Went to the climate action strike today to support the kids. (Then got in my car and drove home. Hypocrite.)
In my community, 1,000 or more young people skipped class to march and speak out for a planet that won’t be toast in their lifetime. Not a lot to ask, really.
There were plenty of adults too, so many they had to be reminded not to squeeze the younger generation out, what with it being their rally and all. In scanning the crowd, it occurred to me the majority of adults had something in common.
They looked like grandparents.
Those of us with little people in our lives are worried. Not for us, not even for our kids. But as we experience weather extremes – in my part of the world, forest infernos have become a summer reality and damaging winter storms are brutal – we grandparents harbour persistent kernels of worry.
My four little ones were together in one place in January, when the Australian contingent left +42 degrees to join the Canadian contingent in -29 Ottawa. During those two weeks, Australia was in the throes of a heat wave so severe, asphalt was melting and flying foxes were dropping dead from trees.
I told my girls, I don’t know what I can do but I feel I need to do something. Seems we can’t count on the generosity of corporations to care for the planet.
You guys are busy, I said. You’ve got full careers and all that comes with being busy parents.
But I’ve got time. And I think grandmothers have a role in saving the world.
Their advice: Write about it, Mom. See if you get uptake.
So here I am. Can we start a conversation about how we, baby boomers and beyond, can make a difference?
In my dreams, I picture a groundswell of older marchers, speakers, and letter writers – people doing whatever they can to call on big business, big government and big decision makers to grow a conscience. I see people with love in their heart and a real desire to do something – anything – to make a difference.
I don’t come from a family of activists.
I come from a family of journalists; a breed that reports on marchers and banner wavers, doesn’t join them.
But I don’t think changing the world should fall to children. Grandmothers and fathers, aunts, uncles and anyone who loves a child has a role.
I’m looking for feedback.
What do you say, friends?