A touch of spring -- and sanity?
Well, the thing on top of mind is, of course, the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The students’ responses have been incredibly inspiring, and they’ve already gotten action in Florida: raising the age of purchasing long guns from 18 to 21, creating a short waiting period before purchase, and banning bump stocks.* They didn’t get their main demand – banning assault rifles. But they – and students across the country – are going to keep organizing. They’ve already raised millions of dollars for their March 24 rally in D.C. for gun safety, which I plan to attend. I’ll also help fund students to go from Connecticut.
* Correction: I should have known this was too good to be true. None of these has passed yet, though all are on the table, which in itself may be a tiny victory.
Action in D.C. will be a lot harder, but I really feel this may finally be the change we’ve needed for decades. Besides legislation, some businesses have cut ties with the NRA and Dick's Sporting Goods said it would stop selling assault rifles and not sell any guns to anyone under 21.
Also a lot going on climate-wise. I attended a Teach-In for a Livable World! Climate Justice Now! that was organized largely by 350 CT and Sierra Club of CT. There was a good turnout (about a hundred people) for a six-hour event that included some excellent speakers who all made the point that if we don’t practice intersectionality across our various “silos” (like the environment, and women’s, labor and people of color movements) we will never succeed in our quest to lower greenhouse gas emissions enough to save the earth for humanity (and other living things).
The labor speaker was Sean Sweeney from Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, and he gave a great talk about the need for public energy systems, not private, for-profit ones, even if they are “green.” An excerpt of his half-hour talk is at this week’s Between the Lines radio show.
(There's a glitch in my website where instead of highlighting a word, it highlights the whole paragraph, so just click anywhere on it to connect to the link.)
Anne Hendrixson, director of Population and Development Programs at Hampshire College, raised some controversial issues regarding women’s reproductive rights and population, denying almost any role of population in contributing to climate change. I’ll be posting some of her talk later, so check back here for links.
When I feel burned out or depressed, I’ve loved listening to and spying the cardinals, who always sing at the tops of trees. They’re around all winter, of course, but they don’t sing for months in the fall and early winter – ‘til about February, when they start up again. The winter – aside from some bitter cold days in December – has been mostly mild, with little snow, which makes me sad. But we could still get a storm or two before spring fully springs. I’m already looking at seed catalogues for my garden.