Today’s observation: After reading in today’s New York Times that Vice President Mike Pence “accused liberal groups and Democratic lawmakers of trying to turn concern about the environment into a political cause,” I wondered how he could step over the point that there is no other political cause so fundamental. It is a political cause that belongs to every party and every point of view–including my own, which is moderate. Also in today’s paper, I was heartened to read Angela Merkel, a scientist, say of international efforts to protect the planet, ” I was so moved and enthused that so many states and enterprises in the United States want to travel this path with us. We will travel it together.” I’m grateful for her gracious words shining sunlight on an optional path (the cumulative impact in the U.S. of local decisions), when another path (federal government action) closes the door on important environmental cooperation. In Texas, we will have to be vigilant that state lawmakers don’t get in the way of the complex decisions that involve an intertwining of economic and ecological actions. Another point of appreciation is that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a former oil company CEO, supported the U.S. staying with the Paris Accord, which symbolizes at least for one leader in the federal government, it is possible to think about current economic investment and climate change together, not in silos.
Thought for today: I look forward to the day when the United States resumes its role of worldwide leadership in correcting the climate damage that is underway. I’m grateful that the Texas legislature did not pass SB 3, a bill that would have undone Austin’s and some other municipalities’ plastic bag ban. As the climate warms up, I’m planting heat tolerant herbs this year in my flower pots. The President has pulled out of the Paris Accord. I’m searching for words that provide hope, calm, and focus, and that are not in themselves bombastic. That is how I hope to talk. This is how I hope politicians will talk with each other.