The Only Way To Stop Greedy Old Men From Destroying The World

Kate Kretz
5 min readJan 3, 2020
Kate Kretz, “Free Market”, 2019

We are witnessing what feels like the end of times, and it’s every bit as horrific as we had imagined. An entire continent is on fire: half a billion animals are dead, with human families cowering in the water to avoid being similarly consumed by flames. The images on our screens are haunting: it is hard to refrain from imagining terrified koalas and kangaroos, desperately seeking a way out of the dense smoke as flames spread, with their hearts pounding as it becomes harder and harder to breathe.

We are at the fire and flood stage… even sooner than predicted. This nightmare doesn’t surprise those of us who choose to confront, rather that push away, bad news… if you recall, we’ve been waving our arms and screaming at the top of our lungs for quite a while now. You make fun of our bumper stickers: “there’s no Planet B” and “When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten and the last stream poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money.” And those of us with the stickers on our cars have grown exasperated with our families, friends, and neighbors, the ones who spend their lives distracted with sports, The Kardashians, or earning money, staying “positive” and remaining convinced that it can’t be that bad, or it would be on the evening news every night, right?

Now that it IS on the news, it’s still going to be difficult for many to grasp the magnitude of what is going down, as long as we still feel like it’s something that’s happening “over there”. We’ve been cossetted from personal inconvenience for the common good for so many generations now. The vast majority of U.S. citizens who are alive today have never known war on our soil. We haven’t had to ration food or other necessities. And obviously (as Americans have shown the world by orphaning children and putting them in cages), we have never had to flee our country because of violence, drought, famine, or catastrophic weather events. So many Americans seem to value retaining their “freedoms” to roll coal, throw trash out the window, and drink soda from their plastic bottles, without being guilt tripped about the consequences.

So, if you’ve been otherwise occupied (or you’ve simply been tuned into FOX), let me catch you up. Although you are seeing images of Australia burning on the same screens that might…

Kate Kretz

Artist / Speaker / Professor perfecting The Beautiful Gut Punch. Obsessively made, timely, truth-telling work, in paint, thread, hair, & heat.