Boosting the Power of Positivity

AKA: Why Rhiannon makes us use the same words every time

It’s the day after the Global Climate Strikes, and we are awash in positive momentum. Fabulous, world-changing positive momentum. It feels so good. But we have to nurture these positive feelings consciously.

Because we humans are great at negative feelings. We absorb negative messages well. They are sticky. And there are good primal reasons for that.

Don’t eat that again! Seriously, don’t eat that! And don’t try to pet that! And don’t go there or you’ll get a rash! 

Our survival once depended on our ability to internalize negative messages. And our brains are tuned up to do it. 

The media knows this:

“Tune in at 5 to learn the latest reason your parenting is failing”

"At 10: The fatal dangers of your local lake”

“Why we’re all doomed, episode 472”

In fact, research shows that it takes about 7 positive messages to combat 1 negative one. And teams that can build and maintain that ratio are the most successful ones. (Losada and Heaphy, 2004). So as part of building our community resilience, we need to strengthen those positive messages.

Because positive messages just don’t stick. So at Parents for the Planet, we have a couple of techniques to connect positive messages together, so they stay better in your mind and don’t get overwhelmed by the strength of the negative messages that you can so easily find if you’re a planet parent.

1. We connect positive stories together linguistically. 

We have common themes that connect positive stories together, like “the youth will save us if we let them” or “centering indigenous knowledge” or “everything we need is here already” or “Happy New Species!” 

These language patterns mean that when we post a new story with the same language, our minds connect it with other stories using the same language. That story doesn’t get stored as a one-off moment. it gets stored in connection with all the other stories with the same phrase. Suddenly, that story isn’t just a story, it’s part of a pattern of stories - and patterns are stronger. Patterns are louder. Patterns have meaning and continuity, and a sense that there has been this kind of good news before and there will be this kind of good news again. 

In effect, these phrases are our “Once upon a time.” Every story that starts with this phrase is connected with every other story that does, and the feelings those stories have evoked.

2. We saturate and connect positive moments.

Yesterday, we had a single thread on the group, with hundreds of images from the Global Climate Strike all over the world. Some images were small and intimate, some were large in scale. But the repetition of them, the labor it took to scroll through them and open up all the comments and see them all, reinforced the scale and the connections. Making it all into one long long stream connected all the images and events into a single MASSIVE positive moment, a HUGE one that was overwhelming and loud. It is one thing to have a vague sense of this movement being worldwide. It is another to watch it unfold in real time, from the Solomon Islands all the way around the world to Hawaii.

There are lots of negative things happening. And they all stick, deeply, until we can feel overwhelmed and defeated. One of the many skills we need to hone as we go forward is this one: the ability to recognize and amplify the positive where we find it.

Rich People Won’t Save Us.

People say ‘but there’s no planet B for rich and powerful people either.’ and then too many believe that the rich will save us all, because they’ll need to save themselves. Any minute now. 

Well, April Fools. That’s not how they’re seeing it.

There seem to be a few categories happening here.

1. The eschatologists (Mercer family). They’re sure that bringing about the end of the world is how they’re ensuring their place in the afterlife.

2. The ‘I’ll just live in space’ folks, (Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos). They think they get a Planet B all to themselves.

3. The ‘I’m going to be dead before it gets really bad, so who cares?’ folks (Warren Buffet, the Waltons).

4. The bunker folks (Peter Thiele and everybody in Silicon Valley you were hoping were putting their money into new carbon-sucking magic). For more on this, check out Douglas Rushkoff’s great essay.

5. The ‘science, schmience’ folks (Trump, Putin, Murdoch) who reject reality and will substitute their own reality until they die. Because facts are elitist and can’t be controlled and should therefore be ignored. 

There is a 6th category of rich and powerful people who do seem to operate as if they share our planet: Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Richard Branson. But they’re not enough, and they still make dubious choices. (As do we all, but they make them with bigger stakes.)

So we can’t wait around for rich and powerful people to champion the cause or lead the charge or invent the tech. 
The wealthy knights on golden steeds aren’t coming to save our global village. In fact, they’re actively in the way.

They are so separate from the rest of us and so apparently devoid of empathy that all those dystopian novels with the rich in their cities in the clouds or fortresses don’t seem dystopian to them. They know they’ll be fine. Fine in a bunker, maybe, but fine. We must stop waiting for them to wake up and find altruism like 1000 billionaire Scrooges. 

If they had any altruism, they wouldn’t be billionaires. That’s not a sign of good working habits and model morality, it’s a sign of incalculable greed and sociopathy.

2018: The Stories That Inspired Us

Every year, we look back at the good news we found, news that helps us be better, more hopeful, more active planet parents. And despite all the tough climate news this year, we found some amazing stories. We track the themes that inspire us so we can look back at the stories that resonate most.

1. The Kids Will Save Us If We Let Them.

This was the year the kids’ fight for their future reached new heights. From Our Children’s Trust to Greta Thunberg and the School Strike for Climate to This Is Zero Hour, the young people of the world got mad, and got loud.

Our favorite story came from India in August, where students (very politely) started sending single-use packaging back to the source.

2. Environmental Art

We search for environmental art that connects us to the planet we parent, and to other folks feeling what we feel, past and present. Our favorite environmental art post this year was about “The Nomenclature of Colours,” written in 1814 and used by Charles Darwin to describe the colors he saw on his journey. It is a beautiful reminder of the complexity of our planet.

3. Center Indigenous Knowledge

The places that are managed by the people indigenous to those places are healthier, more diverse and more vibrant. This year, our favorite story on this theme came from Colorado, where a landowner gave land back to the Ute tribe who held it sacred. Let’s hope for more of this in 2019.

4. Heroes to Know

Our favorite hero story shows us that everyone can do something to help. We just need to find that thing, and act.  Donna Stumphf can garden. And it mattered a lot (3727 pounds worth) to her food bank.

5. Not Extinct Yet

Every year, we celebrate dozens of stories of struggling little species hanging on, and the scientists, researchers, and volunteers fighting to save them. Our favorite story was about a group of Sei Whales, who found a clever way to survive - hiding in a pod of other whales.

6. It’s All Connected

Climate Change is connected to everything. But that means that the solutions can affect everything too, and that’s both exciting and inspiring. This year, we were inspired by many stories of those connections, none more than The Plastic Bank, a program that is improving thousands of lives in Haiti, and cleaning plastic out of the ocean at the same time.

7. Everything We Need Is Here Already.

From microbes to mosses, there are lots of stories of solutions that are here already. But our favorite, this year, was about beavers or "ecological and hydrological Swiss army knives.” Ecosystems that have beavers can be amazingly healthy, and that can make a huge difference to our future.

8. Find Awe

Finding little bursts of awe in our lives, in our media, in our world is key to our spiritual and mental resilience. Our most popular moment of awe this year was a wonderful little duck daycare worker capably managing up to 76 babies at once.

A lot of people became planet parents in 2018. It’s a hard journey, but there are so many stories that inspire us to continue connecting to the planet and each other. We need these stories to build our strength to do more, act more, risk more, and save more. May we do even better in 2019.

5 Things the Climate Movement Could Learn from DeRay McKesson

Two weeks ago, I had the honor of hearing DeRay McKesson speak at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work (learn more).

He gave us a Social Justice Movement Action List, and also gave some great tips outside the list. I’ve been thinking about how to apply some of his teaching to climate change work. Because it is, deeply and profoundly, social justice work. So here are my thoughts on five of his points. I’m hoping to expand on the rest in a later post:

1. Privilege is about the idea that some people have a right to comfort, at the expense of others.

Folks are determined to keep their lives the same, until the effects of climate change are forced upon them. They are sure their right to comfort matters more than their children’ right to a future, more than than their neighbors’ right to clean air and water. We have to break down the idea that my right to comfort supersedes your right to exist.

2.Create on-ramps for people.

This is huge for a movement as broad and deep as the climate movement. In Parents for the Planet, we call this “welcoming all the stories.” I shouldn’t care whether what resonates for me is the same as what resonates for you, as long as we’re both on the bus. Maybe for you it’s public lands, for me it’s healthcare costs. So I need to listen to you well enough to know what on-ramps I need to provide, based on, as Katharine Hayhoe says, your values, not mine. Then I need to be prepared to talk about public lands, not healthcare costs. I need to reflect your values rather than imposing mine or assuming that mine are the only valid ones in the conversation.

3. Never let the system off the hook. 

This struck me hard. He said ‘don’t get addicted to the programs. Systems love programs because they can’t be operated at scale, so they’re no real threat. How many programs do we have in climate response that are appeasing but unscalable? So many. We have thousands of small-scale great programs doing small-scale great work, keeping us and our money and our attention busy. And that money and attention isn’t then focused on demanding that the systems change at a larger scale. We’re busy, incremental change is being made, and the systems can proceed on their destructive paths without real interference from us.

4. Stop talking about preaching to the choir as if it’s a bad thing. 

"Make the biggest choir possible. Choir is work, and we need all the workers. Turn mumbles into melodies. People are waiting to join the choir." 

We have a plurality of people that agree with us, but we don’t have enough people acting with us. We need to move the folks whispering on the sidelines into the choir and worry less about the people that are singing something else. If we get a big enough choir, we won’t be able to hear that other song anyway. We must give ourselves permission to concentrate on the people we can convince to act. Because there are so many of them.

5. It’s easy to tell the truth to strangers. It’s harder to tell the truth to your friends. 

It’s one thing to give a great talk. It’s one thing to connect climate to real-time events on social media. It’s a BIG other to integrate that conversation into your everyday life with your friends, with people you meet on the street, etc. But that’s how we make this real and tangible for people, that’s how we model concern and action. If it doesn’t mean enough for us to talk about it even though it makes us socially uncomfortable, we’re right back at point #1. 

Does Mr. McKesson have all the answers? Is Mr. McKesson perfect? No. Neither am I, neither are you. He had some powerful things to say and some interesting ways to say them. We need to keep listening to and supporting and learning from each other, within the climate movement and beyond to the greater social justice movement. We need to evolve. And quickly.

6 Million Lessons

When I was 16, I wrote an essay for a National Holocaust Memorial Council contest. It was 1988. I lost the essay, but some of it still echoed in my head, especially this week. So I wrote their archives, and they sent me a copy. It’s full of 16-year-old angst and drama and awkwardness, but maybe it will echo for you too.

Dearest America, 

I am not a Jew.
And yet I can hear their screams even when you cannot. Why?
Why can I hear the crying of six million dead
when you cannot hear the millions who still live?
Haven't you learned the dangers of deafness?
Hasn't the importance of compassion and unity been proven? 

Haven't enough people died by stereotype and belief?
Or did they die for nothing?
Surely not, America. 

Surely all your scarred citizens have taught you something, 

something about Humanity and Belief and Peace, 

something about the dangers of generalizing and categorizing and Death. 

I would like to think there was a higher purpose, 

a prevention of wider death,
an extension of the brotherhood of man,
Which attempts to justify that which was not just 

Oh, America, you are sinking into your deafness 

But you cannot afford not to care
You cannot risk the life of a man for
the safety of a crowd. 

Crowds die too, America. Crowds die on death trains, Crowds die in gas chambers, Crowds kill crowds, America 

And crowds cry out. 

And I don't know how to make you hear the cries that dominate my fears except by screaming out myself 

Somehow, somewhere,
We have grown afraid
to care. 

We are living in a numbing dream - Of ignorance and silent screams 

This silence echoes of another nightmare, America. Can't you hear it? 

It is a dead silence, dead six million times
It is heavy with blood and stereotypes and memories It is small and quiet, but it grows. 

Look at yourself, with all your
poverty, bombs, corruption, and neo-nazis.
Group is separated from group and person from person, yet you pretend they are together. 

A war may begin in the ghettos, America, but it ends in the gas chamber. 

Does this stench of coming horror seem familiar? 

What's a gang war among friends, America?
What's a spray painted comment on a school wall? 

They're only children,
They will grow out of their hate.
It 1s such a small thing,
but it is a shadow of the holocaust I shudder to see. 

The new Nazis, the modern racists, the white supremacists, can anyone predict their power?
can anyone risk their fury? 

Ignore them and maybe they'll go away. America.
All the racism and anti Semitism will just fade away like a summer sunset.
You don't care, do you? 

WAKE UP AMERICA You're dreaming again. 

You are forgetting how the other wars began 

And the other wars were real 

The other wars were wide awake. 

Oh, America, I suppose I sound so paranoid.
I suppose it seems that I do not appreciate all the progress we have made in understanding one another since the Holocaust. I do.
I see the children who can't see the lines
between Jew and Gentile 

Black and White
Rich and Poor
And I sing with gladness, America, 

I do. 

But I see the children who live the lines,
the children who believe in their superior race, 

The children who hate Jews
Because their parents hate Jews
More children than you realize, America
More parents than you know
And I cry with fear, America, 

I do. 

Teach the children to understand, America
Teach them to accept another's beliefs and dreams and songs, 

Without making them sing along.
Teach them about society,
Without making them lose their sense of self 

There are six million dreams a child can dream, 

Teach him to dream them all
Six million lives a child can live,
Teach him to live the one he loves, 

Teach him that all the lives are separate.
No one must die so he can live
No one must fall off their ladder so he can climb up his 

Teach him that all  the lives are together, 

Each must help the other survive
Each needs the acceptance of the others 

Teach that child,
Teach all children,
About the Holocaust
About what happens when people base their superiority 

On the murder of another people
About the importance of the brotherhood of men to each man's survival 

Teach them the meaning of genocide
Teach them about Jews and Gentiles, Arabs and Buddhists 

Teach them about their proud, separate heritages
Teach them all the differences
And then 

Teach them all the similarities 

Teach the children how to tolerate, and compromise and listen 

Teach the children how to love, America
Teach them how to care
Teach them compassion and hope and togetherness 

Teach them peace 

And perhaps, then, America
You will have learned your six million lessons 

And prevented another six million deaths. 

To You, Generation Zero Hour

The environmental teacher Joanna Macy has said that the lack of certainty that there will be a future is the dominant psychological reality of our time. And I believe that the more future you have in front of you, the more you feel that lack of certainty.

But I’ve been watching this generation - Generation Zero Hour - for a while now. At Parents for the Planet, we have a category for your stories called “the kids will save us if we let them.” If we empower them, if we get out of their way, if we stop dawdling and delaying and interfering with their right to a future. 

So I want to talk to you, Generation Zero Hour. I want to say I’m so sorry that it has all come down to you, that we who came before you were too scared or too numb or too blithe to make enough changes. That we didn’t avoid this when it was cheaper, easier, milder. 

But I also want to tell you that you are exactly who we need right now. That your strengths are the strengths that will help us in this time. Your ability to embrace a full palette of humanity, a full spectrum of genders and cultures and backgrounds is a strength. Your ability to connect with each other in so many ways across boundaries and distances is a strength. Your determination and resilience are strengths. Your complete and glorious intolerance for deception and for injustice is a strength.

And when I list it all out, all these strength, it hits me. As sorry as I am that it has come down to you, through mistakes we who came before you have made, I can see the patterns of history that have been weaving your story for generations. 

There is the thread of speaking truth to power, from Shakespeare to Hamilton to Red Cloud to Angela Davis to you. 

There is the thread of resilience, carrying the names of every young person who has died in school shootings or at the hands of police and the hearts of every family and community traumatized by those events. 

There is the thread of acceptance, holding the stories of every loved one lost to AIDS or suicide, so that you could love more deeply and openly. 

There is the thread of rebellion, born in Hamilton’s generation and revived in yours. 

There is the thread of justice, from Frederick Douglass and Alice Paul to Martin Luther King and Dolores Huerta to you. 

There is the thread of determination, born in generations of people who survived slave ships and genocides so that you could carry their strength and will to live forward. 

You are the culmination of all this. No one before you has this depth of legacy. No one before you has this complexity of understanding and connection. No one else can bring these strengths to the fight as wholly and powerfully as you can.

I will be here, amplifying, assisting, alongside, in whatever capacity you choose. It is an honor to be with you, Generation Zero Hour.

Climate Grief

(This is a blog version of a Twitter thread)

Let's talk about climate grief for a bit. There are stages to every grief process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The challenge with this global grief is that we're all going through it at different paces. 

And while there are plenty of predatory deniers out there, most people, I think, are in the denial stage because they're scared. Scared of getting kicked out of their circles, scared of losing their income, scared of acknowledging that their deity isn't going to save them.

Seeing most of them this way helps me be merciful and kind. It means I'm not letting the toxicity of their stage of grief affect me in my stage of grief. It doesn't mean that I don't get angry, though. Anger is a valid and common stage of climate grief.

It can also be incredibly powerful. Angry people can rise up. Angry people can get stuff done. Angry people can organize. But it's a tough emotion to live in, all day every day. And it's easy to lose sight of what you're fighting for when your vision is filled with your fury.

Bargaining is also a really common climate grief stage. Controlling what we can control: recycling, biking, giving up planes, giving up plastic, embracing local food, embracing veganism. It's all good stuff, it's all good action. But it's also possible to lose yourself in it.

It's possible to be so consumed with your own actions that you aren't seeing the big picture, or taking action there. It's possible to be really hard on yourself when you aren't absolutely perfect at fulfilling your bargain. 

It's also possible to be so consumed with your bargain that you push people away who aren't at the same level of commitment. You can lose some of your community. This can lead to feeling isolated and lonely, and send you into depression. 

Climate depression can result from the isolation. But there are so many reasons for it: hopelessness, uncertainty, powerlessness, frustration. It's real, it's valid, and if you're in this stage, you have plenty of company.

Because the truth is that most of us, most of time, pulse between these three stages. We're angry one day and frantically bargaining the next and sobbing at 3 am the next. We are facing the biggest challenge in human history, it's not surprising that we're overwhelmed.

We need to be kind to ourselves and to each other in these hard days. We need to accept that our emotions are going to pulse and turn and get twisted up, and that is a sign of how much compassion we have, how desperately we want to save this planet and the people on it. 

And then, we need to find space between the pulses for the Acceptance stage of climate grief. We won't be there every day, we need our rage and our bargaining and our sorrow too. But we can be there some days, and find a little peace.

Peace is expressing gratitude - like the Thank You Brigades when we thank scientists at @EPARegion8 and @NOAA and @NREL. Peace is celebrating the science and the art that is teaching us about our planet even as its fragility is increasingly exposed. 

Peace is finding awe. Awe increases our dopamine levels, reminds us that this is an extraordinary planet we're fighting for, and connects us, deeply, to the natural world. Awe is reawakening your toddler mind that can stare at a leaf for 10 minutes. 

Awe is getting blown away by a flower on #FlowerReport Sunday, or the way the sun hits a lake, or the way a snowflake glides. Awe is watching waves and shooting stars and trees budding out.

Acceptance is also about positive action. It's not all toil and sacrifice. It's also about connection. Write a note to an African wildlife ranger through @WWF. Join a citizen science project on @the_zooniverse. Connect with your farmer, your park ranger, your neighbor.

Acceptance is about inspiration. Get to know the kids of @youthvgov. Follow @IENearth and @EJinAction. Amplify the voices of the environmental justice movement, so when you pulse back into anger and you get out there to fight you understand and fight for the connections. 

No one can live in acceptance all the time. But living there for a little while gives us strength, gives us hope, gives us inspiration and awe and gratitude that keep us going through the days we are in other phases. Climate grief is hard. But we're not alone. 

Our Favorite Themes and Stories of 2017

It’s been quite a year. Our connections to each other and to our planet have been tested, strengthened, and redefined. This new culture we are forming, based on connection, not accumulation, is small but growing. 

We had a great year - adding people to our group and twitter feed, getting a small grant from The Pollination Project and launching our Patreon page. We are hoping 2018 brings us more community, more inspiration, and more hope.

Here are some of the themes and stories that gave us hope this year. Go here to read the stories of 2016.

1. The kids will save us . . . if we let them.

  • They sued their governments in the USA and elsewhere.
  • They saw needs and invented solutions. From solar panels to help with the water shortage in the Diné Nation to recycled screens for clean water anywhere.
  • They started non-profits, they tarted businesses, they spoke out in Congressional town halls, they acted. From Autumn Peltier to Jaden Smith to Ryan Hickman to all the kids of Our Children’s Trust, they led the way.

2. There were heroes in our midst. They were both ordinary and inspiring.

  • Sara Dykman biked the Monarch migration route, raising awareness of their plight and their story.
  • Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua saved wild animals in drought-stricken Kenya.
  • Katharine Hayhoe told an evangelical scientist’s story of climate work, and people listened to her.
  • Art and Helen Tanderup fought the Keystone Pipeline to save their land and livelihoods in Nebraska.

3. 2017 was a Divestment Year. And it’s just getting started.

  • Millions in investments in Tar Sands and pipelines were abandoned.
  • New York Pension Funds ($390 billion) and Norway ($1 trillion) started their divestment processes
  • GM announced its plan to eliminate conventional engines from its lineup.
  • Catholic organizations continued to celebrate St. Francis with record-setting divestment action.

4. Environmental art told new stories and old stories in new ways.

  • Kiri Ken’s fragile cut paper creatures reminded us of the fragility everywhere in our world.
  • A poem about smog shook China and the world with its painful truth.
  • We learned about Thomas Dambo’s work, covering urban Denmark with upcycled birdhouses.
  • Artists used materials in unusual ways, and reminded us of the art that exists in living things.

My Week at COP23: Five Stories to Amplify

It was a great week at COP23, where I intentionally sought out the stories that were most opposite my own experience, and spent a lot of time in the Indigenous and Pacific seminars. There are a thousand stories to tell, a thousand angles on this gigantic problem we face. But these five stand out for me.


I came away with five key stories that I want to amplify, discuss, and get into folks’ heads.

1. Who’s Going to Pay? The monetary implications of opting out of the Paris Agreement. It’s one thing for cities, regions, and businesses to say “#WereStillIn” from an emissions and GHG standpoint. It’s another to come up with the funding, on a sub-national level, to meet the US commitments to developing nations. Seattle and Massachusetts are apparently looking at the options, but many regions, businesses, and individuals are needed. The NRDC has an analysis of the financing behind the Paris Agreement.

2. American Marshall Plan. Bill Peduto, mayor of Pittsburgh, is calling for an “American Marshall Plan” to support the transition of coal country into the new energy economy. I think it should be expanded to include folks living near coal power plants, refineries, and other toxic elements of the fossil fuel economy. Read more about his idea.

3. SIDS. Small Island Developing States are the first to run out of time for managing the effects of climate change, even though their contributions to emissions are minimal. They are losing their land, their livelihoods, their culture, their health, and their future. Americans need to know more about them - beyond the recent stories of Barbuda and other Caribbean islands. The Prime Minister of St. Lucia summed up the situation.

4. Healthcare and Climate. The President of COP23, Frank Bainimarama, announced a new strong relationship between the World Health Organization and the UNFCCC. This is an important step toward recognizing the strong links between health and climate, links which tell a powerful story that resonates with people not moved by stories of a grim future. The WHO video introduces the new program.

5. Indigenous People’s Rights. Indigenous people are on the frontlines of climate change devastation, and are the most careful and experienced stewards of ecosystems. They need a seat at the table, and they need title to their lands, so they aren’t constantly being threatened and, in many cases, murdered by loggers, miners, and others. They have achieved part of this goal, but need all of us demanding action to get their full place. 

As we in the United States move forward with the international community without national support, we have to keep our eyes on these issues, issues of impacted communities that are too easily lost in the noise and drama of larger countries, bigger delegations, and more established parties.

My Solar Eclipse Family on Laramie Peak, Wyoming

We spent the solar eclipse with about 50 people in rural Wyoming, on a ranch near the top of Laramie Peak. We were aged 7 to 90+. We came from at least five states. We were from a variety of political backgrounds, but it never came up. We were from a variety of religious backgrounds, but that never came up either. We were, for a few hours, a family of folks sharing one of the most awe-inspiring events our planet has to offer, and it was wonderful.

When I was a kid for the 1979 eclipse, it would never have occurred to millions of people to travel hours away from home to see the total eclipse. We went outside at school, my dad had made a pinhole camera from a shoebox, we went back inside and went on with our day. 

I LOVE that traveling to see this eclipse was a priority for so many people. I LOVE that I spent the day with people, most of whom were utter strangers, who just wanted to revel in their planet’s big event. We are all looking for connection, for community, for shared experiences that transcend our differences. We are all looking for that jolt of awe that the total eclipse brought. It was so completely and utterly different from the partial experience that we were, at first, stunned. Then we were completely and ridiculously joyous.

We also were incredibly careful to make sure we connected with nature - one person had a big thermometer and tracked the 21 degree temperature drop. We all noted when the bees left the lace vine and went home. The house had a big porch with multiple hummingbird feeders, so we noticed when all but the two most obnoxious (Rufous, of course) left and it was quiet. The crickets began to chirp. The dogs got jumpy. We tracked the changes on a telescope, we used a colander to see the movement of the shadows.

I don’t need another eclipse right away - though that one felt much too short. I need more ways to have this overarching sense of community, this unity with nature and with each other, this love of science, this shared awe. That feeling is how we save the world. Now how do we carry it into our daily lives?

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