September 24, 2019
In the face of the global outrage at the world’s children’s prospects for a habitable planet, the mass media have come to grips with the climate crisis. Are they building of a path out of silence? Or a temporary firewall? This week we focus on the mass public media, their responsibility, and in some cases, their perfidy.
But first the news.

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State abandons Sheridan Hollow microgrid
to use solar, energy efficient projects

State abandons Sheridan Hollow microgrid for solar, energy efficient projects

ALBANY – The state is abandoning plans for natural gas-fired turbines and a microgrid in Sheridan Hollow to power Empire State Plaza, instead opting for a slew of energy efficient and green projects to meet the sprawling downtown campus’s energy needs.

The New York Power Authority and state Office of General Services will be developing a large-scale solar array in Oneida County that will power up to half of the plaza’s energy needs while replacing the diesel-powered emergency generators currently housed at the Sheridan Avenue site, upgrading to LED lighting throughout the state complex and upgrading one of the steam-driven chillers.…

Although the state’s recently announced plan abandons the horrible idea to build new fracked gas infrastructure, the new proposal still falls short of what is needed to address the climate crisis, failing to shut down the fossil fuel steam plant in Sheridan Hollow.—Coalition to Protect New York

Kimberly Harriman, NYPA’s senior vice president of public and regulatory affairs, said the changes are a result of dialogue with area residents and experts in green and energy efficient technology as well as tailoring to the state’s energy goals.

Earlier this year, the state passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which lays out goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in New York. The state aims to reduce emissions 85 percent by 2050, while also making investments in renewable energy a priority.

That bill requires 70 percent of the electric generated be produced by renewable energy systems by 2030.…—Amanda Fries, “State abandons Sheridan Hollow microgrid for solar, energy efficient projects,” Times Union, 9/18/19


Do We Really Need the Atlantic Coast Pipeline?

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the proposed ACP Appalachian Trail (AT) crossing on federal land at Reed’s Gap is illegal. The ACP, and others have appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court will decide in early October if they will hear that appeal. If they do agree to hear the case, they will do so next spring, with a decision by July 1st of next year.

Nevertheless, Dominion continues to lobby Congress to add a rider to another popular, but unrelated bill, that would change the law to allow the ACP to cross the AT at Reed’s Gap. In many cases a rider goes unnoticed, or is accepted along with the popular bill that it is attached to. It is expected that Dominion will intensify it’s efforts to add a rider allowing the crossing to another bill if the Supreme Court does not agree to hear the appeal.

Further reading Risky and Unnecessary Natural Gas Pipelines Threaten Our Region
In the Path of the Pipeline
Talking Points: Don’t let Dominion change the rules to fix its pipeline problems (PDF)

Either way, powerful, influential, and unrelenting Dominion lobbyists continue to stalk and sweet talk elected officials to get them to add a rider. We can’t let them get away with it. If the Supreme Court does not hear the appeal, and Dominion cannot get a rider passed, the ACP is in real trouble. We have our best chance ever to stop this unjust and destructive project right now by demanding that our federal officials vote “No” to any bill that has a such a rider attached to it.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline and connecting Southgate Pipeline face the same AT crossing issues. A rider allowing the ACP to cross the AT at Reed’s Gap, or a similar rider allowing natural gas pipelines through our national parks could open the floodgates for natural gas transmission lines through our national parks.

Fossil fuel riders happen. Earlier this year a rider that subsidized LNG facilities with taxpayer money was attached to a bill that received near unanimous support, and was signed into law. A recent transportation bill had a rider that allowed natural gas gathering lines up to 30 inches in diameter to be built through federal lands and Native American lands without NEPA review. I don’t know the outcome of that bill.

We need to tell our elected officials to stop bills that contain these parasitic riders.—William Limpert

Lynn and William Limpert are in the path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, where it would cut down 8 acres of old growth and never been cut forest, including about 300 trees that are older than our country, and many other old growth trees.


When Will We Hear the End of the Phony Silence?

US Corporate Media ‘Failing to Connect Climate Crisis to Strongest Atlantic Storm Ever to Hit Land’

Analysis Finds US Corporate Media ‘Failing to Connect Climate Crisis to Strongest Atlantic Storm Ever to Hit Land’

Devastation from Hurricane Dorian provokes calls for reporters to acknowledge the climate emergency’s connection to extreme weather

While Hurricane Dorian marched up the U.S. Southeastern coast Wednesday after devastating the Northern Bahamas, advocates for ambitious climate action reiterated the global emergency’s connection to extreme weather—even as an analysis showed that major corporate news outlets are failing to report on it.

After making landfall as a Category 5 hurricane Sunday, Dorian crawled across the Bahamas Monday and Tuesday—leaving a trail of utter destruction in its wake.

The Union of Concerned Scientists explained earlier this year how experts believe the human-caused climate crisis is causing more intense hurricanes:

While hurricanes are a natural part of our climate system, recent research suggests that there has been an increase in intense hurricane activity in the North Atlantic since the 1970s. In the future, there may not necessarily be more hurricanes, but there will likely be more intense hurricanes that carry higher wind speeds and more precipitation as a result of global warming. The impacts of this trend are likely to be exacerbated by sea level rise and a growing population along coastlines.

“Although Hurricane Dorian exemplifies what climate scientists have warned about, major U.S. media outlets are failing to connect the climate crisis to the strongest Atlantic storm ever to hit land,” Public Citizen declared in an analysis Tuesday.

The consumer advocacy group found that “between Friday and Monday, climate or global warming was mentioned in just 7.2 percent of the 167 pieces on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox. The top 49 newspapers by circulation didn’t do much better. Of them, 32 covered Dorian in their print editions, but only eight papers connected Dorian to climate. Of 363 articles about Dorian in those papers’ print editions, just nine (2.5 percent) mentioned climate change.”…—Jessica Corbett, “Analysis Finds US Corporate Media ‘Failing to Connect Climate Crisis to Strongest Atlantic Storm Ever to Hit Land’,” Common Dreams News, 9/4/19


Climate change advocacy missing from school leaders

Climate change advocacy missing from school leaders

Some educators say school boards and education groups have a responsibility to speak out on climate inaction, but those calls aren’t always being well-received

By the time wildfires tore through his home county of Sonoma, California, Park Guthrie was already convinced that the clock on the climate catastrophe was running out. In 2015, Guthrie, a sixth-grade teacher and father of three, had approached the superintendent of the school district where he worked, hopeful she would sign a resolution endorsing action on climate change. He says he got nowhere.

But after attending an advocacy event in Washington two years later, and hearing that the U.S. government has known of the dangers from burning fossil fuels for a half century, Guthrie decided to think bigger. In July 2017, he started a campaign called Schools for Climate Action. He set up meetings with leaders of other nearby school districts, pressing them to declare climate change an urgent issue that is harming kids.

Then the Tubbs Fire hit, leaving 1,400 children in Sonoma County homeless, devastating six school buildings and bringing classes to a halt for weeks. Guthrie and his children had to put on protective smoke masks to attend a county board meeting where members were scheduled to vote on a climate resolution. At the time, October 2017, the Tubbs Fire was the deadliest wildfire in California history, but it would be eclipsed the next year by the Camp Fire, which leveled the town of Paradise. Six of the worst wildfires in California history have occurred in the last four years.

Guthrie believes that doing nothing in the face of climate change amounts to child neglect, and not only because today’s children face a grim future if nothing is done. Global warming is already contributing to extreme weather that’s closing schools, worsening air quality, leveling communities and destroying their property tax base, which is zapping money for education. Public health experts have lined up in support of 21 students who sued the federal government over climate inaction, arguing that young people are particularly vulnerable to physical and emotional harms exacerbated by global warming, such as increased asthma rates, heat stroke, and elevated levels of anxiety and PTSD…—Caroline Preston, “Climate change advocacy missing from school leaders,The Hechinger Report, 6/12/19


Greta Thunberg’s full speech to world leaders
at UN Climate Action Summit

WATCH: Greta Thunberg’s full speech to world leaders at UN Climate Action Summit

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg chastised world leaders Monday, Sep. 23, for failing younger generations by not taking sufficient steps to stop clima…

“You have stolen my childhood and my dreams with your empty words,” Thunberg said at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York. “You’re failing us, but young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you,” she added.

Thunberg traveled to the U.S. by sailboat last month so she could appear at the summit. She and other youth activists led international climate strikes on Friday in an attempt to garner awareness ahead of the UN’s meeting of political and business leaders.—Greta Thunberg, “WATCH: Greta Thunberg’s full speech to world leaders at UN Climate Action Summit,” PBS|YouTube, 9/23/19


How Reporters From Across The U.S. Cover The Climate Emergency

How Reporters From Across The U.S. Cover The Climate Emergency

What’s it like being a climate change reporter right now in the U.S.?

Across the world, journalists are stationed from Antarctica to the Amazon covering how climate change is impacting people’s lives.

At KQED in California, Molly Peterson has covered disasters like the Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history that killed 85 people last year, the Woolsey Fire, which scorched 70,000 acres and killed three people in 2018, and the deadly mudslides in Montecito that killed 23 people the same year.

“When you have a forest fire in California, there are a lot of factors that go into what makes a fire worse,” she says. “Climate change is part of that. It’s not the whole picture.” [Note the journalist does not examine the ‘lot of factors’ that themselves are exacerbated by climate change.—Editor]

She’s also covered California’s climate change initiatives like carbon-free cars by 2045 and the state’s efforts to regulate high temperatures in warehouses.

Over in Louisville, Kentucky, a city beside the Ohio River, energy and environment reporter for WFPL Ryan Van Velzer is concerned with the looming threat of a great flood hitting the area. The city has one of the largest flood protection systems in the country, he says, but the outdated floodwall was built between the 1940s and 1950s.

“Just last year, we had somebody die here in the city due to flash flooding,” he says. “And that’s something that is only going to get worse.”

Further south in Miami, Telemundo’s Vanessa Hauc is covering rapidly melting glaciers in the Andes in Ecuador. Next week, her team is heading to Bolivia to report on the devastation left by the fires in the Amazon.…—Robin Young, Allison Hagan, “How Reporters From Across The U.S. Cover The Climate Emergency,” Here & Now, 9/22/19


Talking up a rapid renewables transition will get us there faster

Talking up a rapid renewables transition will get us there faster

Click for full sized view

Two potentially “self-fulfilling” energy transition narratives are in competition, says a World Economic Forum report. Only one, the “rapid narrative,” would help us limit global warming to the Paris Agreement goal of “well below two degrees Celsius.”

A World Economic Forum paper has quietly asked all of us to notice how we think and talk about the renewables transition.

Do we describe a “rapid narrative,” where the amount of renewables deployed continues to increase 15-30% each year? Or do we promote a “gradual narrative,” projecting that renewables deployment remains much the same each year for decades, while fossil fuel continues to power the world?

Either narrative “can become self-fulfilling,” says the World Economic Forum (WEF) report The Speed of the Energy Transition.  That’s because narratives, or expectations, drive investments, policy, and progress, says the report, citing research by a UK climate commission.  The theme of a self-fulfilling narrative echoes an old saying, suggesting that whether we think we can achieve a rapid renewables transition, or think we can’t, we’re right.

The two narratives are in effect competing over how soon a tipping point is reached.  “Once a tipping point is reached, financial markets will tend to speed up the pace of change by constraining capital to declining industries and reallocating it to those that are growing,” says the WEF report, citing a study for the UK’s Committee on Climate Change.  The study’s author, Paul Ekins, elaborates:

“Once a technology becomes sufficiently competitive, it starts to change the entire environment in which it operates and interacts. New supply lines are formed, behaviors change, and new business lobbies push for more supportive policies. New institutions are created, and old ones re-purposed. As costs fall and expectations of market size increase, additional investment is induced and the political and commercial barriers to a transition begin to drop away. A tipping point is eventually reached where incumbent technologies, products and networks become redundant.”

This all matters because the energy transition “is happening fast but not quickly enough,” said Ditlev Engel, CEO of consultancy DNV GL, in a foreword to the firm’s latest Power Supply and Use Forecast to 2050.  (The WEF report highlights DNV GL’s forecasts as an example of the “rapid narrative.”)…—William Driscoll, “Talking up a rapid renewables transition will get us there faster,” pv magazine USA, 9/21/19


How the climate strike travelled around the world – video

How the climate strike travelled around the world – video

From Sydney to New Delhi, Nairobi to New York, millions of people around the world walked out of school and work on Friday to join the latest protests against the climate crisis. The global day of action, calling for a reduction in emissions, was held in the run-up to a UN summit in New York— Monica Dvorak, “How the climate strike travelled around the world,” The Guardian 9/20/19


Corporate Agribusiness Is Blocking Important Action on the Climate

Corporate Agribusiness Is Blocking Important Action on the Climate

Agribusiness and Wall Street are preventing farmers from adopting more regenerative farming practices.

Climate change action plans often call for less fossil fuel usage, reduced carbon dioxide emissions and a shift toward renewable energy sources. But one area that hasn’t received the broader attention it deserves is industrial farming.

The latest report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) determined that the turning over of more and more land to commercial agriculture has resulted in increasing net greenhouse gas emissions, the loss of natural ecosystems and declining biodiversity. And so, “sustainable land management can contribute to reducing the negative impacts of multiple stressors, including climate change,” the report finds.

This IPCC offering followed on the heels of the National Academies of Sciences study into negative emissions technologies and carbon sequestration, which also found that efforts to store more carbon in agricultural soils generally have “large positive side benefits,” including increased productivity, water holding capacity and yield stability.

 According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), agriculture accounts for 9 percent of national greenhouse gas emissions, though others argue that number should be larger when taking into account the “food system” as a whole. But the broader role agriculture plays in driving climate change is complex. Soils can hold about three times more carbon than the atmosphere, for example, and intensive industrial farming has led to massive amounts of carbon loss from the world’s agricultural soils. How much untapped potential is there beneath our feet?…—Daniel Ross, “Corporate Agribusiness Is Blocking Important Action on the Climate,” Truthout, 9/21/19


UN secretary general hails ‘turning point’ in climate crisis fight

UN secretary general hails ‘turning point’ in climate crisis fight

The world may have hit a hopeful “turning point” in the struggle to tackle the climate crisis despite escalating greenhouse gas emissions and the recalcitrance of major emitters Brazil and the US, according to the United Nations secretary general.

On Sunday, ahead of a key UN climate summit in New York, the World Meteorological Organisation published new data showing 2014-19 to be the warmest five-year period on record.

But the UN secretary general, António Guterres, said recent action by some countries and businesses, as well as the stunning rise of the youth climate movement, gave him hope that international goals to avoid catastrophic global heating could be met.

Further reading: At U.N. Climate Summit, a Call for Action Yields Few Commitments

“I see a new momentum,” Guterres said. “I believe in these last few months [there has been] a turning point. Six months ago, I must tell you, I was quite pessimistic about everything. I would see no movement, now I see a lot of movement and we need to boost that movement.”

 Guterres said he expects “very meaningful” climate commitments to be made by countries during the summit on Monday, which was thrown open to world leaders who had new initiatives on cutting planet-warming gases to announce.…—Oliver Milman, “UN secretary general hails ‘turning point’ in climate crisis fight,” The Guardian, 9/23/19


CNN’s Town Hall Made Climate Change Personal—and It Worked

CNN’s Town Hall Made Climate Change Personal—and It Worked

Wednesday evening during CNN’s climate change town hall, the gods of politicking looked down on Democratic candidate Kamala Harris, and they smiled. In the audience, a man named David with small glasses and pony-tailed gray hair stood up and said he’d lost his home in Paradise, California, to last year’s Camp Fire, which was supercharged by climate change.

“I am so sorry, David. I visited Paradise while the embers were still burning there,” the California senator said. “The only thing that stood were the chimneys, were the fireplaces, that to me looked like tombstones in a graveyard. The devastation was enormous. There were firefighters that were fighting fires while they knew their own homes were burning to the ground. And so you are a living testament, and thank you for your courage to share your story.”

The camera cut back to David. The corners of his mouth turned down, not as a frown, but as if holding back tears.

A politician is nothing without the Story. Perhaps they fought in a war, or they toured a war zone once and got shot at, or maybe a farmer they’d met shared a devastating tale about struggling to pay the bills. Voters like to hear about such things. The stories may not always be what you’d call fully truthful, but they’re a main line into the human brain, and one of the oldest political tricks in the book.

Over seven hours, 10 candidates vying for the Democratic nomination took turns fielding questions and laying out how they’d face down the “climate crisis,” as CNN rightly framed the mess we’re in. Given the staggering complexity of the problem and the tendency of politics to oversimplify, the breadth of positions was commendable. The pols discussed how to bolster cities against rising seas, how to foster international cooperation, even how we might reconsider our love of planet-killing meat.

It’s with stories, though, that you really engage people about climate change. The science says as much: Research has shown that to make someone care about climate change, you’ve got to make it personal, transcending politics to explain how people are already suffering. Sure, voters need to hear how the candidates plan on tackling climate change, all the details about carbon taxes and renewable energy and fighting sea level rise. But the enormity of the climate change problem is impossible to communicate through policy talking points alone. In other words, cue the personal sagas.…—Matt Simon, “CNN’s Town Hall Made Climate Change Personal—and It Worked,” WIRED, 9/5/19


Guardian joins major global news collaboration Covering Climate Now

Guardian joins major global news collaboration Covering Climate Now

As world leaders descend on New York for the UN climate action summit – and millions of activists prepare for a global climate strike later this week – the Guardian is joining forces with hundreds of newsrooms around the world to strengthen media coverage of the climate crisis.

The Guardian is the lead partner in Covering Climate Now, an initiative founded earlier this year with Columbia Journalism Review and the Nation to address the urgent need for stronger climate coverage. More than 250 newsrooms representing 32 countries – with a combined monthly reach of more than a billion people – have signed on.

This week, ahead of the UN climate summit on 23 September, the Covering Climate Now partners have pledged to increase the volume and visibility of their climate coverage in the first large-scale collaboration of the partnership. The Guardian is making a selection of its climate coverage available to partners for free to help publications without dedicated environment desks serve their audiences.

The Covering Climate Now network represents every corner of the media including TV networks (CBS News, Al Jazeera), newspapers (El País, the Toronto Star), digital players (BuzzFeed, HuffPost, Vox), wire services (Getty Images, Bloomberg), magazines (Nature, Scientific American), and dozens of podcasts, local publishers, radio and TV stations. Countries represented include Togo, Nepal, Argentina, India, Japan, Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands and dozens more.

The Guardian has long made climate coverage a top news priority, keeping the story on its front page daily. Earlier this year, the Guardian updated its style guide to introduce new terms that more accurately describe the environmental crises facing the world. The Guardian now favors the terms “climate crisis” and “climate emergency” over “climate change”.…—Jane Spencer, “Guardian joins major global news collaboration Covering Climate Now,” The Guardian, 9/15/19


Protesting Climate Change,
Young People Take to Streets in a Global Strike

Protesting Climate Change, Young People Take to Streets in a Global Strike

Anxious about their future on a hotter planet and angry at world leaders for failing to arrest the crisis, masses of young people poured into the streets on every continent on Friday for a day of global climate protests. Organizers estimated the turnout to be around four million in thousands of cities and towns worldwide.

It was the first time that children and young people had demonstrated to demand climate action in so many places and in such numbers around the world.

They turned out in force in Berlin, where the police estimated 100,000 participants, with similar numbers in Melbourne and London. In New York City, the mayor’s office estimated that 60,000 people marched through the narrow streets of Lower Manhattan, while organizers put the total at 250,000. By the dozens in some places, and by the tens of thousands in others, young people demonstrated in cities like Manila, Kampala and Rio de Janeiro. A group of scientists rallied in Antarctica.

“You had a future, and so should we,” demonstrators chanted as they marched through New York City.

Then, “We vote next.”

Banners in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, ranged from serious to humorous. One read, “Climate Emergency Now.” Another said, “This planet is getting hotter than my imaginary boyfriend.” In Mumbai, children in oversize raincoats marched in the rain. A sign in Berlin declared, “Stop the Global Pyromania.”

“Right now we are the ones who are making a difference. If no one else will take action, then we will,” Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist whose one-person strikes in Stockholm helped ignite a global movement, told demonstrators in New York City. “We demand a safe future. Is that really too much to ask?”…—Somini Sengupta, “Protesting Climate Change, Young People Take to Streets in a Global Strike,” The New York Times, 9/20/19


Climate change:
is it time for journalists to do more advocacy?

Climate change: is it time for journalists to do more advocacy?

The recent IPCC 1.5°C report outlined the need for unprecedented changes in economies and societies if we are to avoid severe climate impacts. Other recent reports have backed this up, stressing the urgent need to cut greenhouse gas emissions (the National Climate Assessment in the USA, the UNEP UNEP emissions gap report and the WHO report on health). Many observers argue that given the urgency of the challenge, journalists need to do more coverage, do different coverage, or become advocates for taking action.

Further reading: Covering Climate Now signs on over 170 news outlets

The panel will consider these issues, including a focus on The Guardian’s “Keep it in the Ground Campaign” to encourage divestment from fossil fuel companies – did it work, what are the lessons to be learnt, should journalists campaign? Con: Richard Black (director Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit), Emma Howard (Unearthed), James Painter (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism), Ingerid Salvesen (freelance journalist), Ingerid Salvesen.—Richard Black, Emma Howard, James Painter, Ingerid Salvesen, “Climate change: is it time for journalists to do more advocacy?YouTube, 4/5/19


The Climate Angle at Fox News:
The climatology cult

Ingraham: The climatology cult


Wendell Berry’s Lifelong Dissent

Wendell Berry’s Lifelong Dissent

At the core of both his writing and activism is the insight that we can’t imagine a harmonious future without confronting the destruction in our past.

At a time when political conflict runs deep and erects high walls, the Kentucky essayist, novelist, and poet Wendell Berry maintains an arresting mix of admirers. Barack Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal in 2011. The following year, the socialist-feminist writer and editor Sarah Leonard published a friendly interview with him in Dissent. Yet he also gets respectful attention in the pages of The American Conservative and First Things, a right-leaning, traditionalist Christian journal.

More recently, The New Yorker ran an introduction to Berry’s thought distilled from a series of conversations, stretching over several years, with the critic Amanda Petrusich. In these conversations, Berry patiently explains why he doesn’t call himself a socialist or a conservative and recounts the mostly unchanged creed underlying his nearly six decades of writing and activism. Over the years, he has called himself an agrarian, a pacifist, and a Christian—albeit of an eccentric kind. He has written against all forms of violence and destruction—of land, communities, and human beings—and argued that the modern American way of life is a skein of violence. He is an anti-capitalist moralist and a writer of praise for what he admires: the quiet, mostly uncelebrated labor and affection that keep the world whole and might still redeem it. He is also an acerbic critic of what he dislikes, particularly modern individualism, and his emphasis on family and marriage and his ambivalence toward abortion mark him as an outsider to the left.

All of Berry’s essays serve as documents of the bewildering destruction in which our everyday lives involve us and as a testament to those qualities in people and traditions that resist the destruction. As the economic order becomes more harrying and abstract, a politics of place is emerging in response, much of it a genuine effort to understand the ecological and historical legacies of regions in the ways that Berry has recommended. This politics is present from Durham, North Carolina, where you can study the legacy of tobacco and slavery on the Piedmont soils and stand where locals took down a Confederate statue in a guerrilla action in 2017, to New York City, where activists have built up community land trusts for affordable housing and scientists have reconstructed the deep environmental history of the country’s most densely developed region. But few of the activists and scholars involved in this politics would think of themselves as turning away from the international or the global. They are more likely to see climate change, migration, and technology as stitching together the local and global in ways that must be part of the rebuilding and enriching of community.

Berry’s writing is hard to imagine separated from his life as a farmer in a determinedly traditional style, who works the land where his family has lived for many generations using draft horses and hand labor instead of tractors and mechanical harvesters. But the life, like the ideas, crisscrosses worlds without belonging neatly to any of them. Born in 1934 in Henry County, Kentucky, Berry was but the son of a prominent local lawyer and farmer. He spent much of his childhood in the company of people from an older generation who worked the soil: his grandfather, a landowner, and the laborers who worked the family land. His early adulthood was relatively cosmopolitan. After graduating from the University of Kentucky with literary ambitions, he went to Stanford to study under the novelist Wallace Stegner at a time when Ken Kesey, Robert Stone, and Larry McMurtry were also students there. Berry went to Italy and France on a Guggenheim fellowship, then lived in New York, teaching at NYU’s Bronx campus. As he entered his 30s, he returned to Kentucky, setting up a farm in 1965 at Lane’s Landing on the Kentucky River. Although he was a member of the University of Kentucky’s faculty for nearly 20 years over two stints, ending in 1993, his identity has been indelibly that of a writer-farmer dug into his place, someone who has become nationally famous for being local, and developed the image of a timeless sage while joining, sometimes fiercely, in fights against the Vietnam War and the coal industry’s domination of his region.…—Jedediah Britton-Purdy, “Wendell Berry’s Lifelong Dissent,” The Nation, 9/9/19


And That’s A Wrap! Thanks to everyone who sent in news, action announcements and comments this week. Send kudos, rotten tomatoes and your story ideas, your group’s action events, and news of interest to intrepid climate change and environmental justice warriors! Send to