When Changing One Thing Changes Everything

Keystone XL demonstration, White House,8-23-20...

Keystone XL demonstration, White House,8-23-2011 Photo Credit: Josh Lopez (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had planned to write about my own personal journeys with change today, but then read Julia Butterfly Hill’s blog about the Keystone XL pipeline, which made me reconsider what to share this evening.  You can read my earlier reblog to connect to her informative blog if you are so inspired.

This pipeline is a controversial subject, especially for people like me who have been involved with sustainability projects.  Most environmentalists I know are vehemently opposed to this project.  Many of them banded together to get Obama to stop the project and seemed to have succeeded.

As Julia’s blog shows, Obama then went on to reverse course and expedite the project. I have to believe he did this primarily for political reasons to get re-elected.  I understand  his choice when at least half the country is more concerned about the price of gasoline than a pipeline that they will never see. This reversal gets very little media coverage, and it makes me sad that most people don’t understand the impact of this pipeline.  If this pipeline goes through, it could be a change that causes immeasurable damage.  Yet, not everyone agrees including Paul Ryan.

As someone who cares deeply about green issues, I find myself wanting to vote for the green candidate, Jill Stein, who was not allowed or asked to participate in the presidential debates this week, and was actually taken to jail for trying to enter the debates.  You might read Democracy Now to get another perspective of current events in America.  Unlike some other countries like Germany, a green party doesn’t get much respect in America.  Unfortunately, Romney is so anti-environment that if I don’t vote for Obama I’m likely voting for an even dimmer future for America.

I had planned on writing about the concept that sometimes changing one major thing in our life can affect the entirety of our lives deeply. My move to a new home this fall has been like that for me.  It’s been a fresh start that has changed my whole way of living.

I wonder what would it take for America and the broader world to have a fresh start. Is there one thing that we could all agree upon to change in our collective life and society that would change everything for the better?

I believe increasing our support of safeguarding the ecosystems that support life on this planet is incredibly important.  I also believe we have the technology now and the capacity to make the world into an Enchanted Oasis for all life, but don’t have the collective will to do so.  Yet maybe the most important change isn’t greening the planet, maybe it’s something else.

Perhaps the most important change to make that happen would be to elevate the status of women around the world.  For if we look at those who are fighting for health, for peace, and for a more beautiful green earth, we see the importance of women like Rachel Carson to  Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma and Wangari Maathai in Africa.  Imagine if all women had greater power and respect.

What big change would you love to see happen that might change everything for the better?

Today’s Contemplation:

Is there one thing that you could change that would improve every area of your life?

Is there one thing that working with others you could affect change that might broadly improve the future for everyone?

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11 thoughts on “When Changing One Thing Changes Everything

  1. Three Well Beings says:

    This is a lot to absorb! I will need to read again and do some more reading from other sources just to fill in what I know very little about! I’m so grateful for what you’ve shared. I am eager to really understand more, Karen. Debra

    • Karen Wan says:

      Thanks Debra. There’s a lot to absorb here, and I can’t say that I understand everything either. I am hoping to send more time in the last months of this year looking at environmental issues and seeing where I might help out in some way.

  2. Cassie says:

    Hi! I’ve been bumping around your blog this morning. (And regarding this post: wouldn’t it be fabulous if the governments could go ahead and make the change to sustainable, green energy that *everyone* knows they’re going to *have* to make someday soon?) I particularly loved your post on the Green Man. I don’t know how interested you and your readers might be in fiction writing, but you might want to check this out: http://knowsprose.com/urban-green-man/. It seems like something you’d be great at.

    • Karen Wan says:

      Hi Cassie, Yes, that would be fantastic if we could just embrace sustainability now. 🙂 Thanks for your link, many of my readers are fiction writers, and hopefully will check out your link. I like the idea of an anthology of urban green man short stories. I might try my hand at writing one this next month before the submission deadline on November 30th. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. jamieaaron03 says:

    i’ve always wanted to hear from all the other parties, and candidates, but they always get left out. They always make it between two people. I don’t really know enough about that pipe like to have an opinion, other than I know they have already started it, and got a lot of work done. I do think it’d be money well spent on a green project, opposed to a temporary fix like the pipe line. As for making change, I’ve always wanted to get some community project started, even though I’m afraid of the people here lol

    • Karen Wan says:

      Yes, I keep telling myself that I need to work on a community green project here in Aurora, and maybe I’m afraid of the people here too, so I’m stalling. 🙂 It might be time for me to overcome my fears. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Tea Party Slayer says:

    My understanding is he fast-tracked the southern portion of the pipeline earlier this year, but blocked the most critical northern portion of the pipeline, so the connection to Canada remains blocked. Has that changed?

    More importantly, anyone on the Left who thinks we’re going to abruptly end our addiction to oil is not understanding the forces Obama faces. One of the reason’s he’s hated so much on the Right is because he’s made the most progress in history with renewable energy through the stimulus. Huge wind and solar farms, as well as new fuel efficiency standards on cars. And he is wisely framing tax cuts to oil companies as “corporate welfare” that he wants to end so he can reallocate investments into wind, solar, and other renewable energy ideas. Powerful right-wing forces have resisted change decade after a decade. So I don’t think a green candidate will make any progress. Obama’s our best shot. Regulated investments in fossil fuel for the short-term economy, and more investments in renewables for the long-term economy, which also helps the environment. Obama’s realistic approach is actually getting things done. And Romney has basically adopted “drill, baby, drill.”

    • Karen Wan says:

      I don’t know about the northern and southern drilling. I hope you’re right. I believe you’re probably right about the pragmatic approach to change, which is why I’m voting for Obama. However, I believe we would benefit from more political parties with different views on how to move forward in America. At least, I’d like to have their voices heard in debates.

      • Tea Party Slayer says:

        “At least, I’d like to have their voices heard in debates.”

        Amen to that. I’d like to see that as well. I guess I’m taking the pragmatic approach, because most of the folks I talk to seem only concerned with their own wallets, as opposed to the environment. The fossil fuel industry is dug in and resisting new forms of energy. So I think the only way to move the ball forward with renewable energy is to emphasize the economic benefits to people. It’s a shame, but at least we will make some progress with the environment as well.

  5. yogaleigh says:

    I think if I could truly fill with peace and clear anything that interferes with peace that would be the most profound change I could make. I think if enough people become filled with peace and cleared of anything that interferes with peace that will change the world.

    • Karen Wan says:

      Inner and outer peace matter to me too. I’d like to believe that what you’re talking about could happen, but I’m a bit skeptical about it, and maybe I need to look at that.

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