Saturday, November 16, 2013

All is NOT quiet on the Eastern Front

In the past 2 weeks, I have attended two organizing meetings related to Climate Action. Each time, I could barely motivate myself to leave the house, because I was tired, I had a lot to do, and I felt discouraged anyway. Each time, I expected yet another informative evening with friendly people, but little to take home as far as tangible actions. Both times, I instead came away energized by how different the climate movement seems this fall, even compared to just 12 short months ago. There is so much more deliberate action, skill and organizational talent at work. The momentum is building and the energy in the room has changed.

Paraphrased quotes from attendees of both meetings include:

"We're done trying to educate people. We have reached those who want to learn the facts, now we're moving forward in action" ~ "Climate Change is no longer an environmental issue. It is about health, jobs, safety and the economy" ~ "Individual action is admirable but ineffective. Community action is necessary, but there is a systemic problem that has to be addressed, and it has to happen quickly" ~ "Changing lightbulbs is good, changing senators is better" ~ "It has to be a struggle" ~ "Scientific talk and facts don't get people to act. Stories and relationships do" ~ "It always seems impossible, until it is done (Nelson Mandela)"

In my jumbled way, I'm probably not conveying the focus and skillful organizing behind some very specific targets that several groups are pursuing. For my home state, the global warming solutions act not only empowers the governor, but also requires of him, to put in place a plan that will allow MA to meet the targets specified.

To get there, the agenda is simple:
1) Ban the worst. Do not allow any more infrastructure for fossil based energy to be put in place
2) Build the best. Only invest in sustainable solutions.
3) Set us on a path for a price for carbon.

Several groups, among them Mothers Out Front and have converged on these succinct points, which are feasible for Governor Patrick to implement before he steps back in 2014, given current legislation and the executive powers he has.

I am hoping to be able to contribute my bit to make MA the first state to leave fossil fuels in the past, and to move towards a sustainable post-coal, post-oil future.

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