Greetings, Gus fans!
How are you adapting to the reality of September? Here at Gus HQ I’ve been fighting off colds as rain pours down outside, so reality has definitely hit. Happily, fall also brings bounty from my vegetable garden, plus extra snuggles from our weather-averse Feline in Chief.
Still, I’ve found myself thinking back to the summer. I spent a couple of August weeks with family in Europe, and saw a lot that made me hopeful: plentiful wind farms, flocks of sheep grazing beneath fields of solar panels (ok, one flock in one field, but I bet there are more!), popular and efficient rail systems, local organic eats at every turn, and ads all over the London tube for an app that helps neighbours and businesses share surplus food instead of wasting it.
In short, I saw the impact of individuals and communities making large and small changes to live more sustainably. And while Greta Thunberg and the rest headed to next week’s UN Climate Action Summit are right that we need to speed up the pace and scale of the changes we’re making, I found what I saw in Europe motivating. It’s easy to be dragged down by endless pipeline fights and news of the latest climate-change-induced or -exacerbating disaster. Sometimes reflecting on things we’re already doing right can be good inspiration for the hard fights ahead.
And all that, of course, is what Asparagus is about: telling the large and small stories of sustainability, refusing to shy away from hard realities, while taking time to appreciate existing efforts to reduce the harms we’re doing to the planet and each other. Like in the stories we’ve published since last month’s newsletter:
- Dana Poblete’s moving essay “In Urban Nature, I’ve Found a Home Away from Home”
- An examination of the origins, harms, and future of palm oil
- An essay from Trevor Jang about technology’s role in Indigenous self-determination
- Our Black Sheep Parent’s look at how forest schools nurture young environmentalists
- And a delicious Q&A with the founders of Seattle’s farm-to-table Filipino restaurant, Archipelago.
Those who subscribe to the print magazine may already be familiar with these stories. (The rest of you: Subscribe already!) Now they’re online, please share them with your e-reading friends. And stay tuned, we’ve got plenty of original online content heading your way soon, including new columns from our Black Sheep Parent and the Environmentalist from Hell.
With electioneering underway in both Canada and the US, Brexit drama in Europe, continuing unrest in Hong Kong, and brewing conflict in the Middle East, the climate summit will have its work cut out to top next week’s news agenda. Along with 300+ outlets worldwide, we’ve joined Covering Climate Now, a partnership to promote and share journalism about the climate emergency between now and Monday’s summit. In addition to new stories, we’ll be sharing some of our favourite climate-related articles from the Gus archives on our social media. So if you’re not following us yet, now’s the time to start! (We’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.)
One last thing. If you’ve come this far, you’re probably a reader, so Covering Climate Now will be right up your alley. But are you a marcher? A demonstrator? If not, this would be a great week to become one. Global Climate Strike events are planned around the world, from this Friday through September 27. Find one near you, and please attend if you can. Together, we can make climate the biggest news story. As it should be.
See you at the strike,
Editrix in Chief, Asparagus Magazine