There is a reason, however, why we have yet to largely mobilize around the climate crisis in any way,
let alone by the principles of the biosphere – and that is because it is terrifying. To prepare for disaster requires
that you imagine it thoroughly, and the last thing we want to imagine is the chaotic destruction of our only home
in this universe. Moreover, the financial reality of uprooting our systems and current livelihoods is unnerving. Our
worlds and economic security are wrapped up in the systems we know… how can we trust that we will be alright if
that all were to change? Our existential threats thus remain neglected, because we do not believe ourselves strong
enough to handle the emotional and physical realities of living with them every day, and because we don’t see clearly
enough the very real opportunities in shifting to greener and more equitable systems.
Yet there is only opportunity. Our current ways of life are quite detrimental, and change is necessary.
Those who get ahead on technological innovation and systemic restructuring will become the next global leaders. New
energy innovations will bring about new careers and skilled labor. Manufacturing, construction and engineering jobs will be
in high demand with the need for new infrastructure, machinery, and transportation. Strategy, development and entrepreneurial opportunities will blossom with new industries as different sects of society start working together. And amidst all of this
growth, we must not forget what climate change is reminding us – that a healthy ecosystem is critical to individual survival
and prosperity. As our fellow humans are fundamental parts of our social and economic ecosystems, building systems that
uplift everyone will allow us all to be more successful.
Moreover, while alone perhaps we are not strong enough to handle the challenges we face, together, we are. Together, we won our young country’s independence against the world’s greatest navy at the time. When World War II threatened global freedom and security, we rapidly transformed our economy and society and developed revolutionary technologies. Black Americans, together, have fought for their freedom since their enslavement, building a fabric of justice in America despite their oppression, and Indigenous Americans have kept their people and culture alive amidst the genocide of colonization. We have kept ourselves moving forward throughout our darkest moments by finding strength and ingenuity in one another. When we work together, we persevere.
Unfortunately, climate change is riddled with uncertainty and frightening scientific and demographic predictions, and we will not be able to escape our fear if we are truly in touch the challenges that lie ahead. However, if we embrace this reality while embracing each other, we will discover a resilience that is stronger than our fear. We will have comradery and motivation, joy and connection, in uniting across our differences. We will have innovation and curiosity in coming up with solutions. We will have a deep love for our lives on this beautiful planet. We will have hope from experiencing the true potential of a mobilized, connected humanity.
It is important to recognize that in choosing to fight climate change, we are not just choosing to fight – we are choosing to live. To not only keep humanity alive, but to experience our time on this planet to its fullest potential. And while life comes with struggle, it also comes with wonder. I believe with my whole heart that this wonder has the power to keep us moving forward.