Saturday, September 24, 2011

Climate Change Poem 10

Rainbow Springs, March 2006

Two global events are occurring on September 24, 2011:

1. Moving Planet, a worldwide rally to demand solutions to the climate crisis.

2. 100 Thousand Poets for Change, a demonstration/celebration of poetry to promote serious social, environmental, and political change.

I thought: Why not do both?

Barring an emergency, I am posting from midnight to midnight, one poem per hour (at any time during that hour). That's starting from 00:00-01:00 and ending at 23:00-24:00 Eastern Time today.

All the poems are sonnets. Each takes its cue from an article dealing with climate change. The articles had been posted beginning on September 15 -- the date of the 24-hour Climate Reality Project that inspired me to do this -- to September 19, the day I drafted the twenty-fourth poem.

The poem for Hour 10 takes its cue from "Climate change tests Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness" (Florence Poblete-Enriquez, UN News and Media Radio, Sept. 16, 2011).

A Measure of Happiness

Hard cash no longer makes the world go 'round
As indices of nations once implied.
Bhutan has measured progress and has found
That nine dimensions form a useful guide.

They factor happiness in this array.
Well-being, time use, culture also rank.
But global warming threatens them today.
A glacial lake prepares to burst its banks

And inundate the villagers below.
Bhutan depends on glaciers. As they melt
The Himalayan valleys feel the blow
Of what the warmer temperatures have dealt.

Bhutan, which shows the world another way,
Now works to cope with changes of today.

Audio (1:10):

Part of the Solution website (chosen at random)
Earth911, "a privately owned, for-profit company that specializes in providing consumers with accessible and actionable recycling information across the country."
Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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