There is No Planet B

Louisville Climate Strike

There were student-led Global Climate Strikes all over the world last Friday, inspired by the lovable 16-year old Greta Thunberg. An estimated two hundred people rallied in Louisville. The Louisville kids were lovable, too. I felt unqualified to be among young people so passionate and unjaded.

Is it time to follow their lead or do we roll our eyes and remind them they have so much more they need to learn?

The kids delivered moving speeches, imploring the powerful to take action. “There is no Planet B,” one sign read. I was deeply moved and thanked many of the kids.

The most memorable remark, however, came from an old man, passing by, who saw my sign, “Mr. Mayor…How hot do you like it? More Trees!”

He asked me, “Why bother with trees?” I pointed out how much cooler it was in the shade of the park tree we were standing under. “Air conditioning is a whole lot better,” he said.

I don’t think he knew what he’d stumbled into, earlier, when he walked into Jefferson Square Park across the street from the mayor’s office. The old man, around my age, had no idea how profound his words were. His simple statement was the head-scratching difference between reality and vision. There are a lot more people comfortable with air conditioning than planting more trees.

Oh, to be young again, courageous and undeceiving.


  1. I’m so glad the next generation is getting somewhere by raising their voices and rallies. Being a millennial, the older generations just like to complain about my generation and have ignored our voices when it comes to climate change. Maybe the next generation can make more headway than I’ve experienced when dealing with old farmers and businessmen.

  2. A disheartening encounter with those who choose to turn a blind eye to the reality we face, but let it be a motivator. The horticultural community has a role to play in this debate of our lifetimes. Why not focus on what it means to your profession and the hobbyists who follow your advice? Gardeners do not yet understand that vegetation changes when the climate changes. Horticultural professionals can help gardeners plan gardens that focus on the future, rather than the past. The ranges of native plants have changed and they will continue to change. Please help gardeners make their decisions based on which plants are adapted to current and future climate conditions.

  3. I just wrote a lengthy & important post relative to Allen’s article only to have it trashed because of your damn captcha codes. I’m obviously not the brightest bulb in the package but I seldom can get the codes correct especially when there is a wriggly line through one of the letters. Why do I find them so damn difficult & why after trying a few times does my comment vanish into cyberspace.

    • Paul, if it helps, you’re not the only one stymied by the blankety-blank Captcha codes. I have tried to comment several times on several recent Rants and have had to give up in frustration. I will just e-mail Allen now in appreciation of this important post.
      Let’s see if I can break through the Captcha Barrier.
      Diane in Denver

  4. Thank GOD for Greta and “these kids” for having the courage to speak their voices, demonstrate this generations despair on a global stage, and identify the most effective tools to share their concerns and solutions. I absolutely loathe the cynical comments.

    • Michelle, Agree fully. Brava/Bravo to these climate-concerned activist kids.

      And to Allen Best for showing up at the rally with his true and brave sign.
      #PlantMoreTrees, indeed!

  5. I just wanted to comment, great to see a timely and relevant post on this topic, especially from one of us “Generation Old Timers”! P.S. – Paul, I haven’t had problems with posting comments on this forum (knock on wood), but per your comment, I’m going to start copying the text of my comments so if the system goes phooey, I can just paste my text & try again!


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