From writing to raising awareness

I haven’t quit writing. I just haven’t been writing my journal. I’ve been writing about my views regarding political issues and humanity instead of about me and my life.

Then we listened to Greta Thunberg, 15, from Sweden who spoke at the Climate Talks about the global non-action on the climate crisis. She very pointedly said that there was no point in asking the so called leaders yet again to do something that they have no intention of doing. She told the listeners that WE, the people, must act. She called for a global-wide school strike on Friday to call attention to the issue. Which is technically still asking the government to do its job but with a bit more disruption than just a polite ‘please’.

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
Frederick Douglass

We heard her speech and strike call on Thursday, and agreed that talking and writing were not enough. We, too, were guilty of not doing enough. We quickly made three signs out of what we had on hand – manilla file folders, and blue felt tip markers – and on Friday went to the US Embassy to support any and all striking students. I have no idea if anyone here was aware let alone joining. We didn’t care. It was just the two of us. One of the security guards promptly asked us to move to the other side of the street from the corner we started at. Then we decided to move over to the other side where there was shade. Since it was a one way road around Queen’s Park Savannah, the move actually put us closer to the drivers.

I had expected it to be unpleasantly hot and sunny but with shade and breeze it was quite pleasant. The breeze made it necessary to hold our floppy signs with 2 hands, so we were unable to display all three. They read: “SAVE OUR PLANET”, THERE IS NO PLANET B, and “THERE ARE NO JOBS ON A DEAD PLANET”.

We were encouraged by the number of beeps and thumbs up that we got. After half an hour a local woman came and joined us and happily brandished our third sign while we chatted for the next half hour. A bit later we were joined by a local man who is a veteran of the US armed forces, retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after enrolling as a private, now a US Citizen. He was also interested in the cause, so we told him about CommonDefense, a progressive organization of vets and active military personnel. He said he would look into it.

On the way home we went shopping for material to make a banner, having decided to make a weekly event of it. The woman who first joined us said that she would do the same down south where she lives.

We felt that we got more exposure in that hour and a half than we ever did by writing bits on social media – especially since the latter is mostly preaching to the choir. I’m sure some of the drivers disagreed with us and would hardly be influenced by anyone holding signs. Others, however, were probably not paying much attention to the issue, especially since it gets so little attention by the press. Seeing us, though, might make them curious, get them thinking, prepare them for more down the road. We felt good about the day’s efforts.

Next spring we have to leave Trinidad as our visas expire, so we will go to Tennessee and attend the UnRig Summit 2019 to discuss ways to reclaim the democracy that has been stolen from us. Then we go to Puget Sound and will be attending the Global Earth Repair Conference at Fort Warden, Port Townsend early May. Then we go to Turkey and do some preventative maintenance on Alegria.

I am feeling more and more hypocritical and guilty about my carbon foot print. I think I kept it very low for many years, and less low for most of my life, but this flying hither and yon has blown it, I’ll have to figure out how to get it back down.

Way way back in the 60’s I was already wondering why people were so willing to pollute our environment. Air, water, and sea were and are apparently believed to be infinitely capable of absorbing our dirty byproducts – despite the obvious fact that it isn’t.

Most of the activism regarding climate change has been centered on fossil fuels, which I do believe need to be phased out, especially since most of our wars are over oil and need to be ended. I have no sympathy for the fossil fuel industry as they have been aware for many decades of the magnitude of the problem and could easily have prepared for the end of fossil fuels by diversifying into alternative energy sources.

Less attention has been given to agriculture’s role in climate change. Addressing it’s role may well be our best chance at restoring the carbon balance and thus minimizing the damage being done.

We are heartened by the potential healing offered by regenerative agriculture. Various farmers have demonstrated the potential for sequestering megatons and megatons of carbon (given enough acres) back into the soil by using minimal till (if any), mulching, composting, animal husbandry, crop rotation, and (very importantly) diversity – getting way away from monocultures. Mimicking nature can do wonders.

If we phase out the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and antibiotics using modern techniques of regenerative agriculture, we can vastly improve the quality and quantity of food produced (and hence our health) AND bring down atmospheric carbon. It also reduces the agricultural demand for water, can help recharge aquifers with cleaner water. The list of benefits is long.

Big Ag is no more interested in doing this than Big Oil is interested in closing their doors, so it, too, is not an easy solution politically. As a solution to many many problems including climate change, however, it should get top billing. Since these regenerative farmers have demonstrated the profitability of their methods, education ‘should’ be able to convert conventional farmers. If only it were that simple!

We are not farmers, yet we found the following videos very informative, encouraging, and even entertaining. Perhaps you would also enjoy them.

Regenerative Agriculture: Not theory, this is actual experience. Sequestering carbon, water retention, improving nutrition, no till, no poisons, etc.

Run away cows saved dairy farm:’s-sustainable-“12-aprils”-dairy-grazing-program

Reversing desertification: Using livestock to restore deserts.

Extreme example of regeneration success: Joel Salatin on recovering bad land

So we look forward to a new year of activism to push regenerative agriculture, thereby reducing poisons, improving nutrition, and sequestering carbon and water, plus fighting war and the continued unnecessary dependence on fossil fuels. No more war for oil, no more oil for war.

Cheers, Robn and Dave
P.S. Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year
Mele Kalikimaka, Hau ‘oli Makahiki Hou!


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