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The Switchboard / NRDC Blog

A Moving Planet, A Grounded Movement

When I was a kid and things became too fast paced or stressful for me I would go outside, take off my shoes, and stand with my bare feet on whatever piece of earth was nearest me. I don't know where I learned to do that, but it always made me feel stable. It made me feel still. As I got older I struggled to understand the enormity of the truth that the planet was moving, rotating, revolving and part of the swirling mass of this galaxy, that we were anything but still. I didn't understand how we were not falling off, or how we couldn't feel it moving. It was hard to look beyond my physical experience of being still. Eventually, I came to like the idea of standing there in moments of stress, rooted to something so immense as it moved through the cosmos.

Turn on your media outlet of choice at any moment of the day and even with all of your adult understanding and knowledge it is easy to see the human condition framed by a few thousand politicians and talking heads. It is easy to believe that we are mired in conflict, indecision, and fear. If one considers the state of affairs surrounding the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it, it is easy to believe that we have come to an impasse and are standing still.

When faced with this reality, it is easy to despair. But if we would, even for a moment, choose to move through our community instead and see what people are actually doing,  that reality would be shattered. Every day there are countless people in our communities taking the steps our politicians are debating. Every day there are more people biking to work than politicians debating whether building bike lanes is a good idea. Every day more people are buying their food from sustainable local markets than there are lobbyists for big agri business. Every day there are more people making their homes energy efficient than there are energy company executives hunting for new places to ravage for fossil fuels.


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The Truth is and always has been this: we are a Moving Planet. There is no force strong enough to stop the people of this planet from making the positive change we need to live a sustainable existence. Not even fear. 

This Saturday September 24th communities around the globe will be celebrate our motion, our movement, with a global day of action. Moving Planet, a project from our dear friends at 350, will tell the story of thousands of communities who are moving us in the right direction away from the fossil fueled past, and toward the renewable energy future. Chances are pretty good that your community has a story to tell too, visit to learn more about how you can participate. I hope to see your story there, but even if I don't I take comfort standing here with my feet firmly rooted in our Movement together.

Apollo Gonzales

Apollo Gonzales is Director of Social Advocacy at NRDC

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