Today, I'd like to share some personal reflections on climate change and local food. I hope my story will bring us to a place where we feel motivated and inspired together; I invite you to have an open mind and heart as I begin with the part that I find the saddest.
A few days ago, after reading a newsletter on climate change, I went back to bed and cried. I felt a great sense of despair, as I deeply value the well-being of people and the Earth. I remembered a recent presentation by a First Nations woman who shared with us the story of how her community in the Yukon has been affected by global warming. She showed us images of a lake, where she had spent time as a child, that has now completely dried up. Her people have been caretakers of the land for generations, and now, in her lifetime, she is seeing the permafrost melting, storms and weather becoming erratic and unpredictable, and thousands of pregnant caribou aborting spontaneously (the caribou are a vital resource for her community).
Mostly, when I think about climate change and its potentially devastating effects, I think about flooding in coastal areas, tornadoes increasing in frequency and intensity, more drought and desertification... This person's story and photos helped me EXPERIENCE in a more immediate way - beyond scientific studies, numbers and graphs - the effects of climate change NOW. I don't have to imagine what it will be like in the future - I'm trying to come to grips with what is happening and changing as we speak.
So how am I going to bring this to an uplifting place? :) I've learned from some people who I think of as wise teachers, that first we must be able to see and ACCEPT WHAT IS - part of this is coming to terms with our sense of sadness, loss and despair. Then, WE CAN CHOOSE TO CHANGE.
December 6 is the Global Day of Action for climate change (http://www.globalclimatecampaign.org). If you are feeling moved or touched by this, I invite you to do something new and different to take action that day.
Here are some ideas:
*Read more about climate change. (Try "Low Carbon Diet: A 30 Day Program to Lose 5000 Pounds" by David Gershon.)
*Go to a rally (there will be organised rallies around the world on Dec 6).
*Talk to your friends and family about it.
*Write to or call a government representative and tell them what you think about Kyoto and Kyoto plus.
*Leave your car at home for a day or a week.
*Start your own food garden.