For Immediate Release
May 14, 2014
Happy Mother’s Day, Mother Earth. Your dominant species has a “gift” for you: We’ve increased your atmospheric carbon level to 400 parts per million! We’ve been working on it for years. It’s consumed much of our time and most of our resources, so we hope you appreciate it. We’re sure it will make your 2013 Mothers Day memorable . . . and warm.
As I sit here and write past midnight, I look up at the night sky, now laced with 400 ppm of carbon. The last time a human-like creature experienced a sky this crowded with carbon was three million years ago!
Do we realize what 400 ppm means? Scientists know what it means. No matter how you slice the details, if we do nothing, this New Climate Era will usher in historic levels of human suffering and environmental catastrophe.
It is beyond frustrating to know that the problem is not technical, but political. All we lack is the will to change, to adapt, to think and act rationally.
But the status quo is hard to buck. The status quo relishes comfort, and tells us we have to go slow as we transition off fossil fuels, that we have to be pragmatic and can’t disrupt the economy. I want to say, “Hey, Economic Pragmatist, there’s a grizzly bear charging at you. But take your damn time.”
I am so frustrated at our collective lethargy that I am moved to do something big, dramatic. As I look up at the night sky, I feel like screaming.
But screaming will only wake the neighbors. We need to wake an entire species.
The 400 ppm milestone is simply another in a long string of wake-up calls. Fortunately, the global community of activists committing their lives to sounding the alarm is growing – and taking action. Groups like 350.org, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Center for Biological Diversity and Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy continue to do yeoman’s work and have endorsed this March, as have James Balog and James Hansen.
In just over nine months, 1000 climate patriots will march 3000 miles across America.
The Great March for Climate Action could be the “shot heard round the world” on behalf of Mother Earth’s climate. It’s worth a try. It’s better than screaming, better than simply complaining, and would be a much more thoughtful gift for our Mother.