Nov 27, 2008

Climate Security Talk Tonight + RIP Harvey Milk

Tonight I went to a talk on climate security at the Friends House on Euston Road. I saw George Monbiot and Caroline Lucas, among others, speak of not only the realities and solutions, but also immediate actions we can take against climate change.

I should confess that I've been hesitant to focus on climate science to this point. Tonight things were made clear to me that I've been loathe to grasp. I've been made to consider the the loss of birds for wind farms. Not wholesale, but that I'd even consider such energy advances over particular species or habitats is actually a progression for me. I am a landscape motivated individual. I work in habitat. I care for land and creatures. When forced to consider the implications of wider systemic changes, I'm often resistant in favor of the preservation of particular habitats. But tonight I was asked to consider the implication for all habitats if these changes are not enacted. It's grim in the best of scenarios.

And finally, I'm on the climate change bandwagon. I'm ready to do my part in terms of pushing for change. I've resisted. I've thought that there's no Earth worth saving without all its parts. There's no point in conserving a wasteland. Earth will seek a balance, with or without us. We're not saving the planet but our ability to inhabit it. I felt stubbornly that we couldn't just focus on carbon and climate. For a land lover such as myself, it's an annoying distraction and huge question mark when we get on the ground to preserve something physical and beautiful right in front of us. But now I'm more ready to devote my words and activism to climate change because we'll need conservationists to protect actual land if we're to get through this mess with an Earth of diversity, a planetary home that most of us want to enjoy.

We were called to engage tonight by the eloquent speakers at the climate security talk. We engage on the political level to elect people like Caroline Lucas, who defy conventional political will by engaging in actions such as the Climate Rush. We engage on the social level by taking up initiatives against a new runway at Heathrow or the Kingsnorth plant. And we engage on the individual level in every way that we can afford to do.

I'll write more about this talk soon. Or perhaps a friend my course will lend his expertise.

Also wanted to pay some due respect to Harvey Milk tonight. He was assassinated 30 years ago today (still today in SF), but still serves as a notable inspiration to loads of us queers looking to live an honest and open life of public activism. Harvey Milk was out and proud to be the first Californian elected to popular office. I'm proud to have lived in the city that brought him to politics, proud to have walked the streets of the Castro and SF City Hall in his wake. Proud to know that my own potential was extended by his courage. I wasn't alive in his lifetime, but Harvey Milk made my life easier. Thanks, Harvey. SF and all us queers fall back on your radical courage and action.

1 comment:

batgrrl said...

Rachel -- thanks so much for your efforts to keep us posted on your new life. I read all your posts and enjoy following along vicariously. Glad to see the nod to contrasting wildlife kills with wind power benefits and don't forget all the bats killed at turbines. In fact I'm applying now for my phd to study them.