by Sheila Gallagher
It’s 2015. Have we reached the point of “Now or Nothing”?
Climate chaos is reigning. We know we cannot survive on a dead planet, yet we forge forward, fracking for that ever elusive, pre-historic fossil fuel locked deep within our native rocks, literally under our feet. It will give some untold wealth! Others, jobs! Heat for our homes and businesses! Fuel for our stoves! But—wait, what else awaits?
We have been warned. With the burning of those fossil fuels, global warming has come upon us. Greenhouse gases amass in the skies above and we do little in response. Ice caps and icebergs melt, sea levels rise, and we lament. Can nothing be done? Is there no will among the people; have we lost our backbones? Are we afraid—afraid to act, afraid to confront, afraid to stand up to our government, afraid of the corporations who dominate our world?
Is it that we need the stuff they make—the food, the phones, the computers, the cars? We are told again and again that we cannot live without them—now or ever after. Do you believe that? They would control our every move. Can you envision a world without corporate control? A new world where peace, prosperity, health and justice for all exists?
There are billions of us—real people! And only thousands of them—corporate fictions. We can win. Together. Connecting the dots. Around the world.
We all need and want the same things. Not stuff! Clean air, clean water, healthy abundant food—the rights of all humanity. These are NOT commodities in need of corporate control. These are human rights. Constitutional rights. They belong to people.
It takes a village. It will take many villages. It may take every one of us. But it can be done. Using carbon sequestration, bio-diverse organic farming, no biocides, no pesticides, reforestation, methane & carbon re-capture, efficiencies, lower thermostats, LED lights, no lights, electric cars, walking, biking, sharing, local foods, community gardens, solar panels, windmills, …the list goes on and on. There is no magic wand. No abracadabra! No magic pill! But we can do this. Now. We must. There really will be no tomorrow, if we don’t.
“The only alternative—impossible as this may seem right now—is to overthrow this global economic system and all of the governments of the 1% that prop it up and replace them with a global economic democracy, a radical bottom-up political democracy, an ecosocialist civilization. I argue that, although we are fast approaching the precipice of ecological collapse, the means to derail this train wreck are in the making as, around the world, we are witnessing a near-simultaneous global mass democratic ‘awakening,’ as the Brazilians call it, almost a global uprising from Tahir Square to Zuccotti Park, from Athens to Istanbul to Beijing and beyond such as the world has never seen.” —Richard Smith, in “Capitalism and the Destruction of Life on Earth: Six Theses on Saving the Humans”, in Real-World Economics Review, 2013.
We are all in this together. We have to stop being part of the problem. We all need to be part of the solution.
Grassroots—the only way real change has ever come about. Start today. In your home, in your neighborhood, with your friends and families. Transitions, make a pact, make a game, make one small change every day. Include the children, the old and the young. All of us together. Adding up to the billions of us. Eventually the reversal of the climate chaos we created will be the new reality.
Let’s shoot for the moon! Again! Pretend it is 1962. Dream! And it will come true.
by Sheila Gallagher
Sheila is active in community opposition to Marcellus Shale, the PennEast Pipeline, and expansion of the Forks compressor station and serves on committees of the Sierra Club, Easton Historic House Tours, and the Alliance.
For more inspiration and ideas:
Ronnie Cummins, “Letter from Lima: What’s Wrong with the Climate Movement?”. Organic Consumers Association (12/16/14).
Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
Vandana Shiva: Food System Transformation and Reversing the Climate Crisis – YouTube
(Essays express the ideas of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Alliance.)
More Voices of the Valley from Sustainable Lehigh Valley.