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Posts Tagged ‘Greta Thunberg’

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Above photo: January 8th, 2019, downtown Vancouver rally

“An immense increase of scale in endeavors to conserve our biosphere is needed to avoid untold suffering due to the climate crisis.”

—the above quotation is from the BioScience Journal, in a report published on November 5th, 2019. See link below for the report:

https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biz088/5610806#

—This journal is published by the American Institute of Biological Sciences. 11,000 (that’s eleven thousand) world scientists have signed this latest report.

—the word “Biosphere” (in above quotation) means:

“The regions of the surface, atmosphere, and hydrosphere of the earth (or analogous parts of other planets) occupied by living organisms.”…from the Oxford Dictionary.

and from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosphere

I took the following photographs during nine rallies/marches/strikes for the climate/actions which friends, family & I took part in during 2019.  The photographs, showing signs, banners and crowds speak for themselves. I’ve selected twenty photos in all, though there are plenty more in my cell phone and camera!  The worldwide Climate Strike, which took place on September 27th, 2019, drew 100,000 (that’s one hundred thousand) people here in Vancouver alone. It was very energizing and heartening to be marching across the Cambie Bridge with so many like-minded fellow citizens, all of us trying to convey our concerns about the climate emergency to “the powers that be”. Serious changes to the way we all live on our beautiful planet have to be made, as quickly as possible. “Old habits die hard” is a saying from the past which fits our current challenging situation here on Earth. But old habits CAN be changed! Taking part in rallies and demonstrations is one way in which we can all take action, however small our individual actions may seem. There is strength in numbers, and these rallies keep getting larger all the time. The message is clear: millions of humans are now awake to the need for changes in the ways we live, in order to lessen carbon emissions and keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, and in order to lessen our footprint on the planet, for the sake of all living things.

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February 22nd…Climate Convergence…No Pipeline Expansion…Extinction Rebellion sign in the foreground

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April 8th…Convention Centre…Senators’ Meeting

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May 3rd…Strike for the Climate…Vancouver Art Gallery

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May 3rd…Strike for the Climate

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May 3rd…Strike for the Climate

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May 22nd…Coast Protectors…Trudeau at the Opus Hotel…

No Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

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May 22nd…No TMX

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May 22nd…rallies are usually peaceful, but on this day, one rowdy was arrested.

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June 9th…Science World…Wilderness Committee…No Pipeline Expansion

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June 9th…Science World…No TMX

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July 17th…at the CBC building…350.org & Our Time…asking media to report on the climate crisis and demand that political party leaders speak about it during the upcoming federal election campaign in October, (and they did…some of them).

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September 27th…at Vancouver City Hall…worldwide Climate Strike…100,000 people marched in Vancouver!

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September 27th…at Vancouver City Hall…Climate Strike

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September 27th…heading down Cambie Street, towards the bridge and downtown

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September 27th…100,000 strong, Strike for the Climate

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September 27th…Respect Your Mother (Earth)

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September 27th…Climate Strike…we reach downtown

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October 25th…Strike for the Climate…Vancouver Art Gallery…15,000 people,organized by Sustainabiliteens

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October 25th…back at the VAG after the march…Greta Thunberg on the Gallery steps, just to the left of the flag, preparing to speak. Strike for the Climate.

To sum up, the following four quotations are from people I respect:

Any culture that devastates its air and water and soil, and refuses to admit that it’s behaving in an unreasonable way, is pathological and needs to be reinvented.

—Thomas Berry, in conversation with Nancy Ryley, from: The Forsaken Garden, l998

Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Unless you believe the future can be better, it’s unlikely you’ll step up and take responsibility for making it so.

—Noam Chomsky, political activist and philosopher, as quoted in British Country Living magazine, October 2019

The one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us.

—Edward O. Wilson, in Biophilia, 1984

We need to get angry and understand what is at stake. And then we need to transform that anger into action and to stand together united and just never give up. We are striking to disrupt the system, to create attention. And I just hope that it will turn out well.

—Greta Thunberg, climate activist, leader and visionary human being! (age: 16) 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Now that people world-wide are finally waking up to the reality of the planet’s climate crisis, isn’t it time for all of us to start talking together about what is happening, how we feel about it, and what we can do to help Mother Earth? Our planet and the life upon it have many other names, including “the Biosphere”, “the Earth”, “Nature”, “Mother Nature”, “the Web of Life”, “Gaia”, and “the Living Planet”. Does it really matter what we call this incredibly beautiful, fragile, little fragment of the Universe?

THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS is saving and enhancing what remains of life on Earth. For far too long, humans (not all, but many) have used and abused the planet we live on, forgetting that everything is inter-connected, and that every living thing deserves respect. Gratitude, gentleness and awe seem to have disappeared from the manner in which most people live on this Earth which sustains us all. We humans are an integral part of the web of life, and everything we do to other species will in turn affect us.

Greta Thunberg’s talk, in the above video, gets right down to the most important aspects of this overwhelming challenge, this never-before-experienced crisis facing humankind. And not only humankind, but all of life is being swept up in a huge transition, a massive, unstoppable storm of change. It is no longer a question…the climate crisis is human-caused. We may have time to at least help the Earth to recover in some ways.

When you think about this situation, about the now undeniable fact that humans world-wide must change the ways they live on the planet, a sense of despair may set in. The dilemma seems almost insurmountable, too daunting to even begin to deal with. How will we ever recover from our addiction to the use of fossil fuels, which is one of the main causes of climate change? How will we keep fossil fuels in the ground, rather than continuing to recklessly extract and burn them, creating massive carbon emissions, thus rapidly warming the climate?

Well, we won’t solve anything by mindlessly sailing along, blinkers on, business as usual!

We all have to work together: citizens of ALL ages, students, politicians, law-makers, environmentalists, scientists, people in the “corporate world”, activists, educators, volunteers, health-care providers, workers in every area, farmers, etc.! It seems to me that this time of great transition on Earth is happening at an ever-increasing speed, out of necessity, and we have no way of knowing where the changes are taking us. This is where ACCEPTANCE of what we cannot control becomes necessary. But we can all do something, however small, and be involved in creating positive changes.

This is just a little blog, one among millions of others, and I cannot pretend to know the answers to enormous questions. However, getting back to my original goals for the blog, which are to express and share ideas about Beauty, Positivity, and Simplicity, I can at least focus on what I think might help some of us to face the huge challenges, using those three guidelines.

***BEAUTY: look around you, out in the world, and really notice the beauty of nature. Even in the depths of the city, one can look at a leaf, a bird, an insect, a cloud, a tree, a flower, an animal, a human being (!), the life-giving soil, a plant, water, the ocean, a stream or river, and see how beautiful they are. Put away that smart phone, and re-acquaint yourself with the real world!

***POSITIVITY: please don’t despair! We can begin to face our reality by talking with each other, communicating, sharing our ideas and feelings in a truthful way. Let’s be honest about this: we have a problem, we humans and our wonderful planet! And it’s time to talk about it, about “the elephant in the room”! Expressing our concerns can lead to the beginnings of positive changes. Acceptance of reality is a key step in keeping positive. Grieving the losses which we will inevitably face is better than repressing our grief about (for example) the loss of so many species, losses which are currently happening at an alarming rate. (See links below.)

***SIMPLICITY: keep it simple, and take it easy! One step at a time. We can work together. People of all beliefs, all backgrounds, all political stripes, must learn to listen to and respect each other. This does not have to be complicated, even though the problems which we face are complex. People have gone through crises over and over again through the ages, and have learned how to change and adapt. The time has come, in my opinion, to get active, as Greta Thunberg suggests! Individual actions may not solve the problems, but the process of trying to solve them, and of working with each other and WITH “Mother Earth”, is all important. Perhaps we need to SIMPLIFY some of our SYSTEMS, such as how and where we grow our food, for example. And we can SIMPLIFY our lives by cutting back on consumerism. Use less, re-use as much as we can, travel by air less (much less!), drive less (much less!), eat less meat, (the production of “meat” causes carbon emissions, pollutes land and water, and abuses animals), use fewer animal products, use less precious water, do not use toxic products (read the labels), never use pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers, protect the bees and other pollinators, avoid the use of plastics wherever possible, GROW SOME OF YOUR OWN FOOD (even in pots on a balcony), tear up the lawn and plant vegetables, and on it goes!

Here are the titles of three books which are helping me to “TAKE HEART”:

***Intrinsic Hope–Living Courageously in Troubled Times

by Kate Davies, M.A., D.Phil.

***The World-Ending Fire–The Essential Wendell Berry

essays by Wendell Berry

***The Great Work–Our Way Into the Future

by Thomas Berry

During my neighbourhood walk today, as I basked in the leaf-dappled sunshine, watched a foraging crow, admired the gardens, and breathed the fresh air, I realized that it is next to impossible for some people to believe that the climate crisis is actually happening. For various reasons, they are not yet ready to see the writing on the wall. I’ve talked to people who think that some of us are imagining a disaster where there is none, and that Earth has gone through extinctions and huge climatic changes before. This may be true, but never have the changes happened so quickly, and never before have they been totally human-caused, and so devastating to a high percentage of the planet’s other plant, animal and insect species. I have noticed massive changes in my own lifetime, here in the south-western corner of British Columbia. For decades now, it has been obvious to me that many species have already disappeared, that the climate and weather patterns are changing radically, and that the Earth is in trouble. Now, she is finally reacting. Many people are becoming aware that things are out of balance, and that our “systems” must change if life on the planet is to continue to flourish, or even to survive.

Here is a  link to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report to the United Nations, from October, 2018:

Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C approved by governments

And a link to the recent United Nations report on species extinctions:

https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2019/05/nature-decline-unprecedented-report/

Here are two quotations which I find helpful:

***As long as we are here, we have a responsibility to work for the Earth….I don’t think we have the option for despair.

—Vandana Shiva… is an Indian scholar, environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate, and author. (Wikipedia)

***Do the best you can, in the place that you are, and be kind.

—Scott Nearing…was an American radical economist, educator, writer, political activist, pacifist, and advocate of simple living. (Wikipedia)

Another reason to feel at least somewhat hopeful for the future of life on the planet:

https://globalclimatestrike.net/?cmp=newsletter-What+on+Earth%3F+May+30

Adults have been invited to join the youth in the September 20th to 27th Climate Strike, world-wide. I plan to join our city’s Climate Strike, and I hope that thousands, even millions of others will join their demonstrations as well!

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