06 December 2009

0 Days to Copenhagen - The Power of One (+ 3,741,952 Others)

(Lovely photo by David Faintich)

Well, my friends, this is it. My last Compassionate Climate Action blog post. The Copenhagen climate talks begin tomorrow, and since this was a countdown blog, well, there's nothing left to count down to.

Writing about climate change and global warming every day for two hundred days has meant that I've had to read about this crisis and learn the science when I would rather have been doing crossword puzzles or going for walks or watering my tomato plants. It's not been an easy time for me ... I'm immensely sad to think that these talks will not lead to dramatic and compassionate climate change action.

However ...

If you don't think you can make a difference, if you don't think you have power, if you think your voice is too small to be heard, then you've never been in a tent with a mosquito.
— African proverb

And so, I would like to leave you with this story (adapted from the book Synchronicity, by Joseph Jaworski), which has stuck with me since I first read it. My very best wishes to you all.


"Tell me the weight of a snowflake," a sparrow asked a wild dove.

"Nothing more than nothing," was the answer.

"In that case, I must tell you a marvelous story," the sparrow said.

"I sat on the branch of a fir tree, close to its trunk, when it began to snow — not heavily, not in a raging blizzard — no, just like a dream, without a wound and without any violence. Since I did not have anything better to do, I counted the snowflakes settling on the twigs and needles of my branch. Their number was exactly 3,741,952. When the 3,741,953rd snowflake dropped onto the branch — nothing more than nothing, as you say — the branch broke off."

Having said that, the sparrow flew away.

The dove, since Noah's time an authority on the matter, thought about the story for awhile, and finally said to herself, "Perhaps there is only one person's voice lacking for humans to live with all species in harmony on this Earth."


  1. Thanks for the posts.

    I liked the mosquito quote today:)

  2. You're very welcome, Remi. It's been great getting to know you online. Thanks for all your feedback over the last few months, and for your guest blog, too (back on Day 94).

    Mosquitoes have been known to drive massive migrations of magnificent mammals, so we really ought not to underestimate their power. Most of us don't like to be whiners, nor do we want to be as unpopular as the mosquito, but given the alternative ...!

    The work you're doing in solar powered homes will become more and more important as time goes on! Let me know if you'd ever like me to post anything on this compassionate climate change solution.


I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?