Manifesto


I’d just sent Russell out the door with his lunch, and was brewing myself a cup of tea to enjoy in front of the odious "Morning Joe," when he called to share something horrifying he’d just heard on NPR.

They were reporting that at a recent climate change conference, some leading scientists had stated that 2020 is the LAST YEAR we humans can do anything to reverse the effects of climate change.  At that point, said my husband a little breathlessly, everyone on the planet could stop driving cars and it WOULD NOT MATTER.  We’d already be toast.  Almost literally.

'To the interwebs!' I said to myself, and with two clicks found a reference to Will Steffen, executive director of the Australian National University’s climate change institute, saying that if something is not done IN THE NEXT DECADE, climate change will reach a tipping point after which it will be impossible to reverse.  A few more clicks, and I'd found more - see the "More Information" page for much source documentation (which I'll endeavor to keep up-to-date, with non-broken links).

I've been an "environmentalist" in the loosest sense of the term since I was in grade school.  I've always known in my gut that climate change was true - happening - human made.  I watched "An Inconvenient Truth" three times the first week it was available on DVD.  I'd never had any doubt that Hurricane Katrina was a symptom of climate change.  I've bemoaned the death knell of the pack ice and the puffins and the polar bears as much as any other average tree-hugger you know.  I "own" rain forest in Belize, and worked for the Audubon Society.  So I wasn't a denier, or in the dark, or deluding myself.

But like so many of us, I was able to push the coming climate calamity to the back of my mind most days.  I wasn't agitating for legislative change.  Yeah, I'd join a Green Party if we had a viable one in this country, but... well, you probably get it.

And that morning, ALL OVER SUDDEN BLANG! (Pogo) I changed.  I grokked.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  Fill in the cliche.

Why, I suddenly wondered, is anyone talking about ANYTHING ELSE? 

The economy?  Very important, but irrelevant if we are sloshing around in toxic bilge water.

Women’s rights?  Yep, I'm a feminist, but women's issues also include food security - of which there will be less and less if there's widespread drought and crop disruptions.

Right to work legislation?  I've been practically a Wobbly since Da taught me to be Union Forever when I was in grade school - but that issue pales in comparison to the possibility that, if we don't do something NOW, the American West is going to be uninhabitable: 114 degrees in the shade with raging, unquenchable wildfires.

Poverty?  Poverty now isn't a patch on what we'll see if we don't stop or reverse climate change now.

Minimum wage? I'm 100% for a $15/hour minimum wage - and we're going to need it if folks are shelling out to re-re-re-re-build after the latest Super Storm or Horrific Wildfire.

So I started to blog.  That's what people do these days.  It's not enough, but it's a start.  If you are reading this, please pass the link to this little blog along.  I'll try to keep up my end by be interesting (I hope) and trying to provide useful information.

My focus will be COMMUNICATION. My day job is Communications Manager for a large healthcare system's ICD-10 Program (I'd elaborate, but I don't want to bore you) and I spend my professional life helping folks get their message packaged in an easily-digestible, audience-appropriate, user-friendly way. I think the Climate Change Activist Community could use some help along those lines. Because clearly, we're not moving the dial on this any longer.

This isn't "saving the planet."  The planet will be fine.  It's us - and the ecosystems we thrive in - we need to worry about.  Carpe Diem!  There aren't many left.