Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fighting the Good Fight

In the last two months, we've visited our state capitol and will soon visit others to rally on their front steps.

The Barracuda and I in Olympia advocating for climate change legislation
 and against coal trains.

We've spoken to Senators and Representatives, ridden in carpools to events, and are currently planning our own.
Speaking with Senator King, a die hard republican
and corporate interest supporter.

We've gone to meetings, written letters, and networked with everyone from the Sierra Club, to Power Past Coal, to Earth Ministries, and Peaceful Uprising.
Listening to Governor Inslee and celebrating his
Carbon Action Plan Bill as it hit the floor that morning.

We've watched movies, discussed civil disobedience, and signed up to list serves about radical acts against climate change.
Watching the documentary Bidder 70 and being informed
repeatedly he cannot get arrested for civil disobedience until 16.

We've watched video after video about the science of carbon emissions, coal trains, and strip mining.
We've built models of wind turbines, solar panels, and read up on the damaging affects of hydro power.

Local high schoolers are now writing letters, The Barracuda is planning an upcoming National Environmental Policy Act training, and has become the chair of a local Kids Against Coal Commission. 

Somewhere in all of this, life has gone on.  But I am soon coming to realize as court cases are won, governors and mayors speak out, permits are stalled, and petitions signed that he might actually win.  All this work might not have been in vain.  There are still years left till we know and many more battles to be fought, but it is possible and looking more likely every day.

So we soldier on.   Martin Luther King almost every other day.  Sometimes with The Barracuda, but mostly just for myself.  More often than not I find myself back at A Letter From Birmingham Jail: 
 "So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: "Get rid of your discontent." Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . ." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?"

I can only hope that as we continue I will remember.

2 thoughts:

Mel said...

That is one amazing kid! We talk a lot about climate change (in fact, on of my jobs is with Polar Bears International and are whole deal is climate change) but we do things on a much smaller scale. We're reducing our own carbon footprint, but we all know that's not enough. Change needs to come on a much bigger scale. Good for you guys for getting out there and making it happen!

Anonymous said...

Mel - I'm beginning to realize that this is his way to process global warming. Instead of being completely overwhelmed and consumed by the idea, he can legitimately say he tried. Being powerless is so scary, so instead he has chosen to fight. So we fight together and at least we go down swinging.

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