eTown webisode #349 - Slaid Cleaves - “Whim of Iron”
Hearing on e-town the cleverly turned phrase “Whim of Iron” that is the title (and chorus) of this song made me think of creative and determined people I know. Too bad that the video is missing Cleaves’s introduction to the song, in which he attributes the phrase to his grandfather, and the inspiration to his aunt.
Madam President, the Pacific has a rich cultural and linguistic tradition. Hundreds of distinct languages are spoken in homes throughout our 14 countries. No more than 10,000 people speak my native language of Nauruan, and it, like so many others, may soon disappear. However, none of our words are quite so exotic as the ones spoken by the climate change negotiators. The people who inhabit these walls communicate in acronyms—QELROs, LULUCF, NAMAs—letters that carry the power to determine which of our nations may thrive and which may vanish beneath the waves. Yet, neither this nor any other language adequately captures the destructive impact that climate change is having and will continue to have on the people of our region. The gravity of the crisis has escaped us. It has become lost in a fog of scientific, economic and technical jargon. Without bold action, it will be left with to our children to come up with the words to convey the tragedy of losing our homelands when it did not have to be this way.
I love the name of this month given by my Polish forebears (mother’s side), listopada, “leaves are falling.”