[four · words | fore · words | for-wards | (fôr · wərdz)]

IV Words. Like the Roman numeral “4” plus “words.”

IV Words is a progressive, forward-thinking and -looking blog focused on what’s happened, is happening and will happen next in the climate crisis, the environment, politics, progressive causes, social justice and the way it is. And it’s

IV Words is always moving forward, calling out bullshit where I see it, amplifying progressive issues and voices and working for positive change for all people. It also jumps into life, family, experiences and lessons learned from time to time, always with a good dose of social commentary sprinkled in. Once in a while I might even be a little funny.

Sure. But what’s with the “IV”?

Allow me to introduce myself.

I am Martin C. Fredricks IV, the fourth Martin C. Fredricks in a line that now includes my great-grandfather, grandfather, father, myself and now my son, Martin C. Fredricks V. (Click for more on THAT part of the story.) More importantly, I am a husband, a father and a son.

I am a writer.

I write from North Dakota, one of the deepest red states in the Union. It can be a challenge for someone like me, who’s way, way left of the national and state Democratic Party establishment. But, to quote a favorite character, “The Dude abides.” It also helps that I’m in the Red River Valley, right on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota – looking east from my doorstep I can at least see a blue tinge.

I am a voracious reader, a lover of words and a storyteller. I am my own harshest critic. I do my best to be a good listener, even when the speaker sees the world differently. I  believe – to quote The Spirit of the West in Rango – “No man can walk out on his own story,” Even though I’m in a deep red state, surrounded by people who cannot fathom why I think the way I do, including many who literally hate me for it, I keep at it. My blog is my reflection, and what you see is what you get.

I am a Knight of the Climate Covenant

A big part of what you get is a deep concern about global warming, resulting climate change and the future of this planet for our children and grandchildren. I have three teenagers and I don’t want them to suffer through the hellscape that is the potential near future for the human race unless we everyone on the planet take action to end emissions of CO2, methane and other dangerous gasses into our atmosphere, and that right quick.

In fact, my kids are one of the main reasons I started an organization called the Knights of the Climate Covenant, a spinoff of IV Words. It’s an idea more than a group, and a promise more than anything else, to do whatever we can to counter climate-change deniers and turn the tide of the climate crisis.

I am an introvert.

Aside from reading, writing, managing IV Words and coordinating Knights activities, I run a small business, enjoy hanging out with my best friend, who also happens to be my wife, and the aforementioned kids. Our two dogs, too, who walk with me a couple of miles every day. I also mountain bike when I can.

All of which make sense because I’m what they misleadingly label an “extroverted introvert,” as if the only way an introvert can be acceptable is if they interact with people. What it means is I often prefer my own company, even though I don’t mind getting together with people once in a while and even sometimes enjoying it. But it also means that, afterwards, I need time to myself to recharge. Finally, it means that I’m often misunderstood (if the personality and style tests I’ve taken are correct) because I tend to keep my own counsel; people often mistake that for standoffishness or arrogance. To those traits you can add that I’m very forward – don’t expect any sugarcoating from me – and fiercely loyal to causes, ideas, organizations and people I care about.

I can come off as a pessimist, but deep down I’m an optimist.

Another part of my story used to happen every morning when my children were younger and I woke them for school. I’d walk into their rooms, say their names softly and add, “Time to get up, honey. It’s a brand-new day.” It was one of my favorite things to do, and they seemed to like it, too. Alas, they’re too old for that now, but I still say it to myself each day.

It’s also part of the inspiration for this blog. I believe our days can be as good or as crappy as we decide to make them. So every morning marks a brand-new opportunity – a foreword if you will – to whatever the day might bring.

These blog posts are forewords, too, even if they’re looking back for wisdom and insights. My hope is more of them turn out to be good instead of crappy.

I’m always up for a chat.

Give me a shout sometime. I’m always glad to talk with people for a few minutes, as long as you’re O.K. with me taking my leave to go off and recharge.

Thank you for reading.

Come back for some more IV Words soon.

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