Sunday, October 23, 2016

Allegedly Edible Fungi, Chasing Ice, and Hurricane Sandy

Fall in Oregon is mushroom season.  Above is a table of lobsters, chanterelles, porcini, and assorted.  A remnant of Typhoon Songda (2016) was forecast for Oregon on October 15 when these were harvested.

On Friday October 21 I showed James Balog's film Chasing Ice at my college.  Eighteen people arrived to see it, the Democracy Now! video about "Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance [ . . .]," and engage in a lively discussion about climate change solutions.  One professor said "Until something awful happens here [in San Diego], I don't think many people will pay attention."  It reminded me of a New York professor at AWP LA who taught climate change issues over 10 years to mostly bored English students until suddenly Hurricane Sandy put their houses were underwater, and they listened (The linked video notes "economic damages could be in the range of 10 to 20 billion [dollars . . . . ], more than eight million homes are without power," "the death toll has risen to at least 72").

After showing Chasing Ice, I asked all present to see themselves as global citizens, to go on a media fast for a few days like John Robbins once recommended, to imagine themselves 10 minutes before death, and what action they could feel good about regarding the climate change issue.  The great thing about Chasing Ice is how, through video evidence of retreating glaciers, it has the power to convert climate change deniers to realists, and hopefully activists. I suggest getting public performance rights at your college or library, then invite your community to see it, followed by a discussion regarding solutions, and the cost of inaction for the audience, other human and animal communities, and future human generations.  Those interested in the moral argument can watch the three and a half minute video of Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Climate Change. Those interested in the science, watch this video on carbon sources, and carbon sinks. Those interested in spiritual aspects, watch these short videos on Pope Francis, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Here is an excellent climate change video for children. If you want eerie parallels with the Titanic, Parts 12 and 13 (first class passengers as developed nations, and second and third class as everyone else), watch these videos. This video narrated by Morgan Freeman offers hope. Of course, the Freeman video only works if oil companies agree to place the value of current and future humans above about 10 trillion dollars in oil reserves, or are made to do so by collective action, law, or catastrophic events.

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