NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The organization Resilient Nacogdoches feels uniting East Texans voices to their cause for climate justice has the potential to move from a local level, and make a difference around the globe.
"Climate change really is a global issue, but like all global issues it has to start on a local level and I think Resilient Nacogdoches has done a great job of keeping those issues on the forefront," said Jared Cates a volunteer from today's rally who is also running for County Commissioner, precinct three in this years local election. "I think the changes that need to take place to help right climate change, and get us back on the right path are going to happen locally first, and then we will go from there."
Vicki Lunell, a lead organizer from today's rally said the change has to begin with individuals being aware of the impact they can make on the world.
"The only thing you can really change is yourself, and as much as we want to change the world this is how we do it," Lunell said. "We start with our thought processes, and then how do we think, and then how do we live in the world, and what footprint do we want to leave."
This is the third year the group has organized to rally against what they feel are climate injustices around the world, but Sunday they focused on the Dakota Access Pipelines, and what they feel individuals can do to stand in solidarity behind those protesting.
"Having folks brave enough to stand up and talk about these issues and fight against these corporate oil and gas lobbyists to help influence changes in the state are so important, and I think those gathered here today want that to be known," Cates said.
The group said they also remain focused on the small everyday changes the community can make to improve East Texas and beyond.
"We try to find ways through gardening, through permaculture, and building community relationships to make Nacogdoches the best place it can be regardless of what the future brings," Lunell said.
Resilient Nacogdoches wants the community to know what causes they are advocating for, and explain the meaning behind the words 'climate justice'.
"Climate justice refers to the fact that often the most that suffer from climate change are the ones that have the least," Lunell said. "Often the ones that cause the most climate change, those in the developed countries, don't suffer as much. It's really up to us to really take the reins and make the changes."
She said taking ownership and responsibility for the environmental footprint we leave behind starts with acknowledging that we have the tools to right what they feel is going wrong at a world-wide scale.
"We work a lot from a micro level, we talk a lot about ourselves, we look at our view points, and then we begin to find ways that we can improve our communities by first assessing what needs to change," Lunell said.
The group is working on several projects throughout East Texas, implementing gardening programs and creating resources for different schools. They said beginning here is the way they will ensure long-term, wide scale differences are made to take care of our earth. For more information on the group Resilient Nacogdoches, click here: