When I listen to the news, read the papers or my emails – I feel a sense of urgency. I hear that “our house is on fire;” the words of Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old climate activist from Sweden. Is she being an alarmist? Or do her words provide an accurate metaphor?
Joanna Macy talks about “active hope” – when we assess a situation and identify the outcomes we hope for, considering all the obstacles, the pain and the truth – and then we determine our actions. We don’t wait until we are sure of success.
Are we willing to see the truth of climate change, corporate greed and the future that we are stealing from our children?
This is our opportunity – to recognize this URGENCY and to ACT for the sake of our children.
Here are the facts:
- According to NASA, 18 of the 19 warmest years have occurred since 2000. “The warming of the planet is unambiguous and irrefutable.
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), representing the world’s leading climate scientists, warned in October 2018 that the world has little more than a decade to bring emissions under control and halve them, to avoid grave consequences, including the die-off of coral reefs and devastation of many species.
- According to a UN Report, May, 2019, as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival.
What can we do?
- WORK TOGETHER -- individually we are each important but not sufficient to the task,
- GET ENGAGED – we need every one of us, and there is room for everyone’s passion, energy and talents,
- BE INSPIRED by the courageous actions of others. Although there are plenty of despairing new stories – choose to read YES! Magazine, Listen to Krista Tippet & find your inspiration.
Here are some of my hero/ines:
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez offering us a “A Message From the Future” with her vision of how we got from this moment of confusion to a thriving future – well worth the 7 ½ minutes.
The spirited older women of Austria known as the Omas (Grandmothers) Against the Right – who are fighting the right wing coalition and standing up for democracy, equal rights and tolerance. “We see what is happening and we won’t look away. We are the generation that promised the horrors of the last century would never be repeated. We are the generation that had a future. Now we are seeing the futures of our children and our grandchildren hanging in the balance. We are not going to let that happen.”
Our “youngers” who are the Sunrise Movement – They are ordinary young folks who are scared about what the climate crises means for the places and people that they love, and for their future. They are strategically organizing to make climate change an urgent priority across our country, end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executive on our politics and elect leaders who will stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people. They welcome “elder allies” to their meetings and actions – and are so appreciative that we are standing with them. Find a “Hub” near you!
Finally – the Green New Deal -- a feasible and affordable plan to address the climate and social justice issues in the U.S. It is not perfect but it will move us in the right direction! It will:
- end the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) in order to stop global warming,
- guarantee lower-cost, high-quality health coverage for all, and
- ensure decent jobs and living standards for all Americans.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Allow yourself to feel your own pain for our world and for our children.
- Speak with your friends, family, colleagues. Ask them, “What do you think about the climate crises?” What can we do together?”
- Get active and engaged! Here are some good organizations to begin:
As Elders let's support, inspire and be engaged, discovering our TRUE POWER – TOGETHER.