“A future that is so universal should be anything but controversial. There is no rehearsal, the time is now now now.”- Amanda Gorman
Calling on the individual. On the ensemble.
Do I believe we can build a cross-issue, multi-faith, multiracial movement to achieve true environmental justice?
I most certainly do.
It's already happening. But It will require us to all show up in a multitude of ways. To wake up to the urgency of now. This moment. Tuning into the individual role and tending to the ensemble.
My eyes have been reopened and with this awakening I can not fall back asleep. Trying to figure out how not to let the busyness of life get in the way of this ever pervasive all encompassing most important issue of our time.
Zoom in. Zoom out. The individual. The ensemble.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Let’s face the giant dark horse that no one wants to talk about. I am still trying to digest and remember on my train rides, in between clients, brushing my teeth all that happened. I want to forget NOTHING from the Climate Reality Leadership Conference. I am wearing my little green pin everyday as a reminder to not lose myself in my little bubble. With smartphones and social media and everyday life, it is SO EASY not to pay attention. So many distractions. It is also astounding at how easy it is to numb out. And to normalize what should never be normalized. Because we have so many distractions, we are able to tune out the biggest issue that is happening right now that makes everything pale in comparison - it impacts the economy, jobs, homes, health, safety, existence. It is happening as we speak and I vow to do everything in my power to empower others and myself- to do everything they can to build movements of their own, to use their own unique voice in bringing awareness and action to the importance of Now. NOW. Now.
I was so blown away, so moved, so taken aback by all that happened in just 3 short days and I want to share it with everyone because it impacts literally every aspect of our existence. My heart fills with anxiety and excitement and possibility when I think about last week. The coming together of 2300 people with all different backgrounds in effort to learn how they too can build a cross-issue, multi-faith, multiracial movement to achieve true environmental justice. That in and of itself is power. Al Gore is not the man he was in 2000. He has found his mission in life. He was SO personable, funny, electric- he was on fire and has created incredible leadership core in the fight for enviro justice. And Reverend Barber. WHAT A GEM. Biggest take away from him? Change the narrative from losing to winning this fight. This movement must be rooted in love and truth- a moral movement of epic proportions.
1. New ways of thinking.
Zoom out and connect the dots: look at the facts. Watch Al Gore's most recent climate presentation. Every single person regardless of politics or opinion should see this. I'm dead serious. It is powerful and a wake up call like I've never seen. It connects all the dots with science politics and FACTs. IT zooms out big time. But y'all- we don't need statistics to know that this planet is unraveling as a result of humans. Just look at the extreme flooding that's been happening all over the world the past few weeks. Or the extremely abnormal, unpredictable weather patterns that have become a weekly occurrence. Every person needs to see this just to know the extent of what is happening at the rate it is occurring. Knowledge is power. Know what’s going on. It will move and inspire you into action.
2. Justice on all fronts.
The environmental justice piece is so relatively new in the environmental movement and is SO So needed. Frontline communities are typically communities of color and poor- this piece is ESSEntial in the effort to combat climate change. We have to create jobs that are green and clean and accessible to all economic classes.
3. Learn from history.
Look at previous movements that were successful such as the Civil Rights movement. A. It started in the south. B. It was led by young people who would not give up. C. It was built on coalitions among many other important aspects.
4. Revitalize democracy.
Use you voice! We must stay engaged with local politics and COMBAT voter suppression. This is directly tied to policies protecting voting rights and policies combating climate change and environmental protection. Get climate deniers out of office, we just don't have time for denial. Show up to vote & know the local issues. Know where your local politicians stand and let them know how you feel- they are public servants and if they don't follow through, send them packing.
5. Fossil fuels are dead. Get fossil fuels out of politics and Transition to a renewable economy.
Y'all - we have all the technology we need. Solar and wind ARE SO EFFICIENT the price is dropping unbelievably fast- it's a no brainer. Coal is dead. And natural gas is a sham- fracking is causing earthquakes, explosions, contaminating drinking water and literally destroying the earth. Again, let's repeat- get fossil fuels out of politics! They are fighting with every last breath because they know their time is limited. Do not let them win. Get involved in local politics and know what your reps are supporting.
6. Ensemble work- zoom out.
This is not about dropping everything and becoming a climate scientist; is IS about bringing the conversation into all of our communities. What policies exist in your local communities around climate change? Are your local politicians representing what you want?
Build coalitions. Build bridges. Find common ground. TALK about the need for action- this conversation is very important and a time to get CREATIVE. Write blogs, talk to your co-workers, arts organizations, artists, doctors, teachers, schools, government officials, neighbors, family, friends. Now is the time to make the most use of all our skills. Communities need jobs. Why not make them green jobs?
7. Zoom back in: Take on 3 things your willing to commit to.
Here, I’ll start. How can I bring this work into my coaching? Pilates? Dance?
Collaborate with other improvisers and have a fundraiser to bring awareness
Initiate a “no plastic April” at my Pilates studios as a fun challenge for clients and instructors to take on in service of their own health and the health of the planet
Research what's going on with solar panels in Brooklyn. Make sure that I have clean choice energy - that my energy source is from solar panels and not dirty energy
Put pressure on Governor Cuomo to pass the CCPA!! Keep going to Albany with New York Renews
I'm trying my best to return to my normal routine, not tuning back out but TUNing more IN. The biggest question I hear is: ‘what's the number one thing we can do to fix climate change’? Oof. If only there was a simple short answer to such an all encompassing issue. That's where the narrative needs to shift. There is no greater pressing issue of our time then addressing climate chaos head on. It's time to treat it as such and act accordingly.