Leadership Team Member of Al Gore's Climate Reality Project; Animal Rights Activist; Mom of Senegal Parrot, ToQer; Wife of Art Brickman; Chocoholic; Singer/Songwriter/Percussionist; Catch up on the latest Tara's Thoughts – offerings about climate issues, animal rescue, musings about current events, the written word and people who write. Tarasitser.blog
Every year The Climate Reality Project hosts 24 Hours of Reality, a day to focus the world’s attention on the climate crisis and the solutions within our grasp. This year will be our twelfth annual 24 Hours of Reality.
Each year we dig deep on a subject critical to the climate movement at the time and travel around the globe, sharing stories and inspiration. This year, as deadlines for action loom and extreme weather and other effects of the climate crisis hit home everywhere in the world, we focus on the powerful progress made by community activists where they live.
People everywhere are taking the planet’s future into their own hands, working to leave fossil fuels behind and build a more just and sustainable tomorrow for us all.
On October 7, we’re telling that story, with 24 Hours of Reality: Spotlight on Solutions and Hope.
For one day, we’ll be traveling around the world hearing stories from activists about how they created real climate solutions in their communities and step-by-step to help you get involved and make change where you live. We’ll also be hosting Global Dialogues with former US Vice President Al Gore and other changemakers on the topics of:
I do a lot of research about climate issues, global warming, disappearing wildlife habitat, damage from fossil fuel use, social justice issues related to environmental mismanagement, drought and water issues………..You get the picture. It isn’t hard to feel despair over the state of our biosphere. But there is also reason to hope.
Pick up a copy of A Field Guide To Climate Anxiety and let author Sarah Jaquette Ray talk you down from the ledge; then come meet her on Sep 13, 2022 when the San Fernando Valley, CA Chapter of the Climate Reality Project hosts Ms. Ray for an Author’s Night event at our September chapter meeting!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Drawing on a decade of experience leading and teaching in college environmental studies programs, Sarah Jaquette Ray has created an “existential tool kit” for the climate generation. Combining insights from psychology, sociology, social movements, mindfulness, and the environmental humanities, Ray explains why and how we need to let go of eco-guilt, resist burnout, and cultivate resilience while advocating for climate justice.
I’m gonna be there. I need all the help I can get to deal with the adjustments the future will demand of us. You can join the Zoom meeting for free from anywhere in the world – because, folks, this affects us all.
The ongoing climate crisis has already impacted our lives in serious ways. Extreme weather events. Earthquakes and tornados in places that have never had them before. Wildfires greater and more frequent than ever that have devasted entire towns. Rising seas levels that threaten coastal communities. And so much more.
Many people all over the world are working to reduce the effects of climate change and save our biosphere. But unless we human beings change the way we perceive our world, and find ways to respect rather than exploit the earth and its many non-human inhabitants we will always be in danger of destroying the very environment that keeps us alive.
This change in our belief system starts with understanding and accepting the concepts behind the Rights of Nature movement. It starts with realizing that everything on this planet, the oceans, the forests, the animals, the land itself, has a right to its own existence. Which means the right to be unencumbered by human notions of “ownership” and “property”. The right to thrive.
You can view the film on YouTube for free whenever you like and then join us on November 9th for our discussion to learn more about the history of the Rights of Nature movement and find out what is being done to make sure your children grow up in a world where there is air to breathe and a chance that your grandchildren will know, first hand, what a tree looks like.
Below, Judy Glass, Chair of the Environmental Justice and Rights of Nature Committee and a Climate Reality Project Leadership Team Member, offers an introduction to the subject of Rights of Nature as a lead in to what we anticipate will be an eye-opening conversation.
To introduce our discussion of Rights of Nature, I’d like to begin with the highlights of the evolution of the rights of humans—which we know is part of the rights of nature, though too often not thought of that way.
The evolution of human rights has both a political and an economic dimension, both relevant to thinking about Rights of Nature. To provide context for our program tonight, I want to acknowledge the work of Christopher Stone, recently deceased, who more than 50 years ago authored a pioneering work on Rights of Nature called “Do Trees Have Standing? Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects”.
In his introduction, Stone quotes from a 19th C court decision refusing women the right to practice law in Wisconsin. The court comments that the nature of woman—purity, delicacy, subordination of hard reason to sympathetic feeling—disqualify her for the battle field of forensic strife. Stone editorializes that the movement to confer new rights is “bound to sound odd or frightening or laughable…because until the rightless thing receives its rights, we cannot see it as anything but a thing for the use of “us” –those who are holding rights at the time….”
Here are some significant dates in the history of increasing political rights for human beings:
English Barons forced the king to renounce certain of his rights, particularly habeas corpus
Parliament shares governing rights with the King. English Bill of Rights-includes end to cruel punishments
US born into age of Enlightenment; Declaration of Independence—all men are equal; have inalienable rights from God; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
France – Decl. of the Rights of Man
US Constitution: Freedom of speech, religion, assembly; right not to incriminate oneself
19th Century in America:
No property qualification for voting; Women can enter professions, can divorce; inherit property; Get custody of children
Blacks freed from slavery; black men get the vote. But reconstruction denies to blacks the freedoms promised by the 13,14,15 Amendments
Women get the vote after 75 years of agitation; Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s finally delivers, at least on paper, on many promises of the Constitution
Significant Constitutional protection of economic and social rights for LGBTQIA+ individuals & communities
I separated the human struggle for economic rights because here the analogy with the rights of nature movement is so compelling. The building blocks—the resources– of any economy are land, labor and capital. From the point of view of the economy, labor is a cost, a commodity. But labor is human life, and the struggle for economic rights for workers and consumers is ongoing. The struggle to reduce hours of work or to gain legal rights to organize unions took all of the 19th C and half of the 20th. Reducing child labor, requiring minimum years of schooling, minimum wages, paid vacations, pensions, social security—none of that happened before the mid 20th century; recognizing health care as a right still is not established in the US, nor are economic protections for LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities guaranteed in their implementation.
These are rights of nature, rights of human nature. All hard fought, over many years.
Similarly to labor, land was seen as a cost, as commodities, as resources to be used to create wealth. In the late 20th century, though, another quantum leap occurred when new laws like the Endangered Species Act, and the Environmental Protection Act morphed into a discussion with a Rights of Nature emphasis. Enter Christopher Stone, and nations like Ecuador and New Zealand, and local communities like Santa Monica, and film makers like our guests tonight whose consciousness mirrors that of indigenous peoples around the world, arguing for giving “standing” to trees, rivers, and other natural entities, to sue for protection, for life and their right to thrive, their right to be other than resources.
Chair, Environmental Justice and Rights of Nature Committee
Climate Reality Project Leadership Team Member
San Fernando Valley Chapter
Please join us at our November Chapter meeting by registering at bit.ly/SFVCR
And join in wherever you can in establishing and protecting the Rights of Nature so that you don’t have to worry about what you will say when your grandchildren look up at you and ask, “What is a tree?”
Listen, Y’all! For those of you who live anywhere in or near the West side of The San Fernando Valley in the North end of Los Angeles, California, USA, there is big news that will change what you know about your neighborhood.
Plans are about to be launched for a major redesign of one of the busiest areas in that region.
34 acres extending from Topanga Canyon Blvd. on the West to Owensmouth Ave. on the East and from Oxnard St. on the South end to Erwin St. on the North will be completely redesigned with a mix of residential and commercial buildings that will change the look and feel of the area.
Included in the multi-phase plan, projected to be completed in 2033, are:
5.6 acres of public open space
A 15,000-seat entertainment center
1400 new rental units
5610 parking spaces
572 hotel rooms
629,000 square feet of office space
244,000 square feet of restaurants and shops
Buildings on the site will range between one and 28 stories tall.
On Tuesday, October 12, 2021 the San Fernando Valley Chapter of the Climate Reality Project will host Councilmember Bob Blumenfield (3rd Council District, which spans the northwest portion of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley, including the communities of Canoga Park, Reseda, Tarzana, Winnetka and Woodland Hills).
Along with learning more about his position on climate initiatives in Los Angeles, Councilmember Blumenfield will share with us his thoughts about the Warner Center redevelopment plan.
Projected completion by 2033 is 12 years away, folks. That means 12 years of construction. Those of you who live or work near the building site may want to be prepared for the impacts this will cause.
Projected completion by 2033 is 12 years away, folks. That means 12 years of construction. Those of you who live or work near the building site may want to be prepared for the impacts this will cause.
Join us on Zoom, Tuesday night, October 12, 2021, 7:00 pm PST to hear what Councilmember Blumenfield has to say and to add your thoughts and questions.
Today’s post is a call for each of you to hop over toour fellow blogger Sean P. Carlin’s pageand read his latest post about President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan. Even if politics is not your thing you will find yourself built into this plan. Mr. Carlin explains why we, as a country and as fellow human beings sharing this planet, need to support this plan and why it is critical that we each do what we can to convince our Congress members to get it passed.
“U.S. President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan is the politically ambitious, morally imaginative piece of legislation we need to tackle the ever-worsening climate crisis by rebuilding our country and rebooting our economy through grand-scale public-works projects. Whether we actually get it, however, comes down to how hard we—all American citizens—are willing to fight for its full passage and implementation.”
So writes Author Sean P. Carlin, Climate Activist and Leadership Member of The Climate Reality Project. The central focus of his blog piece is a credible and clear analysis of current geopolitical, environmental, and economic realities that have brought us face to face with a global crisis that, if left unchecked, will spell the end of life as we know it on this planet. Mr. Carlin properly places this set of interconnecting issues at the top of the list of critical concerns for our civilization.
Politics is in everything. But this is about fighting a global crisis that threatens to make portions of the planet uninhabitable. It is also about raising wages for essential home care workers and creating good jobs for people from disadvantaged communities. It is also about clean water for everybody. And child care programs. And modernizing public transportation and our power grid. And so much more.
This is not about whose bumper sticker makes you feel better. It is truly about do you want the human race to survive the next 50 years? Do you want your children to have clean air to breathe? Replacing old paradigms about job creation and getting past old, short-sighted attitudes that are literally poisoning our planet and our population will be our only path to survival.
President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, currently on the floor of Congress, will be crucial to getting America on the right road to building a healthy, sustainable future for you and your family. The depth of the research done by Mr. Carlin as a basis for his conclusions is impressive and his investment of many years learning about these issues from the likes of former Vice President Al Gore and others lends credibility and clarity to his descriptions of the issues at hand.
There is no guarantee that President Biden’s American Jobs Plan will pass. So, please, lend your support.
FOR THOSE READERS WHO MIGHT NOT HAVE THE TIME TO READ THE ENTIRE PIECE: PLEASE JUMP TO THE BULLET POINTS TOWARD THE END OF THE BLOG POST.
Mr. Carlin has made the process of making your voice heard super easy. He has done the work for us providing a handful of ways you can jump right in: Links to send petitions, content to help you write to your local officials and members of Congress, a pre-written Tweet you can copy and post complete with hash tags and handles, and even simple instructions on how to share the word about this effort with friends and family.
Beautifully summarized by the author, Mr. Carlin says:
“I want nothing more than for you all to share the profound hope I feel for what comes next—for the fairer, more just, more sustainable world we’re about to build. But hope requires action. We can’t just trust that this will get done; we have to ensure it does—with the fullest degree of moral imagination possible. We have to, every single one of us, demand it…. I do believe we will get meaningful climate legislation this year, and that, consequently, President Biden will be able to go to the COP26 conference in Glasgow this autumn in a position of profound moral and geopolitical authority on this matter, but it isn’t going to happen unless every citizen in America plays their part. None of us are singlehandedly responsible for solving the climate crisis, but we all have a moral obligation to contribute what we can to the solution. There’s a path forward on the table. Let’s take it.”
The San Fernando Valley chapter of the Climate Reality Project is very pleased to host, as our June 2021 Featured Speaker, Dr. Peter Kalmus.
Dr. Peter Kalmus is a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. He uses satellite data and models to study the rapidly changing Earth, focusing on biodiversity forecasting, clouds, and severe weather. He has also spent many years becoming an advocate for a fossil-fuel free society.
Dr. Kalmus’s award-winning book “Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution” offers real-life solutions to help you move away from a consumerist lifestyle.
“Changing our lives shifts the culture and creates space for collective action. Together, let’s explore a more meaningful life–without all the fossil fuel!” — Peter Kalmus
In his book Dr. Kalmus outlines a series of doable steps that anyone can adopt to bring us all closer to a sustainable society. Join us on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, 7PM PDT, for a free Zoom gathering where you can ask Dr. Kalmus your questions about sustainable living.
“I know I can change the world, indeed, I am changing the world. What I can’t do is save it. That I have limits is a fact, and I accept it. I don’t expect my changes to have a big impact. … If what I do has impact, I know this impact arises only from an existing resonance, a resonance that grows through interacting with many other people in turn. We are like water molecules in a wave: we simultaneously transmit the wave and are moved by it. No one molecule causes the wave, but together an enormous number of water molecules carry the wave. It’s all of us together, carried by a resonance, that will affect great change.” -Peter Kalmus
The scientific community tells us we have already passed the Climate Change tipping point. It is critical for each of us to travel our own path to that place where, together, we can carry our dream of a healthy society into the wave of the future.
We are honored to create space to hear voices of local International Indigenous Youth Council members. The International Indigenous Youth Council seeks to organize youth through education, spiritual practices and civic engagement to create positive change in our communities.
“Through action and ceremony, the IIYC commits to building a sustainable future for the next seven generations. We look forward to sowing seeds of mutual aid and solidarity.”
This post is directed to all the writers out there who may have an interest in sharing your vision for a world that has found its way through the Climate Crisis. AND there is prize money involved here, folks! Grist is accepting submissions through April 12, 2021 (11:59pm US PST).
Grist was founded in 1999 as one of the nation’s first online-only publications, covering serious topics without taking ourselves too seriously. TIME magazine calls Grist the Colbert Report of climate change … except with real reporting and analytical journalism.”
And here is their Media byline:
“A non-profit news organization for people who want a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck.”
Well said!! OKAY, so. Here is what Grist is offering via FIX, their Solutions Lab:
“All 12 final stories will be published in a digital collection on Fix’s website, and the authors will be celebrated in a public-facing virtual event.”
Here are the rest of the details and submission guidelines:
“Welcome to Imagine 2200 — a new climate-fiction contest by Fix, Grist’s solutions lab. What we’re seeking: short stories that envision the next 180 years of equitable climate progress. What we’re offering: $8,700 in prizes, publication, and a reason to stay hopeful.
The world is crazy right now, and the stakes are high: just, you know, our entire frickin’ future. Our newsfeeds are full of denial, delay, and doom that make us want to scream into our pillows. But that’s just the old story. At Fix, we are telling the new story, of a path to a clean, green, and just future, and the people who are driving it. Our mission is to make the story of a better world so irresistible, you want it right now.
With that goal in mind, we decided to launch our first foray into the world of hopeful, forward-looking fiction — to inspire visions of the future that haven’t even been dreamt up yet, and welcome more voices into the climate conversation. Join this uprising of imagination, and help us turn the page on earth’s next chapter.
Nuts & Bolts
Entry is free!
The contest is open to writers anywhere in the world.
Authors must be 18 years or older at the time of submission.
Submissions must be short, fictional stories, between 3,000–5,000 words.
No previously published, multiple, or simultaneous submissions accepted.
Submissions will only be accepted through Submittable — click the “submit” button at the bottom of this page when you’re ready! If you need accessibility accommodations, please email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stories will be judged by a board of literary experts, including authors Adrienne Maree Brown, Morgan Jerkins, and Kiese Laymon.
The first-prize story will be awarded $3,000; second prize $2,000; and third prize $1,000. Nine additional finalists will each receive a $300 honorarium.
All 12 final stories will be published in a digital collection on Fix’s website, and the authors will be celebrated in a public-facing virtual event.
Worldwide copyright and ownership of each story remains with the author.
If a story is accepted for publication, Grist retains the first serial rights of the work to publish, produce, reproduce, distribute, and market.
All other remaining rights revert to the author upon publication.