At the 2015 General Assembly in Portland, I made a personal commitment to devote most of my volunteer energy to work on climate change, which I believe is the most troubling and important issue we humans have ever faced.
Ask, and it shall be answered... I am now a very busy volunteer with several local, national and international climate organizations. I have learned an enormous amount, and met some wonderful and inspiring people. I love what I am doing, and I believe that it matters.
And yet, and yet... the situation is worsening. Sea level rise, climate refugees, extreme weather events (all disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable) - the litany of frightening statistics goes on. Even the most optimistic projections tell us that we will be living in a seriously climate-compromised future.
What keeps me working so hard on this issue are the faces of my 8-year old grandson, his 4-year old brother and their 3-year old cousin - all flesh of my flesh, dearly loved by me. I imagine them fifteen years from now, when things are worse, asking 88-year old me "Nonna, why didn't you do something?" I want to look those beloved boys right in the eye and truthfully say "I did everything I could." So I'm doing everything I can.
Vaclav Havel has written that hope is an orientation of the spirit; "it's not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out." So rather than dwell on the futility of reversing climate change, I choose to work with hope in my heart that enough can be done so that not just my grandchildren, but all children, will be living in a world where people understand better how interdependent we are and how important it is that we care for the planet we call home.
Rev. Judy Welles, happily retired in Portland, OR, March 14, 2017
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