Resolving to Make a Difference: Fighting Climate Change

January 22nd, 2012

At the time, it seemed like a long-shot. A carefully staged group of protests in front of the White House, designed to pressure President Obama into fighting the Keystone Pipeline and to build public awareness of the dangers of the pipeline. But as stood in front of the White House and watched my “green mom” friend Harriet Shugarman aka @ClimateMama, join the protest line, I was in awe.

Green Moms at Tar Sands Protest

I didn’t know much about the specifics of the Tar Sands pipeline until Harriet told me and the other Green Moms Carnival members about it.  At first, I wasn’t even sure I objected. Bringing in oil from Canada, as opposed to from the Persian Gulf, didn’t seem like such a bad idea at first.

Then I learned that renowned NASA climate scientist James Hansen had said it would be “game over” on climate change if the pipeline was built.

And slowly but surely, as the news spread, public opinion shifted, until finally, a few days, ago, the President announced his opposition to the pipeline.

But contrary to some reports, it’s still not a dead project. The final reckoning has only been delayed – and who knows who will sit in the Oval Office at that point?

Nearly four years ago, most of us thought we’d see far greater uptake of cleaner, green sources of energy after became president. To be sure, not all of the blame falls on policy makers. The marketing of renewable energy – especially wind and solar thermal – is lackluster. Consumer awareness is still low, and it’s not easy for even the most enthusiastic “green mom” to buy the full range of clean energy products.

We have so far yet to go.

James Hansen can make a credible scientific argument against the pipeline. And he has. But to me, these words of his are most powerful: Einstein said to think and not act is a crime. If we understand the situation, we must try to make it clear. I decided six or seven years ago that I did not want my grandchildren to look back in the future and say “Opa understood what was happening, but he didn’t make it clear.”

I agree with James Hansen. It’s why I stood in front of the White House, shouted “Go, Green Moms! Go Harriet!,” and watched as the protestors were led into a white tent for processing before being taken to jail in the police vans lined up across the square. (It was all very orderly – the arrests having been coordinated ahead of time down to every last detail).

Together, we can accomplish so much. And we have to — for there is so much more to accomplish. Check out the Green Moms’ Carnival on Resolutions to Fight Climate Change, hosted by Amber Strocel of Strocel.com. There you’ll find posts from some of the most engaged green women bloggers — about what we can do, what you can do – so that someday, you can tell your grandkids that you did something to fight climate change.

– Lynn