Reflections from the Chair. April, 2021
I suddenly realized that we are 7 days into April, and I’m late with my monthly blog post. I think the delay reflects my “pressured” feeling that a great deal is going on both in the chapter and in Climate Reality nationally, and that has kept me very busy. At the same time, I need to put in more time in my garden where Spring has arrived, and plants need to be tended. The good news is that several perennials that we thought had not survived the freeze suddenly started putting up new shoots over the weekend.
I take some encouragement from that simple fact. Even after a severe setback, they are still with us. Right now, the Texas legislature is acting on some of the most toxic legislation in the whole country; and that feels like a different sort of “severe setback.” I refuse to let that derail me as an activist. We are going to keep making our voices heard! Our Legislative Action Working Group has put out several calls for action already, and more will be circulated over the next several weeks and months. I hope that many of you are taking action!
Plus there is so much to celebrate in the chapter. Three of our working groups have come together in a collaboration on an art project aimed at an Earth Day debut.
The workshop program that the Business Working Group is developing with the Harvard alums is on track for a kickoff in September, with some world class speakers.
The Youth & Young Professionals rolled out their first podcast, with more to come I’m sure.
The Faith Based Working Group got under way, and the Latinx Working Group has developed their first all-Spanish presentation deck.
The Plastics group meetings have grown beyond a chapter event to become the site for a coalition meeting that involves the Austin, San Antonio, and New Orleans chapters.
The Self Care group held its first Listening Circle. Not many members attended; but I for one can say that it was well worth the time, and I hope that others will come to the next one.
Add to that the fact that this month Climate Reality will hold its first virtual training program of the year. We know that at least 55 North Texas individuals have been accepted, so we will again be growing dramatically!
The challenge we face is a familiar one. How can we develop the Chapter in ways that make it an appealing and useful home base for all of the different kinds of climate activists who will come in via the training program? I am hoping that those of you reading this will feel free to share your ideas and your suggestions with me about this. Quickly please! The new Climate Leaders will be with us very soon!
I have been promoting the sharing of poetry as one part of self-care for activists. In that vein, let me share another poem from Margaret Atwood’s new collection Dearly. Perhaps you will find some inspiration in it, as I did when I first encountered it.
“a scrap of black plastic - the defining foliage of the oil age”
Mark Cocker, Our Place
It sprouts everywhere, this foliage.
Up in the trees, like mistletoe,
or caught in the marshes
or blooming in the ponds like waterlilies,
gaudy and frilly,
rippling as if alive
or washing onto the beaches, neo-seaweed
of torn bags, cast wrappers, tangled rope
shredded by tides and rocks.
But unlike true foliate it’s rootless
and gives nothing back,
not even one empty calorie
Who plants it, this useless crop?
Who harvests it?
Who can say Stop?
Roger Knudson, Ph. D. Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, Miami University Chapter Chair, Climate Reality Project Dallas Fort Worth Chapter (859)866-3962 Pronouns: He/Him/His