Tag Archives: climate change

Climate Change for the rest of us

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As important an issue that it is, the discussions of Climate Change in the media are generally out of reach of the average person, let alone the many who are dealing with the daily struggles of survival. Health issues, family, job loss, housing, education, financial issues and the economy in general all tend to push this discussion out into the distant future. How does it resonate with the many under-served in our population, i.e.: those challenged with handicaps or English as a second language?

This is a much bigger issue that will affect all of us. It is an issue that needs to be talked about at all levels of our society. As the global population pushes towards the 7 Billion people mark (http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html) and our natural resources rapidly depleting (http://record.wustl.edu/news/page/normal/12786.html), the next generations, our children, will be left with a world that cannot sustain the growth that it has over the past century. And with global warming accelerating the loss of the arctic ice sheet (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/10/091015-arctic-ice-free-gone-global-warming.html) there will be catastrophic climate changes that will affect every man, woman and child on this planet. We can’t ignore it.

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How do we engage the vast majority of the population in this conversation? This story needs to be told at all levels of the educational system. This is not one semester of science or world history, this is about changes in the way we live, work and play. Government needs to back major initiatives for change. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce needs to support climate legislation in Congress. The media needs to give access to NGOs and other organizations involved in the environment, climate change and education to help communicate the challenges in very simple, easy to understand terms. The investment community needs to step up and back more clean tech and alternative energy projects. Big business needs to realize that making a profit while damaging the environment is bad business, and not sustainable.

iStock_000002577406_rushhour-300x199How about the entertainment industries where we worship the excesses of our society? The millionaire celebrities with multiple gas-guzzlers, extravagant mansions and lifestyles that promote waste and careless neglect for our environment? There is an opportunity here to reach the masses by telling the story in entertaining but meaningful ways.

We cannot wait for new scientific developments, the next miracle energy source. Climate Change means WE HAVE TO CHANGE. And if we don’t, the world we leave to our children will be more challenging than the one we are living in today.

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Full Circle Farm. The next symbol of Silicon Valley?

valleyThere is a quiet movement in Silicon Valley of people getting back in touch with the earth. Full Circle Farm http://fullcirclesunnyvale.org/ is one of the most ambitious movements. A community-based eleven acre organic located at Peterson Middle School in Sunnyvale, CA, it is the largest of its kind in the nation. Started in the summer of 2007, the founders had quite a vision of improving the health and well-being of the students and local community by offering up fresh, tasty organic produce as an alternative to the fast-food diet of today. Integrating into the school’s curriculum, Full Circle Farm is not only teaching students healthy eating habits, but the business of growing, tending, managing and selling the produce.

A team of Stanford scientists headed up by Christopher Gardner is furthering the study of how Full Circle Farm will positively impact the diets of the students and the local community, and help raise awareness for programs such as this to help unite communities in the effort to turn the tide of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

The long term effects of locally grown organic farming will have major benefits in terms of reducing our carbon footprint as we will rely less on foreign grown produce, thereby reducing transportation, a major source of CO2 pollutants.

As the movement continues to gain acceptance, Full Circle Farm has the possibility to be the role model for building healthy communities on the global stage. It will take work and commitment to make this happen. But after all, before Silicon Valley, this was the “Valley of Hearts Delights” http://tinyurl.com/lrtav3. We have a reputation to live up to.

Congress Urged to move climate change agenda ahead

rushhourI applaud Congressman Mike Honda’s article published in the Mercury News(6/10/09) regarding the need for congressional constituents to urge congress to take action on global climate change issues. http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_12554610 For most of us, we are focused on the economy, jobs, housing, education and health issues which confront us in our daily lives. It is hard to look out into the future beyond the next few months, let alone the next few years. Unfortunately, time is catching up to us and we are going to have to recognize the impeding challenges ahead of us and take decisive action. This is not just a local, regional, or national issue. It is a global issue which will affect all of  us. In addition to the political, economic and social confrontations on the international stage, what to do about global climate change has stymied political leaders and scientists alike http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5glOuTZdaVLxwq820ZEBjxjwov4zA It is important for each and everyone of us to understand the gravity of the situation and reassess our own values and lifestyles to move towards a more sustainable society now and into the future. http://www.scscertified.com/ Talk to your congressional representatives, state representatives, city council and county supervisors. Talk to your teachers, educators, and other civic leaders. It is our opportunity for our country to take the leadership role in this important fight to sustain our planet for generations to come.