Sam and I were combing through Maxwell Park when the text came through. Mary had been found after wandering into private property and falling into a ditch, she was dehydrated but OK.
It was Sunday, my one day off after a stellar wine tour on Saturday, and my wife and I were heading to the pool after a morning of working on the house. Kate read the alert on Next Door from our friend Chris that her husband Tim’s mother had been missing since 8am. There was a sighting at the Dollar Tree and one at Maxwell Village but nothing since 1:00. We hopped in the car and started driving a grid pattern first in our neighborhood then expanding to other neighborhoods around Maxwell Village. After about an hour and a half I had a feeling that she was somewhere in Maxwell Park so I returned for my bike and dog Sam.
Why do these things unite us? Why is it in our nature as humans to drop everything when people are in trouble? And why don’t we react this way about climate change?
Greta is right, I love that she looks a little like Yoda and calls her Aspergers her superpower. I also love that she scolds the adults who aren’t doing anything real about the environment. Time to not just pay attention folks, Einstein was right when he said we cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
We know what we are doing to the environment and we know how to fix things but we are not moving fast enough and I’m just as guilty as you. We like leisure and convenience, we deserve leisure and convenience, and we work very hard for leisure and convenience.
I like being able to hop on a plane and visit my kids in San Diego. I like driving my truck plus I don’t have enough money to buy a new electric car and what if I run out of charge driving to the mountains? I want solar on my roof but because I am on a pier and post foundation, I can’t get financing to put solar up. I want to get all plastic and fossil fuels out of my life but well, more excuses.
There are two parts to the solution, the first is Greta. Listen to the children, they are the next generation directing where we will go.
“My message is that we’ll be watching you. This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. Yet I am one of the lucky ones. People are suffering.”
Greta Thunberg, at UN Summit in New York
Second, make a personal plan if you haven’t already. Start small, commit to never using or buying single use plastic (water bottles, most containers, plastic bags, straws) or adopt a waterway or start plogging. Remember that commitment you made to not drink soda or eat fast food or stay up too late on a school night drinking Petroni Cab or vaping (if you are still vaping, please read up on glycol, glycerol and diacetyl)? Make another commitment to decrease use of fossil fuels and phase out plastic in your professional and personal life.
And pick your battles: When the golf coach from Vintage gives you a glass of ice water in a plastic cup with a plastic straw don’t throw it on the ground and lecture him. But when your principal is choosing which new chairs to put in your classroom explain why you would rather have anything but plastic.
But don’t stop there; really look at your lifestyle through a different lens, through Greta’s lens. Do I need to fly and drive as much? Can I find a different company or solution to my solar panel problem? Am I supporting a government that is acting and not just talking about a solution? Am I really doing all I can?
Finally, start educating people. Shock them with information about plastic making your penis smaller, http://valleytalking.blogs.sonomanews.com/2019/05/23/marching-blindly-toward-the-beezle-nut-oil/or attend environmental events, http://valleytalking.blogs.sonomanews.com/2017/09/04/creating-equilibrium-unbalanced-world/.
Once environmentalism becomes your normal, your behavior will change and that’s what Greta is talking about.
Mary is OK because the village jumped into action, isn’t it past time to do the same for the planet?
Listen to Greta.