ORION: When I find Warren Senders on the side of a Boston suburbs highway, he is ready to hand me a sign that reads, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IS SOCIAL JUSTICE. It’s only 7:30 on a late September morning, but the day is already steamy. This makes his own sign, which leans against a guardrail and proclaims, CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL, seem especially appropriate. As I put down my things and accept the square of cardboard, Senders warns me away from a patch of poison ivy. He knows the spot well—at last count, he’s been out here every weekday morning for 154 weeks.
Senders spent years searching for a meaningful way to protest climate change. Eventually, he came to the idea of a daily practice. He’s a musician who teaches private lessons, specializing in Indian classical music, as well as courses on music education at the New England Conservatory. “I am accustomed in my life to doing something every day, whether I want to do it or not,” Senders says. Starting in 2010, he wrote letters to the editor about climate change every day for four years. He was published and republished in papers around the country, including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post, and got good at summarizing catastrophes in soundbites. But, he says, “It made me intolerably gloomy.”
Then a new idea came to him: he would make a sign, and go outside, and stand. Read more.