I Pledge Allegiance to the Earth. Nuff said.

EARTH PLEDGE
Do you remember having to pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all every freaking morning back in elementary school?
I do, though I didn’t really get what I was saying at the time.
I mean, what the heck was a republic?
And why was it invisible?
I understand it all now okay but I’m happily trading it in for this updated and far more relevant version.
I pledge allegiance to the Earth (standing tall, hand on heart).
Nuff said.
Image by SolPurpose and lamblionstudio.com
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Help…

Everybody needs it.  The planet needs it, that’s for sure.  Children need it, the elderly, the sick, the poor, even the lawyer in his corner office needs it.  Nobody is excluded (except me).  Ironically, few people want it (especially me).  After all, I am the one who does the helping around here!  I am the single working mom!  I am Rosie the Riveter, the one with the bicep and the do-rag in that old World War II propoganda poster! 250px-We_Can_Do_It!

Except when I’m not.  And I can’t do it anymore.  And I’m tired. And I don’t know what the answers are, or how to make those ends meet up all nice and tidy like they should.

And when I get to this dark and crappy place it manages to get even more terrible because that is when I have to do the hardest thing of all.  Accept help.  Or even worse:  Ask For Help. Ugh.

I am trying to get over this.  And myself at the same time. Because needing help sometimes is ok.  And I know that there are people out there who want to be kind.  And who would like to help.  And maybe it even makes them feel a little bit happy to do so.

I’ve recently asked for help from an old classmate. He said he would be happy to help.  At times I’ve accepted help from friends and family members.  They said they were happy to help.  When someone does a favor for you and you say “thank you” they inevitably say “I’m happy to help.” And I think maybe they really are!  Come to think of it, we are all happy when we are able to help.

For the record, that poster (which I am featured on) does not say “I can do it!” but “We can do it!”.

So be brave.  Get yourself into a jam and ask for help.  They’ll be glad you did. And one day you may have the privilege of helping them.  Because along with Law of Gravity comes the Law of What Goes Around Comes Around.

Here is a beautiful quote.  It’s a bit more eloquent than my musings.  I don’t know who said it but they sure said it well:

“Always, the strong carry the weak, the rich carry the poor, the healthy carry the sick, and the happy carry the sad. And whether or not they remember it, this was once their promise, to thank those who carried them.”

Grandparents & Twins

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

    I can’t watch this without crying. 100 Good Wishes Quilt – The Virtue to Sustain Love and Environment.

    I decided to illustrate Long Live Earth with fabric scraps because quilting is an age old form of recycling.  For whatever reason I tended to think of quilting as mainly an American labor with images coming to mind of bonneted pioneer women, log cabins and Pa Ingalls in his red long johns. In reality this couldn’t be further from the truth.  The earliest known quilt dates back to the Pharaoh of the Egyptian First Dynasty, about 3400 B.C.

    The other day I stumbled upon this little movie short called 100 Good Wishes Quilt – The Virtue to Sustain Love and Environment which I can’t seem to watch without crying.

    In northern China there is a centuries old tradition of creating a “Bai-Jia-Bei”, otherwise known as a “100 Good Wishes Quilt”.  One hundred family and friends donate a piece of fabric along with a written wish. The wish can be anything: a quote, a poem, a saying or a simple wish from the heart.  The fabric scraps are then stitched into a quilt by the child’s mother or another elder and given to the child along with the wishes.  The quilt literally wraps the child in good wishes and represents the virtue to sustain love and environment.  The Bai-Jia-Bei is then passed down through the generations.  Isn’t that beautiful?