On St. Patrick's Day I received the National Council of Negro Women's highest honor for a youth in recognition of my environmental advocacy and this month there is a story on me in the NRDC magazine OnEarth. When people lift me up I feel that I need to do more to try to make others understand that everybody has to do something.
The link between environment and poverty is clear but how is it that here in America where we have all of the technology and information we still have public schools in the worst possible locations. Asthma is an epidemic today and children in San Pedro, Wilmington, and West Long Beach are forced to suck more than their share of soot living in a "diesel death zond". This is true for poor kids in most urban centers and it is extreme for these youth but who really cares? I flipped from the NRDC story on the deadly effects of diesel emissions to Bill McKibben's How to Build a Mass Movement to Halt Climate Change and now I am thinking about how to reach people beyond the environmental movement. I didn't say anything to the ladies of NCNW about changing light bulbs to CFL's, or how far the food traveled, or even poverty and AIDS in Africa.
All of these are issues that I care about so why did I just smile and say to "whom much is given much is required"? I am glad that Mr. McKibben called for a "societal transformation" because we have to change. We should not feel good about having so much when others have nothing at all. We should feel good about helping others and we must stop promoting our lifestyle when we know that it is deadly. I want to know what you are doing and if you don't do anything why not. I want to know if you have too much. I have too much and it is crazy because I still want more why is this? I think it is an illness. If we find a cure for it then we can move toward a sustainable future where enough is enough. Peace.