photo taken by Kirsten Langenberger
in an effort to raise awareness about
the effects of climate change
Multinationals make choices :
Profit at the expense of planet.
Governments make choices:
appeasement of the multinationals,
to hold onto power;
or conservation, preservation
and good stewardship of resources,
with a switch to abundant clean energy sources.
Climate change is the result of humanity's choices,
the press of needs of human beings
beyond what the planet can bear.
Climate renewal rests in the choices
of governments and people.
The aware make choices every day:
to use less fossil fuel, to eat vegetarian,
to reduce, reuse, recycle,
to add our voices, and knowledge,
to the conversation, to demand
governments respond strongly and quickly
to a planet in crisis.
What choice will I make today?
What choice will we make, collectively,
as peoples of the earth
we say we love so much?
Our only choice is not to deny
this crisis that feels too big,
to have the courage to declare
our love and care,
and work to reverse climate change
in whatever ways we can.
photo at Global Warnings with James Benchimoi
Starving polar bears have no choice:
They go on swimming when the iceberg melts,
until they can swim no more
and wash up, defeated and exhausted, on the shore.
The glaciers that are left
are dark and dreaming deep.
In melting, their message can be heard:
You must find a way to slow the melt,
if you love the earth. You gave your word.
These photos broke my heart, and I had to sit with them for a few days before I could speak for these exhausted, starving creatures. It is hard knowledge, that creatures are starving and dying because of us, because of human pressures on the planet that is the home of us all.
Yesterday, driving down a street in our town, a black bear in search of food was wandering the neighborhood. I prayed he would vanish into the forest before the wildlife people came to shoot him. It was garbage day, and he was a hungry little bear, whose habitat is vanishing, in search of food. A bear is never safe in a town or city street. The talk is always of people being in danger. Yet we have created such colossal peril for all wild creatures, and somehow feel we are justified, that our "rights" are more important.
I am reading a wonderful book right now, While Glaciers Slept, Being Human in a Time of Climate Change, by M. Jackson, a young woman who makes expeditions to the Arctic with National Geographic, and who twins her considerable knowledge of climate change with her family journey through death, grief and loss. She writes beautifully, and says our response must be one of courage, and action, a message with which I completely concur.
For anyone who feels strongly that governments must address this issue with far more strength and speed than they have shown thus far, please write to your elected representatives and add your voice to the demand for stronger, faster, and more effective action. Each letter does have an impact.
Here is some hope, to end on a positive note.
It is always hopeful when the people rise. Check out 350.org, an important voice in this discussion; they are doing great work to mobilize marches and demonstrations on climate change. And, if you are so moved, join people worldwide on November 29, for the Global Peoples Climate March, as we urge world leaders at the Paris Climate Change Conference to move much faster and more effectively in addressing this issue, which has now reached crisis point.
Canada, under our present government, is woefully lacking in this discussion. Our Prime Minister thinks the Economy is all that matters. (No Jobs on a Dead Planet!) Hopefully this will soon change, and we will have new leaders. (We live in hope.) These movements always have to come from the ground up - leaders care more about staying in power than in making the tough decisions that are called for. Vote with your feet - and with your vote. Every voice, every vote, is crucially needed.
posted for Mary's prompt at Poets United's Midweek Motif: Choices