Written by Gregg Kleiner.
Here’s one dads desperate attempt to slow climate change by thinking pink…
As a father, I often lie awake nights tossing and twisting with worry about the climate crisis and how it will impact the lives of my children, their children, children all over the world.
As a writer, my imagination fires easily, in full color, so I can easily envision the worst. I blink in the dark and see rising seas, mountains with no snow, super storms swirling on the horizons.
On one of those sleep-deprived nights, I got to thinking about how I might use my gift for writing stories to help kids better understand climate change, and then take action. Because I believe we all have to do something, and start doing that something very soon, if we have a shot at slowing climate change.
I talked to Green Diva Meg about it in a recent Green Divas Green Dude episode…
It’s become very clear that we can’t wait for our politicians to ride in and slow climate change.
Just last week, President Obama gave a green light to Shell Oil to begin drilling in the Arctic, and he still hasn’t decided whether or not to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to bisect the continent and carry tar sands oil to the Gulf of Mexico and then on to Asia. We have a U.S. Senate leader (Sen. Jim Inhofe) who brings snowballs into the Senate to prove climate change isn’t happening because it’s snowing outside. We have other member of Congress who don’t believe climate change is happening. Many of these leaders have children, and yet they don’t get the severity or the immediacy of climate change.
So we can’t wait for our leaders to come around. Instead, we must take action against an issue nobody can really see….or touch or smell or taste. But taking action is hard when there’s no bogey-man to go after. Our cars emit CO2, but we can’t see it. The factories that make all the stuff we consume belch greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, but we can’t see that either.
But what if we could see carbon dioxide?
Puffing from smoke stacks and tail pipes and the butts of cows? What might happen then?
Which is why I decided to write a story, a book about climate change—for kids (and their adults). And because we have so little time to turn the aircraft carrier that is climate change, I thought a story aimed at kids might be the fastest way to inspire action. Now more than ever in human history, we need all hands on deck… especially our young people, with their amazing imaginations ablaze!
So when my kids ask me, “What were you doing, Dad, back when you all knew climate change was coming on fast?,” I can tell them I was writing through my own fears, in hopes the power of a simple story might inspire a few kids—and their adults—to start seeing the invisible. Imagining the impossible… for our kids, and all kids.
My fight against climate change continues, but at night I sleep a little better now.
Listen to the latest Green Divas myEARTH360 Report segment for more on what’s happening with our planet…
Gregg Kleiner is author of the novel, Where River Turns to Sky (HarperCollins) and his writing has been published in Orion, The Sun, Oregon Quarterly, Camas, and elsewhere. He lives near the confluence of the Willamette and Mary’s rivers in Western Oregon. Learn more about his first book for children, Please Don’t Paint Our Planet Pink!
~Asst. Ed. Green Diva Christine | Images via Shutterstock