The Climate Change Thread


Hello Friar (I almost called you Friar Tuck; I just watched an old Robin Hood movie and must have the beekeeper on my mind; I mean no disrespect to you.)

I grew up in parts of the Midwest where in the past, there had been a lot of lead and zinc mining, so there were these giant deep pits left over in different areas. The pits filled with rainwater and people swam in them (they were called “The Pits”). Until of course, someone a few years back called attention to the ill-health effects of that. At any rate, I can relate a bit to mining towns. Have you ever seen the movie “Matewan”? It’s about coal miners in W. Va. in the 1920s. Worth seeing. (I went 15-20 years seeing on average one movie a year, so I’ve been making up for it in recent months. Just watched “Babel” today, really effective at portraying human alienation across Moroccan, Japanese, Mexican, and American cultures.)

Also, I saw a headline (haven’t read the article) to the effect that when coal mines close, the women go to work, and I was just wondering what kind of jobs are available to women where you live? (Not that I’m thinking of moving there; just curious.)


I love the work you’re doing Thomas; I briefly checked out the Plant with Purpose website and will take a closer look later. Planting trees and addressing environmental issues at the same time as alleviating poverty at the same time as feeding “spiritual hunger,” that’s definitely on the right track in my opinion. I was in Puerto Penasco, Mexico on the Sea of Cortez earlier this year; hadn’t been there in many years, and other than a row of vacation rentals and hotels for Americanos, well-maintained in comparison to the rest of the town, since tourism drives the economy, it hadn’t changed much. Still very impoverished (though less so than other parts of Mexico, I’m sure), some sections having to haul water yet, little infrastructure like reliable trash pick-up, not all that many paved roads. And still colorful, literally and metaphorically. Any work going on in that area by your org? I know P.P. isn’t a forested area, but just wondering. They could use some trees for sure, the wind-blown sands and dust can’t be very healthy.

Yes, kudos to the work you’re doing; it’s these kind of efforts that give me hope. Thanks for sharing.


Grace and peace!
Friar is fine…and since I am bald and starting to get a bit “round”…Friar Tuck is okay too! I also swam in open pits full of rainwater as a youngster; some of our above ground strip mines leave such places. But we used them more as places to meet up smoke weed, drink beer, build bonfires, and make out. We did swim there from time to time (usually drunk, high, and naked).
I don’t recall seeing the movie Matewan, though I have been to the town several times. I have heard about it though. I quit watching movies after my wife passed away. She loved watching them. It is not about missing her or another like that. I don’t like movies because they don’t have commercials. I love reading so much that I enjoy breaks, like commercials, so I can read a book and watch a show without missing anything. I mean, movies on normal channels are okay, but HBO and stuff like that…nah.
And our womenfolk here just stay home and raise the young’uns. Oh, and cook and clean. They don’t work.
(Just kidding…just kidding). Women here have even less opportunities than the men so the ones who don’t have a child by age 18 leave the state for better locations. And, unfortunately, that is not very many.
Nice talking to you!
Pace E Bene.



No work in or around Puerto Penasco by any group I am involved in, as that area of the lower Colorado River is a dry, and alkaline desert delta geography. As you would imagine, reforestation efforts are usually focused on areas with sufficient rainfall and growing cycles to be effective. Still, I have heard of an effort to plant parts of the Colorado River delta upstream from there.
As far as poverty, it surprises many when I mention that Mexico is the world’s tenth largest economy ( it is teetering between becoming tenth and may still be only the eleventh, not sure here), and the annual per capita GDP is somewhere around $8,700 last I checked. After spending time in Haiti and other countries in our hemisphere that are much worse, Mexico does not seem as poor anymore.
Thank you for your kind words!



Integralist Gail Hochachka’s research paper titled “On Matryoshkas and meaning-making: Understanding the Plasticity of Climate Change” has been published in the prestigious “theoretically and empirically rigorous” international journal Global Environmental Change. Matryoshkas are the nested Russian dolls, which she uses as her analytical framework, and as a metaphor for holarchy. She uses a modified version of Terri O’Fallon’s STAGES assessment, and applies it to a case study of local perspectives on climate change in El Salvador.

‘Plasticity’ refers to the different meanings and perspectives people bring to the issue of climate change. Perspective-taking capacity is largely missing from the climate change literature, as is addressing human interior realities in general, and this work is a step in addressing that, and more.

The Daily Evolver did an interview with Gail and Terri on this (“Climate Change and Stages”), and you can learn a lot more by reading the really substantive paper at