to the extent that I knew it would put me in some kind of
role, I had no idea whether or not I could handle it.
TERRY: And how are you?
TIM: I feel like I’m perfectly suited for this.
TERRY: [Laughter.] I love your honesty! I mean, it appears so. Is that a surprise?
TIM: Yeah. I’d never given a public speech before this.
And now I feel like I can just roll right into it any time.
And people are responding when I speak. I mean, I had
no idea that that would be the case. And I don’t even
know that it ever would have been. I don’t know if any of
these skills or abilities ever would have been developed
had it not been for the necessity of the situation.
TERRY: And that’s where I would go back to intention.
I think your intention was really pure. You didn’t know
what the outcome was going to be. It feels like you just
keep moving. And when we talk about a movement, I
think you’re really showing us what that movement looks
like. And I don’t even like the word movement. For me,
it’s: how do we build community around these issues?
TIM: Yeah. I mean I gave a whole speech about that last
fall, about the di=erence between a climate lobby and
a climate movement. I talked about the need to build a
genuine climate movement. But I like the idea of a community that supports people. I feel like that’s what we’re
building with Peaceful Uprising.
TERRY: Each person has a role to play, according to what
they do best. I love that you said, “I’m perfectly suited
for this.” There are other people that aren’t.
TERRY: And so, I think for each of us to find our own
path in the name of community, you know, if each of
us finds our own niche, with our own gifts, each in our
own way and our own time, change can occur. Radical
change. And for me, Tim, this is how you have inspired
me: We all need to take that next step, whatever that
looks like, for the integrity of our own lives. And when
I asked you, “How can I support you?” you said, “Join
me. Get arrested.” But it’s easy to get arrested, really. I’ve
done it more times than I can count. That’s not my risk,
at this point, as a fifty-five-year-old person. But the chal-
lenge that I heard was: What’s the most uncomfortable
thing you can do—the greatest risk, with the most at
stake? And I can’t answer that right now. But I’m go-
ing to be thinking about that, and figuring out what that
next step is for me both as a writer and a person.
TIM: I think what I was really trying to get across was the
idea of not backing down. Because it’s important to make
sure that the government doesn’t win in their quest to intimidate people into obedience. They’re trying to make an
example out of me to scare other people into obedience. I
mean, they’re looking for people to back down.
TERRY: Right. And I think democracy requires participation. Democracy also requires numbers. It is about
showing up. And we do need leadership. And I think
what your actions say to us as your community is, “How
are we going to respond so you are not forgotten? So that
this isn’t in vain?” And I think that brings up another
question: we know what we’re against, but what are we
for? Our friend Ben Cromwell asked this question. What
are you for? What do you love?
TIM: I’m for a humane world. A world that values humanity. I’m for a world where we meet our emotional
needs not through the consumption of material goods,
but through human relationships. A world where we
measure our progress not through how much stu= we
produce, but through our quality of life—whether or
not we’re actually promoting a higher quality of life for
human beings. I don’t think we have that in any shape
or form now. I mean, we have a world where, in order
to place a value on human beings, we monetize it — and
say that the value of a human life is $3 million if you’re
an American, $100,000 if you’re an Indian, or something like that. And I’m for a world where we would say
that money has value because it can make human lives
better, rather than saying that money is the thing with
TERR Y: I think about the boulder that hit the child in Coal
River Valley. What was that child’s life worth — $14,000?
The life of a pelican. What was it— $233? A being that
has existed for 60 million years. What do you love?