- He undoes all of the climate change distortions in local media in less than140 characters. Holla @Twitter!
- It reminded me how important it is to keep light-hearted about these seriously not light-hearted issues. When I worked inside the beltway, I made sure to watch the Daily Show and Colbert Report as a lifeline.
Stephen Colbert tweeted about climate change in what is hands down my favorite tweet ever. After I stopped laughing/falling off my chair I thought about exactly why it is amazing:
So this post is a bit of a cheat, because I already did a post about Hydrating Reusably at the Office (read there for facts/data/why it matters). But last week we had an event at work honoring America Recycles Day and I got to meet environmental champion Ed Begley Jr....who was ONLY taking photos with employees that committed to refill. My coworkers did me so proud!
And it motivated me to take my personal commitment one step further. I changed a habit! When I traveled this past weekend, I brought an empty reusable bottle through airport security and filled up on the other side. I think for the first time!? I really felt good AND there was a bit of pleasure in sticking it to the man by not paying the absurdly high post-security price of food and drink.
Want to hear a horrifying fact? Those plastic water bottles behind Ed and I in the display represent the amount the U.S. throws away in less than one second. The U.S. threw away 273 times that amount during the 2 hours of our recycling event. Hundreds of people stopped by to look at it with disgust/horror faces, and it only made it clearer. Time to ban the bottle from your life, it's the enviro(ish) thing to do. Let's get to it!
psst....have you done it yet?? If not, why not?
Environmentalists threw down the gauntlet a few years ago on exactly ONE issue, and it was on the Keystone XL pipeline. The leader of 350.org, Bill McKibben, called it "gameover for the climate". Eco and civil rights protestors and hundreds of youth have been arrested outside the White House. It's been the single point of activism around climate change that galvanized eco peeps across the non-profit spectrum. Because the decision-making is concentrated in one guy: President Barack Obama. It's the Administration's ability to approve the pipeline since it will run over an international border with Canada. Or at least it was for many, many years until the House has passed the construction bill in trying to work around him.
Despite being pretty much not an activist (future post on that later), it got me fired up and ready to go. I wrote this letter to our President with my Hope bumper magnet (complete with dirt!) in a plea to not approve this disastrous pipeline. So what is it? And what's the big deal?
Repeat after me: the Canadians couldn't get through a pipeline on their own soil to the West/Pacific route (aka why are WE taking the risk they wouldn't do themselves?), tar sands oil is more energy intensive and harmful to the planet requiring us to evaluate our societal direction (answer: it's time to wean ourselves off of oil, not just for the planet but for the power/politics/money that flow with it), the economics are not beneficial (it will create only temporary jobs and a handful permanently, as well as the major issue of externalities).
This one is a doozy, so hold onto your butts enviroish friends!
We had some miraculous rain on Halloween here in Los Angeles. About an inch when the last we've had was one tenth of an inch April 1. Considering the Biblical/DEFCON4 drought in these parts, it was glorious!
The next day I was playing flag football and got mud under my fingernails and had a moment. The kind of moment gardeners must have all the time...how wonderful that feeling of earth is.
It's all about the frame isn't it? Dirt on a chair/bench when I'm dressed up purty is very UNwelcome. But digging my toes into the sand or the feel of soil when you're playing on a field or in a garden is kind of magical. Do you ever have those moments? How do they make you feel?
I'm not really sure how this title sounds to you, my lovely readers, but stick with me on this one. It's been a busy/fun/interesting couple weeks where I got to connect some dots in life. Always a great feeling!
I'm listening to the news today, and we had this gem from Mashable... "do national parks need wi-fi to stay relevant?" SMH. Oh so many things wrong with this idea. Maybe instead of injecting more and more connectivity to avoid "complaints from the teens", we should ask ourselves, what is the value in being disconnected?
A few weeks back I was sitting at the LA Athletic Club for a Women in Green breakfast listening to Kris Tompkins. She's the former CEO of Patagonia who built what is probably the most eco company up from scratch with Yvon Chouinard (Patagucci comments are welcome!). And since leaving Patagonia the company, she's spent almost all her time in Patagonia the region of Chile, buying land parcel by parcel to turn into national parks. It's a practice that has been controversial to some, but no one can deny the massive impact she's had in conserving land.
The conversation went a few different directions, but a couple nuggets have stuck with me. First is the importance of being in nature. This comes at a time when visits to National Parks are down, kids have more screen time than ever, local parks funding is challenging....all of which gets summed up into "Nature Deficit Disorder" in a book Last Child in the Woods (I had aspirations to read it before posting this, but alas, there is this little thing called life that gets in the way....thankfully #nobodysperfect is a core tenet here at enviroish!). Anyways, nature deficit disorder is a clever theory that ties kids behavioral problems and obesity with a disconnection with nature. Given all the trends, it makes a lot of sense.
Kris said something else that stuck with me and identifies why I'm so passionate for our planet. Basically, getting your butt kicked by nature is a very important, if not THE most important, experience that leads you to care for our planet. Ohmygoodness....YES! She encouraged us all to embrace the bugbites, rain, cold, windiness and unpredictability of nature because it reminds us where we peeps really stand. We're just one species on this giant Noah's Ark called Earth, and the sooner we behave that way, the better for all. So if you haven't gotten your butt kicked by nature recently, get out there! Go in the ocean, on a hike, camp in your tent...next time you're traveling, pick a more nature-driven destination. Go forth the way Thoreau intended!
You see, I spent an entire summer in a conservation park in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa getting my butt (and legs, and arms) royally kicked by nature in a way that cannot be forgotten. By rhino-sized ticks kind of nature. By charismatic megafauna NATURE. I pretty much spent 8 weeks of my life doing this....
(adj) balancing caring about the future of our planet with enjoying and living everyday life to the fullest