Why I Am An Activist, #2

Activist_Header_ARTBy Sadie Sullivan-Greiner, SanDiego350

(Originally published in the San Diego Free Press)

When I talk about the danger climate change represents, some of my acquaintances say I’m  reverting to adolescence (I protested the ‘dresses only’ policy at my high school, back in my younger days). Others say I’m just reverting to type.

I’ve spent most of my adult life involved with the military in one capacity or another. I’ve observed that as a general truth, the people who have to fight wars are not that eager to start them. I’ve also discovered that, in general, people become aggressive when they are either in fear of something or they are desperate for necessary resources.

The effects of global warming and climate change underlie many of the other major problems we face as a nation and as a species. To take only one of many topics currently generating a great deal of heat, if precious little light, consider immigration. It is a sensible question to ask, ‘why do people migrate?’ Historically, the search for food has been a pretty simple answer. Now consider the decrease in the production of cereals in the period between 1985 and 2007; in North America, Europe, and Australasia, that drop averaged 19.9%. During that same period world population increased by roughly 1.8 BILLION people. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that increasing people + decreasing food = conflict.

The Dept of Defense studied the national security implications of climate change a few years ago. It discusses the climate-based causes of conflict, as well as how policy and/or practices have to change to adapt; I strongly recommend it.

I’m a mother. I’m an auntie. I want my babies to live. I want everyone’s babies to live. If we do not address the climate crisis, we haven’t got a prayer of addressing the secondary problems, such as toxic income inequality, civil rights, health care…that list can go on and on. And none of those will matter a whit if we destroy the environmental system that provides our water, our food, and the air we breathe.

So. I’ll happily defend the barricades, as it were, for the sake of those who are near & dear to me, as well as those who are near & dear to you. Vive la environment!


Sadie Sullivan-Greiner was born in the Mid-west. She is a military veteran, military wife and mother, and former DoD employee. She holds a degree in psychology.

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