(Un)common courage in confronting the climate crisis

The Boston Common has a long history as a place  where social activism and change can flourish.  It is therefore not surprising that  Massachusetts college based climate activists chose this most historic of public spaces for a “Sleep Out”  since the Common is right in front of the Massachusetts State House and this particular campaign is focused on provoking legislative action in favor of clean energy.

These activists, and prominent guests and supporters like Dr. James Hansen the most prominent climate science in the United States, made the decision to stick out on the Common through the night despite the Boston Police showing up to issue citations for being in the Common after the 11 PM “closure” of the park.

The number of people who are willing to publicly call for civil disobedience of this type is far greater than those willing to undertake it.  The willingness of these activists to take a stand, despite negative consequences, is worth noting.

As a poet of an earlier generation noted “Things fall apart; the centre can not hold” when “The best lack all conviction while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.”  It is always a good sign when the situation goes the other way; when good intentions and goals are found among those who are full of passionate intensity.

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