Earth Day: a whale of a tale
Happy Earth Day!
Depicted is a group project by some of my students. I challenged my classes to form a group and take an action during a three week period related to an environmental issues, environmental or social justice.
One group of five students decided to use chalk art to engage students on our campus with the issue of single use plastic using ideas from one of our textbooks, Gyre: The Plastic Ocean, which is actually the catalogue for an art show by the same name.
It took them three hours to grid out the drawing they had already prepared, then outline it and fill it in. As they worked on it, they told me that many students stopped to look at it and ask them questions about what they were doing and why.
As you can see, the whale is stuffed with single use plastic including a bag that reads “Bags R Us”.
What an amazing artwork and environmental action! I am so very proud of Ashlie, Brody, Hannah, Jess, and Yesenia.I hope to share more of my students projects next week.
In addition to my two classes, over a billion people in 190 countries are participating in events this month; check out the Ventura Earth Day on the Ventura Beach Promenade or Ojai’s at Oak Grove School where Vandana Shiva will speak at 2:30pm. It really is a shame that they are both going on on the same day, but I guess no one wanted to go up against Santa Barbara’s which was last weekend…
There was some great news today for Earth Day: John Kerry and other world leaders from nearly 170 countries signed the Paris climate agreement at the United Nations today in honor of Earth Day. This formalizes the agreement countries reached in Paris last December as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Member countries commit to taking national actions to reduce emissions by 2020, with th
e collective goal of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius. Ecovote.org reports that Kerry, who signed on behalf of the United States, said:
“When enough people come out and make their voices heard, when they turn their policy into a voting issue, when they work together toward the same real goal, then measurable change is possible…Today, as we think of the hard work ahead, I am reminded of Nelson Mandela’s very simple words: ‘It always seems impossible until it is done.’ While it isn’t done yet, today we are on the march.”
And what I am doing this Earth Day?
I attending “Climates of Change and the Therapy of Ideas,” a conference at Pacifica Graduate Institute, where I earned my MA in Community, Liberation, and Ecopsychology. Yesterday, I attended small (30-50 people) workshops on:
“ReVisioning Dionysus” with Susan Rowland and Dennis Patrick Slattery: biggest takeaways were thinking about dismemberment, remembering/rememberment, and transdisciplinarianism.
“Inspiring Re-enchantment through Transrevolutionary Storytelling” with Craig Chalquist: biggest take aways are about the nature and importance of storytelling.
“Psychotherapy in a World That Has Gotten Worse” with Michael Sipiora where we went deep into Hillman’s nations on the aesthetic…which isn’t as much about art as it is about the senses.
May not sound like much but they are really invigorating to me as were the large sessions today–there’s about 300-350 people in attendance.
At this point, I have about
20 pages of typed notes, and I want to attend a social dreaming session that starts in less than 8 hours so I am not going to attempt to distill what I’ve been learning into this blog post tonight.
Suffice to say that it has been amazing.
Celebrate Earth Day Every Day with a subscription to the brand new Permaculture Magazine, North America! Subscribe this weekend to get a print subscription and receive the first issue!