climate change

Your fridge is ground zero, Part 1 of 2

by bigbutpretty Flickr/creative commons

by bigbutpretty
Flickr/creative commons

In case you missed it, try to screen “Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story,” a documentary which premiered on MSNBC this week (trailer here). The film follows one couple’s quest to live on discarded or expired food, and showcases world food waste experts such as Dana Gunders (National Resources Defense Council), Johanthan Bloom (author of American Wasteland), and Tristam Stuart (, Feeding the 5K campaign, and author of Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal). The couple succeeded in their task, by the way, and ate heartily (and gave some food away). For the entire 6-month period, they spent less than $200 for food worth $20,000.

The US and Europe have 150-200% of the food they actually need, wasting the land by over planting to supply peak demand periods. Although fruits and vegetables are the most wasted foods, their environmental impact pales in comparison to how much is wasted in the beef.

The amount of US-grown and -produced food that is wasted in the United States is a whopping 40%, costing $165 billion a year. The world as a whole wastes 30%. While most of us might jump to the conclusion that it is restaurants, grocery stores, and farms that are doing all the wasting, it is actually consumers, you and me, that are responsible for the waste of more than half. We demand perfection, not one blemish on any fruit or vegetable, and just toss away 20% of the food we do buy.

The role that food waste plays in climate change cannot be understated. A full 4% of all the energy used in the US goes to the production of the food that we toss. Moreover, the wasted food goes to landfills increasing harmful methane emissions. The water we waste to produce discarded food in this country each year could instead supply a year of water to 500 million people.

Watching this documentary should be required viewing so each us can start today to take an active role, at home and in our communities. It’s already motivated me to do more. Most of all, we are reminded that hunger, in your neighborhood or anywhere in the world, is a violation of human rights, and caused by inhumane politics. Corporations have a responsibility to get the excess food to those who need it, and we all have a responsibility to demand that they do.

Tomorrow, Part 2, will focus more on what you can do to make a difference, and the impact you can make in your own home and being volunteer and activist in this or any other movement trying to rescue our planet from the jaws of defeat.


Love Your Earth

Earth Peace
Listen to the sound of the earth turning
(Yoko Ono, Earth Day, April 22, 2015)

We’ve been promoting the hashtag, #EarthDayIsEveryDay because the impact on climate change is still grossly underestimated. It is one of our key issues because if we ruin our planet, our search for social and economic justice means little.

Pascal B. for technovore Flickr/creative commons

Pascal B. for technovore
Flickr/creative commons

Mass migrations caused by loss of groundwater due to rising seas, extreme weather and earthquake frequency, and loss of bio-diversity are just a few of the results. We can’t rely on mainstream media to inform us about the risks of climate change, and climate deniers cannot claim they are “skeptics” because that is a word connoting an open mind.

Here are some of the stories we are investigating today that we thought you should know about . . .

For more . . .
What do Sex and Gender have to do with Climate Change and Net Neutrality
Silencing Climate Change Deniers
Response to Climate Change Impossible Without a Revolution in Thinking




What Do Sex and Gender have to do with Net Neutrality and Climate Change?

Garry Knight Climate March in London September 21, 2014 Flickr/creative commons

Garry Knight
Climate March in London
September 21, 2014
Flickr/creative commons

I have often been asked why VenusPlusX, and its mission to help bring about to the coming New Age of Sexual Freedom, has been so concerned in the last couple of years with the two issues of Climate Change and Net Neutrality. Some of my friends asked me to explain what these issues have to do sex, after all.

Dan and I set out to help change the world. Maybe you did or will, also. Each of us can envision a better future world, free from racism, poverty, and militarism and the constant interference by the overreach of governments and religious hierarchies and the greedy exploitation by corporate elitists. We chose the New Age of Sexual Freedom to connote that lofty goal, the day when respect for personal autonomy and bodily integrity will at last realized. That future we are co-envisioning is real: what is old and useless will be gone; what was old but useful will persist because it has value; and, new and humane ways of doing things emerge to replace all of the inhumane and coercive systems that enslave all of us but a few.

The work of rescuing civilization from those who would corrupt it proceeds by setting priorities. A long time ago, I appealed to my fellow social and economic justice activists to reserve at lease some of their time to advocate for a strong worldwide response to climate change. But will that be enough?

Climate change deniers like to call themselves climate change skeptics to make you think they are capable of absorbing new information when they have made themselves mentally unable to do that. These annoying deniers are trying to get in the way of taking immediate and historic action. The number of deniers in power to interfere may be high or low but that doesn’t change the fact that the effects of climate change are already upon us, and the urgency is increasing expodentially.

The ravages of climate change and our ability through a free and open Internet to respond to this crisis, are inexorably linked. Climate change is not just threatening our very existence, the very ground on which you now stand, it is rising quickly with some dramatic outcomes (mass migrations, violent weather, rising sea levels and salinization destroying water sources, etc.). When will these outcomes get the attention of those  going through each day blissfully unaware of this world emergency? When will these outcomes directly affect you and your family? Or have they already?

Improvement in all other areas of social and economic justice will depend on our success in responding to climate change, starting with fostering new ways of getting energy without using fossil fuels. In short, we need the Internet to accomplish everything.

You can see more about Net Neutrality and Climate Change, here and here. Also, here is a good summary of the issues, just out today.

BREAKING: According to tonight’s Wall Street Journal, the Federal Trade Commission that protects and regulates utilities like the Internet seem poised to do the right thing. We may be able to celebrate a huge victory after fighting so hard for Net Neutrality.

The Federal Communications Commission is about to fundamentally change the way it oversees high-speed Internet service, proposing to regulate it as a public utility.

Chairman Tom Wheeler is reaching for a significant expansion of the agency’s authority to regulate broadband providers, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

The move would fully embrace the principle known as net neutrality, and if enacted, would bring a new definition to the economics of the Internet industry: Rather than regulating broadband firms lightly, as has been its practice so far, the FCC would treat them like telecommunications companies and subject them to more intrusive regulation, especially in areas relating to how they manage traffic on their networks.

A central element would be a ban on broadband providers blocking, slowing down or speeding up specific websites in exchange for payment, these people say. Supporters of the FCC’s position say allowing some websites to pay for faster access to consumers would put startups and smaller companies at a disadvantage.

The proposal, expected to be unveiled by the FCC on Thursday, is a victory for a host of Silicon Valley firms and liberal activists who have championed it. Many of these companies lobbied the White House seeking such an outcome, and were rewarded in November when President Barack Obama announced his support for “the strongest possible” rules for net neutrality, the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally.

If we have the Internet and the ability to communicate rapidly across all sectors in the world, we will have a fighting chance in meeting the tremendous security challenges presented by climate change, and change the world in the process.



Silencing Climate Change Deniers

According to a new study in the journal Science,”Four boundaries are assessed to have been crossed, placing humanity in a danger zone.”


The report defined climate change and loss of species as two core areas of concern. Each “has the potential on its own to drive the Earth System into a new state should they be substantially and persistently transgressed,” the authors wrote.

via Oxfam International Flickr/creative commons

via Oxfam International
Flickr/creative commons

It would almost seem absurd at this point to recognize anyone, high or low, who would argue that the human impacts on the environment have not already reached the “danger zone.” But it’s not absurd, it’s a very, very sad state of current reality.

Alas, we must continue equip ourselves to silence climate deniers by repudiating their arguments, whether a politician or your grumpy uncle Joe, through conversations, publishing, and activism. Quoting from studies or books, such as Naomi Klein’s  This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, may help but, unfortunately, these deniers are almost always so proud of their defiance in the face of irrefutable evidence that they refuse to take new information in. If you look closely, you will see that this resistance to new information is a character flaw that seeps into other areas of their thinking, and is therefore hard to overcome.

The cataclysmic results of climate change are already upon us, mass migrations, shrinking coastlines, salinization of drinking water, food scarcity, etc. Are we doomed to wait for the elite to start suffering??

We must keep the pressure on, especially leading up to the hopeful Paris climate summit (Conference of Parties or COP) in December 2015 that will be pushing for ambitious action before and after 2020. Start, if you haven’t already, by updating yourself and staying informed through websites such as the United Nations Climate Change Newsroom. We don’t have a moment to wait, literally.


Response to Climate Change Impossible Without A Revolution in Thinking

Adrian Kenyon's The World's A Balloon Flickr/creative commons

Adrian Kenyon’s
The World’s A Balloon
Flickr/creative commons

I will continue writing about the environment for how can we hope for a new age free from racial and sexual oppression if we destroy the world with our stupid choices?

In reading Naomi Klein‘s trailblazing book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, we are destined for ecological disaster within 50 years or less. Here she succinctly lays out the challenge . . .

. . . [W]e are left with a stark choice: allow climate disruption to change everything about our world, or change pretty much everything about our economy to avoid that fate.

And, the problem . . .

Living with this kind of cognitive dissonance is simply part of being alive in this jarring moment in history, what a crisis we have been studiously ignoring is hitting us in the face — and yet we are doubling down on the stuff that is causing the crisis in the first place.

The Real News seconds these ideas, exposing just how delusional government can be in misunderstanding the urgency of our response to  climate change.


Every activist concerned with social and economic justice should read Ms. Klein’s book. It’s a call to action that cannot be ignored.

. . . [P]oliticians aren’t the only ones with the power to decide [this] a crises. Mass movements of regular people can declare one too.

Slavery wasn’t a crisis for British and American elites until abolitionism turned it into one. Racial discrimination wasn’t a crisis until the civil rights movement turned it into one. Sex discrimination wasn’t a crisis until feminism turned it into one. Apartheid wasn’t a crisis until the anti-aprtheid movement turned it into one.

Let’s continue the forward momentum of this nascent movement and exercise our power, our people power, to silence or remove those who stand in the way of solving this epic problem. Stay informed. Get active. Your life depends on it.


Edelman’s Lisa Manley, Climate Change Activist

Lisa Manley is a Corporate Social Responsibility Executive with Edelman, one of the largest Public Relations firms. She has 20 years of experience in global sustainability strategy and engagement, and recently offered “Five Observations from UN Climate Week.” It gives us a bird-eye view of the outcomes from a business point of view.

Manley was inspired by all the events that took place over a week ago, including the People’s Climate March that drew more than 300,000 environmental activists. She acknowledges how lackluster the outlook has been since 2009’s disappointing climate conference in Copenhagen but points out several take-aways from this year’s Summit in New York, suggesting high hopes for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris next year. “Optimism is on the rise,” is her perspective.

Hewlitt-Packard's Gabi Zedlmayer at "Leader's vision for a low carbon economy" NYC Climate Week 2014 Flickr/creative commons

Hewlitt-Packard’s Gabi Zedlmayer at “Leader’s vision for a low carbon economy” NYC Climate Week 2014
Flickr/creative commons

Manley asserts “partnership is the new leadership” by citing promising new collaborations of businesses and governments, such as We Mean Business and RE100, and The World Bank global efforts building a coalition among businesses and governments to support carbon pricing.

Manley goes on to say that “business has new and compelling voices in the dialogue” noting that 100 CEOs attended this year’s Summit. She highlights Apple’s Tim Cook who believes that innovation induces economic growth, particularly in the area of renewable energy.”

“Our cities are likely where the change happen fastest,” says Manley, believing that as we look forward to Paris’s UNFCCC next year the focus will shift from nation states to what can be accomplished by major cities.

The world’s architects are leading the way with impressive commitments to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe) of urban areas by changing how buildings and cities are planned, designed and constructed. For instance, at the International Union of Architects (UIA) World Congress in August 2014, member organizations representing over 1.3 million architects in 124 countries unanimously adopted the 2050 Imperative — a declaration to eliminate CO2 emissions in the built environment by 2050. This is a significant commitment, considering urban areas generate 70 percent of all GHGe, mostly from buildings. Looking ahead to 2035 (and accounting for population growth and expected human migration), 75 percent of the built environment will be either new or renovated.

Manley concludes, “communication and engagement are critical as we continue to pave the path forward.” She brings to our attention an inspirational film shown to world leaders at the opening of the UN Summit, WHAT’S POSSIBLE, demonstrating that “climate change is solvable — but engagement and action are essential.” She notes that “two years ago, the NYC climate summit sparked 1 million social shares, last year it was 2 million and this year it was 83 million!

Continuous dialogue, commitments and follow-through will be crucial to motivate citizens and stakeholders as we build alignment by mid-century around paths for zero emissions. This week certainly provided a vital spark of optimism that we must maintain to achieve the success needed at climate summits in Lima, then in Paris and beyond. The impacts, challenges and opportunities of climate change are evolving in the hearts and minds of citizens around the world, opening doors of opportunity for continued communication and engagement.

Full article available here. Talk to your family and friends and the business you work for. Find out what you can do in your own community to make it greener. Redouble your efforts to reverse the destruction of planet earth. Okay?


Salutes and More Salutes


Naysayers who think that big marches don’t bring about real change fail to understand there is a pluralistic revolution already underway that will change the world whether they like it or not, divesting the world away from corporate rape of the world’s natural resources. (9/22/14)

People's Climate March New York City  September 21, 2014

People’s Climate March
New York City
September 21, 2014

People's Climate March New York City September 21, 2014 regram from @_sarahwilson_

People’s Climate March
New York City
September 21, 2014
regram from @_sarahwilson_

We have had time now to fully appreciate the impact of Sunday’s unprecedented People’s Climate March (400,000 souls in New York City, and millions in other American cities and in more than 160 countries), and to witness on Monday the hugely successful follow-up Flood Wall Street sit-in to demand corporate environmental responsibility. More than 3,000 protesters literally flooded Wall Street, without a city permit no less, shutting down a 10-block area despite police interference. All were trained in non-violent civil disobedience, volunteering to be arrested (100 were arrested and then all were released).

We had a big ruckus and showed ourselves to each other as a force ready and able to move forward on this uphill battle. And it is uphill, make no mistake, consider Exhibit A, if you will . . .

“I mean think about it, if your ice cube melts in your glass it doesn’t overflow, it’s displacement.”

This grade-school, startling, ignorant statement comes out of the US Congress, courtesy of Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) who sits, ironically and sadly, on our tax-payer funded House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. (Worth a watch: Jon Stewart skewering Stockman and similarly ignorant Republican brethren also serving on this committee.)

But, now for some good news.

This stupidity on display is a national embarrassment, yes, but it also gives us hope that we are closer, than ever before, to turning the corner of worldwide awareness of environmental issues. The more convincing the science, the more people stand up to share the voices and skills to educate others, and the more desperate the stupid climate-deniers become in putting their stumbling and bad thinking is on display to be widely ridiculed and more quickly repudiated by larger and larger numbers of people.

As we celebrate the sheer numbers of boots on the ground in the last 2 days, we are a witness to progress: the greatest number of people in history are today mobilized to do something to save our planet, whether in their own community or on the world stage.

But that’s not all, folks. Corporations are beginning to agree with us that non-renewable energy is a very, very bad idea. A fast-growing corporate divestment movement has now firmly attached itself to the cause, underscoring environmentalists’s demands with money. This is a very good thing, emblematic of true progress.


Information: How you can divest from the fuel economy.

More about the mechanics and built-in ecology of progress here.


Everyone Needs Examples, Including Bad Examples

When we wrote, where Where Did All This F*cking Evil Sh%t Come From? and recently, Right-wingnuts Bless Progressives, and in other posts, including practically everything we’ve written about the events in Ferguson, Missouri, it was to offer a rational explanation of why we are faced, constantly bombarded, with negativity, and why this provides an array of opportunities for good.

by Pranav Bhatt Flickr/creative commons

by Pranav Bhatt
Flickr/creative commons

I know this sounds rather counter-intuitive, and understand why when bad things happen to good people it can become a source of frustration and helplessness, but these reactions forget the underlying ecology of progress.

There is a time tension of reality that causes budding personalities to seek out sunshine and sustenance to thrive. The alternative is death. So we take stock of all threats to life and health and grow around them, in spite of them. We point out the bad shyte, deconstruct it to its rotten core, reveal its ultimate futility, and challenge ourselves and others to look beyond and work around.

Who can deny that the legacy of Michael Brown is that he and has family are now lightening rods bringing about real change, not just in Ferguson but in every American city?

Who can deny that the misanthropic Westboro Baptist Church exposes the bankruptcy of organized religion?

Who can deny that the actions of today’s theocratic oligarchies throughout the world, including in the United States, are producing a newly energized and organized progressive counterpunch?

No doubt there is pain and sacrifice along the way, we all feel it. But progress cannot be thwarted. Just as the bud is determined to flower, so too will good triumph over evil.

In this instant news world we now live in, I wake up most days feeling besieged from every direction: ISIS, the Supreme Court, congressional venality and its ignorance, climate change, crime, injustice, you name it. But I get up, wash my face, and do what is within my power, as limited as that may be, to bring sunshine and nourishment wherever and whenever I can. I am challenged by all the bad examples of humanity around me but comforted that the chemistry of negativity dictates its eventual obsolescence because it lacks the vital building blocks of progress.

The humane will always triumph over the inhumane if only we are willing to move forward and do something about it.