Saturday, March 28, 2015

What climate change changes

Today and tomorrow we'll reach the end of our original list of "shades of green." Then have a day or so to consider what, if anything, we think we've learned, other than there are indeed many shades of green. (For example, I had to really cheat to find definition and image links for Schnitzer's Green that weren't links to  German auto tuner AC Schnitzer.) Wrapping up our study in green will bring us to the beginning of National Poetry Month.
Later today please remember to turn off your (nonessential) lights at 8:30 tonight. That's when the ninth annual earth hour starts. If you wonder why we should bother with something like earth hour, read Rebecca Solnit's exceptional essay, The Most Important Thing We Can Do to Fight Climate Change Is Try, in the 150th Anniversary Issue of The Nation. (The entire issue is available as a download at the linked essay.) Over the past year or so I've become a fan of Solnit's writing because often, actually, usually, it helps me find hope and optimism where and when I most need them. Which reminds me, I haven't yet seen the first red-winged blackbird this Spring, but I remain optimistic it'll happen any day now that blackbird etudes will return to the neighborhood.

red-winged blackbird male
red-winged blackbird male
Photo by J. Harrington

Blackbird Etude

By A. E. Stallings 

For Craig 

The blackbird sings at
the frontier of his music.
The branch where he sat

marks the brink of doubt,
is the outpost of his realm,
edge from which to rout

encroachers with trills
and melismatic runs sur-
passing earthbound skills.

It sounds like ardor,
it sounds like joy. We are glad
here at the border

where he signs the air
with his invisible staves,
“Trespassers beware”—

Song as survival—
a kind of pure music which
we cannot rival.


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