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Dec 22, 2015

Global media of all stripes ably covered the recent COP21 Climate Summit in Paris. Earthworms contributes our part with this conversation with Dr. Jan Salick, Senior Curator at the Missouri Botanical Garden, who was invited by UNESCO to present at Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change, a pre-conference event in association with the Climate Summit.

Jan Salick has studied and learned from indigenous peoples for decades, in her work as an ethnobotanist for the Garden. Her focus is the cultural relationships between plants and human beings. She hosted the first international symposium on indigenous people and climate change, in 2007, at the Environmental Change Institute of Oxford University. Her knowledge and, most importantly, her perspective is deeply rooted.

From her years climbing around the Himalayas, and her current work on flatter ground on Cape Cod, Jan Salick is an articulate voice for the delicate balance both plants and indigenous people must maintain to survive the human-generated impacts on Earth's climate. As you can hear, a week or so after Jan's "life-changing experiences" in Paris during the climate events, she remains optimistic that people - like plants - can adapt, and that our species can make changes, to reduce our collective impacts.

Personal, hopeful, and informed by experience: this report amid many from the landmark meeting of 196 nations, that actually reached an agreement needed to guide our species' work - of which there is no bloomin' lack!

Music: Mayor Harrison's Fedora, performed at KDHX by Kevin Barkley and Ian Walsh