30 May 2010

When Activism Gets You Down, Just Do Something (Like Sign This Petition)

I've found I just can't blog about compassionate climate action when I'm feeling down about the lack of progress on the climate change emergency. My sweetheart always reminds me, "Don't get depressed, get angry." Depression immobilizes us, while anger gives us energy.

But I've been afraid to go that direction. Anger and I are not good friends! Then one day, I discovered that Gandhi must have gone through the same reckoning during that cold night on the station platform in South Africa after being thrown off a train for refusing to give up his first class ticket. He discovered the power in harnessing his feelings of anger and transmuting them into social action through acts of peace and nonviolence.

So, with that as my apology for being so quiet of late (my depression stemmed from all the post-Cochabama machinations of certain NGOs and governments trying to avoid getting the voices of the people — along with the Cochabamba People's Agreement — into the upcoming UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Convention talks), here's something simple and very compassionate that anyone and everyone can do.

Sign this petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/movement-for-mother-earth

As simple as that. (When you're down, it's good to take one small step.)

After all the work, time, money, energy, dedication and compassion that went into the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, I can't stand the thought that the People's Agreement won't become part of the UNFCC negotiations. I can't stand the thought that certain NGOs and their supporters, and certain governments and their supporters, still aren't accepting that when 35,000 or more come together because they're concerned about the future, their concern — and their ideas — should be heeded.

And no, I don't necessarily believe everything the government of Bolivia says, although look at how Obama engineered complete failure at the Copenhagen talks last December — and have you seen the documentary, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised? (Sheesh. You could do a whole year-long course on media literacy using just that one movie!)

Yeah, maybe that's another reason I'm feeling depressed these days. We sure as hell can't trust our media — or Big Media anywhere, probably — to tell us anything like the truth anymore.

It's so tiring having to research the truth, isn't it? We can't take anyone's word for it, and that includes right, left, centre, neo-libs, neo-cons, our leaders, our teachers, our parents, our favourite NGOs. Nope, if you want the truth, you have to do a LOT of research yourself. Sometimes you can reach the truth through triangulation (a research term I learned in university and am showing off here), but more often it takes hours and deca-angulation at least!!

Anyway, maybe I'll just make a cup of tea and go back to bed. I'm not hurting anyone when I do that ... well, except for those dang GHGs emitted if my boiling kettle throws my province's environmentally friendly hydropower into overtime and we have to import coal-generated power from our neighbours.

Ah, forget the tea. I'll just go back to bed!

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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?