Climate Change Connections: All hands on deck

Together we can find solutions to help our Island.


When my friend Liz Durkee and I first met, it was pure curiosity that drew us to each other. Who is this woman who knows so much about climate change? I wondered. I want to meet her. Meanwhile Liz was wondering, Who is this retired teacher people keep telling me I should get to know?

We arranged to meet. We shared ideas about sea level rise, deforestation, fossil-fuel dependency, water supply, forest fires, and other climate change matters. We wholeheartedly agreed that climate change is not voodoo, as some would like to believe, but something very real and tangible. We were called to combine our passion and share it with you, to help get the whole community involved in climate action.

Liz and I are a good match — she knows climate change, I spent a career inspiring people. We approached The Martha’s Vineyard Times, and were graciously offered a forum to get our message out in a positive, forward-thinking way: a Climate Change Connections column.

We will focus on local action, things that everyone can do, a true team effort.

We will use as a guide the Vineyard Climate Action Plan: “The Vineyard Way,” connected to our past, committed to our future. We will cover local climate change issues, what is being done, and what each one of us can do to make a difference. When it comes to climate change, it is all hands on deck!

Taking action will make you feel better. So will getting out there and enjoying the natural world; it strengthens mind, body, and spirit, which, in turn, can help generate ideas to protect the Island. We are bent in this direction, to find solutions together.

We will be very open to suggestions for topics, and will vigorously welcome new ideas for discussion. Our job is to guide and inspire you. There are endless things you can do. One way to get started is to hold neighborhood discussion groups, or book groups, to learn and share information.

Although it is a global issue, this column is about making local connections. There is a role for everyone as we strive for pivotal solutions. We will talk about all the great work that is being done Island-wide, and how you can help. It is not all gloom and doom — we have a plan, and we need your help and creativity to move it forward.

Once again, all hands on deck!

Contact Doris Ward at if you have climate news.