In the midst of my climate despair, my sister was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. When she died three months later something inside me cracked. I was all grief. I couldn’t take another climate step.
I wanted to wrap that young girl in my arms, hold her tight against so much uncertainty and destruction. But there was nothing I could think to say to soothe her soul, nothing that wasn’t a lie.
The political strategist Frank Luntz, wrote a confidential memo to the Republican Party in 2003 and advised them to replace the phrase “global warming” with the less threatening, more benign expression, “climate change.”
I’m resigning. I don’t want to be a climate change warrior anymore. I’m inclined to blame my change of heart on my sister’s death. It would be easy enough to do.
I call myself a ‘climate change warrior.’ I’ve been talking about and taking action around climate change for the past eight years. I know more about the science of climate change, am more familiar with dire predictions and have had more climate conversations with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle than many people—but in the end, I had nothing to say to my friend.