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We Are Learning

We are learning how fragile we are.
One day hopping a plane for a couple of weeks on a sunny beach,
A week later quarantined at home, realizing how deeply frightened we are.

We are learning how alike we are, us folks from America and Russia and Iran.
Us folks from New York City and from the Amazon Rainforest.
Us folks from Tromsø, Norway in the Arctic and from Fiji in the South Pacific.
Us folks from war zones and refugee camps and prisons and slums.

We are learning to look at a stranger on the street, two meters away as we pass,
And to give her—somebody’s grandmother— a small wave and a smile. Continue reading We Are Learning

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Northern lights around the Arctic ice cap

An extraordinary photograph taken from a satellite shows the Arctic ice cap inside a magnificent ring of Aurora borealis, the northern lights.  The ice cap in winter reaches deep into the northern islands of Canada; it wraps over the top of Greenland; and it touches the northern coast of Russia.  The ice cap curves from the light of the sun . . . to the dimness of night.  Outside of the ring, on the night side of the planet, we can clearly see the lights of European cities.

Continue reading Northern lights around the Arctic ice cap

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“Mr. President, I’m calling to let you know that a billion kids are about to change the course of human history.”

At the huge Climate March in September of 2014 in New York City, I spotted a street vendor making a phone call as he watched—as he witnessed—an endless parade of exuberant young people marching past his hot dog stand.

Continue reading “Mr. President, I’m calling to let you know that a billion kids are about to change the course of human history.”

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The Witness.

At the huge Climate March in New York City in September of 2014, I spotted a child—perhaps a girl, perhaps a boy—perched on her father’s shoulders.  She stared straight ahead, at the multitude of people in the parade that filled the city street ahead of her.  Never before had she seen such a crowd, and now she was right there in the middle of that crowd.  And—she must have understood, despite her young age—all of these people had a purpose.  As her father had told her, all of these people were demanding a clean and healthy world.

Continue reading The Witness.

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At a Fridays for Future demonstration on February 14, 2020 in Stockholm, I spotted a teenage girl holding up an extremely well-done poster.  She must have worked for hours on her portrait of President Trump, his pocket bursting with gold coins.  Her sign read in Swedish, “Change the system, not the climate.”  A serious poster with a serious statement, created by, as I could see in her stern face, a serious girl.

Continue reading Determination.