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Thanksgiving gratitude to a community of voices aimed at action on the climate crisis

  • November 27, 2019 2:26 PM
    Message # 8142294
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Once again, Chicago Tribune readers began their morning with news of a dire report on climate change:  UN raises critical alarm on climate. *  This is a tough message to swallow at any time, and particularly troubling on the eve of Thanksgiving.  Time is running out to act on climate change, with global procrastination over the past decades making divestment of fossil fuels and implementation of renewable energy sources even more urgent.

    One factor to be thankful for: the authors of the UN report were hopeful about shifting attitudes on the climate crisis and they credited youth activism for the shift: “The political focus on the climate crisis is growing in several countries, with votes and protesters, particularly youth, making it clear that it is their number one issue….”

    So, this Thanksgiving, I turn to one of my favorite poets to express the pride I feel in youth standing strong on climate issues in spite of political skepticism.  Poet Shel Silverstein captures climate activists’ passion—and willingness to defy skeptics--in his poem,


    There is a voice inside of you

    That whispers all day long,

    “I feel that this is right for me,

    I know that this is wrong,”

    No teacher, preacher, parent, friend

    Or wise man can decide

    What’s right for you—just listen to

    The voice that speaks inside**

    The Kids Climate Summit will be a community of “voices inside.” A day of presentations by youth ages 9-14, the Summit is designed to be a forum for dialogue and action on climate change.  There's still time to participate!  The deadline for proposals is January 17, 2020.

     As our plans for the Summit move forward, I want to express gratitude to our sponsors, our experts, our coaches, and our participants.

    In particular, we are deeply grateful to Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) personnel Kelly Lofgren, Gwen Seeley-Joosse, and Carolyn Harvey.

    Most of all, I am grateful to CGCC President Newenka DuMont, whose vision, inner compass and boundless energy set a terrific example for all.

    To the voices inside!!

    Happy Thanksgiving

    *Dennis, B. (2019, November 27).  UN raises critical alarm on climate.  Chicago Tribune, pp.  1, 14.

    **Silverstein, S. (1996).  Falling up.  New York,  NY: Harper Collins

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