Every Monday and Thursday my Political Ecology class gets together to talk about the world and what we are doing with it. The reality of climate change really bums me out. It’s an enormous, abstract problem that integrates every level of our society.
In our bi-weekly class we often come to the conclusion that humans, in almost every way, are shooting ourselves in the foot. We’re damaging our world to an extent that we are putting ourselves at risk.
In a recent interview, local activist Amy Cousins said “We are a species at risk, just like any other species on this planet. Amy went on to say”we need to save the environment is seeing ourselves as separate from the environment, as an other”. She’s bang on.
In history, people and societies tend to guard and cling to the ideas, values, and institutions that have proved to be successful in their own experience. Capitalism and imperialism come to mind right away. They all are based on the fundamental principal that people are separate from nature and that we need to expand, have more, get smarter, dig deeper. Bigger = better.
Each week I come here to class and start feeling overwhelmed at the enormity of how climate change requires such a universal buy-in, but leave with a glimmer of hope! Without fail, my class inspires me! One person (different every class) will inevitably offer solutions and alternative possibilities for our future. Last class one student brought information about transitioning community projects. Next week I know that they will bring something else to build upon it.
There are so many opportunities to come together and effect change in our society and am wowed by how all it takes is one person. One person speaking up in my classroom will affect the actions and behaviour of everyone here. All it takes is to ask yourself what legacy you contribute to when you leave your classroom, your office, your home, and this planet.
The most critical message I have taken away from my class time is that we have to get up, and get out there. I don’t mean go buy something new and green and trendy; I mean make friends, get into your community and network. If you’re going to use technology, use it wisely, use it to connect with people, ideas, and solutions.
We are at a pivotal time in not only human history, but also the history of the planet.
Our world is changing so quickly and we are adapting in so many ways technologically. Everything is shifting, except us. The time for leaving change with policy makers, politicians, or waiting for huge technological solutions may be over. Yes, Climate Change is big but change is becoming community based and is about collective action, and about culture.
Start by watching this video, visit 350.org and connect with the organizers and events going on in your city. If you’re in Victoria come to FutureFest at Centennial Square on October 24th at noon, there will be so much to do and learn! Ask an expert, join our climate conversation video, meet people, and have a good time.
This is huge and your participation is crucial. What else have you got that’s more important than the world?