April 19, 2022

Climate Care – One area of focus at a time – by Leah Pariso

“As a population we face many challenges.  Woven throughout the many challenges we face is that of climate change.  The problems that stem from climate change seem insurmountable: erratic weather, forest fires, rising sea level, melting of ice caps, prevalence of invasive species, loss of rainforests, increasing air pollution, loss of valuable habitats for endangered species, and loss of potable freshwater sources are just a few.  As an environmental educator, my students often come to me overwhelmed.  The avalanche of issues underneath the overarching umbrella of climate change can be paralyzing.  Many turn to me asking how one person can make a difference with so many issues bubbling to the surface?  My response to this concern is always the same – did being one person stop Dr. Martin Luther King Junior?  Did being one person hold back Jane Goodall, Rosa Parks, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, or more recently young Greta Thunberg?  The answer is no.  When one person is passionate about a particular cause, then they can move mountains.

The same can be said for environmentalism.  Can one person tackle every climate change issue?  Truthfully, probably not.  Nevertheless, one person can make change in a particular area.  If your passion is the preservation of coastal habitats, then pour your energy into that.  If you would rather spend your time on the protection of the rainforests of the world, then work to help protect these carbon sinks.  Perhaps you want to reduce electronic waste, or push for more renewable energy?  If we all choose one area to focus on, then the massive mound of climate change issues can be chipped away at.

Is climate change a frightening topic?  Yes.  Can we do something about it if we all focus our energy and intention on changing one area?  Yes.  As a species, we have had to adapt and overcome in the past.  We altered our intentions and habits when we went through the agricultural, industrial, and then technological revolutions.  Perhaps we could do the same for the environmental revolution?  In the end, we all have to have hope and faith that we will emerge from this new movement all the better – living lighter on the Earth with more respect for all living creatures, not just our own best interests.”

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