Are We Doing What We Can?

Photo by: Martin Rowe

Post-A-Day: Day 7

Wangari Maathai, the founder of the Green Belt Movement, environmentalist, civil and women’s rights activist, and parliamentarian, recently died from complications of ovarian cancer.   Ms. Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for  “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.”   Continue reading

Is Speech Ever Free? (BART Protests)

I’m going to do this a little differently than usual tonight as I want to share different perspectives, and not just give you mine.   don’t try tell anyone how to think, but want to challenge you to engage with these ideas.  Therefore, I’m mostly going to share Twitter posts from tonight, with a few other things sprinkled in.  (Please let me know what you think of the format.  I don’t think I’d want to do this too often, but it was interesting trying to weave together the pieces of the puzzle.)

I left the title intentionally ambiguous as I see two meanings in it which I feel deserve consideration.

  1. Do you believe we have a society in which we are free to speak our minds?
  2. If so, what did we do to earn it?  If not, do we need to?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.  As long as you keep it civil, I’ll make no effort to silence your comments. 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by!


The BART Protests (Background)

Continue reading

Al Gore’s Beautiful Polemic (Call to Action)

Image by: simone.brunozzi

Many of you will have already read Al Gore’s latest piece for the Rolling Stone, but I thought it was worth calling attention to the following passage.  (For those who haven’t had the chance yet, the full article is available here: “Climate of Denial“)

Finally, and above all, don’t give up on the political system. Even though it is rigged by special interests, it is not so far gone that candidates and elected officials don’t have to pay attention to persistent, engaged and committed individuals. President Franklin Roosevelt once told civil rights leaders who were pressing him for change that he agreed with them about the need for greater equality for black Americans. Then, as the story goes, he added with a wry smile, “Now go out and make me do it.”

To make our elected leaders take action to solve the climate crisis, we must forcefully communicate the following message: “I care a lot about global warming; I am paying very careful attention to the way you vote and what you say about it; if you are on the wrong side, I am not only going to vote against you, I will work hard to defeat you — regardless of party. If you are on the right side, I will work hard to elect you.”

You have to take notice when a former vice president suggests an issue has become bigger than party.  I’m with him.  It’s time to get serious about protecting the planet.  From a climate change perspective it wouldn’t matter which party won future elections.  Wouldn’t that shake things up a bit?

Here’s another passage which speaks to the paradigm shift which has to take place.  Scientific knowledge has progressed to the point where it has proven that the norm has changed.

But in this case, the President has reality on his side. The scientific consensus is far stronger today than at any time in the past. Here is the truth: The Earth is round; Saddam Hussein did not attack us on 9/11; Elvis is dead; Obama was born in the United States; and the climate crisis is real. It is time to act.

The whole climate change argument reminds of Mahatma Ghandi’s famous quote on social change.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

We’re firmly rooted in stage three of that process.  It’s time to go for the win.

Image by: davew.wilson

If you liked this post, you might want to check out a stunning video I recently shared:

Visual Representation of Atmospheric CO2