A follower of my blog once asked me to write about the possibility of world peace. I do believe it is possible, but up until now, I don’t think we have had the issue that can, and must, unite the world.  A year ago, I and two other believers in the possibility of peace had a meeting at the United Nations with Ms. Ana Maria Menendez, the Under Secretary-General and Senior Advisor on Policy. We had an interesting and instructive conversation with people who are dedicated to this goal. Even to these people who work for the United Nations, world peace seems almost impossible. Likewise, many, perhaps, most people believe that finding a solution to climate change is impossible. I disagree. I think that responding to climate change will be the vehicle that ushers us into an era of peace. 

I’m not a Pollyanna who thinks that all we need to do is recycle or drive hybrid cars to solve the climate crisis. Nor do I think world peace will magically occur because all humans are affected by this emergency. But, I do believe that this is the one issue that will affect each and every one of us if we fail to address it. We really have no choice other than to work together as humans to preserve the ecosystem that allows us to survive on the earth. This goal should surpass all others. It must take precedence over political, religious, national, and cultural differences. We must unite to save ourselves.

The task for all humans who are living on earth during this period of change is to renounce violence and division so that we can slow the pace of global warming and create sustainable systems of adaptation that will enable humans everywhere to thrive.  This won’t be simple, nor embraced by those who are motivated by greed, or power, or fear. Regardless of the complexities and obstacles, we must press on­ – advocating for sustainable practices in every facet of our lives – energy, food, water, shelter, the microeconomy and the macroeconomy. We must vote with climate change uppermost in our minds. And, we absolutely must make sure that human rights and social justice are built into solutions. We must be willing to learn from those who have lived their whole lives without the luxuries that we think are essential to a fulfilling life. We must open our minds and our hearts to the billions who share this planet with us. It is no more our home than theirs. 

We must make a radical shift in our consciousness – a shift that starts with recognizing that we are all now, at this very moment, living through a transition of enormous significance. Yes, you and I and every person on earth are living at a time of great consequence. We have been chosen by God, or the universe, the spirit world or random chance to guide ourselves and this planet on which we live through a period of vast change. How we live through that change and what kind of future we pass on to the generations that come after us depends on how we respond NOW.

Figuring out that response and enacting it provides us with the incredible opportunity to work together in peace as inhabitants of the same amazing planet….the planet that provides us all with sustenance;  that gives all of us immeasurable beauty to behold on a daily basis; that supports over 7 billion people; that became your home, your only real home, the day you were born. Even after you die, your body will eventually return to the earth and become part of this planet. You are part of it, and it is part of you. And even though there are so many things that confuse us about what it means to be humans living on Mother Earth, we are part of each other. We are inextricably tied, one to another, each of us to all of us, because we share the Earth as our home.

So, our task lies shining before us – save the ecosystem that sustains us all. People from every country, every village, every tribe, every family – each one, and every one, we all have a part to play in working together to save our home.  We cannot wait. The time is now. What happens next is up to all of us!

Jan Krause Greene explores the human heart as a novelist, poet and storyteller. She has been a feature at a number of open mic and storytelling venues. A mother of five and grandmother of six, she is an environmental activist and a Climate Reality Leader. Her first novel, I Call Myself Earth Girl was published in 2013. The sequel, The Space Between, will land in stores soon. You can reach her at jan.krause.greene@gmail.com