Reflection on Martin Luther King Day

I posted this earlier today somewhere else on the Web and given the immediate response I thought I might as well share that with the broader public of this blog.

I spent Martin Luther King Day hiking with friends. It was great being with such fantastic people but one day I would like to take this as an occasion to honour the memory and legacy of a Man that has been so inspirational to me. There is so much bigotry, violence and ignorance in this country and in this world. We have so much to do.

I have a photo of Martin Luther King in my studio. I have had it since my college years in Dublin and then, in Nantes (during my Bachelor of Arts and Master’s Degree years, respectively) For over ten years it has reminded me of what was his calling and what is mine. It reminds me of values and dreams we have in common…

I remember in high school – I was still living in my hometown in France then – being able to quote the original I have a dream speech when we were studying it in Contemporary History class. Now I could quote dozens of bons mots and quotes from him… So much Wisdom, so much Love.

What would he think and say of the country and world we live nowadays ? What would be his actions ? We have so much to do…

After over a decade of documeting myself on the issue I can say with full confience that in many ways climate change is hitting more ‘ minorities ‘ than whites, more poor nations than rich ones… Indeed, nations that have polluted the least our atmosphere in the past decades will be impacted the most in the coming centuries.  To paraphrase one of his other well known quotes, this is another injustice we have to fight here and everywhere…

One of his quotes I love so much : ” We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. “ has never wrung more true than today. It does apply to climate change and the negotiations and talks that occur every year around the world to decide how wealthy nations will – or will not – finally act up. I daresay that the Paris Agreements got me hopeful. But actions in the coming years will tell if these were concrete pledges or  empty words.


Edouard is a sustainability and energy professional committed to bringing our societies to a carbon neutral future. He has been writing on related topics on this very blog since 2007.

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2 Responses

  1. Olivier J says:

    Regarding what you wrote, I found Obama’s farewell adress quite good and relevant. I do not remember the exact words but he hit the nail when he said that in a democracy, we rise together and we fall together.
    Brace yourself, for Trump’s speech will not be so smart and inspirational…

  2. Edouard says:

    Thanks Olivier for your comment.

    Let us hope that despite of the new President, the United States and their amazing population find a way to keep on rising together. Both to the challenges posed by climate change and to living united as a Nation…

    Bonne annee !

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