I believe, really, really strongly, that the time has come, in fact, probably come and gone, for us to start acting like the ancestors we want to be remembered as, instead of as good citizens. Our children and our grandchildren are not going to appreciate financial inheritance and “security” in a world where food is ungrowable.
So it’s in the spirit of encouraging you, my dear readers, to step up to the plate, that I point you to my Hero of the Week, Tim DeChristopher.
Tim DeChristopher, 27, faces possible federal charges after winning bids totaling about $1.8 million on more than 10 lease parcels that he admits he has neither the intention nor the money to buy — and he’s not sorry.
“I decided I could be much more effective by an act of civil disobedience,” he said during an impromptu streetside news conference during an afternoon blizzard. “There comes a time to take a stand.”
The Sugar House resident — questioned and released after disrupting a U.S. Bureau of Land Management lease auction of 149,000 acres of public land in scenic southern and eastern Utah — said he came to the BLM’s state office in Salt Lake City to join about 200 other activists in a peaceful protest outside the building Friday morning. But then he registered with the BLM as representing himself and went to the auction room.
There, he thought about the times he has marched, fired off letters to his congressmen, signed petitions and supported environmental organizations — all to no avail.
“What the environmental movement has been doing for the past 20 years hasn’t worked,” DeChristopher said. “It’s time for a conflict. There’s a lot at stake.”
Yes, there is. And while we’re all discussing buying cleaner cars (instead of eliminating them altogether) and we’re talking about reducing emissions and we’re talking talking talking and by Christ doing nothing, Tim went out there and did something. And it’s a big something he did. (And bonus points to those of you who recognize the Henry V quote I slipped in there; see, frustration with all talk and no action goes back a long way.)
At this stage, any action is better than none, and bigger action is better than smaller action. Figure out how to free yourself from petroleum use, and then teach someone else how. Figure out how to grow your own food, and then help someone else put a garden in. Fight greed, fight corruption, fight global climate change, fight whatever irks you the most, that you think you can make the greatest change about. And then teach someone else. But get going.