Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Choices~Warning: Photos Distressing to Those Who Love the Earth and Its Creatures


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


42 comments:

  1. We can hope. I wonder if we can make the hard enough choices to make a difference. Will we use alt fuels. Will we give up cars for bikes. Will we car pool at least to limit the footprint? Every day we make choices that lasting effects on the world around us. I wonder how many ever actually think about it? Or does convenience win out every time?

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  2. I feel sad reading and looking at these pictures ~ We do indeed have a choice on how to live with other people and creatures peacefully and in harmony ~

    I will check out your links Sherry ~ Have a good week ahead ~

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  3. Oh, Sherry, those photos break my heart. That poor polar bear on that floating ice & the poor dead one on the shore. We definitely have made so many poor choices in the past decades. We do have to start reversing climate change before it is too late!

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  4. A very important post, Sherry! I have already committed to go on the global march in my locality.

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  5. Sherry, your poem and commentary compete for my emotional attention. Wow. Both are such powerful writing! Both call on people --us--to act. Yes, Yes, Yes ... I feel all those choices that hurt the natural world, feel that I should have been blocking them all along, and now need to fill the bucket of caring with my tiny thimbles of action. But these drops add up. We should begin and never give up.

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  6. the photos are heartbreaking Sherry...your poem and notes make me think of these words of Wordsworth: To her fair works did Nature link / The human soul that through me ran; / And much it grieved my heart to think / What Man has made of Man.

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  7. You are certainly right in every word. It is a very sad state of affairs, complex in some ways but not as complex as people make it--thanks, Sherry, for your warm and caring voice. k.

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  8. For all the talk mankind generally has no real care for the planet it is all about profit now and let nothing stand in the way of that. How little we think of our children's children. Must it be left to poets to wave the flag? How sad this is.

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    1. I know, Robin. Isnt it? What frustrates me GIGANTICALLY is that it isnt a case of the environment or economy. We could employ millions world wide at a fair rate by switching to clean energy. It is the corporations, and the governments hand in glove with the corporations, who do not want to let go of the cash cow, fossil fuels. Greed. Criminal greed.

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  9. So true....maybe we can make people think with powerful words ...eventually....hope makes us going....sharing this...

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  10. Thank you for these organisation contact details. Good to know they are world wide. If we don't write or don't demonstrate about these issues then we are hypocrites just mouthing support and a passive contributors to the destruction of the planet.

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  11. Oh, this is so so sad!! What a heart breaking story and a disturbing image.But every little action we do to change our ways is a step in the right direction.....
    Thanks for your kind and caring message....Sherry.

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  12. your words are very telling and have such impact - and we both chose the environment as our 'choice'

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  13. So sad. I hope for change. All beings need it so very badly. You're a great voice in the world, Sherry. I hope more of us absorb these types of messages.

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  14. such a sad poem, yet one that had to be written

    much love...

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  15. Reading your words and seeing the photos, I can't help but think of Volkswagen and its deceptive software used to thwart emissions controls on its diesel engines. Imagine all the crap (for lack of a better word) being spewed into the environment because of greed! It's sickening, just sickening, and I fear that VW is going to get away with this deception at a huge cost to our fragile planet.

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    1. My original comment on this poem still holds true, even as my despair deepens...

      Seeking Sugar

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  16. Heartbreaking. So well done, Sherry.

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  17. Our only choice is not to deny
    this crisis that feels too big,
    to have the courage to declare
    our love and care

    Such truth in these lines.. we should gather up the courage to declare exactly how we feel. A touching piece.

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  18. My heart froze to read your words, to see the images of the tired and starving, the Pope is here, and he is talking about climate change, the GOP doesn't want to hear it...doesn't go along with their program...Sherry a wonderful and important poem....

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  19. Thank you for this Sherry! Such an important piece about such an important issue--and you are right, we all need to raise our voices--and make sure that we are heard--

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  20. That was a powerful post. I love Naomi Klein. I have read her previous two books, No Logo and Shock Doctrine and can't wait to read her latest. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  21. This is so upsetting. I can hardly stand it. Thank you, Sherry for bringing the painful to the surface so that it will be addressed.

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  22. Bless you Sherry. I've done all you recommend, even signed up for a poetry reading addressing climate change. (Not my thing, but I'll read any of my poems that may raise a little awareness.) Still, sometimes I do feel defeated. I hope we all rise to contribute what we can for the planet's survival.

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  23. Far too few of the world are aware to the plight and fight of the planet, it's creatures or even each other..i am always thankful that i encounter aware and caring people.. a few can make a difference

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  24. Powerful poems! Sad photos, can be alert for people to face the same situation for humans soon...if not acting now. Thanks for your words/actions!

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  25. This can't be said enough. Unless we adapt we will starve.

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  26. Until we have changed people's mind there is nothing to be done.. If people cannot even accept the price of gasoline increasing... so little sacrifice is really needed... so much you can do that is really better for you. But we keep voting for our comfort, and to me you don't even need to change because climate effects, it's simply selfish to burn all the oil now, and leave nothing to the future.. so even if you deny the climate effects there are so many good reasons... like your own clogged arteries for instance.

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    1. And I am not meaning you of course... but "your" and "us" in the sense of human beings.

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  27. Respect your activism and agree that every one needs to play their part.

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  28. Susan, glad you covered this issue. It's threatening our world/lives and the photo of the starving/dead polar bear tears at my heart. may we use our talents of writing to address these problems that are in need of the world's attention...let alone famine and other similar issues. great write, applause!!!

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  29. The pictures tear at my heartstrings..this is a sad reality to choices..unfortunately the gov't won't change as big business rules decision makers. I worry about what will be left 7 generations from now.

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  30. Climate change is prompted by the folly of man towards the environment. This in turn is kept alive by the desire to make money by the business sector at the expense of conservation

    Hank

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  31. Back for a second read, with new tears, and new resolve.

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  32. I apologize. After seeing the first photo, I could not go further. This is heartbreaking. I will find out later how to help but right now, I can't bear any more. Thank you for posting this. Spencer is Kanzensakura

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  33. makes me so sad and sick.. thank you for talking about it.

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  34. Sadly Sherry it is all about money...money instead of a clean planet, money for power and damn the environment, the poor, well you name it. Money is more important it seems...we have lost our minds so now we see here those that would shoot someone over a pair of shoes and turn their backs on the hungry and the wild things. I live in hope too that those of us who care, who write, who unite our voices will show a kinder, better way that many can follow....I live in hope.

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  35. I was so taken with this post when I read it easier in the week, that I shared it with my husband. Keep sounding that portent of doom, Sherry. It is disturbing - and so it should be!

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  36. I agree with ur concerns.greed makes us lose sight of fundamental truths.

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  37. down here in the states we're fighting the pipeline and fracking which i've communicated to my representatives my position on this but when it comes to our species friends, i must become more involved. gracias for your attention to this, mi amiga

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  38. We have made wrong choices generation after generation from time immemorial Sherry. Your poem poignantly vocalises the awakening concern worldwide about what choices we are to make henceforth. Good one!

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I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!