The Anthropocene and the Fierce Urgency of Now

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”   — Martin Luther King Jr.

pieterz / Pixabay

I’m horrified when I read about the annihilation of entire species. I can’t steel myself against the Anthropocene and the sixth great mass extinction which we are currently living in. How can other people? 

I read this story in the Washington Post, In pitiful animal die-offs across the globe — from antelopes to bees to seabirds — climate change may be culprit, and it terrifies me.

And I wonder, how we can have time for everything else except the elephant sitting beside us?

You Are the One You’ve Been Waiting For

We blame it on politicians who have their hands in the pockets of big oil, and we say they must feel pretty lonely. But is calling them out action? We blame our municipalities for not putting in proper mass transit or recycling programs; as if those we elect to serve are somehow going to do this without our pressure.

And still the average person drives to work, shuffles their kids to music or soccer practice, volunteers at bake sales, and sits on their yoga mat. All the while, the problems get larger. Species drop off in record numbers. More people die. The methane is still leaking. And, it no longer pays to recycle plastic.

“That’s awful,” they say. Then, return to eating dinner. “I wish someone would do something about that.” And the world around them continues to fly off the rails.”Hmm, the price of oil has been really low for a while now, let’s go buy an SUV.”

But you can’t meditate this away. Gandhi didn’t just sit on a mat. Leadership comes from within.

What happens to the oceans is happening to you. The oceans are you. So are the trees and the antelope. When an entire species is extinguished, we all languish.

We don’t live in a time where we can expect someone else to fix this problem. Being a nice person is not enough.

Get connected- get empowered – start working for a better world.

You won’t get it unless you create it.

Here are some places to get you started:

Call your city councillors or state representatives. Tell them that you support action that adequately addresses the climate emergency that exists. Otherwise, you can be assured that some other vocal person is telling them the opposite.

Here’s a story: In my Colorado municipality, the city has been prudently upgrading the aging water infrastructure and putting in a sliding scale cost for water usage (you use more, you pay more). This city still has lower water rates than I paid in both Florida and New Mexico where sliding scales existed for more than a decade. Still, there have been an unbelievable amount of posts on my Nextdoor network of people complaining about the city, the city councillors and saying they will do whatever it takes to get rid of these elected officials who voted to modernize the water infrastructure. (I said above that even with the new water rates, this is the lowest I have ever paid for water. And oh yes, there is that issue of the health and safety that also created the need to upgrade old infrastructure.) So if you choose not to engage on what is important, be assured someone else who doesn’t have your best interest in mind will be voting out the people who do.

Citizens Climate Lobby – create the political will for a livable world.

Climate Reality Project – become a leader. There are multiple yearly trainings in cities around the world where you can engage with more than a thousand leaders like yourself. – Create a fossil free future. Local chapters exist across the globe.

Extinction Rebellion – take part in direct action.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.