Tag: Canada

Keep saving those dogs!

Yet another wonderful saving of a dog from a frozen lake!

One of the ‘generalist’ blogs that I follow is Mother Nature Network (MNN) and yesterday MNN published the account of a dog in Canada being rescued from icy cold water.

So another wonderful story to share with you all!

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Man jumps into icy lake to save beloved pup

Noel Kirkpatrick April 10, 2017.

Winter hasn’t let go of some parts of North America just yet, including St. Albert, Alberta, in Canada. Cold temperatures keep the lakes frigid and icy, as a local man and his dog discovered recently.

A French bulldog named Cosmo plunged into a lake in a park in St. Albert — it was a leash-free area of the park — and was struggling to pull himself out of the thin ice that covered the lake. Cosmo’s owner, Duncan McIver, jumped in to save his pup.

McIver was able to push Cosmo onto the ice and then, while carrying Cosmo, slowly walked across the ice, but not without plunging into the freezing cold water once more.

In a bit of serendipity, a CTV news crew was already at the park, filming a report on ice safety, and caught the whole episode on camera.

“As soon as the ice broke, I just went right in,” McIver told CTV Edmonton, “I think most people would do the same for their dog.”

The saying goes that a dog is man’s best friend, but we think moments like this prove the feeling is mutual.

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Yes, picking up on that remark by Duncan McIver, most people really would do what Duncan did!

Thank goodness for that!

Picture parade eighty.

Winter wonderland four, the last of the series. (One was here, two was here, and three was here.)

Background information is after the last photograph.

Bambi22

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Bambi23

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Bambi24

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Bambi25

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Bambi28

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These animals were photographed just north of the Barber Lake on a highway near Mine Center, Ontario, Canada. The odds of seeing an albino moose are astronomically rare; let alone seeing two of them. It really doesn’t matter the colour of their fur; white or dark brown.

Once in a while there is an opportunity to take in a piece of nature that most of us may never see ‘in the wild’.

A huge thank you to Dordie for forwarding all the pictures featured over the last four weeks.

 

Lies, damn lies, and politicians!

A blatant example of what is so wrong with these present times.

Yesterday, in my post, A return to integrity, I offered up the hope:

Each of us, whoever you are, for the sake of your children and for all of the children in the world, embrace today the qualities, the values of Nature.

Love, Honesty, Loyalty, Trust, Openness, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Affection.

Now if the shenanigans going on over here in my home country aren’t bad enough, then a recent essay from George Monbiot about the UK’s Department of Environment (DOE) really takes the cake.  The essay is called Age of Unreason, published in the UK Guardian newspaper, and for obvious copyright reasons, I can only offer limited extracts.  This is how the essay opens:

The governments of Britain, Canada and Australia are trying to stamp out scientific dissent.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 1st Ooctober 2013

It’s as clear and chilling a statement of intent as you’re likely to read. Scientists should be “the voice of reason, rather than dissent, in the public arena.”(1) Vladimir Putin? Kim Jong-un? No, Professor Ian Boyd, chief scientific adviser at the UK’s department for environment.

Boyd’s doctrine is a neat distillation of government policy in Britain, Canada and Australia. These governments have suppressed or misrepresented inconvenient findings on climate change, pollution, pesticides, fisheries and wildlife. They have shut down programmes which produce unwelcome findings and sought to muzzle scientists. This is a modern version of Soviet Lysenkoism: crushing academic dissent on behalf of bad science and corporate power(2).

Mr. Monbiot offers a very convincing argument to show how Professor Ian Boyd used poor scientific data to justify the culling of British badgers and how Boyd’s boss, the UK’s Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, is playing down the dangers of global warming – even suggesting the process had its advantages. George Monbiot goes on to show how that aforementioned Department has claimed, “that its field trials of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees showed that “effects on bees do not occur under normal circumstances”! [my italics].

Oh, and that there was an attempt to cull British buzzards to enable the rich and famous to ‘enjoy’ better pheasant shoots!

And more!  All very properly documented with footnotes.

Mr. Monbiot’s essay closes thus:

To be reasonable, when a government is manipulating and misrepresenting scientific findings, is to dissent. To be reasonable, when it is helping to destroy human life and the natural world, is to dissent. As Julien Benda argued in La Trahison des Clercs, democracy and civilisation depend on intellectuals resisting conformity and power(28).

A world in which scientists speak only through their minders and in which dissent is considered the antithesis of reason is a world shorn of meaningful democratic choices. You can judge a government by its treatment of inconvenient facts and the people who expose them. This one does not emerge well.

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It’s enough to make a dog very angry!

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Please do go across and read the essay in full because Mr. Monbiot is a journalist whom one can trust.  In stark contrast to so many that purport to be governing on our behalf.

As an Englishman grateful to have the right to live in this fair country, it pains me to see what is happening to both my old country and my new one.  When I was granted my visa, my fiancee visa, from the US Embassy in London I was given a small booklet containing the text of the US Constitution.  Page One is open in front of me at this moment:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Enough said!

The future is wild.

Fascinating presentation by George Monbiot.

I have long been a fan of George Monbiot as evidenced by a number of posts on Learning from Dogs from the said gentleman.  The last one was The Great Unmentionable, and before that DDT all over again?

George Monbiot is a man of passion about the planet we all live on and securing a sustainable future for us all.

So settle down comfortably for 15 minutes and listen to him.  You will understand both his passion and the vital message he offers us.

Published on Sep 9, 2013

Wolves were once native to the US’ Yellowstone National Park — until hunting wiped them out. But when, in 1995, the wolves began to come back (thanks to an aggressive management program), something interesting happened: the rest of the park began to find a new, more healthful balance. In a bold thought experiment, George Monbiot imagines a wilder world in which humans work to restore the complex, lost natural food chains that once surrounded us.

If you would like more of Mr. Monbiot’s writings, then here’s his website.

The habit of doing nothing!

Last word for a while on the power of meditation.

This is not a single topic blog. But the last few days have brought such a wealth of marvellous stuff that I couldn’t resist this final, for the time being, post on the benefits of slowing down, of taking a break – meditation, in other words.

First, and I wish I could remember from whence it came, I found this essay by Bertrand Russell In Praise of Idleness It’s a wonderful piece of writing from one of the great masters of the art.  Take this extract from just the first paragraph, (and the photo insertion is from me!):

Bertrand Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970)
Bertrand Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970)

I think that there is far too much work done in the world, that immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous, and that what needs to be preached in modern industrial countries is quite different from what always has been preached. Everyone knows the story of the traveler in Naples who saw twelve beggars lying in the sun (it was before the days of Mussolini), and offered a lira to the laziest of them. Eleven of them jumped up to claim it, so he gave it to the twelfth. This traveler was on the right lines. But in countries which do not enjoy Mediterranean sunshine idleness is more difficult, and a great public propaganda will be required to inaugurate it. I hope that, after reading the following pages, the leaders of the YMCA will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Then from out of the Transition Network stables came this interview by Rob Hopkins with Sophy Banks on the Power of Not Doing Stuff.  Just going to pick out a couple of exchanges that really struck me.

Sophy, I’m sure you get asked the question lots of times, but how would you describe Inner Transition ? What’s Inner Transition for you?

I gave a talk about Inner Transition in Canada just recently, and someone said “what I want from the talk is, what’s the most succinct story? What’s the E=mc² of Inner Transition?” The way that I’m talking about that at the moment is to say the absolute core of Inner Transition is that in our groups, within ourselves, in our relationships, in what we’re doing in our communities, how can we be creating a culture that supports us to be in a state of feeling resourced, feeling empowered, feeling seen and appreciated? With the understanding that when we have those kind of external conditions, we find ourselves in a state where we’re the most open to new ideas, the most open to connection, the most able to build relationships with people who are different from us.

That’s the core of it, to understand that internally we can be in different inner states, we can be in a state where we feel stressed and closed and driven or whatever, or we can be in a state where we’re open and creative and learning and available. That’s one way of framing Inner Transition, how do we keep recreating that?

Part of it, I think, is when we’re all in that state of being open and creative and connected with each other and with ourselves, we make the best decisions. We’re able to take the longest and the widest view, we’re able to see the consequences of what we do, so there’s also something which has really been resonating for me. That’s not only the process we need for Transition, that’s the end-state we want to get to. Part of what’s not working in our culture is that lots of the people with a lot of power who are making really key decisions are in a state of constant stress and pressure and having to make very narrow decisions, decisions based on very narrow viewpoints.

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One of the expressions you’ve been using increasingly over the last couple of years is “healthy human culture” and this idea that that’s ultimately the aim of Transition, to enable that and to create that. What does that mean? Can you define “healthy human culture”?

This is where my enquiry took me. I got really interested in seeing polarities and dualities – people have been doing that for centuries – about our culture and calling it dualistic. I came across Riane Eisler’s work. She talks about basically two kinds of human culture. One is based on partnership and one is based on domination. I got really interested in that and the question what if that’s true? It’s a big proposition.

If that’s true, what’s underneath that and what is it about what goes on inside us that we’re constructed, the way we’ve evolved, that causes that to be so, that there are these two stable states? I feel like I’ve been looking at lots of different territories, I’m really interested in trauma and how that affects us in the creation of the unconscious that comes through trauma.

This whole thing about how we create unintended consequences. The idea that anybody could have sat down and designed the consequences that we’re living with is inconceivable. However dysfunctional people were and however much they’re interested in wealth or power or anything, I just don’t believe that anybody intended it to be like this. How do we get this as a by-product of something that’s natural and…just who we are, who we’ve evolved to be.

So for me, the question around “healthy human culture” is one of the inner. What’s the inner state of a culture that creates partnership, learns to live within its resources, that’s oriented towards joyful, pleasurable existence, that has a belief about ourselves as humans that we’re trustworthy and generous and want good things for the future, good things for our children. What I see very very strongly: in a lot of the depth work that I’ve done, what I see is when you peel away a lot of the damage, what you find is a profound and I could say universal. In my experience (I haven’t worked with the psychopaths and the most damaged people) but that sense that if we’re healed and whole what we want is to love each other and do good in the world.

Then there’s another state we could be in, which comes back to your first question, where we feel under-resourced, disempowered, under attack. There’s not enough and I’m taught that other people are selfish, violent and greedy so I need to fight for what I can get. In order to have status I’ve got to have stuff, I’ve got to prove myself. With that goes a whole lot of very difficult feelings.

I’m very interested in that idea, that in unhealthy culture we have a whole lot of unmanageable feelings centred around shame and not being good enough that we then disown – I can’t deal with that in myself, I’ll put it on to you, I’ll find somebody else to have that experience and then I’ll watch it in them and feel OK about myself. It’s really interesting to look at cultures of domination and colonialism and capitalism and power-over as being driven by the need to not feel stuff myself, but grab enough power so that I can do it to somebody else.

The whole driver for those things is a psychological state of splitting and projection. When I bring that back to me and what culture I create in my relationships and my groups, you see it out in those big systems in the world but it’s also a very precise way of understanding and discerning what culture do I make in this room with these people, around splitting and projection or unity.

That’s quite a big answer! The short answer is “healthy human culture” is that one where we reel resourced, empowered, connected, appreciated and safe. Those seem to be the 5 things. If we have those, we are in that state of openness and availability and connection and learning and receptivity and then taking good action instead of action that creates a problem somewhere else in the system.

It really is a fascinating and thought-provoking interview.  Go and read it in full, or better still, find somewhere to sit and relax, close your eyes and listen to it.

Moving on.

There was an article in Nature about the BrainNeuroscience: Idle minds – Neuroscientists are trying to work out why the brain does so much when it seems to be doing nothing at all.

For volunteers, a brain-scanning experiment can be pretty demanding. Researchers generally ask participants to do something — solve mathematics problems, search a scene for faces or think about their favoured political leaders — while their brains are being imaged.

But over the past few years, some researchers have been adding a bit of down time to their study protocols. While subjects are still lying in the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanners, the researchers ask them to try to empty their minds. The aim is to find out what happens when the brain simply idles. And the answer is: quite a lot.

Again, a very important read so do go across and read it in full.  Because, you will come to this:

Zen and the art of network maintenance

Raichle favours the idea that activity in the resting state helps the brain to stay organized. The connections between neurons are continually shifting as people age and learn, but humans maintain a sense of self throughout the upheaval. Spontaneous activity might play a part in maintaining that continuity. “Connections between neurons turn over in minutes, hours, days and weeks,” says Raichle. “The structure of the brain will be different tomorrow but we will still remember who we are.”

Or perhaps the activity is part of the reshaping process, tweaking connections while we idle. Several teams have reported changes in resting connectivity after language and memory tasks and motor learning. Chris Miall, a behavioural brain scientist at the University of Birmingham, UK, and his colleagues have shown that spontaneous activity at rest can be perturbed by what has just happened. The team scanned volunteers at rest, and then asked them to learn a task involving using a joystick to track a moving target. When the participants were scanned at rest again, the team could see the effects of motor learning in the resting networks. That study, and subsequent work along the same lines, suggests that “the brain is not only thinking about supper coming up, but it’s also processing the recent past and converting some of that into long-term memories”, says Miall. The network changes are specific to the tasks performed.

So, hopefully, anyone who has read this post and who would like to slow down, to practise the art of doing nothing, will be eager to learn how. Well, keep reading!

Yesterday, I referred to Leo Babauta’s website.  Thanks to Leo’s wonderful ‘uncopyright‘ offer, I am free to republish his ‘How To Meditate‘ guide.

How to Do It Daily

There are lots and lots of ways to meditate. But our concern is not to find a perfect form of meditation — it’s to form the daily habit of meditation. And so our method will be as simple as possible.

1. Commit to just 2 minutes a day. Start simply if you want the habit to stick. You can do it for 5 minutes if you feel good about it, but all you’re committing to is 2 minutes each day.

2. Pick a time and trigger. Not an exact time of day, but a general time, like morning when you wake up, or during your lunch hour. The trigger should be something you already do regularly, like drink your first cup of coffee, brush your teeth, have lunch, or arrive home from work.

3. Find a quiet spot. Sometimes early morning is best, before others in your house might be awake and making lots of noise. Others might find a spot in a park or on the beach or some other soothing setting. It really doesn’t matter where — as long as you can sit without being bothered for a few minutes. A few people walking by your park bench is fine.

4. Sit comfortably. Don’t fuss too much about how you sit, what you wear, what you sit on, etc. I personally like to sit on a pillow on the floor, with my back leaning against a wall, because I’m very inflexible. Others who can sit cross-legged comfortably might do that instead. Still others can sit on a chair or couch if sitting on the floor is uncomfortable. Zen practitioners often use a zafu, a round cushion filled with kapok or buckwheat. Don’t go out and buy one if you don’t already have one. Any cushion or pillow will do, and some people can sit on a bare floor comfortably.

5. Start with just 2 minutes. This is really important. Most people will think they can meditate for 15-30 minutes, and they can. But this is not a test of how strong you are at staying in meditation — we are trying to form a longer-lasting habit. And to do that, we want to start with just a two minutes. You’ll find it much easier to start this way, and forming a habit with a small start like this is a method much more likely to succeed. You can expand to 5-7 minutes if you can do it for 7 straight days, then 10 minutes if you can do it for 14 straight days, then 15 minutes if you can stick to it for 21 straight days, and 20 if you can do a full month.

6. Focus on your breath. As you breathe in, follow your breath in through your nostrils, then into your throat, then into your lungs and belly. Sit straight, keep your eyes open but looking at the ground and with a soft focus. If you want to close your eyes, that’s fine. As you breathe out, follow your breath out back into the world. If it helps, count … one breath in, two breath out, three breath in, four breath out … when you get to 10, start over. If you lose track, start over. If you find your mind wandering (and you will), just pay attention to your mind wandering, then bring it gently back to your breath. Repeat this process for the few minutes you meditate. You won’t be very good at it at first, most likely, but you’ll get better with practice.

And that’s it. It’s a very simple practice, but you want to do it for 2 minutes, every day, after the same trigger each day. Do this for a month and you’ll have a daily meditation habit.

Now to the close.

Beautifully rendered thanks to Terry Hershey.  For on his website there is this:

When I pause, I put myself in a new or different environment.
When I pause, I create spaces–or sanctuaries–in which renewal can be born.
When I pause, I allow my soul to savor, relish, value, honor, welcome, see, celebrate, wonder, and to experience grace.

Enough said!

Go on, adopt a dog!

A delightful example of a dog teaching a puppy.

(Watched over 3,100,000 times!)

Published on Dec 26, 2012

If you would like to donate to Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue in Winnipeg, MB please go here.

Our 6 month old lab mix rescue pup taught our 8 week old foster pup (adopted now) from Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue in Winnipeg to go down the stairs once she got up and couldn’t get down! Please adopt and do not shop. This video is hoping to spread awareness to adopt a dog rather than shop around for one.

Rescue animals are just as great, if not more!

Please search your area for local rescues if you are looking for a dog or cat. These lovely pups are from Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Tell President Obama: Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline

This is so important.

Regular readers will know that I wrote about the XL Pipeline on the 29th August setting out the arguments of those who know much more of the detail as to why the tar sands of Canada are just the worst possible way to continue the madness of using oil.  If you didn’t read that then it’s here, and please do so.

The rest of this Post is taken from the Credo Action website.  Please do participate. Sign the petition NOW.

Do something, please!

Tell President Obama: Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline

“Essentially game over” for the climate.

That’s what climate scientist James Hansen calls the proposed Keystone XL pipeline — which would carry oil out of Canada’s vast tar sands oil fields to Texas, where it will be refined, then burned across the globe, dealing a catastrophic blow to our chance of returning earth to a stable climate.

This project requires a presidential permit to start building — and it is President Obama’s decision alone to grant or deny that permit. He will make the decision as soon as September.

Tell President Obama: Stop the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Alberta tar sands are a carbon bomb. The 3rd largest oil field in the world, the difficult extraction and transportation of the tar sands oil ultimately produces up to three times the carbon emissions of traditional oil. (And extreme environmental devastation along the way.)1

The Keystone XL pipeline is the fuse to this bomb – a highway to swift consumption of this dirty, dangerous crude. As if that wasn’t enough, it poses a massive spill risk in the six states along the pipeline route, including over the Ogallala Aquifer which provides up to 30% of our nation’s agricultural water.

We. Must. Stop. This.

Tell President Obama: Stop the Keystone XL pipeline.

Twenty leading climate scientists have just sent a letter to President Obama urging him to deny the permit.

And from August 20th to September 3rd, there will be a massive, historic, daily sit-in outside the White House where more than 1500 people, including CREDO staff, have already signed up to risk arrest in peaceful protest. (For more about the sit in, see below.)

The administration’s previous decisions on climate do not inspire confidence that they will deny the permit. Recently the administration has opened new areas to offshore drilling and coal mining, and late last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even said she was “inclined” to approve Keystone XL.

But President Obama still has the final word. He does not have to negotiate with Congress or industry. As his State Department reviews the permit, the decision — which could have a devastating impact on the livability of our nation, and our world — is entirely in his hands.

We’ve lost too many climate fights already. We need a massive, historic show of pressure to make sure we don’t lose this one. Please sign the petition and read below for other ways to get involved.

Tell President Obama: Stop the Keystone XL pipeline.

1. “Keystone XL Pipeline,” Friends of the Earth

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Because this fight is so important, leading climate activists including Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein and climate scientist James Hansen are organizing a historic, daily series of peaceful protests between August 20th and Sept. 3rd. The CEO’s and Directors of nearly 30 leading Environmental Organizations, including CREDO’s Michael Kieschnick and Laura Scher, are urging people to participate.

More than 1500 people from across the country, including CREDO staff, have already signed up to join the sit-in outside the White House and risk arrest.

Please read the invitation letter below for more information. If you would like to sign up to join the protest, and possibly be arrested, click here.

Dear Friends,

This will be a slightly longer letter than common for the internet age–it’s serious stuff.

The short version is we want you to consider doing something hard: coming to Washington in the hottest and stickiest weeks of the summer and engaging in civil disobedience that will quite possibly get you arrested.

The full version goes like this:

As you know, the planet is steadily warming: 2010 was the warmest year on record, and we’ve seen the resulting chaos in almost every corner of the earth.

And as you also know, our democracy is increasingly controlled by special interests interested only in their short-term profit.

These two trends collide this summer in Washington, where the State Department and the White House have to decide whether to grant a certificate of ‘national interest’ to some of the biggest fossil fuel players on earth. These corporations want to build the so-called ‘Keystone XL Pipeline’ from Canada’s tar sands to Texas refineries.

To call this project a horror is serious understatement. The tar sands have wrecked huge parts of Alberta, disrupting ways of life in indigenous communities–First Nations communities in Canada, and tribes along the pipeline route in the U.S. have demanded the destruction cease. The pipeline crosses crucial areas like the Oglalla Aquifer where a spill would be disastrous–and though the pipeline companies insist they are using ‘state of the art’ technologies that should leak only once every 7 years, the precursor pipeline and its pumping stations have leaked a dozen times in the past year. These local impacts alone would be cause enough to block such a plan. But the Keystone Pipeline would also be a fifteen hundred mile fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the continent, a way to make it easier and faster to trigger the final overheating of our planet, the one place to which we are all indigenous.

As the climatologist Jim Hansen (one of the signatories to this letter) explained, if we have any chance of getting back to a stable climate “the principal requirement is that coal emissions must be phased out by 2030 and unconventional fossil fuels, such as tar sands, must be left in the ground.” In other words, he added, “if the tar sands are thrown into the mix it is essentially game over.” The Keystone pipeline is an essential part of the game. “Unless we get increased market access, like with Keystone XL, we’re going to be stuck,” said Ralph Glass, an economist and vice-president at AJM Petroleum Consultants in Calgary, told a Canadian newspaper last week.

Given all that, you’d suspect that there’s no way the Obama administration would ever permit this pipeline. But in the last few months the administration has signed pieces of paper opening much of Alaska to oil drilling, and permitting coal-mining on federal land in Wyoming that will produce as much CO2 as 300 powerplants operating at full bore.

And Secretary of State Clinton has already said she’s ‘inclined’ to recommend the pipeline go forward. Partly it’s because of the political commotion over high gas prices, though more tar sands oil would do nothing to change that picture. But it’s also because of intense pressure from industry. The US Chamber of Commerce–a bigger funder of political campaigns than the RNC and DNC combined–has demanded that the administration “move quickly to approve the Keystone XL pipeline,” which is not so surprising–they’ve also told the U.S. EPA that if the planet warms that will be okay because humans can ‘adapt their physiology’ to cope. The Koch Brothers, needless to say, are also backing the plan, and may reap huge profits from it.

So we’re pretty sure that without serious pressure the Keystone Pipeline will get its permit from Washington. A wonderful coalition of environmental groups has built a strong campaign across the continent–from Cree and Dene indigenous leaders to Nebraska farmers, they’ve spoken out strongly against the destruction of their land. We need to join them, and to say even if our own homes won’t be crossed by this pipeline, our joint home–the earth–will be wrecked by the carbon that pours down it.

And we need to say something else, too: it’s time to stop letting corporate power make the most important decisions our planet faces. We don’t have the money to compete with those corporations, but we do have our bodies, and beginning in mid August many of us will use them. We will, each day, march on the White House, risking arrest with our trespass. We will do it in dignified fashion, demonstrating that in this case we are the conservatives, and that our foes–who would change the composition of the atmosphere are dangerous radicals. Come dressed as if for a business meeting–this is, in fact, serious business.

And another sartorial tip–if you wore an Obama button during the 2008 campaign, why not wear it again? We very much still want to believe in the promise of that young Senator who told us that with his election the ‘rise of the oceans would begin to slow and the planet start to heal.’ We don’t understand what combination of bureaucratic obstinacy and insider dealing has derailed those efforts, but we remember his request that his supporters continue on after the election to pressure his government for change. We’ll do what we can.

And one more thing: we don’t just want college kids to be the participants in this fight. They’ve led the way so far on climate change–10,000 came to DC for the Powershift gathering earlier this spring. They’ve marched this month in West Virginia to protest mountaintop removal; a young man named Tim DeChristopher faces sentencing this summer in Utah for his creative protest.

Now it’s time for people who’ve spent their lives pouring carbon into the atmosphere to step up too, just as many of us did in earlier battles for civil rights or for peace. Most of us signing this letter are veterans of this work, and we think it’s past time for elders to behave like elders. One thing we don’t want is a smash up: if you can’t control your passions, this action is not for you.

This won’t be a one-shot day of action. We plan for it to continue for several weeks, till the administration understands we won’t go away. Not all of us can actually get arrested–half the signatories to this letter live in Canada, and might well find our entry into the U.S. barred. But we will be making plans for sympathy demonstrations outside Canadian consulates in the U.S., and U.S. consulates in Canada–the decision-makers need to know they’re being watched.

Twenty years of patiently explaining the climate crisis to our leaders hasn’t worked. Maybe moral witness will help. You have to start somewhere, and we choose here and now.

If you think you might want to be a part of this action, we need you to sign up here.

As plans solidify in the next few weeks we’ll be in touch with you to arrange nonviolence training; our colleagues at a variety of environmental and democracy campaigns will be coordinating the actual arrangements.

We know we’re asking a lot. You should think long and hard on it, and pray if you’re the praying type. But to us, it’s as much privilege as burden to get to join this fight in the most serious possible way. We hope you’ll join us.

Maude Barlow — Chair, Council of Canadians
Wendell Berry — Author and Farmer
Tom Goldtooth — Director, Indigenous Environmental Network
Danny Glover — Actor
James Hansen — Climate Scientist
Wes Jackson — Agronomist, President of the Land Insitute
Naomi Klein — Author and Journalist
Bill McKibben — Writer and Environmentalist
George Poitras — Mikisew Cree Indigenous First Nation
Gus Speth — Environmental Lawyer and Activist
David Suzuki — Scientist, Environmentalist and Broadcaster
Joseph B. Uehlein — Labor organizer and environmentalist