Calling All Earthlings: It’s Earth Day 2012

Earth Day is coming up Sunday April 22nd.  Here are some ideas for commemorating it, in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and beyond!

Saturday April 21st : Earth Day Clean Up

Minneapolis Park Board and Clean City Minneapolis spearhead this city-wide Earth Day Clean Up of parks and watersheds.  Friends of the Mississippi River are among a long list of team leaders, and beloved stomping grounds like Minnehaha Park and Theodore Wirth Park are among the many clean up sites.  To participate, go to the location of your choice between 9:30 – noon on Saturday April 21st.  The organizers will provide plastic bags and gloves, but if you want to be an Earth Day superstar, bring your own gloves and a bucket to collect garbage in.  The buckets will be emptied into larger bags to reduce overall bag usage.  Kids are encouraged to participate too, so bring the whole family to get Minneapolis parks spiffed up for picnic season.

Sunday April 22nd : Wishes for the Sky

Make a wish, fly a kite, and connect your heart to nature.  What could be sweeter than a zero-waste day of kite flying, local foods and music?  Wishes for the Sky is a free event inspired by the ancient Chinese Tradition of flying wishes on kites.  The event is located on Harriet Island in St. Paul from 11:00-5:00 on Sunday April 22nd.   You supply the wishes, they’ll supply the kites.

Sunday April 22: Biking for Climate Justice and Earth Day Festival

This climate and environment focused Earth Day Festival takes place from 11am to 2pm at Minnehaha Park and features many performers and speakers.  A fleet of cyclists will depart from the festival at 2PM to ride for Climate Justice.  Check out the Facebook Event Page for details, and get involved in urgently needed climate activism.

Saturday May 5th and Sunday May 6th : The Living Green Expo

With help from my heroes at Eureka Recycling, The Living Green Expo boasts being Minnesota’s biggest zero waste event!  Located at the State Fair Grounds, this is the perfect place to glean green ideas, discover cutting edge products, and get inspired.  Score a free ride to the event through Metro Transit.  Personally I’m looking forward to the Bike Fashion Show at 1pm both days.  Tickets are $3 online, $5 at the door, and FREE for anyone under 18 years old.  See you there!

bike fashion show

An International Event: Climate Impacts Day,  May 5th

To thwart catastrophic climate change, scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 392 parts per million to below 350 ppm.  350.org has made this reversal their mission; working internationally and at the grass roots level to fight climate change.  350.org’s Climate Impacts Day will raise awareness worldwide and put a human face on climate change.  Learn more about Minnesota’s CO2 reduction efforts by visiting mn350.org.

Climate Impacts Day

What’s your shade?

I thought this discussion of different shades of green philosophies by Alex Steffen was interesting.  Are you bright green, light green, or dark green?  I think it takes all approaches to get the job done.

Earth Day Resolution?

The overwhelming environmental challenges of supporting 7 billion people on a planet with finite resources can make the individual earthling feel a little helpless.  But there’s so much each of us can do on a daily basis.  Earth Day is a great time to green your household and set environmental goals.  Low Carbon Diet, How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, and 365 Ways to Live Green are straightforward guides to help you step up your daily green factor.  For instant greenification, check out this online article 101 Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint.

Green Reads

Deep Green Reads

Like Alex Steffen said in his article Bright Green, Light Green, Dark Green, Gray: The New Environmental Spectrum, the “dark green” stance can have a doomsday element that people find either incapacitating or motivating, depending on their sensibility.  For me, looking the frightening aspects of our environmental reality square in the face is what allows the appropriate urgency to sink in.  I can’t solve the world’s environmental problems by myself, but knowing what I know makes it impossible for me to take no action.  Bill McKibben’s Eaarth gives the grim consensus of climate scientists in layman’s terms, and also provides a course of action for “making a life on a tough new planet.”

The truth?!  Can you handle the truth?

Two books I haven’t read yet but which interest me are The Climate Cover Up by James Hoggan and Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskis and Erik Conway.

I heard about this book at a screening of White Water Black Gold documentary on Alberta Tar Sands.

My husband Brian recommended Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming to me after I expressed bafflement regarding what could motivate experts who know better to spread doubt about climate change.  I saw this online comment by a reader who criticized the book for being long winded.  I thought the way he encapsulated the main thrust of the book was interesting:

Bottom line:
– the masses are easy to manipulate
– science, just like intelligence (CIA) has become a political tool
– political “scientists” on behalf of some business lobbies have sown seeds of doubt
– the doubt is enough to confuse the mass media, and thereby the masses
– doubt is always in the interest of the status quo, because doubt prevents action and change

Dark Green Documentary

If you prefer a flick to a book, Collapse is a compelling, informative, hard boiled exploration of our post-peak-oil economy.

Long Live Earth!  Thanks for reading the Wednesday Post.

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