#7 The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis: Chinese Medicine Understanding of Science: Global Yin Deficient Heat, Part 4: The Cultural

Some of the– I believe important remedies personally through just climate change really come from the same roots. The– recognizing the importance of Yin, recognizing the importance of rest and relaxation. It doesn’t mean that doing an activity is bad, it just means activity needs to be balanced with inactivity, doing needs to be balanced with resting. Another important idea is yang is new and Yin is old. And we are strongly encouraged to believe that new is better than old, medically, environmentally, socially, medic—economically. We are encouraged to believe that simply because something is new it is inherently better than something that is old and we see that everywhere. We assume that a new phone is better than an old phone, a new car is better than an old car, a new medical procedure is better than an old medical procedure. And in some cases it’s true. In some cases the new things are better, how well we define better. But we are encouraged to believe that yang by its nature is better than yin, doing is better than non doing, action is better than rest, new is better than old and not only personally but culturally, we’re encouraged to believe that expansion is better than contraction.

So I believe a really essential discussion we need to have is how we view the world personally because if we don’t address our over emphasis on yang which really permeates out into our communities and permeates out into the world. I don’t believe we have much of a chance at all of addressing climate change because climate change is at such an advanced state that we have to address where it’s coming from. We no longer have the luxury of kind of tinkering with our existing systems of keeping things the way they are and making some more ecologically orient changes that the issues of climate change are too big, too vast, too systemic to adjust things, keep things the way they are and make adjustments. And I kind of asked and answer a question like that in the book where I say “can we keep our culture and our cultural institutions the same and address climate change”. And my answer to that is “no”. We can’t do that. The issues are too big and too systemic to do that. And I also kind of pose that question on an individual levels, “can we keep our lives essentially the same and address climate change” and the answer that also is “no”. We have to understand what’s creating imbalance within us and understand how those imbalances are showing up culturally and ecologically. So one thing that we can do individually to address climate change is really to understand the basic ideas of Chinese medicine of yin and yang and realize that many of us, most of us in our country, in our culture our overemphasizing yang. So remedy is to decrease the overemphasis on yang and to increase the value of yin.