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Why Every City Needs a Climate Storyteller


Why Every City Needs a Climate Storyteller

Tara Lohan

We have a big job ahead of us. The perils of climate change will require that we craft new policies, fund robust scientific research and dramatically rethink most of the infrastructure we rely on — everything from energy to food to transportation. Supporters of a Green New Deal have insisted that we need a World War II-scale mobilization to put the brakes on a fossil-fueled economy. All of this may conjure the work of engineers, urban planners, designers, scientists and policymakers.

But that’s not all.

We’ll also need more storytellers, says Jeff Biggers.

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We have increased public awareness since Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. But we don’t see the level of concern that we should be expressing. Heart to hearts in the classrooms and churches is all important to telegraph the seriousness. Story telling is one of the better ways to convey our climate dilemma.

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As the popular science writer Carl Sagan once noted: “The nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five.”
*Taking away all the matches is the ultimate goal. Meanwhile, it would be gratifying to see a vigorous popular movement aimed at preventing a lit match from accidentally dropping into the gasoline.
*In the article, Jeff Biggers says, “I tell every organization, community and interfaith group, school and university, and especially town and city councils: Don’t waste your resources on bureaucrats, task forces and commissioning studies that no one reads — invest in the arts, storytellers, writers, playwrights and farmers.”
*Joseph Campbell is one of my gurus. He discusses the above article in great detail in a number of his books. (I was going to put some quotes from Joe here, but my wife has asked me to make dinner, so I’ll just suggest a very few of Campbell’s titles to read through.)
*The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
*The Hero’s Journey.
*Myths to Live By. and,
*The Power of Myth (with Bill Moyers)

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Our situation is stunningly similar.

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Sad, deserted shore, your fickle friends are leaving.
Ah, but then you know it’s time for them to go.
But I will still be here, I have no thought of leaving.
I do not count the time.
And I am not alone while my love is near me.
I know it will be so, until it’s time to go.
So come the storms of winter
and then the birds in spring again,
I have no fear of time,
For who knows how my love grows?
And who knows where the time goes?


Wow. Thank you for posting that.



Beautiful. Thank you.

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The story of shoreline birds and friends leaving knowing it’s time to go,
not counting the time nor fearing the going as long as love is near…