There were many highlights from the day spent at the Women and Environment Symposium, in Grand Rapids last Friday. One of my favorite moments was when a young woman asked the panel on citizen action: “What advice do you have for women to be heard when we try to speak truth to power?” State Representative Winnie Brinks did not pause a moment: ”Become the power” instead, she advised. I looked over at the four students from Benize Central High School that attended as part of their SEEDS afterschool program. I hope they heard that.
Representatives of area environmental groups and individuals concerned about fracking will gather on Saturday, January 18th at 10:00 am at Michigan Works, 1209 S. Garfield on Saturday, January 18th at 10:00 am.
This will be the first meeting of the Fracking Awareness Coaltion, organized by NMEAC, to make more people aware of the health and environmental dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract natural gas.
Carter Schmidt is conducting a Survey. He wants to know how many people in Grand Traverse County compost their kitchen scraps. He thinks this information should be collected and ”could be useful to our local government as well.”
My money is on Carter to do something “useful” with this information. He began his bike powered neighborhood composting business in April of 2012, when he was just nine years old because “food scraps really don’t belong in the trash.” But, he didn’t stop there.
“Resilience in the New Year”; Hans Voss, Maura Brennan, Misty Sheehan,
Our interdependent web of life certainly needs our best New Year’s resolutions! In this service we will hear from local resilience experts, Hans Voss, Maura Brennan, Misty Sheehan, and others as we explore real actions we can take in 2014 to increase our local buoyancy to endure and thrive cooperatively through times of change. A new book club that is region-wide and will span many seasons, will explore this topic and be launched after the service. You can become educated on resiliency, which is certainly step one on our journey together to care for our earth home.
So, if you need a dose of inspiration to go with this beautiful Winter weather, join us tomorrow at 10:30 am at UUCGT, 6726 Center Road, Traverse City .
We believe that the earth can be transformed from a place where excessive suffering is allowed to exist, to a place where harmony, peace and balance is accessible to all. We are committed to bringing about this transformation through partnership with those in our broader community, with a focus on communication, hospitality, education and service.
– Excerpt from the Neahtawanta Research and Education Center’s Mission Statement
Black Friday. The biggest shopping day of the year. A day that has become a tradition for some of rising at the crack of dawn to begin their holiday season. By which I mean heading out to big box stores to wait in line in the cold for hours, and then scratch and claw (in some cases literally) to get the BEST DEAL on that very special gift for that very special someone. Ah, the Spirit of Christmas.
Except this morning, many will be sleeping in. They cut their Thanksgiving family time short, and headed out last night before the green jello leftovers were safely stored in the fridge. Who could resist all those Pre Black Friday deals? How else is one supposed to afford that perfect gift that will elicit a gasp of joy from our kids, spouses, and friends, and make them happy all year? Besides, if you get one for half price, you can get two! Two is better than one, right?
Hope. That was the message that Lisa Franseen got from Janine Benyus, Joanna Macy, and the other luminaries that spoke at the 24th annual National Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, California. ”I haven’t heard this much hope coming from Bioneers speakers… ever,” said Franseen.
I love the idea of turning my eggshells and coffee grounds back into garden soil. But, I hate turning my compost pile. So, I don’t do it very often. In return, it doesn’t break down. It just lays there, partially decomposed, and growing. Lucky for me, Carter’s Compost and Oryana just teamed up to launch Traverse City’s first community compost pile in my neighborhood.
“Have I been sleeping? I’ve been so still. Afraid of crumbling. Have I been careless? Dismissing all the distant rumblings. Take me where I am supposed to be. To comprehend the things that I can’t see. ’Cause I need to move. I need to wake up. I need to change. I need to shake up. I need to speak out. Something’s got to break up. I’ve been asleep. And I need to wake up… now.” — Melissa Etheridge
On November 2, 2013, the “Awakening the Dreamer: Changing the Dream” Symposium will be offered in Traverse City. The symposium includes videos interviews with renowned spiritual leaders, scientists and activists, such as Desmond Tutu, Paul Hawken and Thomas Berry, as well as live presentations and interactive dialogue. It challenges participants to asks the questions: Where are we? How did we get here? Where are we headed? What’s possible for the future? The symposium was created by The Pachamama Alliance, an alliance of the indigenous Achuar people and people from the “modern world.”
It is a moving experience, designed to shake us out of our dream world. “The Awakening The Dreamer Symposium opened my eyes and mind, and broke open my heart, way open,” says Dr. Laura Franseen, one of the presenters. ”Complacency became a thing of the past. It is a powerful, stunning, beautiful program, and I am thankful to the Pachamama Alliance for giving it to the world.”
The Pachamama Alliance was created In 1995, when a group of people traveled from the US to the Amazon rainforest at the invitation of the Achuar indigenous community. They learned that oil development was threatening the existence of the Amazon rainforest, and therefore, all of life on the Planet. The Achuar shared with the group how the culture of overconsumption threatens us all. They asked their new allies to help them “change the dream of the modern world” – to a culture that honors and sustains life.