How a Middle-aged School Teacher Became a Climate Reality Leader

First of all, I’d like to tell you that I’ve always loved this precious planet and all its inhabitants; mountains, rivers, little meadows, trees, bees, flowers, animals – domestic or wild – people. At an early age, I fell in love with J. R. R. Tolkiens The Lord of the Rings just because he loved nature too. You can feel it in every sentence in his books. Perhaps that’s why I was an easy catch when I found a book titled Big World, Small Planet. Here’s what happened:

I came to work early one morning in March 2018. The corridors were still empty; mine is a big school so your steps sort of echo when there are no crowds about. I was not in a good mood since I had just lost my mother. Having spent my entire life caring for others – my children, my animals, my parents – I was free, but not happy about it. Our lovely receptionist hadn’t arrived yet, but just outside her glass-cage (student slang), there was a book. I picked it up in order to return it to the school library.

51HmdiWDRWL._SX350_BO1,204,203,200_You’ve guessed it, haven’t you? It was Big World Small Planet, written by Johan Rockström and Mattias Klum. Johan Rockström is the director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and a professor of environmental science at Stockholm University. Mattias Klum is a well-known nature photographer. Both are greatly respected in Sweden!

I just had to read that book! The funny thing was that when I returned it, I was told that the book wasn’t supposed to be absent from the library since nobody had borrowed it! I’ve thought a lot about that since then. Was I meant to read that book? Or do we live in a truly random universe and it was just chance? Well, whatever – I read the entire book in one go.

And my life changed.

I learned about the concept of Planetary Boundaries and the fact that we’ve already crossed four of them. I learned that we have now mistreated our planet to the point where our – and many other life forms’ – future is jeopardized. I learned that some of the climate changes that we have engendered are now irreversible, and unless we stop before the climate reaches a tipping point, life as we know it will be no more.

There was just no way I was going down without a fight! So I started blogging. And I found We Don’t Have Time on the Internet. Then I chanced upon the Climate Reality Project and their Climate Reality Leader training: I was accepted, and here I am! Fresh out of a three-day school!

You know, I used to suffer from depression. One of the reasons was that I’m the kind of good girl who works herself to death in order to please everyone else and gets depressed through sheer fatigue; another reason was that I grieved for my planet. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve heard about our transgression of nature – Silent Spring by Rachel Carson was published in 1962 for a reason (I was born in 1961)! But I’m not depressed anymore: the act of fighting for what I love most has cured me of that. Life is worth living when you spend your time doing something incredibly meaningful!

There are still too few of us, however. To create an impact we need ”the power of many” (Ingmar Rentzhog, founder of We Don’t Have Time). So join us! Help us tell our policymakers that we want a whole, clean, vibrant planet to live on. Let’s create a ruckus – together!

And if you don’t know how to go about it, post a comment here and I’ll help you out!


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