These days I get to move in and out of weird circles and meet some pretty extraordinary people. With my husband deep in the world of writing, I have the absolute joy (and at times anxiety-filled doubts) about meeting amazing writers. Breakfast with Melissa Banks, lunch with Carolyn Forche, dinner with Lydia Davis, a chat with Claudia Rankine and G.C. Waldrop, and drinks with Garth Greenwell. As soon as we finish, I feel compelled to dive into a book, well 12 of them.
Now that I am in the world of climate change and climate action, I find myself getting all giddy around a whole new set of luminaries. I am compiling a list of climate action figures. In the past year I have had close encounters with Elizabeth Kolbert, Katherine Hayhoe, José Lobo, and Halldór Björnsson.
When it comes to climate change, perhaps the Biggest Action Figure of them All is Dr. James Hansen.
He is best known for his research in climatology, his 1988 Congressional testimony on climate change that helped raise broad awareness of global warming, and his advocacy of action to avoid dangerous climate change. In recent years he has become a climate activist to mitigate the effects of climate change, on a few occasions leading to his arrest. -Wikipedia
I heard Dr. Hansen speak twice before, both times at the Citizens Climate Lobby annual international conference. He was swamped by eco-fans; I was too shy to elbow my way in and I worried I might step on someone’s sandaled clad feet or get snagged on someone’s 100% natural hemp poncho.
I will get nice and close to Dr. Hansen when he speaks at Arcadia University on Friday March 4 as part the regional gathering of Citizens Climate Lobby. Armed with my audio recorder, I may even grab an interview with the Hansen himself.
As the leader of my local Citizens Climate Lobby chapter, I will attend the conference AND on Saturday March 5 I will perform a special presentation: Confessions of a Climate Action Figure. It is a comedy routine about the weird new world of climate activism, well weird and new to me.
If you are able to come to the conference, which is right outside of Philadelphia, check out the website for more information. Come and see Dr. Hansen open for me 😛