This blog is a manifestation of my hope that collectively we live more consciously.
Begin With An Intention….
In some ways this began for me after I saw Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth in 2006.
Actually, about six months before seeing Inconvenient Truth, I saw the movie, Hotel Rwanda. That film recounted the Rwandan genocide (1994) which happened while the rest of the world watched 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 months 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 go talk with their member of Congress on human rights issues. I took that as my cue and stepped up accordingly. It was scary and exciting, and then my Congresswoman agreed to co-sponsor the legislation that I had asked for. So, it was win too.
When An Inconvenient Truth came out, I immediately realized that climate change was the wicked problem 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 happen to the poor first. These people had little to do with the cause of the problem. How could I just watch that?
You Are the Change…..
My path was clear, but I still needed to take some steps. I talked with adults, but even talking to people at environmental fairs left me frustrated. There seemed to be such a cognitive disconnect.
So, I decided to work with kids instead. Young people have a less rigid world view. 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 for young people. They see exciting new possibilities.
In 2012, I trained 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.
Since then, I’ve mentored at subsequent Climate Reality trainings in both Miami and Denver and met even more amazing people. I’ve participated in Congressional lobby days with Citizens’ Climate Lobby and over 900 awesome 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 focused more attention on the businesses. Across all sectors, more businesses are seeing climate change as a threat and a challenge and taking measurable actions. Smart companies are reducing environmental impacts through efficiencies, supply chain initiatives, renewable energy goals, waste reduction, and innovative solutions. As business leads, it can also pressure government to act.
The paradigm is shifting just as we are seeing increasing climate chaos.
Disruption is messy but sometimes necessary to clear the way for change and innovation. Its role here accelerates the shift.
Big shifts occur after a succession of little shifts. And, 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 love 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.”