As a mother and a caregiver of so many beautiful children, I have been laying awake at night. I need to be able to answer these children when they ask what did I do to change the course of events over the next decade?
It has become clear I can no longer stand by and watch us fail in respect to global climate change. It has become clear it must be more than recycling, more than driving a fuel-efficient car or avoiding plastic.
I have known this to be so but I have been waiting for the politicians, left, right and centre, to take up the charge. Instead they get lost in blaming, denying or avoiding, which leads to inaction for yet another election cycle.
A new scientific global report was released just last week. It gives us a decade to drastically change our actions to avoid catastrophic environmental disruption. It is so hard for me to read this and truly comprehend it. Ten years? The last decade has passed in a blink of an eye. The next decade will be gone in so little time. Just two more elections.
None of us are here for long, to be sure, but 10 years is only a one tenth of a long life, less if you are not so lucky. There has been a background feeling of anxiety in my life. This beautiful, unbelievably warm fall in the Yukon feels like an example. So gorgeous is my life, yet the shadow of the future is chilling my bones.
It is time. Instead of years, clearly our politicians have months, if they (and we) want to be on the right side of history. I will support, encourage and demand it from them: the policy-makers, the subsidy-makers, the lawmakers.
And when we can look these children in the eye and answer their question, then, just like the Berlin Wall, suddenly our mental barriers to true problem-solving will crumble. No one, no matter how self-interested they may be, will be able stop the wave of truth.
We must move mountains in this time if we are to avoid incredible suffering. That is being stated by hundreds of intelligent and careful scientists all over the world.
So, instead of looking away to avoid facing this reality, or starting to blame people, or waiting for the right moment, I will show up. I will use my voice and my mind and my heart to create change. I will join in with others who have been trying so long to warn us. Our voices will become a roar of determination, and perhaps, if our children are fortunate, we shall move the heavy weights of inertia and fear and replace them with soul-satisfying action.
Leet Mueller Whitehorse