Addiction to Oil: A Parent’s Call To Action

Dr. Sarah Warren is psychologist and addictions expert who understands our addiction to oil and how to go into “recovery.”  She appreciates what it takes to move from denial to awareness into action, because she’s lived it.  She knows that change is difficult, but also necessary, possible and rewarding.

In her book “Fierce Love”, Dr Warren, as a mother and psychologist, addresses the questions “What can I do to make a real difference to protect the planet for  my children?” and “What’s in it for me?”.

It is time, as  mother, biologist, and cancer survivor Dr. Sandra Steingraber asserts, for parents to become fossil fuel abolitionists, for the sake of their children. Dr. Sarah Warren is an example of a mother who has heeded this call, and in her book she shares with us about “going green and getting happy, and doing the right thing by our children.”


More links:

Spheres Of Influence

Our Children Can’t Afford Another Five Years Of Stephen Harper

We are heading towards more than one global crisis – peak oil and climate change are going to change our world dramatically and quickly, in ways we can’t even imagine at this point. And there’s yet another economic and political crisis looming in the U.S., as the Obama administration goes head to head with the Rethuglicans over draconian budget measures to cut bloated U.S. government spending.  Here in Canada we are in the middle of a federal election where the words “climate change”  and “sustainability” have barely been mentioned.

Ironically, Stephen Harper seems to be touting Copenhagen as a victory for Canada’s climate change policy – talk about putting his own spin on things!  As Elizabeth May pointed out, Copenhagen is “an expedient device for some industrialized countries to avoid their responsibilities”, and it was where Canada swept the “fossil of the day” awards throughout the conference, and ended up being awarded the “Colossal Fossil” for:

“…for bringing a totally unacceptable position into Copenhagen and refusing to strengthen it one bit. Canada’s 2020 target is among the worst in the industrialized world, and leaked cabinet documents revealed that the governments is contemplating a cap-and-trade plan so weak that it would put even that target out of reach.

Canada has made zero progress here on financing, offering nothing for the short term or the long term beyond vague platitudes. And in last night’s high-level segment, Canada’s environment minister gave a speech so lame that it didn’t include a single target, number or reference to the science.

“Canada’s performance here in Copenhagen builds on two years of delay, obstruction and total inaction. This government thinks there’s a choice between environment and economy, and for them, tar sands beats climate every time. Canada’s emissions are headed nowhere but up. For all this and more, we name Canada the Colossal Fossil.”

Only a politician completely out of touch with the basics of climate science as well as the global push to address this crisis (and who is betting that Canadians are equally as out of it)  would tout Copenhagen, and Canada’s feeble reduction targets, as victories in the fight against climate change! 

The climate crisis is urgent, Canada has the lowest emission reduction targets in the industrialized world, and even the plan to reach those unacceptable targets have not been verified by an independent third-party. Stephen Harper, and his buddies in the Alberta oil patch, are not going to move Canada towards a low-carbon future.  Climate change is the single largest challenge that faces our country today, and Stephen Harper is dangerously lacking in vision and, frankly, basic common sense!  Every day that Stephen Harper remains prime minister threatens our children’s future. His economic policy is not grounded in any recognition of how Canadians, like every other person on this globe, depend on clean air, clean water, and a stable climate to thrive in every way, including economically.

How can our politicians ignore the science on the climate crisis?  We have a rapidly closing window to address this issue. And yes,  it requires courage to tackle climate change, but if we don’t act very soon, we are going to slip into that land of runaway global warming where nothing that humanity can do to  change it will be enough.  I echo Elizabeth May’s question to all the federal party leaders:

How do you aspire to the name  “leader” when you are afraid to address the biggest challenge that we face?



More links:

Bloomberg, Clinton Join Forces To Fight Climate Change

Climate Shame As Canada is Named “Colossal Fossil”

Environmental Issues: Elizabeth May and Party Panel on CBC’s The Current

She deserves a clean energy future!

A Campaign To Change The Course Of History

My family is in the middle of a graduation and a move, so my posts for the next week or two may be shorter than usual!

From the website of Four Years.Go, comes this inspiring message:

It’s time to make a choice. We can let present trends continue and risk almost certain breakdown and collapse.

Or… We can act and set humanity on a new course toward a just, thriving and sustainable world.

The choice is clear. We already possess the tools to shape our future. What’s missing is our collective will to act.

Four years is enough time to build that will, to change our direction, even to transform ourselves. And Go because we must start now.

There is still time to act, but no time to waste.

We are at the beginning of a great adventure, perhaps the greatest ever. Together, we can transform the story of civilization from impending disaster to a peaceful and sustainable world. The journey begins with each one of us taking a next step. What’s your next step—big or small?

You can subscribe to get updates from this campaign. Just click on “subscribe to our email list” button on the home page and fill out the information. The page states:

FOUR YEARS. GO. is just the beginning. We’re a rallying call for individuals and organizations to set humanity on the course to an environmentally sustainability, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling path by 2014. We will have developments, news, and opportunities to share as this journey moves forward. We encourage you to sign up to receive email updates about FOUR YEARS. GO. as a great way to stay connected.

I encourage you to spend some time exploring this website, and learning about what people are doing across the globe to make a sustainable, just future possible. For example, you can “share your next step” and let people know what actions you are taking. You can also explore a global map which provides a visual map of our collective journey to a sustainable, just, and fulfilling world. If you are on Facebook, you can also go to the FourYears.Go FB page and become a friend.


Have a great Thursday- don’t forget to take time to spend time outside enjoying your own part of the planet. I know I’m going to get re-acquainted with this beautiful corner of Canada’s boreal forest!

Thanks to Cathy Orlando, Climate Champion from Sudbury, Ontario, for sharing “FourYears.Go” with me.

Addressing Climate Change Requires Reclaiming Our Creativity That’s Been “Strip-Mined” By Our Education

Our children’s future, we now know, will include the effects of a warming planet, although how much the planet will warm depends on all of us right now.  This different planet,  “Eaarth”, as Bill McKibbon points out, will require the best of human ingenuity and creativity to help humans change and adapt.

In the video below, Sir Ken Robinson speaks at the 2006 TED Conference about whether schools kill creativity.  Robinson is a former professor of arts education at the University of Warwick who has written a number of books on the subject, including “Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative” and “Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything”.  It is an entertaining and profound presentation, and I hope you find 20 minutes to sit down and watch it.  Robinson concludes his talk with this admonition:

What I think it comes to is this: Al Gore spoke the other night about ecology and the revolution that was triggered by Rachel Carson. Our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology. One in which we start to reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity. Our education system has mined our minds the way we have strip-mined the earth; for a particular commodity. And for the future, it won’t service. We have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we are educating our children. There was a wonderful quote by Jonas Salk, who said, “If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.” And he’s right.

What TED celebrates is the gift of the human imagination. We have to be careful now that we use this gift wisely, and that we avert some of the scenarios that we’ve talked about. And the only way we’ll do it is by seeing our creative capacities for the richness they are, and seeing our children for the hope that they are. And our task is to educate their whole being, so they can face this future — by the way, we may not see this future, but they will. And our job is to help them make something of it.


More links:

Sir Ken Robinson’s Website

Written transcript of “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”

TED (Technology-Environment-Design) home: Ideas Worth Spreading

*Thanks to Joanne, from my Wednesday night Creative Writing class, for sharing this video*