The weather can be poetic after all

I saw this poem the Poetry Daily e-newsletter today. I didn’t know weather can be a poetic subject after all. Well, now I know. 

And this poem is as moody as the weather, no? 


Climate Reply

Weather as if to repeat. Weather to read a name. 
As if to ask a question, weather to strip the mane,

to feed the cats, to sleep. Go inside, weather to weep, split the maw.

Plant the plants, weather to eat the dead, their roots as if to speak.

Weather to number the names, hold the sheets 
over bodies, blind as blue.        Weather as if to flame.

Scrape the storm of its howl. Cellar as if to swarm, night as if to rot.

Ground warm with flesh, ears as if to watch. Cover the eyes 
with weather, weigh them down with skin.

The dead’s steady hum, weather as if to win.  


Trey Moody
Thought That Nature 
Sarabande Books

Copyright © 2013 by Trey Moody
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.


Children and climate change

A special focus on children must be given when addressing the issue of climate change. According to this article in Our World, children in East Asia are more vulnerable to climate change than adults for the following reasons:

1) In terms of health, children are physically weaker because they have less developed bodies than adults

2) Psychologically, children are also easily affected because of their age and limited life experience

3) Social impacts of climate change also affect children especially in education, as children are usually forced by parents of families hit by natural disasters to quit schooling in order to help the family rebuild their lives.

The article gives a ray of hope, though, because it points out that children are optimistic about facing climate change and doing something about it. Some possess knowledge on how the physical impacts of climate change are related with institutional and social impacts.

Moreover, the article also reminds us that educating children early on about the environment develops their love and concern for it, which in turn, will motivate them to protect our world.

Preference for eco-friendly products is on the rise in SG

This article from Channel News Asia says that preference for eco-friendly products is on the rise in Singapore. That’s good news!

The article cautions, though, that eco-friendly consciousness “will take a long time”.  Also, the preference for green products seems to be primary motivated by economic factors, such as saving energy. It’s good to note, though, that “eco-retail, fashion, food and beverage are also on the rise, even if slowly.”

Let’s also hope, too, that this won’t lead to the phenomenon known as greenwashing. Fingers crossed!

For the women who produce between 60 to 80% of our food: Happy Mother’s Day!

A fact from World Food Programme:

In most developing countries women produce between 60 and 80% of the food, but they own less than 2% of the world’s titled land.

The site didn’t specify the source of the info, but I think this is something I’ve seen in eco feminist Vandana Shiva‘s writings.

So I believe in this fact that WFP is disseminating.

Besides, I, too, live in a developing country, so I see this fact with my own eyes everyday.

Male fisherfolk regard the contributions of their wives as insignificant in the greater scheme of things, for example. The way their wives clean up their fishing gear before their fishing expeditions, the way their wives supply them with food and look after the kids, the way their wives supplement the overall household income by selling little things like rice cakes—all these are insignificant to the bigger picture. But of course, we know otherwise. Without these contributions by their wives, the household will crumble.

Same goes with farming.  Women contribute largely to food production in the same way female fisherfolk contribute to the success of fishing expeditions. They till the land the way they would take care of their children, their families. They do backbreaking work to live.

Closer to home, in the urban setting, being a housewife as a fulltime job is deemed questionable. It seems to have no quantifiable contribution to the household since housewives don’t earn salaries. However, running a household uses as much human capacity and skill as an office worker–even more. A housewife is a wife, a mother, a manager, a purchaser, a secretary, a cleaner, a cook, a go-to woman and a lot more.

So what do we do with this fact? I believe WFP is doing a good job disseminating information like this, and it is up to us, in our communities, do act accordingly. Do we give women 98% of the titled land that is not theirs? Or do we start small by recognizing their valuable contributions to how the world works?

On Mother’s Day, I would like to thank the millions of women for the food we eat.

The key to unlocking the climate change solution

I am inclined to think that if we’ll all take time to understand the Rural and Indigenous Women’s Statement on Climate Change and be humble enough to accept it, then that’s like possessing the key to unlocking the climate change solution.

Here’s my favorite quote from the statement, because it pinpoints where environmental damage and climate change began:

We believe that climate change is a result of the historical and unsustainable exploitation and concentration of access to global natural resources by the northern countries and transnational corporations (TNCs) in the name of development.

On my second read, I realized that this is also important, because it calls for a holistic solution, and not just a solution hinging on humans managing resources as if they’re separate from nature. That is, a solution cloaked in a materialistic and purely economic view of the environment:

We confirm that mitigation and adaptation measures detached from the context and development aspirations of rural and indigenous women instead renege on commitments to biodiversity and sustainable development, poverty reduction and human rights.

We believe that any long term solution to the escalating climate crisis should acknowledge historical responsibility and ecological debt, grounded on the respect and protection of life and diversity and promote and fulfill justice and social equity between and within nations, peoples and sexes.