“Normalize changing your opinion when presented with new information.”
I’d like to find a way to make that my bio, replacing “communications expert dedicated to creating meaningful progressive change.”
Because I have found myself really doing a deep dive into what progressive change actually looks like. And in reality, progressive change has to be pragmatic and it has to be nuanced. Outside of an actual American Revolution overturning a capitalist society, I think we really need to embrace pragmatism and nuance – or we risk being decimated by a right-wing army that believes JFK is coming back from the dead to entirely ban gay people and abortions.
We really do lack both nuance and pragmatism as a society right now. From COVID precautions to police reform to basic Western medicine, I think we’ve all had our moments of losing the plot.
I know what it means to lose the plot and change my opinion. Sometimes back and forth again and again. And I think that’s OK.
If I’m totally honest, I wrote a book that leaves me embarrassed. It’s the name of this blog and I can’t really change it. But I don’t think you should buy it.
I still stand by a lot of it. I think organic and sustainable farming and manufacturing is better for people and the planet. I think we need serious action on climate change. I think we need to clean up actual toxins from our schools. And I believe that environmental injustice and food deserts create massive inequity and health disparity in our society.
But I don’t think Goldfish crackers are a gateway drug (yes, I pretty much said as much). I don’t think a smattering of plastic toys are going to leave our children with brain damage. And I do think I come off as an insufferable, privileged white woman with orthorexia and OCD.
I also understand that the book was written at a time when I was far from the only new parent thinking that way – in fact, that’s WHY it was written and why it was taken on by a publisher. It was first written in 2010. It was the Obama era and the height of the new green movement. It was pre-Trump and certainly pre-pandemic. Sadly, not a small number of the people who embraced that book are now QANON anti-vaxxers.
Organic apples are probably better than conventional apples. Apples are better than Skittles. Skittles are better than cigarettes. Science is complicated and changes based on new data. Often, the dose makes the poison and poison is everywhere. But so are Skittles and it’s OK to taste the rainbow…or whatever. I prefer M&Ms.