In the battle to bring climate change awareness to the public, one person that has stood out in my own journey is Rolly Montpellier, founder of BoomerWarrior.Org. I befriended Rolly at FaceBook through other friends that are also concerned about climate change, and we started working together to bring to light serious global issues we are all facing.
Besides being the founder and managing editor of BoomerWarrior.Org, Rolly is also a registered climate leader (Climate Reality Leadership Corps) a blogger, an activist and a climate change presenter. His website, BoomerWarrior, is for the socially aware and politically conscious; for the change-makers and thought-provokers; for the light and young at heart; for anyone willing and courageous enough to move forward.
From Rolly's wesbite:
"Boomer Warrior evolved from humble beginnings in answer to a generation which now looks out on to a world that continues to change at lightning speed. This post world war group expected the future to unfold in a certain way. It did for a while, then something changed profoundly. This profound change continues. Making sense of these changes is our particular call to action. It is our hope it is your call to action too. Our story is your story really."
1.Thank you Rolly for agreeing to this interview. Tell me what got you started as an activist and how did Boomer Warrior come about?
With retirement came a period of introspection, self-evaluation and questioning. What do I want to do with the rest of my life? What does it all mean? How much time do I have? How can I get involved? There is to much to do. Where do I start?
I wasn't always this way. Like most people, any un-ease about society, the environment or the body politic was quickly tossed aside or squeezed out by an overly-busy lifestyle. I had a career to pursue, kids to put through school, a mortgage to pay and a retirement to save for. Deep down inside however, a small nagging voice kept reminding me that someday I would have to get back to the issues left unresolved.
And there would be no bigger issue, no more daunting challenge – the mother-ship issue of our times – than the degradation of our environment and climate change. I’m not sure precisely when I knew that we were destroying our planet. But I recognize exactly when I knew that I had to do something about it. When my grandchildren were born, I knew.
So what do you do once you know?
I needed to seek the truth, however disconcerting, inconvenient or troubling it might be. I became an activist, a blogger and now manage the BoomerWarrior website. I’m a Climate Change leader and presenter.
BoomerWarrior is the perfect name for the website. I’m a Baby Boomer and now a Warrior outraged by the kind of world we’ve created. How could I not have seen this before?
BoomerWarrior allows me to dialogue, to share my opinions, to scream for change and assume my responsibility for ensuring a better future for my children and grandchildren. I owe them that much. That will be my legacy.
With BoomerWarrior, I add my voice to the millions of others who are doing what they can to improve the plight of humanity – individuals, associations, NGOs, researchers, climatologists, scientists, mindful politicians (and yes there are a few), social workers, activists, environmentalists, social workers and many more.
2. Rolly, you have been helping alot of people wake up to issues that we face in the world. What is the most important issue you feel that we face globally?
The issues facing humanity are numerous. But the most critical issue of our times is the degradation of our environment. We are in a climate change crisis caused primarily by the global warming activities of humans. Our oceans are acidifying, the air we breathe is polluted and we are witnessing massive droughts, water shortages, wildfires and flooding. Extreme weather events are increasing in their frequency and intensity.
3. You have recently completed training on being a climate change leader. Tell me a little more about that.
I was in Chicago last August for the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training program sponsored by the Climate Reality Project. Being in the same conference room with 1500 other people of common mind and purpose, Al Gore, a team of presenters, climate experts and public relations trainers, was simply a most uplifting and moving experience.
As a Climate Change leader, I now have the tools and resources to play an active role in raising awareness about the climate change crisis. Part of the strategy is to appeal to what people value – what they could not live without – and make them realize that now is the time to take action and to force our politicians to act decisively.
4. Rolly, what things do you feel that we can do as individuals to help solve this climate change crisis we find ourselves in? It seems people are waking up to the issue but are having a hard time wrapping their minds around the enormity of it.
We know now that using fear, finger-pointing and guilt to motivate people does not work. The Environmental movement has largely failed to effect the kind of change that is needed to reverse the downward spiral humanity is facing.
There are many things we can do as individuals. Every choice we make has repercussions – the foods we eat, the vehicles we drive, the housing we live in, the politicians we elect, energy conservation, the consumer goods we buy.
At a systemic level, we need to: put a cost on carbon, eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, increase subsidies for non-carbon alternative energy sources, elect politicians who are sensitive to climate change and continue to promote organizations like 350.Org, Citizens Climate Lobby, the Climate Reality Project and thousands of other NGOs dedicated to make our world habitable for our children and grandchildren.
*To follow this reporters upcoming Kickstarter project called The Art of Climate Change, please visit the Dorsi's FaceBook page for it here. The project will be launching this month. The Art of Climate Change will be an interactive show and exhibit at The Sun Gallery in Hayward, Ca. from June 19 - July 27, 2014.