I offer a couple of bright green notes this morning. (With the addition of floral drop caps, no less.) First, please, sign up to join my Moms Clean Air Force. I would really appreciate a healthy Slow Love Life presence. I'm writing regularly about the effects of coal emissions on our children's health--and about why, sometimes, being a good mom means being an engaged citizen. I'm joined by an excellent group of bloggers from across the country--you can also subscribe to our feed. I just posted a piece about how we have to be bipartisan in this fight against toxic and invisible pollution.

But at least sign up for the force. When you do, we will be able to send you Action alerts (we will never ask for money)--with suggestions for what you can do to protect and strengthen our terrific, bipartisan Clean Air Act, signed into law forty years ago by President Nixon.

This is a critical fight, dear readers! We just heard Michele Bachmann suggesting "the Mother of All Repeals" of the Clean Air Act--and I wish I could say she was alone, but there in my beloved Kentucky, home to generations of Brownings, is Representative Ed Whitfield, from Hopkinsville (cherished town of childhood memories for me), also inserting "repeal" rhetoric into his public statements. To balance this extremism, here's a link to Republicans for Environmental Protection. Thankfully, the Republican party hasn't been entirely highjacked by extremist, anti-science rhetoric. They have created a National Registry of Green Republicans. We can be Bright Green, and Right Green. Or, Green is Right.

I've just posted a piece at the EDF website, America's Next Generation of Chief Green Officers, about one of their most creative programs, Climate Corps. Only a few years old, Climate Corps places MBA students into summer fellowships with companies across the country, after training them to find, assess, and monetize energy efficiencies.

Facebook has taken three fellows for the summer. Many of them post about their experiences as they unfold. The students have already racked up impressive savings. As one of their professors told them, there was once a time when no one had IT departments. Soon, everyone will have EE departments. This program was flooded with applicants for fellowships. I'm looking forward to the day in the not too distant future when CC is sending out hundreds of fellows every summer.

Remember my lament of a few days back, Climate Blues? Looking online for glimmers of hope, I stumbled on a fascinating panel sponsored by Climate One at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. I'm linking to a few very short video clips. I was moved by the activism of people like fifteen-year old Alec Loorz, who started Kids v. Global Warming--when he was twelve. "We need a revolution," he said, "a revolution that ignites compassion in people's hearts. We have the moral authority to ask our parents, our leaders: 'Do I matter to you?'"

And more hope via Mark Hertsgaard, who wrote Hot: Living through the next 50 years on Earth. He talks about how having children has influenced his writing. And Scott Harmon, an advisor to the Boy Scouts of America, who speaks wisely about the need to educate our children--and the power of the next generation of leaders.

Harmon found a great deal of hope in how businesses are changing. Many companies have sustainability officers now, he remarked, bringing us full circle to Climate Corps. CEOs want to cut costs, and operate more efficiently. They see how they can grow revenues by investing in new, clean technologies.

When problems seem intractable, they are overwhelming, and that leads us to feeling depressed or panicked. Solutions--and agitating to get those solutions going--give us hope.


Emom said...

Living in the solution....good idea...smiles.

Deborah A said...

When I believe in a cause, I have a "when the going gets tough the tough get going" mentality. There is no place for depression and panic.
I do know that there has been tremendous effort in stopping bad emissions from vehicles, as well smoke stack emmissions.
My brother in law has been in evironmental engineering for 40 years, and that is what he does, help businesses clean the emissions that they are sending out.
Of course, all of this is very expensive for "Big Business" and that is why the above republicans that you mentioned are vetoing the act. As always it all comes down to money, and who has enough of it to lobby for repeal of anything that is going to cost big and small businesses money.
Off subject, but on the same vein, in my state (MA) we have health care reform (my passion). Big and small business raged against the reform, claiming that providing a decent health insurance for their employees would kill their profit margin and put them out of business. It was a long arduous fight that took years....and they are still trying to kill it even though 88% of MA residents are now insured.
The squeaky wheel gets fixed so, continue your effort for clean air and hopefully it will get funded.

Deborah A said...

Oh, I forgot to ask you what the the pictures and initials stood for. It looks like and I and R...very pretty but i can't figure it out.

david terry said...

Dear Ms. Browning,

To begin with, thank you for your lovely and refreshing posting, which so sternly and rightly reminded all of us of our continued duty to be mindful citizens of this wonderful country of Ours and ALL of its 48 states. As the famous writer&author Mr. Forster wrote: "Only CONNECT!".

I write to you in sincere sorrow tonight to inform you that this "VL" woman who posts on your "blog? has not only contacted me through my private, home telephone connection...but has also sent a "letter" to me through the county's official post office. She is using a big old FAKE name when she says its’ from ”VL”.

I am terrified. How did she get my number or the address at this tiny, utterly insignificant cottage, where I live, quite alone, as a shut-in?

This "letter" from "VL" was brought to me yesterday afternoon and laid on the back-kitchen table, where I often spend the afternoons, so that I might enjoy the birds which so often come to the feeders which have been placed by friends and well-wishers around the perimeter of my tiny back-porch in this forgotten backwater of a region defeated and destroyed by your forefathers over a century ago. Not that I'm the sort to bear grudges, but....

Please do not worry; although the 2 tiny, grimy windows are "small" by most folks' standards, I can look through at least one and see"my friends" (which is what I call the birds who come to visit me each day).

I live the life of what some would call a "shut-in", but I promise you that I do my best to try to take a LITTLE joy from each day and broaden my horizons. Miss Chickadee is always such a help when she comes to the feeder each morning for her breakfast! Its' hard to feel sad anymore when shes' so happy. That always gives me something to look forward too, also.

aside from the birds, my main point is this letter from your big old blog fan, "VL", which has got me all upset.

the number one thing is its' on purple paper (wrote with blue ink on it, in her personal handwriting), the like of which I have never seen in my life. I took one look at that business and thought no lady I know would ever of wrote on that sort of colored paper.

the number two thing I want you to know is her name is not really "VL". Turns out it's "Vicky", and she lives in New York City. I don't know why she is trying to fool people on your internet, but its' pretty obvious that "VL" is just a big old fake name instead of her real name. Plus, I asked a personal friend who told me that the address was in Greenwich village area, although they try to call it a "neighborhood". That is well knowed for being where so-called artists and "writers" hang out all together so they can get drunk and god knows what else.

In any case, PLEASE take a WARNING from me: Do NOT open no purple letters from this "VL"woman. I havent' read all of the one I got yesterday. In my condition, I simply cant take that kind of shock. But, I showed it to my good friend, the authoress Miss Laura Argiri. She took one look over the thing and said it looked like it had come from a "Consummate Minx", She agreed with me that given the unorthodox color of the paper and the entirely upsetting tone of the entire episode that we just needed to not even read the thing. Which we didn't and wont'.

I think that should more than prove my point, dont' you?


(I’m so upset I can’t even’t sign this now)

Warren said...

Dear David, the NYT recently wrote that the Net has destroyed anonymity (sp?). I would hate to lose your presence up here, however.

Dominique, keep fighting the good fight.

VL said...

Warren, David is far from anonymous, as he has his address on his web site, along with phone and email -- that's how one does business.

David, once you get off your fainting couch, perhaps you could add your usual "ps I'm joking" so people don't get the wrong idea.

That said....? Had I known that a hand-addressed envelope with a check in it for your art work was going to send you into such a tizzy, I would have typed the envelope. I'm just lazy. Plus, I don't have a typewriter, so I actually would have had to print it from the computer, which seems far too much trouble.

And yes, folks, we talked on the phone so that I could actually purchase one of David's works as a gift.

Now, David, if you've decided that you don't want your work hanging somewhere in Greenwich Village, then can I have my check back? Feel free to hand-write on the envelope, I'm not as delicate as you are.

david terry said...

Hey there ("VL", et al):

1. I was, indeed, joking

2. More precisely, I was channeling one of my favorite elderly neighbors, an enterprisingly under-occupied and cultivatedly paranoid lady with whom I'd spent yesterday afternoon.

We spent a good thirty minutes finally opening up a pile of what she'd set aside as "suspicious" mail.

Soon after that, she answered the telephone and, after saying "Hello?", moved on to a stern "WHO is this calling, please?...how in the WORLD did you get my number!?!....and eventually announcing "Pardon me, but I'm not SPEAKING to anyone right now" (after which she continued speaking for at least five minutes to the stranger).

Her son (also a friend, with whom I was visiting her) has never determined whether she really is this paranoid or simply having fun. He's a much more earnest man than I am and, so, bothers himself to make the distinction. I'm usually content to just sit back and enjoy the show.

STILL?...I know....it's not nice to mimic Old Ladies. As penance, I will follow every single link that Ms. Browning has earnestly posted (after researching), and I will sign every petition, join every suggested group, and otherwise demonstrate some degree of responsible behavior. That shouldn't take too long, at which time we will probably resume Our Normal Programming....

P.S. I do (sincerely, I mean it....really) appreciate Ms. Browning's "green/environmental" postings. As I recently told a neighbor who was "thanking" me for donating to the local "School-backpack program" (basically, sending food home with poor kids every weekend), "No...thank YOU for showing how to give in an IMMEDIATE and effective way."

Abashedly yours as ever,

David Terry
(for more edifying experiences, please visit www.davidterry.com, which is the website for a large, athletically patriotic, retired Republican lawyer from Texas who paints scenes of quails, bluebonnets, and the Texas Hill Country. About the only thing we seem to have in common is our name.)

Deborah A. said...

To David,
You are a real "upstart", a little bit of a troublemaker and very very mischievous!
Why do I get the feeling that you gave your parents a run for their money when you were growing up....and maybe even now?
You definetly display what my grandmother called "devil child" behavior.
P.S. What a nice instant gratification... to be able to donate to help the children in your area that don't have enough food on the weekends. Like you said, sometimes you donate money and wonder where it goes and how much actually was spent on the cause. In this case there is no administration fees that eat up 80% of the donation. Wonderful!

david terry said...

Dear "Deborah A"....

Our very local (the elementary skool'z just down the road from my house) "Weekend Backback Program" is, indeed, very wonderful and, yes, a source of gratification.

It's run by volunteers/parents. Every 2 or so weeks, they use the neighborhood association's message-board to let us know what they need for the program.....basically, a shopping list. I generally go out that morning, buy the food and drop it off at the school's "pantry". I don't have children, and I do have time. Generally, I buy twice what's requested...since it doesn't take much thinking to guess that most of these kids are splitting their weekend-backpacks of food with younger siblings who aren't yet enrolled at the school.

While I was growing up, my mother was the volunteer head of a similar program, operating under the auspices of the Headstart program. For years, we spent every Friday afternoon driving a station-wagon of groceries around the more-rural tail-ends of an already rural county. you can't get a government relief check if you don't have a fixed address. And you can't drive into town if there's no car. Many of the very poor in rural areas were and are in this fix. Certainly, their children were and are in it.

Just for the record?...I began to REALLY hate Ronald Reagan when his administration began slashing the Headstart programs, of all things.

----david terry

Deborah A said...

Dear David,
Oh yes, I do remember the Headstart Program, it helped so many children get a good "head start" certainly better then they would have had. The school lunch program is another wonderful program for the students. Now because so many children have 2 working parents, the schools are now offering a nutricious breakfast for all children, some pay a stipend while other pay what their parents can afford. Its just wonderful to know that children have full stomachs to make it thru their active day.
I fervantly hope that none of the cuts that are being discussed are made, in everything from health care to Medicare and Education. These are our most fragile members of society, you would think it was the "American Way" to take care of them and not put them at risk.
When you were exposed to Headstart thru you mothers volunteering efforts, you developed a sense "of doing the right thing"...she developed a conscious in you, my mother would call this a "moral compass".
I did the same with my son, from a young age. Today he is in a position to fight and hopefully influence thru goverment his basic philosophies.
Right now its an uphill battle, unfortunately, we have a "a mean spirited" attitude running thru congress. By that I mean "all for me and none for you" mentality. This mentality is particularly disturbing because the new mantra is..."I work hard and I'm not sharing it with the less fortunate"
They are all slackers ect. Its become very meanspirited, with not a bit of "moral compass" involved.
So I will end this tirade by saying thank you for you generous work with the poor children in your area. As my grandmother, always said, every time I complained, you will get your reward in heaven or "offer it up".
My Level Best To You,
P.S. I love this saying, I heard it for the first time from you!