re: leaf

Saving the planet, one bite at a time.

YOU MAY KNOW we are also eating our way to extinction. I didn’t. At best, I was only dimly aware of the impact of meat production and consumption on the climate crisis; burning fossil fuels was my focus. Turns out, I was way too narrowly focused; meat may be doing more damage to our planet and our health than anything else.

…it convinced Marianne and I to return to vegetarianism.

I have my friend Larry Shook and two documentary films he recommended to thank for this revelation. If you don’t know them, you should track them down. I found them both on Netflix streaming.

  • The Game Changers. Stories about athletes—including the world’s strongest man—who switched from a meat-based to plant-based diet and dramatically improved their performance. Although, for me, a little over the top on superhuman achievement, Game Changers nonetheless makes a compelling case for not eating meat. Enough that it convinced Marianne and I to return to vegetarianism. Most alarming was realizing the monstrous overconsumption of resources and production of toxic, climate-devastating emissions meat production creates.
  • Forks Over Knives. Primarily based on the work of two doctors, Colin Campbell, PhD, and Caldwell Esselstyne, MD, this film traces the evolution of their research and discoveries that the increasing intake of meat, dairy and refined sugars in America led directly to the explosion of heart disease, cancer and diabetes starting in the 20th century.

The myth of meat.

IT BEGAN in the mid 19th century when highly influential German chemist Justus von Liebig, famous for pioneering organic chemistry, speculated that only meat supported muscle growth and stamina. Due to his prestige, von Liebig’s notions were widely accepted, so much so that when emphatically disproven in 1882, the evidence was ignored. Instead, eight years later, the FDA promoted his assumptions as fact in their first Food Chart. Since then, meat, poultry and dairy interests have thrived and their increasing lobbying power have mostly prevented any actual facts from challenging the status quo.

The hidden costs.

ACCORDING TO these documentaries, besides causing pandemics of unnecessary cancers, heart disease, strokes and other diseases, the meat industry also:

  • Generates 15% of global emissions—equal to all transportation sectors combined.
  • Takes 75% of all available farmland out of production.
  • Wastes 27% of all fresh water consumed.
  • In US, produce 50 time more waste than its people.
  • Consumes 6 times more protein than it produces.
  • Is the largest factor in ongoing global deforestation.

Tastes great. Less costly.

IF ALL America went vegan, it would:

  • Reduce agricultural emissions by 73%.
  • Save 250 thousand gallons of water annually, per person.
  • Dramatically reduce disease and suffering while increasing health.
  • Dramatically reduce our carbon footprint.

I encourage you to check out these videos. Compared to installing solar panels, buying electric cars and/or becoming politically active, switching to a plant-based diet is not only easy and inexpensive (in fact it saves a fortune!), it will improve your health and energy. Plus, unlike say solar panels, it can be very tasty!

Change your diet, improve your health, save the planet.

— Just be smart. Every body is different. You can change gradually. Check with your doctor if you have concerns.


P O S T S C R I P T   A U S T R A L I A

SO FAR, 27 people and over a billion animals have burned to death. We are the cause. True, we didn’t start the industrial/agricultural revolutions. True, we can’t change the past. Still, we can change our future trajectory. Or not…

“It’s up to me and it’s up to you…”


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 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


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, “” 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, 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 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?