Earth Doctor / Climate Troubadour

Just So Big

It’s just so big, and you feel so small           A  E  A
Why do anything at all?                                F#m  B7    E7
See that water on the shore                         F#m    A7
It’s been knockin’ on my back door           D9  — F#dim
It’s just so big, you feel so small.                A   E    A

Now a rich man, doesn’t want to know
He’s happy, happy with the status quo
And a proud man doesn’t want to know
Keeps believing that it just ain’t so.
And it’s just so big, you  feel so small 

TV news, doesn’t tell it all,                             D    F#dim
Talk about trouble and the ratings fall      A  A7
Real story may not pay                                D    F#dim
Better do what the bosses say                     E7  

Nobody’s — in this world alone                 A E D7 A E
Nobody’s gonna win this on their own   A  B7 E7
Change your lightbulbs if you will,                      F#m    A7
Change your senators, better still,                        D7  F#dim
Cause it’s just so big,  you feel so small.
Cause it’s just so big,  you feel so small. 

© Doug Hendren

What’s it about? Climate disruption is such a mind-boggling problem, the scale so unthinkably large, that it’s easy to get burned out and disengage altogether. In recent years, there has been dawning recognition of the toll on young people, on the general population, and on science professionals.

I heard Bill McKibben speak in New Haven a few years ago. One young person asked: “What’s the best thing I can do for climate?” McKibben answered: “The best thing you can do is work together.”  Fossil fuel interests, continuing to obstruct climate action, would like us all to focus on changing light bulbs and recycling. But the only way we will succeed is by working together to force large-scale legal and economic policy changes.

We are small indeed when we act alone. But not when we put our hands and our voices together. Recall the 19th century miner’s union song “Step by Step,” popularized decades ago by Pete Seeger:

Step by step the longest march
Can be won can be won
Many stones can form an arch
Singly none singly none
And by union what we will
Can be accomplished still
Drops of water turn a mill
Singly none singly none

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