Catie Gould is Co-Chair of Bike Loud PDX and a regular BikePortland contributor. She last wrote about Portland’s housing policy.
Every Thursday for the last few months, I’ve been attending a small meeting in a back room of the Central Lutheran Church. Sipping tea around a table decorated with fall leaves, I took turns sharing with strangers how I feel about the climate crisis. The ten week program was put together by the Good Grief Network, which is sprouting chapters all over the world.
The support group couldn’t have come at a better time for me. In October I took a trip to Washington DC to visit my brother. At the Museum of Natural History, I was struck by a small sign. It read that the atmosphere was changing faster now than any other mass extinction event in history. I stood there for several minutes, looking at the sign then back at all the other people in the exhibit hall walking past unaware. The science of climate change was not new to me, but this little sign rocked me, and sent me into a cycle of despair. My grief manifested as a shadowy doom that followed me around. It tapped me repeatedly on the shoulder and whispered ‘“mass extinction” in my ear. For nearly a month every transportation meeting I attended left me in tears, often not waiting until I was back home. No one was acting with the urgency that was needed.
For others who might be struggling, I wanted to share some of what I learned over the last few months.[Read more…]