All. WE. Can. Save.
Our group has been slowly making our way through the book All We Can Save as a framework for our “40 Days” and toward a culminating event, “Spring Into Healing” on April 24th to celebrate Earth Day.
The book is a very readable guide to challenging climate change, consisting of essays by scientists who have been working – some of them for decades – to counter environmental degradation, mostly of human origin. For the next few days, we honor the words in the title of the book. Today we explore WE.
All the words in the title of this book carry impact, but the word ‘WE’ stands out to me because it is imperative that we humans must work together in community if we hope to save the best of what’s left on our planetary home. The ‘We’ is comprised of you and me, and collectively our families, neighbors, members of our local communities, our states, our country and citizens of the whole earth. It’s all so overwhelming that the question becomes “Where do we start?” We start right where you & I stand, with the ‘me’ and build it out to the “we.”
Katherine Hayhoe, a climate scientist designated by the United Nations as a Champion of the Earth, tells us “As challenging, stressful and painful as it might be, addressing climate change begins by actually talking about it.” No matter how uncomfortable it is to discuss it with neighbors, or even family, choose one aspect of climate change you’re passionate about and begin there. Approach the conversation with focus and without judgment. Know that the person you’re speaking with probably feels as overwhelmed by it all as you do.
When you reach your comfort level, gradually extend the conversation to local businesspersons, municipal leaders, then to legislators, and onward. To practice your ‘pitch,’ write letters to the editor (good conversation starters, too). As you engage in these conversations, you’re forming interest groups and energizing them to take action. Before you know it, you’ve built a coalition or have found an existing group to join. In any case you will no longer feel like you’re working against climate change alone.
As trite as it may sound, we are all in this together. In her “Personal Guidelines for the Great Turning” (see day 26), Joanna Macy advises us to roll up our sleeves and joyfully get to work, and “never try to do it alone!”