Happy 2016 to all our Climate Mamas and Papas! We hope you had time to relax this holiday season, to be surrounded by loved ones and to surround yourself and be in nature. The beginning of the year is always a time for reflection and taking stock, for new hopes and promises – to ourselves and to and for others as well. This year instead of starting out with a play list of what we have done, what was accomplished and where we must go, we are sticking to the “keep it simple” philosophy and promising ourselves and you that 2016 will be our year to Keep it Real.
What do we mean? Aren’t we always “keeping it real” with you and with ourselves? Of course we are, but in line with our ClimateMama Mantra: “Tell the truth, actions speak louder then words, and don’t be afraid” we want to start of 2016 by reminding you that you can always count on us to keep it real, even if sometimes we would rather shut our eyes to the realities we face because of climate change.
As we work to empower ourselves and others to lead by example on climate action, we also feel that we are at a critical juncture where we can’t and where we mustn’t allow others to sugar coat the truth – something that is done too often in our climate community. Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time and will remain a huge challenge for lifetimes to come. But if we don’t put the brakes on now, the costs and consequences will be catastrophic; not just for our natural world but for us and our families as well. This is the reality we face. And without minimizing the challenges, we promise to be real about highlighting the opportunities too, because part of being real is also having hope.
At the end of 2015, you didn’t have to look too far to find news about climate change. Representatives from around the world met in Paris to talk climate solutions. And at the same time, our mother Earth played games with us. Extreme weather events – weird, wild and mild – took over the headlines as well. In the Northeastern United States, Christmas Day was in the mid 70’s in New York’s Central Park, and thermometers climbed to 80F and beyond in the Washington DC area – not even close to normal. Epic floods washed over the Midwest and rare tornadoes in the south ushered in the New Year. Outside the United States extreme weather events were the norm as well.
Getting Real:The Paris Climate Conference didn’t solve our climate crisis, nor did it lay out clear blueprints for how we can get there. This heavy lifting remains our job. What Paris did was bring the world together in unanimous acknowledgment about the depth and the reality of the crisis we face. The blueprints of countries representing 95% of all human created greenhouse gases were shared with us, even though these plans are still in “the drawing phase.” Promises were made in Paris to show us these blueprints again in five years. While still very rudimentary, these initial plans are beacons of hope; real beginnings for a livable future for our children.
What is clear as we start this new year is that we must all be in this together, from whatever vantage point we find ourselves. In these early days of 2016, while many are still defining plans and resolutions, we wanted to leave you with a short 3 minute video by Business Insider which is helping us keep it real – and we think it might help you as well. Pictures do speak a thousand words. Share the video with the kids in your life.
The video shows us the entire history of our planet through a timeline represented by the 2450 mile trip from Los Angeles to midtown Manhattan. (Spoiler alert: The end of the dinosaur age doesn’t show up until somewhere in central New Jersey – 32 miles from midtown; in Manhattan near 5th Avenue, at 570 feet before the end of our journey – modern humans take the stage; and at 8.2 inches – the United States reaches it’s independence; not until we are 0.8th of an inch from the end of our trip does our current and dynamic information age begin……)
Amazing…! Wondering why do we shared this with you now, in our “Get Real” post? Because part of getting real is also understanding our place in the history of our planet. The earth has been around a long, long time, it has seen many changes, and in all likelihood will make the trip back to Los Angeles over time too. But, the real question remains – if we don’t take real and sustained action to curb global warming now – how far, if at all, will WE humans travel on the return trip? As Climate Mamas and Papas we remind ourselves all the time that our children are watching and relying on us. We know that our children’s journey can only take place if we set it in motion.
We invite you to join us for this trip of our lives, as we continue to “stay real” and demand that others do too.
Climate Mama and our Climate Mama team