For almost a year, I’ve been working as a climate activist, marching, constant outreach, organising book clubs, joining a local climate action committee, and eventually becoming the Vice Chair of the Fairfax Climate Action Committee. I learned the basics of ecology, began to identify the life forms and plants in our environment in the forest, making it the central part of my research, and redesigned and volunteered my skills toward rebranding efforts and film development for the town here. We do so much, we have set out a plan for our town here, yet I knew that I had to act wherever I could, at the local level, state level, and national level to make sure that it’s recognized. What Biden is signing today includes the best yet attempt to mitigate against climate catastrophes, far from its original scope, but enough for us activists after two years of intensive efforts, and for some in the climate community much longer, stretching decades and even more than half a century. This was critical legislation that I know a lot of us are grateful for. We finally are doing something. We need to do more.
If you’re inside the climate community you can really see how dire the situation is. We share resources and are dedicated to very difficult issues that the mainstream media and other sources sometimes do not highlight, though with increasing urgency, they are heroically starting to cover more, and it couldn’t be starker. The climate disasters that have been around us for the past two years, and even longer than that demand it, and it’s becoming clear that we can’t look away. It’s also a central part of compassion. Recovery in disasters puts vulnerable populations at increased risk, and nowhere is safe, for all the cost of the original climate provisions, cost estimates of disasters and displacement caused by climate change will far exceed the allotments given to climate change initiatives that we are currently planning. I’m celebrating the wins today, but we have to do more. We are finally, for the first time, giving our planet a chance for survival, and all life within it itself.
If you see climate change from the problems that it will cause, beyond measure, you have to see how we have to act as boldly on this as we do for any emergencies. The survival of our planet is just that important. Can we look into our children’s eyes and promise them that we’ve done everything we can for their survival? Can we look out into the trees and landscape around us and hear the wind as a whisper that calls us to imagine a world with a life destroyed? Can we imagine the ocean like a rising storm that threatens our coastal communities? Can we tell our friends in the animal kingdom that we can’t let them live another day? As refugees move from climate disasters to where they don’t know? This is the reality if we do not act more on climate change. Today is an absolute win for environmental activists, but it is this activist’s personal belief that we need to do more, every day, and perhaps that is what I’m most excited about. Things like this should have been done decades ago, but as someone who grew up with artists speaking out before politicians would, I will take that position and align my work with theirs, as an artist, I will never stop pushing for a more equal and just world, founded on the principle that we have to preserve and protect all forms of life, and it is without question that that call is first answered by protecting against the problems since the Industrial Revolution. There are critical issues facing our time, but the very foundation of all of them should be the preservation of all life on earth, and if that doesn’t bring us together as a community, both on the most local and personal to the embracement of all the world, I don’t know what will.