A Changing Planet is Taking us with it.

There’s no escaping human-caused climate change. Last summer’s drought, warm nights, and three months of toxic smoke stressed my trees. The persimmons, which ordinarily more than filled my hands, were the size of walnuts. My apricot tree has two developing fruit, and the leaves are reluctant to appear. I don’t mind the unusual amount of rain, since it follows a lengthy drought. It replenishes the aquifer, and snow in the mountains adds to the pack that normally sees us through summer and fall.

That said, with the rising ocean levels, the increasingly violent storms, the floods, the fires, the destruction of forests and wildlife habitats, the polluting of the ocean, the increasing decline or extinction of species, we cannot help but see the change that’s upon us. I don’t relish hotter summers that provide little if any relief.

With the window of time that’s left for us to lessen the impact of the change, about 10 years, what can we do to make sure earth will be habitable?

It turns out, we can do a lot, if we all work together. We have to jettison mind sets that divide people, that exclude those we think are somehow inferior or dangerous. Instead, we must realize we need everyone who can help. Regardless of job description, economic status, race, gender, age, ethnicity, religion, or disabilities, everyone has value. Right now we have the knowledge, the creativeness, the passion, the wherewithal within all these groups to ease our way to a better future for all.

When leaders won’t lead, or they mislead through climate-change denial, there are always the grass roots to show the way. There are the green jobs, sustainables, family planning, education, and over 40 years of study by climate scientists. When you want to know how to do something, you ask the expert.

Many are already busy working to improve our futures. In the best case scenario, I have 20 years of life ahead of me. Young people may have 80 years or more, providing they live in a climate-friendly earth.
We each can do something, even if it seems insignificant. A penny in a dollar doesn’t seem important, but without the pennies, a dollar cannot exist.

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