A Redwood is a Fact

Anna L Beale • 27 January 2017
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Staffers from the National Park Service have been stating facts, and pointing to them on Twitter.

Aerial images contrasting the Inaugural on the Mall from Obama to Trump had been posted. The facts shown there were reacted against by the Trump administration.. The Park Service Twitter account seems to have been taken down by the new Interior Department , and has now been restored.

There is more to it than this:



While much that is online these days is spin, facts exist and it is important we respect them. That link's headline seems to fall into the category of reactive spin, but there is still plenty of good news.


 Staffers are quoted in the body of the article. Park spokeswoman Abby Wines said the posts were not intended to be political criticism, ...“This is a topic we’ve done tweets on before,” she said. “We’ve been doing ranger talks on this topic since 2012. This is part of Death Valley Park’s history.”

No one from the Trump administration has complained or asked them to remove the posts, she said.

Tom Crosson, the chief spokesman for the park service said there is no restriction on agency use of Twitter or other social media.

“There’s no gag order on national parks that would prevent people from tweeting,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday.

What has been sent out actually read as facts. 

-from Redwoods National Park in California, the reminder that redwood groves are nature’s No. 1 carbon sink, which capture greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

“More redwoods would mean less #climatechange,”

- Golden Gate National Park  cited the information that 2016 was the hottest year on record for the third year in a row, directing readers to a report by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA)


Yet the language of the news report -from CBS, not the Park Service -seems to mimic the same polarized mindset which argued with the factual tweets in the first place.

Buying into the notion that 'campaigns' must 'escalate' is a way of admitting that a war mentality is the answer. 

Yes, sometimes fierce acts of resistance are surely needed.

If they can be seen, as Joanna Macy notes, as 'holding actions', that keeps war mentality from colonizing our minds and hearts. They can be the tack to this direction or that we need to take as we sail to the northstar of a good sane world -and not become themselves the direction we are going.

It is a war mentality that has dominated our culture's relationship to the earth -elaboration on this soon, but for now, reminding of the familiar resource dominated thinking can suffice : "what can I *get from* the earth". 

Aldo Leopold  -a forest ranger himself -defined a healthy stance almost 70 years ago now, urging " [A] land ethic (which) changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to  member and citizen of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such."

"We" need to embody that with integrity -meaning, to walk our talk . If we think this applies, then we need to enact it , not only where it is easy.

War language and acts may, very occasionally, be needed with respect for the community. Id say we should be very careful about adopting it reactively, as a go-to stance.

Opinions can cancel one another, creating an echo chamber effect in which polarization is amplified, not information.

Stating facts, neither aggressively nor defensively, inspires confidence and active mindedness in the reciever. It inspires curiousity about what is, a forward motion rather than  escalating attack.

Rooting into facts and growing up from them build, and communicates, strength.

What mode do we choose?

Climate Politics #NationalParks #ZengChi #LandEthic #WarasMetahphor