17 July 2016

We Need a Climate Change Mobilization at World War II Speed

It's not often that climate change activists hear news so good that they find themselves skipping and hopping and jumping about, crying and laughing and hugging! But that's what happened to us this past week. Here's what was in the email we received:
In a shock decision, the Democratic National Convention platform committee voted overwhelmingly Saturday night to include language in the party’s platform championing a “World War II-type national mobilization to save civilization” from “the global climate emergency.” (See the video of Russell Greene’s and David Braun’s awesome speeches and the vote here.)

The full text of the amendment reads:
Democrats believe it would be a grave mistake for the United States to wait for another nation to lead the world in combating the global climate emergency. In fact, we must move first in launching a green industrial revolution, because that is the key to getting others to follow; and because it is in our own national interest to do so. Just as America’s greatest generation led the effort to defeat the Axis Powers during World War II, so must our generation now lead a World War II-type national mobilization to save civilization from catastrophic consequences. We must think beyond Paris. In the first 100 days of the next administration, the President will convene a summit of the world’s best engineers, climate scientists, climate experts, policy experts, activists and indigenous communities to chart a course toward the healthy future we all want for our families and communities.
Oh my gosh, my beloved and I have been calling for a declaration of the climate change emergency for years now. (I've mentioned it 105 times in this blog alone!) So we couldn't believe what we were reading and hearing. You see, once the emergency is declared, it'll be like letting a genie out of a bottle. The world and all nations will have to move at an urgent pace on emergency measures. (Right?)

The neat thing is that my next blog post (this one) was going to be about a war time speed mobilization. Peter has been an advisor for the folks who made this happen, so we feel personally invested in their campaign. Now to get the Democrats elected in the United States this November and a climate mobilization campaign going in Canada. OMG, this is so exciting!


A few weeks back, we talked about how a whole nation was able to "not see" what had gone on under its nose -- sometimes literally just down the street -- during World War II. The Holocaust is such common knowledge now that it's difficult to understand how so many people could have turned a blind eye to it ... or been born and raised with no knowledge of it.

Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD, is a young New York psychologist who explained in a recent video that her Jewish upbringing gave her an exposure to the Holocaust that has informed her climate change activism -- indeed pushed her into it. Margaret, along with journalist Ezra Silk (who also grew up with a deep understanding of the Holocaust), is calling for a climate change mobilization that will rival the Allies' (and especially the Americans') mobilization as they entered the Second World War. In fact, Margaret founded The Climate Mobilization based on what she knows is possible because of what's been possible in the past.

In this video, Lester Brown explains how the United States stepped up after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. It's an evocative story of what we human beings are capable of when we make the choice to act.

The full video (from which this excerpt is taken) is available here.

In the following video compilation put together by my hubby, we see more evidence of the speed at which we can turn things around -- when we make the choice to act.

So watch this space for mobilization ideas as we roll them out. And many thanks to our friends and family who understood how big this news is and helped us celebrate. 

SPOILER ALERT p.s. We watched (well, my hubby bailed, but I watched) The Martian the other night. Yes, sure, it's fiction, but it portrayed very well the kind of time, money and energy that the United States is capable of throwing at a problem -- in this case, one astronaut left behind (by accident) on, you guessed it, Mars. And the motivation to do so didn't come just from a desire to look good in the public eye. It came from enough people at NASA demanding that they do "the right thing." So, Americans, please have a look in your hearts and see if 7.3 billion Earthlings equal one Matt Damonesque Martian. Then do the right thing.

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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?