“God only gives us what we can handle.”  This is a common refrain heard in troubling times. As I struggle with how to get people to support NCSC I wonder what I’m missing.  As I think on this statement, I realize that God has a lot of faith in me. More than I have in myself.  (To those who don’t believe in God, I’m sorry.  But this blog is from my point of view, and I do.) I wholeheartedly believe that NCSC is what I’m supposed to be doing. It explains the strange twists and turns that happened in my life. To paraphrase John Lennon, “it happened while I was busy making other plans.”   If this is what I’m supposed to be doing, then there has to be a way to make it happen.  But how?

In looking at the whole picture of sustainability and climate change, why now? why in this way? to follow through on my first thought – because it’s supposed to.  I believe that sustainability is that “set of tools” we’ll need to get through our changing climate. We’ve had them at our disposal before now, but we didn’t have the connectivity through technology that we do now.  Sustainability is going to take a global community effort.  It has to start with each one of us, but without connecting to each other, we feel alone, powerless, and the efforts are not magnified.  Having cell phones, internet, television and computers allows us to take information, skills and ideas and combine them into “cyber communities for tomorrow.”

Chat rooms have long existed, and often degrade into yelling matches and boasting zones. But what if we used these tech tools to share knowledge, progress and support?  That’s what we’re trying to do at North Country Sustainability Center.  If we didn’t have technology, we wouldn’t be working on a goat keeping webinar.  If we didn’t have Internet we couldn’t spread our information to our members affordably.  Without connections, our communities would be isolated from each other, struggling independently to move forward.

But we do have this tool now.  We can use technology in place of cars.  We can choose to put alternative energy to use to power our technology, to keep our “planetary touch” as clean as it can be.  This is the time when our Mother Earth needs her children to protect her, as we guard and protect our natural parents and family.  If we don’t reach past our own personal struggles we will not survive this change. We will continue to wallow in futility. We need to get past the “I did it,” part of being a child and become the more mature “We are doing it,” way of looking at our problems.  They are hurdles, not barriers.  If we remember that God gave us this planet to live on, and our fellow Earth inhabitants to share it with, then he also gives us the tools to protect that world.  It is a huge responsibility, but we are not alone.  We have each other. But we need to do more than “like” the work of a person we respect. We need to support it, share it, learn from it and implement it into our own lives.

Faith is not about ignoring science. Learning is part of the toolkit we were given.  It doesn’t take a Christian, or even a believer, to use their knowledge to save our world. It takes a respect for differences, and looking at those different approaches as strengths that solve the problem.  Faith does not mean to follow blindly.  It is to use those gifts that God gave us in the way that best serves his purpose. What better purpose than to preserve this world he gave us, and to work together to keep her strong?

If you agree, please visit www.northcountrysustain.org/GivingDay.html and see what we’re working on. We’re combining proven practices, established knowledge and community to create potential for thousands in our region. Help us, and we promise, we’ll help you as soon as we can. We’ll share our struggles through this blog, as we go.  But together, if we work as a human unit, we can pass through this challenging time. We have to make fundamental change, but it isn’t all new, nor is it all new. But it has to be lasting, and effective.  We don’t really have a choice if we’re going to make this planet-thing last.  Share this, and support its concept, if you agree. Thanks,   Pat Stewart