Wilford Welch

Wilford Welch – My Legacy

The years I spent in Hong Kong with the Yale-China program immediately after we graduated from Yale,  set me on my life’s mission. I was teaching in a Chinese refugee college, studying Mandarin and preparing myself to hopefully play some role in the eventual reconciliation between the U.S. and mainland China – a role I actually did play as a U.S diplomat in Asia during the Reagan administration. My life’s mission was not teaching, although I have done a lot of that. Rather, it was to seek to understand the forces at work in the human and natural worlds that would move “us” in one direction or another, and how I could have some influence in ways I believed would be positive.

I could share my journey during the intervening fifty years with you, but choose instead to jump to my last chapter, my intense focus over the past two decades, first on the global sustainability challenge; then on the global warming/climate crisis. As I write this, I am working on the 2021 edition of my 2017 book – In Our Hands, about solutions to the global warming/climate crisis; I am co-creating, with the Presidio Graduate School, and teaching courses on solutions to the global warming/climate crisis for K-12 teachers throughout the country; I have just finished one TEDx talk on the topic entitled “It’s Time to Change Humanity’s Hardware and Software” and will soon give another entitled “You Have More Power than You Think to get Corporations to Solve the Climate Crisis”.

As long as good health continues, I will be doing this work until the end of my days, which may coincide the decade of the 2020s during which I believe the world will either take the actions needed to stop global warming or allow global chaos to be the legacy our generation leaves our grandchildren. Those of us who are passionate about mobilizing the individual and collective political will to solve this crisis, will give it our best – but I do not know how this story will end. I feel that my legacy will be that I gave it my best shot.