Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Colby Wishes You a Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! Below is my Earth Day note, a kind of “I Wish People Knew” meme I’m sharing today. Please see below.  Inspired by a brilliant and inspirational Kyle Schwartz writing assignment for her students: “I Wish My Teacher Knew.”  This breaks open some walls for insight, simple and elegant. 

I hope the world starts polluting less.

I hope we can start using less water in California.

I hope conservative Republicans who own coalfields and oilfields can somehow admit climate change is manmade and real.

A 97% consensus among climate scientists confirming this is a ridiculously high consensus in any scientific field.

I hope people stop eating as much meat.

One acre of Amazon rain forest is cleared every second for raising cattle. Digital download only $1 on or after Earth Day.

I hope the next-generation figures out clever ways to get CO2 out of the atmosphere.

I hope the next-generation figures out clever ways to re-forest land and desalinate water without using a lot of fossil fuels and energy.

I hope kids everywhere get to play and worship religion or not without the fear of being targeted and marginalized.

I wish all religions would teach peace and tolerance first.

I want to learn more about all the world's religions and find more about what I like about the human nature and our spirit in each of them.

I hope there's less violence in video games and TV in the future.

I don't watch a lot of violent TV and movies, and I haven't for a while.

I think it's better to provide constructive entertainment and hobbies for people and to be active rather than to be passive and voyeuristic of socially negative behavior.

I wish more people would mature out of being petty and juvenile (i.e., blog replies, etc.) in their responses rather than embracing what's possibly good when happening upon new information.

Gwyneth Paltrow trying to live on food stamps for a week has created a broader conversation and consideration about how difficult that is.
But many have chosen to ridicule her for hypocrisy.

Read this woman's story about food stamps and try not having compassion.

I think the knee-jerk reaction of wanting to immediately denigrate things outside oneself is not constructive.

I wish people in California would watch my 2-minute water valve video to easily save water in their homes.

I wish people would all consider an electric car next time they need to purchase a car.  

A Chevy Volt driven mostly in the city can get 160 miles to the gallon (being driven just on electric batteries most of the time, up to 40 miles a trip). Many days they never burn a drop of oil.

I wish it was state law that all new homes have solar panels included in their construction.

The Keystone pipeline could actually transport water from flooded areas in the Northeast and Canada saving millions of dollars and floods and insurance damage and bring that water to the drying south and the west.
I think and others think that bringing water into these areas that need it is more important then taking out extremely difficult to extract and destructive polluting fossil fuel reserves and trudging that across our country creating spills and more of a market for an obsolete power source. I wish many things.

I wish people knew some say clean energy is already winning. That it’s a battle against entrenched greed but that we can economically save the planet’s ecosystems (and hopefully coastal cities, and many/most species, etc.).

I wish it's a good day for most people on the earth.

And better days for them ahead.


Earth Day, Obama in the Everglades, Bipartisan Effort

"In a call with reporters, Earnest emphasized the history of bipartisan support for the Everglades, crediting Jeb Bush for investing in restoration as governor. But he also implied that you can’t care too deeply about the Everglades if you don’t care about climate."

Read more:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Woman's Story About Making Ends Meet, Hard Times, and Food Stamps

Here Shame on those who vilify anyone on food stamps, or even the concept and program of food stamps itself. Humility and honor, and humor, in her blog post.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Major Profitable US Companies Paid No Taxes in 2014. Broken. Loophole. Bullshit.

   Here   "The revenues raised from eliminating corporate tax subsidies should not be given right back to corporations in the form of tax-rate reductions," the report says. "Instead, as the vast majority of Americans understand, these desperately needed revenues should be used to address our nation’s fiscal problems and to make critically needed public investments in our nation’s future."

"...Think that's an exaggeration? Look at a new report from Citizens for Tax Justice, a Washington, D.C. group. It finds that some of nation's most famous brands have paid remarkably little to the government over the last five years. In fact, many actually enjoyed a negative tax rate: They received a nice rebate check from the U.S. Treasury."

Trans Pacific Partnership is Bad Mojo, Secret Dealing Not Benefitting Public Good

 Here  "It is one thing to play your cards close to your chest during the early stages of a negotiation. Before the Trans-Pacific Partnership is final, however, the American people and Congress should have a chance to weigh in so that changes can be made if necessary. If, as has been suggested, secrecy is out of fear that the public would not like what is in the agreement, then perhaps the administration should reconsider whether this is a good agreement in the first place." 

Read more here:

I Wish My Teacher Knew meme, Bursts Open Compassion

Here The cynical will start 'I wish my boss knew' threads with bad jokes.
Many will feel the kids hearts and needs in these notes, and see how powerful this little assignment is in gaining insight into a child's psyche, needs and world. We should do this for grown-ups somehow too.
I LOVE THIS IDEA. Thank you teacher Schwartz.

How much food is minimum to feed a person? We could supply this

Here This tangential to the article attached. Gwyneth Paltrow is trying to live on 'food stamps,' or really the equivalent which is like $29 dollars a day. Lots or criticism of course, but does create more conversation about this. (1) It looks every hard and sad, especially with children to feed on this amount too! Heartless that people want to reduce food stamp allotments. In our wealthy country supporting billion dollar wars it is unconscionable that a modern country would let a sizable population of it's own citizens starve or nearly starve so we could make bigger tax cuts for the wealthy, etc. (2) How much food is necessary for each person, protein and carbs and hopefully some vegetables and even sugar? I'm sure this is available on the web, and my instinct is that we could supply this for the population of hungry on the planet, by re-prioritizing expenses etc.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Desalination Plant in San Diego

New York Times decent look, pros and cons. Big cons sucking in sea life and killing fish eggs and larvae, and depositing salt back into sea. Former tricky, latter less so. Terrible precedent to kill more sea life in their already threatened ecosystem and make the sea saltier if this scales up. And the energy required to fire these plants should be as clean and renewable as possible (by further greening of the grid; because if not thoroughly green this obviously would use more fossil fuel which would make things hotter, which would create more drought, etc. That would literally mean we've made earth's major ecosystems unsustainable for life, and have caused a cascade of artificial respiration that if disrupted could create mass extinction on an uninhabitable earth.)

American Exceptionalism?

Really? Fraught with inequality, greed, racism, and environmental destruction. This an eye-opening look at a country that needs to improve, badly.

Sunset, Venice 12/20/2012

Sunset, Venice 12/20/2012
I've been thinking some about the Winter Solstice, the Mayan end of the 30,000-year-cycle on 12/21/12.

What if in fact the world did end? To live consciously, even though this probably will not happen, it is honest to take a bit of an inventory.

Am I happy with how I've lived my life? (Yesterday, I thought mostly yes, with some areas for improvement, as below.) Are there changes I would make?
Would I have tried to forgive those that were hostile or disappointing to me?
Would I spend more time with those I loved the most, telling them that, feeling that more?
Would I be happier, grateful for what I have, what I've experienced, the joy, the beauty in this world?

Maybe the answer is yes to all of the above.
So this time can serve as a point of rebirth for all of us. If we think about it.

Because somewhere I realized I think maybe mankind deserves it. !
The way we are killing each other, killing the planet.
How selfish we are, and snotty to those around us. Petty, competitive. Why is this? Do we have to behave this way? (I say no, it greatly detracts and misdirects energy from the full-time celebration in which we could engage, the great multi-cultural, multi-rhythmic dance we can sustain here.)

Maybe God or the Great Universe is fed up, and will pull the rug out from under us.
Don't think I can say we could blame Him/Her/It.

But it probably won't happen. (Probably not! This time.)

Still we are finite on this ride.

It is a time to think, am I happy with how I've lived my life?
Hopefully most of us can say yes.

For the part of us that have a little worry, a little sadness....
This is the time to be present.
This is the time to be the person you want to be, that can die at peace, that can hope to every day be able to look yourself and the Universe in the eye and say, how beautiful, smiling, and thank you. Let's do that.

Antidotes to Violence, a.k.a., Take Charge of Where Your Head's At - here

Tell Congress to Strengthen Gun Control Laws NOW - here

Good News & Brain Food News -
Christians & Muslims Gather, for Peace here
Good News - Top RIO+20 Summit Posts here
The 'Busy' Trap -