Connie Barlow's guest sermon (26 August 2018) for a Unitarian Universalist audience in Michigan conveys the anxiety and suffering of friends in Colorado, California, and Washington who are suffering yet another summer of forest fire danger, smoke, and flash flood warnings. Her message: Environmental damage (and consequent fear and anxiety) out West is clearly "21st Century." But climate change is mostly an abstract understanding in Michigan — where environmental concerns and calamities are still "20th Century".
ORIGINAL TITLE AND SUMMARY: "Michigan, My Michigan". Bedazzled by the mountain states for 48 years, this Michigander gratefully returns to the Great Lake State, bringing along the sad stories of western wildfires, water wars, and life-threatening heat waves.
BIO: Connie Barlow, born and raised in Detroit, spent every summer break during her college years at Michigan State University making beds and cleaning toilets in national parks out west. In 1970 she had her first train ride: from Detroit to Yellowstone. 1971 had her on the train again: this time to Glacier National Park. For her final 3 summers, she made the peak: She travelled by plane, for the first time, all the way up to Alaska, to Mt. McKinley National Park. There, she used her college studies to qualify as a wildlife tour guide on the buses. Since then, she's written 4 books on evolution and ecology themes and actually seen them on the shelves of university libraries. Since 2002 she has lived on the road with her husband, Rev. Michael Dowd, speaking in churches. Mostly retired now, she has ramped up her environmental activism to include climate — specifically the need for "assisted migration" of native trees poleward.
SONG: "Michigan, my Michigan" (1902, first verse)
A song to thee, fair State of mine — Michigan, my Michigan.
But greater song than this is thine — Michigan, my Michigan.
The whisper of the forest tree; the thunder of the inland sea,
Unite in one grand symphony of Michigan, my Michigan.
Note: videos of Sandhill Cranes flying and trumpeting were taken by Connie in Ludington, summer of 2018.
Other celebratory videos of nature in Ludington Michigan by Connie:
• "Michigan Mayfly Madness" - https://youtu.be/0pgDk5SKbJU
• "Michigan Monarchs Galore" - https://youtu.be/L00RNqGRKoQ