Dispatch November 6, 2005
It's been a long time since I can remember being happy. It's been even longer since I can remember having hope. I don't respond to letters anymore. I don't write. I don't maintain friendships.
This summer, for the first time, I seriously considered calling it quits and turning my back on the people of this struggle. In fact, I wrote it all out and read it every day for a week until I made my choice.
When I close my eyes, I can feel my heart breaking. I feel the changes happening all over. I don't have to read the now daily headlines about climate change to know what has happened.
I am a child of the Earth. I am a brother to all life on this planet-a part of an intricate web maintained by a delicate balance.
The balance has been disrupted and try as I might, I couldn't fix it. I can't fix it. I feel responsible. I feel answerable to future generations for what my peers have done. I feel accountable to my wild relations for what my kind has wreaked.
A sadness dwells in my heart that I have never felt before. It goes beyond my comprehension. Tears build in my eyes when I see pictures of melting ice caps. I am so sad for us and for the kids in my life that will inherit the future. How did we let this happen? How could we destroy our home? Our world is going to change. Things we once took for granted will become scarce. It is already starting.
It may be decades or years but our civilization is going to collapse. It is going to be a living hell if we are unprepared. Think New Orleans after Katrina only in every major city at once. As it is right now, we rely on this social structure to supply our food, water, electricity, protection and health care. When these items become scarce, it won't be the poor or disenfranchised that have access to them.
We need NOW to start working toward self-sufficiency. Every community needs to start preparing. Take classes on water purification. Build community garden spaces with year-round crops. Develop networks for skill-sharing and mutual aid.
Pretend that you, your family and friends-everyone you hold dear have just been abandoned to fend for yourselves. Travel is restricted. Supplies aren't coming in. You are completely on your own. What would you wish you had? How would you take care of each other?
These are questions that need to be answered. We failed on stopping climate change. We can't fail on being prepared. That failure will mean your life.
My friends-this is as serious as it gets. I pray that you understand the gravity of danger we face. Everything is changing. Every facet of life will be affected. Those who can adapt will have a chance. Those who take action and prepare will survive.
Oregon State Penitentiary
2605 State Street
Salem OR 97310