Archive for the 'Create Our Climate' Category

Apply to Start a Summer of Solutions Program in Your Community!

Cross-posted from www.solutionaries.net by Ruby Levine.

The Summer of Solutions is a program for young people who want to build just, sustainable economies in their communities.

We want to invite YOU to be one of those young people building those solutions. Apply here by October 22 to start a program in your community or to join an existing program leader team.

Running a program gives you the opportunity to create and support green economy projects that build power for people who currently don’t have as much access AND to empower young people from your community and beyond with the skills and strategies they need to do the same thing wherever they go next.

Past Summer of Solutions programs have:

  • Built community gardens and farms on vacant lots
  • Taught neighbors how to use bikes as an effective form of transit
  • Run summer camps for children to help them learn about healthy eating and growing their own food
  • Founded and partnered with energy businesses to create a community-based clean energy system
  • Created community spaces, from mini-golf courses in the coal fields of West Virginia to a playground in Detroit, MI
  • Designed and organized for green manufacturing at a closing car factory in Saint Paul, MN
  • Continue reading ‘Apply to Start a Summer of Solutions Program in Your Community!’

Scott Adams’ green house of denial

Scott Adams, creator of “Dilbert”, recently wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal entitled: How I (Almost) Saved the Earth. As I type, it is making the rounds on social networks, emails, and probably being talked about around the water coolers that Adams portrays in his iconic comic strip. Why is the article so popular? Does it speak some truth that needed a voice? Does it introduce a concept that furthers the discussion on environmentalism? No. It strikes a chord because it tells people what they want to hear.
Cartoon from "How I (Almost) Saved the Earth

by Scott Adams

At first read, Adams’ piece seems to be just another cute reflection of an average Joe’s attempt to “go green.” But there’s more to it than that. A certain paragraph in the middle epitomises the sentiment that I consider to be the greatest threat to the climate (us) since the industrial revolution. (Yeah, I know. Stay with me.) Here it is:
“I prefer a more pragmatic definition of green. I think of it as living the life you want, with as much Earth-wise efficiency as your time and budget reasonably allow. Now back to our story.”
That, my friends, is what denial looks like.

This idea, and subsequently the entire article, is a case against activism. It serves as a reassuring pat-on-the-back for those who have a lingering notion that recycling and bicycling isn’t enough, but cannot bear to internalize the severity of the climate crisis.

Like Action? Like Camping? Like Learning How to Tackle the Climate Crisis? Then This Climate Action Camp Is For You!

Le francais suivant

A call to join the 2010 Quebec Climate Action Camp in Dunham Quebec, August 7-23 – Convergence Days 18-22

We must act swiftly to tackle the root causes of climate change and create the systemic change needed to avert climate catastrophe. So that’s what we’re doing: Taking action. Building a movement. Collectively, we can become a force to be reckoned with. Come to Dunham this August and be a part of it.

The Quebec Climate Action Camp will bring together rebels and renegades, gardeners and guardians, young and old. We will combine our hearts, hands, minds and spirits to challenge the Trailbreaker, a pipeline that snakes from the heart of the Tar Sands to the Eastern seaboard. Specifically, we will be trying to prevent the construction of a proposed pumping station – a key component of the Trailbreaker’s infrastructure – that threatens the local community of Dunham, Quebec.

But the goal of the camp is not only to confront a single destructive entity.We want to show the possibility of another world – green, sustainable, and free of fossil fuels.

The camp will take place from August 7th until the 23rd, with Convergence Days on 18th to 22nd. Run on participatory, non-hierarchical principles, the camp will be the product of the participants. The concentrated programming and organized workshops and trainings will happen during the Convergence Days, but there will also be plenty of space for autonomous workshops, discussions, collective cooking and everything in between.

The camp will feature issues of food security, migrant justice and indigenous solidarity, local agricultural initiatives and fossil fuels, green solutions, biking and climbing, queer and gendered analysis of environmental justice and lots, lots more. The camp will also include creative non-violent direct actions.

Details:

The camp will take place at the Hameau l’Oasis de Dunham located 1 hour southeast of Montreal at 1964 Scottsmore Rd, Dunham. We are asking for a daily contribution of $5 to cover location and logistical costs. Three free, delicious meals a day will be provided from our communal kitchens. There is a large area set aside for camping. Or you can rent rooms for $10 a night at the Hameau. Check out http://www.jardinsdelaterre.org/hameau.html or call 450.263.6056 for more details. Continue reading ‘Like Action? Like Camping? Like Learning How to Tackle the Climate Crisis? Then This Climate Action Camp Is For You!’

Attack of the Sticky Menace

[The following is a creative perspective on the recent verdict finding Syncrude guilty in the death of 1,600 ducks that landed in one of their tar sands tailing ponds.]

Sixteen hundred ducks flew over the Canadian sky in the annual migration to their mating grounds, guided by genetic compasses, as they had for millennia.  Instead of cool, dark forest as far as the bird’s eye view could see, smokestacks pumping out heavy black fumes and tangles of pipelines carrying modern day alchemy stretch for miles.  You see, the earthmovers had discovered a way to turn tar into gold.

Where once had grown the one of the richest ecosystems on the planet, now refineries and boom towns and pit mines have taken hold like any other invasive species.  That’s right, the tar sands are the Asian carp of Canada.  And despite our best efforts, they show now signs of going away.  Fifteen years of reckless and drunken expansion have led to the most destructive project on the face of the planet.  And, you know what the word for unrestricted growth is?  Cancer.

But to the ducks winging their way home, they only saw a choice between landing on pit mines and machinery or those large, still lakes that stretch for miles.  Kind of a no-brainer for these birdbrains.  Continue reading ‘Attack of the Sticky Menace’

Create Our Climate: Fuel

Post and images by Jameson Hubbard

My work has always inhabited the environmental realm. Due to the natural world’s ever-changing constitution, how necessary natural systems are to a healthy planet and the lives living on it, and the continued degradation of those systems due to human intervention, I have found it impossible to focus my attention on anything else for both innate and acquired reasons. Lately I’ve recognized the underlying theme within my work of the continued displacement of both animals and humans to fuel the economic machine.

"The Bison's Bread and Bitter Root" four-color woodblock print. Dealing with the symbiotic evolution of North American bison and native flora, the loss of that relationship once cattle, in huge numbers with extreme impacts on soils and wildlife, were moved in, and the recent movement of reseeding the plains

Continue reading ‘Create Our Climate: Fuel’

Create Our Climate: Savages

The following is an excerpt from a science-fiction/future history story I am currently writing set in my home town. It is actually a piece of backstory. The story itself focuses on the society which arises a century after this conflict, in my attempt to envision a future we might hope to strive for. ~ Emily Jacke

Summer illuminates the treetops with gold and deepening shades of green. The dense foliage filters the light before it touches the ground below, patches of sun and shade flickering across the bracken and pine needles and loam. A wind hurries a creak from the bows of an ancient pine and rustles the soft leaves high above. Between two oaks a broken bike path wanders, the asphalt cracked, chunks strewn along the edges. Less than a century ago, lovers met here in the shade, paused on their titanium bicycles to look around, chugged water artificially infused with electrolytes from disposable plastic bottles, carved their names into the bark of two saplings. The lovers and their bicycles and their electrolytes are long gone now; the letters disappear into the trunk, raised scars in the bark swallowing themselves and their meaning.

Agent DH Storm 862, Senior Resource Reconnaissance Official for the Eastern American Army Expedition (DHS862 SRRO for the EAAE), dismounts his battered army scooter before the oaks, glancing up at the shadowy canopy above. The names on the trees do not impress him, their age does not fill him with awe; instead, after a quick evaluation of his surroundings, he makes a note on a clipboard and removes a can of paint from the holster on his bike. Nothing moves; the air is heavy. The quiet tears with the spraying noise of the paint marking a red X on the trunk of the tree. Instantly the air fills with the hissing of a dozen snakes. DHS862 stops, snaps the can efficiently back into the holster and draws his handgun, pointing it down at the ground. Continue reading ‘Create Our Climate: Savages’

Create Our Climate: A Tale of Two Slam Poems (with video)

Guest post by Adi Nochur

Ever since I was a kid music and activism have both been driving forces in my life.  The sounds of the Beatles and Nirvana in my elementary school classrooms inspired me to start playing guitar, and my uncle’s tireless campaigning around environmental justice issues in India, such as dams in the Narmada River valley and the Bhopal gas disaster, ultimately moved me to become part of the youth climate movement here in the U.S. For a long time I dreamt of merging these two passions to create a driving force for change.  I thought about starting a singer/songwriter type project, singing ballads about struggles for justice and freedom.  I even had a name for the project: “Narmada Bhopal,” in tribute to the battles my uncle fought in India, and that many continue to fight to this day.  But even though I had the concept figured out, I wasn’t sure how to get it off the ground.

Then during the summer of 2004, I figured it out.  While on a retreat with a group of youth climate activists in New York City, I caught an evening of slam poetry and spoken word at the Nuyorican Poets Café on the Lower East Side.  I had never heard anything like it before, and I was amazed.  Here were people on stage without any instruments, speaking directly from the heart, twisting the English language inside out on itself (with some forays into Spanish for good measure) to tell their stories!  I thought to myself, “Hey, maybe I can do that!”

And so I did, and Narmada Bhopal was born, and the poems below became part of that project.

Continue reading ‘Create Our Climate: A Tale of Two Slam Poems (with video)’

Create Our Climate: Climate Change Freak

Change! Change! Change!
I love change, change is good.
But i hate this change because it’s climate change.
Do you know what climate change means to us?
Oh no! I don’t think so.
So let me break it down, let me work it out.
300,000 already dead is a mystery,
500,000 dead by 2030, oh what a misery.
I’m a spoken word artiste, am no freak!
And today i proclaim, this day i complain.
Because some people are just going insane! WHY?
Because they cut down the tress and they  plant no seeds,
And you use all the herbs for your needs.
I’m not bothered about the delays,
I don’t care about the days.
Copenhagen, Jeez! Am amazed!
But am still in the game,
To change the globe, that’s my fame,
Climate Change Freak, that’s my name!

It’s Getting Hot In Here: Create Our Climate is a month-long series to feature the creative work of the youth climate movement.  Through poetry, prose, visual and performance art, we aim to use these different media to communicate the passion, struggle and imperative of our work tackling climate and energy issues.  Please join youth leaders for posts on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout April.

Create Our Climate: The Mountain Lady

I was recently given the writing prompt: “Describe something destroyed.”  Then I watched the amazing movie Coal Country and this was what I wrote.

First her hair was shaved off. Overburden they called it, hiding the rich seems beneath the skin and bone. Then they came with drills and they bore down into her cheeks, her chin, her forehead. Attempting to protest she found her tongue had been cut, her voice taken away. They filled the holes with explosives, fire moving through her like a flood. And then they ignited it and her face rose and fell in a giant fleshy wave. The bone underneath cracked and protruded from the skin at odd angles and her skin flaked away. Then they brought in the machines to remove what was left, to scrape away at her skin and bone. They scraped away her cheeks, her nose and her chin, shoveled it from her face down onto her neck and chest until the weight of it caused her to gasp for breath. Finally, with the flesh and bone gone, they went at the prized muscle, at the power. They scooped it out in giant buckets, her red, pulsing muscle, and dumped it on belts to take it away to power something else, somewhere else. When the last scoop was gone, they shoveled back her skin and her bone and patted it down onto her hollowed out face. Gave her a smear of lipstick and a spot of rouge, called her good as new.

It’s Getting Hot In Here: Create Our Climate is a month-long series to feature the creative work of the youth climate movement.  Through poetry, prose, visual and performance art, we aim to use these different media to communicate the passion, struggle and imperative of our work tackling climate and energy issues.  Please join youth leaders for posts on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout April.

Another short piece after the jump.

Continue reading ‘Create Our Climate: The Mountain Lady’

Calling All Artists, Poets, Performers: Create Our Climate

One of the spoken word artists was performing at Power Shift 2007 and I stood captivated.  “There is something in the water.  But my melanin will not protect me from my fears.  There is something in the water…”*  It was one of the first times I truly understood the connection between art and activism.  A year and a half later I wrote and performed my first piece of spoken word at the Energy Action Coalition Power Vote training.

Art (spoken, visual, musical) communicates the emotion and passion and values behind the work that we do in a way that sticks in our memory.  On a daily basis organizers in our movement face the weight of global problems, widespread injustice and a system tilted against us, yet we persevere in large part through support and encouragement of this community. Sometimes that is best communicated through art.

Recognizing the importance of creative expression in our movement, It’s Getting Hot In Here is hosting a month-long series called “Create Our Climate,” which will feature video, poetry, prose, visual art and music from this community.  If you have already created such a piece and want to share it, sign up!  If you want to specifically create a piece for this series, sign up!

Even if you’ve never posted anything before, we want your contribution.  We are all artists and have something to share.

*To this day I still can’t find the video of that performance.  If anyone knows where I can find it, please share!


Create Our Climate

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