At exactly 5:23 p.m. (Eastern) on Friday, December 21, 2018, we will mark the Winter Solstice,  the shortest day (and longest night) of the year. Coincidentally, 5:24 p.m. marks the beginning of the new solar year.

I would love to be able to see this year’s year’s solstice as the darkest night of our ignorance. The ignorance of seeing our earth (and its inhabitants) as consumables, the ignorance of the effects of our actions, the ignorance that someone else will fix our problems…

And alternately, to see the turning of the Winter Solstice as the beginning of an awakening. Awakening to the light of compassion for our earth, to the light of love for humanity, the light of wisdom for our responsibilities.

We can use the knowledge that has been given in the climate reports to enlighten us to the changes we must make in our lives. We can use the urgency in the climate reports to motivate us to action; to discover new ways of utilizing renewable energy, new ways of cooperating with each other, new ways of expressing our love of this planet.

At times the changes that are necessary may seem daunting, it may seem like more than each of us can do by ourselves but we are not alone. The institutional changes that we need begin at the grassroots level, and collectively we are the grassroots. The climate reports have given us knowledge of the urgency of our situation and because of this, more people are awakening to the necessity of sustainability and climate justice.

We can emerge from the dark night of ignorance by working together.