We’ve known about climate change for more than 100 years. And yet we’ve put off changing ourselves, or our society, until it’s too late. That’s how procrastination works.
Whelp, the deadline has passed. We’re well past the line where this planet stops functioning properly. And we have only one chance to make change, from the bottom up—and demand change, from the top down.
It’s not an either/or situation. This year, I’ve been sickened, and heartened (seriously, both!) to see a popular line of thought going through the environmental and the I’d like to pretend I care about climate change on social media groups: that bottom up change doesn’t matter. “It’s not on me to change, it’s up to these 100 corporations who create 80% of emissions.” First of all, that stat is whack. That’s just industrial emissions. The vast majority of emissions is produced by, yes, us—people. Driving. Heating, AC, container ships for our crap on Amazon, you name it.
But, too, there’s truth in that message. We have to demand change from politicians. We have to protect the right to vote, if you have it, and we have to vote in those who take climate change more seriously than those who don’t. Don’t hold out for perfection. Vote in those who will do more, then demand more.
“A recent poll gives Mr. Newsom only a 3 percent edge among likely voters in the recall election, scheduled for Sept. 14. If he gets anything less than 50 percent, then the top vote-getter among his opponents — at this point, the Trump-backing, mask- mandate-opposing radio host Larry Elder, with only about 20 percent support among likely voters polled — would replace him.”
As FDR said to activists who met with him and demanded change, “I want to do what you want me to do. Now make me do it.” IE, make noise, create a movement, make it possible for politicians to represent the will of the people because the will of the people has changed: we must take climate change so seriously that we attack it with everything we have. Because it’s not just climate change: it’s the climate crisis.
So it’s not just a top down thing. It’s not just a bottom up thing. It’s both.