Greetings to you, dear NRCM members. This is a time of tremendous social upheaval. The blatant racism we have witnessed has shaken me to the core. I am greatly concerned that we are also dealing with a pandemic, and there is so little helpful leadership in our country now.
I lived through the 1960s and know what violence and hate can do. I am buoyed by the young people on NRCM’s staff that are facing this for the first time and inspire us to move in new ways. We are all learning from these experiences. We know that our land, air, and water are not truly in the public trust until every person is safe to access them, free from intimidation, harm, or hate.
These last few months of the pandemic have taken us on a strange journey. Some have had to endure losing loved ones. We have been stripped down to our most basic needs, like food, shelter, and family – and many have lost these, too. We have publicly thanked our workers in health care and grocery stores for their help. And all the while, there has been a decrease in carbon emissions, the reappearance of wildlife, and a growing recognition that our society needs to change.
The world is changing. The staff at the Natural Resources Council of Maine has changed the way we work, and members like you have found different ways to stay engaged. One thing has not changed: NRCM is committed to protecting the nature and beauty of Maine. Every day, we are in touch with legislators, agency staff, and coalition partners to shape Maine’s climate and energy policies, to improve the state’s waste management laws, and to protect our waters, forests, fisheries, and other natural resources. We are sharing more often through webinars, blogs, and podcasts, while also showing the world the beautiful poems you and your kids are writing and the photos you are taking. The good work continues, and you are as important as ever in making it happen.
COVID–19 has been a terrible scourge, but it has also required us to re-think what we have been doing to the earth. Racist violence has been heartbreaking, but it provides the moment to turn our country in a new direction.
Let’s keep working together to create a more sustainable and equitable world where everyone gets a chance to flourish, where communities are more prepared for and resilient to crises, and where we live in better harmony with the natural world and with each other.
Thank you for all that you are doing to take care of yourselves and each other. Thank you for being with us in these challenging times. We will come out of this stronger together.
—Lisa Pohlmann, NRCM CEO
Note: Blog originally printed in 2020 spring Maine Environment newsletter
Banner photo: Mousam River, a My Maine This Week photo by NRCM member Laura Pope