How Can We Fight Climate Change Without Sacrifice?

We can’t just ‘go green’. We have to go down on our knees
3 min readMay 18, 2023
The Princess of Kelaniya, taking one for the team

In the old days, in the old Kelaniya kingdom, the ocean rose up and swallowed villages and families whole. The gods were obviously angry. In sacrifice the king placed his beloved daughter on a rudderless boat and set her off to sea, to placate the devas of the depths. That princess Viharamahadevi, and she landed safely and became the mother of kings. My children play at her park today. The story seems absurd today, but that’s the absurd age we live in. We think that we can make big changes without any sacrifice. The gods are obviously angry and we think we’re going to placate them with paper straws.

The general delusion around climate change — which I have felt — is that A) climate change is the biggest problem we face and B) it can be stopped if we ‘just stop’ using fossil fuels.

In fact, climate change is just a symptom of the unchecked cancer we call growth. We’re bulldozing the Earth in a million different ways and we think the answer is to make it an electric bulldozer. We’re missing the greater point by a mile.

In further fact, we simply cannot have the same quantity and quality of (human and artificial) life under a different energy regime. We can have a different, downsized…



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at