You might have missed Seattle Public Utilities’ recent Sea Level Rise Map, which predicts routine flooding throughout parts of Seattle by 2050. But Mike Foster – lower Wallingford resident – sure didn’t. And even though Wallingford looks to be spared from regular floods (thanks Ballard Locks!), Mike is on a mission to help his neighbors get serious about stopping climate change.
“I’ve been working on my personal carbon footprint for 20+ years,” Mike told me. “But that’s not enough anymore. Quietly driving an electric car or recycling, that’s just the beginning. It’s time to speak up in our communities and to change laws.”
The Climate Reality Project, the brainchild of Al Gore, offered a speaker’s training opportunity which Mike seized. He has since presented a blend of “science and a call to action” to 1500 people. A father himself, Mike has tailored his talk to students and families, streamlining the data so that young people can spend more time focusing on solutions. He has talked with students at any local schools that will have him, including Hamilton and [email protected]
“There are a lot of activists out there who are really changing the world,” Mike said. “And they happen to also be teenagers. That’s really inspiring to the young people who come to my talks. They want to do something. They’re angry, and worried, and inventive! They need to believe that they can make a real difference.”
Mike is offering his “Climate Change for Families” presentation again this Tuesday, February 19th, from 6:15-7:30 at the Fremont Library. The presentation is targeted to families with children 10 and older, or anyone who wants to learn more about climate change and how to effectively respond.
Wallingford resident Meg attended Mike’s presentation with her family last month. She wrote, “It was fantastic–accurate, compelling, and with a neat twist: great examples of kids standing up for their future and taking truly meaningful and effective actions to address climate change.”
Also a therapist, Mike also recognizes that for many people, the problem of climate change can cause feelings of grief or despair. To aid people in confronting climate change without feeling alone and overwhelmed, Mike is also forming a new support group. The goal will be to give people a place grieve the loss of habitat, dialogue about their fears for the future and confront our societal addiction to oil.
“Climate change, and the addiction to fossil fuels that is at its root, can elicit some really personal responses,” said Mike. “People often experience a very emotional reaction. I’d like to engage them in an ongoing conversation about carbon health. Together we can shift the conversation and strengthen each other to get out into the community.”
If you’re interested in attending one of Mike’s Climate Reality presentations, having him speak at your school, place of worship or anyplace else, or if you are interested in his climate support group, you can contact Mike at [email protected].