It’s been about four months since I’ve worked on Keeping Things Alive, but I haven’t lost my drive to create it. I’ve just been attending to family stuff, moving, and learning a new job.
So hello again! It’s good to be back.
I recently had dinner with a friend who is smart and enjoys being outdoors, but we had never talked about environmental issues before. So after talking about other topics for a while, I randomly asked, “what do you think about climate change?”
He got quiet and I could feel his brain turning to come up with an answer. After a substantial pause, all he could say was, “I like listening to you talk about it.”
So I’m taking that as my cue to talk about it. My hope is that others will follow my lead and I’ll have longer climate change conversations in the future.
A lot has changed in the world since I last posted. On December 12, 2015, 195 countries signed the Paris Climate Agreement, which over 130 countries are expected to ratify on April 22 (Earth Day!). Honestly, I haven’t read the Paris Climate Agreement. As a trained lawyer that cares about climate change, I should (I struggle with that word) read it, but I haven’t and I probably won’t. I believe it’s more important for me to be writing, cooking, hiking, and spending time with loved ones.
I’m also much more interested in what happened outside of the negotiation room walls – in Paris and around the world. Last December, hundreds of thousands of people came together all over the globe to support the climate agreement, vocalize their concerns, and connect with others.
I believe that the citizen actions surrounding the Paris climate conference significantly contributed to the agreement, and that this type of work and love is what is needed to build a better future. I have hope that it can continue.
But I recognize that it’s hard to maintain climate action momentum in the face of violence, fear, and hate. The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election has taken over public discourse (at least in the U.S.), and it feels like the entire nation is stuck in a hamster-wheel of chaos until a decision is made, which won’t happen until November! Ugh.
I understand that who is President is important, but this election is sucking up the time, energy, and brainpower of people (not just politicians – all citizens) who could be making the world a better place instead.
So I’m doing my best to focus on what I have control over. I can:
- work hard at my new job;
- build relationships with family and friends;
- connect with people that are building a better community in Buffalo and contribute my skills;
- cook food using healthy ingredients;
- tutor a Vietnamese woman who wants to pass her high school equivalency exam; and
- create a website to share the environmental knowledge I’ve acquired over the past decade.
None of these actions are big, but I have control over them all, they push the ball forward, and they have a positive impact on myself and others. It’s the best I can do.