Mother Earth has a lot on her plate. Melting ice caps. Warming seas. Decimated animal populations. Loss of coral reefs. Deforestation. Increasing CO2. Wildfires. Increasing droughts, floods and famine. The list goes on. Each is either a direct cause of, or related to, our changing climate. And while climate change has been a hot button issue for years there has been very little action taken. Despite that we are not too far gone. Yet.
This problem is big. Biggest humanity has ever faced. And for many of us that’s where the conversation itself becomes overwhelming — the issues too big for us to individually tackle being presented in academic or in-the-know terms we don’t understand. Many can’t help but numb themselves despite better intentions. So what do we do? Where do we start? Well, to save our planet, let’s first leave it.
Just for a moment. A quick sojourn beyond the atmosphere and back in time.
In 1961 President Kennedy announced to Congress his intention to send astronauts to the moon. Something we would achieve eight years later on July 20, 1969.
His speech from Rice University rallying support for his out-of-this-world goal became iconic, and it gave rise to the colloquial term “Moon Shot” — a long-shot, low-odds attempt to achieve something incredible. In recent years I’ve heard more and more people wonder “What’s our new moon shot?” At this moment in history, the most important, arguably hardest-to-achieve goal — and the one that most influences all others — is tackling climate change.
Many scientists say we have 10 years to save the planet from irreversible, catastrophic change. But scientists are famously cautious.
So let’s say 8 years. Roughly the same amount of time between Kennedy’s moon shot and the moon landing. That’s our timeframe to unite, act and save the only home we have. Think of it as our earth shot.
To paraphrase that speech: We must organize, mustering the most of our energies and skills around this goal. This must be a challenge we are willing to accept, as it is one we are unable to postpone. And it must be one we intend to win. Normally, I echo a James Cameron quote that goes “failure is an option, fear is not.” But here, with this, failure is not an option and to what extent there is fear, let it motivate rather than incapacitate.
I am neither an expert nor a scientist. Just a concerned citizen who wants to act, to help. And not just by getting my recycling to the curb (which is its own issue). So I’m attempting to use the things I’m good at to help effect change. I’m a good reader. (Not so much a researcher, but I can read those who have done good research.) I’m a writer. I’m a professional communicator. And I’m a volunteer. These are my tools. This blog is one way I’m trying to bring them all together.
The issues of climate change are myriad, interconnected and look different depending upon where on this earth, and in whose shoes, you stand. This blog will attempt to clearly illustrate those differences and similarities. To take a problem as big as the world and let you wrap your arms — and head — around it. To lay out the challenges and solutions. To offer ideas, and ways to act. Again, I’m no expert but I’m going to quote and draw from those who are. I will try to annotate the important readings or videos that inform each post as well as offer links and tools to help.
Future posts will range from deconstructing different topics of climate change to breaking down public discussions about it and from sharing relevant, topical articles to interviews with people actively involved in fighting climate change. Hopefully you’ll come along on this journey and take up the earth shot as both a personal and civic priority. Together we can achieve the impossible.