This blog is a manifestation of my hope that collectively we live more consciously.
How it began:
In some ways this began for me after I saw Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth in 2006.
Actually, about six months before seeing that film, I saw the movie, Hotel Rwanda. The film recounted the Rwandan genocide which occurred as the rest of the world watched it on TV without intervening.
My first thought was ‘what a screwed up world we live in’. Then, ‘what can one person do?’ And finally, a promise out to the universe, ‘if you put it in front of me, I won’t turn away.’
In the half year between the two films, I put my new awareness/activism to use as a volunteer with Amnesty International. One day I got an email asking for volunteers to lead a delegation to members of Congress on human rights issues. I took that as my cue and stepped up accordingly.
When An Inconvenient Truth came out, I immediately realized that climate change was an issue that eclipsed all others. It had the potential to disrupt food supplies and create refugees on a scale humanity had never seen. It set the stage for immense suffering, most of which would first happen to the poor. These were people who had little to do with causing the problem. How could I just watch that?
My climate activism path was clear. I began talking with adults, but even talking to people at environmental fairs left me frustrated. There seemed to be such a disconnect, a cognitive dissonance. I decided to work with kids instead. Young people have a less rigid world view. So, I got a job with a non-profit designing programs and presenting to students. Kids understood the problem a lot more intuitively. Change is easier to accept for young people and often times, they find it exciting to see new possibilities. Still, the larger paradigm had yet to shift.
In 2012, I had the opportunity to train as a Climate Leader with Vice President Gore. The connections I made at that San Francisco Bay training changed my life. At the training, over 1000 people from everywhere on the planet gathered. These people were not only concerned but engaged and working to create climate solutions.
I’ve mentored at subsequent Climate Reality trainings in both Miami and Denver. I’ve participated in Congressional lobby days with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, where over 900 people all walking the halls of Congress; meeting elected officials and asking for action in the form of a (revenue neutral) carbon tax.
Lately, I’ve turned my attention to the business community. It is obvious that big business, regardless of industry, sees climate change as both a threat and opportunity to change. Thus, smart business is taking steps to reduce environmental impacts through tracking, efficiencies, supply chain initiatives and innovative solutions. And business are also pressuring Congress for change.
The paradigm is shifting just as we are seeing increasing climate chaos. Disruption is messy but sometimes necessary to bring change and innovation. It’s role here accelerates the shift.
Big shifts occur after a succession of little shifts.
Little shifts happen when we understand with the power within ourselves. We see the infinite connections all around us and we act. My writing here will hopefully help accelerate some of your actions. And, perhaps offer an opportunity to consider collaborations with others on your journey.
I am reminded of this quote from the great Howard Zinn.
“TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
How can I schedule a presentation?
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.