The Snows of Mount Rainier

A series of articles inspired by Bill McKibben’s “The End of Nature.” The real world consequences of humankind’s permanent altering of the physical nature of the only home we will ever know in this life.

Mount Rainier, Wash. State, before the snow and ice melted.
Photo by Jordan Steranka on Unsplash

In the year of Our Lord, 2021, the snow and ice on the northwest side of The Mountain has disappeared.

The peak I gaze on now is not the friendly, snow-capped peak I recall from even a few short years ago. What has replaced her is an ugly, grayish-brown hunk of rock. Unstable. Scary. Unfamiliar.

I gaze every now and…

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

A series of articles inspired by Bill McKibben’s “The End of Nature.” The real world consequences of humankind's permanent altering of the physical nature of the only home we will ever know in this life.

Historian and tyranny expert Timothy Snyder wrote of the real barrier behind are inaction on climate change — racism.

“The barrier is us,” Snyder writes. “We are perversely courting our own destruction.”

This is something I’ve spent the past year and a half reflecting on in my own life. As I’ve studied the writings of my mentors, Bill McKibben, Bob Massie, Jemar Tisby, Naomi Klein…

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

As humans, we tend to think that we are special. Superior. Better than all other life around us — which exists for our benefit alone.

To me, it’s no coincidence that those that hold White supremacist, religious fundamentalist views of race, religion, and sexuality, also hold this view, as well.

As Bill McKibben writes in “The End of Nature,” we are now the creators of our own destiny. In other words, gods ourselves.

No life is inherently superior to another, be they human, a creature, a tree or a flower. All life is precious, because all life has been touched…

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

For as long as I can recall, I’ve been drawn to truth.

The arts and sciences, civics and letters; even music. The idea that, through these intellectual pursuits, I can have lasting impact on the world around me.

I was reminded of this while reading “The War on Science,” by Shawn Otto.

I’m reminded of the passions that drove me, from my earliest youth. Interests that, until this moment, I was taught were unimportant and unconnected.

I can recall the moment these truths were unknowingly sacrificed on the altar of New Age fundamentalism, much like that Otto describes; wrapped in…

A national plan for intervention and recovery.

Photo by Parker Johnson on Unsplash

In his March 27 blog, historian Timothy Snyder called the Republican Party’s obsession with voter suppression, an “addiction,” one the party will not be able to break without outside intervention.

For the past year, I’ve thought a lot about our nation’s crutch of White supremacy, misogynistic patriarchy, systemic racism, and apartheid through the lenses of recovery. My own journey has not only included reading and counseling, but active participation in a 12-step recovery program through my home church.

At its core, recovery is about personal responsibility. Coming out of denial of wrong and…

Photo by Lan Nguyen on Unsplash

“Many say that conditioning aid is not a phrase I should utter here, but let me be clear: No matter the context, American government dollars always come with conditions. The question at hand is should our taxpayer dollars create conditions for justice, healing, and repair, or should these dollars create conditions of oppression and apartheid.”

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressly (D) of Massachusetts, questioning America’s continual, unconditional financial support of Israel; on the House floor, May 13, 2021. As cited in “The Intercept.”

We call ourselves by different names.

Black Lives Matter, the Extinction Rebellion, and pro-Palestine.

But, at its core, our…

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Flash fiction — inspired by Will Bunch’s April 18 column on the suppression of journalists in Minnesota.

“How did it come to this?!”

Our mind screams as residue from the pepper spray blurs our vision. Our request for water, for relief, denied the moment we were detained. From the second we were shoved into the unmarked van, with the others, protesting on the streets this night.

Not that there’s anything to see, in this dark, overcrowded, windowless van; taking us to an unknown destination against our will. …

What the Derek Chauvin conviction means for justice for the least of these; in a nation that often lacks it. In flash poetry.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

On April 20, 2021, justice, at long last, was realized.

Justice, which for too long, had been denied to our Black and Brown brethren.

For too long, their blood had been crying from the streets; silenced behind prison walls, and by the bullets and voices of a law, designed to protect a single race, creed, religion, ideology, sex and sexual orientation;

A justice, reserved only for the White, wealthy and well-connected;

A justice, that sees the undesirable…

How the evangelical Right manipulates the doctrine of the Blood to promote racism, colonialism & greed in the face of destruction.

Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash

“We don’t need to worry about that. God will take care of us.”

These are the words I’ve heard echoed for as long as I can recall. Words I hear, even today as the pandemic continues to run amuck around the globe.

No need to prepare for the future — be it natural disasters, climate change or a once in a century pandemic. God will take care of us.

We don’t want or need the big, scary, secular government…

Photo by Melany Rochester on Unsplash

Disclaimer: I use language in one paragraph that might offend some of my readers. I utilize this, not to dehumanize or alienate anyone, but to articulate not only the issue (based, again on my two decades experience), but show what “free speech” is, and what it should be.

According to lore, the First Amendment in the United States Constitution was to protect the average citizen’s ability to criticize those in power — be it the government, clergy or corporations — without fear of persecution from those powers. But, like much of our history, nothing is as it seems.

It took…

Tiffany Elliott

Writer with 15 + years experience; journalist, editor, freelancer, and play write. Advocate for the arts and rights of expendables.

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