Courage, not hope

Dear President Trump,

We’ve gotten almost half an inch of rain in just over four hours this afternoon. There’s standing water all over and things are a sloppy mess. The wind has died down so hopefully we won’t have trees or power lines coming down. However, the ground is completely saturated and I’m worried about landslides in the hillier parts of town. By 1:00 this afternoon the light was so dim it looked like it was already 4:00. Basically, it’s been another one of those Seattle winter days when the weather is acting like it’s on climate-change-steroids. I continue to be grateful we had a super-duper sump pump installed a couple of years ago; it should help keep our house from flooding for a while at least.

A week ago the HP ran an article by Jeremy Deaton entitled “Americans Don’t Understand How Bad Climate Change Is Or What They Can Do About It.” It’s incredibly scary. I’ve kept the tab up all this time because I want to share the last paragraph with you, but over this past week I’ve studiously avoided it because it felt (and feels) so overwhelming and because I am so angry with you about the Paris Climate Accord and your astoundingly asinine refusal to do anything remotely helpful and your mind-bogglingly greedy efforts to make things worse. You really need to be placed on an ice floe out in the Arctic Sea and set adrift – at least some marine life would get an extra meal out of you even as their habitat is being trashed by global warming.

So here is the last paragraph of the HP piece ~ Deaton is quoting climate scientist Dr. Kate Marvel:

“As a climate scientist, I am often asked to talk about hope. Particularly in the current political climate, audiences want to be told that everything will be all right in the end,” she said. “I have no hope that these changes can be reversed. We are inevitably sending our children to live on an unfamiliar planet.” In the face of climate change, she said, “We need courage, not hope. Grief, after all, is the cost of being alive. We are all fated to live lives shot through with sadness, and are not worth less for it. Courage is the resolve to do well without the assurance of a happy ending.”

I think most of us know she’s right that the climate changes we’ve set in motion can’t be reversed, but that doesn’t mean we should just say “f*ck it” and throw a big fossil fuel-driven party like you seem hell bent on doing. As much as I want a happy ending or really, a happy continuance, and as much as I like a good dose of hope, I think we all have to dig deep and figure out what courage looks like and enact it. Sadly, for the time being, we will have to do that more or less on our own as we are currently without a courageous leader to guide us.

May we accept that we are all in danger and do what we can to mitigate it for everyone.
May we be willing to step up and deal with reality.
May we muster the courage to do well by one another no matter what.
May we have the courage to keep peace at the center of our efforts.

Tracy Simpson

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