Author Archives: Nylah Burton

The Lilith Blog

June 3, 2019 by

It’s Time to Be a Single-Issue Voter for the Climate

Climate Change 3Voting for a political candidate solely on the basis of their stance on a single issue is not always the smartest thing to do. Bluntly put, it’s often a decision motivated by myopic selfishness, as well. Part of this is because single-issue voting is, in my mind, too often associated with people who vote for candidates with draconian policy positions. Consider guardians of gun “rights”, so-called Israel “supporters” who ignore domestic policy both here and there, opponents of gay marriage, and anti-abortion advocates. At this moment in time, with extreme, oppressive positions on so many of these issues, single-issue voting can feel dangerous.

But then there are the other kind of single-minded voters… people who have worthy causes they care, but who will vote for candidates with no chance of winning for the sake of “purity.” I get it: voting is an extremely personal statement of values, but it can be frustrating when this happens during a high-stakes election. Remember all those people who voted for JIll Stein and Gary Johnson during the 2016 election? Yeah… I’m still mad about that. 

So, it’s safe to say that I usually think single-issue voting isn’t the best thing to do.  Except in the 2020 presidential election. As a Black Jewish feminist I am committed to many issues that are life and death–from police violence to abortion–but for the first time, I find myself zeroing in on a singular issue: climate catastrophe.

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The Lilith Blog

May 8, 2019 by

I Took a 40-Hour Train Trip to Reduce My Carbon Footprint.

via NASA

via NASA

In March, I was invited to speak at a “Jewish Feminisms” conference, so I tried an experiment: I hauled myself from Denver, Colorado to Ann Arbor, Michigan—all on a long-distance Amtrak train. The journey was 2,460 miles; including delays, it took me over 40 hours to get there and over 35 hours to get back.  

Being on a train for that long was mind-numbingly boring most of the time. I found myself wanting to jump off at several points. There were weird smells, and the food was awful.

And yet, according to this nifty little carbon footprint calculator, taking the train resulted in a carbon footprint of 0.05 metric tons. If I had flown, my carbon footprint for this trip would have been 0.81 metric tons, which is more than 16 times the carbon.

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The Lilith Blog

March 28, 2019 by

“Commanded to Repair the World:” A Young Writer Confronts Climate Change

I’ll be 24 next week. And in ten years, I’ll probably be buying my first house. I might be celebrating a wedding anniversary that’s not even in the double-digits yet. I may be ready to have a child, or I may already have one or two. I should not be thinking of en years as a period at the end of a sentence. It should be an ellipse… a bridge to a continued narrative of my life.

And yet, in the wake of the climate report, ten years has come to mean something entirely different. In the context of climate change, ten years means a point of no return. Hence, my crippling fear.  

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The Lilith Blog

August 23, 2018 by

Googling Won’t Solve My Abandonment Issues—But I Can’t Stop

internet-search-engine

When it comes to healthy relationships, sometimes I think my parents screwed me out of any chance I may have had at one.

My parents and I stopped speaking when I was 20. It had been a slow-build up, a growing rift, and then suddenly one day… I just didn’t have parents anymore. This isn’t an exaggeration: my mom called the police on me when I showed up to my childhood home. Today, she still forbids me and my grandparents –with whom I remain close—from seeing my siblings. As for my father, he once told me I deserved to be abused by her.

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