“Yes, we were the first to see the changes to our planet -- and we were the last to effectively do anything about it.”
Those climate talks in Paris in 2015, they were just the beginning, weren’t they? How we took to the streets, how we mobilized against climate change, with courage and all our strength, as if in the midst of a world war? We were a really unique generation: we were the first to see the changes as a result of climate change. Intense and deadly storms. Poor air quality. Longer fire seasons, longer droughts, heavier rains. Everything seemed more severe.
Yes, we were the first to see the changes to our planet -- and we were the last to effectively do anything about it. We were the ones who did something about it, right? Before we hit a tipping point that looms far too close to where I now stand?
I tried to do my part. I marched with my fellow Chicoans before the climate talks, on November 28th. I joined for the High Noon for the Planet rally in Chico City Plaza after Paris was done, on 12/12. I remember these events because they were the first time in my memory that Chico stepped up to show our local leaders and our community how important this issue was to us, how it affects us all, no matter who we are or where we live.
Yes, those talks were just the beginning of a period of time when we came together. It was unprecedented, and, I hope, it was effective. I hope your lives are filled with the beauty and awe that we experience now, when we splash in the waters of Big Chico Creek or breathe in the sulfury cold air at Lassen National Park -- but I hope you can enjoy it all without the fear and guilt that I harbor as we tumble down the unpredictable path that we’re on. I hope we veered off the path before it was too late.
Claire Hutkins Seda
Writer & Editor
Organizer, Chico 350