Categories
Climate Haiku Poems

Mayday

Wind slinks on the ground

It’s unseasonably cold

May should be bright, warm

Full of buds and flowers

Not this bleak, cold, gray howler

Is it climate change?

Perhaps.

Or maybe the weather

Is a reflection of my own mood.

Categories
Climate Haiku Poetry

Signs of Spring

A bruised sky looming

Black tinged and brushed with purple

Pink blossoms stare up

Incandescent

Mouths open, waiting for rain

The sky takes a breath

And the bruise darkens

Droplets slip down the window

Tracing tears on the glass

Angry, the clouds harden

Tears change to sideways torrents

Drowning the flowers

Categories
Climate Current Events Haiku Poetry

Rising

Everything’s Rising.

Coastal waters are rising

Taxes are rising

Inflation…rising

My age is rising too, but

That’s not your problem

But, it has been said

With every action comes an

Equal reaction

If everything is rising…

Will we rise as a community?

Or, will we all fall?

By which I mean fail

To acknowledge hard truths

and take action?

Categories
Current Events Haiku Poetry

Into the Fray

A poem on what lies ahead

Omicron rages

While the CDC changes

All of the safeguards.

Meanwhile changes

Encompass our burning world

Earth is changing too

I don’t want to

Bring heavy tidings to you

Or…maybe I do.

In only one year

Democracy has been rocked

Temperatures rise.

Animals have died

Floods and Tornados have killed

And disease has reigned.

So what do we do?

When faced with this brave new world?

Well…maybe not brave.

I, for one, am scared.

But, despite all of my fear

I won’t become blind.

Categories
Climate Current Events Poetry

Snow

A free write on weather

The energy on the road is static

Cars, dusted with powder, crawl along. Their drivers shivering from the stress.

They drive slow, outside of lanes they can no longer see. Erratic in the storm.

As humans we’ve bent nature to our will. Covered mountains with tar and pitch, extracted salt to return back to the curated roads that our cars crawl on like ants.

But nature fights back.

Ice lays underneath the beauty of new snow, stickier than tar, slicker than glass.

Invisible. Silent. Lurking.

Laying in wait because nature knows we have to be to work.

Humans are, after all, predictable. We have to go to work to keep our jobs to buy the gas that drives our cars that pays the taxes to fix the holes in the road after every winter.

We can’t shirk responsibility because there aren’t enough plows.

There aren’t by the way.

So all we can do on this icy road is marvel at the beauty of nature and drive slow because we fear her. We take a deep breath when our car begins to sway.

Categories
Climate Current Events Poetry

The future of energy

Or the future of exploitation?

A poem inspired by this article.

New energy source.

Renewable energy.

Sounds pretty great right?

Of course it sounds great

We all want to fix the world

But…what is the cost?

“Future Energy”

Also means “future profits”

And…exploitation

Ok..So what?

When there’s money made

There’s people to profit from

And land to ruin

It’s not the future

If old practices are used

We must do better

Categories
Climate Haiku Poetry

Haiku Review

Climate

Climate Meeting Starts

Its the who’s who of the world

But will there be change?

Impact

Because, you see friend

People are displaced right now

Meeting won’t fix that

Categories
Climate Education Local Government

Another day, another oil spill

From the Pandora Papers to Facebook and Instagram being down for a number of hours, you may have missed the fact that there’s an oil spill off the California coast. Honestly, news like this mostly gets washed over now days. Oil spills, like the coronavirus, seem to be a necessary evil that we are willing to live with because we either can’t or won’t make the changes we need to stop the problems they bring.

But, there was an oil spill, and it is a big problem.

So let’s talk about it.

On Saturday, a pipe owned by Amplify Energy (based in Houston) somehow failed. What resulted was 126,000 gallons of “post production crude” to be spilled into the ocean. The company has had noncompliance violations in the past, and overall, is operating with equipment decades old. I mean, I’m not sure if you know this, but saltwater corrodes metal quickly. So, failure is not a matter of “if” it’s a matter of “when”.

Damage to wildlife

You may remember that the Pacific Coast already went through a massive heatwave that killed billions of sea creatures. This time, the oil has coated and destroyed ecosystems in a matter of days. One specific reserve impacted is the Talbert Wetlands. Aside from that, wildlife is washing up on the shores of California beaches, and there is an impact to human health as well. This is important, because people often don’t actually understand what “the ecosystem has been destroyed” means, but they do understand “can harm you or make you, personally, sick”. Which, is irritating, but the months since 2020 have really thrown human self-centeredness into sharp relief.

Ok…So What?

Look, this blog is not going to change the oil industry overnight. However, as our climate disaster worsens, and as people look towards new energy, oil is being phased out. However, I predict that spills like this will not only continue to happen, but happen more frequently. Why? Because companies are still trying to make the big money, and they are doing it with less funding and less compliance. I can’t point my finger at any specific thing, but it’s clear that companies may be willing to bend the rules to make money. Shit like “an oil spill has now killed wetlands we’ve been preserving for decades” will keep happening.

And this matters, because we need healthy ecosystems for our world to heal from everything we’ve put it through. If you’re sick, you need time to recover. With that recovery comes a host of other things, diet, sleep, vitamins, medicine. You’re not (or shouldn’t) go out and binge drink the day after you’ve left the hospital.

Except, that’s what this oil spill is. It’s just making our planet sicker than it already is, and it’s happening because of aging and outdated equipment that’s not kept up amidst a declining planet.

So what do you do? I mean, vote right? Do your best to cut back on oil products (that means plastics too my friends). To the best of your ability (I know we are all so tired) stay informed about climate issues. Why climate? Because even the coronavirus came out of human interference on animal life. All this trauma that we’ve experienced since 2020 we can tie to climate change. Honestly, it’s a privilege that some of us have been impacted by it for such a short period of time.

I’ll do another blog post on oil impacts to indigenous lands, but you can also begin educating yourself on this topic.

How do we fix this leak again?

Categories
Climate Education History

Why History Teachers Should Teach Climate Justice

I have a lot of “soap boxes” in my life. One is that history is the most important subject to learn. Another is that we as individuals, communities, nation, and as a world, must make radical changes to save our planet.

Let’s talk about the intersection.

I teach American history to 7th and 8th graders. As part of the curriculum, we delve into the colonization of the Americas, the Triangular Trade, and the enslavement of Africans. My MA is in American history, with an emphasis on colonial enslavement, so these are always some of my favorite lessons to teach. It’s also where those seeds of climate justice can begin to be planted.

Most adults know, at some level, that the colonization of the Americas was a brutal process. 90% of indigenous Americans died as a result of disease and tens of millions of Africans were enslaved and brought to the Americas. However, what’s not often talked about is how brutal colonization was on the land as well.

Turned out, the Americas were perfect for growing cash crops (rice, tobacco, indigo, sugar, cotton, among others). With the indigenous population dying from disease and enslavement, Europeans had more access to fertile land. So what did they do?

They wrecked it.

Europeans forced their enslaved labor to cut down the forests, damed up the waterways, and burned the land, why? Those money making cash crops. They wanted gold and glory, and honestly they didn’t fucking care what it did to the people or the land – as long as they could live how they thought they should live. This goes for any colonizer, by the way. Don’t at me and tell me that the Quakers didn’t like slavery. I fucking know. They still took land and made it their own.

OK…So What?

Colonization is the brutal extraction of resources from the land and the people that live on the land. Which, really, is no different than what hundreds of companies are doing now. This is why history is important and this is why history teachers should intersect their lessons with lessons about climate injustice.

You see, if students understand the motivations of European Colonizers, they’ll also recognize the motivations of oil companies that try to put pipelines on sacred land. If students understand the remaking and reshaping of land for capitalistic purposes, they’ll understand the continued destruction of the Amazon Rainforest. If students understand the enslavement of humans for profit, they’ll understand the use of migrant labor for farming and other industries.

Look, the “other side” (by which I mean the conservatives who think I teach some random version of CRT) try to control what’s taught in history exactly so that effective change is not made. So that the profits continue to roll in – gold and glory and all that. Therefore, it becomes essential to teach real history. The truth. Not a garbled and whitewashed version of it.

History has the power to create radical change makers, and all you have to do is connect the dots from the past to the present.

Probably your sister’s boyfriend’s ancestor.
Categories
Climate Education Haiku Review

Saturday Haiku Review

Activists for Earth

Are being killed at high rates.

While we turn blind eyes

Flooding will not stop

Unless we change our habits

Is that possible?

Mask-less kids roll by

Uh-oh, guess what? They have Covid

No one quarantines.