Over at Moms Clean Air Force, we are tracking the progress of 16-year old Greta Thunberg’s little sailing vessel, as she makes her way—without discharging climate pollution—from England to New York City. There, she will be leading the Student Strikes on September 20th.
Greta Thunberg gets a little seasick, she says. But that’s nothing compared to how heartsick she is—and we all are—about the lack of global action on cutting the methane and carbon emissions that are throwing off the balance of our lovely, human-cradling climate—and sending us down a hellish path of global warming. I’m writing this letter to you from Rhode Island, where, I just learned, the state has already entered an “extreme” stage of warming, having passed the 2 degree mark of temperature rise.
I think of young Greta Thunberg, brave in her tiny boat on a great vast heaving sea. She will be looking out over the water and feeling that same sense of awe that all the sailors I know talk about. The hugeness of it, the power of it, and the smallness of each of us. We, in our human civilization, are a dot on the earth scale of history.
And yet, we have altered the very chemistry of the ocean, with our pollution, making it more acidic, and deadly to so many creatures. We’ve littered it with plastic, too. We may be puny, but we have enormous power, huge impact.
We also have the power to do the right thing. We’ve done it before. We can do it again. We have the creativity, the ingenuity, and the love. We have a polluted political scene right now. But we have the power to change that, too.
I think about how I would feel if my child were in that little vessel. How my heart would be in my throat, how I would not be able to sleep until my loved one were home safe and sound. But then I suddenly realize, my children are in that boat. Right there with Greta. We are all in that boat.
So let’s focus on safe passage, and let’s work to steer through this climate emergency so that we can get home safe and sound.
Bravo. Great. Bravo to all the young people who are taking their fight to the streets. And bravo to all of us—the aunts, uncles, grandparents, and mothers and fathers—who join our young people in doing the hard work that will get us to a safer, cleaner, more vibrantly beautiful harbor.
Image via Grist