America’s Clean Energy Momentum: How’s your state doing?

Tags

, , , , , , ,

UCS - Clean Energy is Sweeping the Nation

The news is good. Despite our pro-fossil-fuel administration of climate change deniers, the use of renewal energy is growing across the United States. So says the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in their report Clean Energy Momentum: Ranking State Progress released in April 2017.

Across America, the growth of wind and solar power generation is impressive. Over the past decade, wind power expanded more than tenfold, supplying energy to more than 20 million households in 41 states. Since 2011, solar power has sprinted ahead with more than 900 percent in growth. In 2016, two million more households now use solar-powered electricity.

That’s not all. Investments in energy efficiency, over the last 25 years, have reduced our need for constructing more than 300 large carbon-emitting power plants. Last year alone, we saved a year’s worth of electricity usage of 20 million households. Continue reading

“Immigrant Song” – Poem by Korean-American Poet Sun Yung Shin

Tags

, , , ,

Happy Fourth of July America

My Poetry Corner July 2017 features the poem “Immigrant Song” by Sun Yung Shin, a Korean-American poet, writer, and educator. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she was one year old when an American couple adopted her. Raised in Chicago, she later moved to Minneapolis where she earned a BA in English from Macalester College and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of St. Thomas. She teaches at Macalester College and lives with her husband and their two children. 

When asked about her relationship with the English language in an interview with Lightsey Darst for Minnesota Artists (January 2016), Sun Yung Shin said that strangers often question her ability to speak English without a “foreign” accent. Her fluency and sense of belonging as an Asian American offend them.

Shin’s opening verses in “Immigrant Song” from her poetry collection, Skirt Full of Black (winner of the 2007 Asian American Literary Award for Poetry), express the restraints she faces to achieve her full potential as a human being. Continue reading

Father said…

Tags

, , , , , ,

Father with Baby Daughter - A girl's first love is her Daddy

Father said not to worry about anything.
He was working to provide for my needs.
And I believed him.

Father said he would never let anyone hurt me.
He was there to protect me, Mother, and my brother Paul.
And I believed him.

Father said not to worry about climate change;
the science is still debatable.
And I believed him.

Father said the abortion of an unborn child is an abomination.
Life is sacred. Only God can take a life.
And I believed him. Continue reading

Climate Change & the Water Cycle

Tags

, , , , ,

The Water Cycle

As a geographer and former high school geography teacher, I must confess that I take some scientific facts for granted, such as climate and the water cycle. A recent post “Climate Science Meets a Stubborn Obstacle: Students” by fellow blogger Robert Vella brought to my attention the challenges some of our high school science teachers face in regions of America where climate change denial creates havoc in the minds of our youth.

When your father has raised you to believe that the coal they once mined, or still mine, can in no way affect our climate, it’s difficult to have an open mind to scientific consensus on the issue.

Geography lessons in high school expanded my curious mind to our relationship with our world: land, oceans, atmosphere, and all the in-between. When taking a climatology course at university, I found myself at a disadvantage for having chosen to study art instead of physics in high school. I had lots of catching up to do. Our course in biogeography alerted me to the ways that we humans are degrading our ecosystems. Those were the days before the Internet and Wikipedia. Continue reading

Patativa do Assaré: Brazil’s Popular Oral Poet

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Patativa do Assare seated in front of his hut in Assare - Ceara - Brazil

My Poetry Corner June 2017 features the poem “The Peasant Farmer and the Factory Worker” (O Agregado e o Operário) by Antônio Gonçalves da Silva, known as Patativa do Assaré (1909-2002), a popular Brazilian oral poet, improviser of oral verse, composer, singer, and guitar player.

The son of poor peasant farmers eking out a subsistence livelihood in the semi-arid hinterlands, known as the sertão, of the Northeast State of Ceará, Patativa began working at an early age on his family’s small plot of land. At the age of four, he lost his sight in one eye due to lack of medical assistance. With his father’s death four years later, he had to work as a farmhand to help his family, leaving him no time to attend school. During his six months of formal education, he learned to read and write.

God was his Master; Nature was his teacher.

Sertao Nordestino - Northeast Brazil (2)Sertão Nordestino – Northeast Brazil  [Photo Credit: poesiafaclube.com]

 

I was born listening to songs
of birds in my mountain terrain
and seeing wonderful marvels
that the beautiful woodlands enclose.
That is where I grew up
watching and learning
from the book of nature
where God is most visible
the heart most sensitive
and life has more purity.
Continue reading

American Cities and States Affirm Commitment to Paris Climate Agreement

We the people of America who know that climate change is a fact cannot falter now in moving forward on reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and transitioning to clean energy resources.

JoAnn Chateau

If Donald Trump wanted to prove he is irrelevant, withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement seals the deal. American mayors and governors are prepared to fill the gap. As NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio says, “When our national government falls down on the job, local government steps up.”


Mayor de Blasio Signs Executive Order to Adopt Goals of Paris Climate Agreement for New York City | NYC Mayor’s Office

“Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order today that promised New York City would commit to the principles enshrined in the Paris Climate Agreement following President Trump’s announcement that he would formally withdraw the nation from the accord.” ~ NYC Mayor’s Office


180 Us Climate Mayors Commit to Adopt, Honor and Uphold Paris Climate Agreement Goals | Climate Mayors

“…We will continue to lead. We are increasing investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. We will buy and create more…

View original post 506 more words

Today’s March for Truth… and Justice… and Democracy

“Truth is a sword. Truth is a shield. Truth is a liberator.” Resist!

Thanks for the update, JoAnn.

JoAnn Chateau

Catch some scenes from the Saturday, June 3, 2017 nation-wide March for Truth. Click here to see the latest March for Truth updates on Twitter.


Today’s March for Truth has four objectives.

  1. Establish an independent commission to investigate the Trump Team and possible collusion with Russia
  2. The new commission must operate with transparency
  3. Congress must compel Donald Trump to release his tax returns
  4. Any crimes or collusion discovered must lead to prosecution


You feel the fervor at the New York City March for Truth, with loud chants and drums: “Resist! Resist! Resist!” via Olga_Lautman NYC.


Is resistance just for the young? Olga_Lautman NYC captures the calm, sober…

View original post 152 more words

One Holiday, Two Americas: Memorial Day Thoughts

“We — those of us in the non-fighting America, those of us for whom the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are abstractions — perhaps remain too comfortable, detached from something of desperate importance: the duty done far from home in our stead by the children of other people. And removed and distant from how the “best and brightest” of their families risk and sometimes give up everything they hold dear.”

Thank you, Dr. Stein, for reminding us of the families in the “Other America” who are making the ultimate sacrifice in America’s endless wars.

Dr. Gerald Stein

Some of our fathers and brothers, even our sisters and aunts, served in wartime. Some serve now. Perhaps you too.

Today is the day we honor the fallen in all the many conflicts of this, our country.

Can two Americas fit into a holiday designed for one?

Thus do the two Americas array themselves: those for whom service is a calling and those for whom it is an economic necessity; those powerful and those without prospects; those respected and those afraid; those with fat wallets and those with empty purses; the few who are part of our volunteer army and the majority who choose not to be.

When my father did his duty in World War II, walking the Champs-Élysées on the first Bastille Day after the liberation of Paris, there was such a thing as military conscription: able bodied young men were required to participate. In post-war Germany, as…

View original post 1,167 more words

Down Independence Boulevard And Other Stories by Ken Puddicombe

Tags

, , , , , ,

Book Cover - Down Independence Boulevard and Other Stories by Ken Puddicombe

On May 26, Guyana celebrates 51 years as an independent nation. Independence did not come easy. Worker strikes, riots, lootings, burnings, beatings, rape, and killings turned the coexistence of the country’s multi-ethnic population into a toxic stew of animosity and mistrust. The so-called “racial disturbances” of the 1960s drove hundreds from their homes. Those who could, fled overseas.

In his collection of sixteen short stories, Down Independence Boulevard And Other Stories, Guyanese-Canadian author Ken Puddicombe, who migrated to Canada in 1971, takes us within the homes of families faced with racial violence and upheaval. With the keen eyes of a master story teller, Puddicombe lays bare their ruptured lives and re-invention as immigrants in a foreign country. Continue reading

On the Making of My Convent Novel

Tags

, , , , , ,

 

When my friend and poet, Angela Consolo Mankiewicz, told me that my second novel had to be about my life in the convent, I balked at the idea. To embark on a journey back to a time and place that caused me grief would require some meaningful purpose. The 2012 documentary film, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, exploring the first known public protest against clerical sex abuse in the US, gave me the impetus I needed.

My convent novel, inspired by real events that took place in Guyana in the 1970s, had to be relevant to the present. To bash the nuns and priests would be unjust. Most religious men and women that I lived and worked with had devoted their lives to their God and strove to live according to His teachings. I have long forgiven those who had betrayed or abandoned me when I needed them most. Continue reading