Climate Anxiety Counseling in Kennedy Plaza/Burnside Park this week!

I’ll be downtown with the Climate Anxiety Counseling booth, in Burnside Park across from Kennedy Plaza, today through Saturday, 2-6pm.

This week will be my final week of the summer in Kennedy Plaza. Starting on July 12th, I’ll be at the Sankofa World Market on Wednesdays, and I’ll show up a couple of other places that I’ll let you know about here. But if you’ve been waiting to see me in KP, this is a good week to come down. I’ll listen to your anxieties–climate-change-related or otherwise, and give you a little piece of art to keep, featuring a Rhode Island organism.

Today I drew a warbling vireo. Last week, I gave a flying squirrel drawing to a kid, about five or six years old. Another kid about the same age saw me do it, did some quick mental calculations, and came up to the booth with an expectant look on his face. If there were animal drawings being given out, he wanted in. I gave him a drawing of a chipping sparrow.

Come and visit me.

Climate Anxiety Counseling: Kennedy Plaza/Burnside Park, 6/24/17

Weather: Hot and bright

Number of people: 4 stoppers, 2 walkbys

Number of hecklers: 0!

Pages of notes: 3

Peanuts references: 1

People who recognized me, and I them, from previous years: 1, a very special one

Photos taken with permission: 1

Dogs seen: 1

Dogs pet: 0

Money raised for Environmental Justice League of RI: $0.25

 

Observations:

Occasionally, I got sprinkled or plopped on by leftover raindrops from the sycamore whose shade I sit in.

In the park, this season, it’s mainly masculine-presenting people who’ve come up to me.

This was the first Saturday stint this season, and the Kennedy Plaza crowds are definitely thinner.

Because it came up today, I might as well say unequivocally that I think Burnside Park should be for everyone, and that people who are homeless temporarily or more-or-less permanently should be able to be there.

 

Some conversations:

My biggest fear is a dead ocean. I understand that the ocean is vital to life, it’s the womb of life, and a lot of important things happen there that affect life on the surface. I do imagine it, but I don’t really do anything [when I think about it] other than try to think about something else. … To me that’s a nightmare, every living thing in the oceans, dead. I try to inform as many people as possible, because sitting around and doing nothing is something I can’t do. I adore fish … I believe that it is best for humans and sharks to not have interactions,but they’re very important to their ecosystems, just like grizzly bears are important to their ecosystems. I believe that God put us in the world to be caretakers of the Earth, not dominators.

*

Whatever you think about it, whether it’s cyclical or whether it’s man-made, and in my opinion it’s a mix of both–I was talking to a guy down on Narragansett Beach, he’s Native American and he’s lived here his whole life, he’s 72 years old. And he was telling me that on all the way on the right side of the beach, past Chair 1, that used to be sunbathing territory. Now it’s one and a half feet deep at high tide. It hits the seawall. Even at high tide there used to be 50 feet of beach there.

Climate Anxiety Counseling: Providence Energy Fair, 6/24/17

Weather: POURING outside. The fair was inside, with big fans.

Number of people: 6 stoppers, no walkbys.

Number of hecklers: 0!

Pages of notes: 5.5

Peanuts references: 1

People who recognized me, and I them, from previous years: 1

Photos taken without permission: 1

Dogs seen: 1

Dogs pet: 1 (this is the correct ratio, if anyone was wondering)

Number of people who asked some version of “Are you a real doctor?”: 1

Money raised for Environmental Justice League of RI: $2.00

 

Observations:

This was an event specifically for people who work in energy efficiency, land conservation, and environmental justice, and for people interested in those things. I unsurprisingly get a higher incidence of stoppers whose anxieties are climate anxieties at such events, and that’s how today was.

There were people playing music, and they played “Moonlight Midnight”, a song I love.

I picked up a People’s Power and Light flyer.

Sometimes I try to get people from “weather” or “seasons” to “climate”, when they mistake the second for one of the first two, and sometimes I don’t. This was a time I tried but it didn’t really take.

All places are vulnerable places.

 

Some conversations:

I was woken this morning by notifications for an app that’s not on my phone, and it seems to be propaganda, a fake news website. I’m concerned who that’s going to who may not follow trusted sources. How did this get on my phone? I consider myself a moderate, but I think I know propaganda when I see it. When I think of the reduction of authority of the EPA, another four years of negative environmental activity—whether you believe in [climate change] or not, it’s pollution. I had to wear a surgical mask on my way here.

What do you do when you feel this anxiety?

Working with sustainability means it just adds to the things to worry about. I’m already worrying about my family and my kids. I thought we were going in a great direction, with [the city committed to sustainability measures], and all of a sudden—I resent the commmander-in-chief assigning people who want to take those regulations down to nothing …

In your job, does it give you energy, or does it take away your energy?

It’s definitely a morale killer. I would say it’s more anger than anxiety. A big WTF.

*

I’m anxious that I feel powerless. Whatever I do with my individual behavior, this is so monumental. It’s gonna take everyone. And my other anxiety is that I understand that it’s not everyone’s priority, and accepting that. People have a vast amount of other things that they have to worry about. I’ve seen that conflict between more militant environmentalists and people who maybe don’t care or have other things to worry about … I’m in school for environmental studies, and the determinants for environmental concern are like [socioeconomic status], exposure to nature as a child, certain demographic things.

So is your concern that there’s not enough listening going on between these two clumps of people?

Yes. I don’t even know if I would start that conversation. Who am I to impose this on you? Who am I to shape what they care about? I can give people my time, but I can’t give everyone everything.

*

You know what does make me anxious? The wintertime. I hate it, it makes me stiff, it makes me tired, it makes me anxious. I want to run into a safe warm place. I could be burning and I’m so happy—I’d rather that 50 times than my face being cut open from the cold. Winter’s abusive, it’s abusive, that’s what it is … For my son, I always wanna make sure he’s warm, because for me warm is safe, I wanna make sure he’s safe … I’m from the Dominican Republic, on the borderline of Haiti, and when the hurricane came through it knocked down all these trees so there was no shade, and I still prefer that. I let myself go in the winter—in the summer I wanna vibrate, I wanna shine. When you fly [to the Dominican Republic] everybody’s welcoming, everybody’s so nice, but when you fly into Boston or New York it’s so rigid, everybody’s like go here, do this. Everyone becomes cold. The sun gives you the whole vitamin D of happiness.

*

It’s been so long since I thought about climate change. I’ve just been buried in my work. When Trump was elected I had to focus, so I focused on immigrants, refugees, health care—and climate change was on there but it wasn’t at the top. I did make a list. There’s only so much energy that we all have.

So I guess a question with that for me is, how do we move it up people’s list without saying that the other stuff on their list doesn’t matter?

Finding the examples that are relevant—like the LNG plant … There’s a big learning curve.

*

I think everybody should be anxious. The way this country’s direction is going, denying that there is climate change—I’m just scared about this [political] climate. And the glaciers are melting, and people are ignoring science—not people, but the government. People like us are the people that care. I think it’s gonna take organizations and private citizens, nonprofits, to step up and take over what government has done in the past.

 

*

This company…just contracted to scout national parks, national monuments, protected lands that [the President] would be able to open up for resource excavation. There’s a national monument off the Northeast coast—those sites that people worked so hard to protect were so vulnerable, so much effort made just for those areas, so if they can be attacked, no place is safe no matter how much effort people make. It’ll do irrevocable damage, but it’s also what it means in terms of precedent.

How does it feel to think about this, and what do you do when you think about it?

I feel relieved to share just verbally. What I do is a good question, because I feel very helpless. The main thing I do is posting on social media, which is not effectual. It’s the same, but sort of remote, but maybe further-reaching? I don’t have any steps toward [doing something]. The conversation to have is possibly opening up to more conversations … Where I’m living now, there’s puddling in the yard from the rain and that is a first. With climate change, there’s more moisture in the atmosphere that falls at once. It’s unheard of that the place where I am is affected. It’s not even a vulnerable place.

Climate Anxiety Counseling at the Providence Energy Fair AND in Burnside Park!

I’m doing double shifts with the Climate Anxiety Counseling booth today.

The first one is 10-1 at the Providence Energy Fair, where you can also sign up for energy audits of your living quarters (I think renters can do this, not just property owners?), learn about renewable energy options in Rhode Island, help keep unnecessary and dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure out of the state with the Burrillville Land Trust and No LNG in PVD, and eat things from trucks. (My feelings about food trucks are mixed, but I’ll probably get a sandwich.) There’s childcare available for the talks and workshops.

The second one is my ordinary shift downtown in Burnside Park, across from Kennedy Plaza, 2-6pm. If anyone feels like coming and being an audience plant–that is, standing and talking to me to demonstrate that other people can do that, too–I’d be very grateful.

Climate Anxiety Counseling: Kennedy Plaza/Burnside Park 6/23/17

Weather: Hot, thick air, windy; heavily clouding up later

Number of people: 3 stoppers, 1 walkby

Pages of notes: 5

People who recognized me, and I them, from previous years: 1

Dogs seen: 1

Dogs pet: 1

Money raised for Environmental Justice League of RI: $0.35

 

Observations:

I left at 5pm because it was clouding up heavily and looked like it was going to pour, and I didn’t have my umbrella because it’s busted from the last time it poured. It did not, in fact, pour.

When I walked up to start my shift, three white or white-appearing cops were arresting a Black man. Another cop car pulled up around where the Greyhound and Peter Pan buses come, around 3:30, but didn’t stay long. Yet another cop walked by at 4:17.

The downtown Providence “safety” team takes the tables and chairs—which are set up in the shade—away at around 2:30pm, when the food trucks leave. If you can’t or don’t want to sit on the grass, the benches are left, but they’re mostly in the hot sun.

This was the second time I chickened out and didn’t tell an interlocutor the real reason why I won’t be having kids. I’m not sure why, but I want to tell the truth next time.

 

A conversation:

I get sick sometimes, I have no money, there’s drama with my girlfriend. I’m thinking of going down to the compassion center [for medical marijuana], but sometimes I think I have to go through the anxiety, putting what’s inside in front of me in order to overcome it. It’s hard to even have heavier conversations. People ask me about money, how they can help out—it’s hard to have time to spend with my son … There’s been good things recently, but I’m so used to negative things.

What are the good things?

I’m getting money from the government every month, so I have income. I’ve been good, clean, but– Things have never been good with [my son’s] mom, we started on mistrust, so even though it’s been good, I can’t talk to her. I feel like I should be with them but at the same time I shouldn’t. If I get a manic episode—you know about that? People recognize it too late. At first it doesn’t look like anything’s different. Everyone’s on my case to get help. [When I’m in that state] I’m so innocent, I’m so naïve, that I get in trouble, I accidentally do something.

What do you know about what sets it off for you?

I tried doing everything, meditating, exercising, doing everything good, and it still happens. It’s like you have control, you don’t have control. I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I run from the place where I stay. I don’t want to have to go to the hospital every time I’m changing. Every time I think I’m doing the right thing, it’s not working. It’s been ten years.

Climate Anxiety Counseling: Kennedy Plaza/Burnside Park, 6/22/17

Weather: Hot and bright

Number of people: 10 stoppers, 5 walkbys

Pages of notes: 7

Peanuts references: 2

People who recognized me, and I them, from previous years: 3

Photos taken without permission: 1

Dogs seen: 2

Rabbits seen: 1, a well-known rabbit-about-town

Total number of animals pet: 0

Money raised for Environmental Justice League of RI: $6.15

 

Observations:

A cop SUV pulled up into the middle of Kennedy Plaza at 3:24. When I next looked over there were seven cops standing near it, talking with a short man who walked with crutches. An ambulance came up, sat for a while, and left with no sirens; I couldn’t see who was in it or how they got there. The cops left around 4:15.

As with yesterday, I had a few conversations that I didn’t get permission (for various reasons) to publish here.

Two young women carrying a sign that said “Free Water” offered me a bottle of water.

People getting on my case, either seriously or teasingly, about not being a real doctor seems to be happening more lately. On the other hand, a friendly woman having a cigarette by the fence told me I should raise my prices: “You know how they keep raising the taxes.”

Someone who’s walked by and noticed the booth twice already stopped on this day and talked to me a bit, which makes me feel like being in the same place for many days in a row is worth it because it gives people time to get used to me.

 

Some conversations:

I think it’s stability. Humans feel like when you get a certain age, you’re gonna have a certain stability, things are gonna happen in a certain way. Climate change affects that. Hurricanes could come—Hurricane Katrina, that was about climate change, and people had to leave their homes, they were spread out all across America. And their lives were changed long after that. I was living in Hawai’i when the Japan earthquake happened, and on the island I was living on, people from the island were not worried. They were relaxed. Everybody else was panicking, running to the stores, leaving their beach houses and moving inland. The locals went down to the beach and had a celebration. It affects different people [different ways]. Maybe older, local people, they accept it, maybe it’s religion, like God wants this to happen.

*

I don’t feel like I’m caring for myself, anxiety-wise. I’m always in people’s faces, always talking to and diagnosing people—it’s probably codependent. I’m bipolar, so I always get the shit end of the stick. But I can’t stop helping people … I’m not a fucking doctor. I’ve had doctors distrust me, misdiagnose me, call me a hypochondriac. There should be a league of doctors with ailments similar to ours, who know where we come from. I already know what [my illness] is. I have trouble getting people to listen. And the meds they gave me made me flip out. I was diagnosed in 2009, and the last five years I screwed myself up with charges, but in the last three years I’ve gotten better at managing it. I do breathing exercises, I talk myself out of situations I know the answer to. I know the consequences from last time, I’m in full control of the result. I don’t think [bipolar disorder] is a bad thing. There’s a lot to be learned.

*

What’s up with the climate? I’m new to it. I saw—before Wonder Woman I saw a movie on climate change coming up, a preview, they had Al Gore, Donald Trump—he thinks it’s a hoax. It’s real?

*

I got a niece but I don’t have kids. I’m gonna die, they’re gonna die, I don’t care. But you know what? Them that came before me, they fought for civil rights and shit. They didn’t do that for us to–

What worries me is, we’re going down. We were down for so long, then Obama, I didn’t like everything he did, but we were starting to go up, and we just went back. I tried to give [Donald Trump] the benefit of the doubt, but this first six months, it’s not looking good … If he says, Go to war right now, I’m gonna go—I’m not fighting for Donald Trump, I’m fighting for America. But even with Obama, they say, Oh, it’s gonna trickle down, but it never trickled down to me like that. It trickles down to people making 40 Gs, 50 Gs, not the people making 15 Gs, not the people in the housing project. He’s not starting a war with North Korea, he’s starting a war with Iraq, Afghanistan–’cause they’re poor! … I don’t like to talk politics with nobody, but I get frustrated. What’s it gonna take for me to prosper? I never prosper.

Climate Anxiety Counseling: Kennedy Plaza/Burnside Park, 6/21/17

Weather: Muggy, breezy, clouds and sun, humidity lifting as it got sunnier

Number of people: 7 stoppers, 5 walkbys

Pages of notes: 6.5

People who recognized the Peanuts reference: 2

People who recognized me, and I them, from previous years: 4

Number of dogs seen: 4

Number of dogs pet: 0

Money raised for Environmental Justice League of RI: $2.80

 

Observations:

While I had a few conversations today, for a few different reasons I only ended up getting permission to post one, which is below.

I responded very disproportionately to someone today. I’ll reflect on it at greater length later, but what I’m taking from it at the moment is that the more responses I have prepared, the less likely I am to be a reactive dickhead whose mental habits lead me to use my power badly.

Beginning of shift, cop car parked at the Dorrance St. end of Kennedy Plaza. 3:03, bike cop ran through the park carrying a sandwich. 3:17, three cops in uniform walked through the park. 4:34, cop SUV drove down Washington St.

I saw 20+ skateboards today, some people riding them, some people carrying them.

Speaking of overcoming mental habits: C., if you’re reading this, I think my suggestions to you were okay and I stand by them, but I forgot another thing you could do and that we can all do: start learning about efforts and methods to abolish the police.

 

A conversation:

Probably I have five years to live. And I know my life doesn’t mean that much in the span of the Earth’s existence, but I just feel bad for all the families who are having children now. I totally get it, but it’s kind of selfish to have kids. I really wanna travel, but I don’t have enough money, because I live in this capitalist society where I have to make money to sustain a dying life. … Even if I started living eco-friendly in my regular life, it wouldn’t matter because the permafrost is just gonna come and kill everyone. I’ve grown so nihilistic. Human beings are just a cancer on the Earth. I just want to smoke as many cigarettes as possible and then die slowly and horribly, I’m sure Mother Earth will really enjoy that. I just put it really dramatically because … I coud be like, Oh, we’re all gonna do just fine, but no one’s gonna do just fine. I picked five [years] because I don’t know a ton of scientific evidence so I picked a low expectational number. I set my bar low so I can try to force myself to do the things I want.

… The way I was raised was super hedonistic, just monstrously gaining things. I live with my parents, and when I’m just living in my home it’s like, Enjoy this polished exterior that life has to offer—I’m really privileged but I live with people who [couldn’t] give less of a shit about the Earth. … But I’m not gonna run into my parents’ living room screaming, “We all have to kill ourselves. Hey, mom, wanna go out and get some cigarettes and smoke until we die?”

I love my family, they’re great, I wanna protect them. …Imagine trying to love someone to your fullest ability in the shortest amount of time. You can do it by communicating, expressing your love, and you can even do it by silence, but the people I’m dealing with don’t know silence. I just don’t want to have to do it. I don’t want to have to do it all now. I can do it, but I realize how much love I was gonna have to give when I was older—and I hate it that I’m not gonna get to do that—

Climate Anxiety Counseling: Kennedy Plaza/Burnside Park, 6/16/17

Weather: Light drizzle increasing to pouring, steady rain

Number of people: 4 stoppers, 0 walkbys

Number of hecklers: 0!

Pages of notes: 6.5

People who recognized the Peanuts reference: 1

Money raised for Environmental Justice League of RI: $0.35

 

Observations:

Unsurprisingly, very few people stopped to talk to me when it was pouring. There was room under the umbrella—it’s a big umbrella—but the lie of the land had a little muddy stream running down right in front of the booth where they’d have to stand. I rigged the umbrella by bungee-ing it to the handtruck, which worked fine only because there was very little wind.

The stream behaved like a stream, with patterns of currents that were revealed by patterns of pebbles and silt, even though it was tiny and temporary. That was cool to me.

People’s rain behaviors—especially, the way they covered themselves, and their walks—were very lovely. I spotted at least two people using plastic store bags as rain shields for their hair, some hood-stretching and jacket-ducking, and lots of variations of scuttling, determined striding, hunching, and plain old running.

Themes of the day: farming, convenience, reasons why people do or don’t do things.

 

Some conversations:

I started getting anxious about it around the time that An Inconvenient Truth was released. Before that I was like, Eh, you know, it’ll happen sometime soon, and that was like, Nope, it’s happening now. I started looking into little actions I could do, but it’s difficult to keep from having a sense of despair. Every once in a while—I own a house in Providence and it’s 150 feet above sea level, but this area right here is 10 feet above sea level. Half the economy of Providence is 10 feet above sea level.

Can we go back to—you used the word “despair”, which is a really deep-down word. What do you despair of?

That people are willing to make difficult decisions to do something about it. It’s a long-term problem, it’s been building and building, and each year it gets incrementally worse …. You can see it right now. It’s been sort of real—with Hurricane Katrina, it was like, It could have been made worse by climate change but we don’t know, and with glaciers it was like, Well, glaciers come and go. But the moment when I was like, This is it, right now, was the March heat wave we had in I think 2012. It was in the high 70s for a week, 10 days, and people were like, Oh, it’s so mild and pleasant! And I was like, No, this is 20 degrees out of normal. This shouldn’t happen, it’s such an unusual—Oh, we’re screwed.

…I got rid of my car. I was completely vegetarian for a few years, now I eat meat maybe once a week, or less. But at one point I was like, Fuck it, I’m gonna do whatever the hell I want because it doesn’t matter anymore. I didn’t want to say completely fuck it, get the biggest car I can and live in the suburbs, I had a week of saying fuck it and then I went back to doing what I normally do. I like my bike for transportation. It’s cheaper—I save $1000 a year just by not renting a parking place, and I think something like $8000 a year by not having a car at all. And it’s fun, I like riding my bike, it’s fun to do. Same with the mostly vegetarian diet: It feels better, it’s easier to cook, you don’t have to worry as much, it’s cheaper. I could spend thousands of dollars to make my house more efficient, but I haven’t looked into it.

… I follow the Audubon webcam with the falcons. It’s like a streaming media service for me. I’m always happy to see the hawks. I ride out into Scituate and Gloucester—and that’s another thing, you can really see the g*psy moth boom. You can hear it, it sounds like rain. Last August, it felt like April—the trees were mostly bare with just a little green, but it wasn’t because they were budding, it was because they were eaten. When I was in the fuck-it state, I was thinking about how I buy produce from the farmers’ market, and it’s two times as expensive: why am I paying two times as much? But I like to ride my bike in Foster, and I’d rather ride my bike by a farm than by an exurban development. If I want there to be a farm, I need to buy that produce.

*

 

I think about icebergs. I think about the extinction of some of our wildlife—and the human race, too. I’m a chef, so I think about plants. I think about the ocean. I’m not too knowledgeable about climate change, but I know that one of the problems is going to be a very serious lack of water … Last summer I couldn’t get butternut squash, I couldn’t get golden zucchini. Oysters come from the ocean. It’s pretty big. But I don’t see it, I hear about it through word of mouth, from news broadcasts—it’s not the same.

… I try to teach my five-year-old to be environmentally friendly, but I can’t be environmentally friendly. Coke, Sprite and everything, they give you this recyclable bottle, but do you see any recycling cans down here? So it’s the city, it’s everything… I can’t just go into the 7-11 and ask for a cup of water, or a spigot, because you can’t trust the water in your city. No matter how much you wanna be environmentally friendly, unless you’re a millionaire, unless you can afford to live that lifestyle you can’t live it… I argue with my brother all the time—he says organic this and free range that, but “free range” just means they spend one hour in the field, the rest of the time they’re stacked up in cages, thousands and thousands, they’re still in the cage unless you’re spending like $9.99. What exactly is free range, what exactly is “support your local community”?

…But I don’t have anxiety about it because it’s not directly affecting me. But I do have a five-year-old son, and I worry about what he’ll be dealing with , and his kids.

What would make it feel like it was directly affecting you?

The extinction of a lot of ocean animals. We live in the [food chain], you need the orca to eat the dolphin, the dolphin to eat the shrimp, the shrimp to eat the algae. … There goes my striped bass, if I want that striped bass, if I want that tuna—we’re the ocean state, but they’re just gonna migrate, I’m not gonna be able to just go to my usual spot. So then it costs more for gas, fuel for buses. But I wouldn’t say I’m anxious about climate change because I’m getting everything that I want. Everyone turns a blind eye if it’s not affecting them.

You talked about your son, and being worried about the future for him—do you show him how to care about things that aren’t affecting him directly?

Oh, yeah. For him, yeah. I’m a victim of society. I’m set in my ways—I’m 33. But we watched [Garbage Island] together and I’m like, This is important. Now he doesn’t wanna go in the ocean because he thinks it’s dirty, but we’re working on it, we’re getting back in the water. The other cool thing about the ocean too is there’s so many animals we haven’t even discovered—oh! and that’s kinda sad, right?

 

Climate Anxiety Counseling: Kennedy Plaza/Burnside Park, 6/15/17

Weather: Hot, bright, breezy. Later, cold enough in the shade that my thumbs started to go numb.

Number of people: 5 stoppers, 5 walkbys

Number of hecklers: 0!

Pages of notes: 7

People who recognized the Peanuts reference: 2

People who knew me from previous sessions: 4

Dogs seen: 1

Dogs pet: 0

Money raised for the Environmental Justice League of RI: $2.22

 

Observations:

Started 15 minutes late today because I was walking with a friend and that seemed more important.

The food truck parked near my spot is very loud, grinding and constant. No one came up to talk with me while it was there, but that could just be correlation.

Three cops walked through Kennedy Plaza at 3:17, I don’t know why.

I always appreciate a good, genuine double take.

When someone not only didn’t want to have a session but didn’t want a card, I felt a stab of real anger.

One of the people who talked with me also showed me pictures they took of the plants in the grounds of the nursing home where their father is staying.

 

Some conversations:

[These two came up together and I later found out they’re a couple.]

Person 1: The Global Seed Vault in Svalbard just flooded … There’s no damage to the seeds but–

Person 2: But because of global warming, this is not a semipermanent solution to saving biodiversity.

Person 1: When it was being planned, things were not as dire.

Person 2: It’s like a museum for seeds. We sequester diversity in museums—we make it inaccessible by preserving it. And relying on them to do it is like—it’s really vulnerable to what it’s trying to prevent. They made the Seed Vault to perpetuate and be sure to save seeds, but the mission and the problem are getting on top of each other and messing each other up.

Person 1: I’m much more in favor of dispersing things and letting people use them, not this thing that you rely on [to preserve them]. And who are the people working in that facility?

Person 2: These aren’t just antiquities, this is something that potentially carries life. Some seeds need specific ways of being planted and being cared for. Lack of knowledge could make them useless. Disseminating knowledge and how to care for them makes more sense than separating them.

 

 

 

*

 

Not like I stay awake thinking about it, but it’s more like when I am awake. I was on a bus yesterday, in a sea of cars and trucks backed up—we need better public transportation that doesn’t have a stigma. When I tell people I ride RIPTA, they get so snobbish, like, Why would you do that? Why don’t you drive? I’ve been driving all my life, but I prefer public transportation. We need it to make things better for our kids. We can’t do anything about us, right this minute, but I have grandchildren, and who knows what their world’s gonna be like. I think we need to—what’s the phrase? Crash and burn before we do anything about it. One thing is good: there are a lot of people who care, leaders, and at least they’re doing something.

What do you think about our own political leadership?

Mixed. It’s mixed. I think they’re more afraid if they’re aiming to go up for political advancement. But I think they have kids and grandkids, so they care.