Beyond any impact next year’s Great March for Climate Action may have on the climate crisis itself, eight months of communal living will have a profound effect on us marchers. I pondered this recently after an abrupt, almost jarring end to a wonderful evening of food and fellowship with some friends and fellow marchers.
Isolation is not only accepted as normal and natural in our modern world, it is institutionalized. Whether in our office cubicle, private vehicle, well-secured residence or in front of one of the many screens that dominate so much of our day, most of us are physically (and spiritually) cut-off from each other most of the time. The day itself is isolated into specific units, rejecting the natural glide of the hours from morning to afternoon into evening through night.
I remember being at a party in Ireland years ago. After hours of conversation, music and beer drinking at the pub, two dozen of us wandered off to someone’s home. We sat around the room, in a circle, close together, gradually unwinding, saying little, singing softly, where only an hour earlier we had belted out fierce songs of freedom and rebellion in a crowded, smoke-filled pub, straining our voices to be heard, straining our ears to hear. It was as if our bodies and spirits knew you couldn’t end the night with a rousing chorus of “The Rising of the Moon.” You couldn’t raise your final pint to the sky, curse the British, and call it a day. No, the cycle of the hours demanded a spiraling down of energy, energy that desired to descend even as it had risen – in the camaraderie of like-minded souls.
That’s not something one does in one’s car, or hotel room, or in front of a screen. But together, in a communal setting, where individual and collective dreams, fears, and aspirations find voice and reassurance that they are not alone in the universe. That is where the cathartic closure of the day’s cycle finds a satisfying conclusion.
Sure, we all want and need some space, some privacy. But when older homes with big front porches are replaced by suburban boxes with big front garages and a deck in back surrounded by a privacy fence, it is clear that we are no longer designing a world where our connectivity with others is a high priority. We are desiging a world built on fear.
The rythym of life is most meaningful and wholesome when shared with one’s family, one’s tribe, one’s village. Next year’s Great March for Climate Action creates a migratory village, a fantastic experiment in how to live well with others, how to compromise, how to set aside differences to achieve a common goal. I am eager to see what we can do to transform both our world and our individual lives.
On this week’s Fallon Forum, we’ve got lots of topics on the docket, although I am not sure which day we will cover which topic:
– The latest developments in Big Ag vs Iowa’s water quality
– Is DHS neglecting the education of children of the Iowa Juvenile Home
– Good news on the green jobs front
– Court corruption in coal country
Tuesday, Peter Clay joins us to discuss efforts to save endangered elephants and rhinos. Also, Andrew Rasmussen with the Des Moines Education Association discusses “core curriculum.”
Wednesday, we visit with Madi Delk about “Adolescent Anarchy” and the upcoming production of “Lord of the Flies” at The Des Moines Playhouse.
Thursday, my guests are Ron Yarnell and Anne Kinzel.
Friday, Dr. Charles Goldman and I co-host a discussion on medical malpractice. Trying medical malpractice cases in the civil courts produces neither justice nor improves the quality of American medical care. So says our guest for today, Lawrence Ferguson, who has a unique perspective on the issue. Now a member of the plaintiff’s bar, he formerly was a VP in charge of claims for the Missouri Medical Insurance Corporation.
Join us live, Monday-Friday, from 12:00-1:00 pm on the Fallon Forum website. Call-in at (855) 244-0077 and add your voice to the dialogue. Video and audio-only podcasts are available after the program. Also, a rebroadcast of Tuesday’s Fallon Forum can be heard on KHOI 89.1 (Ames) Wednesdays at 5:00 pm, and KPVL 89.1 (Postville) Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. Thanks!
Fallon Forum by the numbers:
– Online audience: 1,670 per program
– Website traffic: 13,000 unique visitors (43,000 total visits) per month
– Weekly e-mail list: 5,700
– Facebook universe: 5,000 on personal page, 4,964 on professional page
– KHOI 89.1 Ames
– KPVL 89.1 Postville
August 29 – Iowa Interfaith Power & Light Annual Conference (Granger)
This conference will be held at Jester Park Lodge, 11407 NW Jester Park Drive. Keynote speaker is Dr. Mark A. Torgerson. Kimberly Dickey will also speak. There is a $35 registration fee. For more details and to register please visit here, go to news, then upcoming events.
August 29 – Green Drinks (Des Moines) Join excellent conversation about energy and the environment over food and drink at Gateway Market and Cafe, 2002 Woodland Ave from 5:30-7:30 pm. For more details, see www.greendrinks.org.
August through September – The Nuclear Neighborhoods Project (Iowa City)
Various exhibits, lectures and films will be held in the U of I Hardin Library for Health Sciences, local libraries and sites, and in the Iowa Memorial Union. Exhibits feature artistic and scientific interpretations of our nuclear legacy by invited artists, U of I faculty, staff, and Iowans. Please visit here for further details.
September 2 – Rally to Improve Birth (Des Moines)
Join ImprovingBirth.org to call attention to the healthcare crisis around U.S. maternity care. On Labor Day, stand simultaneously with thousands of people nationwide in peaceful gatherings to support better, safe, more respectful maternity care, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon, State Capitol West Mall Area, 1007 East Grand Ave. Visit here for more information about the organization and here for more information about the rally.
September 5 – November 15 – Iowa College and University Climate Tour
Rob Hogg will be touring Iowa colleges and universities this fall to speak about climate change. Stops include the University of Iowa, Iowa State, University of Northern Iowa, Grinnell College and others. Please visit www.robhogg.org for further details. If you or someone you know would like to schedule an appearance by Rob at an Iowa college or university, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 14 – Latinos Unidos of Iowa Award Ceremony (Des Moines)
To be held at Grace United Methodist Cottage Church, 3700 Cottage Grove, 5:30 – 8:00 pm. Tickets are on sale now. Dinner and entertainment included. Proceeds fund scholarships for Latino students. Contact Lena at email@example.com , call 279-6840, or visit Latinos Unidos of Iowa on Facebook or Twitter.
September 14 – The Other Side of the Coin: White Anti-racist Thinking and Action (Des Moines)
Led by Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey of Drake’s Philosophy and Religion Department, this workshop will be held at First Unitarian Church, 1800 Bell Avenue, 8:30-4:30. Followup Wednesday sessions will be held September 18, October 16, November 20, and December 18. Please apply here.
September 14-22 – “Confliction” Photo Exhibit and Video Installation (DM)
Local photographer Ben Easter was featured in the May, June, July issue of DSM Magazine highlighting his photos of children with incarcerated parents. On the following dates and times: Sept. 14, 10 am – 7 pm; Sept. 15, Noon – 5 pm; Sept. 20, 7 pm – 9 pm; Sept. 21, 10 am – 7 pm; and Sept./22, Noon – 5 pm, Ben’s work will be displayed at the old Polk County Jail, 110 6th Avenue. Please visit here for more details.
September 25 – A Discussion on Faith, Climate Change, Public Health and Social Justice (Hiawatha)
This event at Prairiewoods, will feature Marianne Comfort, Education Coordinator for the Institute Justice Team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Light dinner provided. To participate, please RSVP to Prairiewoods at 319-395-6700.
September 28 – Perspectives on Feeding the World (Des Moines)
MFSA’s Fall Statewide Gathering begins at 9:45 am, Walnut Hills United Methodist Church, 12321 Hickman Road. The program will feature a panel who will explore various aspects of agricultural policies and practices in Iowa and beyond. Panelists include Dr. Neil Harl, Carolyn Uhlenhake-Walker, Maria Van Der Maaten, Dr. Greg Lamka and Barb Kalbach. The panel will be moderated by Jay Howe.
October 11 – Iowa Environmental Council Annual Conference (Des Moines)
This conference will be held at Drake University. There is a fee of $50 for members and other amounts for different categories. For more details and to register please visit here.
October 16 – Occupy the World Food Prize Events (Des Moines)
Jim Hightower, Texas author, will be the keynote speaker, beginning at 7:00 pm at First United Methodist Church, 10th & Pleasant. His topic will be “From Factory Farms to GMO’s, the Upchuck Rebellion is Taking Root with the Good Food Movement.”
October 19 – Contra Dance at Odd Fellows Hall (Des Moines)
Contra-Indications is hosting a contra dance at Odd Fellows Hall, 2904 Kingman Blvd, 8:00-11:00 pm, with lesson at 7:30 pm. Live music by Marc & Brandi Janssen duo from Iowa City; Reid Miller from Madison, WI as caller. $10 adults; free under 12; $25 family maximum. Visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 19 – Radical Democracy & Agriculture (Des Moines)
The Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF) will host the Jane Bibber Memorial Symposium and Strong Feisty Woman Award Luncheon, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 1800 Bell Avenue. For more information visit here.
October 22-28 – Remember Hurricane Sandy
During the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, to remember those who died, contact Rob Hogg if you or someone you know would like to hold an event, big or small. Climate disasters have real consequences for real people. Email Rob at email@example.com.
November 9 – Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit (IES) – Des Moines
The IES mission is to bring businesses of diverse backgrounds together to share, learn, and celebrate the immigrant entrepreneurship experience and contribution to the overall community. The Summit will be held at the Olmstead Center, Drake University, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Click here to register and for more information.
March 1–November 1, 2014 – Great March for Climate Action (America)
One thousand climate patriots are organizing to march 3000 miles across the country next year, from Los Angeles, CA to Washington, DC to demand action on climate change. To get involved, call (855) 35-MARCH or firstname.lastname@example.org.
April, 2014 – Climate Convergence Rally – Raleigh, NC
The mission of the Climate Convergence on Raleigh project is to educate, inspire, and empower North Carolinians regarding the climate crisis. People will converge on Raleigh from across the state to attend an annual rally and participate in educational panels and workshops focused on climate change and ways to stop it. Click here for more information.