Twice a month for the past year, I have taken my now 2.5-year-old son, James, to protest in front of the Dominion Energy building on Hydraulic Road. We show up there to protest Dominion’s pipeline, which is slated to tear through Virginia. Recently, we experienced our rainiest protest yet. It was wet, and James camped out under an umbrella in his stroller, snack in one hand and toy car in the other and big grin on his face.
Afterward, James and I left to support the Albemarle Board of Supervisors’ vote on setting goals to lower and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in the county. (This resolution passed. Go, Albemarle!) After we left, a police car came and asked if there was a woman and a baby there, because someone had called with concern about the baby’s safety near the road.
I was sad that someone thought I was endangering my child. I was mad that they didn’t speak to me directly. I was honored that someone who doesn’t know James cares about him. Then I inventoried the things I do to make sure James is safe at protests and in general when we are on a sidewalk. And then I wept.
I wept because every day I feel the climate crisis coming at my children. It feels like a bus coming at them. I feel it coming even faster for the children in Union Hill where the pipeline is supposed to come. I feel it coming even faster for children in Louisiana who are likely to be displaced because of rising sea levels, and faster for the children of the indigenous communities in Ecuador who are being clear cut out of an existence and even faster for the children of Syria who are experiencing drought, violence and displacement.
Climate change is coming at all of our children. As a mother, I feel a duty to stand in front of our children to protect them. That is why I protest the pipeline and support climate solutions. Stand with me to protect our children.
Emily B. Little