CHECKING AND BALANCING
What Can We Do to Support Climate Recovery?
Adapt to Our Changed Habitat
The Earth ain’t what it used to be. And even as we work to slow global warming, we need to retool our thinking to cope with violent weather, rising seas, and the rest of the new normal. On the bright side, we humans have proven astonishingly resourceful and resilient over the past 300,000 years; when we work together, we’re pretty clever about finding innovative ways to adapt to seemingly catastrophic alterations in the landscape. But we’d best get started soon. And by “we” I mean each one of us.
“Adaptation's too important to be left to the experts,” says environmentalpolicy influencer Vicki Arroyo in her TED TALK, Let’s Prepare for Our New Climate. “Why? Well, there are no experts. We're entering uncharted territory, and yet our expertise and our systems are based on the past. ‘Stationarity’ is the notion that we can anticipate the future based on the past, and plan accordingly, and this principle governs much of our engineering, our design of critical infrastructure, city water systems, building codes, even water rights and other legal precedents. But we can simply no longer rely on established norms.”
So what can we do? “It's up to us,” she says, “to look at our homes and our communities, our vulnerabilities and our exposures to risk, and to find ways to not just survive, but to thrive. And it's up to us to plan and to prepare and to call on our government leaders and require them to do the same, even while they address the underlying causes of climate change. There are no quick fixes. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions. We're all learning by doing. But the operative word is doing.”
How to Prepare Your Community for a Disaster, the New York Times
12 Ways Communities Will Have to Adapt to Handle Climate Change, the Guardian
By Karen McCann
New Orleans adopts new, more sustainable building standards after Hurricane Katrina. Photo by The Atlantic.
STOP, LOOK, LISTEN! by Kathy Sherretts
Checking and Balancing
I want to recommend a website that concentrates on the US Congress--GovTrack.us has information on individual legislators and how they have voted, as well as details on upcoming votes in both houses; also, lots of information on legislation in committee and how it develops.
My favorite GovTrack page is Congressional Oversight and Investigations: "One of Congress’ key functions and a check-and-balance implicit in the Constitution is to supervise the activities of the executive branch, a.k.a. to perform oversight. Sometimes the oversight is as simple as an annual check-in during appropriations hearings, other times oversight includes subpoenas and investigations."
Yeah, well, good luck with that.
Slate/What Next: Constitutional Tug of War (17 min)
The clashes between the legislative and executive branches don’t show any signs of letting up. Was our 230-year-old Constitution built for this highly partisan, highly confrontational moment?
NPR: Proposed Rule Could Evict 55,000 Children From Subsidized Housing by Pam Fessler
HUD's own analysis concludes that there would be few benefits from the rule change, which would apply to families where one member is inelegible for subsidized housing. The agency assumes that such families would split up or move out of their subsidized homes, and estimates HUD will spend 3-4 million dollars on evictions.
Boston.com: The racial divide in the Red Sox’ visit to Trump’s White House is impossible to ignore by Dave Sheinen
This is a story of baseball, ethnicity, and politics. Also, the White House official website spelled the team’s name wrong.
Care2: We're A Step Closer To Protecting The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge From Drilling by Alicia Graef
Language was added at the last minute to the 2017 Republican-led tax bill to mandate oil and gas lease sales in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act (H.R. 1146) would repeal the controversial provision in the tax bill and permanently protect the refuge from oil and gas drilling.
Just for fun:
A PSA from George Clooney.
Catcher Sandy León (right) skipped the White House celebration of the 2018 World Series winners. Every one of the 10 Red Sox players who declined the invitation is a person of color, either US-born or an immigrant. (AP Photo / Gail Burton)
Ready to do more?
Learn about the Green New Deal. If you missed our roundtable discussion, you can read the presenters' notes here.
Read the Indivisible Guide 2.0, a new strategy for a new congress.
Check out the weekly action plan from Progressive Action, Global Exchange (PAGE) which mobilizes progressives living overseas.
Sign up for the Americans of Conscience Checklist, a weekly action list that also provides encouragement and good news.
Learn more about solutions and actions at ClimateRecovery.org, a new group organized by members of American Resistance Sevilla and other community activists.
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