I remember hearing stories from my grandmother about how my dad would cut out pictures from catalogues and attach them to window panes, facing out, so Santa could see them. After Christmas, there was a lot of clean-up getting that paste off the windows. Children today do much the same thing, although the technology has changed significantly since then. Catalogues are not nearly as important as in the past but creating a wish list of all the things that would bring joy is still a favorite pastime for many.
Thinking about this today, my list doesn’t contain things that can be picked up at the store. I would much rather enjoy “experiences” with friends and family, but again, not the most important things on my list. On the top of my list this year is for everyone to realize how important it is that we all take steps to address global warming. Ideally, our political leaders, and leaders around the world, would see and act as though this problem is something that warranted significant attention. Unfortunately, many leaders are concerned more about short-term issues like being re-elected. And if that means telling their constituents that there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to climate change, then that’s what many of them do. That’s where “we the people” come in. If enough of “us” decide addressing global warming is critically important to our planet, the world around us that we’ve built, and our children and their children, then our politicians would have no choice but to act responsibly and take steps to solve these problems. Otherwise, “we the people” will vote them out and install leaders who will take the issue of global warming seriously and take decisive steps.
I recall reading an article addressing the question: “What’s the most important thing an individual could do to make a difference regarding global warming?” The author described many options including installing solar panels on their home, buying an electric car, planting some trees, or supporting political candidates who commit to aggressively addressing global warming. Another article I read suggested the most important thing we can do is “talk about the global warming issue with others”. Being informed, and taking steps that we know will help address the problem is so important if we want to make a difference.
More of us need to move the issue of global warming higher on the list of things that are important. We need to make our views known – both to influence others but also to influence other voters. There are those who believe some new technology or some new innovation will rescue us. Maybe that’s so. But we don’t have a lot to time to pin hopes on things that might save us. My representative in Congress (who I write to often and who always responds) is one of those individuals who is banking on technology to save us, instead of supporting initiatives that, for example, would reduce our dependence of fossil fuels.
So, in addition to my wish that all people begin to realize how important the issue of global warming is, I guess I’d like to add to that wish. Specifically, that everyone would do one more thing than they are currently doing now to save our planet. Because a lot of people are doing a lot now, but there is always one more thing all of us could do. And while you’re at it, tell someone what you’re doing, and challenge them to also do something to save our planet. I’ve found that when I tell someone of my commitment to do something, it significantly increases the likelihood that I’ll actually follow through.
Now, like my dad, I have a few more items on my Christmas list. So, if you want to give me something, plant a tree for me. If you like there are many organizations that will help you like the Arbor Day Foundation or the Canopy Project, (part of the Earth Day Foundation). You can also find a local organization that will help you plant a tree. Find out if your town is a Tree City USA community. I’ve read that if a trillion trees were planted, we’d solve global warming. That’s about 129 trees per person. Some doubt this would completely solve our problem but no one argues it wouldn’t help. (See also, “Let’s Plant More Trees” and “Earth Day, 2019”).
So, now that you’ve got my list, I’m looking forward to reaping those benefits, which will benefit all of us. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.