After the complaint that my generation had caused all the problems that this generation now has to cleanup, I own responsibility. We may not have caused all the problems but we have perpetuated them and allowed others to expand the causes.
Once again I asked myself what good is the bequest of goods, talents and all the other things we work to assure the security of our offspring and theirs, if the world has become a desolate, un-liveable place?
Most of my mail is from environmental organizations, I donate where I can, I pick up plastic in the street, drive as little as possible (in L.A.!) and save my shower and vegetable cleaning water for the drought-ridden garden. It never seems enough so when I saw that Al Gore was holding a Climate Reality Leadership Training in Los Angeles, I applied….and was accepted along with 2200 others. (climaterealityproject.org)
Every one of the people I spoke to at the training was dedicated, and energetically determined to fight the causes of further climate change. I was amazed that, even after 40 years of trying to get the point across, Mr. Gore maintains his passion. The speakers were articulate, informative and thought-provoking. Rather than being weighted down by an unending stream of bad news, there was much to give us hope and to fortify our courage. There are many solutions to the complex problems already on hand, what is needed is the will to employ the solutions.
I normally avoid crowd and discovered how powerful an experience it is to be with a crowd of that size who all want to create something good and worthwhile for ourselves and others…. Powerful and effective!
An example: We were in break-out groups when it was announced that SB 100 had failed by 4 votes. A unison of groans filled the room. A following announcement gave the names of the state senators who had voted against it. Someone shouted out the phone numbers and the session halted while everyone whipped out their phones to call the senators to ask them to reconsider their votes and why SB 100 was good and backed by their constituents. An hour or so later e heard that SB 100 was reconsidered in the State Senate and had passed.
We individuals don’t often get an immediate sense of accomplishment in this arena but when we do it is a powerful motivator to persist. I decided that the main focus for my remaining years would be to add my efforts to changing Climate Change, because it impacts every aspect of our lives and will continue to wreak havoc with our carefully planned individual lives and all our communities. (Since I first wrote this a major typhoon wreaked havoc in the Pacific and Asia, a hurricane and its attendant tornadoes destroyed lands in the US and unusually severe storms hit Scotland and Northern Ireland.)
I decided that my focus for my remaining years would be to add my efforts (widow’s mite though it is) to changing Climate Change, because it impacts every aspect of our lives and will continue to wreak havoc with our carefully planned individual lives and all our communities. (Since I first wrote this a major typhoon wreaked havoc in the Pacific and Asia, a hurricane and its attendant tornadoes destroyed lands in the US and unusually severe storms hit Scotland and Northern Ireland.)
Unfortunately and maddeningly the Term Climate Change has become politicized, so I prefer to use Extreme Weather, (thanks to Dr William Calvin of the CO2Foundation.org and University of Washington). The training attendees now all have action plans and buddies and coaches to support us.
Look at all the generations represented!
As I write future posts I promise to include good news for us all so that we are not pushed back into denial and/or depression (as I well know).