After all the loss of life, sadness, loneliness, lies and chaos of 2020 lets hope we have learned some thing from the disfunction and poor leadership we have faced. I thought this letter to the editor had a lot to say:
Can we understand that if we can apply these lessons to the climate crisis, we’ve taken the most pro-life action possible?
As the pandemic year of 2020 comes to a close, we need to ask if we’ve learned from it, or whether we are doomed to repeat what we did not learn. Did we learn that there are serious personal and global consequences from destroying nature and the web of life that we’re part of? Did we learn that truth matters, not only as an ethical imperative, but as a requisite for a successful democracy? Did we learn that science matters and that disregard for the lessons of science robs humanity of tools that sustain life? Did we learn how countries that were united by common purpose and mutual trust were more successful in combating the pandemic than countries without unity and trust? That there is a critical role for leadership and democratic governance? That in this interdependent, globalized world, our health and future are bound together across national boundaries? That our future depends on putting cooperation above national interest?
Can we imagine how these lessons apply to the climate crisis? Can we understand that if we don’t apply these lessons to the climate crisis, the systems that support all life on our planet cannot be sustained, and COVID-19 will seem like child’s play by comparison? And finally, can we understand that if we can apply these lessons to the climate crisis, we’ve taken the most pro-life action possible? Lyndon Torstenson, Startribune.com
My least favorite thing about the December holidays is glitter! How many of the holiday cards will you receive that contain glitter? TOO MANY! Please do not purchase cards wrapping paper or anything containing glitter. Some spread it everywhere by putting it in their hair or in their make-up.
I know some think glitter is festive, but glitter is something we can live without! We know what a mess glitter is to clean up and it creates the same problem in our waterways. It’s impossible to manage and I am sure we ingest some of it also. It is not healthy and some scientists are calling for it to be banned.
A few facts about glitter will surprise you!
Glitter is made of a microplastic known as Mylar, which is hurting ocean life
This plastic accounts for 92.4% of the 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean
Marine life is mistaking glitter for food, which is damaging their livers
Every tiny sparkly bit takes thousands of years to break down
“Victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance” Diwali celebration
These are challenging times as Covid-19 continues to harm our communities and families. To make things worse we are living in a time of misinformation and darkness. Many refuse to accept the truth. As the American election takes place it is my wish we move out of the darkness of lies and fear into a new beginning of hope, science, understanding and truth.
It is a hard when we have an American president that doesn’t see reality and truth. Somehow, and it will be hard, we must accept the results of the election with non-violence and hope for a better world. Every vote must be counted, our democracy depends on it, and then we must accept the results. Important November days to celebrate and look forward to with hope:
November 1, World Vegan Day
November 3, American Election Day
November 10, World Science Day for Peace and Development
November 11, Veterans Day
November 13, World Kindness Day
November 14 Diwali “Victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”.
November 15, America Recycles Day, make it a day to reuse and reduce
November 26, Day of gratitude, Thanksgiving Day
Below the Actions for Happiness people have a calendar for New November with many good suggestions to try something new:
This Actions for Happiness post is about self-care and telling the truth! Living in a pandemic we need self-care and we need truth.
Part of self-help September is telling the truth, but what do you do when you have elected officials that lie, lie and lie some more, and citizens that believe their lies? People that lie are unhappy, they can’t accept reality. These are strange times with a pandemic, and the need for correct information is enormous. When elected officials have a misunderstanding of the truth, and create alternative facts, and others don’t correct and challenge them we are in big trouble. If we don’t have a set of facts to agree on, people searching for truth make things up and spread theories about what they believe might be true. This is like ancient people trying to make sense of what they don’t understand. We need to have a base of facts to work from and we have lost that. Yes, I misled the U.S.
Democracies can not survive without understanding what is really happening. That is why we have universities, scientists, news media and newspapers to search out the truth. In order to function as citizens in our society and in our democracy, we need to have a common basis of facts.
This is not ancient times, we have science, we have a hard working journalists and educators that are masters at getting the facts correct. At this time in history we all need a active commitment to always tell the truth. Start with telling the truth yourself, and demand truth-telling from all your acquaintances. Telling the truth is easy, demand it from everyone!
How do you start to search for truth?
Get the facts and be open minded. We often think we are correct when we aren’t.
Do additional research, read newspapers, and ask questions.
Make sure your sources are credible.
Ask yourself, does this make sense?
Never spread things unless you know the source and check at least 2 more sources. Facebook, friends, family, and Fox talk shows, are not reliable sources.
From September of 1939:
All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die. By W. H. Auden
Ten more self-care ideas to get you through the pandemic from the Washington Post. Read here.
Here is the Actions For Happiness calendar for September. An important part of self-care involves telling the truth and never spreading falsehoods.
The earth has a natural balance. The prairies, lakes, wetlands, deserts, mountains and oceans and rivers all work together to provide food and habitat for living things. Unfortunately, some places have gotten out of balance. Some areas are suffering terrible drought, and others have more rain and water than they can manage.
Building cities, driveways, parking lots, and roads changes the earth’s balance. What had been surfaces that were pervious, waterdrained through, are changed into impervious surfaces, that do notdrain. Wetlands have gotten the shaft the past 200 years taking away the natural healing for our earth. Farmers have drained the wetlands to be used for agriculture and cities have drained and paved over these valuable places that naturally clean our water and provide homes for so much wildlife. When you build a city on a wetland you take away the natural ability to drain the area. You also destroy the dynamic life that lives there.
Houston sits on a wetland. Without any regulation parts of Houston were built on a wetlands. The concrete and asphalt took away the earth’s drainage capacity. The original wetland wants to flood, that’s what it is supposed to do, but all the hard paved surface has left only small patches of ground to drain the water and guess what? You have a flooded area.
How can Houston embrace their water? I hope that as Houston rebuilds from Hurricane Harvey they will work to maximize pervious areas, areas that drain, and limit the concrete and asphalt. It is impossible to plan for a 50 inch rain, but with some good science and skilled planning, some houses and many lives can be saved. Regulation and good minds are needed instead of a “Do what you want” attitude. I hope the people of Houston will try! It is so wasteful and expensive not to try to change the way they do things.
Areas need to be created that capture the water so it drains into the earth not into the rivers and streams. Run-off creates polluted water. The earth naturally cleans the water as it is absorbed by the earth. I hope Houston is willing to replace some concrete with renewed wetlands and rain gardens that will keep such destruction from happening again! Homeowners could be required to install pervious or permeable driveways or gardens that absorb water, or some area on their property that absorbs a percentage of water. See permeable driveways for ideas.
I heard one Houston homeowner on the radio, his house had flooded 3 times in the past 5 years. It is insane to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result! Maybe we can all learn something from New Orleans. See below.
After fighting water New Orleans is starting to embrace their water problem with a new paradigm. I hope Houston can learn from them. Read about it at New Orleans.
Also, Mayors along the Mississippi River are embracing wetlands to improve water quality and this will help New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico, also! Read about at wetlands.
Houston, it’s your turn! Wetlands can soak up lots of flood water. Can you do things differently this time around? Start listening to the scientists, engineers and environmentalists.
Houston helped put a man on the moon. Houston is the leader in the medical field. It could also begin to be a smart, resilient city if it puts its mind to it. That’s all it’s got to do. Read more at Houston.
Scientists, other experts and federal officials say Houston’s explosive growth is largely to blame. As millions have flocked to the metropolitan area in recent decades, local officials have largely snubbed stricter building regulations, allowing developers to pave over crucial acres of prairie land that once absorbed huge amounts of rainwater. That has led to an excess of
Science is real, it is not opinion. Science can be proven, it isn’t an alternative fact. Business profits rule in this administration, and without help from science, business won’t thrive either.
Can you think of anything in our lives that does not deal with science? Scientists have gotten us to where we are in civilization, and we still have a long way to go to cure cancer, Alzheimer’s, MS, ALS, heart disease….and the list goes on. Science research must be funded to keep us safe and healthy.
Saturday I marched with 40,000 other people in Chicago saying to this administration , “Science Is Important!” “Business profits don’t keep us healthy” “Fund science research”
The PBS News Hour did an interesting segment on what Americans believe about GMOs, vaccines and climate change. I hope you will watch. See below.
Because the world is complicated, it is impossible to be an experts on all topics. We need to accept the opinions and facts of someone, and we need sources that we can trust and sourcesthat reliable. How do we determine who to believe?
Our brains try to make sense of a complicated world. Is the simplest explanation the one that we like? What role do our friends, family and religion play in our interpretations? Do Rush Limbaugh or Mike Huckabee know more about science than Bill Nye, the science guy?
I think we believe the explanation that best fits into the paradigm of our view of the world. We want ideas that are simple and easy to understand, We want ideas that don’t limit our freedom or cost us money.
Whose ideas do you trust? This is a fascinating discussion on what the public and scientists believe about climate change, vaccines and GMO products.