Between Heresy and a Hard Place

A glimpse of life as an inchoate reality-surfer riding waves of awe and ridicule

B. Lorraine Smith
4 min readJun 5


I notice two types of humans. Both challenge me in infinite ways. (Artwork by me; ink in notebook, image edited in PowerPoint)

I peel back layers of reality to understand things that don’t make sense. Then I compare notes with others and share what I find out. This is how I seek a path towards healing our industrial system.

I feel wedged between those who are way ahead of me on the trail and those who gape at me like a heretic. The former, upon seeing my early stage learning curve, kindly resist saying, Well, duh! The eyes of the latter denote a distinct, Whaaat?

To those who understood the bigger picture all along, I am painstakingly slow at cluing in. To those who are vested in the failures of the current model, I say undigestible things.

Neither is a comfortable space to find myself in. Here’s an example of the kind of thing I’m “discovering” and saying in various quarters.

Net Zero climate targets are part of the ecological and social inequality *problem*, not the solution.

This is a big topic and one I’m not going to unpack here. I have written about this elsewhere, for example —

— but it’s the kind of thing that yields both a Well, Duh! and a Whaaat?

The “Well Duh” ’s

There are people who can see so much wider and deeper than anything I’ve ever known, recognizing the roots industrial of harm for what they are, i.e. clear intentions with a long legacy, not random, not a few bad apples, not a marketing problem, nor even a lack of the right metrics.

I am fortunate to have some such folks as guides, collaborators, and friends. In their midst my mental gears go ker-klunk! as old narratives fall apart and pieces of new understanding become visible — sensible — in the mental fog.



B. Lorraine Smith

Recovering ESG "expert"; yarn spinner; distance runner; magical realist. Sensing a path to an economy serving life. also at