Filling a Gap

By: John A. Lanier

Dr. Maathai was a Kenyan scientist, environmentalist, and activist who in 1977 founded the Green Belt Movement, a grassroots organization that organizes women to plant trees and combat deforestation. According to their website, they have planted more than 51 million trees in Kenya, and they have become more than just a conservation organization.

Photo Credit: By Trees Durham - https://www.treesdurham.org/news/spotlight-on-tree-champions-wangari-maathai, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=110132163Dr. Wangarĩ Maathai

There’s a moment that I think every person experiences at least once in their life. It is typically unpleasant, and if mismanaged can become quite embarrassing. At the same time, the moment is an opportunity for growth and learning. The moment I’m speaking of is when, in conversation with others, you learn about something for the first time that you absolutely should have already known, causing others to tilt their heads at you and say, “really, you didn’t know that?”

I had one of those moments recently, but I was lucky - I learned the should-have-known thing from a podcast on my drive home, so I didn’t have to feel embarrassed in front of anyone. Yet here I am writing about it in a public forum, so perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment.

The podcast was the latest episode of A Matter of Degrees titled “How Gender Equality Can Save the Planet.” About a year ago, I wrote about the podcast and how much I was enjoying it, and I haven’t missed an episode since. It’s co-hosted by Dr. Katharine Wilkinson and Dr. Leah Stokes, two incredibly brilliant climate thinkers and doers.

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