Posts Tagged ‘Activism’

Found this morning in my mailbox, a mail from Science Debate 2008, a citizen-led initiative launched in December 2207, and now 10,000 members strong, including some of the most prestigious names in science, technology, and business:

Dear Marguerite,

We are pleased to announce that the world’s largest general scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), has become an official cosponsor of Science Debate 2008. You can read more about it here.

Please expect more major announcements very soon.

In case you missed it, you can hear one of our organizers, Shawn Lawrence Otto, talk with Ira Flatow on National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation: Science Friday.

Click here to listen:

Thank you for your help – the ONLY reason we are making this progress is because of your support. Check out the amazing lists of signers here and here, and please – forward this to your friends and colleagues and ask them to join this important initiative.

Finally, we need some help. We have been personally volunteering full time for this effort, and throwing in our own personal funds, and we need to pay for more web hosting, travel, communications, and event organizing. Please consider making an online donation here.

Thank you!

The team at ScienceDebate2008.com

This is a very important initiative. I am hoping you will join me in supporting Science Debate 2008. Just one click!


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Following yesterday’s discussion, I thought it would be appropriate to share excerpts from  ‘Everything’s Cool‘, the recently released documentary from award-winning co-directors and co-producers, Daniel B. Gold and Judith Helfand:

The answer is: not.


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Here, for a break from heavy duty green psychology and heady reflections on climate change, is a story from the heart by Elizabeth Tjader. I met Elizabeth through the green web of DotEarth, and was so impressed by the authenticity of her search that I asked her to share it in a BlogAct on La Marguerite. Elizabeth shows us yet one more path to green-ness. We each have our own. May her tale inspire you to find it.

My green quest began quite literally some 20 years ago when I embarked upon a cleansing of my body, mind and spirit to become clean and sober from drugs and alcohol. A literal “greening”, if you will. “Green” is the color of the heart chakra. I am not surprised. For it will be our hearts that ultimately lead us to make better, conscious choices for healing our Earth. Mary Anderson, author of ‘Color Healing‘ assigns attributes of balance, peace and harmony to the color green. And once again, it will be these aforementioned characteristics born from our green heart chakras that will ultimately lead us to a greener, healthier Earth.

Until I became sober, you might say I’d been living in-authentically, fraudulently, polluted. Sobriety cleaned me up. It enabled me to hear the voice of my soul, the voice of nature. Perhaps they are one in the same; the voices of God. (don’t run, hear me out!) One day at a time, one plant at a time, I was pulled to tend the Earth, investigate it with my fingers; squishing it, tilling it, loving it, massaging it. Layer upon layer of clay and sand and loam revealed earthworms, cocoons, centipedes, and myriad other earthly treasures. I heard buzzing, trilling, wing fluttering. Those utterances would become, I would later discover, the chorus of a healthy and pulsating green earth. Then, quite unexpectedly one day, a butterfly hit my forehead, or, as the butterfly might tell the story, “and then, quite unexpectedly; smack! A woman walked right into my probiscus!”.

Journey to Green, a BlogAct by Elizabeth Tjader

However it happened, it was no coincidence. No other creature embodies a greater metaphor for transformation historically, artistically and literally than the butterfly. The gift of metamorphosis. The power to change. I learned to listen, to see, to hear, to touch, to notice. There has been no greater gift to the health and well being of my own spirit than that of the butterfly. As it teaches all of us so gracefully through its own miraculous journey from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to the grandest of winged creatures; we must never, ever give up our quest to live fully. Never.

If I could entice, seduce, lure, beg, plead or even infect all of you with one passionate request, it would be to plant a butterfly garden filled with color and free of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides for the benefit of all species. One of the greatest risks to wildlife and our Earth today is poisoning. Poisoning by the backyard gardener whose shed is filled with the above mentioned toxins. Poisoning happens many ways, as we who love this planet continue to discuss. But by becoming “greener” in our gardens, our home tended sanctuaries just might ripple the tiny steps needed to build the gigantic wave of synergistic healing ameliorating our biosphere.

Prevention is the premise upon which a healthy garden is cultivated. Just like with our own bodies and taking care of them nutritionally, the greatest gift you can give our Earth and all its inhabitants is to build a green and sustainable garden foundation by incorporating compost, seasoned manures and leaf decay. Whether a tiny plot of land, several configured pots, a town park, or a great big backyard, we can create personal and community garden sanctuaries filled with greens, purples, yellows, oranges, pinks, reds, blues, whites and lavenders, giving pause to even Monet for the purpose of creating joy. Butterfly gardens benefit every sentient being. It will change your life course forever. I promise.

Butterflies remain one of the greatest indicators of a healthy environment. Did you know the word ‘psyche’ means both butterfly and soul in Greek? In her book ‘The Spirit of the Butterfly‘, Maraleen Manos-Jones celebrates, “We need butterflies to remind us that positive change is possible, that there is magic in life, that we have to be mindful of our surroundings, because if we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves. Butterflies awaken our spirits and open our hearts. They give us a sense of hope and the possibility of our own transformation and evolution”.

They’re waiting for you, the Monarchs, Swallowtails, Skippers, Gossamer Wings, Fritillaries, Blues, Painted Ladies, California Sisters, Lorquin’s Admirals, Sarah Orangetips. Along with the honeybees, hummingbirds, song birds and dragonflies, all bringing hope, and change, and peace.

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In the interest of the Not So Green Exposure Project, and also for all of you with the desire to activate, I am passing on this mail, just received from MoveOn.org:

Dear MoveOn member,

In the last year, the major TV networks asked the presidential candidates 2,679 questions. Pop quiz: How many were about global warming?

A) 514—after all, it’s one of the top issues facing the country
B) 165—as many as were asked about illegal immigration
C) 3—the same number asked about UFOs

If you guessed 3, you’re right: Reporters asked as many questions about UFOs as they did about the climate crisis—the biggest threat to our planet.1

Can you sign our petition urging top TV reporters to ask the presidential candidates about global warming? Click here to add your name:


The petition to the reporters says: “The American public deserves to know where all the candidates stand on the climate crisis and the solutions they propose to address it. Asking those questions is your responsibility.”

Please forward this email to your friends, family, and co-workers.

The media help decide what’s an “issue” in the ’08 election. Unless climate change is on the ’08 election agenda, it won’t be on the next president’s agenda. And the UN’s top climate expert warned: “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two or three years will determine our future.”2

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. And polls show that voters care about it.3 But somehow, the TV networks never got the memo. NBC’s top political reporter, Tim Russert, didn’t ask a single question about global warming last year. Same for Sunday political show hosts on CBS and ABC. CNN asked just 1. Incredibly, Republican-leaning Fox bested them all with a grand total of 2.

Our friends at the League of Conservation Voters will deliver your signature and comment directly to the TV networks at a press conference in front of their Washington, D.C., headquarters. And they’ll use our petition signatures to prove there’s public demand for TV anchors to ask about climate change.

Sign this petition to urge TV anchors to ask about climate change. Clicking here will add your name:


Thank you for all you do.

–Noah, Wes, Ilyse, Justin, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

1. “What Are They Waiting For?”, League of Conservation Voters

2. “Desperate times, desperate scientists,” Salon News, December 12, 2007

3. “Poll: Finding Their Voice as Agents of Change,” Democracy Corps, October 30, 2007

All it takes is one click.

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Philip DeFranco is appealing for all of us to unite and fight, regardless of the cause of Arctic melting. There is new evidence that nature and man, both, are cooking the Arctic, and causing accelerated melting of the ice. It looks like the Arctic was in for some warming up, and that we are just responsible for those few extra degrees that are going to make all the difference – between sea level staying as is versus catastrophic rising. Needless to say, the threat of waters rising has never been greater. Philip’s point is, no matter what’s the cause, we, the humans are the only ones who can do something about it.

Will we listen to Philip? I listened to him and my first reaction was, how refreshing, a call from the young to wake up. Quickly, though, my cynical side questioned the value of such plea. It seems that not a week goes by without another celebrity taking the stage, and exhorting the crowds . . .

And I go back to the need for leadership, policy, organizing, and practical solutions. In other words, the North Korelia experiment.

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Back from a local training meeting for Obama volunteers. The room was overflowing with people, all fired up to go out and mobilize voters. This was my first time attending a political meeting, and the first time for many of the people there as well.

I was thinking about the article I wrote regarding the Psychological Challenges and Opportunities of Global Warming, and the difficulty of getting people from being ‘concerned and unmoved‘ to being ‘concerned and moved‘. What is different this time with Obama, that moved me into action? Maybe there is something to be learned here, that can be applied to behavioral environmental srategies.

The Power of Charismatic Leadership to Inspire Environmental Action

What made me drive to the local Obama headquarters this morning was my enthusiasm for the man himself. I feel a personal connection with him, his values, and his journey. I respond to his charisma, and his qualities as an extraordinary leader, and uniter of all people. This morning I felt the power of the crowd, of no longer being just one person, but part of something greater, a chance to participate in history.

And I have to agree with Michael Oppenheimer again, that ‘strong leaders can at least create the conditions where attention is paid to a key issue like global warming‘. What I may not be able to accomplish on my own, I may do as a follower of a charismatic leader such as Obama, and as a member of the (environmental) community that he is creating.

This, by the way, does not mean, that I am to wait for Obama to get elected to do my personal share of the fight against global warming.

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Andrew Revkin took The Guardian‘s newly published list of ‘50 People Who Could Save the Planet‘ and asked his readers to come up with their own list. Mine included The Unknown Environmentalist.

Tribute to the Unknown Environmentalist

I feel it is time to pay tribute to The Unknown Environmentalist. You know, the one who is leading a quiet revolution, far from the limelight. No fanfare, no big announcements, no blog. Instead the power of one’s daily actions. Day after day of biking, walking, carpooling, or taking the bus, or the train. Remembering to turn off the lights. Heating only as much as really needed. Reducing, re-using, recycling, of course. Borrowing and lending stuff to neighbors and family, whenever possible. Going to Freecycle when all else fails. Not wasting food. Eating sensibly, and in accordance with the laws of nature. Working at a job that makes a bit, or maybe even a lot of difference. Living in a modest dwelling. Composting. Saying no to junk mail. Giving away money to environmental organizations. Doing laundry only when absolutely necessary. Going for the clothesline every time. Saying no to the temptation of the garbage disposal. Being creative with old clothes. Never bathing. Showering, quick. Signing petitions. Voting. The Unknown Environmentalist cannot help but live the life of a responsible green citizen. And is motivated by internal rewards from a highly developed green conscience.

To you, The Unknown Environmentalist, I say thank you for doing your share and more of saving the planet.

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