|As usual, he was the only kid at the press conference. By now he is used to that and it doesn't bother him.|
|He was undaunted by the formality and spoke as if somehow this happened every day. I was a total wreck.|
"Hi. My name is Dae. I am here to ask you to stop the coal trains.
I understand that this is a lot of money. I understand that people want jobs. I understand that families in China and Asia want to heat their homes.
I want that too. I want my future family to have jobs, money, food and warmth. I want my future children to have a world they can play in that is beautiful.
In your generation it might not matter. But, in my generation it might. In my generation it will affect climate change. In my generation it will affect the ecosystem.
I know that people are worried about having a job. They are scared because they want their kids to be safe and happy. I want that for my kids.
I am scared, too.
I can't fix this. I have no power. No one in my generation does. I am 8. I can't be a governor. I can't sit on a board to decide things. I can't even vote.
All I can do is trust you to make the right decision. To think of me. To think of my generation. To think about a future from now where we will be trying desperately to fix a broken planet.
Some people clapped, even though they weren't supposed to. Some people cried a little, even though they tried to look like they weren't. Some people gave him hugs and some gave him high fives.Thank you. Please be responsible with my future.
We went into the after-room for some snacks and found the mayor of Vancouver there. He spoke at the press conference, so The Barracuda knew who he was. The Barracuda thanked the mayor for standing up against the coal trains even though it could get him fired (not re-elected). He told him it was a brave decision and he was glad someone was standing up for the next generation and the future. The mayor thanked him for the exact same thing. They shook hands. It was pretty cool. The mayor went on to say, "You aren't really powerless you know. You have the power to influence people just like me. Judging from what you just did in there, you're pretty good at it." The Barracuda smiled and thanked him while they both continued to eat snacks as though they were just two guys hanging out on campus.
|The first of many potential political encounters. I'm very glad this one went well. Thank You, Mr. Mayor.|
As the night turned cold and rainy we all boarded our bus once more and headed home. There was much talk of where to go from here. Beer was broken out, hummus passed around, political contacts swapped and strategy debated. The Barracuda is working on a letter to the editor of the local newspapers. He wants to hold a NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) training so people better understand how the appeals, scoping, and hearing process works when companies violate or deliberately limit an EIS (Environmental Impact Statements). He attended NEPA 101 that was held when I worked for an anti-logging organization way back when. Apparently some of it stuck.
It is an odd feeling to be back on the political lines. It is even odder to be in a complete role reversal - this time I'm following my child. Our children are very powerful when we let them be - when we allow them to care about issues, when we support them in their pursuit to be heard, when we provide them the tools to educate themselves and others. I can only imagine what the next 6 months will look like, but he's pretty fired up.