The Word-to-Action retreat will proceed in October even though, sadly, our poet friends from the United States will most likely be unable to attend due to travel restrictions. I understand the timing is poor, but the climate is going ahead with warming and the coronavirus won’t be the last thing to slow us down and muck up plans.
Is this really a new normal? Then we must stop waiting to get “back to normal.” Maybe we need to live in this new normal: staying put more, less trips to convenience stores, less intercontinental flights for face-to-face and more video conferences. Maybe we like some parts of new normal: we cook more, buy local, eat more veggies, consume less junk food and stuff we have no room for, make less trash, or do we? Are we ready to return to normal or do we want to stop the next disruptor of our new normal by keeping some fresh habits?
You may ask about the economy and jobs. The economy needs to transform too and will. We cannot wait on regulation alone to trigger the changes. Our lifestyle changes will instigate changes in business too, alongside campaigns on social media, in the press and on the streets.
In her interview with NPR, the German climate activist, Luisa-Marie Neubauer said, “We can still learn a lot from the coronavirus crisis. We can take crises seriously. We can listen to science. We can come together internationally. We can show unimagined solidarity for one another. We can make politics intergenerational: The young stand up for the old — now the old can stand up for the young in terms of climate.”
If you are a poet living in Europe or the UK, please consider our retreat in October (11-18 in Liechtenstein) to workshop climate action poems and perform them on the 18th. Please write to me in the contact section at cwittmeyer.com. You could even join virtually for a workshop with some of our US friends.