I was surprised and saddened to learn of the passing of Ronnie Cummins on April 26, 2023. As Executive Director of Bio4Climate and as a friend, I wanted to add a few of my experiences with Ronnie.
I met Ronnie at our first conference in 2014, where he gave a rousing talk entitled “Climate and Regenerative Organic Agriculture: How to Build a Mass Movement.” Over the next decade he worked hard at that goal and made a major contribution to the growth of our movement, through OCA, Regeneration International, Via Organica, and as inspiration for many other groups to tackle the challenge.
We crossed paths numerous times and places over the next few years, and even though he was a seasoned activist and we were wet behind the ears, he was an enthusiastic Bio4Climate supporter from the start. In addition to other financial support, he had OCA fund us in winter of 2019 in our attempt to form a New England section of Regeneration International – Bio4Climate Associate Director Paula Phipps and I went to a half dozen or so conferences to table and promote the effort – but we bit off more than our small organization could chew. So Regeneration New England fell by the wayside, although the trip led us to other valuable connections. And Ronnie continued his support for our work undaunted.
We ran into each other several times over the years, including a UN meeting in New York City, and conferences in California. Each time we went for a long walk or an extended meal (his treat!), catching up, trading amusing gossip, planning, laughing and philosophizing.
We fell out of touch during the pandemic – although I completely agreed with his position on gain-of-function research, I demurred with respect to his anti-vaccination stance and frankly couldn’t figure out how to resume our conversations. I assumed we’d discuss it after the smoke cleared. The smoke has yet to clear – thus another lesson in carpe diem.
Ronnie, I love you and cherish the times we had together, and I look forward to hanging out with you again at a Magnificent Agave Farm in the skies.
With great admiration,
Ronnie spoke at multiple Bio4Climate events, including Blessed Unrest: Growing a Future for Life on Earth, where he also held a workshop.