Climate Anxiety Counseling: Day 14

Weather: Started sunny, short rain shower, got sunny again.

Number of people: 11 stoppers, 6 walk-bys

Number of hecklers: 0!

Pages of notes: 8

Conversations between people previously unknown to one another: 1

Business cards proffered and received: 1

Packets of Small State Seeds given away: 2 (we still have some left, come tomorrow!)

People who took a picture without permission: 1

People who recognized and commented on the Peanuts reference: 1

Money raised for Environmental Justice League of RI: $0.25



A family of 4 walks by, and I can tell they’re chatting and laughing about me, the way my family and I do when we see something particular and delightful that we want to share with each other. I hadn’t imagined that way of being seen, until today. 


Some conversations: 

When my mom goes into a store for more than 5 minutes, I turn her car off. 


It seems like all these cataclysmic events have been happening, it seems like it’s a triangle coming to a point. It seems like the earth is responding to what we’re doing to it, all the pressure we’re putting on it. Obviously people see it, because look at all these disaster movies they’re making these days.


I’ve been wondering what the strategic plan is — is there one for storms? I’ve been looking around for some sort of strategic solutions.


There aren’t enough green areas. Near Cranston Street, where I live, there’s only one park, and it’s not properly maintained. I go running there, and I see a lot of garbage. It’s not healthy — if I had kids, I wouldn’t want them running around there.

Do you pick it up when you see it?

Yes. At RIC, we have to do a certain amount of volunteering hours. But you can clean it up, it stays nice for two, three days, then it comes back again. I think what we need is more education. All the green areas, they’re nice, but they need to be maintained. I think if we had the help of people in the neighborhood, maybe just for thirty minutes a week, but thirty minutes times a bunch of people —

[I suggested that he get in touch with the WBNA.]


Climate change is pretty important, climate change does worry me, but I’m most worried — well, what’s also worrying me is the eternal bottleneck that seems to be happening in Washington. 


They spend a billion dollars over there, but here, they got the homeless. It was told to me the U.S. was like a bully. My mother always told me, take care of home.


I’m 22 years old. My entire life climate change has been in my awareness, it’s been on my mind. We don’t have too much longer of the weather patterns being the way they’ve been. My grandfather was a meteorologist, and he taught me how to read the signs of what weather was coming next, up to a month in advance sometimes. Those signs are no longer as predictable. Everything is changing. 3000 years of human writings that talk about weather patterns, and they’ve never shown it changing as fast as this. It’s going too fast for a natural evolution cycle. We’re acidifying the oceans, we’re leaking oxygen as well as letting in cosmic radiation, we’re building up this giant carbon layer. Rainwater used to be — you could drink it. Now if you drink rainwater, people look at you like you’re crazy.

You clearly know a lot about this. Does it worry you?

Yes, and I think it should worry everyone. We’ve forgotten that we’re just a creature. We’re changing the earth and making it unsustainable, not only unsustainable for us, but unsustainable for everything. We’re doing nothing but the things that are damaging. 


Today’s poem: 


You’re very much not

alone says someone

about whom I know

a lot more than he knows

about me as a plant

knows that greater carbon

dioxide is near or shadow

the knowing we do

in our tenderest shoots

that hides or grows

and can be wrong

and can be fooled

by an altered light

by a source of heat

our ability to trick

processes into happening

we took such pride in

colluding in ruin

our ingenuity

isn’t it counting

doesn’t it keep

the outcome, the downfall

coming a little

further away or more

slowly or off-loaded

onto an island

a world full of islands

the world is close

a running horizon

unpunctured, escapeless

to find a way out

from under

our greatest treasure

we cracked with our teeth

I’m not motionless

I can’t be motionless

I must be restless

there is no big limb

pinning my neck



4 thoughts on “Climate Anxiety Counseling: Day 14

  1. Pingback: Alternate Histories: 5/30, 4/18 | climateanxietycounseling

  2. Pingback: Alternate Histories: 5/30, 4/28 | climateanxietycounseling

  3. Pingback: Alternate Histories: 5/31, 7/19 | climateanxietycounseling

  4. Pingback: Alternate Histories: 5/31, 7/21 | climateanxietycounseling

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