Friday, February 08, 2008

The Dreaming Up Daily Image

"Guardian Spirit" at
Posted by Picasa

Focus the Nation on the Climate Crisis

I got so absorbed in the Democratic presidential campaign leading up to Super Tuesday (and not to worry, I'm still following it fitfully at American Dash) that I neglected quite a bit else here, including a big Climate Crisis event called Focus the Nation. Over 1500 colleges, universities and high schools, as well as some cities and towns (like my current hometown of Arcata, CA) took part in two days of webcasts, teleconferences and local events: teach-ins, panel discussions, film screenings and both theatrical demonstrations and demonstrations of clean energy technologies.

Here in Arcata there was a little of all of that, both at Humboldt State University and Arcata City Hall. But here--like a lot of places--focusing on the Climate Crisis and clean energy isn't new. The discussions on energy technologies are often very practical, because there are ongoing efforts--the students themselves started a fund a few years ago to participate in designing and installing the kind of changes that will further the university's goal of off-the-grid, clean renewable energy for 100% of the university's energy use. Arcata's Town Hall Meeting is online.

But this isn't all that unusual for campuses, even though it may not be generally known how much work has already been done and how committed faculty as well as students are and have been on this issue for a long time. An impressive example is the University of Vermont, which had over 80 teach-ins and 30 events involving 16 academic departments over five days. During that time, the president of the university announced a new Office of Sustainability, to coordinate efforts and planning. If you know anything about universities, you know that's a powerful commitment, though of course it depends on the follow-through.

Still, this sort of thing is great for spreading the word, getting people to see each other and renew or deepen or even begin their commitment. And it's good for synthesis--for people who've been working on their piece of the solutions, who can share what they're doing, cross-fertilize ideas and get new ones. Plus it gives everyone an idea of how far along we are as a whole, and where we need to get to next.

These events happened on January 30 and 31, and though they escaped my mentioning them because of the campaign, they didn't escape Barack Obama's. He was a principal endorser of the event, and told students at Clemson University in South Carolina where he was campaigning,"There is an organization called Focus the Nation, which is going to have the largest campus teach in on global warming in United States history right here on the Clemson campus," Obama said. "This is an important issue and I want everyone to be involved with it, everybody to be paying attention. I hope all of you choose to participate, because this is a terrific issue."

But even though the event has passed, the Focus the Nation website suggest continuing efforts, and stresses the importance of voting for leaders--and voting for a President--who will address this issue: The new President and Congress will be setting their agenda—and that agenda will determine if the climate can stabilize at a heating of 3-4 degrees F, or instead 5-10 degrees F... Between now and the end of 2008, we can move this country from a fatalistic acceptance of business-as-usual global warming. We can end the paralyzing sense that our children must accept from us an impoverished planet. We can embrace a determination to act, and hold global warming to the manageable low end.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Obama

On Super Tuesday Barack Obama won at least 13
states, overcoming a 19 point deficit two weeks ago
to win Missouri, a 14 point deficit to win Connecticut,
a 15 point deficit in Alabama, etc. He came up short
but won many delegates in Massachusetts
(where he was behind by 37 points two weeks ago,)
and California (a 25 point deficit), though he won
my county, 53.7% to 38.4%. He broke many barriers
in an historic election. "Our time has come," he said
last night, "our movement is real, and change is coming
to America."
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Posted by Picasa

Hey Primary Voter, Still Undecided?

If you are a Democrat: Have you heard John McCain lately? He will make you pine for G.W. Bush. McCain is all about fear and violence. We have wasted close to a trillion dollars that could have fixed so much that needs to be fixed in America on a needless war in a little country, and have written our name in blood. Barack Obama not only opposed this war and has the credibility to end it, he will not get us into more needless and destructive conflicts, and he will lead us back into the world community, so it can be a good thing to be an American again. The polls show that Barack Obama is the candidate to beat McCain or any Republican, instead of the candidate that half the public consistently says they don't like. Obama will do what he has done in the primaries--he will grow the party and bring people together in the service of principle and needed change. He alone can lead the ticket to get the kind of majority in Congress and support in the country to get things done.

If you believe the Climate Crisis is the greatest threat to the future: then you know the transformational change that will be necessary to address it in all its aspects, to fix the problems it causes as they happen, to stop even worse consequences in the future. Barack Obama--his skills, his message and how it is resonating in this country already, as well as his philosophy and pragmatism--is our best hope for leading this transformation. And he will do it in the right way--not with fear or fiat, not with top down power but with active participation and common sense.

If you are an independent, or independently minded: as Maria Shriver said Sunday, if you want to bring people together to get things done, it requires a commitment from the very beginning--and that's what Obama's campaign has been about, when he was down in the polls, and when he won elections. Obama is not beholden to Washington politicians or lobbyists like another candidate we could name. He brings something new.

And a bit of California housekeeping--If you are registered as a no-preference voter, and you want to vote for Obama in the primary, you must ASK FOR A DEMOCRATIC PARTY BALLOT, or you will be given a ballot that only has the state and local propositions.

To all the people I told in 2000 that George Bush would be a worse disaster than they could imagine: listen to me this time. These primaries matter, this election matters, and Barack Obama is not just the better of two choices--he is the best choice. This is the time to step up.

Today I will be casting my vote for exactly the right leader for these times, and for the future: Barack Obama. Please join me in doing so. A better world is possible. Yes. We can. Make it so.

The Democratic Primary in California and 21 other states is TODAY!

Latest election news by your compulsive correspondent will be at American Dash.

Change we can believe in

Posted by Picasa

The Dreaming Up Daily Quote

"We are the ones we have been waiting for."

end of a Hopi prayer, quoted by Maria Shriver
Sunday, in her appearance endorsing Barack
Obama for President

We are one people

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Mrs. Governator Endorses Obama

Michelle Obama, Caroline Kennedy, Maria
(Mrs. Ahnold, First Lady of California) Shriver
and Oprah at a huge rally in Los Angeles for
Obama Sunday. Shriver: "IF OBAMA WAS
Posted by Picasa