Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Grassroots Beginning

Long Island Climate Action Network (LI-CAN), a program of Renewable Energy Long Island, had more than 40 people turn out for a day-long training session on grassroots action on global warming and climate change. The crowd and presenters were all quite impressive and I'll be writing a lot more about what we learned, about the presenters themselves and what various groups--local action networks--that will be springing up to try to push Long Islanders into more environmental awareness. But it was a long day, though it passed quickly, and so I'll mention just one aspect for now.

Among the crowd of mostly older people of all kinds of backgrounds and experiences were four teenagers, who have already begun wonderful projects on their own. I'm hoping to interview them and write a lot about what they've accomplished, what they expect of others and how they see their future. They were all really dynamic kids whose parents are justifiably proud of them.

And one other point: Early in the day, I was a little worried about the direction of the meeting when Pete started talking about dandelions. But I should have known better. He was a very good observer and contributor to the breakout session I participated in, and outstanding on the matter of including all and respecting the views and experiences of others. What could have been just touchy-feely stuff was actually great advice wrapped in gentle language, and a very impressive contribution to the day's lessons.

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