Monday, November 1, 2021

Resources for the First Days of Climate Talks

How interesting that these first day of climate talks take place across the triduum of Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day.  While I don't have a poem that makes use of that conjunction (but I will!), I do have plenty of poems that ponder climate change.  Here's one that seems to fit best for this first day of climate talks in Glasgow; it's from my chapbook of the same name, and it first appeared here, with haunting art work to accompany it, at Escape Into Life. :

Life in the Holocene Extinction

I complete the day’s tasks
of e-mails and reports and other paperwork.
I think about which species
have gone extinct
in the amount of time it takes
to troll the Internet.
I squash a mosquito.

He drives to the grocery store
to pick up the few items he needs
for dinner: shark from a distant
sea, wine redolent of minerals from a foreign
soil. He avoids the berries
from a tropical country with lax
control of chemicals.

As she packs up her office,
she thinks about habitat loss,
those orphaned animals stranded
in a world of heat and pavement.
She wishes she had saved
more money while she had a job.
She knows she will lose the house.
She wonders what possessions
will fit into her car.

Maybe you were hoping for less poetic resources.  The website for the meeting is here.  For something less dry (pun intended), I loved this article that has the author going to new condo buildings in Miami Beach where she posed as a wealthy buyer and reports on sea level rise and its impact--or puzzling lack of impact--on the high end real estate market.

I first heard about that article in this episode of Hidden Brain that explores the idea of what happens if we approach the issue of climate catastrophe either like Dunkirk or Normandy, those WWII situations.  You may have to scroll down to look for the episode "We Broke the Planet:  Now What?"  I also liked this episode of It's Been a Minute, which didn't seem like the same old, same old about the topic.

It is hard to believe that these climate talks will make a difference.  It is hard to understate how time is running out--or may have already run out, for some of us in some locations.  Sigh.

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