Its been a week since our walk started and we’ve gone 100 miles. Already, I feel like we are behind because I missed writing a blog last weekend and I promised myself I would do so every week. But I broke my computer and lost a ton of work since I got to the point where I didn’t want to keep it in One Drive. And now I have to use Craig’s computer. Hence, starting today and it’s probably ok. But I feel guilty. What does that say about me? I guess, it’s time to cut myself a break and stop being so demanding. . . . Maybe with other people too?
When I look back at this week, I am happy to say that I personally have new insights into what is happening with climate deniers. And I don’t mean the top 2% that own the big companies—I mean the average person. Think about it. If you grew up in a family where you or your parents worked in a coal mine or in the home heating oil industry, Or if they just started fracking on your property and you are making money now, how hard would it be to acknowledge that climate change is a problem that is man-made? First, you may lose your income. . . Second you can have guilt about you personally contributing to the problem (like me above) and third, the first time you acknowledge that climate change is real it is DEPRESSING and it takes time to work through that.
So, how can we help the common man or woman that works in the fossil fuel energy arena acknowledge the problem and move ahead? Personally, I have realized it is going to require more than just a lecture that you might go to. More, than a documentary, though I love documentaries and Ice on Fire is a must see. But, I think that people will need to have their eyes opened by one on one conversations and likely this will need to be done with a bit of acknowledgement and even forgiveness for having contributed to the problem. And there will need to be financial incentives-big ones. True confession: I lived in Florida in 2000. Jagger and Sterling were 1 and 2 and I was pregnant with Graham. We were out of town and I didn’t vote in the presidential election. I thought Gore would win, no problem. Yes, I feel guilty about that too and even confessed and received absolution years later when I had the opportunity to meet Tipper Gore. But I bring this up because we’ve all got to get past the past and take steps to move ahead, understanding the people we meet and what they are going through every day.
I’m realizing this too as we go through different areas and I learn about the people. Washington County is one of the least populated areas in Maine-founded in 1789 along with Hancock County. Interestingly, according to the county internet site, there is wind power development in the northern parts of the county. Otherwise, the main industries are growing blueberries, lobster fishing and “tipping”. For those of you who don’t know, tipping is when you take the tips off of evergreens so they can be used for wreaths! We did also see a ton of trucks on the road since there is no interstate in the county. It is not an economic hot spot. But the people we have met thus far, have all been kind and genuine-very different than other places many of us have been.
I only wish there was more diversity “Down East” so that the young people could have friends from many backgrounds. Because as I look at things, we need to talk to each other and make friends with people from different backgrounds to gain understanding. It will take everyone working together, people of all backgrounds and socioeconomic situations to figure out how to do things to make the world a more inclusive, lasting civilization. And unfortunately, after 8 days I haven’t seen any diversity Down East.