Posted by: Stephen Paul | October 31, 2007

This is the most important race you’ve ever run!

Every day I review the “OneWorld Daily Headlines” ( Recently, two related articles got my attention. In the first, a UN Environment Programme report warned that humanity has been put at risk because of governmental failure to respond to environmental issues, including climate change, species extinction, and human population growth. Joseph Alcamo, one of the authors of the report, questions whether leaders will move fast enough to win the race to save the planet. Alcamo adds, “Personally, I think this could be one of the most important races that humanity will ever run.” 

The second article described ways in which neighborhood groups have been banding together to address environmental issues at the local level. Neighbors have joined forces to create common gardens, clean up neglected areas, make areas safer for walking and biking, shift to energy-efficient practices, etc. In contrast to the “remarkable lack of urgency” manifested by governments, these neighborhood groups are responding with enthusiasm, energy, action, and hope.

Whose leadership should we follow?

Today I received another invitation to participate in the Community Emergency Response Team training program here in my local community. CERT is a great program that trains neighbors to respond to neighbors’ needs in times of crisis. I’ve always thought I should go through the training, but I’ve always chosen to put it off.  This time I signed up.

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