As I go through the days before the start of our fast I find myself preparing on the inside as well as on the outside.
There are a lot of practical things to do: continue outreach, make a banner, plan our Ottawa events, arrange for billeting. At the same time I find myself changing on the inside. A sense of anticipation is quietly building. This is an important witness for the planet. In preparation I deliberately let myself experience hunger. I want to know that I have the strength to see this through. And I consider what it would mean to go without food not by choice, but because of drought, because of flooding, because of the changes being set in motion, right now.
We are talking about a genocide in the making,. We are remaking the earth into what scientists are calling the ‘Anthropocene’ – a geologic shift caused by human activity. We are blanketing the earth in greenhouse gases. Earth’s temperature is rising. The Arctic is melting, extreme weather events are increasing, and this is just the beginning. We are looking at the potential of mass starvation, due to loss of agricultural production, and mass dislocation due to rising seas. Millions, perhaps billions, of people will be on the move as climate refugees, or will die because conditions on the planet no longer support their lives. Because all of this is known now, and we are not responding by massively reducing our greenhouse gases, as scientists are urging us to do, I see it as genocide.
People can bring about amazing shifts through social action and organizing. When people decided they had had enough of the Berlin Wall, it came down. Conditions were ready, but people had to step forward to make it happen. When Egyptians decided they had enough of Mubarak’s regime, they worked together to make it happen. Conditions are right for a shift now, for action on climate to happen. Millions of people are aware of climate in a way they were not before this hot dry summer of wildfires, flooding and extreme storms. But we must be organized to make this shift.
Join us. Spend a day fasting and reflecting on just what this planet means to you and to your family. Consider how you see the future unfolding, and what we can do now to determine what that future will look like. Consider what you are called to do.
Take time to write a letter to your Member of Parliament. Let your MP know that you care.
Some of you have already written. Thank you so much! Please invite others to get involved.
For the future,
Climate Fast and Vigil
'Staggering': 4,500 Heat Records and Counting (www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/07/07)
Extreme Weather Hammers Global Food System (www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/09/05#.UEifkAgn-k0.twitter)