2019-09-17

Climate Strike! Act 5

Act 5
Thrilling Conclusion

One of Mary Oliver’s best known and best loved poems is “The Summer Day.”
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Well, Mary, one thing I plan to do with my one wild and precious life is oppose the oil companies that want us to keep burning fossil fuels. Here’s what the web site 350.org says:
“Even if we do manage to keep most of fossil fuels in the ground, a world that’s 1.5°C warmer [than preindustrial] is going to be a much different, scarier place. We’re only at +1°C now, and we’re already seeing more storms, flooding, heatwaves, drought, and island nations at risk of going underwater. The basic facts of climate crisis are grim: the vast majority of fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground for us to stay below 1.5°C of warming -- and fossil fuel companies aren’t going to do that without a fight. We know exactly what we have to do — keep fossil fuels in the ground and quickly transition to 100% renewable energy. The science says it’s still possible to stay under 1.5˚C – but we’ll need to halve emissions by 2030, and increase the share of solar, wind and hydro energy dramatically in that time. Renewable energy is getting cheaper and more popular every day. As renewables grow and provide more clean, free energy to replace fossil fuels, we’ve seen emissions decrease in many countries. We’re not alone — the worldwide movement to stop the climate crisis and resist the fossil fuel industry is growing stronger every day.”
Maybe there’s a realistic chance of keeping the temperature rise to within 1.5°C warmer than pre-industrial, or maybe there isn’t. I don’t think that matters. I mean, obviously the temperature increase will make a huge difference, but our odds of preventing it don't matter. What matters is that our joy and compassion call to us to put an end to fossil fuel use. What matters is that doing everything we can to put Exxon and Shell out of business is fun – whether in the end we put a dent on those behemoth corporations or not.

And when I say “fun,” I mean it’s joyous and compassionate to facilitate the transition of the beautiful and worthy human beings who work for those companies into vocations that do not stunt their spirits by paying them to harm themselves and others.

The toil of body and soul, we offer up to the universe, and what the universe makes of it is not ours to say.

Yes, strategizing is a part of doing. Goals and outcomes and plans for achieving them are the manifestations of compassion. It’s possible to plan for results, however, without expecting or needing them. Our hearts turn over to grace their labor, their sweat -- all that our hearts are and have. Grace has its own way of shaping what our hearts bequeath it.

So join me as part of the Climate Strike this Friday Sep 20. Three days before the UN Climate Summit in NYC, young people and adults across the globe will strike to demand action be taken to address the climate crisis. CUUC members will meet at Grand Central Station on Friday September 20, under the opal clock at 11:30am, or at the Starbucks by Foley Square before 1:00pm. We will join the march going to the Battery Park rally.

See the Action Network's info on the Climate Strike -- HERE.
See the info sheet for Metro New York area UUs is HERE.
CUUC members and friends, see HERE.

What else you gonna do with your one wild and precious life?

What else that would be as much fun – as joyous and compassionate?

* * *
Climate Strike! Act 1: Fermi's Question
Climate Strike! Acts 2-3: Truths Still Inconvenient. Polls.
Climate Strike! Act 4: Joy, Compassion, and the Big Picture

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