Daily Archives: May 2, 2020

How to Combat Climate Depression | Bill McKibben | The New Yorker

Photograph by Ike Edeani for The New Yorker

By Bill McKibben   April 30, 2020

If there existed some kind of gauge for measuring ambient sadness, I imagine the needle would now be pinned to the far end of the red. Sme of us are mourning the deaths of those we loved; more are terrified for the ailing; more still lie abed trying to figure out whether their job will last another month, or what to do about the one they just lost. The Times reports that the pandemic has become a “grim slog” for New Yorkers. Even away from the epicenter, the pervading uncertainty brews a fog that makes the future seem drab.

But here’s the worse news: even before the coronavirus descended, that’s how the world looked to an awful lot of Americans, especially younger ones. Seventh Generation, the recycled-paper-towel and household-products company, commissioned a survey, released in April. It showed that seventy-one per cent of millennials and sixty-seven per cent of Generation Z feel that climate change has negatively affected their mental health. How upset were they? Four in five people in the eighteen-to-twenty-three age cohort “aren’t planning—or didn’t want—to have children of their own as a result of climate change.” Even if the survey were off by fifty per cent, that would still be an astonishing number.

I spend a lot of time with young people, and I find much the same thing: they’re far more aware of the science behind climate change than their elders are, and they know what it means. They understand that if we can’t check the rise in temperatures soon, we will see an ongoing series of crises. In fact, those have already begun in large parts of the world. Year after year on the West Coast, summer has become the season of wildfire smoke, lingering for weeks in the air above our major cities. We’ve always had hurricanes, but they drop more rain than we’ve ever seen before. If you anticipated that your life was going to be punctuated by one major disaster after another, would you be eager to have kids? It’s worth remembering that the last big novel disease to hit our hemisphere—the Zika virus, which caused microcephaly in some babies—prompted the health ministers of several countries to urge women to forgo pregnancy for a year or more.

…(read more).

Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras Virtually Presents Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”

Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras BYSO

Apr 27, 2020

Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras’ students spread JOY through music-making from their homes. ABOUT BOSTON YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS: Widely regarded as one of the country’s finest youth orchestras, BYSO places musical excellence at the heart of all BYSO activities.

BYSO’s mission is to encourage musical excellence in a professional and supportive environment by providing the highest-quality orchestra training and performance opportunities to qualified musicians, grades K–12, while making its programs accessible to underserved communities through financial assistance and outreach. BYSO offers a continuum of orchestra and ensemble training to hundreds of students ages 4–18. Each year BYSO auditions nearly 900 students and accepts approximately 500 musicians representing more than 140 communities from the New England area.

Students are accepted into one of three full symphonic orchestras, two young string training orchestras, six chamber orchestras, a preparatory wind ensemble, and a chamber music program. The Intensive Community Program (ICP), a nationally recognized instrument training outreach program, provides rigorous musical instruction to students from underrepresented communities. Today, BYSO is recognized nationally as a model music and arts education organization.

Federico Cortese assumed the post of Music Director in 1999, and in addition to leading the organization’s artistic vision, he is the conductor of BYSO’s most accomplished ensemble, the Boston Youth Symphony. During his tenure, Mr. Cortese has instituted several significant initiatives that have advanced the organization artistically including incorporating a robust opera program, introducing initiatives to grow the number of young children as audience members, significantly increasing the difficulty of repertoire performed, and strengthening the overall quality of all the orchestras.

BYSO offers more than 20 performances annually at some of Boston’s finest venues including Symphony Hall, Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, and Jordan Hall. BYSO’s premier orchestra has built an international presence with tours and performances in world-renowned venues. In 2012, BYSO and Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) announced a new partnership for the future of classical music, “BYSO/BSO: Partnering for the Future.” This partnership is designed to explore innovative ways to foster the future of classical music by offering joint performance opportunities for young musicians, new audiences and the wider community, and by providing innovative training initiatives for young musicians.


See related:

Amid Shutdowns, Youth Climate Activists Are Writing the Curriculum for a Just Economic Recovery – Yes! Magazine


By Leanna First-Arai

Apr 30, 2020

On any given weekday before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Michelle Cohen could be found in her Los Angeles office advising students on how to apply for an apprenticeship, or which classes they need to take before earning a high school equivalency diploma. But when public schools in the district shifted to online learning in March, Cohen, who has been an educator for more than 20 years, decided to embrace a new role as a student, in a class led by two instructors who were decades younger than her.

Cohen, who is 53, felt a little uncomfortable at first. Some of the other students in the Zoom classroom were clad in matching pajama sets, sitting knee-to-knee on the floor with siblings, with twin beds and movie posters behind them. “Am I a weirdo?” she asked herself, thinking she could be her classmates’ mother, even grandmother. Eventually, in a breakout room, Cohen was relieved to find that plenty of other adults were in the class, some of whom were older than her.

Sunrise School, as it’s called, is an online training program the youth-led climate activist organization the Sunrise Movement pulled together as soon as it became clear that students would be stuck at home for the spring semester. The group has three levels of online learning experiences designed to train thousands of new leaders in how to push elected officials to pass a Green New Deal.

Cohen enrolled in “The Green New Deal & Coronavirus Crash Course,” an intro class, and showed up every day at 6 p.m. for the four sessions. Amid California’s shelter-in-place order, it felt good to see the same group of people every night, dialing in from across the U.S. and Canada. Her teachers, Genai Lewis and Simon Metcalf, both in their mid-20s, explained what the class would cover with a set of minimalist slides splashed with text and borders in the yellow, black, and white customary of the Sunrise Movement’s T-shirts and protest banners.

…(read more).

White House blocks Fauci from testifying on U.S. response


Published on May 2, 2020

U.S.’s leading disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has been blocked by the White House from testifying in a probe into the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response