08 May 2016

I'm Baaaack! (To Spread Courage and Compassion - Are You In?)

I think that's a famous quote from some horror flick. It's also how I'm feeling right now. I gave up writing this blog post-Lima climate change conference (COP20) when the result was so discouraging. (Why had I expected anything to come of it in the first place?) I couldn't even pretend anymore that I had the heart to carry on, especially when I knew Paris was going to be a sham as well.

It's been almost a year and a half since I last blogged. So why the change of heart? 
  1. My husband sobbing inconsolably at the increasingly terrifying news on accelerating temperature and CO2 level increases -- and still working every day to try to wake people up.
  2. My best friend telling me about the deer jumping in front of cars as they tried to flee the Fort McMurray wildfires (and realizing that millions more animals will have perished). 
  3. The mom of one of my students discussing compassion with me on a beautifully warm evening in April. (We don't often have warm nights in the summer, let alone in April.)
  4. Someone on Facebook saying that her daughter is already ho-hum about climate change. "Yeah, yeah, I know, apocalypse," she says.
  5. Starting a letter to Canada's prime minister begging him to put life before corporate profit -- and not being able to finish it for the tears. (There's no ink on a blog for tears to ruin ... though I'd better not cry on my computer.)
  6. This month, people around the world are participating in the Break Free from Fossil Fuels / Leave Coal, Oil and Gas in the Ground campaign.
7. And me realizing that I don't have the luxury to not try my very best to move people, governments and fossil fuel corporations to action. So I'm back at my weekly blogging habit. I'll be here every Sunday morning again.

Folks, I'm no scientist. But I know the science on climate change cuz I live, sleep and eat with it every day. If you want to learn the science (it's hard to stand up for the planet and the children's future if you feel "the other side" can win the argument with their sciency-sounding assertions), here are my hubby's websites:

Urgent Climate and Ocean Rapid Response

State of Our Climate 

Only Zero Carbon 

Climate Emergency Institute

Climate Change and Food Security 

Climate Change Emergency Medical Response

Climate Crime 

Next, this is a call to courage. Mine and yours. It's so scary to truly countenance what's coming if we don't turn this juggernaut around. Experts used to think all the climate chaos $#@! was going to happen at century's end -- and most people still believe that, not realizing that the timeline has sped up something fierce. Hell on Earth is what we're facing if we don't get to zero carbon at lightning speed. 

Let me say that again. This is your children's life we're talking about. Your life. My life. My mother's life, too, and she just turned 90 and is hale and healthy. If we don't make the rapidest possible switch to zero-carbon renewable energy technologies and a zero-carbon economy, we're going to fry. It's going to be very ugly much sooner that we thought.

So screw up your courage and turn on your compassion, folks. We've gotta get going on this, sadness be damned. 

Are you in?


  1. Good for you for carrying on, Julie. I have gone through a similar process - a form of grieving - and now do the best I can. The situation does not look good, but we can and should all do what we can. [And we should hang the traitors who put us in this mess, but that's not very compassionate. ;-) ]

    1. Thanks, Brian. If you ever have a spare hour, you'd have some fun reading my less-than-compassionate blog posts here. You could start with my Selfish Bastards series! http://blog.greenhearted.org/search/label/selfish%20bastards

      Take care, and hope to see you soon.

  2. Oh I'm not having children, and the task is too big to even comprehend. I'll just await the inevitable collapse because there's literally nothing *to* do at this point.

    Live life well. Just handle climate change like you handle normal death. We all come to an end at some point. This time we'll just do it more or less simultaneously.

    1. Ree, thank you for your thoughts. Sage advice: "Just handle climate change like you handle normal death." Here's the thing about that ... we all handle death differently! ;-) I think I want to be (well, so far I am) one of those "Do not go gentle into that good night" (Dylan Thomas) kind of people.

      So I'll keep fighting (while doing my best to live well at the same time). I figure there's still some outside chance for a miracle!

      Your decision to not have children is one I highly respect. You know, just telling people that, just talking about your decision, is a form of climate change action because it will wake a few people up!

      All the best.

  3. I'm curious as to the contents of your unfinished letter to Trudeau. I myself have thought about doing something similar.

    Keep well.

    1. Hi xenago,
      I'll try to finish that letter and will post it sometime soon. I found it quite overwhelming. Letters to former Canadian prime minister Harper were easy because I was just plain angry. Writing to Trudeau is harder because my emotions are so mixed ... including betrayal. I didn't expect a Liberal politician to be transformative, but I hoped that because he is a young parent of three children, he might "get it" and do the right things.

      There are so many people - especially among those in power - who don't understand that you can't eat money, and you can't drink oil. "We can't sacrifice the economy for the sake of the environment." And yet they can sacrifice sacred life on this precious Earth for the sake of the economy. That's why the tears started flowing.

      I appreciate you taking the time to write!

  4. Keep up the good work, and never give up hope :) Are you also campaigning against animal agriculture? This is also one of the biggest causes of climate change. Anything from 15-50% of greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to intensive factory farming and the demand for animal rather than plant-based food.

    1. Hi JC,
      I'm definitely a promoter of eating lower on the food chain. I was vegetarian for 30 years until I read Will Tuttle's World Peace Diet (http://blog.greenhearted.org/2013/09/the-death-orientation-that-stares-at-us.html). I've been vegan ever since.

      You know, for those first 30 years, I never once "preached" a veg diet to anyone. But now that I understand the environmental impacts (let alone the social impacts of such inhumaneness), I bring it up whenever I talk about climate change. Thanks for writing - and yeah, for the sake of the children, we can't give up!


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?