Signs Of Change

I’ve been blogging about climate change since my conversion from being a climate change avoider to a climate activist/fossil fuel abolitionist in the fall of 2009. As a climate change avoider, I never watched An Inconvenient Truth; after all, it might be inconvenient to have to face my fear or be prodded into taking action. If climate change ever appeared on my radar in those days, I’d think “it’s too big a problem, what can one person do?” and/or “OMG – I’m terrified about what this means, especially for my kids, but surely those elected to ensure our safety won’t let it get out of hand. We backed away from the Cold War, we solved the ozone problem, this will be solved, too.”

Then, in September of 2009, after an unseasonably rainy and cool northern Ontario summer during which I spent way too much time on weather websites looking for some good news, I came across‘s website. It explained climate change in a way I could understand (350 parts per million of C02 is what the best science says should be the level in our atmosphere for human civilization to continue. The current level is higher than that, and will climb as long as we keep digging up carbon from the ground and burning it), and it invited me to organize a simple action in my community.

C & Bill McKibben. Friday evening.forFB
I finally got to meet my climate hero Bill McKibben, co-founder of, last week in northern Alberta

Once I had my climate epiphany, I thought all I needed to do was share this information with everyone I knew, especially other parents and people of faith so that they, too, would be moved to action. That’s what I set out to do, along with organizing events around’s action days, and searching for faith groups already working on this issue. I decided to start blogging about climate change because I needed something else to do about this issue besides reaching out to the people in my circle of family and friends, and because I’m a writer and researcher by profession.

To make a long story short, I found out that most people aren’t moved to action, even after hearing’s straightforward explanation about climate change and the urgent need to decrease our carbon dioxide emissions. That is a fact that I’ve had to come to terms with over the last four years. Having said that, I have met the most wonderful people on my journey as a climate activist, people who are committed to solving the climate crisis to ensure a liveable world for future generations. They are an awesome, awesome bunch!

Part of the path of a climate activist is working through the stages of climate grief. I’ve done much of my grieving, although it’s work that is never completely finished. These days it feels like we’ve entered a new stage on our collective human path, as the fingerprints of climate change are becoming easier to identify every day, at least for those who “have eyes to see”. We are all in this “boat”, this wonderful blue planet, together. But it’s not just climate change that makes our connectedness clear – national economies are now globally enmeshed, and ocean acidification and biodiversity loss respects no national boundaries. We are moving very quickly toward a time where we will be part of deciding if the legacy of humanity will be a charred, much diminished planet for future generations or whether this time of chaos that we are poised to enter will be the genesis of a flourishing, compassionate civilization where abundance is the rule, not the exception. I know which outcome I’m focused on creating!

Hang on, we’re in for a wild ride!




Citizens Climate Lobby

The Six Stages of Climate Grief

Canada’s “New Normal” Weather Adds Heat To Climate Politics

More signs: Detroit Files For Bankruptcy

Shift Happens

For those of us concerned about climate change, the knowledge of what we humans have done to our planet can be overwhelming.  When we truly understand the peril we, in the fossil-fuel addicted industrialized nations, have inflicted on the rest of humanity and other innocent species, the guilt and sadness can be paralyzing; despair sometimes seems like an option. It’s not, as I was reminded at the conference I’m attending this weekend, because like denial at the opposite end of the spectrum, it leads to inaction.  And what the world needs NOW – not in 5 or 10 years, but right now – is people who are prepared to make changes in the way they live and to spread the word about why all of us need to become engaged in this issue. The changes that we need to make to wean ourselves off fossil fuels are dramatic and sweeping. Daunting though the shift is, it can be done. If you need convincing or encouragement, check out “Did You Know” by American educator Karl Fisch, who prepared it to inspire the staff at his high school.


And, with a nod to my roots, here’s a “Winnipeg remix”


Click here to go to Karl Fisch’s website,or here for a Wikispace page with more info.