Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mixed Messages

                In my last anthropology class of the semester my teacher had the nerve to end the class with this final message: “No one in this classroom is going to change the world, it’s just not plausible…”  I couldn’t believe he just said that. I’m looking around at my classmates in disbelief why are they nodding their heads, why don’t they have looks of outrage on their faces, why aren’t they telling him he is wrong? Wait, why aren’t I saying anything?!? Finally someone speaks up (I’m ashamed it’s not me) “You don’t know that, you don’t know that someone in this room won’t change the world.” He dismisses her objection, repeating that nothing we could do is going to change the entire world.  I’m quietly fuming (I hate when other people try to stifle the potential of others), this is the future of the world he is talking to! Why is he discouraging us?! I’m sorry…but my dream is to change the world, and I plan on doing just that, and I hope you are around to see it happen sir.
                My mission is still to help the environment and as a result hopefully change the world, but lately I have been doubting the way I’m going about it. My initial thought was that my environmental engineering degree would allow me to create and use all this alternative/renewable energy technology and that is what the world needed. However this evening I went to an environmental activist talk given by Bill McKibben (who wrote one of the first widely read books about global warming The End of Nature also check out his website at Several people who talked, Bill included, talked about getting arrested for standing up and protesting against pipelines, and nuclear power, oil subsidies, you name it and they were put in jail for it. Now I’m definitely not saying I want to go to jail, but these people had passion and were making a difference, I guess. So I guess I’m hung up with the fact that I don’t feel like I’m making a difference, but I have to be patient. But will it be too late?
                Recently I cut out an article from the Asheville Citizen Times to hang on my bulletin board. It’s titled “Skeptic now agrees global warming is real” Here are the first couple sentences “A prominent physicist and skeptic of global warming spent two years trying to find out if mainstream climate scientists were wrong. In the end, he determined they were right: Temperatures are rising rapidly.” This is about the point in the article where my palm smacked my forehead. This guy and his daughter wasted 2 years of their life and $600,000 to prove that indeed global warming is real. The article has left me speechless, I can’t believe it. I mean really? In those 2 years and with all that money he could have solved so many other problems… I’m keeping the article as a source of inspiration, I like to look at the solemn faces of the old man and his daughter, the looks on their faces as they come to terms with the grim future that lies ahead of us if we don’t do something soon. Don’t worry, I’m working on it! I’m working to be the change I wish to see in the world. (thank you Gandhi)