Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Rewilding--The Missing Piece of the Personal & Planetary Puzzle

The books I read often shape the posts I write here. My latest: Marc Bekoff's 2014 book Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence. Marc Bekoff might not be a household name, but he's got a litany of credentials: Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, scientist, ethologist, behavioral ecologist, author (of 31 books and 1000+ articles), and a person who's made his life mission one to study animal ethics and human behavior.

The premise of this book is to reconsider our relationship between human and nonhuman animal species through the lens of compassion (which, in turn, begets compassion). "Rewilding" as a mindset shift... and I will say, it took some getting used to considering animals as "nonhuman animals" (for we, too, as humans, are animals). In both the videos below, both Marc & George Monbiot give two similar definitions to each other of rewilding and their impact to both the planet and ourselves as individuals.

Rewilding (as related to people) is closely tied to getting us more in touch with nature, countering nature deficit disorder and "solastagia" (the antithesis of nostalgia--a feeling of stress and loss to our changing environment).

It is through compassion that "we might begin to undo the alienation and fragmentation that currently defines our damaged relationship to the natural world. Compassion will also help us heal our damaged, alienated and fragmented relationships with each other" (page 4).  [That sentence alone reminds me of our current relations with each other on a multitude of topics, all front and center on the current news cycle.] We have lost track of our connection and empathy for others and nature. We have been "unwilding," where we have "eroded our relationships with nature and other beings" (page 35). We need to get back in touch with nature.





I feel like Marc Bekoff and George Monbiot (see below) would be great friends--and make fascinating guests at a dinner party with Richard Louv, Florence Williams, and Wallace J. Nichols.

Major takeaways:
  • We're encouraged to be activists,  not "slacktivists." Even small acts add up when put together.
  • We are born biophiliacs, with the love of nature inside of us.
  • Interconnectedness and interdependence is not just human to human--the greater animal world is tied to that.
  • The "8 P's" of Rewilding include being "proactive, positive, persistent, patient, peaceful, practical, powerful, and passionate" (page 72).
  • We need to get our kids outside--at home AND at school. Recess alone is not enough.
  • "Ecocide is suicide"(page 148).
On that note, I'm closing my laptop (though I was reading and writing outside today) and heading to a local woods with the kids and the dog.

For more follow-up on Marc Bekoff and rewilding, check out his website and read his post on Wildlands Network.

 Videos from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8M3OCGSxxc and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rZzHkpyPkc, Image from Amazon.com and https://quotefancy.com/quote/61653/John-Muir-One-touch-of-nature-makes-the-whole-world-kin

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Water Walk Experiment

Water and walking... two things we take for granted. When combined, it amounts to what 14 million women and 3 million children do every day (for 30 minutes or more) to access clean water.

This social experiment really helps to put it all into perspective:

 

Here are some past posts that tie to the importance of clean water! It doesn't need to be World Water Day to make this a priority or a focus--it just so happens to be that's a lot of when I wrote about it!

Video from https://www.facebook.com/ajplusenglish/videos/1043829469091893/

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Break Up--It's Not Me, It's You

When teaching my 5th graders about PSA's and what exactly a Public Service Announcement is, I ran across this (and later the second & third one).

Might be time for all of us to have a break up or two!!






Videos from https://youtu.be/YsRjgraJfA8 anhttps://youtu.be/-DEc16dEMns and https://youtu.be/76YtUwwW-LI, image from http://ceec.ca/post/lets-break-up-with-single-use-plastic/

Saturday, May 18, 2019

John Oliver: For the Climate Awareness Win

Sometimes you just need to laugh... in order to not cry. Our late night comedians know how to do this well.

In a very "not safe for work or in the presence of small kids" sort of way, John Oliver nails things once again last week (on May 12th) Climate change, the "Green New Deal," carbon pricing/emissions, oh my! Not to mention, he brings in Bill Nye to help him bring it all home later in the episode. (Bill Nye is always for the win! Even when he's fired up [quite literally] and cursing.)

"It's just science everyone," John Oliver states. Yes, yes that's true.

For more on science-concerns right now that American voters should have on their radar, read this article and the 9 bullet-points of scientific & environmental neglect.

And then, there's this. Always this:

Image result for regardless of whether you believe in science it's true, neil degrasse
 
Video from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDcro7dPqpA, photo from http://www.lovethispic.com/image/227430/every-time-you-find-some-humour-in-a-difficult-situation,-you-win and https://warosu.org/sci/thread/9134322

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Endangered Species Day--May 17, 2019

The 3rd Friday in May (aka: THIS FRIDAY, May 17th) brings us another annual environmental day: Endangered Species Day. This video gives you a snapshot on why it's important. Then investigate some of the links below for some resources to learn more.




Resources:

The IUCN Red List
Created in 1964, the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species
is the place to go see where exactly we are when it comes to critically endangered species and our planet's biodiversity. Conservationist will appreciate all the facts here as they work to create policy change and decisions. Be sure to click the "Advanced" button to zero in on specific search criterion.

National Wildlife Federation
Come here for a quick overview of the specifics behind Endangered Species Day. You will also get some good ideas on how to take action, especially with some tweet suggestions and photo banners to spread the work via social media! A couple clicks in can give you a link to:
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
More resources including podcasts & transcripts of these including an overview, the reasons for species decline, species recovery, and how you can help

OneKindPlanet.org's Top 10 Most Endangered Animals
There, you can see gorgeous pictures of these 10 and learn more about each one... and maybe learn about a new animal or two!

Arkive.org
Arkive.org has been my favorite go-to place for "all things species" for the last 8 years or so. They had copious amounts (over 100,0000) of wonderful photos, videos, and even animal cams (not to mention information about all elements of habitat, needs, threatened level, and more).  I was saddened to see that due to lack of funds, they had to close down this portal in February 2019.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

13 Ocean Heroes Fighting to Save Our Seas

I ran across the article "13 Ocean Heroes Fighting to Save Our Seas" by Lauren Paige Kennedy on "Coastal Living's" website, and it was too good not to share. You must visit it to learn more about these ocean lovers & heroes! I love the slideshow Kennedy created with information about teaching of these individuals, plus there's a link per slide to more in depth interviews with each person or duo (which I've linked you to below).

There, you'll find these people and all the good work they are doing for our oceans:


Images from Lauren Paige Kennedy's article (http://www.coastalliving.com/lifestyle/the-environment/ocean-heroes), as compiled on PicCollage EDU

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Sesame Street: Device Free Dinner

In my last post, I discussed my all-day affair early April at Common Sense Media's Truth About
Tech: Solutions for Digital Well-Being Conference in DC.

They closed the conference with some familiar faces--those on Sesame Street. What a great way to tie together Sesame Street's 50th anniversary and Common Sense's #DeviceFreeDinner campaign!

Be sure to check out their Device Free Dinner YouTube playlist of other videos in this series!



Screenshot and video from https://youtu.be/SMBPY3oqPys

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Common Sense Media Digital Well-Being Conference

Anyone who has been around GTG for awhile knows I'm doing a personal quest this past year on the good, the bad, and the ugly of screen time. I've long had a love-hate relationship--it's my job, it's my hobby, it's how I write this blog, it's in my house and soaked in with my kids. At times, I'm very good with disconnected, and other times it can be my own personal wrestle-fest. (True confession: last night I "got in trouble" while watching a movie with the family here at home, as I was too sucked into my phone simultaneously.)

It's tricky, being the adult and parenting tech, when we adults are human too. We all can get sucked into the dopamine rush akin to the slot machine mentality of "likes" on social media, or return texts, or busy trying to see what we're missing out on (#FOMO). It takes a lot of education and also a decent amount of willpower to redirect our efforts.

Luckily, there are organizations such as Common Sense Media, and I was privileged to be able to attend their April 4th Truth About Tech Conference in DC at Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies. We had a full day.

The conference opened the conference with this video:



The day was packed, 9am-5pm with sessions 30-45 minute sessions running all day long. It was a live-streamed event, so the exciting thing is you can go see what I saw on the Common Sense Media YouTube playlist. My favorites were Common Sense Media's CEO Jim Steyer's opening comments, Massachusetts' Senator Ed Markey's Opening Remarks about legislation they are working on, Obama's US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy's comments on connection and social relations under the lens of technology, and March For Our Lives Co-Founder Cameron Kaskey's commentary on his experience and using technology to build a movement.

Cameron Kaskey with
moderator Elizabeth Galicia
Of course, you might have your own personal favorites.

I encourage you to check out their playlist so you too can build up your wealth of information on this very important topic.

To learn more, you also can check out Common Sense Media's portal on Digital Well-Being for more resources.

Additionally, I'm looking forward to live-streaming Common Sense Media's Designing for Our Future: Solutions for Digital Well-Being May 29th Silicon Valley Tech Conference, held at the Computer History Museum in combination with Stanford's d.school.
Jim Steyer with Dr. Vivek Murthy

Video from https://youtu.be/sJFO6SjtR3w; images from my camera, screenshot of the agenda from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/livestream-april-2019 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Bicylcing Recyling!

I love it when innovation is in action.

In the Netherlands, where a million bikes are discarded every year. To solve that problem, Roetz-Bikes is redrafting them into custom bikes.

Given that, the wheels on the bike aren't the only thing that's circular. So is the system of design, use, done, recycle, and recreate. This is what the world needs more of! A closed loop system! An innovative sustainable plan to help out our planet by repurposing materials!




video from https://www.facebook.com/1MillionWomen/videos/388308018663740/ and image from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WC8B2D_w7eM