1. Let's end subsidies to fossil fuels and the meat industry. Wham! Huge impact, practically overnight. Every parent and teacher knows ... if you keep rewarding negative, inappropriate behaviour, that behaviour will continue. Let's extinguish the two greatest causes of greenhouse gas emissions by not rewarding them anymore with subsidies.
2. We need to start subsidizing perpetual (renewable minus biofuels [no more burning] = perpetual) energy technologies. Rewarding good behaviour is one way to ensure it continues. (And since governments will be saving billions by no longer subsidizing the oil, gas, coal and livestock industries, why not re-invest that money where it will do some good?) Wham! The very next day, investment in green industries sky rockets!
3. We have got to start taxing carbon. Period. Wham! Overnight change in our relationship to carbon-based fuels and lifestyles. And none of this lily-livered 2¢ per litre of gasoline. A tax on carbon has got to hurt. (Remember, we have to stop rewarding destructive behaviours.)
4. We have to change the corporate charter. Let's just make it illegal (around the globe and across the board, to ensure a level playing field) for companies to externalize social and environmental costs. Period. Wham! Huge difference practically overnight. The law would be simple: Pay social and environmental costs before determining your profits. You'd better believe that shareholders would force companies to pay attention to lessening these costs.
5. Let's outlaw grotesquely, obscenely, insultingly huge incomes. Really, has the world become a better place as the wealth of the top seven richest people in the world has reached around $250 billion? No. As the rich get richer, the future looks bleaker. So, let's threaten to cap incomes and Wham! that would bring back tithing, charity and compassion in a hurry. You know, make them cool again. Bill Gates has made a good start ... but he's not even the richest guy in the world anymore.6. It's time for a Global Green Fund. All the money we churn into militarism needs to be churned into a global fund for helping the most climate-change-vulnerable nations. After all, we're all in this together (the atmosphere knows no borders), and any coming wars will be climate/water/food security related — and held at bay by financial compassion on the part of those nations who are hit by climate catastrophe last.
26 December 2010
20 December 2010
- I'm Having Nightmares of a Green Christmas
- Stop! In the Name of Life
- I'm Singin' in the Cyclone, Just Singin' in the Cyclone
- Don't Worry, Be Hungry
- Tsunami Safari
12 December 2010
05 December 2010
4 December 2010Letter Sent to Leading Global Climate Criminal Senator InhofeAttention: James M. InhofeUS Senator Oklahoma453 Russell Senate Office BuildingWashington, DC 20510-3603
Senator, today I read the text of your videotaped message to your climate denial co-conspirators who are attending the UN Cancun climate conference with respect to the failure of the conference.
I write to urge you to cease and desist your most deadly campaign of sabotage to greenhouse gas emissions control measures and to the work of all those who are trying to prevent the global warming, climate change and ocean acidification catastrophe to planet Earth.
You have the audacity to state that you "couldn’t be happier that nothing is going to happen in Cancun this year." You urge your treasonous co-conspirators to "Keep up the good work — and for those of you in Cancún this week, stay strong, take no prisoners, and enjoy the party!"
Celebrating your terrible "success," you state, "I was right and they were wrong" — meaning those who, having a conscience and a sense of human morality, have been working for climate change control legislation in the United States and internationally. You have the most perverted sense of right and wrong. You claim to be a devout Christian. God will surely judge the evil of your deeds by the destructive desecration of His Creation.
What you call your "success" in effectively sabotaging the international negotiations for the prevention of global climate catastrophe makes you a leading contender for Public Enemy Number One in America and the world and for all time.
You must know that your successful campaign has the world committed to a temperature increase above 2.0ºC which means worldwide climate catastrophe.
You may be deluded by your apparent megalomania into believing that America is invulnerable to global climate change. If so, on this you are dead wrong. The latest climate crop models show that the great American agricultural breadbasket of the world will be hit hard by global warming and climate disruption.
Your home state of Oklahoma, which you are supposed to represent in government, is right in the middle of computer-model-projected regional heat waves and droughts and so will suffer devastating agricultural and economic losses — at temperature increases that the world is on track for within the next 25 years. On track for thanks to your work.
Additionally, if as most scientists believe, the Arctic summer sea ice is in irreversible melt down, the loss of its cooling influence to the entire northern hemisphere will further devastate American crops. Americans will then experience famine along with those billions of people who are today recognized as the most climate change vulnerable.
This statement of yours to the Cancun climate conference will surely stand as your own record of your own guilt in this worst crime against humanity.
Language has not been invented to adequately describe the enormity of this crime. The crime surpasses all the crimes of all the worst tyrants and terrorists in human history all rolled together. The successful sabotaging of the US greenhouse gas emissions control policy and international negotiations for global climate change mitigation policy condemns billions of the most climate change vulnerable and climate change innocent human beings to a horrible death from global warming and climate disruption, depleting their already meagre food supplies and already stressed water security compounded by the multiplication of tropical and infectious diseases — which after malnutrition is the second greatest cause of the already high premature death rates to these economically oppressed and deprived populations.
Not surprisingly, being recognized as congress’s most outspoken skeptic on climate change, you are now gloating at what you describe as the "success" of the conspiracy to sabotage to international attempts to control global greenhouse gas emissions.
You were speaking to Americans for Prosperity, a group partly financed by the oil industry that opposes government action on climate change and that has sponsored many Tea Party groups.
In your message you urge your troops to take the attack against climate change mitigation to counter the US EPA greenhouse gas regulations.
Intoxicated by your psychopathic success you openly admit your guilt in leading this greatest crime against humanity.
Please, please, for God's sake, reflect on the inevitable terrible result of how you are abusing your powers, and use your considerable skills and influence in securing a future for America and the world by the conversion of the fossil fuel energy economy (which has no future however it is looked at), with the safe, clean, zero-carbon, everlasting world energy economy that is the only future that America and humanity has.
28 November 2010
- Battle lines drawn for Cancun climate conference
- Delegates brace for setbacks
- UN talks in Mexico to seek modest climate steps
- EU sets sights low for climate talks
- United Nations climate talks in limbo
- No hope for climate talks, says Britain's chief scientist
- Two hundred nations, one mission: to repair the mess left by Copenhagen
- Hopes low as Australia heads to climate talks
- Prospect of climate deal slim: Analysts
- Doubts surround climate deal
- Cancun conference: Climate change back-burnered
- Cancun & the climate 'standstill'
- Stalled on treaty, climate talks turn to money
- No big surprises likely at Cancun meet
- Optimism, though cautious, remains ahead of Cancun climate conference [Me: optimism, though cautious, equals pessimism]
- Horror summer fails to shift Russia climate scepticism [Me: many Russians are still convinced climate change is an American conspiracy — no, wait, the Americans think it's a ....]
- Climate change will make a billion homeless [Me: oops, sorry, thought I'd throw a little reality in there]
22 November 2010
Since 1999, we have made a tremendous effort to heal the land, beginning slowly, one wheelbarrow at a time. It has been a gradual, organic process, from planting a few fruit trees and having a small growing area, to expanding with more hand-made soil using wood chips from local tree companies and a small amount of horse manure from local stables. Now we have 4 kinds of bees, several types of dragonflies, numerous types of butterflies, frogs, toads, snakes, and hundreds of birds and much more! We have dedicated our time to supporting hundreds of community members who have sought guidance on how to become more sustainable in their own lives; from educating people on how to support sustainable local initiatives, to teaching families how to grow their own food. Three years ago, we also started a successful farmers' market.
16 November 2010
I would like to express my extreme discontent with the decision made in Senate to kill Bill C-311. Last summer, I rode my bicycle to Ottawa, from BC, to tell you that we need (at least) Bill C-311 — that we have a MORAL OBLIGATION to protect the future of today's children. Yes, that includes your children. I am devastated by this decision and its implications for further stalling of progress in the UN climate negotiations and the embarrassing position it puts Canada in on the international stage--an international stage that I would like to believe is slowly waking up to the climate emergency. Shame on Canada for not taking a leadership role in the fight against climate change; the greatest threat to human civilization. This evening, I go to bed with a heavy heart and a great feeling of uncertainty as to what my future holds in the face of a rapidly changing climate. This evening, I am embarrassed to be Canadian, and I feel a deep sense of compassion towards those people around the world who have done NOTHING to deserve the climate devastation that is being inflicted upon them, and that will continue to wreak havoc on their survival. This is so unjust; this is criminal.Sincerely,NN
17 October 2010
11 October 2010
Since we were in town anyway (granddog-sitting), we were able to accept the invitation of a fine new friend to his "Bring Your Own Laptop" work party to commemorate 10/10/10, an international day of action on climate change.
The original agenda for this work party included a widget campaign (see the widget at the top left of my blog as an example, which you can download at CO2 Now), but our strategic discussions and just plain connecting with like-minded and like-hearted souls here in town and in Seattle and the Maldive Islands took up our time. We left feeling recharged and revved up.
I'd like to share with you some stuff I learned and experienced on 10/10/10.
Never underestimate the importance of "preaching to the choir" because (a) it feeds the soul, and (b) you never know if there are new members of the choir there that day.
Connecting via Skype with a wonderful science teacher (who had just held a full day of activities for his students and their families) on the island of Gemanafushi in the Maldives meant that we were able to hear directly of the impacts that climate change is having on a more (or, shall I say, earlier?) vulnerable region. Because of stormier weather, it's becoming harder for people of the Maldives to go out fishing while at the same time, supply shipments by boat are hampered at times and residents sometimes have to go without. When was the last time a whole community in North America had to "go without"? The point is, we had the opportunity to feel compassion almost in person ... it wasn't a theoretical someone in a foreign country: it was a real man living in a real community in a real country that is under siege from the changing climate. Call it self-interested compassion, if you want ... what is happening to the Maldives (and Russia and China and Pakistan and Niger) now is going to happen to us in some way or another in the not-too-distant future.
Our host and CO2Now.org's founder, Michael McGee, presented a wonderful idea — not sure if it was his idea, another's idea, or a hybrid idea, but it's basically a set of metaphorical ladders (drawn on paper to make them more visual) where each rung represents a more advanced step on the way to the full solution to climate change.
Michael suggested and we talked about a Climate Literacy (and Numeracy) Ladder that would help people learn (through education, training, public awareness campaigns) the concepts and the "numbers" of global warming and climate change to help them understand why it's an emergency; a Local and Global Leadership Ladder (both grassroots and "grasstops" leadership) that would help people see what their next steps are; and a Zero Carbon Emissions Ladder that would start with personal/family emissions reductions and then move up to community-wide efforts, etc.
(Ah yes, I just remembered. Michael said that evangelical churches in the USA use engagement ladders, where a potential new congregation member might be invited to a potluck dinner at the first rung, but several rungs later they might be invited to fund a huge church campaign.)
Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. I am grateful that I had the opportunity yesterday to meet some very committed climate activists. I am grateful for the luck and timing that have afforded me a life and a living so far unaffected by the ravages of climate change (though we're starting to see changes in our climate, for sure). I am grateful that my family still has abundant food on the table whenever we are hungry. I am especially grateful for the love, kindness and compassion of those working around the world (and right beside me) to help ensure a future for the children of all species.
p.s. Don't forget ... the most important number in 350 is that little ZERO at the end. And why not support the call for 300 pppm (since human civilization was built on 280 ppm) and zero carbon emissions in the Cochabamba People's Agreement — now included in the draft negotiating text for the Cancun climate conference! Woohoo!
03 October 2010
Do unto the world what will be best for all the children.
26 September 2010
But the mood this year, in lead up to the COP 16 Cancun climate change conference, feels more like a forced smile. And I don't think it's just me who's feeling rather blah about it.
I know that Copenhagen was an engineered let-down, and I resent having been manipulated last year. But this year, "they" are manufacturing complete pessimism, saying that nothing will be agreed to at Cancun (including the outgoing and incoming executive secretaries of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change). I ask myself, then, Why bother?
Why bother even holding the meeting if the point is to agree to not agree on anything? What a waste of time, money, people's energy and fossil fuels! What a waste of optimism.
For about three minutes yesterday, I thought, Wouldn't it be neat to do a Countdown to Cancun — and blog every day until it starts on November 26? But why force the smile? Why expend the time and energy for something that has already decided to be a failure? It's too, well, blah.
There is one bright light, however, and that is Klimaforum, which is planning a grassroots initiative in parallel to the COP 16 summit. Organizers are calling it "an autonomous environmental summit, an atmosphere in communion with nature, an inspiring space, where people of all creeds can focus on the search for consensus on international actions towards climate justice."
Their low-carbon Global EcoVillage (with camping spaces for thousands of participants and a vegetarian "world kitchen") will offer forums, expositions, workshops, conferences, and cultural events — all in a natural environment.
Here is Klimaforum's rallying cry:
Beyond corporate interests or political influences, a transparent global voice for the Earth is summoned.
The stabilization of the climate is essential to the survival of all species on Earth. It is a matter of intergenerational justice. People of all ages and creeds unite in the demand for effective solutions that will preserve life on the planet. We, the people, have the capacity and the necessity to solve these issues with understanding, solidarity and perseverance. We have the possibility to create another world!
Change the system, not the climate!I know that the Klimaforum10 Mexico organizing committee has already faced formidable challenges, so I want to wish them all the very best. What an exciting, optimistic alternative to the UN climate meeting they are organizing! Please support them in any way you can. They're the best news in a long time!
You can visit their website at klimaforum10.net or klimaforum10.com/en/the-committee/international-call. Prepare to be inspired and leave the blahs behind.
20 September 2010
And I certainly did not want to go "there" — there meaning, Russia's deadly fires and heat waves mean they lost a lot of their crops, so they're not exporting any grains this year ... and Pakistan's crops have been washed away while Niger's never came.
The United Nations estimates that over 21 million people have been affected by the floods in Pakistan (killed, injured, homeless, without food, whole villages destroyed). Imagine that! Australia's whole population is less than 21 million. There was a point where about one-fifth to one-quarter of Pakistan's total land area was underwater due to the flooding.
And Niger has experienced a "double whammy" leading to their worst ever famine disaster. According to Christy Collins, the country director for the American charity Mercy Corps, "in most years, even if the country's primary crop failed, at least the secondary crops survived. This year there was so little rain that not only did the fields of millet not bloom, but the secondary greens used for animal fodder also failed." This means that their livestock — their only "insurance" against famine — is also starving.
I didn't want to notice these disasters of epic proportions. But they finally found their way into my life, into my heart. And I cried.
By the way, is it "compassion fatigue" or just downright mean-spiritedness that leads people to make comments like this (truly):
"Who gives a crap?"
"Floods in Pakistan, killer smog in Russia, and famine in Niger. Tragedies all, but sorry, the good old USA is out of $$$$$ and has problems of its own in the Gulf States, in Iowa and in the economy. These people are just going to have to do the best they can, we are tapped out."
"And there are kids starving in every country... and the point is? Isn't that country against US or UN assistance, except when it benefits certain entities? It would be better to put the money into a failed stock than to give it to that country. Same difference. Sorry, those are humans there. But there are humans here. And just about everywhere on this fragile Earth that is being exploited. Let them work out their own problems."Wow.
p.s. We are going to organize a fundraising event here in our small community. In the short term, it seems to be all we can do to help. In the longer term, we need to stabilize the climate — fast. "There but for the grace of God go I."