25 December 2016

A Christmas Compassion Tune-up — No child should ever cry on Christmas

I'm writing this on Christmas Eve, with just a few minutes left till midnight. I spent the evening with friends sharing a lovely dinner of potato pancakes (in honour of Hanukkah), cranberry sauce and warm winter salad, then watching a favourite movie.

Despite what's going on in the world, I still believe in my heart of hearts that the greatest way we could solve the climate change crisis would be to feel compassion for the children with the future we're bequeathing them. 

So my holiday gift for you this year will be this compassion tune-up. It's a song I've only ever heard once on the radio — a few years ago — (they don't play this one in malls and elevators) and it had me sobbing while doing my sit ups. 

At this special time of year for so many of us, let's remember to count our blessings. I count you as one of mine.



No Child Should Ever Cry On Christmas
by John Oates
sung by Hall & Oates


Father Christmas, Mother Mary
Bless the Child on this, His day
Round the world are so many families
Not enough to eat but still the faith to pray
 
Let the Holy star above
Shine a silver light of love
And turn this world around
 
 
[Chorus]
No child should ever cry on Christmas
No child should ever be afraid
No child should ever cry on Christmas Day
 
 
Come the morning
Toys and laughter
Yeah that's the way
It's supposed to be
Then all the mornings
Ever after
Bring us hope and joy and harmony
 
Let the Holy star above
Shine a silver light of love
And turn this world around 
 
[Repeat Chorus] 
 
Let the Holy star above
Shine a silver light of love
And turn this world around 
 
[Repeat Chorus]


18 December 2016

Stand Up for Science!


Fascinating. A week in the United States, San Francisco, both before Christmas and before the Electoral College decides on the new president.

I can report that yes, the "T**** effect" is a real thing. Emboldened jerks are saying rude things to women, visible minorities, anyone they think might be an immigrant. The waitress in our favourite restaurant told us a story that ended with her suggesting to one particular table of jerks that unless they were of Native American heritage, they too were immigrants. (She was an "immigrant" from New York City.) Apparently they had a hard time wrapping their brains around that. And yes, people south of the border are wearing safety pins to signify that they're a safe haven if things get ugly.

We were attending the American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference, one of the largest meetings of scientists in the world, where my hubby, Peter, presented on the
planetary climate change emergency. (It was called Climate Golden Age or Greenhouse Gas Dark Age Legacy?)

The highlight for me, besides the opportunity to meet and dine with some wonderful online friends and fellow climate change activists, was the Stand Up for Science rally at noon on day 2 of the AGU conference. (You can see Peter in the bottom left corner, below, and our friend, "Earth Doctor" Reese Halter, in the top row in red.) 



http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2016-6-november-december/green-life/these-scientists-are-fighting-for-our-future-we-need#6

Several scientist-speakers, well known as brave souls to climate change activists, called on their colleagues to speak out against a politicization of science that is increasingly dangerous for the planet.

We ALL need to become CLIMATE HEROES for the children of all species and all future generations — but scientists have a particularly important role to play in helping the rest of us pluck up our courage through knowledge and understanding.


Science is definitely under attack. The US has a president-elect who is gearing everything up (Exxon CEO for Secretary of State, anyone?) to continue burning fossil fuels at any cost, when the science says we need to get to zero carbon emissions by mid-century if we want to ensure a future.

Let's stand up for climate change science and scientists, folks. After all, we don't quibble with gravity. Then why do so many of us doubt the physical law that pumping more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere causes it to retain more heat?

UPDATE: Here in Canada, things are getting better for scientists.

11 December 2016

It's Not Just About Us ...

Chris Weston
I'll admit that as a Canadian, I've struggled from time to time with some anti-American sentiment. You can imagine how I'm having to talk to myself these days, eh? That's because this president-elect isn't just going to destroy the US, he's going to destroy the rest of the world. I've written about that before, here. And when I say "the rest" I mean everything else.

Here's the thing. We all know (well, everyone who isn't American knows) that Americans are rather (and I'm generalizing here, for which I'll apologize now), um, insular. Their geographic ignorance is legendary and world-renowned! (Do they know that? I wonder.)

But it's their ecological ignorance that is so dangerous right now. Another study just revealed that "climate-related local extinctions are already widespread among plant and animal species."

Yet, Mr. I-Can't-Bring-Myself-to-Utter-His-Name-on-My-Blog-Anymore is going after the names of anyone in the US Department of Energy who has worked on climate change. Talk about trying to chill US progress on climate change mitigation. [Update: The questionnaire was "not authorized" and has therefore been withdrawn. Nice play, transition team. Way to accidentally on purpose ensure the chill and then get away with it with a simple "oops." Watch for a lot more of this kind of slime.] 

So as the world actually experiences worse and worse impacts of climate disruption, "that man" and his cronies are going deeper and deeper into pignorant (pretend ignorant) denial. 

It's as if he doesn't (I'm sure he does, but he pretends he doesn't — greed can do that to you) understand that we are completely reliant on the Earth, the earth, the biodiversity of this precious planet, and all of Nature's gifts. He acts as though he is a man unto himself, as though he's never breathed a molecule of air he didn't make, never eaten a calorie of food he didn't grow, never drunk a drop of water he didn't magically bring into existence. 

So while he's going about business-as-worse-than-usual, his plan is to make the biosphere uninhabitable. And not just for humanity, but for MOST OTHER SPECIES, too. 

If they could, I think all the other species would revolt in a stampede that would trample a certain red-headed president-elect.

*******
A friend wrote to say that she couldn't get her comment to publish, so I thought I would post it here: 

"Even though you apologize, you discount many, many Americans who are very aware of climate change, want to make changes, but simply can’t with the political voting structure in place, just as we have our problems with our voting system, and we had problems with [Prime Minister] Harper. So, you end up alienating some of the very people who might agree with you and are fighting for change. It just seems strange to see it in writing from you on your blog. Yes, I agree that Trump is going to wreck the world for us, including many, many Americans who didn’t vote for him, and the Americans who did vote for him. We are all in trouble."




To my friend: The last bit of your comment explains why I don't care about the first bit (except that I don't see that I'm discounting anyone). The Americans (and some of them are my friends) who are working on climate change and trying to create change in the US know that ecological ignorance is killing us. And they — and I — know that we have no time left to worry about hurt feelings. Those who know me well will now know how serious the threat is if I'm not worried about being nice anymore.  


04 December 2016

Stand By ... for Standing Rock

Television used to remind us that we shared Turtle Island


Stand by, folks ... I'm attending something really cool later today and want to report on it then.


Thank you for your patience. A very, very dear friend from the Anishinabe First Nation came to our small community today to help us with a vigil for Standing Rock (one of a great many worldwide). The ceremony itself — especially the water blessing and the song Water is Life (written by someone here in our community) — was loving and healing

The talking circle afterwards, however, was POWERFUL. So powerful that when we got home, we learned that the American government (President Obama, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior) had earlier today denied the easement that would have allowed the pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe and the Missouri River through Standing Rock Sioux territory in North Dakota.


Frankly, I think the arrival of 4,000 US veterans woke a few people up — like smelling salts or a slap across the face. All of a sudden, all those militarized "law" enforcement officers were facing not "the other" but themselves. I can imagine that the arrival of the veterans felt like a rebuke ... but one from a loving elder who sees his younger (foolish) self in the faces of his grandchildren, and wants to guide them away from their foolishness. (But I could be imagining things.)

During our talking circle this afternoon, we heard the story about a grandmother's way of dealing with a bully. "The next time he bullies you or is mean to you, just look into his eyes until you see the Creator there," she told her granddaughter. The storyteller, who was quite young when this happened, did so. The next time the bully was mean to her, she gazed up into his face until suddenly, she saw the Creator in his eyes. "He melted," she said. "The bully in him just melted away." (I burst into tears realizing it was perhaps the first time that boy had ever felt truly seen.)

I think the enforcement officers at Standing Rock were looked at deeply today. I think they could not remain immune to the gaze when the gazers were themselves. "How could," they'd have been wondering, "thousands of my brothers and sisters be standing on the other side instead of on my side? What is wrong with my side?" Turns out it was so that the veterans could look deep into their eyes ... and see the Creator.

I pray that the enforcement folks finally felt seen and understood — and that they can now stand down, as fellow human beings, realizing how wrong they were about the people they'd turned into the enemy. "The friend of my friend must be my friend."

And we are all one on this Earth.

BTW, we here on the west coast of Canada are steeling ourselves for a fight to protect our ocean. And we will follow the lead of our coastal First Nations. Thank you, Standing Rock, for inspiring us with your example, your bravery and your fortitude. You've really started something!

*******

Whenever we talk about Standing Rock and other protests, we need to remember that if not stopped, fracking and the burning of oil, natural gas and coal will decimate the viability and the habitability of our biosphere. 

27 November 2016

It Would Appear Evil Has Triumphed

Evil has "trumped" good. The future can feel the reverberations.

Here's an excerpt from an essay-in-progress by Dr. Peter Carter, an indomitable climate change activist.

How bad can a Trump US presidency be?
Surely it would not be the end of world? Actually it would.
The surprise Trump win turns out to be the latest episode in a decades long overt conspiracy and campaign of deception and "big money" political influence by the American fossil fuel corporations to keep America and the world dependent on and dominated by the fossil fuel industry.
This makes Trump the greatest ever threat to world and US national security. A Trump presidency in the United States would be the end of our world, including particularly America.
During the campaign, a number of reasons were given for a Trump win to be a national security nightmare, but the greatest, most definite security issue has been all but missed.
Trump as president would be the end of US national and world security because his stated agenda is to pollute the planet to death with catastrophic levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases, global warming, climate disruption, and ocean acidification.
This is definite. It is in his platform on his campaign website, where, if elected president, Trump promises to "unleash America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves." That "unleashing" — at a time when we should be desperately trying to meet a goal of zero carbon emissions — would result in the collapse of the life-sustaining biosphere, both land and oceans.
Since the Trump win, several reasons have been given why the Electoral College in the United States should not confirm Trump, but global climatic annihilation is not one of them.
The reason a Trump presidency would be the end of the world, which he has made no secret of, is that he rejects any measures to mitigate the effects of atmospheric greenhouse gas pollution. Worse still, his election platform is to burn all the American fossil fuels as fast as they can be fracked and mined. According to the science of greenhouse gases, this will lead to the end of American and world agriculture, ending civilization and making an unlivable world for today’s children.
The resulting global climate disruption, with its ever escalating heat waves, forest fires, drought, ocean heating, ocean deoxygenation and ocean acidification makes the Trump agenda for his nation a death sentence for our planet.
The media gave the impression during the lead up to the election that Donald Trump had no fixed policies and just made things up as he went along the campaign trail — and they are still saying he has no election mandate. That is dangerously not the case. 
We're now hearing that Trump is back pedalling on a lot of his campaign rhetoric, including admitting that climate change might be real. But let's not be fooled. This man is a shill for Big Money and the fossil fuel corporations — and we know they will stop at nothing. There is no longer any distinction between the Church of Greed and State in the United States of America.

20 November 2016

I Think Permaculture Can Save the World (or At Least Delay Our Demise)


I finally found it. In the least expected place!

I was listening to a wonderfully inspiring webinar yesterday morning called Regenerative Moringa Farming. But it was about much more than that. Aaron Elton (a Vancouverite) was actually talking about a model that is lifting orphanages and villages in Uganda (his adopted homeland) out of food insecurity and poverty with large scale permaculture projects that include regenerative moringa farming.

As someone who's going to be teaching an introduction to sustainable development to first year university students in the new year, I was excited to hear Aaron talking about initiatives that are profitable (economy), healthy (social equity), beneficial (environment) — the 3 Es of sustainability — and fun (if it ain't fun, it ain't sustainable).

One of my most important take-aways from the webinar was the importance of being open to and building partnerships (including unlikely ones) when trying to get something new off (or on!) the ground.

I think I've admitted this before, but sometimes the only thing that can get me up in the morning is the potential for preservation of our species found in the principles and processes of permaculture.

Okay, so what was it that I finally found in this unexpected place? Aaron shared a quote that crisply explains my view of hope in the face of demise.

There is nothing so well known
as that we should not expect
something for nothing —
but we all do
and call it Hope.
— Edgar Watson Howe
There. That's it. You want hope? Then do something about the climate change emergency! Do not do nothing and expect a result. False hope never saved anyone's skin.

And if you want to do something exciting, take a class on permaculture ... and then get to work in the soil.

13 November 2016

"Your Anger is a Gift"



Someone writing about the self-doubt that keeps new permaculturalists from spreading the word as permaculture educators quoted a powerful rock song from the early 1990s.



"'YOUR ANGER IS A GIFT'

These words have been muttered by Rage Against the Machine’s lead singer Zac Dela Rocha for at least two decades, and its likeness noted within any cultural movement attempting to reapportion justice for centuries prior, members of permaculture being no exception.

We need to learn to harness, or "catch and store" our energy in whatever form it takes. And all too often when faced with our contemporary scenario we are struck by an overwhelming anger. I’m saying we need to use it."
"Your anger is a gift." That first word, "your," really spoke to me this week. 

I was starting to feel pretty hysterical the night of the American election. I live in western Canada, a stone's throw from our border with the United States, and the angst on this side of the boundary cast a pall over our small community. But my nerves and tears and nausea turned to anger when I realized what (and who) American voters had unleashed on the rest of the world, especially what their president-elect stands for.

Then it began, early the next morning. All the posts and messages and listserves and articles exhorting us to remain positive and full of love and hope and light. To which I say, Phooey! That's like asking someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one to buck up. No, thank you. My anger is my gift!

My love and light and compassion are reserved for the children — of all species — and all future generations who do not deserve to have the sins of their elders visited upon them, especially when we thought we'd made some progress in so many areas. 

Mother Bear anger is a completely rationale reaction to what is going on south of our border. I need my anger to give me strength to stick up for what I know is right. I need my anger to energize me for the climate change fights ahead. I need my anger to give me courage in case the hate crimes and horrible bullying creep across the border. I will not stand idly by. 

p.s. Two days after the election came the news that Our Children's Trust has been given the green light to carry on with its climate change suit against the US federal government. Now THAT'S something to feel good about!

06 November 2016

Well, America, This Compasson Tune-Up is for You

Tenterhooks. That's what much of the world is sitting on these last few days before the 2016 American presidential election. Friends in the United States, please do the right thing. We'll be thinking of you on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, it's been a long while since we had a compassion tune-up. This song, Make a Change, by Nahko and Medicine for the People (and featuring Zella Day), really struck a chord for me. I will make a change. I will do it. Not "I want someone else to do it." I will make the change that I want to see in the world! Powerful. 

For Standing Rock ...



[Zella Day]
If I make it out alive, I will make a change

[Verse 1: Nahko Bear]
I need a change, it’s evident
A transformation imminent
A chance for my soul’s intelligence to redefine lines of indifference
I ride past the spirit with the well-scratched pad
Always looking at my poetry for the reasons I had
Never stopped and let someone else take the wheel
Now I’m in the backseat like "What the fuck is real?"
Got to bury the hatchet
Bones, no casket
The dead don’t dance to a liar's message
So restless
Cross it off my checklist
Poetic warfare, a bear with horse hair
He’s reckless, acts like he’s got a death wish
True hey hoka, tricking the trickster
Laws of nature, loyal creature
Son of the most high, willing to wager my plan
And I'ma stick to it
I'ma ultimately liberate my consciousness

[Pre-Chorus: Nahko + (Nahko & Zella)]
I want the change
(I will make a change)

[Chorus: Zella + (Zella & Nahko)]
If I make it out alive, I’ll come out on the other side
If the sacrifice I owe is the reason that I die
And I know this too shall pass, so I put it in the past
And of all the things I fear, it isn’t now and it isn’t here
I’ll make a change (I will make a change)

[Verse 2: Nahko]
And it comes at a cost, well, that’s obvious
My list of distractions is infinite
My delusions of grandeur are all equipped
With dark lords, back doors, and some wizard shit
Well, I did not know they were gonna choose me
And I oughta take myself more seriously
'Cause what comes through me no it ain’t no trick
And I know that all of us are born with different gifts, so
Lift yourself from darkness, take a couple steps back
On an abstract attack I fell beneath the cracks
I didn’t come here to drone out and drag my feet
Stand in quicksand, both hands, and accept defeat
I got work to do, let me get back at it
The clock is tickin’, I can hear it through the static
Now I’m not being dramatic, enemies don’t sleep
In fact, some aren’t human and that’s hard to believe
'Cause I’m such a visual person, my third eye don’t lie
He’s a wise guy inside, even fooled himself twice
Thinking maybe I’m not ready to be leading the way
I mean, fuck, I’m only human, bound to make some mistakes
An earthquake took place within my lifetime of fear
I hear this too shall pass, the beginning is near

[Pre-Chorus: Nahko + (Nahko & Zella)]
I want the change
(I will make a change)

[Chorus: Zella + (Zella & Nahko)]
If I make it out alive, I’ll come out on the other side
If the sacrifice I owe is the reason that I die
And I know this too shall pass, so I put it in the past
And of all the things I fear, it isn’t now and it isn’t here
I’ll make a change (I will make a change)

[Verse 3: Nahko]
I wanna walk in righteousness
But I keep tripping over ditches of my selfishness
I wanna pass a fist to a pacifist
I keep beating 'round the bush instead of facing it
So I’m facing it, some gladiator shit
Yeah, I’m rippin' over rhythms, yeah, I’m healin' it
But it’s non-stop knocks from the mountain tops
To the city block. To the tanks: stop and block
Another brother got shot dead on the sidewalk
While the cops doing inside jobs and I'm shocked
So my hands are stretched out to the sky
Got some poems in my left and a gun in my right
And my eyes’ll cry over bulletproof pride
'Cause I know I didn’t come to make it out alive
And I thrive in the midst of a battle
Front lines, you can see me in the struggle
These are the songs of a walk towards revival
Even brave men can put down their rifles
I got my orders, and I'ma follow them
You can find me kickin' back inside the lion’s den
I’m making friends and amends with some evil men
Gonna bring them in, inject them with the medicine
I'ma do no harm, but I'ma take no shit
And I’ma build a bridge out of the emptiness
And then potentially, well, I'ma live to be
The hardest working bear in the fucking industry
Yeah!

[Outro: Nahko + Zella]
I will make a change
I will make a change
I will make a change

30 October 2016

Looking for Hope in All the Wrong Places

"Beyond sad," said the friend who sent me these headlines

Hopemongering. I don't know if I'm right or wrong on this, but I have a very strong sense that it's a disservice. 

Okay, a disclaimer up front: I guess I'm already showing my bias, since the word "monger" comes with negative connotations. According to my computer's dictionary, it means "a person who promotes a specified activity, situation, or feeling, especially one that is undesirable or discreditable (such as a rumormonger or a warmonger)."

So what, you might ask, is undesirable or discreditable about people wanting to promote hope in the world? Well, if you know me, you'll know that I don't see hope as as an action verb. I see "hoping" as a kind of hand-wringing distraction from action. "Oh, I hope everything will be okay." "Fine, but what are you actually doing to make it okay?"

Furthermore, hope (the noun) is a privilege — and one that much of the world no longer has access to, or never did. If you have hope in this day and age, it's because the climate change emergency hasn't knocked your world flat ... yet. It hasn't ruined your crops, swept your home into the sea, or killed your baby daughter ... yet. It just hasn't hit the fan where you live ... yet. 

But there's no time for resting on hopeful laurels. If you have the privilege of still "having hope," then you are one of the few in a position to be doing something about the climate change emergency. Not collecting hopeful stories. Not using magical thinking. Not creating Twitter storms about optimism. Not hosting optimism summits. Not constantly seeking some magical balance between "doom and gloom" and hope. Not celebrating the micro successes that are just going to be undone by rising temperatures and the resulting climate chaos.
No! We should be spitting mad! We should be standing up and demanding IN VERY LOUD VOICES that OUR CHILDREN DESERVE A VIABLE FUTURE! We should be standing in solidarity with Standing Rock — and with anyone else who recognizes the dangerousness of the fossil fuel economy and is brave enough to stand up to Big Oil and Big Money. 

Research likes to show that appeals to fear can lead to "defensive avoidance" or desensitization and disengagement. But who has studied appeals to anger? I mean, good gawd, they are stealing the future from your children for the sake of greed and profit! They are making the biosphere inhospitable to life! They are turning 10,000 years of a relatively stable climate (that gave us agriculture and civilization and Twinkies) to ratshit! Get angry, people! For Earth's sake! You're being ripped off!

If you're not convinced that anger is the "proper" emotion to be feeling and expressing right now, consider watching PBS's People's Century, Part 19: Endangered Planet. Watch it with just one question in mind: What role did anger play? (Minute 26 is an excellent example, but watch from the beginning to understand the context.)

Or let me put this another way. If a young child comes to you, with tears in his eyes, and says, "We're killing Nature, aren't we?" will you respond, "Gee, I hope not." Or will you say — and know it to be true because you are one of those people — "Sweetheart, there are thousands of adults around the world right now working very hard to make sure that does not happen."

23 October 2016

Let's Get Our Priorities Right

There's a little war going on in my tiny community. An arts group has fired its founder just as that person was handing over the reins to a new artistic director. Someone's retirement plans have been scuppered. Reputations and relationships are being ruined. Recriminations are zinging around the ether.

It's got me upset. But not for the reasons anyone involved might assume. I'm upset because all the time, money and energy being usurped to fight this battle would be infinitely better spent on fighting the climate change emergency.

I'm not saying the arts aren't important. They are. I know that music, along with other creative pursuits, has saved many a life -- and will become increasingly important as respite for those fatigued from battling government inaction, Big Money and Fossil Fuel Corporation intransigence, pignorant (from pretend ignorance) deniers, and, especially, pervasive public apathy in the face of the climate crisis.

But these days, ANY argument, quarrel, disagreement, squabble, fight, fracas, dispute, wrangle, clash, altercation, feud, contretemps, falling-out, tiff, row, blowup, rhubarb or shitstorm (thank you, online dictionary) that ISN'T about climate change and getting humanity to zero carbon is a dreadful waste of valuable time and energy and possibly money.

I'm trying to summon the courage to present that very rant at their next AGM. I'm going to ask them to rewind ... back to before the relationship went sour. (It's a technique that works in marriages.) And then to move forward like the adults they all are. Life is too short and there's too much good work to accomplish to squander precious personal and organizational time, energy and resources on misunderstandings, missteps and regrets.

Wish me luck! It's time we all start to realize what's important in this lifetime and get our priorities right.

Follow up: It's sadly vindicating when I write about a topic here on this blog and then a few days later see that someone famous and infinitely more scientifically literate than I am has since said something similar. Bill Nye, the Science Guy, has been lamenting the lack of scientific literacy in the United States. You can watch his video, How Science Skeptics Hold the World Back, here. (And hey, is he getting cuter or what? ;-)

16 October 2016

When You're a Climate Change Activist, Everything Looks Like ...

My 20-something niece is visiting from out east. It's fun spending time together. It's also incredible (as in, unbelievable) how many things she can (and does) do with her computer and her cell phone. 

One thing that she's shared with me is the phenomenon of (young) people watching other (young) people play video games while filming themselves making comments on those video games. For us old fogies, it would be like watching a film of a film critic watching a film while critiquing it out loud. I think. It's called Let's Play gameplay commentary. I guess my generation just watched sports on TV with announcers and "sportscasters" and Don Cherry (if you grew up in Canada).

My niece has a whale of a time, laughing right out loud (loudly!) while watching this one particular online, um, player (is that the term?). She's shown me a couple of his vids -- the ones where he's not playing a video game (I was never one for watching "sports" on TV) but talking with his fans (over a million of them!). 

No, wait, the particular fellow I'm talking about has (at present) ... wait for it ... 14.8 million subscribers. It only took Franklin D. Roosevelt 27,313,945 votes to be elected president of the United States. This guy could have a future in politics.

But all I keep thinking is: "This "Youtube personality" could be saving the world! This gameboy could be instructing all his fans on what to do about the climate change emergency! This guy could be a world leading climate change activist!" Yup, that's what is running through my head when I watch. (Sorry to my niece.)

It happens a lot. There's an expression that when you're a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. (Others might say "If your only tool is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.") So yup, I'm a climate change activist, and everything to me is either a possible activist tool or a waste of a potential activist's time, money or energy. 

It's certainly somewhat of a curse, but it can be a party trick, too, of course. "Let's see how long it takes Julie to work climate change into a discussion of x, y or z." I can sometimes go as long as 20 minutes before making the connection. ;-)

Something similar happens when I find myself watching TV. We don't have a TV at home, so when I'm staying at a hotel, for example, I watch some television to see what the vast majority of North Americans are doing with their evenings ("On average, American adults are watching five hours and four minutes of television per day").

I was at a conference the other day and relaxed afterwards in my hotel room by watching a TV show about a couple looking to buy an island off the coast of Nicaragua. And it happened again. I started shouting at the TV: "Are you nuts? What about sea level rise? Look at the erosion that's happening already!" 

The realtor even pointed out the coastal erosion to these "investors" (he must have heard me yelling) but they bought it anyway. What a lost opportunity for that show to teach about the impacts of climate change, especially in the tropics. Nicaragua is in the top four countries most affected by climate change in the last two decades. (Who knew?)

Like I said, when you're a climate change activist, everything looks like an opportunity to teach (and learn) about the climate change emergency.