Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A nice link that mentions me

A friend, Sidney Stevens, put together an online compilation of ten unusual environmentalists, and she included me! What an honor. Here's the link: (not the whole url, if you want to forward it to others). Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sustainability and carbon sequestration

Some of the contacts resulting from the New York Times article have proven to be invaluable. Today a couple of documentary videographers came from NY to interview me for a documentary they are making on sustainablity and what individuals are doing to live in more environmentally sustainable ways. They say the film will take at least a year to make but when it's ready they will submit it to film festivals around the country. I hope it will come to Bethlehem, to the SSFF (SouthSide Film Festival) and to the EnergyFest in Kutztown next September.

Last week I accepted an invitation by the CEO of Rodale Institute, just east of Kutztown, PA, and visited the organic farm where the institute conducts its research and development of organic agriculture practices. I found it fascinating to learn that according to Rodale's research organic soil actually sequesters carbon dioxide, due to an underground fungus that uses carbon to build its shell. Chemical pesticides and fertilizers, as well as repeated tilling of the earth, destroy the fungus and the soil's ability to sequester CO2.

Also, I keep finding excellent articles and videos, photographs and essays, about Climate Change. Here's a very simple statement that reminds us to be aware of the impacts of our daily decisions, our carbon footprint day-by-day. I appreciate the comment about plastic bottles, because I've been astounded by people's attitude that they're doing their share by recycling. It's not enough, folks - good but not enough.

From Twilight Earth, guest post by Wendy Gabriel

Living sustainably is not trendy; it’s a thoughtful, responsible way to live. It’s not just about putting your plastic bottles in the recycling bin; it’s about realizing that you should avoid the plastic bottle all together. It’s about really thinking about your impact on your community, your city and your world.

The converse of living sustainably is living in a way that is depleting the very things we need to survive. We need clean water, clean air and healthy food for our continued existence on this planet. Currently, the worldwide population and global demand for these resources are both greater than ever.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A current dialogue about climate and justice

View this report from Democracy Now, brought to my attention by Tim Chadwick.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

10-Step Carbon Addiction Program

This week I am launching a project that has grown in my imagination for almost a year. Last October, in response to conversations with others reading Six Degrees, by Mark Lynas, I started to conceive of a program where each of us could take responsibility for our own carbon footprint while at the same time communicating with others in a meaningful way about our struggle to overcome the habits of a consuming society that is dependent on fossil fuels.

I have added the 10-Step Carbon Addiction Program to the Climate Walk website, where you can sign onto the program by copying and mailing it to me by email or snail mail. I've also started a new blog - - to accompany the progress of the program. As of today three people have signed on, including me. I'm holding my breath, hoping that the program will take off by leaps and bounds, but knowing that it will probably be more like slowly, but surely.

This is a trial phase - comments and suggestions are welcome. My plan is to collect 50-100 signatures before an official launch. By then I hope to have a few people join me as an Organizing Team or Steering Committee, or Board of Directors. Please consider being part of such a team.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blogging and culinary delights

A vegetarian meal in Goias, Brazil (Jan, 2008)

On Sunday I saw the film, Julie and Julia, two love stories about women who love to cook and their husbands who enjoy eating their terrific culinary productions. The film is also the story of a blogger who chronicles daily her successes and failures in following all 524 recipes from Julia Child's famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I loved the film and recommend it wholeheartedly.

I also learned something about blogging and decided to step up my postings here. I learned that I can keep it short and share my reflections in a more personal way. Sure, I risk being insignificant, but when I see what people write on Facebook I realize that no thought is too small to chronicle. Not sure this is good, but it encourages me to go ahead.

As we walked to the movie, Guy and I talked about the way people share their most trivial and commonplace thoughts on Facebook and Twitter, concluding that these virtual spaces recreate the public gathering place - the pub, coffeehouse, club room, playground - where one could go to be seen and heard. When we speak and others hear us, show off and others see, we are reassured of our own existence. And we feel part of humanity as we absorb the small bits of communication around us: "Hey, what's up?" "I'm thirsty." "I just heard something funny." "My cat threw up."

So I'm not going to worry about how smart and consequential I am. I only set before myself the task of continuing to write about Climate Change in an ongoing effort to make the world better "for all the grandchildren."

Julie and Julia portrays a lifestyle where meat - beef bourguignon, de-boned duck, liver pate - define cooking, and you can never use too much butter. While my mouth waters at the thought of such pleasures, I know that a mostly vegetarian diet (if not entirely vegan) is the way to go, and thank God, is not without it's own delights.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Celebrating libraries

If you haven't already gone to, please do so today. Think about how you might organize or participate in a climate action event in your area on October 24th. Let the country and the world know that you stand up for facing the climate change challenge in a strong and urgent way.

Tim Chadwick took this photo through the window at a Syracuse library, with the reflection of the garden flowers, capturing me at my blogging efforts about a month ago.

Today I want to thank all the wonderful libraries and librarians that hosted me along Route 11, through Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York State, with special mention of libraries in Lumberton, MS, where I recuperated from my infected toe; Sweetwater, AL, where the librarians called in a reporter to interview me, and made sure I had enough water to continue my trip; and Mooers, NY, where six of us invaded the library just an hour before closing, on the last day of our walk. We couldn't find a place to buy the New York Times, but we were able to read the article online.

As my husband likes to say, "libraries will get you through times without money better than money will get you through times without libraries."