Doha Climate Talks: Fiddling While Planet Burns

It’s a plus 2 Celsius December day in northern Ontario, 11 degrees warmer than the average high for this day. The UN Climate talks in Doha Qatar continue for the rest of this week, not that you would know that they were going on if you read the mainstream Canadian media. They are missing in action on this global event, following the lead of our current federal government. Apparently Canadians aren’t demanding any better, from either our government or our media. I guess we are going to have to go even nearer the climate cliff than we are already, before we change our planet- and future-destroying ways.

But there’s still so much beauty in our world. Right now the chickadees, nuthatches, and pine grosbeaks are gathered around the bird feeder outside my window, having a sunflower seed feeding frenzy. The beautiful red of the male grosbeaks are a perfect match for the Christmas music playing in the background (yes, I DO play Christmas music all of December!).

pine grosbeaks.Dec.2011.edited


If you want to read how badly things are going in Doha, head over to Joe Romm’s blog on Think Progress. This is today’s headline: As Global CO2 Emissions Rise, Scientists Warn 2-Degree Target Is Nearly Out Of Reach: ‘We Need A Radical Plan’. Meanwhile, the Guardian’s headline reads:  Carbon credits row could derail UN climate talks, says Brazil.  The Star, the only Canadian paper that tries to present a balanced approach to global warming, published “Heat-trapping Pollution On the Rise, Threatens Goal of Limiting Global Warming” . The article quotes Dr. Glen Peters from the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo, Norway on the solution to global warming:

“The only way, Peters said, is to start reducing world emissions now and “throw everything we have at the problem.”

…Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist at the University of Victoria who was not part of the study, said: “We are losing control of our ability to get a handle on the global warming problem.”

The world needs radical lovers to address our spiritual and ecological crises, people who will throw everything they have at the problem.If not now, then when? The end of civilization as we know it is within sight; the oceans turn to acid,  the polar ice caps melt, western forests burn dry as kindling from native pests surviving in warmer and warmer winters, First Nations are poisoned by fish turned toxic by tar sands pollution.

I’m in for choosing life over the slow death of muffling my voice that wants to cry out in pain and anguish at what we are doing to our earth and to our children. I’m done with deadening the pain in my heart with distractions that society prefers me to busy myself with – tv, food, shopping, alcohol, sex, and so on. It will be a wild ride, but I’m in. And you?

Graphic: Credo Mobile


December 1st marked the day 57 years ago that  Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the white section of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, sending out a spark that helped ignite the Civil Rights Movement. Her courage and conviction are an inspiration to us now, as we take on the “Great Work” of our generation.

photo: from Arab Youth Climate Movement
photo: from Arab Youth Climate Movement


And in case you were wondering, yes there are things we can do to make a difference for future generations; it is not too late: Four Reasons To Hope We Can Still Avert The Worst Impacts Of Climate Change.

Climate Crisis: Humanity At Its Finest?

Humans are such complicated creatures. We are wreaking havoc on a global scale because of a big-is-better, greed-is-good mentality that dominates most nations and corporations (combined with an “it’s too hard to change” attitude on the part of much of the populace). Yet we are also capable of great compassion, and heroic deeds of service to fellow creatures, human and other. At this point in our history, the choice we make between those two will lead us, our children and all future generations down the path either to unimaginable destruction or to equally unimaginable – and unprecedented – abundant life on this planet.

Firefighters are courageously fighting wildfires around the world. This photo is an example of humanity at its finest. This picture, out of Australia, has been making the rounds on Facebook:

source: Facebook



For those of you interested in science and climate, specifically climate change, mega-fauna, and plants, PhD student and blogger Jacquelyn Gill from the University of Wisconsin-Madison is taking the unusual step of streaming her thesis defence live on the internet. Entitled “The Biogeography of Biotic Upheaval: Novel ecosystems and the end-Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions”. According to the Why Evolution Is True blog:

In other words, what happened as all those giant mammals and birds disappeared at about the time humans popped up in their environments?  This is a big question, with implication not only for our understanding of the past, but also for trying to see into the future, and to understand what will happen in the coming decades through climate change and direct human activity. Jacquelyn’s research looks particularly at the role of plants in disturbed ecosystems, as indicated on this neat poster for her talk, made by Jeremy Parker.

The defense will begin at 1:00 pm CST today (Thursday July 7). Click here to view it. Jacquelyn blogs over at The Contemplative Mammoth.

If Ordinary Canadians Can Find The Courage To Leap Into A Frozen Lake, Why Can’t Our Leaders Find the Courage To Tackle Climate Change?

Yesterday, on a cool and rainy Saturday, 22 crazy Canucks jumped into a frozen northern Ontario lake to send a message to our elected officials that it’s time to take action on climate change.  Well, first we cut a hole in the ice and then we took the plunge.  If we are courageous enough to do that, surely our leaders can find the courage to address this critical problem.  Green Party Candidate Mike Schwindt participated in the leap, and NDP candidate Tania Cameron was also present (although she declined the invitation to get wet for a good cause). And nearly $700 was raised for our community emergency shelter’s local food initiative.

Here are some pictures from the event. Congratulations to the brave “Leapers” who “chattered for change”, and to all the volunteers who helped make it happen (especially Perry, the “stage manager” who spent hours on Friday chopping out the ice so we’d have someplace to jump, and did much of the behind-the-scenes work Saturday) !