The Skywriter

Renewed Hope for an "Older" Climate Activist

6
Apr

Renewed Hope for an "Older" Climate Activist

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So this 1Sky/350.org effort to engage our citizenry in backing a strong national & international climate change movement is really serious -- and it’s being grown from the bottom up. Meaning: a grassroots movement that is attempting to drag our national leadership along, and a youth-driven movement which lends energy and new ideas and savvy communication mechanisms. Geesz, I’m hooked!

I’ve been a pessimist for a long time. Bill McKibben was the prophet, foreseeing climate change back in 1989, in his first book “End of Nature.” And he’s still the one who gets it. His latest book “Eaarth,” which describes how we’re facing a whole new world -- and not a very healthy one, at least compared to what we’re used to -- is really scary, from what I’ve heard from even my most pessimistic friends, who were already expecting the worst. I got to meet Mr. McKibben, and he autographed “Eaarth” for me, but I still can’t bring myself to read it. But these “kids” at 1Sky/350.org have me hooked.

We can be scared, and we should be… but we can, and should (!) also have fun, make deep friendships, all the while trying to turn things around.

I’m excited about the “U.S. Chamber of Commerce Doesn’t Speak for Me” campaign. It’s true—our biggest challenge in fighting climate change in the U.S. is the corporate-ocracy that’s pouring money into ensuring that they get to pollute our air and water and land, and make soaring profits from those activities, regular citizens be damned. If we can show that the vast majority of Americans—especially businesses-- are not represented by that monolith, then their power will be undermined, and we might be able to win some victories for our health and environment.

So, I’m glad I went to the climate volunteers training weekend sponsored by 1Sky/350.org in March. It showed that there IS power in numbers. And we DO have numbers. All 30 of us from across the country were there in part because for each of us there are 30-300 more of us “back home” who care enough to DO something about climate change. We’ll rally, we’ll canvass, we’ll create art that can be seen from outer space, we’ll meet with our legislators, we’ll do whatever it takes to show our leaders in Washington that they must be responsive to us. It’s their job. But first, we’ll have to show them that they must answer to us, the people, not the corporations. Won’t you join us?

Linda Isaason Fedele is a climate activist from New Rochester, NY. She attended the joint 1Sky/350.org volunteers retreat in late March 2011.
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