We Used Our Voices– We Saved Clean Air, Defeated Oil… Empowered Ourselves and Our Children

June 11, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Yesterday’s narrow defeat of Sen. Murkowski’s “Dirty Air” ammendment to the Clean Air Act reminds us that even in the face of really big oil interests, our “little” voices all add up — our voices count.

It’s easy to think that our voices and our votes don’t matter. How can we possibly go up against huge global corporations with massive lobbying budgets?

The thing is our elected officials expect to hear from big oil, and they expect to hear from environmental organizations.

Our elected officials are pleasantly surprised to  hear from us ordinary citizens when we speak out. We don’t have to understand the nuances of complex bills — we  just have to speak from our hearts about the issues that concern us– like the kind of world we’re leaving our children.

I was never an engaged voter until I realized that our addiction to oil threatened my children’s health and wellbeing, now and in the future. Things like rising asthma and cancer rates, longer cold and flu seasons.

Once I realized that the scale and urgency of the problem required massive policy change, I started to get informed, and to use my voice.

I’ve attended workshops on how to talk to elected officials– and learned that it only takes about 5-7 of us to get our elected officials’ attend. That’s all– a handful of our friends and family!

In fact, using our voices to protect that natural world on which we depend– for air the air, for the food we eat, the water we drink, for beauty– is the single most important gift we can give our children. 

We empower ourselves, and we show our children how to empower themselves to solve problems. My boys have not just seen me use my voice and be rewarded by being heard– they’ve also drawn pictures and sent letters to elected officials. They know their voices count. And I’m pretty sure this ability to be effective will transfer to other challenges in life.

So yesterday’s vote is a powerful reminder that when we use our voices, we can make a difference– for our addiction to oil, for our children’s future.

Learn more about the vote here: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/fbeinecke/the_senate_votes_in_favor_of_s.html

The effort to tackle our addiction to oil will be ongoing, because I can say as addictions specialist, recovery is a process.

If you want to learn more ways to make a difference and combat our addiction to oil, here’s what you can do:

1. Follow me on Twitter @drsarahwarren

2. Suscribe to get informed and inspired

3. Download chapters of my book at  https://ecoactionplan.wordpress.com/fierce-love-the-book/ —  and please post a comment!

Because we have exactly enough time, starting now.

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