In our latest installment of the 350 Writers initiative, we’d also like to share a wonderful new website,, dedicated to bringing together poets to take action in their own way for October 24th.  In co-creator Adam Roberts’ words, "On this site, 350 poets will each contribute a poem responding to climate change in the days leading up to the 24th. As an additional constraint– mirroring the real political obstacles and shortage of time we face– each poem must be 3.5 lines in length." In these last few days of hard work, the unexpected challenges as we plan our rallies, and finally the joy at seeing collective action united around the globe – we hope that these words, and the words of our latest writer, Rebecca Solnit, will bring you strength and inspiration.

Rebecca Solnit is one of America’s leading essayists, and a deep-hearted activist too. Here’s her 350 words–definitely suitable for firing up a rally!  (And check out her new book, Paradise Built In Hell, which is getting rave reviews–and is one of the most hopeful books we’ve seen in a long time)

On the Side of the Bears and the Future
by Rebecca Solnit

Remember that twenty thousand polar bears are on your side. Unfortunately this is not an army of trained bears who will chase down the coal burners to, well, talk with them; they won’t even blockade coal mines or Chevron; that’s your job. But you are on the side of the bears, and of the marmots, the glaciers, the creatures who benefit from those glaciers, human and otherwise. Maybe a hundred million Pacific salmon are with you, the salmon that where I live hardly returned last winter to the streams where they are born, spawn and die, because the warming ocean produces less of their food. You are on the side of butterflies, coastlines, farmers, and the tropics. You are in the majority on this issue because of the tens of billions yet unborn who could live decent lives over the next several centuries if we get radical in this one. It will take radical measures to preserve the world as we know it; but at this moment in time you’re also a conservative, conserving the continuity of all things, by setting us on the path to getting carbon back to 350 parts per million in the atmosphere.

What needs to be most radical is your imagination. Scientists have described the inferno this world could become with runaway carbon levels. Will we let it happen because we could not imagine these glaciers melting, these droughts and floods and heat waves, these hurricanes tearing up these coastal cities, these seas dying, these croplands failing, these famines taking away millions? It’s happening now. Believe the scientists; believe what you do matters; believe that the time to act is now. The carbon corporations and their purchased politicians want to shut down your imagination, want you to believe that nothing crucial hangs in the balance, or they offer tiny gestures of mock compliance. Yeah, I will take the bus. And I’ll fight the power. Everything will be different, but we don’t yet know how, because we are making that decision now, with imagination or without.

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