Why I Give
YES!: You’ve had a long personal journey as an environmentalist and activist.
Bruce Justin Miller Lee: I was working on a Ph.D. in coral reef ecology in 1969 when Gaylord Nelson proposed the first Earth Day. I signed up! That experience totally changed my approach. I shifted my focus from research to community-based programs that could make our lifestyles and communities more sustainable.
Among other things, I directed the Office of Sustainability at the University of Hawai‘i. Since I retired I’m working to get out the vote because I feel the most effective way to achieve the societal changes that we need is through wise government action.
Climate action is painfully slow. How do you keep yourself going?
I can choose to get discouraged and depressed or I can say, “I can and will make a difference.” And I choose to make a difference. I can’t give up.
How did you come to YES!?
I discovered YES! at a Bioneers conference in 2006. It immediately resonated with me because I’m interested in using visioning to create a better future and that’s exactly what YES! does. When we visualize something we can create it. And every article in YES! gives us something positive we can do something about. We need more of that!
You held a birthday fundraiser for YES!
I like to use markers—birthdays, the new year, the solstice—as a way to set an intention to make something happen. I wanted to use my birthday last year to get people to donate to something that could make a difference. So I did a GoFundMe campaign for YES! It turned out great and it felt really good.
I picked YES! because if we’re going to change this world, we need to have good ideas disseminated. YES! reaches a wide audience with values and ideas that I think are needed.
I hope you’ll join me in supporting YES! and building the constituency for a more democratic and sustainable world!