Greta Thunberg was right yesterday when she said at the United Nations Climate Summit, “this is wrong. I shouldn’t be up here”. A year ago she got fed up with waiting for the “adults” to do something. She organized the first climate strike, sitting alone outside of the Swedish Parliament building with her homemade sign. Last Friday more than seven million other human beings joined her.
We knew about the coming impact of man made climate change over 30 years ago. NASA scientist James Hansen sat before the full senate and warned America and the world that we were on a trajectory toward the destruction of our ecosystem which imperiled life on the planet, including human beings. I’m sure in 1988 he thought he had done enough to alert his government about a pending disaster. Certainly any leaders elected to serve and protect their citizens would take action. After all, sane people would react to convincing science that identified a threat that could take out all life on the planet right?
Greta wasn’t even born yet. She would be right to have expected that those in charge of world governments to have already taken the appropriate action to prevent such a catastrophe. They let her and her generation down. We have let her down as the baby boomer generation, holding the reins of power and of the wheels of progress, didn’t heed the warning or take necessary action to intervene.
I started my environmental activism in 2016 and now work every day to make up for lost time. I founded the organization, greenenergyproject.earth to help people understand that smart environmental policy is also good for their personal economic life. I am late to the game, I understand. Many of you have been active in environmental causes for many years. I am taking my inspiration from you and now from a sixteen year old autistic girl from Sweden who inspires me more than I can even understand.
What she helps me with the most is to understand that one person who has a mission and a purpose while refusing to give up can make things happen on a grand scale. This is particularly true in the age of the internet and social media. We can now bombard our political leader’s Twitter and Facebook pages with calls for change and action. We can group fund causes and bring a million people to locations anywhere in the world.
It’s a great time to be an activist. Activism is not that hard. You can do it from your sofa while eating chocolate if you like. Call your congresspeople every day. Urge your friends to do it too. You can form a group and meet for wine/dinner to strategize on what you can do together. Get a group name, a table, some handouts, a table drape and go to events where people gather. Activism, being an agent for change, is not an angry fist shaking exercise. It can be done in fellowship, joy and an opportunity to channel your frustration in to passion.