Continued thanks to Amazon reviewers of Long Live Earth…

*****5.0 out of 5 stars   See all reviews here.
“Wonderful Book for Earth Day or any day!”
January 10, 2014 by mbscott “mbs” (Buffalo, NY)
“I read this for Eath Day every year to the K kids–great book about taking care of the planet. Good for budding Evolutionists, too, as it references the earth being way older than 6000 years–and prehistoric man! The illustrations are actually quilt squares–beautiful.”
Thank you Amazon reviewers for continuing to send in your kind thoughts!
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How to convey the terrifying machine that is the Koch brothers in fun size.

Yeah, yeah.  I know the Koch brothers are bad guys.  I know they’re oil guys.  I know they’re bajillionaires.

But, like a lot of us, do I really understand all the what, where, why and hows?  Admittedly, I do not. And that’s exactly how the Koch brothers want it.  Ignorance, after all, is bliss. Unfortunately bliss, in this case, is theirs alone.

So I did a little research on them.  In a nutshell, here is what I learned:  every single person on this planet needs to understand exactly what this two headed monster is doing to every single one of us every single day – and we need to understand now.

It’s common knowledge that in this fast paced, digital world we are more likely to read or engage in something that is bite size and easy to digest.  We prefer bullet points to paragraphs, the synopsis to the full story.  We want to be briefed.  And that brief had better be brief.

That being said, what better way to grab the world’s attention and help get the word out on these guys than with a quick, clever blurb paired with a single, yet powerful, image?

Which leaves me in the conundrum  of how to convey that terrifying machine that is the Koch brothers in fun size.  A conundrum in which I must remain as it is simply not possible to cut to the chase on these guys… their reach is that vast, their targets that permeated, their influence that prolific.

So in order to have a rudimentary understanding of who is ruining everything for everybody and how they are doing it you are going to have to watch this extremely insightful and equal parts frightening FULL LENGTH (that means 55 minutes!) documentary.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

So belly up and hit the play button because if ignorance is bliss, knowledge is power.  And we’re gonna need a whole lot of that if we’re gonna have a fighting chance against these two.

From Brave New Foundation, Koch Brothers Exposed

Spend more – it’ll cost less. Watch this groovy little animated short. Say goodbye to Walmart, Costco and Target…

“Go Local” from EcologyAction

I am a jellyfish. That explains a lot.

I went to the aquarium yesterday because my niece is in town.  I am not huge on aquariums.  I know that is a terrible thing to say because nobody likes an aquarium hater.Northeast-Pacific-sea-nettles-Monterey-Bay-Aquarium-631

After all, the fish are obviously well cared for in their huge, gleaming, impressively realistic tank homes. I guess it’s just a bit hard to believe that they are actually buying that whole set up.

Or maybe it’s the funky lighting.  Regardless, it never takes long before my lower back starts to ache, I am famished, parched, I have to go to the bathroom, my feet hurt and I am wondering why our tickets should have to cost more than the average health insurance co-pay.

But then I get to the jellyfish tank.  And here, at the jellyfish tank, I am mesmerized.  I am literally glued to the glass.  I don’t ever want to leave this place.

All those bobbing, dangling blobs seem almost cultish.  And I’m pretty sure they are beckoning to me. I don’t just watch the jellyfish at the aquarium.  I actually feel that I am a jellyfish at the aquarium.  Jeez, are they brainwashing me?  Am I actually turning into a jellyfish?

I mean, if left for two minutes in their silent but echoing company I become a weightless, worryless, goalless, harmless, timeless coagulation of flotsam and jetsam (or whatever) effortlessly drifting and dipping though the portals of time and space.  I can actually feel my blood pressure dropping.  In fact, I don’t think I have any blood pressure at the jellyfish tank.

This morning I googled “jellyfish” in anticipation of writing a little ditty on what I  used to think of as a weird, aquatic anomaly of mine… only to discover this breaking news:  I am a jelly fish. Which kind of explains everything.

Or at least I was.  In fact, scientists are now placing bets that all life descended from the jelly fish.  Albeit we’ve advanced a bit.  Jellyfish still don’t don’t have brains, lungs, hearts or plenty of other things that tend to cause humans a fair amount of angst.  But boy do those guys know how to relax.

So before you head out for the aquarium take your over-evolved brain along to National Geographic and read the whole facsinating story:  “Was Your Ancestor a Ball of Jelly? Evolution Study Surprises Experts”.

That’s it. No more shopping. No more Amazon. Time’s up!

Go home. Slow down. Shut off the computer (myself included). May your Christmas be simple and bright.Miniskirts_in_snow_storm

Image from Agathos

Earth. The only gift that will ever truly matter in the lives of our children. Avaaz. 32 million strong and growing.

big-tree-looking-upI wish I had a happier post today.  This is not a very happy post. Nevertheless, this is reality and this is the future. Except (surprise!) the future has already arrived.

Now that the Xboxes and American Girls have been ribboned and wrapped and are all safely tucked under the tree, for frig sake can we all please spend those last few dollars on the only gift that will ever really and truly matter in the lives or our children?  Because it’s almost too late.  I’m going to say that again.  It. Is. Almost. Too. Late.  And unfortunately I am not an alarmist.  I’m going to say that again, too.  I. Am. Not. An. Alarmist!

It’s simple. Extremely big changes need to happen and they need to happen extremely quickly.  Period. The scientists, not the tree huggers, have told us this in no uncertain terms.  I’m going to say that again.  The. Scientists. Have. Told. Us.   Avaaz has been listening. They (we) are powerful… 32 million strong (and growing).  But this can’t wait until next Christmas, nor until tomorrow. Once again. This. Can’t. Wait. Until. Tomorrow.  You, me and everybody else: do this one very doable thing.  Right now. It will make all the difference in the world. Literally.  As below:

Dear Avaaz community,

 

This may be the most important email I’ve ever written to you.

Scientist Julienne Stroeve has studied Arctic ice for decades. Every summer she travels to north to measure how much ice has melted. She knows that climate change is melting the ice fast, but on her last trip, she was amazed by what she saw. Vast areas of Arctic ice have disappeared, beyond our worst expectations.

This is what the experts warned us about. As the earth warms, it creates many “tipping points” that accelerate the warming out of control. Warming thaws the Arctic sea ice, destroying the giant white ‘mirror’ that reflects heat back into space, which massively heats up the ocean, and melts more ice, and so on. We spin out of control. In 2013 everything — storms, temperatures — was off the charts.

We CAN stop this, if we act very fast, and all together. And out of this extinction nightmare, we canpull one of the most inspiring futures for our children and grandchildren. A clean, green future in balance with the earth that gave birth to us.

Scientist Julienne Stroeve has studied Arctic ice for decades. Every summer she travels to north to measure how much ice has melted. She knows that climate change is melting the ice fast, but a recent trip surprised even her. Vast areas of Arctic ice have disappeared, beyond our worst expectations.

Meighan — Click to pledge what you can, we’ll process your donation only if we reach our goal of 50,000 sustainers: 

YES, I’LL PLEDGE $6 A WEEK 

YES, I’LL PLEDGE $7 A WEEK 

YES, I’LL PLEDGE $10 A WEEK 

YES, I’LL PLEDGE $12 A WEEK 

YES, I’LL PLEDGE $14 A WEEK 

To pledge an amount other than the ones listed above, click here.

Fatalism on climate change is not just futile, it’s also incompetent. The hour is late, but it is still absolutely within our power to stop this catastrophe, simply by shifting our economies from oil and coal to other sources of power. And doing so will bring the world together like never before, in a deep commitment and cooperation to protect our planetary home. It’s a beautiful possibility, and the kind of future Avaaz was born to create.

Facing this challenge will take heart, and hope, and also all the smarts we have. Here’s the plan: 

1. Go Political: Elect Climate Leaders

       — 3 crucial countries have elections in the next year. Let’s make sure the right people win, and with the right mandate. Avaaz is one of the only major global advocacy organizations that can be political. And since this fight will be won or lost politically, it could be at some points just us vs. the oil companies to decide who our politicians listen to.

2. Make Hollande a Hero

       — French President Francois Hollande will chair the Paris summit – a powerful position. We have to try every tactic and channel — his personal friends and family, his political constituency, his policy advisors — to make him the hero we need him to be to make the summit a success.

3. Take it to the Next Level

       — The scale of this crisis demands action that goes beyond regular campaigning. It’s time for powerful, direct, non-violent action, to capture imagination, convey moral urgency, and inspire people to act. Think Occupy.

    4. Out the Spoilers

         — Billionaires like the Koch brothers and their oil companies are the major spoilers in climate change – funding junk science to confuse us and spending millions on misleading PR, while buying politicians wholesale. With investigative journalism and more, we need to expose and counter their horrifically irresponsible actions.

    5. Define the Deal

         — Even in the face of planetary catastrophe, 195 governments in a room can be just incompetent. We need to invest in top quality policy advice to develop ingenious strategies, mechanisms, and careful compromises so that when the summit arrives, a critical mass of leaders are already bought in to a large part of the deal, and no one can claim that good solutions don’t exist.

    We need tens of thousands of us to pledge small donations to blast out of the starting gate on this plan. The amount doesn’t matter as much as much as the choice – to hope, and to act:

    YES, I’LL PLEDGE $6 A WEEK 

    YES, I’LL PLEDGE $7 A WEEK 

    YES, I’LL PLEDGE $10 A WEEK 

    YES, I’LL PLEDGE $12 A WEEK 

    YES, I’LL PLEDGE $14 A WEEK 

    To pledge an amount other than the ones listed above, click here.

    At the last major climate summit in Copenhagen 2009, we played a pivotal role in German and Japanese ‘climate’ elections, in shifting Brazilian policy, and in helping win a major global deal on financing, with rich countries promising $100 billion per year to poor countries to help them address climate change. Back then, Avaaz was 3 million people. After Copenhagen, we reflected that we needed to be a lot bigger to meet the challenge posed by climate change. Now, we’re 32 million, and growing by 2 million per month.

    Climate change is the ultimate global collective action problem, requiring cooperation from every government in the world. And Avaaz is the ultimate collective action solution, with millions of us united in common vision across every nation. This is our time, to build a world for our children whose beauty matches our dreams. Let’s get started.

    With hope and appreciation for this amazing community,

    Ricken and the entire Avaaz team

    MORE INFORMATION:

    With Arctic sea ice vulnerable, summer melt season begins briskly (The Christian Science Monitor)
    http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2013/0501/With-Arctic-sea-ice-vulnerable-summer-melt-season-begins-briskly-video

    Arctic sea ice levels to reach record low within days (Guardian)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/aug/23/arctic-sea-ice-record-low

    Five Reasons We Need a New Global Agreement on Climate Change by 2015 (Switchboard NRDC)
    http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jschmidt/five_reasons_we_need_a_new_glo.html

    The Doha climate talks were a start, but 2015 will be the moment of truth (The Guardian)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/10/doha-climate-talks-global-warming

    Arctic sea ice melt disrupts weather patterns (NBC News)
    http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/30/18631374-arctic-sea-ice-melt-disrupts-weather-patterns?lite

    The Arctic Ice “Death Spiral” (Slate)
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/05/28/arctic_sea_ice_global_warming_is_melting_more_ice_every_year.html

    Still time to slip under tree… and send heartfelt thanks to those Amazon reviewers!

    LONG LIVE EARTH  title pagebuy book, read reviewsLONG LIVE EARTH p. 4\

    *****Charming, Colorful and Creative Book for Children on Caring for the Earth

    By L.M. Keefer TOP 100 REVIEWERER, VINE VOICE on December 10, 2013
    Format: Paperback

    If you are looking for a charming, colorful and creative book to teach children about taking care of our earth, this book delights. The illustrations embody the philosophy: they are quilt squares, making use of unused fabric. Each illustration is imaginatively conceived and stitched. Children will have fun talking about what they see in the squares. The illustrations are quite winsome…(read entire review here).
     big heart
    By Woolwoman on December 10, 2013
    Format: Paperback Amazon Verified Purchase

    The artistry it took to make the quilt squares would make the book worth buying. However, I am (reluctantly) giving the two I ordered away to young grandchildren for Christmas. The message is important, and it is presented beautifully and gently.
    big heart
    By Kathleen Hagerty on December 9, 2013
    Format: Paperback Amazon Verified Purchase

    I bought this for my almost 4 year old son and for his classroom. This was a complex topic that was made very understandable and fun to read. The patchwork squares as illustrations were adorable, clever and so creative. I will be buying this book as gifts in the future.
    big heart
    Order Long Live Earth and read more reviews here.