The Fourth of July has landed on a Monday this year, which feels like a prompt to write something about America and the climate for this week’s Movement Monday. The only problem being, of course, that that’s generally not a very cheery task (see recent Supreme Court rulings, extreme weather events, the state of public transportation, etc.). Indeed, it feels pretty disingenuous to write really anything positive about the US at the moment or really to celebrate this holiday with much fervor at all.
At the same time, however, it doesn’t feel particularly useful for me to sit here and list the ways in which America sucks in this newsletter. Most of you are probably already aware of the many failures, and frankly, if you aren’t, you can head to a major newspaper and get the low-down on the big picture. (Not to worry, dear readers, the specifics on climate doom and gloom (but also what to do about it!!) will still be in this newsletter– just not this week).
But perhaps this Fourth of July can be an opportunity to remember what we are working for, rather than what we are working against. While we cannot forget or dismiss the many terrible things happening in the US or the injustices our government is committing both within and outside of our borders, this long weekend, and the summer more generally, can be an opportunity to break out of our normal routines and find spots of joy and rejuvenation in unexpected places. On this national holiday, let’s take a note from other countries around the world and actually take some seconds/minutes/hours/days to not work.
On that note, climate twitter was actually kind of… quiet this morning. Mostly because folks are on vacation, I think. Likely not the rah-rah America vacay for most climate tweeters, I’d assume, but just a brief check-out and be-with-family-and-friends and maybe commune-with-the-outdoors type of vacay. That’s what I got to do this weekend, with a little hop, skip, and jump up to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for some mountain biking. Miles of winding through lush forests, quick dips into Lake Superior, and days without cell reception were a good reminder of what this is all about, for me at least. (The malevolent wooden parking spot barrier that threatened the lives of me, my friend, and my car in a physics-defying incident, not so much–but I digress.)
Anyway, I hope you all get a chance to check out for a minute or two, find time to play, and come back readier than ever to continue to think, talk, and act climate. We’ve got a lot of work to do, after all. Semi-conscious parking spot barriers and other obstacles be damned.