When I lived in the city or the suburbs, I often found myself standing in a line up, waiting. Waiting. Waiting for a clerk or a cashier or somebody. I used to stand there in line, with my groceries or whatever, getting more and more fed up, until finally I'd picture myself taking a running leap, jumping up on the counter, and singing at the top of my lungs: "WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT. NO, WE AIN'T GONNA TAKE IT. WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!" (Sing it with me.)
Well, once again I find myself waiting, waiting, waiting. Waiting for the folks in power to quit kowtowing to the fossil fuel industry. Waiting for our solutions to start coming close to the enormity and gravity of the problem. Waiting for others in my community to even "get" that climate change is worth talking about, let alone the fact that we're in a climate change emergency situation.
I attended a community event yesterday on social innovation. Now, right away that sounds all warm and fuzzy and fun. And the day was good. Three guest speakers gave many examples of social innovation and enterprise, in Toronto and Italy, Spain and Peru, Winnipeg and Cape Breton in Nova Scotia and nearby. In each case, the innovation, creativity and commitment to problem solving grew out of a crisis or a challenge (the SARS epidemic in Toronto, the shut down of the mining industry in Cape Breton, etc.), but in my neck of the woods, we're not feeling any crises or challenges. We're doing just fine, thanks. Climate change? What climate change?
Once again, I came home sad. Ready to scream, really. Ready to clunk heads together, in fact. We talked and talked and talked, about collaborating and innovating and creating social enterprises — but with no sense of actual commitment and definitely not even a hint of urgency.
I don't think that it was sour grapes (or hurt feelings) for me that my suggestion to grow hemp and create value-added hemp products just plopped on the table. There seemed to be no interest in food growing and food production as social enterprises — even though growing more food here would make us (slightly) less vulnerable to the (initial) ravages of a chaotic climate.
And so, once again, I picture myself taking a running leap, jumping up on a table at an event like this, and screaming "I'M NOT GONNA TAKE IT. NO, I AIN'T GONNA TAKE IT. I'M NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!"