Resolving to Make a Difference: Fighting Climate Change

January 22nd, 2012

At the time, it seemed like a long-shot. A carefully staged group of protests in front of the White House, designed to pressure President Obama into fighting the Keystone Pipeline and to build public awareness of the dangers of the pipeline. But as stood in front of the White House and watched my “green mom” friend Harriet Shugarman aka @ClimateMama, join the protest line, I was in awe.

Green Moms at Tar Sands Protest

I didn’t know much about the specifics of the Tar Sands pipeline until Harriet told me and the other Green Moms Carnival members about it.  At first, I wasn’t even sure I objected. Bringing in oil from Canada, as opposed to from the Persian Gulf, didn’t seem like such a bad idea at first.

Then I learned that renowned NASA climate scientist James Hansen had said it would be “game over” on climate change if the pipeline was built.

And slowly but surely, as the news spread, public opinion shifted, until finally, a few days, ago, the President announced his opposition to the pipeline.

But contrary to some reports, it’s still not a dead project. The final reckoning has only been delayed – and who knows who will sit in the Oval Office at that point?

Nearly four years ago, most of us thought we’d see far greater uptake of cleaner, green sources of energy after became president. To be sure, not all of the blame falls on policy makers. The marketing of renewable energy – especially wind and solar thermal – is lackluster. Consumer awareness is still low, and it’s not easy for even the most enthusiastic “green mom” to buy the full range of clean energy products.

We have so far yet to go.

James Hansen can make a credible scientific argument against the pipeline. And he has. But to me, these words of his are most powerful: Einstein said to think and not act is a crime. If we understand the situation, we must try to make it clear. I decided six or seven years ago that I did not want my grandchildren to look back in the future and say “Opa understood what was happening, but he didn’t make it clear.”

I agree with James Hansen. It’s why I stood in front of the White House, shouted “Go, Green Moms! Go Harriet!,” and watched as the protestors were led into a white tent for processing before being taken to jail in the police vans lined up across the square. (It was all very orderly – the arrests having been coordinated ahead of time down to every last detail).

Together, we can accomplish so much. And we have to — for there is so much more to accomplish. Check out the Green Moms’ Carnival on Resolutions to Fight Climate Change, hosted by Amber Strocel of There you’ll find posts from some of the most engaged green women bloggers — about what we can do, what you can do – so that someday, you can tell your grandkids that you did something to fight climate change.

— Lynn



Blogging Break is Over, New Year Seems Full of Possibilities!

January 8th, 2012

I’m soooo glad I took a long blogging break to enjoy Advent and the full twelve days of Christmas. We just wrapped up the holiday season yesterday – yes, that’s right, not until Saturday, 7th January …with a trip to see “Merry Madagascar” topped off by a Three Kings Day party with some old friends.

So now that the Christmas cookies and The Three Kings cake are eaten, I’m focused on new year’s resolutions. I tend to make the same ones year after year: lose weight and get more organized.

This year I decided to get more help in achieving my goals.  On the organizational front, I’ve actually hired a coach – and I start working with her tomorrow! I’m very excited about this. I’m hoping to organize my life in its entirety: family, work, spirituality and the greater Green good, physical activity / health /fitness  and then finally, me-time. (Yeah, I know…what’s me-time?)

Back in 2010, I blogged that I was going to “tackle the big one – weight loss.” I even started a twitter feed – @weight_loss2010.  Here it is, two years later and I weigh about the same. So what’s different? Why will it work this time?

I’m hoping that getting better organized – via the coach – will lessen my stress levels. I KNOW I eat when I’m stressed. I’ll eat a very healthy day’s worth of meals and then just completely blow it during the “witching hour” that every Mom knows so well. All it takes is a few handfuls of cookies or  goldfish(R) or a beer (or what the heck, all three!) at 6:00 p.m. to undo all those salads, whole grains, and lean proteins.

I’m trying a new twist on the online support I looked for with @weight_loss2010. With the encouragement of Sommer Poquette, aka Green and Clean Mom, I’ve agreed to join Shaklee’s “#Cinchspiration” campaign. I’m hoping that the combination of online support, Sommer’s infectious enthusiasm and winning weight loss results (22 pounds!) and a free initial supply of Shaklee’s meal replacement shake will be just the ticket to losing weight.

I also made a trip over the holidays to the Reebok outlet to finally replace my old, worn, holey sneakers.  And I also picked up two pairs of very cool work out pants, which I’m wearing right now, since I just returned from the gym.

And finally, as far as this blog goes, you can expect to see a greater emphasis on climate change. Time is running out to reverse the damage climate change has already inflicted – and the weather-related horrors that most leading scientists predict are yet to come. In fact,  “Resolutions to Fight Climate Change” will be the topic of our first Green Moms Carnival of 2012, which will run at on  January 23.

So stay tuned, enjoy the beginning of an exciting new year, and tell me – what are you up to that’s new and different in 2012?

— Lynn

Coal: Can’t We Do Better?

February 8th, 2010

Lisa was right when she said this month’s Green Moms Carnival topic would challenge us.  Coal. It’s one of those things most of us take for granted. We don’t really think about coal – where it comes from, what it does, why we depend on it.  Oh sure, we think about climate change. We blog about climate change. But climate change is a topic that’s front and center in the media and the blogosphere. We think about the ramifications of climate change: rising sea levels, economic destabilization, melting polar ice caps and so on…

When I stopped and thought about it, I realized I knew very little about coal besides the fact that it accounted for most of our energy use in this country, was a main contributor to global warming, and made up a very dangerous life style for the coal miners in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and elsewhere.  Oh, and when I was exposed to it for the first time via our family trip to see Thomas the Tank Engine, I coughed and coughed and coughed…


So I went straight to the US Department of Energy website, where I learned:

Coal is one of the true measures of the energy strength of the United States.  One quarter of the world’s coal reserves are found within the United States, and the energy content of the nation’s coal resources exceeds that of all the world’s known recoverable oil.

The text pretty quickly jumped into an explanation of all that the DoE is doing to try to counter-balance the negative impacts of coal.   “Innovative, low-cost environmental compliance technologies and efficiency-boosting innovations are being developed by the Energy Department’s Fossil Energy research program.

To tap the full potential of the nation’s enormous coal supplies, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy is working with the private sector to develop innovative technologies for an emission-free coal plant of the future.

This research and development program is pioneering more effective pollution controls for existing coal-fired power plants and an array of new technologies that would eliminate air and water pollutants from the next generation of power plants.  Research is also underway to capture the greenhouse gases emitted by coal plants and prevent them from entering the atmosphere.”

Let’s face it. Coal is dirty. “Clean coal” is a dream, not yet proven and with unforeseen consequences for our groundwater supplies.

More people have probably died from coal – from the  toxic pollution it spews into our air and our water – than from both world wars and the 1918 influenza combined.

Coal is destroying our landscape too. Mountain top removal means exactly what it sounds like. It’s horrible. And it’s irreversible.


Can’t we do better than coal?

An entirely new, clean green economy is looking for investment, looking for opportunities to prove what it can do to make our nation more energy-independent and cleaner and greener. Solar. Wind. Hydrothermal. Even, dare I say, nuclear and natural gas – these are the way of the future.

Check out the other posts at the Green Moms Carnival on Coal, hosted today by Retro Housewife Goes Green.

— Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2010

Easy Green Weekend Project #2: Earth Hour

March 27th, 2008

Looking for something fun, easy and green to do this weekend? Do you ever ask yourself how you can make a difference with one small action? Here’s an idea: Why not turn out the lights for an hour and join in on “Earth Hour?”

Launched just a year ago in Sydney, Earth Hour is now a global movement to show just how much energy can be reduced in one hour.

Join in on Saturday evening at 8 p.m. local time.

Fun, Easy and Green. And Making a Difference!

— Lynn