Secret of the Seasons: A Global Warming Co-Opera coming to Communicating Science Weekend

Secret of the Seasons (SOS) is an original “Co-opera” — a musical, participatory experience that stimulates audience members to address their relationship to global warming and climate change.  Based on a song written for the Copenhagen climate conference, the Co-opera engages the audience with the external and internal challenges that climate change is bringing to our lives. Consisting of original songs and reflective activities, SOS has been performed around New England, including:

  • Benefits for newly forming Transition Town groups around Southern Vermont;
  • For an international audience of peacebuilders at the SIT Graduate Institute;
  • At a religious leader’s retreat in Connecticut;
  • For global studies students at Newton South High School in Massachusetts;
  • By teens at the Vermont Governor’s Institute on Current Issues & Youth Activism;
  • Featured in a televised special on Brattleboro Community Television.

From a recent article about SOS in the Brattleboro Reformer*:

The title song opens with this poignant question about the impact of climate change on Vermont‘s landscape:  “Will it still feel like my home, when the leaves don’t turn to red and gold, and the ice doesn’t cover the fishin’ hole?”

Speaking about his reason for creating the Co-opera, Ungerleider says: “facing the over-whelming reality of global warming understandably causes fear, denial, and paralysis.  Music can help us manage the psychological challenges to initiating individual and collective action in response.” 

Rupa Cousins reflects on the power of this music to inspire, after seeing an earlier performance of the Co-opera: “I was taken by the passionate ride the musicians took us on: there were moments of sadness, but mostly moments that woke me up with real inspiration, fun, joy and possibility. It gave me the palpable desire to do something, some little or big thing I could do to lessen my impact on this dear planet.”

Dr. John Ungerleider is a professor of Peacebuilding & Conflict Transformation at SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont. He founded and directs international Youth Peacebuilding and Leadership Programs.

Bill Conley is an English teacher to speakers of other languages (TESOL) for students in schools around southern Vermont. He performs regionally as the guitar player for Jazzberry Jam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: As performed at TEDxSIT and as featured on the Envirobeat blog

**For information or to order a CD of songs from the show: john.ungerleider@sit.edu

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