Candlelight Climate Vigil
A Chattanooga witness to the key COP 26 UN Climate Conference
Homberg Bridge near the Hunter Art Museum
Thanks to all of you who attended our Candlelight Climate Vigil in support of COP26 deliberations that hopefully will bring climate change awareness, concern and commitment to our local residents regarding impacts deleterious to all Life. Thanks to Anne Curtis, DIxie Riall, Jamie Fota, Bill Moll, Dan Joranko and Reverend Goheen for leading a meaningful vigil. Channels 3 and 9 covered our event.
COP26 in Glasgow is coming to an end, but the work for action continues anew. The goal of course is to keep the global temperature from warming no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Right now warming is at 1.1 degrees Celsius so it is urgent that action be taken immediately. Scientists say that presently we are on course for a 2.4 degree Celsius warming.
There are a lot of promises, but transparency and reporting is needed to hold countries accountable for what they pledged. There were several protests especially by young people calling for less talk and more action. Here are some agreements and pledges resulting from COP26.
1. $1.7 billion funding for Indigenous forest protection and, more broadly, end deforestation by 2030.
2. The agreement “urges” countries to “revisit and strengthen” their 2030 climate plans by the end of 2022 and up their original carbon emissions reduction pledges. (Countries pledged to reduce carbon emissions during the COP22 Paris Accord, but in most cases have not met their commitments.)
3. Higher-income countries have committed to doubling the finance they give to lower-income countries for adapting to a warming world.
Our TIPL member and poet Kemmer Anderson has written this thought provoking poem. You can see it on line at https://dissidentvoice.org/2021/11/sustaining-earth/
by Kemmer Anderson / November 7th, 2021
The Earth is not ours to possess:
We belong to the Earth, who provides
life to sustain us and wisdom to save us.
Listen to poems that Nature grows
from the ground of our being.
The wind roars across Stringer’s Ridge
through the Tennessee River canyon
raising the spirit of the Cherokees.
On the great prairie plains, the indigenous
winds that spoke to the Lakota Sioux turn
blades: wings churning, the gift of energy.
The sun pours across the land with a voice of Light:
Solar farms lift palms and panels, growing power
that surrounds continents with sustaining hope.
The sacred muse of water seeps into the soul
with a reflection pure: streams running with salmon,
pools floating with your face mirrored in grace
Before coal ash, sewage, chemicals, and fracking
poisoned the waters, bathed with our weeping
tears drowning from the heavy weight of greed.
We are losing the ability to sustain life on this
shrouded earth, mined and stripped naked to the core
for the Babel cities that cover soil with asphalt.
The carbon thief of oil, coal, and shale rock
hides behind lies that eat away
truth for wealth, war, waste, and smog.
Find a conversation with wind and wild geese,
learn the vocabulary of boundless Light,
find the syllables of waters that cleanse the mind
thirsty for the sound of ancient springs
where families drew life from Willow Springs,
where sojourners washed in stone troughs at Delphi.
Now a new generation has learned the language
of earth, the Euclidean proof that circles a world
without borders and division of power.
Listen to the air we breathe: Justice spells
the elements of sun, fire, wind, and water
with a freedom beyond ownership and boundary.
Nature calls us home from this prodigal journey
that polluted the map of Liberty and the voice
of the Great Spirit who hovers over the water.