An Atom for Change

People's Climate An Atom for Change

By Siegrid Raible

I am a drop in the sea of humanity for peaceful change.  I participated on Sunday, September 21st’s People’s Climate March in New York City.  The march coincided with the UN’s designated International Day of Peace.   And, when you gather together 300,000 people of various ethnicities, backgrounds, ages and gender in a compact space and there is no altercation, it is a great day.

On a cloudy day with high humidity, hundreds of thousands of people gathered together on New York’s Central Park West, from 59th to 86th Streets, to raise their voices in solidarity for the need of this and the other worlds’ governments to address the impact of climate change on its people.  This one planet, Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot, where life abounds, is a planet in distress.  There are fires in California, floods in Pakistan and Manila, tornados in our southwest and islands everywhere threatened by rising sea levels, yet our world governments debate what needs to be done.  It is way past time for discussion.  It is time for leadership and action.

Is this an issue which should be addressed by a peace activist?  Well, this essayist thinks so.  People in various corners of this earth are presently fighting over whose ox needs to be gored or how to split up the pie — isms abound.  But, if one were to add the element of lack of food or water to this volatile mix, well, as the saying goes, “you ain’t seen nothin yet!”  When we’ve run out of land to farm because it’s desiccated or so poisoned, or rivers to draw upon because the rains have not fallen, we will face our fellow countrymen/women as the other; the individual who will threaten to take away our means of survival.  We will not have to worry about foreign terrorists!   We will become the enemy.

Just as atoms do not exist in a vacuum or act alone, we as individuals must find a way to bounce off of each other without causing a nuclear reaction or we will all disintegrate.  The time is now to come together to forge a new coalition; a true coalition of the willing —  just as the Roosevelts were able to tolerate a Republican and a Democrat within the family, surely we can tolerate the Muslim, the Christian, the Jew, the capitalist, the socialist, etc.  The family of man is large and diverse.  We must find a way to peaceably live together on this planet or we will perish, one by one or in one mass extinction.  Life is a precious gift given to each one of us.

Let us dedicate our lives to preserving that life.

Let us honor this earth which is our home.

Let us find a way to resolve our differences peaceably.

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