BY KIMBERLY MAYER
On June 1, 2017, the president turned his back on the planet. I was making my way to the gate having cleared airport security in Seattle, aware that this was the hour Trump would announce his decision on The Paris Agreement in The Rose Garden. It was 3pm Eastern Time, noon Pacific Time. What I was looking for no longer existed: mounted televisions turned permanently to CNN. Everyone has their own devises now, I suppose, and half the people had on ear buds.
I didn’t have to dig my phone out of my bag. When his decision was announced, it was palpable. I could feel it, all the weight and weariness in the crowd at Seatac. Wherever our destination, whatever our mission in life, we were all off on our lonely flights attending the same funeral.
If that was a death march, in the morning I woke with a Bob Dylan song in my head. Time will tell who has fell, And who’s been left behind, When you go your way and I go mine.
Flatbed truck after flatbed truck hauled in specimen trees for planting and bright yellow caterpillar tractors moved earth at The Village at Duxbury, the retirement community where my parents reside outside Boston. I was witness to the creation of what will one day, no doubt, be an arboretum. Trees my parents and future generations will watch grow.
I thought of our own expanding efforts at home growing salad greens, herbs, fruit and vegetables. Living as sustainably as possible on the island, while farming oysters, clams, and mussels in the bay. And The Demonstration Garden where I work with other Master Gardeners, growing produce for our local food bank.
Suddenly we are singing another song, something like a Battle Hymm of the Republic.
On the same day as the dire announcement in The Rose Garden, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, and Gov. Jerry Brown of California formed the United States Climate Alliance to uphold the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. To date thirteen states and Puerto Rico have joined the alliance. Eleven additional states have pledged to support the Paris Agreement, representing over 60% of the populace of the United States. Hundreds of mayors of US cities, including the 10 most populous, either support the alliance or are committed to upholding the Paris Agreement.
Businesses are going ahead with green energy because it’s good business. Pittsburgh plans to power itself entirely with renewable energy. And on and on.
Our new battle cry: the more damage the Trump Administration tries to do to the environment, the greener we go.