Last week Houston. This week Fort McMurray. Next week: where on Earth?
The climate crisis knows no bounds and its hallmark is unpredictability. We know the general trends, as the carbon dioxide levels rise in the atmosphere, but we don't know exactly when the impacts of extreme weather on human communities and ecosystems will happen next.
As a mother, I am distressed that we are handing on to our children a world descending into climate chaos. As a mother, I am distressed by the impact armed conflict is having on communities in the Middle East and beyond, and by the trillions of dollars going into the military and "defence" while the real threats to future survival are not addressed.
We are quick to judge a parent who does not provide the necessities of life to a child, even when their intentions are the best, as was the case for a couple devoted to natural healing when their child died of meningitis. Yet we are the collective parent of the next generation, and generations to follow.
As a collective parent, what are our responsibilities to ensure the necessities of life for those who will live on planet Earth in the latter decades of the twenty-first century? Do we wish this to be the last few decades when human life on Earth can flourish? Do we wish to allow ecosystems in the oceans, in forests, to collapse?
It doesn't matter that our intentions may be for the best. If we are not ensuring that the conditions for humanity to survive and thrive stay in place for future generations -- then we are negligent. It doesn't matter that it is complicated to solve the many interconnected problems that we face: overconsumption, ocean acidification, sea rise, droughts, floods and famine...if we fail we are truly failing our children and grandchildren.
As a settler in this land I am grateful for the wisdom of Indigenous communities who understand that money is not the measure of wealth, that true abundance is in our connections to "all our relations" human and animal, plants, the ocean and the earth itself.
As a mother I am thankful for the wisdom of looking seven generations ahead when making decisions, and for the strength of the land defenders who speak for the water, the air, and the land. Those who feel and express deep connection to the natural world and the circle of life that we are all part of. I am dismayed at the dominance of corporations and the power of the profit motive. Deliberate corporate betrayal of our collective future fills me with anger. Why would the people running fossil fuel companies hide the truth of the damage these fossil fuels cause when burned? Whatever would possess them to put immediate profit ahead of long term sustainability?
It doesn't need to be this way. Together we can make the shift from fossil fuel energy to renewables. We can make the shift from warmakers to peacebuilders. Together we can make the shift from consumers to active citizens. Just think how much more satisfying it will be to leave a planet that is alive to our children -- not one that is dying.
We can do this, and yet time is running out.
Consider this a global call to action in our local communities, through our governments and through international networks to make a living future possible. As a mother, I call all mothers, all parents, all aunts, uncles and cousins, all decision-makers, all business owners, every member of the media -- everyone -- to make this our highest priority.
This year lets us do everything in our power to create this green and peaceful future. I ask this of us all. As a mother.
Lyn Adamson is Co-Chair of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, and is active in ClimateFast, Citizens Climate Lobby and Toronto 350.
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