That Was a Time I Wish I Had Been Living In

(speech at Global Climate Strike rally 9/20/19 in Morristown, NJ)

It’s so good, so inspiring, to see all of you today, especially the young people who are leading this movement. Today I believe that we can win!

This battle to stabilize our disrupted climate and change our world is both extremely urgent and one that we need to be in for the long haul.

Because it is so urgent, because the power of the fossil fuel industry is still so strong, so dominant over our government in DC and many state and local governments, we each need to figure out how we can keep doing more on this greatest crisis humankind has ever faced. We need to develop the inner resources, the emotional and spiritual staying power, so that we are willing and able to take smart, strategic risks, including school and work strikes, hunger strikes, risk of arrest and time in jail and more, to underline how serious and urgent these times are, to leave our government no choice but to do the right things.

Because this is a crisis that will take years, decades, to emerge from, we must, we absolutely must, become a people, a movement, which is quick to give love and support to one another on this journey, and love and support to others. To have the strength to continue, day after day after day, we need to show by example that we can live another way, one which respects and connects with our Mother Earth and all of its life forms and with one another.

We need to build organizations that are all about not just effective activity but a cooperative way of working together so that all in the organization, and new people getting involved, are appreciated and strengthened. We need group-centered leaders, not individuals motivated by personal ambition. We need to particularly support and encourage leadership from those who historically in our country have been excluded: people of color, women, young people, lgbtq people, low-income people.

This is an historic moment. What happens between now and election day, 2020, will have very huge impacts for many generations to come. Let’s resolve to make the next 13 ½ months ones that those coming after us will look back on and say, “that sure was a time I wish I had been living in, they did so much to turn things around and then just kept going.”

Let’s do it!