On a cold night in late December last year, I was snuggled up on my couch and catching up on the news. I saw a headline that a freak weather system had caused the North Pole to reach a temperature of 40 degrees, 50 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.
I froze (no pun intended). It was warmer on the North Pole than even here in Colorado. Unbelievable … In one article a climate scientist said that if there was ever a call for action to do something about climate change, this was it.
I agreed wholeheartedly. But what? I couldn’t sleep that night. The restlessness came from concern for the future of my 4-year-old son. I often read him colorful books about animals from around the world – he loves learning about those animals. Sometimes I read him those stories with a lump in my heart, wondering if many of them would exist very much longer with conditions changing so quickly.
So in the middle of that cold, dark night, I felt the one immediate thing I could do was write to my representatives in Congress. I had time on my hands, my favorite pen and a yellow legal pad. I started writing straight from the heart and straight from my fears. Almost as an after thought I wrote one to President Obama, too. Why not ‘eh?
I got canned responses via email and snail mail from the representatives. Months went by. Then just last Tuesday I was about to walk into my house when I noticed a large envelope at my doorstep. The return address said “The White House”. I wondered if it was some kind of joke.
Inside the envelope was a short letter and someone had scribbled a signature at the bottom. “I can’t even tell who this is from,” I thought! Then I looked, and stared, and looked again, and stared again, “Holy socks on a rooster! This is a personal letter from the President!” It was signed in real ink, and he made references to my original letter.
The thought that my chicken scratch on a piece of yellow legal pad paper had made it to the desk of the President brought me to tears. Somebody was listening … And not just anybody, the President of the United States was listening! Maybe Democracy works! Maybe there is some hope for climate change and all the challenges we face.
You can bet I will be framing that letter. I certainly can’t stop taking action now.
(EC Coordinator Note: Deb is an avid Environmental Center Supporter, FLC staff member, musician, mother, and overall exceptional human!)