Friday, July 11, 2014

A great video about self esteem for women

This is a powerful youtube video — its about all we do to be liked by others and how we need to be proud of who we really are as people.

I sent it to my 20 year old daughter, and I hope she shares it with her friends.

Colbie Caillat — Try


For those seeking to make a real difference on the climate crisis

Community Solutions is an outstanding group, well worth your support. Buy their books and DVDs, hang their posters, contribute to their work; it's a "lifeboat" building organization.

Dear Friends,

We have hired a new Executive Director, Susan Jennings. Sharp and articulate, Susan understands the seriousness of the climate crisis and has the energy for our critical work. Susan's last position was as the Director of the Office of Campus and Community Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. While there, she became familiar with our work and attended two Community Solutions conferences, in 2007 and 2008. Susan has told us that attending these conferences greatly affected the direction of her work at the university.

According to the International Panel on Climate Change Report that was released this spring (as it is every six years), it is now clear that yesterday's climate change has become today's climate crisis. The rate of climate change is accelerating, and there is no longer sufficient time to do the research, development, and deployment that would stave off catastrophic consequences.

As a Plan C organization, we bear the burden of proof. People want to believe that wind, solar, electric cars, and carbon sequestration will support our current lifestyles sufficiently because, if they don't, the future appears bleak. The best evidence to support our less complacent curtailment position comes from the World Energy Outlook report, published annually by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the energy arm of the industrial powers. The 2013 World Energy Outlook report points out that carbon sequestration is far behind schedule; that electric cars will have little appreciable effect in the next decade or two; and that wind and solar, along with other renewables, will provide considerably less than half of our current energy use by 2040. Such reports motivate us to focus on curtailment. We use the term curtailment deliberately rather than efficiency, because curtailment states clearly our need to restrict and reduce our output of greenhouse gases.

The Post Carbon Institute in California uses the term curtailment in its opus book entitled Energy. In the summary section, under the heading "Conservation," on page 259, is this statement:

The current energy economy is toxic not simply because of its dependence on climate-altering fossil fuels, but also because of its massive scale and wastefulness. A first step toward reducing its global impacts is simply using less energy, a goal readily accomplished through conservation practices that are widely available and cost-effective.

Energy conservation consists of two distinct strategies: efficiency and curtailment.  Energy efficiency means using less energy to produce a similar or better service.... Curtailment means exactly what you'd think: cutting out a use of energy altogether. ...Efficiency is typically more attractive to people because it doesn't require them to change behavior. [Emphasis is mine.] 

But what might a future world look like if we chose radical curtailment?
It would be the change from a consumer society to a conserver society. Energy has given our society the opportunity to increase inequity; in a conserver society this would be reversed, and the more equal income distribution of the post-WWII period up to the Reagan era would be restored. Sharing and hospitality would become our cultural hallmarks. Energy frugality would become a widely-held value. Local recreational opportunities would abound. One-child families would become the accepted ideal. As consumption dropped, working hours would decrease. Education and medical care would be free to all. Small family farms would be subsidized and good organic farming practices would be taught. 

But how can we get there? I have taken a look at my current lifestyle. I live simply, grow a great deal of our food, wear clothes as long as they last, keep our thermostat low in the winter, and drive a Toyota Prius. I am not a vegetarian, but I avoid factory-raised meat. Yet, I have realized that, to reduce more deeply, to become a curtailer, I will need to measure and log my energy use, which will take time and require a new level of commitment. Believing other people might be in the same predicament, we are developing a guide for cutting emissions and are focusing our up-coming conference on sharing this knowledge.

Climate Crisis Solutions: Curtailment and Community Conference: Our Community Solutions conference this fall  (November 7-9) will examine how individuals and communities are cutting their CO2 emissions, as well as offer specific ways that this can be done. The conference will include a probing look at national priorities, but it will focus on individual action. In preparing for the conference, we are developing the Curtailer's Emissions Guide (below), which reflects our belief that our work needs to be centered on helping people make changes in their lifestyles.

Curtailer's Emissions Guide: This guide will help people understand their everyday energy use and CO2 emissions. It will enable the user to see which changes in lifestyle will make the biggest difference. It is a deepening of our work, a move from the theory to the practice of adopting a conserver lifestyle. The Curtailer's Emissions Guide will explain how and what to measure in order to be able to make informed decisions about reducing energy use.

Passive House Revolution Film:  Last year, we completed our film about passive house; a construction method that can help us cut our emissions from buildings 80 to 90%. Early reviews have been strong. One reviewer wrote: "Passive House Revolution, what an accomplishment, it left me with a sense of hope." This year has been focused on dissemination and film screenings. German and Spanish translations are underway as are grant proposals that will enable us to further extend the distribution and availability of the film.

Plug-in Folly, a PowerPoint presentation: The promise of the electric car is that we can go on with life as usual. But if you don't live in a state with hydro power, the electric car's greenhouse emissions are no less, and sometimes even more, than those of a hybrid Toyota Prius. With the electric car, as with the promise that LEED buildings would save energy, we have been given half-truths which have led to complacency. These misrepresentations have also created another reason to tap into the electric grid; and that power still comes primarily from coal and fracked gas.  Plug-in Folly explores this issue with candor and insight, showing how one of the huge issues we face today is a misrepresentation of technology. We plan to have this presentation completed in the next two months.

Earth-Island, Energy and Community: We just completed several shorts, with an eye toward fundraising for our next film,  Earth-Island: Energy and Community. This film will bring attention to the facts that the Earth's natural resources have limits, as do those of an island, and that it is time to share them across the globe. We believe that the strategies of the island of Cuba for addressing its resource limits can be a healing example to a frightened world. We will showcase Cuba's paradigms of satisfying lifestyles involving low fossil-fuel consumption and of international relations based on diplomacy and sharing.

Susan began working here on June 2nd; the office is busy as we work to build a strong, cohesive new team among the three of us. Your support of our work means a great deal to us, whether it is small or large, and whether it is in the form of money donated or of time volunteered.

Please consider a gift today to help launch our new projects and our new Executive Director.  Even if you plan to give again in the holiday season, midyear support is much needed and appreciated. 

In Community,
Faith Morgan

Stop, you're killing us (As Salem lusts to spend 100s of Millions on more car infrastructure)

Brooks, Cohen and Krugman | Marion in Savannah
Same in Salem as in elsewhere in America as in the UK -- we shape our environment and then it shapes us. We are busily turning Salem into a place impossible to get around without a 2000+# appendage, burning fossil fuel calories instead of food calories.
The causes are scarcely different from elsewhere in a fattening world: cheap availability of calorie-dense food (burgers, fries, chips, sodas); "food deserts" in poor areas where healthy fare is hard to find and expensive; sedentary lives spent seated in front of the computer or sprawled on the couch with "Game of Thrones" blaring; too much sugar, fat and fructose; broken or weakened families where children forage in the fridge for prepared meals and snack all day rather than gathering for a family meal; speeded-up societies that breed bored, stressed, impulsive and compulsive behavior, including binge eating and constant eating.
As Tony Goldstone, a consultant endocrinologist at London's Hammersmith Hospital put it to me: "In the developed world we don't eat because we are hungry." We eat because everywhere we look there's a superabundance of food and we're hardwired through evolution to keep our body weight up.
The new social divide sees the skinny affluent at their Knightsbridge gym raving about their personal trainer and favorite farmers' market, and the pot-bellied poor guzzling kebabs and fries. The counterintuitive association of poverty and obesity is an indicator of how much the world has changed. Survival is still an instinct but it is no longer an issue. More people today are overweight than malnourished.

Goldstone said he comes away from obesity conferences feeling gloomy. Telling fat people to get thin through dieting is, he suggests, like "telling an asthmatic to breathe more." Cognitive control cedes to the force of instinct. "Who says that the will can overcome biology when biology trained us to get food when scarce?" Goldstone said. "We evolved to prefer foods high in fat and sugar because they contain the calories we need to reproduce."

Our urges are out of sync with our environment. The environment has changed. Urges have not. Our instinct is to eat and rest. We have no instinct to stop eating and be active. We eat to survive and then want to rest because we may need energy to flee some wild beast. Once we've found our lunch, our instinct is to avoid being someone else's.
It may not seem like lying on a couch is part of our survival gene but it is. David Haslam, the chairman of Britain's National Obesity Forum, told me: "It is in our interest to eat and be lazy. Put people in an environment like the current one that promotes eating and laziness and they will oblige." It's their genetic inclination.