Chair’s Corner

March-April 2017 – by Dick Beck, Chair

Dear friends,   You now have a new local group chair, . . . and I am he.

My name is Richard Beck – “Dick Beck” to friends (like you)   I am a retired “liberal Christian” pastor   I’m in the Sierra Club because I believe the earth is a unique gift of God, and we need to protect it.   If you no longer believe in God or religion, or if you follow a different religion, . . . I care, . . . but that’s not ultimately important to me.   I said “liberal Christian,” remember?

“Enjoy, Explore and Protect the Planet” [our Sierra Club motto] is important to me.   Enjoying and exploring were important to John Muir when he began the Sierra Club over one hundred years ago.   I’m all for them:   Have fun outdoors!   And stay curious about the amazing “natural” world!

Still, I think that science is telling us that the earth needs to be protected in new ways today.   I’m discouraged by the election of Donald Trump, . . . and by the fact that we who think that the earth needs to be protected have been gerrymandered out of fair representation in Ohio and in the USA.    Over time, facts will rule!   But I hope we in the Sierra Club can make that time easier.

Last year’s chair, Colleen Orsburn, is now chairing our group’s Conservation Committee.  While Colleen didn’t want to continue as chair of the Portage Trail Group, . . . she REALLY wants to help our Sierra Club protect the earth for human habitation.   You might come later this year to hear her program on “sustainability.”

I’m guessing that you want to affect a few things too.    Since the November election, we have well over 100 new members in our Portage Trail Group.   91 of you joined our group in only one of the months since the election!   One way I find hope for environmentalism today is to remember that often, “the action is in the reaction.”   I trust that we in this time will be stronger than ever to enjoy, explore and protect the planet.

I look forward to seeing many of you at our dinner/auction at 6 pm Saturday evening, March 25 at Akron’s Mustard Seed Market, or at monthly meetings the third Tuesday of most months.

Dick Beck, Chair