Getting Bees

Pardon the pun, but the English language makes it hard to talk about these apoidean insects without falling into word play (to bee or not…).

When it comes to bees, I have my own character arch. I grew up fearing them even though I didn’t see them often in my Chicago childhood. Some of this fear, like many fears, overlapped with hatred and ignorance. My mother was an insect hater, shooing away flies and ants, crushing the odd centipede and spider who dared to crawl around our apartment. My grandmother, who also raised me, was once stung by a bee in the supermarket, giving her a rounded bump on her otherwise flat bum. She was sure it was a bee. Reflecting  back, I’m not so sure. Bee stings on humans are in fact rare. Sure, beekeepers wear jumpsuits and netted hats, but they are after all trespassing and disrupting the bees’ homes.

If a bee were responsible for the bump on Grandma’s bum, it was because the old woman was asking for it. During summer months, she would wear white trousers and tops that were either all white, or white with some yellow print. She certainly dressed the part to attract pollinators. I suspect too that the allegedly aggressive bee sensed that Grandma lived on a diet of chocolate bars, coffee cake and Danish pastry, washed down many evenings with a vodka martini. The sweetness must have oozed from her skin.

Believing much of what I was told as a child, bees were to be feared and not swatted at as you would invariably miss, and the bee would come back around and sting you. You could end up in hospital! While there are people who have allergies to bee stings, they can be treated at home – but this rational couldn’t be accepted when I was growing up or even into early adulthood, where I would step nervously away from any bee I encountered.

I overcame my fear of bees in a single afternoon some dozen years after my grandmother’s purported incident. I was back in Edinburgh and took a day trip to the west coast of Scotland with my former landlady Erica, one of my surrogate mothers. We were in the gardens of some stately home having a picnic when a small bee came drifting over our food. Just when I was about to give Erica a warning, she noticed it and smiled, while luring the creature closer to her with a strawberry and directing it to a patch of heather. She made some comment about how ‘marvellous’ the creatures were.

In the time between my picnic with Erica and the bee and the present day, like any self-respecting environmental activist, I have learned about the value of bees. I’m thinking of the quote attributed to Albert Einstein, even if not completely accurate, it makes the point: ‘If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.’ In the popular press, I have also encountered some myths about bees. Not to detract from the dangers of pesticides and pollution, but the leading destroyers of bees are not manmade chemicals, but other insects, such as hornets and mites.

This brings me to one of the best books I’ve read recently, The Ardent Swarm, a novel by Tunisian writer Yamen Manai. A beekeeper in a village in Iraq loses thousands of his bees to an invasion of hornets. This is against the backdrop of Isis-like ‘holy men’ descending upon the village bringing gifts to influence the villagers to vote for them and join their militant cause.  The allegorical link between the destruction of the beehives and the lives of the villagers becomes apparent with the discovery that the hornets came over from East Asia in packages brought to the village by the ‘holy men.’

I’ve only just started to scratch the surface of books, fiction and non-fiction, about bees. This appears to be a topic full of aficionados and maybe even fetishists. While I do adore these creatures and worry about their survival, I don’t think I belong to either category. Having said that, I’ve recently purchased a Save the Bee packet from Friends of the Earth to do my bit. If Erica were around, I know she’d be proud of me.

(Whew, got through that without any more puns.)

His Octopus Teacher

Craig Foster’s Oscar-winning documentary, My Octopus Teacher, did everything a documentary should do. Beautifully filmed, it followed a clear narrative and gave a generalist audience scientific information mixed alongside a real-life character arch. How could anyone object to such a film? Pippa Bailey in The New Statesman does just that.

She starts by mocking Foster’s friendship with the octopus: ‘“I remember that day when it all started…” Foster intones, as though it’s the start of a romcom; the music swells when she reaches for his hand.’ Bailey fails to point out that he never gave the octopus a name and throughout the film elucidates the biology and behaviour of the octopus in ways that obviously distinguish it from human. Example: he informs us that most of the octopus’s cognition is in their arms.

Bailey goes on the attack of Foster’s approach to his subject: ‘Foster imagines the octopus as being like “a human friend”, waving to say, “Hi, I’m excited to see you”; he can feel her trust for him, he says, her invitation into her world. He wonders what she’s thinking, what she dreams about.’

Reading this, I couldn’t help but to think about the way people interact with their dogs and cats, treating them very much like human friends. When dogs behave in ways akin to the human for ‘excited to see you’ it’s because we have trained them to behave like that with stimuli of food, petting and playful exercise. As for cats, who display limited understanding of humans, we talk to them as if they care and when it’s bleeding obvious that they don’t care, we praise them for their independence. Furthermore, the therapeutic value of having pets is well documented. According to QI, the act of cuddling a dog can relieve stress for up to six months after the cuddle. Given that Foster points out at the start of the film that he was at a crossroads, unproductive as a film-maker and troubled by this in a way that sounded like a mid-life crisis wrapped in depression, this therapy was needed.

Having said all of this, I do think Bailey makes some cogent points. She notes: ‘There are, to my mind, two extremes in documentaries about animals: those that present the animal kingdom as separate from people, their only human presence David Attenborough’s narration (other presenters are available); and those, such as Tiger King or the masterful Blackfish, that document an overly close relationship between humans and animals: obsessive, intrusive. My Octopus Teacher doesn’t go that far…’ Bailey goes on to say, ‘Animals are not there for us, to be treated as commodities or companions as we see fit; to be reduced to their usefulness to us. Nature does not exist to alleviate our restless emptiness, much as it may do so.’ I agree with that, and Tiger King was at times hard watching for these reasons – profit motive and self-aggrandisement reigned supreme (pun intended). But I don’t think that Foster’s documentary erred in these ways. In the end it was clear that animals have their own, often cruel, life cycles that we humans need to give space for by not continuing to destroy our natural environment.

Bailey’s conclusion: ‘Must we view an octopus as a friend, a saviour, a teacher? Couldn’t we simply settle for not eating them?’

My conclusion: An octopus can be a friend, a saviour, a teacher, or simply something of the natural world to marvel at. But whatever you do, don’t eat them. 

Trusting Science


‘Trust science, not the scientists’ advised journalist Sonia Sodha recently in The Observer rightly calling out scientists who have been ‘agents of disinformation’ during the pandemic. Sodha explains that we shouldn’t trust scientists because, ‘They are only human, subject to the same cognitive biases, the same whims of ego, as the rest of us.’ This is nothing new and doesn’t just apply to Covid-19. A handful of scientists support climate change deniers, other scientists have claimed ‘scientifically’ that the Holocaust was a hoax, and so on. In some cases, these scientists have revelled in being outliers, as Sodha notes, they nurture a ‘Galileo complex’ and see themselves as victims of ridicule along the scientific giants of history.

Sodha includes Darwin with these scientific giants. I appreciate that she was just throwing in another example of a scientist who was much derided by his contemporaries for thinking differently but who was ultimately right. Yet, Darwin also got it wrong sometimes. In Inferior: The True Power of Women and the Science That Shows It, Angela Saini quotes from Darwin’s The Descent of Man:

‘The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shewn by man attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than woman can attain – whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands.’

Darwin’s evidence for this was that ‘leading writers, artists and scientists were almost all men. He assumed that this inequality reflected a biological fact’ (from Saini) and not that society at that time restricted women from attending universities, let alone pursuing careers outside of the household. Darwin may have been an innovative thinker of life sciences, but his understanding of society was clearly Victorian.

Darwin isn’t the only acclaimed scientist to sometimes appear to get it wrong. The nature of science includes understanding that knowledge about something is ongoing. Consider what we have learned in recent months about the coronavirus and how it spreads. It’s a feeble mind that thinks these steps along the way to understanding means that scientists shouldn’t be trusted. But of course, sceptics and conspiracy theorists will do just that.

How do we know the science has developed enough to be reliable, or if it is authentic if we learn about it from scientists? There is no easy answer to these questions. Broadly, I agree with Sodha to believe the science and that will often mean looking for consensus among the scientists, but even that needs to be handled with care and objectivity. In recent weeks I’ve learned about the impact on climate of greenhouse gases aside from carbon, how to convert carbon to CO2e and the relationship between antigens and antibodies. In other words, in the age we live in, perhaps we all need to think like scientists.

Election Day 2020

With fears of election-day violence, America has joined corrupt and disreputable countries around the world. Thank you, Mr President – this is on your watch.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that this presidential election might be the most important one of our lifetimes. How so? I’ve narrowed this down to two reasons, both of which have been touted by political pundits, newspaper columnists and the like. This is my take in the context of the films and books that influence my thinking.

Reason 1 – democracy is at stake. Over the past four years, the world has watched a wannabe autocrat in the Whitehouse fight against the institutions of American governance and the freedom of the press. Among the many examples of this, what first comes to mind are Tr**p’s public criticisms of the FBI, the CIA and most recently and most alarmingly the Centers for Disease Control. Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk has been one of several books to expose of the Tr**p transition team and the way this president set up his antigovernmental administration, a  heady mix of inexperienced individuals and those with a grudge against certain branches of government.

And the media has had it worse. On top of frequent references to the media as ‘fake’ and ‘public enemies,’ let’s not forget the many instances of reporters being targeted and arrested while trying to report on demonstrations. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Netflix has recently produced The Chicago Seven, about the kangaroo trial of seven anti-war protesters during the Democratic National Convention in 1968. From aggressive policing to an openly racist and bias judicial system, echoes of Tr**p’s treatment of the media resound.

Reason 2 – the planet is at stake. Not only has the 45th president of the US started the process of pulling America out of the Paris Climate Accord, he’s a supporter of the fossil fuel industry, a climate change denier and has reversed over one hundred acts of legislation by the EPA during Obama’s presidency. A couple of good books I’ve read recently that cover this president’s treatment of the environment include Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine and David Wallace-Well’s The Uninhabitable Earth.

There is perhaps a third reason why this is such an important election. But I’ve changed my mind a few times about the real importance of this. Okay, here goes. America’s reputation is at stake. As I would like to see a more balanced world, with a more equitable distribution of wealth, the US doesn’t need to keep its position as an economic superpower. I would be even happier still if it were not a military superpower. Despite these misgivings, I’d like to see America retain some of its influence in the world as a source for good. (Hard to imagine at times, I know. Sorry if I sound like Jimmy Stewart in Mr Smith Goes to Washington.) Voting Tr**p back into office is at the very least condoning criminality at the highest level of government. With all of the noise and distractions to come from this Whitehouse, it’s easy to forget that Tr**p was impeached by The House of Representatives for trying to bribe a foreign government. Even Tr**p’s lawyers admitted that this is what he did, but argued to the Senate that this was not an impeachable offence. There is also the matter of Tr**p’s tax records, the cases of fraud against his businesses and the allegations of sexual harassment and abuse.  A Tr**p win tonight (or tomorrow, depending on your time zone) tells the rest of the world that America wants to be represented by a man clearly unfit for the job, in addition to of course his being a vulgarian, a defender of white supremacists, an habitual liar… I’ll stop myself there – you’ve heard it all before.

I’ve realised that I’ve only made reference to non-fiction books and a film based on true events. Let’s not forget the importance of fiction and poetry at times like this. I’ll close with a quote within a quote from Emily Nemens, the editor of the Paris Review, commenting yesterday on election eve: ‘As Manuel Puig put it, “I like to re-create reality in order to understand it better.” May we all understand the world a bit better once this week is through.’

Time for UBI and re-examining humanity

In some ways, it’s already happening. Governments struggling with mounting unemployment and near economic collapse are giving money out – no strings attached. This is one of the underlying principles of Universal Basic Income (UBI). Thanks to Covid-19, with needs on such a large scale, governments have realised that it is more cost efficient to give money to companies and individuals rather than means testing or trying to facilitate how the money is spent.

Yes, dear follower, I have written about this before. That was an introduction to UBI (for me as much as anyone). A lot has happened since that blog. In America, UBI has been gaining ground thanks to Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid. In the UK, the coronavirus lockdown has Britain’s Conservative government acting like socialists by doling out public aid. But in Britain, few people (George Monbiot among them, on Twitter) are seeing this massive government assistance programme as being akin to UBI. Is it that a pandemic has happened to people by no fault of their own, whereas unemployment and poverty is somehow deserved and a different – and unacceptable – form of government aid?

I’ve been reading Rutger Bregman’s Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There, which is loaded with examples of UBI principles being applied successfully in communities going back to the 1970s as a way to eradicate poverty. These examples support Bregman’s attacks on common presumptions about poverty and individuals in need. Time and time again, these case studies show that giving poor people (including the homeless) money to do with as they please results in their using the money to feed, clothe and shelter themselves. And this is accomplished at a fraction of the cost of government welfare and unemployment programmes.

These points are as much social as they are economic and typical of writing on UBI. What I particularly enjoyed about Bregman’s book is that he looks at the bigger picture and asks why we humans place such importance on work. To state the obvious for a second, work is important because it’s linked to money – which is why women’s unpaid work, such as raising children and caring for the elderly, is not valued as work. This is a worn argument. Bregman goes a step further, pointing out that certain types of work are valued because they are ‘productive.’ Anyone who has taken up art, music or creative writing has had to fend off hints of being lazy and accusations of not doing anything really productive. I wish now that when I was in my teens and early 20s I had Bregman’s ideas at hand. He explains, “Productivity is for robots. Humans excel at wasting time, experimenting, playing, creating, and exploring.” If the pandemic lockdown has shown us anything, it is the human capacity to experiment and create when given the time.

Bregman’s book came out a few years ago. Since then we have seen more worrying signs of the damage brought on by climate change at the same time that the world is confronted with a deadly virus that has pushed millions into unemployment. This might be the opportunity to not only implement UBI, but to also create jobs in green energies and readjust our thinking about what it means to be human.

A dose of climate reality

The day I concluded reading The Uninhabitable Earth coincided with the news that Verkhoyansk, Russia, north of the Arctic Circle, had recorded its highest temperature ever – 38C (100.4F).  Another stark sign that climate change warnings have been surpassed by climate reality.

Not only is Wallace-Wells’s book timely, it’s replete with climate science written in a friendly journalistic style, expanding upon and updating what we have all been hearing about for years now. What will make this book stand out from the rest in the popular science subgenre of environmental disaster tomes is its self-awareness. A key moment follows some 100-plus pages, describing where the earth is now and the likely catastrophes ahead, with these brilliant lines:

‘IF YOU HAVE MADE IT THIS FAR, YOU ARE A BRAVE READER. Any one of these [past] twelve chapters contains, by rights, enough horror to induce a panic attack in even the most optimistic of those considering it.’

From there on out, the book addresses why humans have done so little. Wallace-Wells is good at summing up the political explanations with the added narrative here and there, charting corporate and government collusion and how the economic arguments against green technologies are no longer debateable as the economic cost of climate change is being realised.

Another reason why we humans have done so little given the size and gravity of the climate crisis can be found in those hidden areas of infrastructure projects being untaken across the world. Wallace-Wells gives the example of the production of concrete. At first appearance it’s benign, part of the building of much needed homes or part of the urbanising and creating in areas where farming is no longer feasible. Concrete manufacturing is ‘the second most carbon-intensive industry in the world.’ This point is followed by the mind-numbing statistic that China has poured more concrete in the past year than the US used in the entire twentieth century.

The flipside of this – knowledge of the damage being done and how much worse life on earth is going to get – also freezes us into inaction. Bleak scenarios are hard to process. I have written in this blog before about solution aversion and how it has contributed to climate change denial, but Wallace-Wells goes beyond this by stepping into the psyche of the average person. Put simply, most of us don’t want to appear pessimistic. I know – I have been offended in the past by being called a pessimist, when I felt I was firmly in the realist camp. And then there are those who acknowledge climate change and relish the idea of the end of the earth is approaching fast. Luckily for us realists, Wallace-Wells battles with these ‘doomsters’, pointing to their inaccurate predictions and use of folk science. With that, Wallace-Wells does give the reader some hope for the future, but clearly if and only if we do something about it.

The psychological turn and look at human nature reminds me of Robert Frost’s famous poem, which speculated on how the earth would end – by fire or by ice. While it is easy to see the literal parallels with the climate crisis, the emotional interpretation of Frost’s poem – destruction by hate or obsession – holds here as well, and The Uninhabitable Earth is a worthy reminder.

Wallace Wells 2
Verkhoyansk, Russian, the coldest inhabited place on the planet, earlier this week.

Rethinking Nature

With the lockdown, many us of have had the pleasure of observing more creatures, breathing in palatably cleaner air and hearing birdsong on a scale never heard before. In some online circles, this has produced a ‘back to nature’ movement that goes far beyond the obvious need to reduce greenhouse gases to save our planet from becoming an over-heated death trap. Sorry to be so grim.

The Observer columnist Kenan Malik rightly criticised this wave of naïveté, its meme ‘The Earth is healing, we are the virus’ and much of the pro-nature public discourse around it (10 May 2020). It’s not that climate change or the toxic environment we live in are desirable. Far from it. But should we let nature take complete control?

For the first time ever I have seen goldfinches in a park and a private front garden in our town of Ely.

Nature is not entirely benign. I’m reminded of Tennyson’s image of nature as ‘red in tooth and claw.’ There is a litany of natural disasters that have destroyed homes and livelihoods and have brought about disease and taken lives for centuries. Humans have reduced some of the impact of these disasters by engaging in some nature-defying sciences and technologies for which any sentient being is grateful.

I inhale the cleaner air and notice the quieter streets as I jog through town.

Malik argues that romanticising nature is the preserve of those who live in rich countries with electricity, transport systems and access to medicine. I see the truth in this and saw this idea crop up a few days later when I was watching a lockdown YouTube video from the Royal Academy of Arts (Painting the Modern Garden: from Monet to Matisse). One of the expert horticulturalists pointed out that with modernity came the growth of the middle classes and the idea of creating gardens for pleasure.  That is, gardening was no longer just about growing the potatoes and other veg to sustain lives. At least not in richer countries and this is still true today.

I have never seen an orange-tip butterfly until two weeks ago.

I’m left both enlightened and uneasy with Malik’s conclusion: ‘It is the poor, whether in rich countries or the global south, who must suffer from industrial pollution, are most imperilled by climate change and most threatened by the consequences of coronavirus. This is not because humans are violating nature, but because societies are structured in ways that ensure that innovation and development remain the privilege of the few, while deprivation and ill health are the lot of the many.’

This could be misread as a denial of humans violating nature. I trust that Malik knows that humans have violated nature, but they have also fought it in order to save lives, as Malik notes in his examples. It is also true that social inequalities have played a huge role in the climate crisis we are now confronted with. I think we can acknowledge these points, stay clear of romanticising nature, while still appreciating the ways nature has been showing off while much of the industrial world is in lockdown.

ely jog

Watching flames through a firewall

As apocalyptic stories from Australia are already starting to play second fiddle to Trump’s war games, Harvey Weinstein’s trial and Harry and Megan’s flashy fugae , happenings down under and across the world are continuing to play out – even if we stop watching it or reading about it.

A couple of things are going on here. First, there’s the media’s coverage of these events. In ‘media’ I include social media and other spreaders of news – real and manufactured. These outlets inhabit the edges of the entertainment industry and will only repeat the same story so often. As the affects of climate change are becoming as common as the buddy movie, the media and their audiences quickly move on.

Of course, unlike the buddy movie, climate change is real and frightening. With that comes another reason why media coverage is waning and audiences are retreating. It’s what author Margaret Heffernan calls wilful blindness – there are things that we refuse to see. Taking insights from a range of people involved with deception, including whistleblowers, criminals, politicians and psychologists, Heffernan points out that people turn a blind eye to ‘avoid conflict, feel safe, reduce anxiety and protect prestige.’ To some extent the media is reacting to our putting on blinkers.

The other factor at work here still involves the media but runs deeper than that. Climate change deniers have gone into full throttle this past week to distance the catastrophes in Australia from man-made climate change.

When looking at neoliberal policies of recent decades, Naomi Klein points out the tremendous tax cuts to the wealthy classes and their corporations. Offsetting climate change involves investment in the public sphere – ‘in new energy grids, public transit and light rail, and energy efficiency.’ Given the scale of such projects, they couldn’t happen without raising taxes on the wealthy. Klein also points out that many green initiatives, such as ‘buy local’ to reduce CO2 emissions, clash with corporate free trade details.  Klein comes to this conclusion:NaomiKlein

‘In short, climate change detonates the ideological scaffolding on which contemporary conservatism rests. To admit that climate change is real is to admit the end of the neoliberal project. That’s why the Right is in a rebellion against the physical world, against science.’

The fires in Australia is the story of our day, the one the media has grown tired of or sees dwindling profits in, the one neoliberals don’t want us to engage with, and the one story that we ignore or play down at our own peril.

Climate protests – has the time really come?

When I was a child I wrote a poem about pollution and I rhymed it with solution. My younger self believed that the problems of dirty air and toxic waterways would be remedied by the time I reached adulthood. I had already witnessed a change in the ways our Chicago streets were cleaner once the word litterbug entered our lexicon. For a decade or so, I allowed myself to be seduced by the view that the ecology movement (as we called it then) was finding that solution. We had unleaded fuel, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. We had taken the CO2 out of our refrigerators and attics were being insulated. It was just a matter of time.

Some forty years later, I find myself supporting Extinction Rebellion and last week, David and I joined in the Climate March in Nice. I was walking down Felix Faure heading towards Place Massena at an aging tortoise’s pace when I realised that this march was strikingly different from other marches. Unlike anti-brexit marches, there weren’t any protesters at the side lines swearing at us or calling us stupid. After all, who’s going to disagree with wanting to save our planet and improve our health and quality of life? That view hadn’t changed since my childhood.

But something else had changed. There are now climate change deniers. I know, I have waxed on about this sub-human form before.  But to date, the only ones I know are far-right politicians and the companies that sponsor them, those who have the most to lose financially by switching to clean energy. These are not the kind of protesters who take their arguments to the streets. Their methods are more insidious.

I also noticed a few gilets jaunes in the crowd in Nice. These are the people in highClimate 2

-viz yellow vests that have been protesting every Saturday across France for nearly a year now. Most of their protests have been aimed at tax reforms and the lack of spending power for low to medium income individuals. Ironically, the origins of the gilets jaunes movement were over the carbon tax on petrol,  a way of reducing France’s carbon footprint. The gilets jaunes were against it. Is it that they now join any protest that comes along? Or has the last year of climate protests and public discourse about our environment changed their minds?

I don’t want to be seduced into positive or complacent thinking again.

I’ll end this blog as I started it with lines from a poem. This from American poet Rita Dove:

Hold your breath: a song of climate change

The water’s rising
but we’re not drowning yet.
When we’re drowning
we’ll do something.
When we’re on our roofs.
When we’re deciding between saving
the cute baby or the smart baby.
When there aren’t enough helicopters
or news crews to circle
over everyone. When sharks
are in the streets. When people
are dying…

 

Some Advice for Environmental Activists

The psychoanalyst, writer and activist Susie Orbach, writing in This is Not a Drill, the Extinction Rebellion handbook, makes this cogent point: ‘The feminist movement taught us that speaking with one another allows truths to enter in and be held together.’ This is crucial when we are living in a time where evidenced reports are brazenly referred to as fake news, while lies and distortions are foisted on the public as undisputed facts.

Orbach notes the need ‘to create spaces in which we can share how difficult this hurt is and how to deal with our despair and rage.’ This might sound touchy-feely at first, but for those of us who live in Brexit-inflicted Britain, it rings too true. The Leave campaign created a public space for those hit by economic despair at a time when income inequality is writ large. The fact that these domestic problems had little to do with the European Union didn’t matter. The space for feelings of despair and rage had been created. The problem, of course, with this Brexit example, is that truths were not allowed to enter in.

Even though the environmental movement has science on its side, the selection and interpretation of the science can also be manipulated. Just listen to Pat Michaels, a climate scientist with legitimate credentials, who claims, often on Fox News, that human contribution to global warming is minor and that our planet is just going through a natural cycle.

I’m also bothered by the arguments that try to turn the climate crisis on its head. The growing interest in the Arctic by governments such as China, Russia and the US sees the melting ice as opening up sea passages and making undiscovered mineral and fuel resources accessible. I find this annoyingly paradoxical coming from the Trump administration that denies the existence of global warming.

Orbach’s advice to environmental activists is well-meaning, but doesn’t take into account all of these complexities. But she concludes her piece by encouraging us to ‘accept our own feelings of grief and fear and…to provoke conversations that touch the hearts of others.’ I think this is already taking place and can help to explain why the environmental crisis that has been talked about in some circles for decades is now part of our public discourse.

I’ll add to this my own advice to keep these conversations going and to translate them into actions. ExtinctionRebellion1