Getting a Clue about Climate Change

July 24th, 2013

Climate change is happening. Despite the efforts of think tanks funded by the fossil fuel industry to debunk climate science, there is clear scientific consensus that the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is caused primarily by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. Our atmosphere contained about 275 parts per million of carbon dioxide from the beginning of human civilization up to about 200 years ago. With the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, the CO2 levels began to rise. The carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has now hit 400ppm with CO2 increasing about 2ppm per year. The world’s leading climate scientists warn that exceeding the level of 350ppm of CO2 puts human civilization itself at risk. The organization 350.org, founded by Bill McKibben, promotes 350 events around the world to raise awareness in the struggle to fight fossil fuels and find a new way forward with renewable energy. McKibben calls 350 “the most important number on the planet.”

Global warming makes heat waves, droughts, floods, and superstorms more likely, making all extreme weather events more intense and less predictable. Climate change affects all of our Big Four values: Air, Water, Food, and Energy. Carbon emissions pollute the Air we breathe while adding to the greenhouse effect that causes global warming. Fresh Water supplies are threatened by higher average temperatures and extreme drought conditions while melting ice caps and glaciers lead to sea-level rise, warming and acidifying oceans with dying coral reefs, and storms cause more devastating floods and deluges. Our Food supplies are at risk due to the increased likelihood of more extreme droughts, flooding, and spreading desertification. The Energy we choose for warmth, manufacturing, transportation, productivity, and communication, should be contributing to our sustainable future, not to the collapse of civilization.

What should people with a clue do? Whatever path you choose, take a stand on the right side of history. Take part in climate actions to protect the Air, Water, Food, and Energy where you live. Nonviolent protests raise Consciousness about the devastating consequences inflicted by multinational energy corporations on local communities and the entire world. Global warming affects everyone. Resistance is not futile! Be an engaged citizen. Develop your spiritual community so that you can support each other. Promote respect for science and common sense. There is no arguing with faith, but we must stand against fossil-fuel-funded propaganda that discounts physics and chemistry.

We need to stop taking carbon out of the ground and putting it in the Air. We need to preserve our forests and grasslands so that they can help sequester carbon from the atmosphere. We should support the research and development of renewable energy sources that use sun, wind, and water (including ocean power and geothermal). We must quit coal, stop fracking and tarsands oil production, and abandon nuclear power with its horrific dangers. We must say NO to coal exports. Do your best to wake up the people around you to the amazing potential of renewable energy to revitalize our economy and slow down global warming before we break the planet. Divest from fossil fuels. Be the clue!

Hurricane Sandy speaks

October 29th, 2012

Hurricane Sandy speaks to us as Earth– as wind, rain, and surging ocean. Superstorm Sandy warns us that more global warming means more disasters. Will we listen?

Hurricane Sandy was nicknamed the “Frankenstorm” for being a strange mixture of natural and unnatural parts, creating a terrifying sum. Unprecedented megastorms are increasingly the new normal of living on a warming planet. Bill McKibben says we need to do the math, to stop driving the climate to a future of environmental disaster on what he calls a new kind of planet: “Eaarth.”

As the spokesperson for 350.org, McKibben reminds us that 350ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere is the upper limit for a healthy climate, one capable of sustaining civilization as we know it. Now that we have hit 392ppm, extreme weather events have multiplied all over the planet, from wildfires and droughts, to hurricanes and floods. Warmer air holds more water, and warmer oceans give storms more energy. Physics and chemistry dictate the cost of human greed for cheap energy and great profits. As people with a clue, we respect the scientific consensus on the human causes of global warming, and we commit to creating a more sustainable future.

Despite the human suffering caused by extreme weather events, we can all appreciate how community comes together in emergencies. Witness the depth of altruism that exists among human beings. We truly love each other despite our differences. People who go through hard times find all kinds of ways to help each other. The spirit of giving renews our faith in Consciousness. We are the Cleu!
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“You are what you eat”….. a clue to finding community!

October 25th, 2007

Looking for people with a clue? As the Cleu lady, I make it a point to find the cleu’d in people wherever I happen to be. Because I know the kinds of things that people with a clue like to do, I am a really good scout. I can get to a place I’ve never been, and within the first day of being there, I’ll know where to go to find some people who share my values. You can become a good scout too– be observant, friendly, and open to chance encounters. The first step is to find the local natural food stores.

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What to eat?

September 13th, 2007

Along with air, water, and energy, food gives us life, so it is one of our highest values. As a result, Michael Pollan has become one of our favorite authors. An investigative reporter with a naturalist’s eye, he examines our current situation with regard to food. As omnivores, we humans are faced with a daily dilemma: what do we eat? In the The Ominvore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan investigates the human food chains that represent our modern-day choices: industrial agriculture and animal farming, corporate organic agriculture, local and sustainable farming, and wild food foraging in the style of the hunter-gatherer. His latest book, In Defense of Food offers simple, memorable advice: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

June 25th, 2007

Barbara Kingsolver’s wonderful new book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: a Year of Food Life is about choosing to eat locally and in-season, growing, harvesting, and storing food yourself. It will have you dreaming about living closer to the land and closer to your food. Look for others with a clue to help develop your local food infrastructure.

Small Planet

April 25th, 2007

Francis Moore Lappe got many of us thinking about our food choices. If you’d like to know more about how to eat vegetarian, read her classic, Diet for a Small Planet, now in its 20th edition.

Other great books by Lappe:
Hope’s Edge, Democracy’s Edge, Getting a Grip

Check out the Small Planet institute for more info.