Happy Week-After-Earth-Day–when we still pay attention to the natural world around us and work to address the climate crisis. The nationwide day-of-environment-hype may be over, but thank you, dear reader, for tuning in to the climate movement every other week of the year as well– we need you, and the Earth needs you!
There are a few different things going on in climate world I want to highlight this week:
Our very own Lucy Hochschartner has helped to organize a Gallatin Valley Sunrise march against the local fossil-fuel-loving utility company, NorthWestern Energy, happening this Friday at 4:15pm at Bozeman Beach/Glen Lake Rotary Park in Bozeman, MT. Why does NorthWestern Energy suck? Lots of reasons, as Lucy explains: ”Our utility, NorthWestern Energy, owns a coal plant that emits more greenhouse gasses in a year than every single car on the road in Montana, their CEO makes $60,000 a week, and they just released a net-zero PR stunt that doesn’t actually address the climate crisis.” Ufda! Learn more about the march and RSVP here.
Much of India and Pakistan is undergoing a major, major heat wave. Last March was already the hottest on record, and now temperatures are predicted to get up to 120˚ F in places. Not only is this heat clearly unhealthy and potentially fatal for those living through it , but experts and officials are concerned, to say the least, about how local electrical infrastructure and crops will deal with the heat, spelling out the potential of a compounding disaster. Unfortunately, we can only expect to see more and worse heat waves continue to hit India and Pakistan and other regions in the coming years, yet another compelling reason to end our reliance on fossil fuels.
On Earth Day just a few days ago, Wynn Bruce from Boulder, CO set himself on fire in front of the Supreme Court in D.C. in an act believed to be a protest against the nation’s failure to address the climate crisis. Bruce passed away the next day, but his final act to draw attention to the climate crisis continues to reverberate across the country and the world. A quotation from a letter written by the anti-war activist Thich Nhat Hanh to Martin Luther King Jr. regarding the practice of self-immolation by Vietnamese monks during the Vietnam War has been circulating lately with regards to Bruce’s actions; It reads, “The press spoke then of suicide, but in the essence, it is not. It is not even a protest… To burn oneself by fire is to prove that what one is saying is of the utmost importance. There is nothing more painful than burning oneself. To say something while experiencing this kind of pain is to say it with utmost courage, frankness, determination, and sincerity.” A public vigil honoring Bruce’s life and making space for grief is planned for this coming Friday in front of the Supreme Court.
One of my favorite authors, Robin Wall Kimmerer, has an essay out in Emergence Magazine about “the environmental philosophy of mosses” and “virtue of humility” in the anthropocene. She doesn’t shy away from the massive challenges we face as a planet nor the tragedies of the natural and human world happening around us, but she is able to find hope and inspiration in the smallest of things, like mosses, and it helps me find hope and inspiration there too. You can read it (or listen to it) here
While we’re on the topic of the power of little things, consider not mowing your lawn (if you have one) this May for the sake of bees. Bee populations are declining across the US due to habitat loss and pesticide use, but they are so important to the healthy functioning of ecosystems (including our croplands!). A study found that the small act of not mowing for a month can have profound impacts on local bee populations: five times the number of bees and three times the bee species in unmown lawns versus mowed parks. Woah! If you’d like, you can sign a pledge to not mow your lawn here.
Ok, that’s all for this week. See you next Monday!