A Green New Deal Town Hall

The town hall in Viroqua has come and gone.  It was May 14.  Life is crazy busy, and I am just posting this now.  So, here is a little reflection on what has transpired.  The town hall was successful . . . people came . . . 35-40 people . . . all activists.  Yes, I was preaching to the choir.  Oh, well.  I wonder what I would have done if the opposition showed up.

I didn’t use much of the Sunrise Movement’s presentation.  There was a different message I wanted to relay.  My stance is we live in a bubble . . . isolated from reality.  Scientists and biologists in the trenches feel the crisis.  They see the ice literally melting and species going extinct right before their eyes.  We, on the other hand, are living a normal life.  Climate change has moved very slowly over the 50+ years we have been talking about it.  Somehow, even the people who lived through the fires of Paradise, CA may not even think we have a crisis.  I could be wrong.  I read an article stating they are making plans to rebuild.  They were aware a fire was possible.  Don’t you want to move somewhere else after that!?

Every article I see now about the climate crisis is alarming.  But, we don’t see the ice melting and the species disappearing.  We are working and shopping.  So, my presentation focused on reminding people that everything we do burns fossil fuels.  And, that is how all that CO2 gets up there.

Another hopeful thing I brought up was that there is this, “defining moment,” I like to call it.  From the report the IPCC issued in October 2018 stating we have 12 years to turn climate change around, to the Sunrise Movement’s visits to the offices of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Senator Mitch McConnell, Extinction Rebellion’s startup in November and April, Greta Thunberg’s inspirational talk at the climate talks in Poland, to the student climate strikes, this global climate crisis movement is incredible.  Who would have thought that this issue would finally be front and center!

And, it is not going away.

Although the Green New Deal is wide in scope, I brought up some solutions like regenerative agriculture, reducing beef and dairy, electric cars becoming more affordable and with increased miles per charge, passive home designs, heat pumps, growing our own food instead of relying on the grocery store, and eliminating air travel or at the very least limiting it.

The best thing about the town hall is that it has brought people together to work on this crisis in our little area.  We have our first Viroqua Climate Action meeting this Monday, June 10.  There are plans to start an Extinction Rebellion group, too.

But, as I sat thinking after eating my breakfast, looking out at Nature all around me, I had that sick feeling I used to get years ago, and I wanted to cry.  Everything we do is destroying this.  How do we stop it?

Keep going.

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