Signs Of Change
I’ve been blogging about climate change since my conversion from being a climate change avoider to a climate activist/fossil fuel abolitionist in the fall of 2009. As a climate change avoider, I never watched An Inconvenient Truth; after all, it might be inconvenient to have to face my fear or be prodded into taking action. If climate change ever appeared on my radar in those days, I’d think “it’s too big a problem, what can one person do?” and/or “OMG – I’m terrified about what this means, especially for my kids, but surely those elected to ensure our safety won’t let it get out of hand. We backed away from the Cold War, we solved the ozone problem, this will be solved, too.”
Then, in September of 2009, after an unseasonably rainy and cool northern Ontario summer during which I spent way too much time on weather websites looking for some good news, I came across 350.org‘s website. It explained climate change in a way I could understand (350 parts per million of C02 is what the best science says should be the level in our atmosphere for human civilization to continue. The current level is higher than that, and will climb as long as we keep digging up carbon from the ground and burning it), and it invited me to organize a simple action in my community.
Once I had my climate epiphany, I thought all I needed to do was share this information with everyone I knew, especially other parents and people of faith so that they, too, would be moved to action. That’s what I set out to do, along with organizing events around 350.org’s action days, and searching for faith groups already working on this issue. I decided to start blogging about climate change because I needed something else to do about this issue besides reaching out to the people in my circle of family and friends, and because I’m a writer and researcher by profession.
To make a long story short, I found out that most people aren’t moved to action, even after hearing 350.org’s straightforward explanation about climate change and the urgent need to decrease our carbon dioxide emissions. That is a fact that I’ve had to come to terms with over the last four years. Having said that, I have met the most wonderful people on my journey as a climate activist, people who are committed to solving the climate crisis to ensure a liveable world for future generations. They are an awesome, awesome bunch!
Part of the path of a climate activist is working through the stages of climate grief. I’ve done much of my grieving, although it’s work that is never completely finished. These days it feels like we’ve entered a new stage on our collective human path, as the fingerprints of climate change are becoming easier to identify every day, at least for those who “have eyes to see”. We are all in this “boat”, this wonderful blue planet, together. But it’s not just climate change that makes our connectedness clear – national economies are now globally enmeshed, and ocean acidification and biodiversity loss respects no national boundaries. We are moving very quickly toward a time where we will be part of deciding if the legacy of humanity will be a charred, much diminished planet for future generations or whether this time of chaos that we are poised to enter will be the genesis of a flourishing, compassionate civilization where abundance is the rule, not the exception. I know which outcome I’m focused on creating!
Hang on, we’re in for a wild ride!
More signs: Detroit Files For Bankruptcy