we rise or we suffer

our options are clear
we have three: we mitigate, we adapt, or we suffer
hard choices must be made
strong leadership showing us that gateless gate

in my darker days
I feel governments will mitigate some tonnes,
adapt some spatial planning (or none)
and billions will endure immense suffering

in my brighter visions
pivotal reduction measures are taken
adaptation is used to build a just world (break those chains)
and we're finally on a path to being good ancestors

but man does not rise to the occasion
we fall to our training
and thus, to rise is to replace our leadership
with this generation living the urgency


In 2007, John Holdren, a professor at Harvard University, was interviewed by the New York Times and he said the following about climate change: ‘We basically have three choices: mitigation, adaptation and suffering. We’re going to do some of each. The question is what the mix is going to be’ (Kanter et al. 2007).  This poem explores what it will take to rise and put our efforts in mitigation to prevent future suffering.