Resistance, Resilience, and Renewal.
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Dear Friend,
We’re only eighteen days into the first (?!?) administration of the 45th President of the United States but it feels more like eighteen weeks, or maybe eighteen months. Trump and his crew have wasted no time in taking steps to fulfill his campaign promises – border wall, check; undermining the Affordable Care Act, check; pushing for the Keystone and DAPL pipelines, check; ban on Muslims, er, refugees from terrorism-torn countries, check; cutting the head off the EPA, check… the list goes on. In the interest of fairness, his executive order penfest did include some arguably good things, including putting the kibosh on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and implementation of a (five-year) ban on government appointees from lobbying. But on the whole, it’s been a frightening ****show.
Opposition—at least in the form of civic action—has been swift, widespread, and heartening. A whole slew of new, progressive resistance efforts have sprung up in just the last few weeks.  But let’s not forget, we’re not even 1% into Trump’s first (?!?) term. What form will the resistance take ten weeks, let alone ten months, from now? How can resistance efforts be sustained over the weeks, months, and years to come? And what about the need to address the longer-term, systemic issues we face—issues that not only led us to this particular political moment, but will ultimately trump (no pun intended) our more immediate concerns?
It’s clear we need to engage on multiple levels and in multiple timeframes, if we’re to have any chance of success. That’s going to take a unique combination of urgency and thoughtfulness, an ability to respond immediately while conserving energy for the long-haul. I’ve been thinking a lot about what that will require and have come to the conclusion that taking advantage of the force of habit will be absolutely critical. So I’d like to make a recommendation: Every week, each and every one of us should take at least one personal action in support of each of the three Rs: Resistance, Resilience, and Renewal.
Resistance could take the form of contacting your elected representatives by phone or letter or even in person to express your views about a particular executive action or legislation. Resilience could take the form of engaging with family, neighbors, or local groups to put in place strategies that strengthen social cohesion, address the needs of the most disadvantaged members of our communities, or build local economic, energy, or food systems. And Renewal—which is as critical as the other two, in order to avoid burnout—could be taking time to be in nature, play or listen to music, or find cause to laugh.
What these actions look like will be unique to your personal circumstances and passions. It’s going to take individual and collective action in every sector, in every community, in every political district.
In the spirit of all this, I wanted to share with you two recent reflections:
  • A conversation between two of my favorite people, PCI Fellows Rob Hopkins and Richard Heinberg, on what Trump’s election (and Brexit) means for re-localization and Transition efforts. 
  • The Über-Lie: Richard Heinberg’s cogent call to keep our eye on the big lie that most conservatives and progressives have been telling themselves.
Thank you for being an engaged global and local citizen in these troubling, exciting, challenging times.

In solidarity,

Asher Miller
Executive Director
Post Carbon Institute
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