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.

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