Capitalism and the industrial revolution have proven to be a fatal relationship; one is bad enough, but together they have forged a seemingly endless process that is currently so big it cannot be controlled. Supply and demand are its’ only laws and they are supplying the masses with the kind of decadence that will destroy our planet. True concern for this predicament started hitting the airwaves in the 1990’s, but we were called hippies and thought to be high on life, as usual. Then Al Gore’s, An Inconvenient Truth, came out in 2006; this helped open a lot of eyes and the ripples are still being felt. Almost ten years later, we have a global leaders’ summit collecting 196 countries together to discuss future plans.
I wish I could believe that this global summit will produce some solid changes, I really do… but it’s not easy to make the real changes we need to make in order to slow global warming. As for me, personally, I drive a very large car, I have two kids, carpool & lots to transport, I love a warm house as I tend to run cold, I did start composting again, but I do many things I truly shouldn’t. I am working on improving each year, but it’s too slow, in my opinion.
America is the first off-spring of this marriage between capitalism and the industrial revolution, and she’s a bully, a very popular bully. America helps the world and there doesn’t seem to be a limit to our giving and protecting in certain areas. We have come to expect a lot from America, but I think that’s fair considering her rocky start. I wonder if we will be the leader in this new frontier and what exactly will this look like?
What is becoming clear is that we have passed the time when warnings and focused concern can do any good… global warming and the all too clear signs are upon us. I think we crossed that line about three years ago; maybe we could’ve been closer to change had 9/11 not occurred, but that’s hindsight and we have our future to protect!
I have started talking about Bernie Sander’s call for a REVOLUTION and I believe he is correct; in fact, we need reckless change, American-style!!! A complete overhaul of our society is needed, and it will be hard forging into uncertain territory without all the niceties we have come to enjoy and rely on. We can do this, WE MUST DO THIS AGAIN… only this time without having to sail across the Ocean to find our new land. We must look within ourselves to conquer this battle. What is clear, is we won’t be able to look ourselves in the mirror (literally) if we put this off much longer. Something I wrote back in the mid 1990’s seems to relate well here:
Once you decide you want to love yourself,
You have much work to do.
This path is dark and arduous,
But the beauty is worth the journey.
I also found a short essay I wrote almost 10 years later that had a funny approach to changing our bad habits. I compared the struggles of a smoker giving up cigarettes to a person having to give up luxury in the wake of global warming. Quite certain I was struggling with quitting smoking (and not winning) when I wrote it because I explained how it is easier for me to cut-back slowly instead of quitting cold-turkey. Then added that maybe now non-smokers can understand how hard it is to quit… I was obviously frustrated, but I’m happy to announce I did win the battle against cigarettes. And I am suggesting a similar plan now, instead of frustration, start small. My global-warming plan starts with one simple list; I challenge everyone to pick five ways to improve our planet and cross-off each item once accomplished until the list is complete. You might have guessed already, but the next step is to simply write a new list of five changes… and keep going even when your teenage daughter, rolls her eyes at you and claims, “you are so natural and annoying now!” Yes, that happened to me this year… but happy to share that I am still checking things off my lists (and so will she one day).
Whether on the threshold of a bold new move or a minute realization – keep the forward motion!