In many ways, “gopher smoking” was an easy project for Darcy. He was working comfortably in his wheelhouse. But at some point, most of us on Parvati.org have had a moment of “You want me to what?”
For Darcy, that first came in the spring of 2015. We had learned of an upcoming event in Iowa with former US Vice President Al Gore, who we felt needed to know about MAPS. So Darcy was chosen to go and get our information into the former VP’s hands.
Despite his initial resistance, Darcy sensed that this was his to do. He flew to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to join VP Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership training. Carrying information prepared by his teammates, he navigated through crowds of hundreds, giving out business cards for MAPS and, as he put it, “networking my ass off.” He added with a laugh, in a status update phone call, “I’m so all over getting the package to Gore. If I go any harder, I would be stalking him.”
With bold courage, Darcy succeeded in speaking directly with VP Gore and handed him our materials. It laid the foundation for an alliance with Climate Reality Canada where ten more Parvati.org members trained as Climate Reality Leaders and organized a Day of Action in Toronto with free yoga and music. At the same time, we released a North Pole video of Parvati’s song “911-1-L-O-V-E” to raise awareness of our planetary emergency.
That summer, we created the music video for Parvati’s radio single “I Am Light” to remind people to keep their footprint on the planet light. In the fall, COP 21, one of the highest-profile UN events of the decade, would take place in Paris. Darcy would go and represent the MAPS Treaty there.
MAPS safeguards our planet’s air conditioner and helps alleviate suffering. Hunger, water shortages, natural disasters and mass migration are all factors in violent conflict. MAPS mitigates them all. Direct, practical and effective, the MAPS Treaty is the fastest way to protect life on Earth. It bypasses the usual negotiation process and goes straight to world leader signatures. With the signatures of 99 UN member nations, it enters into force.
Darcy had been through a baptism by fire at the Climate Reality Leadership training. Now he wasn’t just being asked to approach a former Vice President of the United States for MAPS. He needed to get the attention of sitting ministers and heads of government from all over the world at COP 21, and remind them of their responsibility to act for the good of all.
Our group immediately researched who would be present, created a short list of targeted ministers, and contacted them prior to the event to set up meetings. Darcy took time off work, booked the trip and found a place to stay near Paris at his own expense, supported by crowdfunding from friends and family. He carried a beautifully designed MAPS presentation book by Adam.
But nothing in Darcy’s professional life had prepared him for what he had to do now. Without an official pass to the main areas of the conference, amid heightened security and chaos, he needed to somehow get the MAPS Treaty into the hands of government officials, and urge them to arrange its signature.
Backed at home by outreach lead Karen Ho, admin lead Joy Elkayam and general assistant Uttama Anderson, Darcy worked with relentless focus, confidence and ingenuity. Standing by a flag backdrop, he would offer to take officials’ pictures as they walked by. Many accepted the offer, which opened the door for him to tell them about MAPS. He also built connections with scientific luminaries, such as Dr. Jane Goodall and Dr. Sylvia Earle, both of whom became MAPS allies.
Dr. Goodall said, “It is hugely important to establish the proposed Sanctuary.”
Dr. Earle added, “The Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary is an idea whose time has come, and I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the people behind these efforts.”
When Darcy returned from COP 21 in December 2015, he had made important inroads for MAPS among the highest echelons of government around the world, and built vital connections with allies. As part of a collective selfless effort, he had risen to the challenge and quarterbacked the biggest single initiative he had yet taken on.