Fires are burning week after week again this year here in rural Northern California. The smoky skies aggravate asthma, give people headaches, burn people’s eyes, and make people grouchy. We are warned to stay indoors due to unsafe levels of particulates. As climate change continues to accelerate, other people in other places are also experiencing record-setting fires, heat waves, droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events.
Do we have the wisdom to survive? Will humanity rise to the challenge presented by climate change? Will we change our ways of thinking and acting, will we transform our institutions and systems, in time to prevent climate chaos? This question is always with me, even as I gather my grandchildren close to me and play and laugh and learn with them. What will this overheating planet be like for them in twenty or forty or sixty years?
I do have hope. I am grateful to be part of a world-wide community of people who are aware of what is at stake with the earth’s changing climate and who are willing to take action. Tomorrow, the largest People’s Climate March in history will be held in New York, as world leaders gather in New York to discuss the climate crisis. There will be solidarity demonstrations around the world, including in Oakland, Davis, Sacramento, and here in Nevada City. I hope that everyone who can come out will come out. The time is now.
Regardless of what you think about climate change, I recommend the film “Wisdom to Survive.” Here is the blurb I wrote for Old Dog Documentaries to help get the word out about the film:
“Wisdom to Survive: Climate Change, Capitalism, and Community is an exquisitely filmed documentary that presents an overview of the climate crisis, including its causes, effects, and directions of hope. Poignant scenes illustrate the sacred beauty of the natural world, the tragedy of its diminishment, and our human interconnectedness with the rest of creation.
The film unflinchingly names global free-market capitalism as the system that underlies the current plunder, with scenes of massive technological resource extraction causing industrial devastation. Indigenous leaders, people from poor and vulnerable nations, scientists, scholars, religious leaders, activists, farmers, and poets make the case for “climate justice” and point in the direction of hope.
Do we have the wisdom to survive? The answer is related to community. We are connected by our shared grief at what is happening to the earth and by our shared hope and commitment to the future.”
I hope you will join a Peoples’ Climate Rally near you. This is not the time to give up, but the time to rise up and recommit ourselves to the earth and to the future. Surely God is with us in this struggle.
One day our children and grandchildren will ask us what we were doing when there was still time to prevent the worst of climate change. What will your answer be?