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The tickets said 1pm, so we arrived on time. We (David Levine, my two daughters and their two cousins) were only an hour and a half early. At 2:30 the music started, it was still going at 9pm when we left. I struggled all day to come to terms of the meaning of the 50,000 people around me who mostly heard music interspersed with a very simple message, change your light bulbs. We were part of a group of two billion, worldwide, on every continent. We were urged to use our cell phone and text a message committing ourselves to this very simple act.
Occasionally we heard Al Gore’s more detailed 7-point plan. He was there to present it himself. As were Leonardo, Cameron, Bobby Kennedy and many others. But for the most part it was pretty simple, change to compact fluorescents. There seemed to be many lost opportunities to communicate a larger, deeper and more systemic message. That didn’t happen. I was struck by the general lack of basic messaging the musicians seemed capable of...Some of them didn’t seem at all clear where they were, and some at best could manage: "hey, the earth matters – do something."
So I waver, do something, anything, is probably better than to do nothing. Some consciousness, awareness, is better than no consciousness or awareness. But is it? What if we only understand that global warming is just about changing light bulbs, or better yet, energy use; rather than a system that is fundamentally flawed, a system that is based on inequity and injustice, that uses our tax dollars to spend on the military to secure the safety of our access to foreign oil, that elects politicians who are paid for by the energy industry. Oh, you know the rant.
If the door has been cracked open a bit wider, how – who – when will we – seize that opportunity – to keep it open – open it wider – to enlist all these partially willing souls in the possibility of a brand new day, a day of peace, justice, sustainability and systems thinking!