April 25, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
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People’s Climate March Signs: Days 14-25

tree

For Days 14 through 25 of 28 brainstorming signs for the People’s Climate March, I tried to focus especially on the self-reinforcing cycles and feedback loops of climate change. The tendency of climate change to reinforce itself once it gets started is one of the most frightening things about this challenge. The biggest of these climate change feedback loops is pretty well known– increased heat melts the polar ice caps, without the reflective white of polar ice, more heat is absorbed, raising temperatures even further. At the same time, permafrost in polar regions also melts, releasing methane and CO2 that has been trapped for millennia into the atmosphere, and increasing greenhouse gas emissions, further accelerating the heat-trapping greenhouse effect. The possibility that incremental warming could lead to extensive and accelerating warming is something we need to look at realistically, because we are on the precipice of kicking this (and many other) feedback loops into overdrive. In California we are already seeing some of these feedback loops (specifically the one related to tree death due to climate change and drought) play out. I was so honored to hear that someone from Yosemite had taken a sign inspired by the tree feedback loop (above, and on the web if you an email subscriber) to the Yosemite March for Science. We need to raise awareness about the urgency of the moment we are in, and I think building and understanding of the feedback loops can play an important part in that.

Day 25 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #PeoplesClimateMarch #climatemarch #PCM #peoplesmarch. Today's theme: It's the economists, stupid. I forget where I first saw that… and I feel a little badly about repeating it, because in the last few years I've met some revolutionary economists who are a part of the solution. BUT, with some notable exceptions, it's hard not to see classical economics as an essential player in accelerating climate change. @PaulHawken sums this 'devil-may-care' attitude perfectly with ".we are stealing from the future, selling it in the present, and calling it GDP." We are beginning to entertain better measures than #GDP such as happiness/ per-capita resource use, but we need to move even faster. What we measure matters, and as long as a booming stock market continues to be the bellweather of economic success, our future is in big trouble. #externalities #gdp #economics #climateaction #crookedwalk

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Thanks to @zerowasterva for the inspiration for day 22 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch #peoplesclimate #climatemarch #pcm coming up this Saturday 4/29 in DC and globally. The secret about marches? They're actually pretty fun. Sometimes you stand around in the heat/cold for to long, sometimes your kid throws a fit, but in my short history of marching, I've found its uplifting to go out and see the many other people that care. #climateaction doesn't have to be all misery and sadness… There is a great tradition of fun, playfulness, performance and art in climate action– just check out the film "The Yes Men Are Revolting" on Amazon streaming for a flavor of the wacky stunts people pull. #stayengaged #staywoke #yesmen

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Day 21 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch #peoplesclimate #climatemarch #pcm. Today's theme: what are YOU doing to act in climate? Is there more you could be doing? Here's a photo of a coal-fired power plant I took when flying into #cincinnati this AM. We need both to fight the man that continues to let #blackcarbon be an acceptable byproduct of our power demands. We also need to #reduce those demands to begin with through simple acts of energy conservation. My motivation? I just imagine that the lights, the electric kettle, the ever-running #dvr box were pumping little smokestacks of their #co2 directly into my house. That usually motivates me to get up and turn off all the power strips. Let's make conservation the default. #flexyourpower #climateaction

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Day 20 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch #climatemarch #peoplesclimate #pcm. Today's theme: America is toxic… The things we do to keep our public spaces and properties "presentable" and "tidy," whether the routine use of residential pesticides and herbicides, or simply the act of mowing the lawn (think: diesel emissions combined with habitat elimination as the matrix of plants that might be in a meadow environment are decapitated before they an flower… ) Our 'maintenance' practices have outsized impacts on dying bee, bird and animal populations, not to mention serious consequences for our own health. While The use of many agricultural pesticides is heavily monitored, home/residential use typically is not. In one longitudinal study of the health of Salinas Valley farm workers, it was shown that residential toxins (flame retardants, pthalates- stuff all Americans are heavily exposed to) were more evident and carcinogenic in farm workers' bodies than their agricultural exposures. Time to re-think those #lawns #lawnmaintenance. #savethebees #foodnotlawns #rewilding #habitatrestoration @miraclegro

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For day 19 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch #climatemarch, returning to the topic of feedback loops. Last night I read an article describing the vastly increasing rates of tree death in Southern California, and I just can't get it out of my head. The article describes massive tree losses across species due to borer beetle, drought, and other diseases. I knew something was up, because there are astounding numbers of dead trees both in my hometown of #SanDiego and in my adopted home of #LosAngeles. Losing these trees couldn't come at a worse time for our communities as we brace for increased high heat days, we need #urbangreening more than ever. #climatechange #climateaction #feedbackloop #treepeople #treesaretheanswer

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Day 11 of 14 brainstorming signs for the #MarchForScience #ScienceMarch and day 18 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #PeoplesClimateMarch. Taking a little breather today to remind everyone to get out there! I went out at lunchtime yesterday with a sign promoting both marches, and walked around the insanely busy intersection near my house in Los Angeles for 45 minutes. As I waited to cross at each street corner, I started asking people "So, are you going to be marching this Saturday, or are you going to be marching next Saturday?" Assuming people cared, and wanted to be engaged turned out to be an effective tactic. My fellow lunch breakers and I had quite a number of of substantive discussions about the Administration's approach to both science and climate change as I walked around in a the intersection 10 times. I'm going to say that getting out there and talking with neighbors and strangers about these issues was one of the more faith-giving experiences I've had of late. #WeDoCare #YesWeCan #JustTransition. #whyImarch

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Day 15 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch, #climatemarch. Today's theme: urgency. The scientific community has been aware of the threat presented by #climatechange since the 70s. Corporations and the US military have been planning for the effects of climate change for 20 years, though some (ExxonMobil) have intentionally disguised their awareness from the public. Now the threat has arrived. Swift, intense action to reduce climate pollutants may still help us avoid the most dire outcomes, but many of climate changes destructive, self-reinforcing cycles have already ramped into overdrive, and the degree of global politically instability we now see is directly connected. In order to meet this moment, we need to organize with urgency and vision. This is #whyimarch. #peoplesclimatemarch #pcm

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April 22, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
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March for Science/ Happy Earth Day

Wow, I’ve been watching the speeches from the DC March for Science this morning, and it’s truly inspirational. Bi-partisan, positive, and actionable. It’s streaming on facebook (Washington post) and on DemocracyNow. I’m sure you can also go back and watch it.

I’ve had to make a hard decision about what to do with my Earth Day, and as much as I really want to get out there for the March for Science, my local school community needs me for our school clean-up, (I organize the school gardens). Tough call! But ‘think global, act local,” right? Some slogans never go outta style.

My son and I ARE ‘participating virtually’ via the following picture… we are Ms. Frizzle and Arnold from ‘the Magic Schoolbus,’ and we are ‘marching’ for science on social media!
MagicSchoolBus_MarchForScience

Also below (on web for email subscribers) is my final day 14 of 14 “March For Science” sign concept. Let me know what you think! And if you can, get out there!

Parting thought for day 14 of 14 brainstorming signs for the #marchforscience taking place tomorrow, 4/22, all over the world. So often we hear that science (or technology) will save us. 'We'll invent something." But we've invented a lot of amazing things, and we still find ourselves in a pretty good bind. Helping ourselves out will REQUIRE science, but will also require incredible human coordination, cooperation, and forethought… All at a scale and level of abstraction vastly beyond our evolutionary EQ. The discourse around the #sciencemarch gives me hope, because it is demanding that our social system listen to, fund, balance, and participate in science. I hope this is the dawn of social systems that are up to the challenge of helping science save us. #dos #climateaction #peoplesclimatemarch

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April 21, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
2 Comments

Brainstorming Signs for the March for Science, Days 1-13

Once I got started thinking of signs for the People’s Climate March, I began to feel remiss that I wasn’t doing anything for the March for Science (this Saturday, 4/22). I find this one a little trickier– since, as one sign puts it “Technology Owes Ecology an Apology.” But science and technology cut both ways, and to me, the goal of the Science March is to help “Tilt Science Toward Justice” through public investment.

Here’s what we’ve come up with for the first 13 days (please view on web if you are an email subscriber):

Day 4 of 14 brainstorming signs for the #marchforscience in D.C. & cities across the U.S. Today's theme: sometimes high-tech science points toward low-tech solutions. Rather than waiting for science to save us, we should listen when it points us to solutions we already have. The #ITHIM model tells us that we can meet our climate goals and substantially move the dial on diseases of physical inactivity by shifting transportation towards #walking and #biking instead of driving. Shade trees and #greenroofs deflect the sun's energy, reducing urban heat island effect and making our streets more pleasant for walking and biking. Many of our solutions are already at hand, and we need the social IQ to implement them. #lowtech #peoplesclimatemarch #Pcm #climatemarchsigns #whyimarch

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Day 9 of 14 brainstorming signs for the #marchforscience #sciencemarch. Getting braver with today's theme: we need to talk about climate engineering. Climate engineering involves interventions designed to artificially cool earth's atmosphere, such as the dispersal of particulates or vapor into the upper atmosphere. Some of these interventions are affordable enough that they could be undertaken by lone governments. While the idea sounds good–stalling for time while we organize to reduce climate pollutants, the complexity of climate and the over-leveraged reality of 7 billion residents on earth make it likely that we could see severe unintended consequences from these actions. We need to talk about risks, benefits, international regulation and what we might do instead (hint: Paris Agreement commitments and more) before this turns into a debacle. #peoplesclimatemarch #climateengineering #ethicalscience #climateaction

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Day 10 of 14 Brainstorming Signs for the #MarchForScience, #ScienceMarch. Today's theme: public funding for sustainable science. A number of the most important scientific research projects are currently under threat. When agencies like the #EPA experience funding cuts, it undermines policy that might help us protect our public and global health. Decisions like Pruitt's to ignore science that demonstrates harm does not bode well for scientific investments in the future. At the same time, increased funding is being directed to the military-industrial complex. R&D for violence is neither sustainable nor in the public interest, and is primarily a 'give' to private military contractors. Science in the hands of an authoritarian state is dangerous.

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Day 11 of 14 brainstorming signs for the #MarchForScience #ScienceMarch and day 18 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #PeoplesClimateMarch. Taking a little breather today to promote both events. I went out with a sign promoting the marches yesterday at lunchtime and walked around the insanely busy intersection near my house in Los Angeles for 45 minutes. As I waited to cross at each street corner, I started asking people "So, are you going to be marching this Saturday, or are you going to be marching next Saturday?" Assuming people cared, and wanted to be engaged turned out to be an effective tactic. My fellow lunch breakers and I had quite a number of of substantive discussions about the Administration's approach to both science and climate change as I walked around in a the intersection 10 times. I'm going to say that getting out there and talking with neighbors and strangers about these issues was one of the more faith-giving experiences I've had of late. #WeDoCare #YesWeCan #JustTransition. #whyImarch

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Day 13 of 14 brainstorming signs for the #MarchForScience #ScienceMarch. Special thanks to @colortheheart for 'Women's Health" coloring page that is a background for today's topic: Let's give women access to family planning, and control our population the humane way! Why? The 'au natural' way of population control (overpopulation > resource shortage > violence > starvation > genocide) isn't so great. When women are given the tools to elect their own family size, they choose fewer children, and match the numbers of children to the resources they believe will be available. Reproductive choice is one of science's greatest gifts, and one of the most powerful tools we have to balance human life on earth. Let's make it work! #makeitwork #reproductivechoice #peoplesclimatemarch #climatemarch #whyimarch #globalgagrule #globalgagrulesucks

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April 19, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
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Climate March Signs: Days 7-13

Below (on website for email subscribers) are the concepts for 7-12 of 28 days brainstorming sign ideas for the People’s Climate March. I wish I could say that I was running out of ideas… This batch of signs is focused particularly on the fact that the burden of climate change is likely to fall most heavily on the communities and people least responsible for creating the problem– primarily residents of the “global south”– those without economic resources, living close to the vagaries of weather and climate disturbance. Though the idea of climate reparations has come up somewhat in global talks, there has was little in the way of commitment from the ‘global North’ to address the already dire drought driving famine and conflict in countries like Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria, or to think about what relocation might look like for a country like Bangladesh, where many millions live subsistence lifestyles in the path of sea level rise. The idea that our approach to climate resilience needs to focus first on the most vulnerable communities has relevance on a global scale, but also domestically and locally, as became abundantly clear in each of the recent natural disasters experienced in this country, from Katrina, to this past summer’s flooding in North Carolina.

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Day 10 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch, #climatemarch theme: RIP Great Barrier Reef #tombstone. Water temperatures and ocean acidification from CO2 in the atmosphere are causing massive die-offs of the microscopic animals that make up living coral reefs worldwide. As summer winds down in the southern hemisphere, the Great Barrier reef has experienced a third year of extensive coral bleaching. We must now face the possibility that the reef will bleach entirely in the next few years, an enormous #climatechange caused blow to biodiversity. A bright line has been drawn for me. How can I live my life so that there is some possibility that my children and grandchildren could possibly live in a world with living coral reefs? #climateaction #whyimarch #climatechangeisreal #greatbarrierreef #pcm #climatemarchsigns

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Day 11 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch, #climatemarch on 4/29 in DC and cities nationwide. My 8-year old son saw my sketch for the #greatbarrierreef tombstone today, and asked if it was true that it was dead. When I explained a bit about what was happening, and about the March, he immediately wanted to go. I think he feels like there is this looming crisis (he is our kid, so he hears about it a lot) but that everyone around him is in denial. Today, I started in on a sketch of some of the classic themes I know will be there on 4/29: including #keepitinthegorund #ThereIsNoPlanetB #PeopleOverProfits #ClimateChangeIsReal #NoMasPlomo, and threw a tombstone in there for good measure. I hope anyone following along with this project will find a sign they relate to here, or maybe send an idea in on the comments?

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Day 12 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch, #climatemarch. Today's theme: climate resilience is predicated on equity, and vice versa. Extreme disparities in wealth, education, and the built environment make some communities significantly more vulnerable to the extreme weather, cost increases, and displacement associated with climate change than those with ample resources. This is true domestically and globally. We need to make funding work to build equity into all climate mitigation and adaptation strategies. Climate resilience for wealthy people/ wealthy nations isn't resilience at all, and leaves behind those least responsible for creating this crisis. #climatedebt #yesmen #justtransition #climatejustice.

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April 13, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
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Signs for the People’s Climate March: Days 1-6

One of the ironies of my sign brainstorming project for the Women’s March was that in an effort to cover the many different reasons for that protest, I really didn’t have time to get deep into developing signs or postcards for any one issue. Climate Change was a big area of oversight. The topic is enormous, cross-cutting, and urgent. It’s also something I think about a lot, and wanted to take some time to address.

I’ve decided to set about brainstorming a sign-a-day for the People’s Climate March on 4/29. Unlike my Women’s March work, I’m not making printable signs this time around–I honestly think signs are more effective when they are handmade. This is really more articulating the many reasons we need to get out there and march, and to start spelling out what we should be saying both _to ourselves_ and to our elected representatives about climate action.

Below (on the website, if you receive this by email) are the first six sign ideas. You can see these arrive daily by following me on instagram @carlablackmar.

Day 4 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch on 4/29 in Washington D.C. and in cities across the US. Today's concept: the real reason behind climate denial–climate change is profitable in the short term for corporations in power. No more polar ice? It's easier to drill! Flooded coastal communities? Someone (probably a military contractor) gets to profit selling cities the giant pumps and dikes we will need to keep the water out as long as we can–and when saltwater intrusion destroys our wells, they'll sell us water they stole ( @nestle ) in enormous plastic flats that have to be trucked in at great expense. On the contrary, they can't profit off of the low-tech, people-powered solutions that would empower is to prevent #climatechange, so they deny its reality. It's not ignorance, it's willful sabotage for profit. #DontBuyIt #boycott #divest #climateaction #climatechange #lastchance #climatemarchsigns #climatemarch #Womensmarch #whyImarch #hearmyvoice #trumpastrophe #divestoil #divestdapl

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Day 5 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch on 4/29 in Washington D.C. and in cities across the US. Today's concept: #peoplepower! Capitalism is laser-focused on making cheap things at tremendous human cost. What if we re-focused our value on quality of life instead of material wealth, on people power rather than fossil-fuel power? The #bicycle is the perfect symbol of people power– yet turn on the TV any night of the week and you will never find an ad selling you a bicycle–it's too simple and cheap. What if we de-escalated the culture of constantly working and spending on that next #newcar, and as a culture, chise to #bikeinstead? #climateaction #climatechange #lastchance #climatemarchsigns #climatemarch #Womensmarch #whyImarch #hearmyvoice #trumpastrophe #zerowastelifestyle #carbonlight #divestmentlifestyle #fossilfuelfree #fossilfreefuture

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Day 6 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch on 4/29 in Washington D.C. and in cities across the US. Today's concept: pay for parking! Since the invention of the car, US taxpayers have provided enormous subsidies to vehicle users, the auto industry, and the real estate industry. These subsidies enabled #whiteflight, racial segregation, #suburbanization, #bigboxstores, and on and on. We take these subsidies completely for granted, to the point where even the #leftist liberals get irate when they have to #payforparking. At the same time, charging for parking has been shown to be one of the most powerful deterrents to driving, encouraging people to seek other solutions. Let's look our prioritization of cars over people square in the face. Every time you park for free, or drive on a FREEway, or do pretty much anything in a car, your actions have a high invisible cost. #stopwhining and pay up. Look at it as your daily #climateaction. #climatechange #climatemarchsigns #climatemarch #divest #fossilfreefuture

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March 29, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
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Tell your State: It’s time to step up to the plate on climate

california slice GHG reduction
#45’s Executive Order signed yesterday to dismantle Clean Power Plan was an action that helps nobody. It won’t likely bring back coal jobs (those are being automated and must compete with the lower prices of natural gas), and for the rest of us, is seriously jeopardizes our Paris Agreement commitments– our last, best hope to preserve the livability of our planet for ourselves and our children. It helps a few, horribly destructive fossil fuel corporations, though they will likely see their profits moderated anyway by competition from natural gas and renewable energy. In this case, our global leadership on the biggest challenge in our time is being sacrificed so that Trump can have a photograph of himself surrounded by smiling white, working class men– a necessary political distraction from his attempts to dismantle this demographic’s financial lives through his administration’s actions on health care and taxes.

I think the source of my extreme anger at this folly is the fact that we are at a moment where we cannot afford to be loosing time in our efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. We are already way outside the 350 PPM ‘safe’ zone that we believe might have preserved the climate patterns that our water and agricultural systems depend upon– the recorded value yesterday was 409 PPM at the Mauna Loa station:

In all likelihood, we have already set ourselves on a course that will inevitably accelerate the pattern of drought, famine, war and refugee crisis of the last five years. But even if it is too late to avoid this crisis entirely, there are still _varying degrees_ of crisis.

To understand this, it can be helpful to look at this fascinating site produced by the State of California to anticipate and prepare for climate impacts such as extreme heat and sea level rise. For any given geography and climate impact, you are given a choice of two scenarios; 1. an ‘optimistic scenario’ where greenhouse gas emissions peak at 2040, and then decrease, and 2. what I call the “realist scenario”–where greenhouse gas emissions continue to accelerate to 2100, and then plateau. The degree of catastrophe in terms of modeled sea level rise, extreme heat, snowpack (read: water supply) is markedly less pronounced if we were to achieve the ‘optimistic’ scenario for greenhouse gas reduction. If you live in California, I encourage you to check out the climate impacts for your area under each scenario, so you can understand what is at stake. California has set itself goals for greenhouse gas emissions reductions that would ensure the State does it’s part to help achieve the optimistic scenario. In this fascinating graphic piece in the NYT, it is remarkable that California is actually it’s _own_ piece of the portfolio that would help the nation reach its climate commitments. As someone who spends some of my time on the ‘inside’ of the challenge of meeting California’s commitments, I can tell you that it is complicated and contentious work–but that it is working, and improving quality of life at the same time. If you don’t live in California, the following paragraph is for you:

In the face of a federal administration determined to sell out the future of our children for the short-term profits of corporations that traffic in disaster, commitments and changes made by states, cities and individuals are our only angle. Demand that your state government adopt greenhouse gas reduction legislation that will ensure that your state does it’s ‘fair share’ to meet the commitments set in the Paris Agreement. Ask your state to join in the lawsuit the California will most likely have to fight in order to preserve our higher emissions standards waiver. Ask your state to peg its vehicle mpg and CAFE standards to California’s standards (if they aren’t already). Do you live in a coal state? Then get your state to seek alternatives, message clearly about coal and its impacts to your legislators. IF the categorical decreases in greenhouse gas emissions now in jeopardy due to #45’s policies were to be replaced by decreases resulting from state action, (imagine the other 49 states listed as California is, in the image shown at the top of this blog post) then we might have a shot.

Get started, send your STATE REPRESENTATIVE a printable postcard.
Eviromental Policy Mash Up

March 6, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
2 Comments

#IdesOfTrump Constructive Criticism Edition

January 30 Letter to Trump_Page_1Shortly after #45 was inaugurated, I woke up in the middle of the night from a horrible nightmare. International relations had deteriorated, and nuclear weapons had been used. In my dream I was an invincible superhero, witnessing the aftermath, powerless to do anything but soak in the sadness and horror of the situation.

When I woke up, I tried to calm myself down. I tried to enumerate the many reasons why humanity now knows better. I tried to think through some of the global treaties and protections that might prevent this kind of melt down. But in the Trump era, I found it much harder than usual to calm myself down. Many of the assurances I’d been able to give myself about Obama weren’t true anymore. Trump was sparring with Iran, and seemed treacherously underprepared to maneuver diplomatically with China, not to mention North Korea. The more I thought about it, the less calm I became. Finally I quit trying to go back to sleep, and instead wrote a letter to President Trump.
IMG_4401IMG_4400IMG_4402

I posted photos of the letter, above. In contrast to some of the sassier correspondence options I’ve put on this blog, the letter was pretty somber. It explains my dream, and implores Trump to take more care with his foreign policy. If I’m being honest with myself, a letter in this spirit of seriousness is a fairer reflection of how I feel about the situation than the ‘pink slip’ postcards I’ve distributed for the #IdesOfTrump. Much as I would like to get rid of him, a clear-eyed appraisal of the situation suggests that it would be better right now if he could rise to the occasion (at the very least) of maintaining international peace and diplomacy.

The article the New York Times published on Saturday about the failure of covert US cyber-attacks to slow North Korea’s progress toward long-distance nuclear warheads was terrifying. I had to read through the comments on the article as a therapy session, hoping that someone out there had some good ideas that might make the situation sound less perilous than was given in the article. And there were some ideas out there, mostly involving taking US warheads out of South Korea, thereby giving the Chinese a sense of security that would incentivize them to undermine the Chinese government.

The prevailing sense one is left is that we’re walking a razor edge. Making fun of Donald Trump’s combover just doesn’t seem constructive under the circumstances. As annoying as it is that this man got elected without solid policy ideas (and that it was potentially because of the complexity of her ideas that Hillary failed), it just isn’t going to help us to keep harping on that point. At this point, we need to take his improvement seriously. Where there appears to be rationality (i.e., Ivanka and Tillerson arguing that we can’t go back on our Paris Climate Agreement), we should offer resounding, positive feedback. Good job, guys! On topics where rationality is sorely lacking (tweeting on international affairs), we need to underline the seriousness of the situation, and ask that he rise to the occasion by hiring some expertise.
So here are my ‘appeal to reason’ postcards for #45. Print and share, send something meaningful for the #IdesofTrump.
DJT Constructive Criticism

March 1, 2017
by cablackmar@yahoo.com
2 Comments

Resisting Resistance Fatigue

IMG_4363

Yesterday I attended my local #ResistTrumpTuesday action in front of my Senator’s Los Angeles office. It sounds noble, but I live 2 blocks from the corner where we go to protest, so it’s an easy lunchtime break from work. Because of our proximity, and the fact that we work from home, Mr. Life Partner and I have covered all but 1 of the 5 protests there since #45 took office. What I noticed yesterday (compared to prior Tuesdays) was that the crowd seemed smaller, a little more fatigued and a lot more homogeneous. Maybe I’m projecting my own feelings onto the situation– on the way over rather than holding my sign high, I carried it a little sheepishly past the young, professional workers on their lunch break. I know that in my ‘work from home’ clothes I look like exactly the kind of person who you’d expect to see at a lunchtime protest– a middle-aged, radicalized white lady with the luxury time to muse about being angry. I don’t like fitting that stereotype so precisely, and it was hard to push back a feeling of self-loathing for being that person.

But we gotta push back. So here I go.

I feel like the national discourse after #45’s “on-script” and “presidential” speech to congress last night is dangerously conciliatory, and overly docile. We all want peace and unity, and it is our default to let down on our resistance. Doing otherwise makes you feel like a squeaky wheel, like you are unnecessarily harping on problems. I don’t like to be that person, and the temptation to glide gracefully into complacency is great. But we can’t give into that temptation. #45 and his speechwriters brought their misleading A Game– and it’s up to us to call them on it.

Some suggestions from Twitter:
-We can’t ‘work together’ with #45 on forming a Government Agency to ‘tell the stories the media ignores about victims of violence at the hands of illegal immigrants.’

-We want to preserve healthcare that protects everyone. But such a thing is not possible without the individual mandate. Any ACA replacement without an individual mandate is no replacement at all, the Republican Plan (for the many reasons outlined in Sunday’s helpful explainer from John Oliver), is bunk. If the Republican’s surprise us and realize that the only way for them to make good on their commitment to reduce costs for everyone is single payer, I’m all on board and ready to talk peace and reconciliation. I can’t wait! I would love to have peace and reconciliation on this matter.

-Statements from #45 promising to protect air and water quality are the essence of hypocrisy. I’m not sure if Congress is allowed to walk out of a speech like this, but to me, this would have been the moment.

And this doesn’t even get into the issues that Trump didn’t mention in his speech, most notably, climate change. Are you sick of talking about climate change? I am too! But it doesn’t make it any less problematic. Four years of negligence on this one is probably a death sentence for humanity.

So yeah, I’m going to go back to my #ResistanceTuesday protest at the next chance I get, and this time I’m going to dress in business attire and I’m going to hold my head and my sign high. Maybe I’ll even print myself a new sign for the occasion. This isn’t a grudge fest, it isn’t about being a ‘poor loser.’ This is about the issues that we cannot afford to overlook, and the lies and misinformation that we cannot accept. We’re all tired, but we need to keep going.