Grieving for Mother Earth

I hope you haven’t been directly affected by the massive flooding in the Midwest. Of course we will all be affected by the damage to topsoil, impact on crops, and financial ruin for some farmers.

I’m having a lot of trouble dealing with my anger right now. I can’t even talk to people who are so surprised this flooding has happened. All of my life I have been trying to get people to take all the damages being done to Mother Earth seriously. I wonder what more I could have done? For those who don’t know me, I was led to give up having a personal automobile about 45 years ago. I thought my example might encourage others to do the same, but it did not.

This makes me think about how terrible this has been for indigenous people around the world, who have seen this all unfolding for centuries. I can’t know the depth of that sorrow and it further increases my gratefulness and respect for how hard indigenous people have worked, and continue to work to make us see how wrong our white settler colonial culture has been and continues to be.

One of the most alarming things to have happened during this flooding is the break of a 4 inch natural gas pipeline near Le Mars, Iowa. Which brings to mind one of the many things we tried to warn about regarding building the Dakota Access Pipeline under the Missouri River. #NoDAPL

On top of all this are the two bills passed by the South Dakota legislature to proactively force protestors to pay for damages related to pipeline protests. Think about that. Punishing people before they do anything! In response the Crow Creek Sioux and Oglala Sioux tribes have asked that their flags not be displayed in the South Dakota Capitol building.

Although it is probably too little, too late, beginning work on the ideas of an indigenous led Green New Deal is the only hope I see to at least slow down the continuing climate disasters. This flooding is just an example of worse to come.

I have been working to support the youth in the Sunrise Movement as they build a movement to force politicians to support a Green New Deal. Yesterday on the Fallon Forum I asked Mayor Cownie what Des Moines plans to do related to a Green New Deal. He said he was aware of young peoples’ concerns, and talked about schools having gardens to provide healthier school meals. But he doesn’t seem to see that incremental changes can’t begin to solve our climate crisis. I did talk, in answer to those who criticize students missing classes, about Scattergood Friends School and Farm, and how much education there occurs outside the classroom by which I meant the youth who are striking are getting a real educational experience. You can hear that discussion here:

We are fortunate the Green New Deal Tour is coming to Des Moines on April 22. Get your tickets here:

At each tour stop, hundreds to thousands of attendees are treated to a multimedia experience and an emotional journey.
We’ll share stories about how the crises of climate change and inequality are threatening the people and places we call home. We’ll hear from political leaders about how the Green New Deal would protect communities across the country from the worsening impacts of climate change while boosting our economy. Then we’ll lay out the plan to make the 2020 election a referendum on the Green New Deal, so we can make the Green New Deal law in 2021.
Speakers will include political leaders who are championing the effort for the Green New Deal in Congress, movement leaders mobilizing thousands to join the fight, and local community leaders who are leading the way to the transition to a society that works for all of us and protects the air we breathe, water we drink, and places we call home.

March 15th saw massive student climate strikes around the world. The students are demanding action now to support a Green New Deal. Here in the United States, we are calling for an Indigenous Led Green New Deal.

On March 15th, my friend Rezadad Mohammadi and I went to Scattergood Friends School and Farm to visit with the students and staff there about a Green New Deal. Both of us attended school there. Reza is taking a class on climate change this semester at Simpson College. I wrote about that visit here:

Reza and Jeff at Scattergood Friends School and Farm
This entry was posted in #NDAPL, civil disobedience, climate change, Green New Deal, Indigenous, Quaker, Sunrise Movement, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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