KW in Portland, OR:
20 essays and not a one from Portland. How could I say no? Speaking of Portland; the Transit Librarian's brother just moved from Portland to 1 block away from me. Coincidence? Yes, actually.
Here’s the thing: consortiums of politicians, business leaders, scientists and academics from around the world all concur: there is no doubt that global warming is accelerating, and no doubt that the burning of fossil fuels is the primary cause. We may, possibly, have ten years to turn things around; at best.
In ten years time, my son will be 21. He, his contemporaries, and all that come after will know that we all knew the extent of our impact on the climate; that we all knew the exact nature of our sins. He will know that the people who where operating cars did so knowing they were robbing future generations of…well…a future; robbing them of air and water, polar bears and ecosystems.
Someday my son will be looking at me with those beautiful hazel eyes, and holding me accountable for what I did, or failed to do, to address these issues. Could there be any greater call to action than that?
So, really, there was never any question, I chose a house based on it's proximity to bus lines and began reducing my car use. Still, each year, average temperature rose, and each year the tomatoes in my back yard, and the figs on the tree in the front yard, ripened earlier and earlier. So, last year, I bought the best bike I could afford, along with a trail-a-bike for The Boy, and gave away my car.
This was not a stoic exercise in self deprivation: with this change came countless blessings. The time the Boy and I spend cycling is some of the best time we have with each other. The human pace of cycling has made our life so much saner. Slowing down has allowed us to know our neighbors and community in a way we never did before.
Still, at the end of the day, it is a moral imperative for me. The fate of the world my son will inherit is in my hands. I do not question whether my actions are enough, I know simply I must do what I can do.