The Lessons In Our News This Year

One of the big ways we support each other as a group is through sharing positive planetary news. And over the year, we’ve had some lessons have emerged. Within those lessons are the keys to who we are, what we care about, who we learn from, and how we win.

1. It’s All Connected

This year saw a more complete and well-defined synergy between environmental issues and social ones. Throughout the year, from water in Flint to protests at Standing Rock to floods in Vietnam to tree planting in India, better connections were made between people and environment. Brown people, poor people, indigenous people are all more vulnerable to climate change than rich white people. Understanding that degradation of the environment leads to poor quality of life, and that survival stress leads to human choices that are not necessarily environmentally friendly, is essential for future success. Here are a few of our favorite “It’s All Connected” stories:

July 17: UN Human Rights Council declares climate a priority 

August 8: Connecting the dots: Why Black Lives must matter to the environmental movement

October 10: Protect America’s Heritage. Protect The Grand Canyon. by Dolores Huerta

2. Indigenous People are Leading the Way

Standing Rock was an amazingly important moment in reconnecting people to Earth-centered spirituality and ways of life. But the leadership shown by indigenous communities is happening far and wide. It is aided by spirituality that puts ecology at the center, but also by the closeness many indigenous people have to the land their ancestors have occupied for millenia. The year was full of stunning stories of indigenous people risking much, leading many, and parenting the planet in ancient and powerful ways:

December 21: The Battle Ahead is in Our Hearts

June 30: If I destroy nature, I destroy myself as well. I lose my dignity

March 9: Indigenous Activists Win Major Court Rulings Against Monsanto in Mexico

3. Women are at the Center

Around the world, women have put their lives on the line for the planet this year. They have been beaten, injured, and in some cases lost their lives. Women’s connection to the future and the environment is deeply felt and primal. The surfacing of this inner strength is a gigantic sign of hope.

November 11: Women4Climate - with Anne Hidalgo, Patricia Espinosa and leading women in climate

August 8: All-Women 'Army' Protecting Rare Bird in India

March 3: Honduran Indigenous Leader Berta Cáceres Assassinated, Won Goldman Environmental Prize

January 8: In Photos: The Seed-Saving Farmers Who Pass Down Land to Their Daughters

4. The Kids Will Save Us

The youth have the most to lose in this fight, and also the most to gain. They are suing their governments, they are protesting, they are planting, and they are inventing as fast as they can. We owe them support and incredible gratitude. And an apology or two.

December 8: Sixteen Young Leaders Who Will Influence the Future of the Arctic

October 24: 13-Year-Old Wins Top Prize: Makes Wind Energy Device That Costs Just $5

September 11: A prayer for children trying to save the world

5. The Grandparents are Angry and Powerful

At the other end of the timeline, the grandparents are unapologetically angry, and they’re using their power and experience to connect to each other. With their grandchildren in mind, they are speaking out, rousing rabble, and bringing attention to climate change when no one else can.

October 25: Silver Power: Swiss Grannies challenge Government’s weak climate policies

April 25: Elders Climate Action brings wisdom, experience to movement for livable world

6. We Must Welcome all the Stories

We must stop making assumptions about who is and isn’t a planet parent. We must find respectful and welcoming room for all of the stories, all of the paths that get people to here. Because we can only succeed if we give everyone a place at the table. This is the lesson that has the most potential, if we support it happening. This is where the big growth will occur.

December 5: How Castro and Cousteau's Legendary Friendship Preserved Cuba's Oceans

April 8: Nothing Can Stop Solar Now: Army Will Help Air Force Meet Clean Energy Goal

April 5: Why Evangelicals — Yes, Evangelicals — Are Rallying For Action On Climate Change In North Carolina

© Parents for the Planet, LLC 2015-2019