By Dave Healy
We love to talk about the weather—and sing about it, too: “Stormy Weather,” “Dust in the Wind,” “Hurricane,” “Clouds,” “Lightning Bolt,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” “Blue Skies,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Autumn Leaves,” “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” just to name a few songs.
Climate, on the other hand, doesn’t spark our creative impulses. Perhaps that’s because weather changes almost every day — at least in Minnesota — and climate never seems to change.
Or does it? These days, American author and environmentalist Bill McKibben argues that climate change should be a topic of daily conversation, noting it is “the biggest thing that’s going on every single day.” To spur those conversations, the organizers of St. Paul’s Read Brave program have declared “Our climate crisis” as this year’s theme.
Read Brave is a St. Paul Public Library program that encourages city residents to read a designated book and participate in related events. This year’s adult nonfiction selection is “Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future” by Mary Robinson.
Robinson gives voice to farmers, activists and ordinary people worldwide who are facing the effects of the climate crisis with courage and innovation. Her book highlights the hardship and uncertainty environmental degradation has had on traditional life and celebrates the resilience of people working for sustainable solutions.
Events in St. Anthony Park
The St. Anthony Park Branch Library Association will sponsor two Read Brave events.
On March 5, at 7 p.m., climatologist/meteorologist Mark Seeley will talk about climate change. Seeley, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota and a veteran commentator on Minnesota Public Radio, will present his talk at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church, 2323 Como Ave.
On March 26, at 6:30 p.m., Jay Coggins and Andy Jameton will lead a discussion of “Climate Justice.” This program is scheduled at the St. Anthony Park Library, 2245 Como Ave.
Coggins, a University of Minnesota professor, lists as research interests: environmental economics, air and water policy, air pollution and human health and market-based approaches to environmental protection. Jameton, professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska’s School of Public Health, currently is affiliated with the U of M’s Center for Bioethics, where climate change is one of his primary interests.
This year’s Read Brave book for young adults is “The Marrow Thieves” by Canadian author Cherie Dimaline. The novel imagines a dystopian future where global warming has ravaged the earth and, with it, most people’s ability to dream. Indigenous people, who can still dream, are hunted for their marrow to create a serum for others.
The St. Anthony Park Library has free copies of “Climate Justice” for the first 40 people who claim them. The library also has 40 free copies of “The Marrow Thieves.”
For Read Brave Kids, SPPL has created three lists of suggested books. The lists, along with other Read Brave information, can be found at https://sppl.org/read-brave.
Dave Healy, a St. Anthony Park resident, is a former editor of the Bugle.