While it doesn't have the headline-grabbing power of a big global treaty or act of Congress, the fact is that we are living in the midst of massive, decentralized, grassroots-up problem solving on climate.
Given the domination of our political system by big money in this post-Citizens United world, the question is whether it will be possible for the U.S. government to take the large-scale political actions that are necessary to address climate change.
Before long, you are on earth and in space, and feeling around your own brain, and your connection to the global history uncovered through anthropology and archaeology. Never will you be just a tourist at a World Heritage site, but a witness.
Al Gore concluded An Inconvenient Truth by noting that political will is a renewable resource. I still believe that is true. But we all now know that the realm of politics by itself is not yet up to the task of addressing our world's climate crisis.
Last year, Congress debated, dawdled and dithered. This year is more of the same. The bottom line remains that Congress has still not passed legislation to curb carbon pollution and boost renewable energy solutions.
This year my children are celebrating my "special day" in a way that is far more meaningful to all of us: they're taking action to confront climate change, the most urgent crisis faced by their entire generation.
Laurie David is fired up about family dinners. She's used her epiphany to write a book that demonstrates how family dinners have the potential -- if we embrace them -- to be so much more than just, "Hey Mom, what's for dinner?"
"Among other things I do," says the British musician, "I'm the music director of an organization called TED or Technology, Education and Design. That's an annual get together of people sort of figuring out how to save the planet."