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I’m a huge fan of Isa Chandra Moskowitz, author of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, among other fantastic vegan cookbooks.  Today in her blog she posted a photo from flickr user Deirdre Jean that really made my day.


Read Deirdre’s flickr post about the photo

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Help a brother out

No Impact Man has asked for help from the blogosphere:

Next Friday, May 30, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York’s Eight Congressional District has kindly agreed to meet with me in his New York office. As one of his constituents, I intend to ask Representative Nadler to support an effective global warming mitigation policy that is based not on what is politically possible but on what is scientifically necessary.

More specifically, I intend to ask him to:

  • Introduce, as soon as possible, a non-binding resolution to the House of Representatives asserting that we need a climate change mitigation policy with a goal of no more than 350 ppm of atmospheric carbon dioxide (read why here). Furthermore, the resolution should say that the United States must collaborate with the international community to achieve an effective successor to the Kyoto Protocol that will achieve the 350 goal or better (depending on how the science progresses).
  • Pledge to support the 1sky.org policy platform that also includes creating five million green jobs (through, for example, weatherizing our buildings and manufacturing solar panels and windmills), and placing a moratorium on the building of new coal power plants.
  • Pass on to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter addressed jointly to her and Representative Nadler, in his position as Assistant Whip, asking them both to push for the introduction of new and the strengthening of currently pending climate change legislation to reflect the crucial 350 goal. This means, at the very least, aiming for an 80% reduction in climate emissions below 1990 levels by 2050 and a 25% reduction by 2020.

Now then, here’s how I was hoping you could help. My dream is to present Representative Nadler and Speaker Pelosi with between 350 and 3,500 (10 x 350) emails of support for these policy objectives.

Can you help? All it requires is a cut and paste job (see below).

Fellow bloggers: would you be willing to pass this request onto your readers?

Everyone: would you email this around and get your friends to pitch in?

Two bits of good news:

  1. Representative Nadler has been an ardent supporter of environmental issues ranging from the thorough cleanup of the World Trade Center site to securing federal funding for state conservation and wildlife grants. He received a score of 95% for his voting record in the 1st session of the 110th Congress from the League of Conservation Voters.
  2. Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping have provided me with five copies of their new DVD, What Would Jesus Buy (watch the trailer here). I’m going to give the DVDs to people who send in their emails of support (the 1st, the 35th, 100th, the 350th and the 1000th).

Here’s how to send in your email of support:

Simply cut and paste the below, making sure to substitute in your name, mailing address and email address, and send it to noimpactman+nadler+pelosi@gmail.com (it looks like a weird email address but, don’t worry, it will work).

Dear Representative Nadler and Speaker Pelosi–

Thank you for your hard work on behalf of the people of the United States. It is indisputable that the health, happiness and security of the American people depends upon the well-being of our planetary habitat. It is also indisputable that the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases is causing changes in our habitat that will adversely effect Americans on every level–from our health to our economy.

On May 30, Colin Beavan aka No Impact Man will visit Representative Nadler to express to him support for a number of climate change mitigation policies that are much stronger than those currently passing through Congress. Please consider this a letter of support for the measures Colin Beavan will be advocating.

Specifically, I support Colin Beavan in requesting that Representative Nadler and Speaker Pelosi both, together or separately:

  • Introduce, as soon as possible, a non-binding resolution to the House of Representatives asserting that we need a climate change mitigation policy that accords not with what is politically possible but what is scientifically necessary–a goal of no more than 350 ppm of atmospheric carbon dioxide (read why here). Furthermore, this resolution should assert that the United States must collaborate with the international community to achieve an effective successor to the Kyoto Protocol that will achieve the 350 goal or better (depending on how the science progresses).
  • Pledge to support the 1sky.org policy platform that also includes creating five million green jobs (through, for example, weatherizing our buildings and manufacturing solar panels and windmills) and placing a moratorium on the building of new coal power plants.
  • Push for the introduction of new and the strengthening of currently pending climate change legislation to reflect the crucial 350 goal. This means, at the very least, aiming for an 80% reduction in climate emissions below 1990 levels by 2050 and a 25% reduction by 2020.

Yours sincerely,

<Your Name>
<Your Mailing Address>
<Your Email Address>

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Seven Facts Meme

I’ve been tagged by Chile Chews for the “Seven Facts” meme. The rules come from The Bedroom Reader and are as follows: “Each person tagged gives seven random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write on their blog seven facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and need to read your blog.”

Well, I’m going to break the rules a bit. I’ll give seven random facts, but I’m not going to tag anyone.  You know what they say, well behaved women rarely make history.

So here goes:

  1. I have been vegetarian since I was 16 (and for those of you interested in a little math, that was 19 years ago) and vegan since I was 20.
  2. I studied marine science in school (college and graduate) because I wanted to live near the ocean for my entire life (that plan has not worked out as intended). Originally, I thought I would study dolphin and whale communication but I got more caught up in ecology and ecosystem function. I’m not doing either of those things now, and I live four hours away from the nearest coast. My heart will always belong to the sea and its creatures.
  3. I worked for a year for a Republican member of Congress (!)
  4. I have kept a list of all the books I’ve read since 2005 and wish I’d started earlier.
  5. This is one of three blogs I maintain – the other two are personal and anonymous.

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In the February 2, 2007 issue of the journal Science, Editor Donald Kennedy mused on the definition of sustainability and how defining it can impact environmental policy and individual behavior. True to the journal’s technical nature, the editorial is a tad more dry than similar musings by me, Colin Beavan, and Rachel Cassel. I thought it was worthwhile to take a look at some of Dr. Kennedy’s points:

In its most straightforward formulation, sustainability would require that a resource be technically managed in such a way that its contribution to human welfare is conserved or improved for succeeding generations.

Interestingly, Kennedy’s analysis of this statement is heavily human-centric (there is no mention of conserving nature for nature’s sake, but only as it provides some resource base for people), but also gives considerable attention to issues of equity, which I find somewhat lacking in many discussions of sustainability.

These scenarios suggest a problem with the concept of sustainability, which turns out not to be just about resource use, efficiency of utilization, and conservation. Instead, the term carries with it strong social, economic, and cultural attributes. Different societies will therefore create their own definitions of sustainability and their own criteria for achieving it, and they are likely to set about the task in their own ways.

Again, the fact that different people ascribe different meanings to the concept of sustainability is a problem because many of our most pressing environmental problems are global, or certainly are multi-jurisdictional (they cross political and cultural boundaries).

Is there any hope that a common meaning of the term sustainability will be determined and if it is not, do we still have a chance of solving common-pool problems?

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Thinking Blogger

I’ve been tagged by Greentime for the Thinking Blogger award. Herewith, are 5 blogs that make me think:

  1. Craftzine blog – wonderful, gorgeous, DIY craftiness. I get a lot of ideas for posts on trashy art here.
  2. Bitch, Ph.D. – Feminism. In no uncertain terms.
  3. indexed – Smart, funny, and short. What more could you want?
  4. No Impact Man – ’cause he’s the man.
  5. Google Maps Mania – I’m a map nerd and there are so many others like me 🙂

After a little poking around, I found some more information about the Thinking Blogger Award, and found its origin. The rules are:

  1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
  2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
  3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).

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Response for Colin

Colin Beavan, aka No Impact Man, posted a riff on my post on Sustainability in his blog yesterday.  There were lots of interesting comments, and I just added my own:

There are some really interesting comments here, now that I’ve had a chance to come back in and read them.  It’s interesting to me how wide the gamut is for people in terms of how we think about environmental destruction, our contribution to it, and what we can do about it.  I share some of the hopelessness that some of the comments express, but also the determination to keep trying to do better personally.  In my ideal world, we could live simple, happy, productive lives and not have any negative impact.  Alas, in a world with 7 billion people all aspiring to the American way of life, the ideal is as far from reality as can be imagined.

There are no simple answers to the questions I posed.  They’re food for thought, and I see a lot of folks are chewing on it.

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