Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Twitter Rally, May 1 at 9:00am EST

Then we march on Washington - in... when?  September?  I'd like to do it on Monday, September 22nd, for personal reasons... but don't folks normally march on Washington on a weekend?  How about September 20th?

I joined my first Twitter rally a couple of weeks ago, against HR 4302: Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014.  It felt powerful and exciting to be tweeting with others who were demanding this bill be voted down!

And it was signed into law on March 26th.

So.... not the greatest experience my first time 'round.

Still, any time one disses Twitter, someone is sure to pipe up, "But - Arab Spring!"  So it seems to make a difference in some situations.  Probably not the best tool for making Congress budge on climate change legislation - but perhaps a tool to rally support for a September march on Washington?

Something has to give.  Doesn't it?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mobile Blogging!

Given how slowly and inaccuratly I type on a Chiclet keypad, I don't have high hopes for my adoption of this app. Still - having a blog app on my phone make me feel like one of those young kids today! Relevant! On trend! Social! Yay for me!  ;-)

What do we want?

What DO we want?

Do we want action on climate change itself? Or action on mitigation plans? Or do we want both? Or do we just want to comment and add our shrill hysteria to the rising tide of voices that are TALKING and not DOING?  Do we want to FEEL like we're making a difference without actually putting anything at all on the line?

It feels appallingly apparent that we aren't going to get any action out of Washington DC - with the exception of some Executive Orders from President Obama - if we don't raise a holy stink.

But where is that holy stink coming from? Who is out there agitating? Where's the action in the streets?

I "took to Twitter" (gawd I hate that phrase) again this morning and had my usual grumpy epiphany about how it’s just an echo chamber in there. Me sending passionate, earnest tweets about climate change refugees. You sending passionate, urgent tweets about reframing the issue as one of food scarcity, or poverty, or global conflict. (And the occasional troll, demanding answers.)

Of course we did just have Earth Hour. So that’s something.

But where is the action? Where are the protesters? Where are the people chaining themselves to the White House fence? Where are the citizens? Where’s our Occupy the Climate movement?

I blog – you blog – he tweets – we tweet – Al Gore tweets (and attends conferences at swank resorts in the Alps).

Are we all going to be thumbtyping as the toxic bilge waters rise and the fires rage and the storms batter down our sea walls and people die in the streets of Peoria of malaria and dengue fever?

Part of me awaits in breathless anticipation to see how this disaster movie plays out.  Most of me is watching the inaction with utter horror.

Because it’s me, too.

Monday, March 31, 2014

So we had Earth Hour...

So we had Earth Hour… now what?

America did what America so predictably does.  We had a splashy celeb-studded “event.”  Reports say that a billion folks participated, enthusiastically, in this feel good event.  No - that wasn't just Americans, obvy.  ;-)

Our Big Beloved Stars did their bit, all the while hawking their wares – didn’t I see Jamie Foxx talking up Earth Hour whilst also shilling for the newest Spiderman?

Instagram caught the dramatic photos of darkened landmarks.  Twitter raged hotly with tweets about the big event for a few days… then that hashtag went dark.

I’m not the only one who feels not-so-vaguely dismissive of Earth Hour.  Here’s a sample opinion piece from The Australian.

And so now here we are, and it’s a couple of days later, and all of the hubbub and shouting has died, and I’m thinking – so?  So now what?

Into this negative space I propose we start talking about Earth Year.  A whole year – a jam-packed annum – of solid ACTION and COMMUNICATION.  Can we keep at it for a year?  Is that too long for the average American attention span?

Here’s a place to start.  We need to get up Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell’s nose about his latest ridiculous scheme.  He’s introduced a resolution to block an EPA proposal that would limit greenhouse gas emissions by new power plants.  Here’s what the NY Times has to say.

His Twitter handle is @McConnellPress – which means, sadly, he may not see our ire on his hand-held device – but his minions will certainly register rage against his meddling. And hopefully keep him apprised of our rage. And maybe – just MAYBE – start thinking beyond the end of his nose, which right now is plowed up into the crac… oh, I won’t go there.  But you get the picture.

Tweet the man!  Get all up in his grille!  If he thinks those sensible EPA regulations will be a "disaster for Kentucky," he ain't seen nothin' yet.  He's predicting disaster?  Climate change will be a disaster.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Polar Vortex Debacle

If you haven't been paying attention, over the past few days a "drunken" Polar Vortex (is it just me, or was that JPEG not all that funny?) wandered down south and freaked everyone out and started LOUD chatter about how climate change can't be real because, well, COLD, and if the weather is cold, then WARMING cannot possibly be happening.

There's no denying the cold was ferocious - implacable - terrifying, even.  But disproving global warming/climate change?  NOOOO.
Once again, we have a failure to communicate.  The lesson is easy - local weather conditions are not climate change.  Local weather conditions may, in fact, be COLD in some spots.  In the meantime, while Chicago is freezing its collective a$$ off, Australia is apparently baking in its own unprecedented weather - a heat wave.

Both local conditions, as I understand it, can be happening at the same time, while climate change continues unabated as we distract ourselves with nasty Twitter rants and insulting cartoons about how "stupid" the climate change deniers are.
This is getting us nowhere.  NOWHERE.  It's only making the discourse more and more toxic. In turn, I believe this hardens doubters into entrenched positions that might NOT have calcified so badly if the climate change left hadn't insisted on insulting and belittling them!
Do you like being told you're stupid? Do you like being insulted and called out as a mouth breather in public?
No, you do not. Neither do Jane and John Q. Public, who might not have thought about climate change all that much up until now, but are DAMNED certainly not retreating from their position now.
It's freaking COLD in Chicago right now, yes. That doesn't mean that average mean temperatures worldwide aren't climbing dangerously higher. That doesn't mean that we've magically stopped spewing out C02 emissions like they were going out of style. That doesn't mean that we might not LOSE our coastal cities by 2100, if NOAA's predictions are accurate.
The challenge of those of us who care and blog and tweet (and sometimes act against) climate change is to tell that story to people who don't understand, aren't sure, or haven't checked in yet. And we need to do that without insults and shaming and hurling invective.
The golden rule. Never thought I'd quote it, crabby old atheist that I am, but if the shoe fits.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

See the thing is, we “liberals” have done a really pi$$ poor job of communicating about global anthropogenic climate change (GACC! What a hashtag!)

Now that there seems to be 95% agreement among reputable scientists that:

(a) it exists and 

(b) yes, it’s our fault and 

(c) we’ve got to DO SOMETHING – pronto – 

I believe it’s time for liberals to join forces with those who profess to be on the “other side of the aisle” and start working for change together.

Can you think of a more “conservative” value than preserving the weather, temperatures, ecosystems and coastline that we humans evolved in and enjoy? Can you think of a more conservative message than “save this, our traditional way of life?”

I can’t.

It’s essentially the message of the Tea Party, in fact, although what they posit as the “traditional way of life” is a weird, convenient fiction in which the founders of the USA were Christian fundamentalists in the Michele Bachmann mold, no one was gay or lesbian or transgendered, women and people of color knew their places, and White Guys ruled the Earth.

Still, the Tea Party is fighting HARD to save that way of life – they’ve got energy and gusto and verve and crazy eyes a’spinnin’ – and we liberals are talking to each other in the Twitter echo chamber about how stupid climate change deniers are rather than reaching across the aisle to make our case and harness some of that incredible energy!

First things first. I need to STOP it with the denigration of Republicans and conservatives. That way lies stalemate and deadlock. That way lies our failure to make a change to policy and practice soon enough to save the climate and ecosystems we cherish.