Grooving on Childish Gambino’s climate crisis anthem “Feels Like Summer,” plus latest National Governors Association’s “Get Outdoors” webinar. What Are The Confluence Accords? And meet climate change artist Mary Mattingly.
Grooving on Climate Crisis Anthem “Feels Like Summer,” National Governors Association’s “Get Outdoors” Webinar, What Are The Confluence Accords? Meet Climate Change Artist Mary Mattingly
NATIONAL GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION RELEASES WEBINAR ON STATE STRATEGIES TO INCREASE CONSERVATION AND RECREATIONAL ACCESS
The Climate Daily recently reported on the importance of getting people outdoors in order to get them more committed to fighting climate change. We reported on groups like Outdoor Afro, and initiatives like the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership that encourage folks of all stripes and activity levels to partake of the great outdoors, and by doing so become more invested in saving the climate.
The Biden Administration announced an ambitious 30×30 goal to preserve 30% of land and water by 2030 to combat climate change back in the early days of his administration.
To that end, the National Governors Association recently held a discussion of the 30×30 goal with an emphasis on how states can partner with non-profits to enhance land conservation and stewardship efforts. And of course there was also talks on how said efforts can also provide recreational, economic and equity benefits.
They packaged it all nicely in a webinar titled, “State Strategies to Increase Conservation and Recreational Access.” And it’s available for us citizens to enjoy, too.
Presenters include speakers from the Nature Conservancy, the President and CEO of the Chesapeake Conservancy discussed best practices and strategies adopted by Chesapeake Bay states, specifically how each state committed to land conservation goals in the Bay Agreements aimed at improving water quality.
Whether you’re a nerd, a Blerd or a policy wonk like me, or NOT, the State Strategies to Increase Land Conservation and Recreational Access is an hour eighteen minutes of worthwhile viewing.
In the NGA webinar you described, the moderator kept referring to “The Confluence Accords.” So of course I had to research it. I’m glad I did. If you all out there don’t know about it, you should.
The Confluence Accords can be summarized by this catchy phrase from the website: It’s time to use our outdoor voices for the outdoors. They were first drafted in January 2018 and signed by eight original states, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming.
Again, based on the concept that bringing people to the great outdoors is a guaranteed way to get them involved in climate protection, the Confluence Accords seeks to establish a reason for states to promote outdoor recreation in a way that state leaders can hear it.
The outdoor recreation industry employs 7.6 million people and generates close to $900 billion in consumer spending in the U.S. annually. The Accords argues that, with the proper actions and mindset, and starting with innovative conservation and stewardship practices, the states can build a stronger economy by nurturing the outdoor recreation industry. Furthermore, By promoting the practices of the four pillars listed in this agreement, they can protect and sustain our water, air, land, and wildlife for current and future generations for the betterment of the economy.
The four pillars of the Confluence Accords are:
CONSERVATION AND STEWARDSHIP
- EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE TRAINING
- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
- PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Five additional states have signed onto the Confluence accords: Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico and Virginia. Check out the Confluence Accords on the Confluence of States website. Links to both can be found in the Deeper Dive section to this story at theclimate.org/episodes. Also if your state isn’t a signatory to the Climate Accords, why isn’t it?
GROOVING TO A CLASSIC CLIMATE CHANGE JAM, “FEELS LIKE SUMMER” BY CHILDISH GAMBINO
I have two reasons for why I’m just now only hearing Childish Gambino’s “Feels Like Summer.” One I listen to too much NPR on the radio, and two I’ve kind of been busy with this whole climate change thing. Which is ironic, because that’s exactly what “the creator” is discussing in this vibalicious tune with lyrics like:
“Seven billion souls that move around the sun / Rolling faster, faster and not a chance to slow down”
Colten Dom of The New Twenties summed it up best:
As a standalone song, “Feels Like Summer” is fantastic, a hallmark for modern Climate Music in its deliberate switch-up, the devastated vocals drowning beneath a glorified summer soundscape.
I think Gambino is trying to top his feat with “This is America,” where he distracted us from horrific lyrics with astonishingly funky and creative dancers and dance moves. The incomprehensible number of celebrities featured in the music video juxtaposed against the environmentally-focused lyrics in the video distracts from the song. A testament to how some are so focused on celebrities and our personal lives that we forget more pressing issues in the world, such as climate change. Did he succeed?
Of the 237 Million people have listened to the song on YouTube since its release in 2018, 139K bothered to comment. One YouTube commenter wrote, “I’ve never heard a song that’s this damn chill, yet has lyrics and symbolism that fill me with existential horror at the same time.”
CLIMATE CHANGE ARTIST, MARY MATTINGLY
You know what surprising thing I just discovered? That New York City has a law on the books making it illegal to grow or pick food on public land.
That’s right. Otherwise, you’d turn a place like Central Park into a commons, a place where the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth, or a place to grow food.
That’s exactly my point. And climate change artist and champion Mary Mattingly’s, too, when she launched her 2016 exhibition, Swale. Swale is a barge-turned-floating edible landscape. It’s an ongoing public art piece-slash-vigilante garden which invites communities to enjoy the view and pick their own produce. It’s both an indictment of urban food deserts and a floating “commons.”
Mattingly floated Swale on a boat precisely to circumvent that NYC law I talked about making it illegal to grow or pick food on public land.
Says Mattingly on her website, “I grew up in an agricultural town outside of NYC where the drinking water was polluted,” “That framed my understanding of clean water as an increasingly rare resource that needed to be protected. Swale came out of a need to connect with and rely upon New York’s waterways and public land in order to better care for it, and by proximity, each other.”
Why does this matter to us? Swale was so successful and impactful that the NYC parks commissioner opened a pilot-program, edible garden in Concrete Plant Park in the Bronx. It’s the first time NYC public parks is allowing people to publicly forage in more than a century. More cities should open limited public spaces to agriculture. It could solve problems of food deserts, or at the very least reconnect neighborhoods to nature.