“It brings me unimaginable happiness and joy to be able to sit down on one of the most bio diverse places on the planet with my grandchildren appreciating nature for what it is. ”
There have existed few moments in history where the future of the world has looked as bleak as it did in 2015. Climate change threatened the very existence of life on earth. The most pivotal moment in our history came to be the UN climate talks in Paris. At that time our planet was facing a massive extinction of species around the world. The difference between this mass extinction and the previous ones was that humans caused this one. Due to exponential human population growth, humans began to expand all over the planet causing habitat degradation in massive proportions. Pollution covered the earth leaving portions of earth inhabitable. Materialism and greed ran rampant among humans, resulting in many sustainable practices being ignored. Scientists and others began to speak out about the crisis. Some even went so far as to be arrested or even killed for the cause: take Sister Dorothy Stang as an example. She became a martyr for social justice causes. It was because of these brave and enlightened individuals standing up against corporate greed that we are able to be here today.
When I was young, I spent my weekends here on San Bruno Mountain, home of at that time three endangered butterflies and other rare vegetation. Scared that one day these butterflies would cease to exist, I made sure to do whatever I could to appreciate them while they still existed. Thankfully, out of the UN climate talks came sweeping and overhauling legislation designed to forcefully combat climate change. The change in policy was worldwide and the results, though took some time to be, were extraordinary! The culture began to change and for the first time humans all around the world began to understand and value nature intrinsically. Because of this we are able to sit here today. We are able to sit out overlooking the bay area, surrounded by these unique butterflies species: Mission Blue, Elfin, and Callippe Siverspot. It brings me unimaginable happiness and joy to be able to sit down on one of the most bio diverse places on the planet with my grandchildren appreciating nature for what it is. I am internally grateful that the UN climate talks resulted in change and for all those brave individuals who dared to speak. It almost brings tears to my eyes to say that this moment in time almost was not.