I never thought being packed in a massive sea of people for hours on end would be so inspiring! The Women's March in New York City, with about 70,000 planned participants, had an estimated 300,000 plus men, women, and children of all ages, races, and cultures pouring over the streets heading for Trump Tower. The crowd was so large that the march had to be re-routed and many additional streets shut down for hours. It was historic, moving and, important. People from all over the world are fired up – and I am too!
Back at work on Monday was almost as thrilling, as I participated in a press event with Senator Blumenthal and many of my environmental colleagues in Hartford. We were all there to support Senator Blumenthal's opposition to Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the EPA and to voice our concerns. The best part of this event was not just being with and inspired by like-minded people as I was at the march, but bringing my young 11 year-old friend, Jack. Jack is working on a science project, learning about climate change, glacial melting, and the impacts of warming temperatures on health and the environment. Bringing him to the press event seemed the perfect learning opportunity for this budding young advocate!
Jack's mom told me that he was up early, extremely excited and wanted to know what to wear. He had his climate change notebook ready to go. Once there, he talked to me about greenhouse gas emissions, like carbon dioxide, and how they trap heat against the Earth's surface, warming the oceans and melting glaciers. We all joked that he knows more about the science than the EPA nominee!
The big highlight though was having Senator Blumenthal ask Jack to see his notebook and to stand with him at the podium! Jack even got to say a few words and was later interviewed by a reporter from the Hartford Courant! I held back tears of joy and Jack asked if he could go to the gift shop.
As I struggle with moments of fear, despair and being overwhelmed at the harms to our democracy and environment from a Trump presidency, I will recall the blessing of helping my shy, 11 year-old friend, Jack, as he learned to be an environmental advocate and I'll pick myself up and get out there again.