We have solution, let’s use them

By Jan Scilipoti

Special to the Weekly

I just got home from the Lopez Community Center, where I went to celebrate the first day of COP21 – the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

I sat in a room full of people concerned about the challenges facing our planet, and together we watched Naomi Klein’s film “This Changes Everything.”

I am saddened.

I am disappointed.

I sat through a film that reviewed, yet again, the problems that humankind has created for ourselves since the Industrial Revolution. At this point let’s agree that the problems are immense, and that it is time to act.

I want to be shown solutions. I want to be shown solutions so that I can sift through them, learn from them, and with this knowledge have direction in my personal life.

I want solutions to direct the community where I live. I want solutions for my local, state, and federal governments. This is about the planet, and we need planetary-scale solutions.

I came home tonight fussing that “This Changes Everything” did not provide solutions. Then I realized that many of them already exist here on Lopez.

To calm myself, to help me feel that I am not powerless, I started a list of the things I see around me. I list them as encouragement, as acknowledgement, and most of all as a call to each of us: to choose a thing that you are already doing, and do it more. Or choose a thing that you have always wanted to do, and get involved.

Renewable energy

We have a rash of solar panels on public buildings, at LCLT, on individual homes. Lopez is producing and selling power to our own local power co-op.

Redistribution of goods (S.W.A.P., the Lopez Thrift Store, Deja Vous, LopezRocks, Buy Nothing Lopez, the library book sales, community yard sales) Face it, we’re into this and we’re doing it!!

Political Action

Tonight’s program began by reading a letter from a Lopez resident who is in Paris at COP21. We saw footage of the kayactivists in Portland, protesting the Alaskan drilling by Shell Oil.

Zero Waste (S.W.A.P.)

Reducing garbage, increasing recycling, moving toward zero waste

Food Sustainability

Growing veggies and grain, milking cows and goats, raising livestock for meat, making and baking bread and beer and cheese – the list is endless, Lopez is on it!


We said ‘no’ in San Juan County.

Alternative transportation

Bikes, scooters, electric vehicles, hybrid cars, even an island-wide Trails Network – we share the road with alternatives.

These things are already happening on Lopez, these and many more I have not mentioned. I feel gratitude for them. I ask them to continue. I ask that we all please do them more!