I wish it were simply that easy…to just pickup things where I left them.
My last contribution to Climate Aware was in June 2020, and prior to that, my last team effort was in mid 2019. But before I get into the reason behind this post, I feel it necessary to apologize to anyone who has followed Climate Aware and especially to my teammates, who I know have been let down by my absence and general lack of communication over the past two years. I am sorry that I have not been available to take the lead and push forward through that time.
When the idea of Climate Aware came to fruition around 2015, I had one clear goal: help people understand the urgency that is the climate crisis. I recognized that my fellow scientists were not being very inclusive (in many ways) and did a horrible job of communicating the issues at hand. So I got started by creating a simple Facebook page that shared relative content and explained basic scientific principles. Much to my surprise, people started following my work, the numbers grew, and important conversations were being had. I was doing it!
The momentum was there, and around 2016/17, I started reaching out to others to create a small team of people who had the same goals and interests as myself. Our team began meeting regularly, discussing hot topics, sharing ideas, collaborating on stories, and most importantly, building trust and friendship. Ultimately, this turned into a lot more than I was prepared to handle at the time, but I don’t think I realized it then. You see, I am full of ideas from large to small. My mind consistently moves seamlessly from one place to another, and for the most part, this character trait has done wonders for me. My abstract critical thinking has allowed me to excel in my professional workspace as a geologist, as an aviator, a musician, and most anything that I try. BUT, the grandiosity of my ideas are sometimes too much, and I think that’s where I needed to stop and look through a new lens with Climate Aware. Hind-site is of course 20/20.
For Climate Aware, my personal goals were set above my ability to achieve them at the time. This resulted in a gradational loss of interest, not in what we were doing, but in the fact that I was not meeting those goals. As time passed, my motivation also waned and it became harder to get the proverbial wheel rolling. This lack of motivation followed by traumatic family loss and the global COVID-19 pandemic lead to two major realizations: I was not happy and that I needed to get the hell out of Los Angeles. Within a month of that realization, my fiance and I packed our apartment into a U-Haul and drove from California to Virginia.
Since our departure, and for the past year, I have spent a lot of time doing things for myself and my family. And while I do not regret any of this time spent, I do carry the burden of understanding the severity of the climate crisis. Which leads me to the purpose for this entire post, which may only reach a few readers; I am incredibly fortunate to have the ability to live comfortably and pursue the things that I love in life, but this fortune and this privilege (I believe) comes with a moral responsibility to the world and those around me. I can’t simultaneously contribute to climate change and with clear conscious, speak on the effects of our actions without acknowledging my own role. But what I can do is communicate the science, provide a platform for meaningful dialogue, and educate those willing to listen and change their opinion on scientific fact. Hopefully with enough interest and action, we will see the implementation of effective policy to facilitate the creation of a sustainable future for all.
While it may take some time to get Climate Aware back to where I left off, that is okay. I have the platform, I have the ability, and I have the motivation. For right now, I’m going to do what I originally set out to accomplish back in 2015 and do my part to mitigate the train-wreck ahead of us.