alone, we are surrounded by others that care and together we can make a difference.

Green Community Connections strives to inform itself and others so that we all can take positive action. Our upcoming One Earth Film Festival is designed to do just that.

Thirty members of the film selection team have just finished choosing an exciting line up of intelligent, entertaining and solution-oriented films.  Next, team members will be planning informative programming to complement the films and offer people practical, next-step solutions they can take home with them. We hope you'll join us at the film festival on March 6-8.

In the meantime, we will continue to post credible, fact-based news stories and information resources on our web site and Facebook page to keep us not fearful--but fully informed and engaged. Please join the conversation this week by posting your favorite news sources!