Something about a mountain draws people toward the heights. It’s daunting, dangerous, requiring one step, or misstep, after another, like any arduous path to a new level, a plateau of reform. When you make it, there’s something majestic in the peaks. The experience is all there in Kerouac’s Dharma Bums. That’s why I spoke at the Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics on July 9, in mile-high Boulder, Colorado, and again at the Tattered Cover in Denver. Building a social movement through ups and downs is a similar to the process described by Aldo Leopold in “thinking like a mountain."
Pope Francis suddenly ranks ahead of Governor Jerry Brown among those assembling for this year’s climate summit. The influence of the Pope and his encyclical may greatly sway the California Governor as they share their thoughts together. Their synergy will have an important effect on President Barack Obama - and to a lesser extent Speaker of the House John Boehner and the Republican Congress, in their meetings this September. Pope Francis, President Obama, Gov. Brown and, of course, Speaker Boehner and the Congress are rooted in the realm of the powers and principalities.