Photo by Ellie and Akira Ohiso

Structure change, not climate change… Do you remember the 21st night of September? I’m not talking about the Earth Wind and Fire song— I’m talking about the night after the People’s Climate March/Skate taking place tomorrow.   Were you there to make history?  History where the tide turned and all people’s voices were so loud, the leaders listened-and they too were going to make history, moving forward with actions for a sustainable future.

We watch the Arctic’s snow caps melt, Sandy take us by storm, unprecedented droughts, floods, hurricanes, water shortage, and extreme weather.  We watch the rise of the sea level and ocean acidification. We watch people who suffer innocently as the structures we have built to play the game of life within do not serve humanity.  Is it fair that indigenous peoples lose their innocent livelihoods from the results of developed nations’ priorities? Marvin Gaye captured the soul with this iconic lament in 1971 about the destruction of our world-please listen to Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology).

We have a choice, to stay still or move into action to live on 100% renewable energy, but we will need public policy to support the changes we want to see. We want Climate Justice from the People’s Climate March and Skate.

As roller skaters, we have choice to stay still or roll out on our skates to the beach, park, the streets or rinks.  We witness the closing of many extraordinary rinks that were homes for us skaters on both coasts, in the middle and around the developing world. The economic model has yet to prioritize with justice, choosing profit over people and the planet. Unfortunately, with the current financial model, it makes the property more valuable as a parking lot, as Joni Mitchell sung about in Big Yellow Taxi back in the 70’s. With the closing of our rinks, we skaters know that story, only to well that was told in Big Yellow Taxi.

The connection between these two big picture trends is the placement of our values— choosing to value financial profits over people and nature.  In both cases, the economic model is missing the prioritization of humanity, community, health, well-being, and sustainability of all of our resources for all species.

I’m Skating for clean air, pure water, real food, and an earth our children would be proud to inherit. I’m skating to be alternative transportation, for renewable energy as the founder of the non-profit charity, World Team Now– for electric vehicles, and to be part of the sea of humanity that deserves better structures, and can imagine better structures.  I am talking about net-positive buildings, and energy sourced by the earth, wind, fire, and water! I am skating to move political, financial, legal, medical, educational structures to evolve to support all people, all life force and our planet.

“We march because we know that climate change affects everyone, but its impacts are not equally felt: those who have contributed the least to causing the crisis are hit hardest, here and around the world. Communities on the frontlines of global warming are already paying a heavy price, in some cases losing the very land on which they live. This isn’t just about polar bears any more,” says Bill KcGibben.

We, the people, can live in balance with all species and prosper economically by placing greater value on the quality of life considering all people, and our planet in addition to profit—that’s why we skate for the People’s Climate, and I will remember the 21st night of September, will you?

Here is a Peace Prayer we adapted;

We are one global skate family all colors are races, one world united, we skate for peace and healing  for all nations. Peace for our communities and peace within ourselves, as we join together in this PeoplesClimate March, and skate to connect heart to heart.  Through our diversity we recognize unity.  Through our compassion for one another, and love for skating, we embrace life’s ultimate mystery.  Our love is the power to transform our world.  Let’s make it a world team now, where we can live in balance with all species for a harmonious future…

Our World Team project has made it a quarter of a decade this month, acting for environmental sustainability and social justice with World Team Now and World Team-Building!  May we remember the 21st night of September, as the tipping point for the #PeoplesClimate, after a long journey of living into the vision, striving— we all know the power of the wheel, the skate hub, the circle- well the movement has come full circle into action, as we answer the Call for a real World Team.

PS: If you can’t be at the PeoplesClimate March find an event near you, or watch the real time live-stream.