Nick and I are going to the People’s Climate March in New York City next Sunday. We’ll get up in predawn darkness to catch buses that will take us to the assembly area. We’ll congregate with others from Massachusetts or with faith groups and move together along the march route through the streets of Manhattan.
We’re definitely stepping outside our comfort zone. We worry that we won’t be able to find a bathroom when we need one. We’ll arrive back home way past our bedtime. Why should two aging homebodies go to all this trouble – in the middle of harvest season, no less? Here are the reasons:
Because we believe the scientists. All 10 of the warmest years on record have been in the last 12 years. The ice sheets are melting. The number of record high temperatures and extreme weather events in the U.S. is increasing. The rate of increase in global sea levels has doubled in the last decade. Ocean acidity is way up. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which has vacillated between 180 and 280 parts per million for hundreds of thousands of years, has spiked to 400.
Because we’ve been fortunate and we can. We are blessed with adequate means, a supportive community, and good health. We didn’t do anything to deserve this good fortune, but these have equipped us to give back in many ways. In gratitude for these blessings, we hope to act for the benefit of all.
“I wouldn’t have fought in the climate wars,
Found myself behind the jailhouse doors,
If it hadn’t been, it it hadn’t been, if it hadn’t been for love.”
This points to my deepest motivation for getting involved: love for this beautiful earth, love for our children and all God’s children, love for the frogs and birds and trees and all our fellow beings. Love for this gift of being alive.
This love leads to a fierce determination to protect and care for the earth, all people and our fellow beings.
Because I feel called. In this deep feeling of love and in our awareness of all the blessings we have received, I discern a sense of call – a profound and holy summoning to act now while we can. Through our religious faith we hear the teachings to “do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8) and to “feed my lambs…tend my sheep” (John 21: 15-17). I feel we are asked to stand up and speak up; to defend and protect the life-support systems of our Earth for those living now, and for future generations.
The reasons that we are participating in the March are the same as our reasons to live simply, lower our negative impact on the earth, and support sustainable systems that can regenerate the earth and nourish future generations.
We hope that going to the march will communicate our love, our hope and our will to the world leaders gathering in New York next week for a climate summit, and move them to action. The hour is late, but we can still act. And so we will march for a better future. Will you join us on this adventure?