Weather: Cool and sunny and dry, chilly toward twilight
Number of people: 10 stoppers, 10 walkbys
Number of hecklers: 0!
Dogs spotted: 13
Dogs pet: 0. That’s ZERO FOR THIRTEEN. A scandal and a shame, I tell you.
Money raised for Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island: $1:50
I’d intended to be there till 7, but only stayed till 6:30, when it was getting too dark to write.
I had just enough Rhode Island organism cards to hand out to people who spoke with me.
Someone tried to ventriloquize their climate anxieties through their baby, which is the most extreme version of next-generation-ism I’ve seen yet.
I’m anxious that the Republicans think that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, because that’s a major political party which is supposedly half of the country–that’s a lot of people that think climate change is not real.
What scares you about that?
If people don’t think it’s real, it will continue to get worse and before we can do anything about it, it’ll be too late–it already is too late.
Too late for what?
Well, we can’t stop the polar ice caps from melting. In 30 years, we’ll be underwater. I’m not really sure, maybe. It’s really difficult to think about because no one wants to die and no one wants the world to die, but it might.
[These two knew each other, and mostly talked together with a little input from me.]
Person 1: In this community, I don’t know how many people worry about climate change. It’s concerning, yes, but people are worried about food in the stomach. I wonder if people will see [you] and think, What’s wrong with that person.
Person 2: I worry about the economy, the rate at which automation is going. There are already driverless cars–a lot of people are going to be put out of work. What 10 people used to do, now one person does it, and it’s going to be automated–no one’s talking about how it’s going to be managed … A lot of people are going to be out of work. It’s coming, it’s coming fast.
Person 1: This kind of conversation asks me to think about all of that. I might have been thinking otherwise, but now I have to think about it this way, and I am thinking: the way we know life will never be the same, because once technology and automation…get into the picture, life will be different–the larger population are not used to that, and who is having that conversation?
Person 2: Nobody!
Person 1: Who comes to this neighborhood and talks about automation? Who’s saying, “Your life is gonna change?”
Sickness. My pressure [touches chest]. My back hurting–I’m not able to stand.
We’re wasting our rainwater, we should save our rainwater, and we’re doing terrible things to our soil. We don’t take care of it at all, our Grandmother Earth. And they’re not enjoying it–it’s “supposed to” be used up and made into money, rather than this gift that we should love and take care of. The company doing landscaping at the East Side Market, they’re ripping up the shrubs. Those are living things! I can hear them crying–I know it’s ridiculous, but–and then it gets dumped. There’s a society against cruelty for animals, there should be one for cruelty against plants, the planet–it’s taken years for them to get the way they are. I’m a landscape designer, I educate people all the time … Leave the plants where they are, let them grow deep roots, and go and sit amongst them.
It’s wonderful to hear someone talk about plants with so much love, and the relationships between plants and humans.
It feeds each other, right, we do need to stick together.
High property taxes, and nobody gets anything for the money. What I would really like to see–the thing that irks me more than anything is that [while] property taxes are so high, out-of-town companies get tax stabilization agreements and that creates housing that takes away the tenant pool for the rest of us, and we foot the tax bill. It creates an enormous inequity and fleeces the rest of the city. If taxes make it impossible, if you can’t afford to build here without a TSA, you can’t afford to build here. But the companies all pay the prevailing wage, so it’s all union jobs, so the union supports them because they can’t get jobs anywhere else…Most of the construction guys I know who are in the union commute up to Boston, and they do have work up there, they are working.
[These two came up together and appeared to share a dog.]
Person 1: We moved here six months ago from Chicago, and we were really excited about this neighborhood. But there’s so much garbage in the streets … I think it’s related to the way we treat the climate.
Person 2: I picked up so much garbage the first few months, and then I’d come out the next morning and it’d be all dirty again, and I sort of gave up.
Do you still pick up garbage though?
Oh yeah, and there’s kind of an unofficial group who walks through [the park] and picks up glass, and it’s comforting to see them and know I’m not the only one.