My name is Barbara McVeigh. I’m a mother. I live in California.
And I’m the proud daughter of a federal criminal.
My father took a stand against the federal government in 1981 when Ronald Reagan gave him 48 hours to get back to work or “get out.” My father was taking a stand for honesty and justice, not money. Reagan had made false promises to my father’s union and my father, who loved his job, believed no leader should use fear to lead, which is what Reagan did.
We suffered emotionally and financially for over 15 years and I lost my dream to study oceanography in Santa Barbara. Later I put myself through college at San Francisco State University with holes in my shoes and hated my father for his choice to strike.
But the universe loves to laugh! Three years ago as I began to understand humanity’s existence is at stake because of carbon and ocean acidification. I also learned another one of Reagan’s dirty business – He pushed oil back into the American economy full tilt after Carter had said in 1979 “It is the moral equivalent of war” to be independent of energy. Carter established the Energy Department and pushed for wind and solar initiatives. But, Reagan called that speech MEOW and stopped Carter’s work, as he pushed big oil back in the economy resulting in 35 years of oil wars, terrorism, ocean acidification, dead coral reefs, global climate change – when we KNEW about the effects of carbon. It’s a tragic story that we could have been on a great path, leading the world to a healthy state 35 years ago.
Now our planet has major problems, and if we don’t stop and reflect on what we’re doing, our children will pay the price.
Reagan’s policies have lead us on a fast track towards a global ecological disaster with global climate change and ocean acidification.
If Reagan got us into this mess, maybe he can get us out. Now, of course, he’s dead, and you might think that’s a problem. But, I’ve got an idea. A big idea.
I’m a fighter and I believe in making lemonade out of lemons. Take the negative and make it positive so everyone can learn and be wiser and stronger.
My film and book projects are related to my personal story as I look to inspire others through the pain my family suffered in order to see that it’s not what you lose that matters, it’s what you gain.
After 33 years of my own struggles, hard truths finally emerged. I’ve got a voice and I’m feeling mighty bold for some payback – It’s redemption time.
I’m directing my first film about the legendary Brazilian Guitarist Jose Neto whose solo The Redemption Song moved my spirit and led me to a new world made of dreams. The film is called The Man Behind the White Guitar and it’s my first film to ever direct and the second film I’ve ever made. The first film I cowrote and produced was released last year called Racing with Copepods. It features Dr. Sylvia Earle and is screening internationally with the Wild & Scenic Film Festival.
It’s time for kindness, hope and positive vision! Let’s do it.