Putting Life At the Center of All Our Actions

One of the Grandmothers, a retired professor and climate scientist, recently spoke at a climate rally organized by youth from UCSB Environmental Affairs Board and Sunrise Santa Barbara.

We asked her to write down what she said. Here it is:

“How many IPCC reports describing what is to be expected in the near and far future do we need to have before we start acting? The planetary scale destruction is no longer a distant threat but a lived reality and not in a few unlucky spots but in every single continent where everything is unravelling significantly faster than most scientific models have predicted. Year after year we are being told that the time for life on this planet is becoming more and more limited if we do not act now.

“So now it is time for our governor to align his actions with his words and lead a state that no longer relies on oil and gas, and bans new fracking. There is no time left to waste by giving permits to extract oil in our state. Once fossil fuel infrastructures are rebuilt and production starts, we are doomed because we won’t be willing to leave these assets stranded as they represent billions of dollars. And the emissions associated with the burning of these fossil fuels cannot be mitigated by planting trees somewhere else in the world as it is claimed. It is our responsibility as Californians to avoid these emissions and make fossil fuels part of our past.

“For that we have to invest in a new low carbon economy and develop its energy infrastructure sufficiently secure to protect the future of our children and grandchildren. In the end, these investments will pay off in long-term economic gains from health benefits but also in quality of life. California, with its money surplus, can afford more than any state or even most countries to start investing large sums in renewable energy infrastructures. Now is the right time to do it!!!

“With the Ukraine war giving rise to demands to replace Russian oil, gas and coal, we must stand firm and refuse to send liquid natural gas coming from fracking. We must instead insist that our energy support be in the form of alternative energy technology.

“We must protect life and put it at the center of our every action and decision. This means building a new non-extractive economic system and regenerating the many aspects of life that have been affected by our toxic profit-oriented economy. This will involve creativity and imagination.  Everywhere in the world courageous and fearless people are standing up against fossil fuel interests and building a safer and healthier world. We can do this in Santa Barbara County.”