Today, Joan Baez’s trusty adage “action is the antidote to despair” fills my brain.
I woke up yesterday morning and took a long, hot shower, trying to forever rinse away the results of the 45th presidential election. Border walls, nuclear codes, women’s liberation, wars, public lands, climate change, imperiled species, the future my kids will inherit — all spinning through my head like a dreidel.
Then my eight-year-old daughter popped out of bed and asked who won. The pit in my stomach deepened.
Lunch with co-workers to commiserate and exchange ideas moving forward followed by a walk in the sunshine to the post office where we passed 150 high school students demonstrating downtown with a shared message of “Love Trumps Hate.” News of thousands marching in Portland into the wee hours, shutting down both lanes of I-5 traffic. Neighbors coming together to hug, play music and hatch plans for the future.
The stakes for Cascadia and our planet have never been higher, and the new guy and his entourage are about to go for the jugular.
They are coming to clearcut our remaining old-growth forests, dam our free-flowing rivers, graze and drill our commons into oblivion, gut our bedrock environmental statutes and roll back decades of hard-fought social justice progress.
It is time to roll up our sleeves, dig in, and double down on our efforts over the next four years to defend our shared values and what makes Cascadia so special — its diverse landscapes, raging rivers, and unique communities.
Together, we are going to stop this nonsense, and Cascadia Wildlands’ newly adopted mission fits squarely into these trying times: We defend and restore Cascadia’s wild ecosystems in the forests, in the courts and in the streets.
It is an encouraging reminder that, with your help, we largely staved off the environmental disaster the George W. Bush administration would have wreaked in Cascadia, and we will do the same again. Generations to come depend on us.
Let’s take our passion to confront the threats to all that is wild in Cascadia and continue to lay the groundwork for the future we want. It is our imperative.
Take deep breaths, hug the ones you love, and brace for impact. Let’s do this, friends.
With love and rage,
(Grizz on the Copper River Delta, Alaska / Photo by Brett Cole)