by: RM Allen, author of NH Goddess Chronicles series
Did you ever give thought to what you would do if you lived in the days of the Suffragettes or Abolishionists? You don’t have to ponder anymore, because we are in the midst of the social struggle of our time, and it is called Climate Change.
As I see it, the seeds of the great social justice movement of “our times” have sprouted in the incubators of places like 350.org, and this Earth Day will see those seedlings being set outside to harden off and set deep roots.
The moral issue here is one of asking ourselves that, despite what is legal or not legal at this time, can we as a people go on with business as usual knowing that many daily actions we take for granted are condemning other peoples, as well as our children and grandchildren, to lives of lack?
Wen Stephenson, in his new book “What We’re Fighting for Now is Each Other,” traces the beginnings of the climate movement up through today. Then he talks about tomorrow; humanity’s moral compass finds True North and civil disobedience is enacted on a larger scale. Training is underway all over the globe, and it is trickling into the coffee shops in my town. Two ladies I know are training with a local chapter of the Climate Disobedience Center so that they may intelligently participate in peaceful “direct actions” coordinated by 350.org and others on May 14th, 2016. That day may or may not result in their police arrest.
What is direct action for climate? It is when you chain yourself to a strip-mining tractor, or take your boat out in front of a coal ship, or bid on oil/ gas land leases that you cannot afford. In short, it is disruption – disrupting something that is currently legal but should not be, things like denying opportunity and voting rights to women and before that, freedom to blacks. This time it is Mother Nature that is being disrespected and oppressed. She is far from being powerless though, she has the power to turn tables and condemn us all to a “life of lack.”
The good news is that many are waking up to this fact. The “dark money” supported climate-denier era is over. Direct action is afoot. Perhaps this Earth Day you may want to seek out Gandhi-like training from the Climate Disobedience Center. I thought long and hard about getting arrested on May 14th, but found I would rather not …at this time. I advance the struggle in small ways by slashing my own carbon footprint, as well as creating a ripple effect in others. I continue to strive.
Wen Stephenson will speak in Exeter, NH on May 17th at 7pm at Christ Episcopal Church (43 Pine Street) as part of the We The People Lecture Series (WTPexeter.weebly.com). His talk will take place three days after the global day of direct action. Please come hear what he has to say.