World Oceans Day ’14 ~ aka “Primal Parent Day”

Breakers M. Cst

Photo: Katy Pye

Interconnected seas form our parent ocean — to my mind, the most critically endangered species on the planet. We are undeniably linked: biologically (from whence we came), for sustenance (food, water, air), and emotionally (see “Blue Mind”-Wallace J. Nichols). We all know our parent is in trouble. What we do on land, and in the air and water can help or hurt. I’m always looking for ideas.

Yesterday, Marinebio.org posted a terrific education and action tool. “101 Ways to Make a Difference: Take Action for Threatened and Endangered Species.” Arranged by category, and not just about ocean issues, it’s easy to find a topic that warms your heart, makes your blood boil, or both. The deepest and most long-lasting changes — individually and for the planet — launch from a single passion, then often spread.

My top 4 (with links in green) are:

sea turtles ~ Turtle Island Restoration Project and Seaturtle.org (a primary resource for all things sea turtle)

over-fishing  ~ MarineBio.org-“…a solvable problem.” World Wildlife Fund “More than 85 percent of the world’s fisheries have been pushed to or beyond their biological limits.”

ocean pollution ~ National Geographic and NOAA (“Eighty percent of pollution to the marine environment comes from the land.” I include plastics as a form of “run-off.”)

the atmosphere ~ If you click on only one thing in this post, choose this one. iMatter: Young people are taking governments to court in a fight to protect the atmosphere. These powerful, passionate, and eloquent kids are using society’s highest tools to force the top game-changers to uphold and act under the law. Their stories and presence touch, educate, and empower. Expect goosebumps, smiles, maybe a touch of “parental” pride.

After rain photo by Katy Pye

After rain
Point Cabrillo Lightstation Historic State Park
Photo: Katy Pye
All rights reserved

We’re in this together. Feel free to share your favorite “primal parent” links, suggestions, and stories in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by, peace, and do what you can.

Nesting Kemp's ridley Photo: Adrienne McCracken

Nesting Kemp’s ridley
Photo: Adrienne McCracken

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. It’s sea turtle nesting season in many places and all 7 species are threatened or endangered. To avoid extinction, they need to up their reproduction rates. Please report any turtles or nests you find to appropriate local groups. Seaturtle.org lists 228+/- sea turtle groups in 63 countries. Follow local requirements or best practices, such as turning off outside lights at night. Don’t interfere with, or distract adults or hatchlings. Know how your fish and seafood is caught and whether laws to protect sea turtles from drowning in shrimping nets are being followed. Louisiana defiantly refuses to enforce federal fishing laws that protect sea turtles during shrimp trawling.

UPDATE: iMatter Kids Winning for the Atmosphere!

The iMatter kids lawsuits I wrote about in May are making headway. Where? In of all places, the historically conservative states of Texas and New Mexico.

CC dry streambed-Matt Rudge

photo: Matt Rudge – Creative Commons
from TckTckTck

Maybe this year’s hottest summer on record (3,282 heat records broken in June), ongoing drought and wildfires convinced Texas District Court Judge, Gisela Triana, to rule “the atmosphere and air must be protected for public use.”

A few days later, Judge Sarah Singleton of the New Mexico District Court, threw out her state attorneys’ request to shut down the iMatter Trust suit, which, likewise, sought to protect the atmosphere. The plaintiff who sued the state, 18 year-old, Akilah Sanders-Reed, was represented for free by lawyers with Wild Earth Guardians.

New Mexico flag CC

Judge Singleton’s ruling helps move the state to cut atmosphere-damaging emissions by developing “Climate Recovery Plans” similar to others in states and the nation that restore streams, native grasslands, and ocean fish populations.

Listen to Akilah talk about her decision to become the suit’s key actor (Progressive Radio Network July 31, 2012, beginning at 17:17 minutes into the show). Her reasoning goes beyond her state, to the importance of these individual lawsuits on the nation and the planet. Attorney, Tanya Sanerib, a legal counsel in the federal cases, joins her to explain the basics of the suit and the Public Trust and what’s at stake. I promise it’s not boring.

New Mexico Whitewater Baldy Night Fire 6/6/2012

New Mexico’s Whitewater Baldy Night Fire 6/6/2012
Photo: Kari Greer – Credit USFS Gila National Forest.

The iMatter kids have done their homework. Watch their video stories; new ones have been added since May. All are impressive. These passionate young people, from diverse backgrounds, know that fighting for everyone’s right to a livable planet won’t be easy. The lawsuits force judges to breathe their decisions into uncharted air. The Public Trust doctrine has been used successfully to support the environment, but it has never been tapped to protect the  atmosphere, thus full planet health. You can’t get more basic than that. Judges Triana and Singleton have bravely opened new legal territory, making it easier for other state and federal judges to act.

Visit and bookmark this page at Our Children’s Trust to read about and follow the state-by-state progress of the lawsuits.

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Now the weirdest story I’ve run across about adaptations to climate change.

http://old-photos.blogspot.com/2009_01_01_archive.html

Hoping for chocolate milk?

Farmers Feed Hungry Cattle Chocolate in Lieu of Corn

Opinions vary on why some cow farmers in the Midwest are resorting to feeding livestock chocolate, marshmallows, and gummy bears instead of corn. No science on the impact of turning cows into sweet junkies is offered. I wonder whether the state Ag Extension offices have weighed in. I may be a chocoholic, but I’m sticking to my California squeezed milk!

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“The Atmosphere Belongs to Every Generation”  iMatter.org and Our Children’s Trust.org

Kids Fight for Atmosphere as a “Public Trust”

“THE STATE HAS A SOVEREIGN OBLIGATION OVER ALL EARTH AND AIR WITHIN ITS DOMAIN.”    U.S. Supreme Court 1907

Creative Commons photo Rachel CarsonIn 1962, when Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published, I was eleven, the same age as Jamie-Lynn Butler now. I was thirteen, like Glori Die Filippone, when Ms. Carson lost her fight with cancer. As a kid, the “environment” was school, summer camp, or my room. The only battle lines I drew were those separating my parents from me. It took more than a decade before I got that “the environment” wasn’t about my tiny world view. But recalling my youthful ignorance or feeling badly when I slack off recycling are empty gestures.

CC Scales_of_justice

Seventeen year-old iMatter Movement founder, Alec Loorz, and the other young people at the core of the Our Children’s Trust lawsuit against the federal government and 49 states, have taken charge and inspire awe. They’re not phrase-makers.

Trust litigant Nelson Kanuk watches winter come later every year, threatening his family’s subsistence-based life in Alaska. Twenty-three year-old Montana farmer, John Thiebes, risks his economic future, making his farm a climate-friendly guinea pig. “Climate change,” he says, “is the defining issue of my generation and the generations to follow.”

Alec created the iMatter Movement because he saw what we are doing to counteract climate change isn’t big enough or fast enough. What’s needed is a politically and legally solid engine to drive change. Through the “Trust” lawsuit these powerful young souls face a fight for the environment much bigger than the earlier ones of my generation. I’m ashamed, after such a good start in the 1970s with the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and other regulations, we let so much progress on the side of the environment slide under the corporate and individual “can’t live without it” bus. As 65 year-old Huffington Post energy and climate policy contributor, William S. Becker, (“Children v. Dirty Business,”) put it:

I must admit some embarrassment that our children now feel obligated to face off against the giants of industry and government and all their lawyers. These kids are stepping in where their elders in Washington and the international community have feared to tread.

Global fossil carbon emissions 1800–2007

Global fossil carbon emissions 1800–2007

The aim of the lawsuit is simple — our federal and state governments have a mandated responsibility to protect the environment. The suit asks for a comprehensive plan to tackle climate change. Planning. We do it all the time. The atmosphere, the kids claim, like the water we drink and air we breathe, is a “public trust” that belongs to everyone. What a thought. 

What’s Next? Who’s Playing?

In March this year, under District Court approval, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM, “one of the largest fossil fuel lobbying groups in the country”) and five other industry groups joined federal lawyers, asking the kid’s case be thrown out. Most states are following that lead. NAM’s lawyers argue industry has a legal interest (translate, a right) to “freely emit CO2” and that limiting greenhouse gasses would “limit or eliminate their businesses.” May 11th, 2012 a judge will side one way or the other. The efforts of these brave young people will either suffocate in a Washington, D.C. courtroom or breathe the fresh air of hope. 

We can’t vote. We can’t afford lobbyists. We can only trust that our leaders will make good decisions on our behalf.  But when they make decisions like favoring oil company profits over our safety, then we need to hold them accountable. — Alec Loorz
CC troubled nature phase II

Troubled Nature, Phase II

Go here to watch five short and moving videos of the Trust kids mentioned in the article. Five more will be posted at that site, one a month.

And here to learn more about the movement, the lawsuit, donate, or sign a petition to the Obama administration.