THE PERFORMANCE part was fun. Really fun. The hour before, not so much. Facebook streaming is not FaceTime; it takes two, independently-produced, non-intuitive programs running together in synch to work. The entire hour before launch, right up to showtime, they would neither synch nor work. It was panic times pandemonium squared, but somehow they revealed their secrets just before the metaphorical curtain rose. WHEW!
For those who were able to tune in, thanks for joining me! For those who couldn’t—or those who might like to see it again—the live stream video is posted on my Bodhi Bill Facebook page. Since I listed it for the public viewing, I don’t think you need an account, but can’t say for sure; you never know with Facebook. Give it a try:
BACK AGAIN and almost as good as new. Time to celebrate! This Friday, I’m going to attempt to stream a live seven song set of originals specifically selected for these shut-in, shut-down, self-isolating times.
It’s my first time Facebook streaming, so I’ll run a few tests beforehand, and with the blessings of the Electro-Gods, we’ll put on a show.
And with a gaslighting, vainglorious president and his science-phobic, creationist VP in charge, everything destined to be bad based on optimal contagion mapping will now, regrettably, become far more catastrophic—both in velocity and saturation. Whatever public health guardrails were in place had already been recklessly removed by this team; and predictably but tragically, truth was the first coronavirus casualty in America. We are basically on our own to survive the onslaught.
Panic won’t help (it never does), so be sensible. Don’t hoard. Be kind. It appears most of us will get this at some point; but the slower the spread, the better. Meanwhile, be mindful of your own health and emotional balance.
For me, I’ll be doing more recording at home, focusing on some of my more uplifting songs. Can’t hurt! And I’m way behind the curve of a song a month anyway. In the meantime, most of my climate activism will be on hold, although I intend to keep my Fridays For Future fasting (ending with dinner, just to be sensible) and curbside gathering going as long as reasonably advised. Can’t stop now. Even when the sun is eclipsed by the moon, it’s still there. Same with the climate crisis.
SINCE RETURNING to Reno, I’ve been hyper-focused on helping to mitigate the climate crisis. That’s no secret. Friday fasts, speaking out, finding local groups, attending meetings, designing graphics, writing songs, making videos, standing on street corners waving signs—all the while cajoling all of you to become more active: that’s been my life. But, dire as the situation is, and science suggests it’s a great deal more dire than most people I know acknowledge—to me, anyway—there is still more to life than activism.
Ironically, since I initially started this website and blog to share my music, it’s those songs that have recently brought me back to that part of myself. The backstory is I’ve offered to do a few of them at the Unitarian Church this Sunday after the service to see if the few congregants that show up might like them enough to hear more in a more formal context. They may. They may not. But I’ve rediscovered them and am pleased to make their reacquaintance. To me, they feel more like cosmic gifts than THINGS I’VE CREATED and I’m honored to be their caretaker.
I doubt the world will ever take note of them, but that’s okay. They bring me back to parts of myself that are too easy overridden when the frenzy of busyness overwhelms. They grace me with a sense of balance in a profoundly unbalanced time.
And that’s what I have to share this week.
Meanwhile, the climate battles continue. Whether we prevail depends on whether we engage. We are the people we have been waiting for. Or not.
Eggs incubating. Not quite ready to count new chicks.
NOT MUCH to report this week. Most projects in gestation, not ready for hatching. I did design a set of (ironically, non-bio-degradable) headers for our CCL/Fridays For Future tabletop display to make our mission more clear to bystanders.
My “Up to Me” music video is up to 210 hits, not exactly viral but at least a few more people have heard it, maybe been inspired. Our “Fridays For Future” gatherings average 6 to 7 participants each week and we are looking for a more impactful venue; Reno City Hall is a bit of a ghost town late Friday afternoons. And still no students, so trying to figure out how to reach them. I’m open to suggestion.
Meantime, while the Democratic debates are beginning to focus on catastrophic climate change, which is a relief, I’ve yet to hear anything on the actual costs of confronting it. Yes, there will be millions of new, well paying jobs, but there is also a profound level of change and sacrifice required that is not being addressed. Is it a failure of democracy that people cannot be asked to even consider sacrificing anything or the overwhelming power of the corporate media state that will not allow the consideration? Or, both and?
What with the oceans choked with plastic and landfills overflowing with non-degradable garbage, it should be obvious we cannot consume our way out of this crisis. It should be. Near as I can tell, it’s not.
The irony is that our environmentally destructive, throw-away consumer culture has not led to happiness. Instead, alienation, depression, addiction and apathy are the norm. The other irony is action inspires connection and connection inspires happiness. You want happiness, get involved.
AS SOME may remember, it was just six months ago I started FASTING for our FUTURE by the river, alone with my sign and handouts (thank you Reno Type). It was an act of desperation following a precipitous fall into a profound “walking depression” brought about by reentering Reno after 12 years and metaphorically colliding with its explosive growth in traffic, sprawl and frenetic intensity.
It was all madness. We were clearly doomed. There was no hope.
The fruits of that depression, the listeners out there may recall, was the writing and recording my dystopian Final Days of History last summer. That was then. That was me hitting bottom.
Then, I somehow shook off my lethargy, got into action and found my way into Reno’s fledgling community of climate activists. That led to my solo fasting becoming a weekly gathering, fasting optional, and my music taking a radical turn towards inspiration.
Up to Me, Up to You was released just over two weeks ago. So far, it’s achieved 186 views on YouTube and six likes and counting—for someone with an anti-social-media, online non-presence, that’s equivalent of going Platinum! A couple of regional climate groups have committed to using it in their outreach efforts. Friends are including it in their social media posts. Things are moving.
And the Point Is…
THE POINT is NOT ABOUT ME. The point is that doing nothing but despairing is depressing. The point is that getting involved is energizing—and it energizes other people. The point is if I can do this, someone with the innate leadership ability of a lemming, then anyone can. The point is, YOU CAN DO THIS TOO.
The point is that taking on an apparently doomed task because it is what needs to be done is energizing, engaging, fun, positive and powerful. And change can happen quickly! For me, all this happened in just six months.
The point is YOU CAN DO THIS TOO!
If you’re concerned but not engaged, wake up, get involved. We have everything we need to succeed in abetting the most catastrophic climate change except the commitment as a people to stand up and force the systemic changes needed. Of course, positive change is happening. Solar, wind, electric cars are all coming online. But, the evidence is overwhelmingly clear, it is not happening fast enough. And it will not happen fast enough unless we make it. In which case, we are doomed.
There are multiple ways to engage. Here’s an annotated LIST of some of them. Just scroll down to find the one that speaks to you.
WHAT BEGAN for me as solitary day-long fasts, perched by a popular pathway along the Truckee River last August has grown, moving downstream to downtown, transitioning from Saturdays to Fridays to align with Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future, and adding signs, displays, and most importantly, people.
Fasting has become optional, only Jeff Carlton (on left in photo) and I do, but attendance has increased. While I’d like to take all the credit for that, it’s really due to Jeff ‘s unwavering commitment to keep showing up that has allowed this to happen. Me, I would have stopped months ago, back when it was just Jeff, John Wankum (on far right) and me out there, week after week. Turns out, you just have to keep showing up.
If you’re in Reno and want to show up, we gather from 4 to 5pm every Friday at Virginia and First Streets, across from City Hall, a stone’s throw from the river. We’re the ones with all the signs (who are having all the fun).
Moral of the story: just keep showing up.
Record sets record.
GENERALLY, anything over 100 hits for a song of mine is viral. UP TO ME is up to 157 and counting. And five Likes. In just over a week. That’s an encouraging start. I still hope to move it farther out into the virtual media sphere—not many upbeat, happy-warrior climate crisis songs out there. I think we need all we can get.
So if you haven’t yet listened, please do. If you’ve listened and felt energized by it, please share. You can post the YouTube LINK or even DOWNLOAD and post the MP4 video file on any social media platform. It’s free. It’s easy. And it just might make a difference for somebody.
I SWORE I was off social media. For good. And I was. Facebook anyway. And for good reason: based on compelling evidence, I became convinced its President for Life, Mark Zuckerberg, is a well-mannered sociopath. Entrusting him with a permanent record of my personal activities, thoughts and feelings was not going to turn out well for me. Or anybody.
But I digress. In my haste to disentangle myself from the tentacles of his vast digital octopus, I overstated my position and have come to realize as I enter the global climate crisis conversation, much of it IS happening on social media whether I like it or not: Twitter to be precise. So I have succumbed, and with a large sprinkling of powdered sugar, am eating a few of my more savory words. Turns out email, text messages and blogging—to say nothing of meeting face to face over coffee—just aren’t enough anymore. Our situation is too dire and our time too short.
If YOU Twitter and care to find me, I now have a handle: @BodhiBillMiller. And if you don’t Tweet, I’m okay with that too. I don’t think any of this voluntary digital entrapment is going to end well, but that’s the world we live in. Jefferson inspired a birth of freedom, equality and liberty around the world. And owned slaves, securely entrapped in perpetuity by systemic, barbaric cruelty. We all just do our best in the times we live in.
In these times, we need to do whatever we can to save our global ecosystem from an immanent, catastrophic collapse. To do so, we will have to forego some comforts, comforts Jefferson was unwilling to forego in his times. Will we? Who knows?
Meanwhile, you can find me on Twitter, out on a limb, learning to Tweet—if you’re into that sort of thing.
THE CLIMATE CRISIS is upon and all around us. And, like in the ’60s, students are awakening to the reality that they will be the ones to pay for their elders’ errors and indulgences. But, unlike the ’60s, I’m not hearing any new rallying songs. Not yet, anyway. So I wrote one—in hopes to help inspire them and the rest of us to action before it’s too late. “Up to Me. Up to You.” is available on many platforms, mostly free:
CD Baby File. Makes the song available to streaming services like Spotify. And allows you to purchase a CD quality WAV file if, for whatever unfathomable reason, you really want to own a copy of it.
How You Can Help.
SHARE IT with friends. Post on social media. Write a comment on my YouTube Channel or a review on CD Baby. Use freely in any climate meetings, rallies, presentations or events. Spread the word. Time is short. Inspiration is everything.
It’s up to me and it’s up to you…
NOTE:You may use this video in any setting or over any media platform as long as you’re not making money with it. If you are, please contact me beforehand for permission.
THREE HUNDRED ordinary folks gathered over the weekend in Oakland, plotting to overthrow climate complacency. And, they have a plan. But first, let’s review the bad news complacency ignores…
IT’S THAT annoying little 800,000 year atmospheric CO2 chart. The 350 boundary at the top of the blue box represents the highest level for climate stability. That little red asterisk in the upper right corner (400 ppm) indicates the beginning of severe climate instability. We’re now at 410. And rising. Even with all the prestigious climate summits and celebrated international agreements, we are still increasing our output of CO2 every year. So that rising red line on the right side actually represents a death spiral. We are causing it. And, we can’t seem to stop ourselves.
More bad news.
TO SURVIVE with any dignity, we need to transform our energy infrastructure from carbon to renewables. Drastically. And quickly. A forty percent reduction of CO2 emissions in just 12 years. This will involve fundamental change, which can be traumatic and disorienting for many. That’s why it hasn’t happened yet. More to the point, it will only happen if we, the people, rise up in overwhelming force and demand it.
Now, some good news.
FIRST, we can rise up in overwhelming force if we choose to.
Second, I’ve discovered that the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) offers the simplest, most elegant and least painful carbon reduction plan—and a brilliant strategy for implementing it. All it needs is more ordinary people like you and me to make it happen.
Their plan is to implement a nationally-legislated carbon fee, charged where the carbon enters the economy (oil companies, etc.), that increases every year. Gasoline, for example, would go up about 15 cents a gallon the first year, and continue increasing every year after that, creating an incentive to drive less or purchase more efficient vehicles. But purchase them with what?
That’s part of the genius of this plan. ALL of the money collected will be returned equally to the people every month, like a Social Security check. People would be free to spend it however they choose, but the financial incentive would be to cut rising energy costs—stimulating the economy and green innovation, technology and millions of new jobs.
Nobel-Prize-winning economists predict this plan will cut carbon emissions by 40 percent in 12 years, the target we need to meet—and are currently not meeting or even beginning to approach.
The second part of their plan is where you and I come in. For this to happen, congress must be lobbied by we the people. They must be overwhelmed (in a positive way) or will either continue to avoid fundamental change for fear of being thrown out of office or implement a watered down, more complex and ineffective version to protect special interests. Either way, we lose—along with our planetary support system.
CCL’s strategy is to establish a bipartisan volunteer chapter in every legislative district and they’ve nearly achieved that goal in just ten years. And, from those chapters, to engage everyday citizens as lobbyists.
Their approach is right out of Gandhi’s playbook: positive, peaceful and effective. The only thing it needs to succeed is more volunteers…