I am easily distracted. In the middle of trying to write that sentence, I watched a youtube video of John Prine concert footage from 1980, then read a beautiful lonesome poem by Antonio Machado, another by William Stafford. I checked in on the rhubarb bush just exposed from under the snow and already starting to sprout, and also I tried to locate with binoculars the source of raucous songbird noises in the nearby alders. Spring and the surge of life returning to our state contravenes the spirit of quiet self-isolation. Kids are bouncing off the walls. It is not an easy time for anyone.
We have long battles ahead to prepare for, to focus on, and to engage in, and this is a cause for getting together – even if it is in little square video conference pics – and the getting together is critical. People got together 50 years ago – on April 22, 1970. About 20 million Americans took to the streets to launch the first Earth Day celebration, the momentum of which contributed to the passage of bedrock environmental laws in America – the Environmental Protection Act, The Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. As we face today’s problems, environmental, social, and medical – we can gain strength from the same collective energy that fed that first day of action.
Next week we Alaskans will join in the global celebration of the 50th Earth Day. On April 22, AYEA is taking part in the Alaska Digital Youth Climate Strike – Earth Day Live 2020. This statewide live stream is in coordination with the Digital Youth Climate Strikes and will be featured on the national live stream as part of Earth Day Live! Facebook event details are here https://www.facebook.com/events/223222822351707/
To participate go to https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eBkzdtmDTH6-HSdlUcgHJw
Also, on April 22 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. we are helping host the first in a series of Just Transition webinars. This series is created and co-hosted by Native Movement, Native Peoples Action, Gwich’in Steering Committee, Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, and The Alaska Center. The first event is entitled “Reorienting in a Time of Change.” To participate, please register at this link https://www.justtransitionak.org/
What happened in the State Legislature this session with policy impacting climate change? That is the subject of an upcoming discussion hosted by the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition as a part of their Earth Week webinar series. On Friday, April 24 from 4–6 p.m. join The Alaska Center staff and invited legislators to hear about critical pieces of legislation that can lead to increases in renewable energy in Alaska https://www.facebook.com/pg/fairbanksearthweek/about/?ref=page_internal
To participate in this event go to this link https://zoom.us/j/96497387250 and enter the passcode 964-9738-7250
50 years since the first Earth Day, and we have a long, strange, winding, hard, and beautiful road ahead. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay engaged. We are in it together.
Here is a song to take you into the weekend https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgmbQnp_Sbk
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