Tuesday, June 3, 2014

And so the conservative backlash begins.

GOP stalwarts across the nation are yelping that President Obama’s sensible new EPA rules will cost thousands upon thousands of jobs and cost millions upon millions of dollars.

I’d like to consider what the implications of that would be, if in fact they are correct (which they very decidedly are not).  What if these EPA rules will cost jobs?  What if they will cost money?  What if energy prices will go rocketing up for local consumers?

Well – what’s the alternative?

If the alternative is that we have NO regulations – that if the US doesn’t lead on climate change and make great strides towards reducing our emissions – then we will have unchecked, runaway climate change.  And the consequences will be catastrophic.  And that will cost us a LOT more money, as well as lives.


So if the GOP is right about this, and if the EPA regulations will take an economic toll, then we need to ask ourselves – will the economic toll from climate change be even worse?

I didn't have to watch Cosmos last night to know the answer.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

In Which the Elements Conspire Against Us

EARTH  AIR  FIRE  ICE

From fire in California http://tinyurl.com/n8peuty to storm surges in Manhattan (water) http://tinyurl.com/pulmhql to melting ice caps and glaciers http://tinyurl.com/anvaub8 to the hideous dangers from fracking (earthquakes in Ohio?!) http://www.dangersoffracking.com/ it feels as though the classic elements themselves are conspiring against us.

It feels a bit of a poetic, Gothic sort of comeuppance for our carbon emissions sins. And very fitting.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Polar bears, penguins and pie charts...

Have got to go.

As a communications strategy they are swiftly diminishing in utility. Which is a polite way of saying - they're no longer working! 

I recently read that, over the past 6 years, the number of Americans who "believe" in climate change has actually gone down. Yet many in the climate change activism community continue to blog and tweet and talk about the same old things. Here a pie chart, there a graph, there a picture of a (robustly fluffy) polar bear cub on a crumbling ice floe.

These things speak to me. If you're reading this post, they likely speak to you, too. But it's becoming more and more apparent that they've grabbed all the market share they can - and we need some new communications tools in our toolbox!

We have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to topics of conversation, because climate change is affecting everything!

So let's ditch the wildlife - or at least reduce the mentions - and focus on people. We can talk about taxes - food security - insurance prices - the lives of firefighters and other first responders - food prices - disease - kids - the mysterious die-off of moose in the great northern woods - real estate in Florida - crumbling infrastructure in the midst of ever wilder weather - tornado alley becoming tornado boulevard - chocolate and coffee - climate change refugees - ticks moving north (see "moose die-off, above) - farmers - gardeners - bees - hunting - fishing - our national parks... Truly, the list is pretty much endless.

So consider giving the polar bear and penguin pics a rest. Trust that the evidence backs you up, WITHOUT having to brandish a graph or pie chart every time you speak about climate change!

It's real - it's here - it's flucking gripping - and we need to reach out and grab people's hearts and emotions as well as their minds by telling them the story of how the things that they love are in imminent peril.

The "opposition" has no compunction about using nakedly manipulative language, and they don't have truth on their side. We have the truth on our side. It shouldn't be hard to communicate effectively and change minds. We just need to switch up tactics - and soon.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

That Sinking Feeling

Watching football this morning - NBC now carries Premiere League matches, and as I type I am watching Stoke v Cardiff with half an eye - and I was suddenly struck by the ads unspooling before me.

Off-road vehicles (the top of the line model comes with a free winch!).

Motor sports - can you say "pointless waste of fossil fuel?

And lately on every channel I've been agog at all of the stuff we Americans consume that we simply do not need - that guzzle gas - that waste resources and that the production and distribution of which must pollute and lay waste... 

Riding lawn mowers. For suburban home lawns, not golf courses. 

Huge, nearly industrial scale air conditioning units for the home - marketed by pushing the concept of personal comfort above all.

Luxury cars - immense heavy resource-gulping CO2-emitting monsters that by all rights ought to have gone the way of the dodos decades ago, but that have somehow crept back into the market and are shamelessly touted with no reference to their gas mileage - just by pandering to the apparently endless human need to feel like a member of the pampered leisure class.

Appliances - giant gleaming brushed steel monstrosities that grow larger... and larger... and larger... and clearly are no longer being replaced when they wear out, but rather when they are no longer "on trend" and don't fit in with the decor.

The sinking feeling is not that any of this exists, but that all of it - the whole pleasure-principal driven, self-indulgent, mindless, wasteful, selfish consumer culture that surrounds and enfolds us and strangles us in its endlessly inventive tenticles occupies a space so far below our conscious "this is bad for the environment" radar screen that it will ultimately prove impossible to get people to wake up and realize that WE DON'T NEED THIS STUFF. And it - the production and consumption and powering and disposal of it - is part of what is destroying our precious climate.

There are some days when I don't have much hope.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Twitter Rally. No - really!

What if they held a Twitter rally and nobody came?

That’s likely to happen to me on May 1st at 9:000am EST if I can’t figure out a way to get the word out to more people. As of this morning I have 571 followers on Twitter – a petite following if ever there was one – and with that minute reach, it’s going to be a stretch to get anyone else to participate.

I actually had the temerity to ask for RTs – got two, I think – and then lapsed back into my introverted of mode of not wanting to “bother” people.

But it’s Twitter, fer cryin’ out loud!  Twitter!  The very model of an invasive social networking platform!

So I need to gird my loins to be loud and persistent and repetitious.  And also to be roundly and thunderously ignored.  But if I don’t try to get the word out, I’ll have failed at my very first Twitter activism thingie, and that is no way to help foment a revolution.

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!  ;-)