Originally published at The Taos News, May 13, 2014 by Rick Brown.
My Turn: On the impact of climate change and actions to follow
Those who did not participate in the Global Climate Convergence events of the past two weeks may not realize how unique and important this was for our community, but not only was Taos one of only 40 cities in the U.S. and internationally to observe the Global Climate Convergence, but was by far the smallest city to do so.
The Global Climate Convergence nationally and internationally was primarily the brain child of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, and was intended to kick-start discussions about climate change and its impacts with actions to follow, and to explore links between environmental and social justice organizations with regard to climate change impacts.
The observance of this event in Taos was put together primarily by local writer Rivera Sun, who deserves many thanks for her tireless efforts to make this happen, with help from the Green Chamber of Commerce.
The Taos Global climate Convergence began with the arrival of the Global Peace Walk contingent from Santa Fe on Earth Day, April 22, to plant a cherry tree in Kit Carson Park, with the Mayor reading a proclamation. The next day (Wednesday), internationally known peace activist and Nobel Peace prize nominee Kathy Kelly spoke at the Unity Church, primarily focusing on harmful military activities being done in our name with our tax dollars, not only squandering resources but making the global unity need to solve the problems we are facing more difficult to achieve.
On Saturday April 26 there was a community picnic with speakers at Parr Field (in spite of 30 mph winds that day), concluding with a parade around the Plaza with banners, puppets, and the Brave New Burro brass band which delighted everyone around the Plaza and side streets.
On Sunday April 27 there were several speakers at the Mural Room in the Old Taos County Courthouse, including Mark Schuetz who gave a very informative talk about about “Reforestation and Healthy Watersheds”. Monday April 28 saw Taos-based climate consultant Bill Brown presenting “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” of climate change for Taos at the Kit Carson board room.
On Tuesday April 29 a county commissioner and attorney from Mora were at the Mural Room to discuss Mora’s ordinance banning fracking and the concept of community rights ordinances. And last but not least, on Thursday (May Day) evening Rivera Sun led a community discussion at the Unity Church about “where do we go from here”.
The Global Climate Convergence events were well attended in spite of the wind and even snow. These events brought together people who have been thinkers and doers in the fields of clean energy creation and promotion and healthy food and environmental security and sustainability in this area for years, and many people who want to learn more.
They highlighted the resources that we have in Taos, including elders of the Native American tradition who can teach us different ways of looking at things, and the wealth of literary talent that we have in this community.
We came out of the final meeting more optimistic that Taos has the potential to be on the cutting edge of thriving and surviving communities in the years to come; that we have a lot to learn but are already “ahead of the game” compared to many other places.