A few weeks ago I returned to Brooklyn after spending time in Australia during this relentless bushfire season. Whilst there, I woke most mornings to the smell and taste of smoke and the news of more destruction. It’s changed me.
The global outpouring of support for the millions of animals that are perishing, for the landscape as well as for the firefighters and regular people who have died, has been massive. This support tells me that even though we are at 100 seconds to midnight it is still possible to mobilize over the abyss and into a sexy and electric future of clean air, golden solar highways and a lush reforested planet replete with yes, Koalas.
Having to look deeply into what has caused the problems – millennia of expansionism to amnesic consumption I’ve also been forced to seek solutions that can be implemented immediately. I’ve shifted from feelings of helplessness towards the status quo to feelings of hopefulness. I am tuning into the bright futures offered by our aboriginal leaders, business schools, and scientists. I am seeing superheroes like Jadav Payeng: the Forest Man of India who spent three decades planting trees, a solo project of love.
I’m also seeing the Tree Sisters who are inspiring a breathtaking reforestation revolution of their own. They have now funded over 7 million trees across projects in Kenya, Madagascar, Brazil, Cameroon, Nepal, and India. They have a goal to achieve the planting of 1 billion trees annually through monthly, one-time and partnership donations. Yeh baby!
The Rainforest Coalition is highly effective. This research paper from the Founders Pledge) has concluded that they are one of the most impactful charities in the environmental space. They stand out because of the outsized leverage of their presence at key international negotiations like the United Nations Climate Conference. They were instrumental in securing an agreement on forestry in the Paris Agreement in 2015.
How did I find out about these amazing beings and organizations? I started talking about how sad I was, that the tragedy of the fires was too much. Friends rallied to my support and started sharing the good they knew of or shared that they too were hurt and confused but they knew of this thinker or thinktank. I learned of “Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World”, by Dr. Tyson Yunkaporta Ed.D., MD., MEd., It is a must-read, you’ll learn a lot. I’m re-reading it. Inside there’s a healing practice, a dream walk, that I shared in a yoga class to the sounds of live gongs and singing bowls. It was epic!
One of my Irish friends told me about Dr. Saul Griffith Ph.D., M.S., M., Eng and ideas to decarbonate the future by reinvigorating the US manufacturing sector. Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure. Another Irish friend is petitioning the UN to have a holiday honoring Saint Brigid – a poet, a midwife, and a herbalist. Herstory past, present, future the antidote to inertia.
It’s 100 seconds to midnight and it’s thrilling. Every person on the planet can step into their power and be the change. If you are overwhelmed, talk to someone, reach out for support and ideas. It’s a collective evolution! If you’re a lawyer you can work to upgrade building codes, lobby governments, donate money, if you are a government worker you can strike on Fridays, learn to meditate, get bee -curious! My daily focus is now to energize immediate infrastructure change, let the green jobs roll; support the Tree Sisters, oh and to love and laugh a lot.
PS – Earth Day is going to be huge this year – woo-hoo! It’s the 50th anniversary, I am going to support the youth and host another dream walk for ourselves and our beautiful planet.