Over the past year I’ve become a deeply involved climate change activist with 350 Silicon Valley. I’ve also created an original song and music video, “The Time Has Come” about climate activism.
Here’s how this journey started…
2012 was a hard year for me. I finally faced the truth that our planet is already on a path toward irreversible, serious climate problems within my daughter’s lifetime. And there is no “Silicon Valley” type of magical contraption to help us out, which was my prior, sketchy hope. I also learned that there are even more calamitous effects of climate change that we can prevent if we demand the necessary changes from our government immediately. I looked into my daughter’s eyes and it was obvious what I had to do. Everything I can.
During 2012 I veered between some sort of crazy survivalist notion that our family should be buying land with a plentiful water supply somewhere where climate change would not touch my daughter’s future (yeah, right…) and feeling total depression and helplessness at the lack of political response to climate change. I realized that nothing an individual can do (changing light bulbs, riding our bikes all the time) is going to be enough to solve this problem. It is a structural problem that our federal government needs to address with some big changes (ie carbon fee, conservation measures and support for infrastructure for alternative energy). We all know that that our federal government is not getting this done. What does one do when most of the federal government is bought out by the fossil fuel industry? Take to the streets. I’ve never been big on protests. Big crowds scare me. Yikes.
Last January I heard about a big climate rally planned in DC on February 17th 2013 and wondered if there might be a concurrent rally that day in San Francisco. I contacted 350 Silicon Valley and spoke to a man named Pierre, with a lovely French accent, who lived in Saratoga. Perhaps you know him?
I’m not sure if it was his French accent or eloquence that convinced me to jump on board and I began to help plan a 2/17/13 Climate March in San Francisco. But I kept thinking, “what if only 10 people come to the march?” I threw myself into the planning, I did what I could to get more than 10 people to the march, and I started meeting some very dynamic, inspiring folks all over the Bay area with similar concerns. In the end 50,000 people marched in DC that day and 5,000 marched in San Francisco.
Many 1000’s more marched all over the country that day. I realized there are a lot of people who care about our children’s future…if we all worked together, could we make change happen? Soon after the rally President Obama started talking in public about climate change for the first time. He delayed a decision about approving the construction of a big oil pipeline (Keystone XL Pipeline) that was previously thought to be a slam-dunk for the oil industry.
This song was born from my hopefulness last February. I co-wrote this song in March 2013 with my husband, Richard Nevle, and it was cathartic to work on this project together. I intended to write an upbeat, rah-rah kind of song, but those versions were terrible because they weren’t heartfelt. Because honestly, I feel sad and haunted as well as energized and optimistic, and this song is what came out those feelings.
I hope you like it.
Climate change activism is for doctors, teachers, plumbers, lawyers, musicians, painters, immigration activists, real estate agents,
students, baristas, house cleaners, parents, children, social justice activists, religious believers, atheists, computer programmers – it is about our health, our economy, our land and oceans, immigration, food resources, social justice. It is our future. I hope you will all join me in 2014 to learn about and speak out about climate change!
All the best to you and your families, Deborah