A Parting Gift

Saying goodbye to 350 Spokane (and Spokane)

AS WE PACK to move back south to Reno* in the next month, I made this chart for our local 350 Spokane chapter as a parting gift. The version they had for their tabletop display was, I thought, too wonky: it laid out the facts but didn’t effectively tell the story.

In the process of redesigning this 800,000 year time line, I looked up the CO2 levels for 1760 (dawn of the industrial age), 1960 (200 years later), then every 20 years after that. The results were more dramatic—and alarming— than I expected.  Our level of burning of fossil fuels has continued to increase, not decrease, and the consequences are clearly escalating to catastrophic. That our media continues to ignore or downplay these facts is a crime against humanity, in my view.

Everybody needs to know this…

…then choose how to best act accordingly.

Meanwhile, I’ll be offline for a few months while we pack, move, unpack and resume life with a much smaller footprint.


* A long story for another time…

Taking It to the Streets

Bodhi Bill’s New Bumper Sticker

YES, I’M STILL obsessing over that 12-year irreversible tipping point from the 2018 UN IPCC Report. Silly me, huh? Hey, we still have almost 12 years left before we fall into the abyss of no return.  No cause for alarm, right? Must not be. No one I know is talking about it. Not to me anyway.

So, I decided to take my concerns to the streets with a new bumper sticker design. I had some printed up for our local 350 Spokane group. It’s also under consideration by 350Maine.org. And, I’ll be sending the PDF file to the other climate activists groups that are using the poster version for their consideration.

Maybe that will start a conversation?

Meanwhile, if you know of any group that might be interested in taking this message to the streets, let me know.

 

Happy New Year…

The Scream. 1893. With apologies to Edvard Munch.

What does it take to become awake?

TO RIFF on Winston Churchill, if you’re optimistic about the future, you don’t have a brain. If you’re not willing to fight for your great-grandchildren’s survival, you don’t have a heart.

And, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to wake up, brew some strong coffee and read the news.

So why am I still pounding on the climate lectern? I visited a friend today. He’s highly educated, well informed and deeply involved in bettering our community. I gave him one of my “12 year” posters to put in his business. He didn’t have a clue what it meant. When I explained the UN report, he expressed skepticism because it was just a “projection” and then blamed his indifference on the Chinese because they aren’t doing enough—so why should we.

Why? Because we are sacrificing our great-grandchildren on an altar of inconceivable misery, privation and suffering. And why are we doing that? Because most of us are too goddamn complacent with our carbon-based comforts and convenience to be bothered. And if we are bothered, we blame it on the “Chinese.”

It’s down to this: If we are not the people we’ve been waiting for, there will be no others.

Looking for someplace to start, check out 350.org

 

Seeing Red in Black

Trump dumps climate report on Black Friday.

I CAN’T seem to shake this climate thing. Something about impending death focusing the mind? So here I go again with more cheery news. Today, Black Friday, the White House acknowledged what it can no longer deny: climate change is affecting civilization and has just begun what will soon become an irreversible apocalypse. And they released this report today. Today. Black Friday. America’s most frenzied shopping day.

Flames from the Camp fire burn near a home atop a ridge near Big Bend, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images.

And yes, I’m seeing red. If We the People are complacent enough to accept this nihilistic outrage, perhaps we deserve what’s coming? And our children yet unborn? And their children? I refuse to accept that.

Happy shopping, America!

In case you missed it (as intended) here are the stories:


MEANWHILE, some good news: my planet poster design was also picked up by 350 Pittsburgh. That makes four regional groups so far. My offer remains in effect: I will customize this poster for any group anywhere FREE!

Poster for 350 Pittsburgh.

I’m also devising a more upbeat campaign for citizen involvement and activism. It’s not enough to know we’re merrily drifting towards extinction—turns out that message rarely inspires engagement. Who knew!? Worked for me! So I’m developing a second, complementary approach (we still need to wake people up first) to pitch to my local 350 branch.

Don’t know if it will connect. Something needs to. If anyone out there has any ideas, let me know.

Spreading the Word…

Posters shared With environmental groups

I’M PLEASED to report my  poster idea caught on with a few climate change groups across the country. So far, its been picked up by:

And, I’m happy to customize it for any group interested—free!

For those who don’t know, “350.org” is an international organization dedicated to education and activism on climate change. The number 350 represents the maximum parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere that will still allow a sustainable climate. We are over 400, climbing rapidly, and beginning to experience the consequences—most recently in the explosive wildfires in California.

The poster is formatted at 22 x 28 inches for a standard display frame. It can be formatted at any size and resolution.

The “twelve years” refers to the recently released UN report on climate change that says, unequivocally, that we have 12 years to seriously transition off fossil fuels or cross an irreversible tipping point into climate chaos and eventual cataclysm. That means the end of civilization in less than a century. This is neither baseless hysteria nor some abstract theory; the consequences are happening all around us right now—but the public’s (intentionally misled) awareness and demand for change still remain insufficient to the task at hand.

Time to wake up!

If you haven’t heard my climate change battle hymn, it’s here, it’s now and it’s free. Just click on Don’t Hear Nothin’

 

 

Still Don’t Hear Much…

Carbon fee buried under $32 million big oil gusher.

LAST WEEK’S midterm election was a mixed bag in Washington. Won some, lost many. The most discouraging loss was the carbon fee initiative that would have launched a serious, better-late-than-never effort to bend the arc of catastrophic climate change back to devastating, but perhaps survivable.

Once again, the Big Oil Boys demonstrated they can fool enough of the people all of the time to continue their highly profitable tap dance to the apocalypse. All it took was a $32 million fear-mongering, fact-mangling media blitz—shattering the previous record for corporate spending on a state initiative by more than $12 million!

Out combing the hood with the Washington Climate Warriors the Sunday before the election.

So, we lost this one by ten points. And so it goes. We either start winning some of these or lose everything. And the environment did have some significant wins this time around. It ain’t all bad. Like the song says,  “The people are rising, their battle’s just begun…”

Speaking of which, I am getting some interest in my battle cry environmental anthem “Don’t Hear Nothin.'” If you haven’t heard it, hear it HERE.


If you like it, share it.

And how about those explosive fires in California? In November! Anyone else think that’s peculiar? If you haven’t yet gone to 350.org, please do so now.

We only have one planet—and one chance to save it.

An ad in time?

Spokane NAACP’s 99th Freedom Fund Banquet.

FOR THE LAST three years, I’ve donated the design for the local NAACP’s annual fundraising banquet souvenir booklet. The back story is that four years ago Marianne and I were invited to attend the banquet by a friend and former colleague at Sacred Heart. It was a sparkling gala, filled with Spokane’s movers and shakers, turned out in their finest.

The souvenir program, however, was so badly thrown together I felt embarrassed for the organizers and volunteered to design their future booklets. Reparations, I call it, and as such owe them a new design every year for, approximately, the next 500 years.

The organizers always insist I put in a small quarter-page ad for myself, although I have nothing of interest to advertise. Awkward. This year though, I think I got it right and wanted to share it with you.

As you may or may not know, the UN Council on Climate Change—a consortium of the world’s most distinguished climate scientists—recently released a report unequivically stating that humanity has twelve years left to seriously transition from fossil fuels or cross a tipping point into an irreversible climate cataclysm. Within decades of that, certainly less than a century, civilization will collapse and most, if not all, of humanity will die excruciating deaths along with most creatures living today.

Curiously, no one I know is talking about it. Seems we can’t be bothered. The few comments I hear on the media echo the denials of the oil barons and their amoral minions. It’s a strange alternate reality where even everyday evidence doesn’t matter (Hurricane Michael anyone?) and well-established, peer-reviewed, scientific facts and projections are considered too controversial to mention in social gatherings.

I’m sickened by the likelihood we will destroy this miracle of a living earth due to complacency, but I can’t stop it from happening. I do what I can to raise awareness—write letters, make calls, attend rallies, participate in 350.org activities—but have little impact, even among friends. I wonder sometimes why I bother. I have no children; when I die, I’m gone. For those with children and grandchildren, whose lives they would give their own for today, this apparent indifference to the unimaginable suffering they will endure in the future is beyond my comprehension.

So I made this little ad for the banquet program. Maybe it will help. Who knows?

Un-Social Media

An About Face with Facebook

OUR relationship had always been challenging. Promises implied. Promises not kept. It offered a strangely invasive and yet impersonal way to create friendships. In the process, it took everything and gave back what it wanted, when it wanted and how it wanted. Although it took from me freely, if I needed its help, I had to pay; and even then, I had no idea what I was getting.

Worse, for me as a participant, it became a mesmerizing social cesspool, a relentless torrent of trivia, some helpful, most not, and much of it divisive and destructive to our shared and fragile human community.

…I had no idea what I was getting.

My work is about savoring life. Facebook, as I came to realize, is about overwhelming life with dazzling displays of sound and fury. And, while it collected, saved and sold every detail about me and my “friends,” it revealed very little about itself. Presumably free, Facebook has “revealed” itself to be a very bad bargain.

If you want to stay in touch, we always have email. And this blog is interactive and much more thoughtful, considerate and discrete. Nobody is collecting anything on anybody here.

But more to the point, you can’t smell the roses, or the coffee, through a computer screen.

Time to slow down…

Chatty Cathy 2.0



THOSE WHO believe religion and politics aren’t connected don’t understand either — Gandhi

CHATTY CATHY 2.0 is outside the scope of my “spiritual” brand, but in keeping with our times. My congresswoman, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, is a Republican cipher: she speaks of kindness and votes cruelty; she speaks of community and votes to destroy it; she speaks of her child with Down Syndrome and votes to take healthcare away from other children with chronic disabilities. Is she really that clueless, which makes her incompetent, or is she aware of her duplicity, which makes her evil? I don’t know. Either way, she has to go.

Her handlers have spent a fortune branding her as “Cathy,” an approachable, “I-could-be-your-next-door-neighbor” persona. That is an utter fabrication; she is a Republican princess who lives in a fantasy castle constructed entirely of platitudes. So this music video sets out to reframe her more accurately as Chatty Cathy 2.0, a mindless congressional dolly who will say whatever she’s told to say by her paymasters.

I recorded the Spokane Raging Grannies in my upstairs studio and set about making a video to share with the 5th congressional district where I live. After a few production missteps, I came up with the idea of using dolls to tell the story, including an actual 1960s Chatty Cathy doll with a new hairdo to match Ms. McMorris Rodgers.

I offer these versions free of charge. It’s my patriotic duty.

What I ask in return is to please share these links.

WE MAY NOT have money, but we do have each other. Together we are far more powerful than the oligarchs, their money and their media empires. Humor unites. Let’s come together and get this done.