Archive for the ‘TED Talks’ Category

It is March and already it is crystal clear that something is very much out-of-order.  Last week brought hundreds of tornadoes racing through the heart of the United States, leaving devastation in their wake and entire towns whipped from the face of the mid-west.  All the while I see Sandhill cranes winging their way up the Mississippi and Blue birds already in the orchard – all of them early in their migration north – early by almost a month.

But why should that matter to us? Why worry about such things, when there are daily matters to be concerned about?  Paul Gilding tells us why we should pay attention to the changes at hand.

And James Hansen explains how our elected officials have kept a lid on climate truth.  Jim has tried to get our ear about the truth of climate change for over 30 years, however, without much success.  But now, that his predictions are knocking down our doors we may finally stop and listen.

So, the next time you hear a politician talk about the need to open up oil reserves, about strip mining, and about the need for a Tar Sands pipeline, think about how this puts all of us into harm’s way.

Don’t be mislead by slick commercials about the “save” extraction of oil and  gas and learn about the true cost of fossil fuels made from fraking, from tar sands and shale.

Garth Lenz: The true cost of oil | Video

Think about yourself, your kids and grand kids.  And better yet, think about calling your elected officials and demand that they do what is right for us and our planet.  Solutions are already here, what is missing is not the technical know how, but rather the political will to put them into action.

Hold your elected officials accountable and force them to change course now, while we still have a change to make a difference.

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During 2011 I often found myself calling the Whitehouse comment line to urge our President not to give in to right-wing demands, but all to often I was sorely disappointed.  I call instead of sending written messages because my voice most clearly tells the message taker how serious the matter is for me.

So mark my surprise and delight when the new year began with President Obama’s decision to install his nominee to head the new consumer protection agency with a recess appointment, and in doing so thwarting the right-wing attempt to kill the new agency before it even got off the ground.   This bold action was followed by his rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada which would carry the most environmentally harmful crude ever to be extracted, through the center of our land to be refined in Texas.  I am aware that President Obama’s rejection is not the final resolution of the matter and that this pipeline will raise its ugly head again in years to come.

And now there is the matter of SOPA and PIPA and once again the need to fight against big money interests.  This time it is not the environment that is at stake, but the freedom of the internet which has evolved into the people’s’ tool to fight injustice worldwide.  Let me share a video which clearly outlines what is at stake now and in the future.  As with the Keystone XL the fight will not cease as long as big money interests seek to enrich themselves to the detriment of everyone else.

And let me not forget to mention our Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United ruling which gave corporations approval to spend millions of dollars to buy elections.  Here to the people are fighting back in an attempt to overturn that ruling by lobbying for a constitutional amendment which would accomplish that.

So there you have it!!!  The new year is shaping up to be filled with battles all around.

For me it is lucky that multiple sclerosis has eased its grip.  As I continue to recover ever so slowly from this devastating illness, there will be no lack of important things to do.  And just like having done my share in collecting a million signatures for the recall of Governor Walker in Wisconsin, I can say that together WE CAN succeed in the effort to make 2012 a better year.

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in order to bring the wealth of communal knowledge to people in need.

Meet Bunker Roy whose lifelong committment to human dignity and self-sufficiency has proven that a single individual can make all the difference. 

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On September 25th the world lost a true hero in the untimely death of Wangari Maathai.  Her story is one of unmatched courage in the face of oppression and of boundless optimism for the future.  A story where one single women stood up to political and social oppression and to environmental exploitation.  She fought for the reforestation of her homeland which she knew was closely linked with bringing economic justice to the women of her homeland.

Honoring Wangari Maathai.

Upon hearing of Wangari Maathai’s passing I felt a deep sense of loss, as if she had been personally dear to me.  But in truth I know that the loss I feel is not personal but rather that it stems from the realization that an incredible force for the common good has left us forever.

I will mourn her deeply.

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All is well at Sontheim.  The gardens have turned into a jungle, the fruit trees are heavy and the air is alive with the sound of summer.

Hummingbirds are playing at the feeders and sugar-water production is in high gear.  Some of our beloved Hummers are getting fat and soon they will be ready for their epic migration South.

The dogs are having fun in the fields nearby and it is awesome to watch their curiosity when they encounter the myriad of wildlife coming from the woods.

The only thing that is short in supply among all this abundance is TIME.  The time to sit and tend to my blog seems to have disappeared.  So, instead of sharing my own ‘pearls of wisdom’ I give you more food for thought.

Meet Eve Ensler in her newest presentation on TED:


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Meet Nadia Al-Sakkaf who truly represents the Arab Spring through her courage and committment to human dignity and freedom.

Since her father’s assassination Nadia is the publisher of the http://www.YemenTimes.com, a publication that continues to speak truth to power in Yemen.

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Food for Thought…

While I am still preoccupied with other matters I want to share Rebecca MacKinnon’s talk at the 2011 TED conference.  Her topic is not only timely but thought-provoking as we struggle to move forward as an open society that respects human dignity.  Enjoy!

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