The Power of One
Thinking about climate change can be overwhelming. Too often people, like you and me, feel powerless to do anything significant to make a difference. I can recycle, and try to live my life leaving behind as small a carbon footprint as I can, but how is that going to help alleviate climate change? I am only one person, how can I possibly make a difference?
Greta Thunberg is one shining example of how one person CAN make a difference.
Learning about climate change at the early age of 8, and understanding how the future she was facing would be impacted sent Greta into a deep depression. She stopped eating and talking. She could not comprehend why no one was doing anything to stop climate change.
Fortunately she found her voice, and with persistence has brought attention to the climate change crisis, with demands for action by those in power.
Single-handedly she has awakened millions of people around the globe to the crisis that we are facing. Her actions and determination to address climate change head on has been inspiring and contagious.
Greta brings hope that the upcoming generation will provide leadership that will make the changes needed to save the world from the 5th mass extinction we are facing today.
“At just 16 years old, Greta Thunberg is already one of our planet’s greatest advocates. Her age might have something to do with it. With full knowledge that her generation will bear the heaviest burden of climate change, she’s unafraid to believe that progress is possible—and fight for real change. She’s an example of why Michelle and I started the Obama Foundation — because we believe in a future that’s shaped by the courage and hope of young people like Greta.” ~ President Barack Obama
Shining Sparks of Hope
What is happening in Hong Kong right now is a tragedy. At the same time, it is a catalyst that is sparking hope all around the globe.
The youth are fighting for their freedom. And how they are doing it is inspiring and encouraging.
Through a very clever communication system they are able to draw multitudes to join in peaceful demonstrations. No one single person or organization can be identified by authorities as the organizer.
What is most impressive is their dedication to the environment even while they are focused on preserving their freedom.
After the first demonstration the environment was littered with discarded water bottles, due to an insufficient number of trash bins overflowing.
By the second demonstration recycling stations were set up at different points on the route of the march, along with water stations for refilling water bottles. Same at the airport. As soon as the demonstration was over the youth were out there cleaning up any remaining remnants of the protest.
Besides assisting with the on-going protests in Hong Kong, the group responsible for setting up the recycling, No Waste Mall, provides recycling programs throughout Hong Kong.
According to their Facebook About page, “The “No Dumpsters” was set up by a group of residents of Yuen Long who are concerned about environmental protection and environmental policies. They set up a street station every week to combine the recycling, resource sharing and environmental protection classrooms to reform the refuse station into a “community resource recovery and sharing centre”.”
It is very sad that at a time when we should be fighting for environmental reforms to address climate change, the people of Hong Kong are forced to struggle for their individual freedom.
Their struggle is huge. They are fighting a giant. But they are coming up with innovative ways to unify the people.
The world is watching.
When people are unified change is inevitable.
Every Action Matters
Have you ever heard of the The Butterfly Effect? This effect grants the power to cause a hurricane in China to a butterfly flapping its wings in New Mexico. It may take a very long time, but the connection is real. If the butterfly had not flapped its wings at just the right point in space/time, the hurricane would not have happened. Another way to express this is that small changes in the initial conditions lead to drastic changes in the results.
Every little thing we do has an impact. Our lives are an ongoing demonstration of this principle. Never give up caring about the environment, or succumb to the feeling “What does it matter? I am only one person.”
There is a movement started all around the world. People are coming together and marching to stand up for what they want. In Hong Kong they are marching for their freedom. Elsewhere around the world people are marching for climate change. In droves.
Not everyone can dedicate their life to raising awareness about climate change, or participate in a march for freedom. But you can always join a march in support of climate action.
Flap your wings. Reject that plastic straw in your iced coffee. Stick a roll-up shopping bag in you hand bag in case you buy something on your way home from work. Turn the AC down a bit. Get a rake instead of a leaf blower. Let the sun line dry your clothes. Conserve water. There are many small ways to reduce your carbon footprint!
Be a butterfly.
Every little thing you do matters.
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