My Turn: Changing climate change takes community | SierraSun.com

My Turn: Changing climate change takes community

Carolyn Hamilton

My passion for our Earth started mundanely enough: not on a mountain top, or at sea, or buried in documents, or at the poles or the tropics, but under my familys homemade papier-mch solar system in our Truckee kitchen. Turbo-changes in perspectives sometimes happen like that. One night, there it was: blue Earth, suspended by invisible fishing line with all those other planets, the only one that held life. And, suddenly, even the moth became a spectacle, not to mention the cougar or the columbine. Hungry to confirm the preciousness of Earth, to join the community of the awe-struck, I consumed information: I read and then watched An Inconvenient Truth, of course; read The End of Nature & Deep Economy by Bill McKibben; read magazine articles, web-posted reports, and explored Web sites, finding, finally, that we humans just one of the spectacles of life on Earth have wielded a greater force than awe upon our planet and it has suffered for it. Among other powerful influences, humans have wielded a terrible nonchalance. In our search for ease, weve taken all this life for granted, and, as the IPCC report concludes, in so doing, weve changed everything everything.And so, I entered a state of solo-questioning: What can I do? How can I stop something so big? What am I but a mom in a small mountain town? I vacillated hourly from marveling to feeling morose; from feeling despair to being inspired. But the I turned out to be the problem. Community was what mattered now. Converting worry into positive change would take a community. Enter former mayor and long-time environmental activist Beth Ingalls. In one sitting, she took the handful of us varied in experience with environmentalism and activism and made us a charged and hopeful community called Truckee Climate Action Network (TCAN). See our Web site http://www.TruckeeCan.comOur groups first public act was, fittingly, to join an even larger community of nationwide concerned citizens and plan to host an event called Step It Up, spearheaded by Bill McKibben, internationally renowned environmentalist, activist and writer. As of this writing, there are 1,300 Step It Up events planned across the country. On April 14, in virtual force, thousands of people will gather and call on Congress to cut carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. Photographs of each event will be linked and sent via the Internet to Congress to show our nations deep concern for the Earth. Now, back again to the individual: enter You. You can come to the Truckee River Regional Park on April 14, next Saturday, at noon to hear a powerful line-up of speakers on climate change, to hear Truckee musician Jeff Jones play, to make a pledge flag that will hang with hundreds of other pledge flags already designed by Truckee and Tahoe children. You can bring your own homemade banners or just-plain come to forestall more nonchalance.Better still, come and join a community that cares. Carolyn Hamilton is a Truckee resident.