Judy Vellend's blog

Antidote to despair is action

Our Green Neighbours 21 meeting held on November 3rd was titled Beyond the People’s Climate March: Next Steps in the Fight against Climate Change. We saw the film Disruption, a powerful depiction of the science behind the present climate emergency and the movement that launched the worldwide People’s Climate March.

Did you know…?

Did you know…?

Americans are “much more likely to believe that there are signs that aliens have visited Earth (77 percent) than that humans are causing climate change (44 percent).”

A writer for the New York Times asked readers for “suggestions of “neglected topics” that we in the news business should cover more aggressively in 2014.” Many said they’d like to see more coverage of climate change.

My Summer Adventure

I’d like to tell you about my summer adventure. No, it wasn’t a trip to an exotic location, or a week by the lake. It was three days at a conference centre in Chicago. Hmmm, not too exciting? In fact, it was very exciting. It was an intense, inspiring and memorable experience. Along with 1200 people from 70 countries around the world I took part in the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training. The Corps is one of several initiatives of the Climate Reality project begun by Al Gore after his ground-breaking movie An Inconvenient Truth in 2006.

The news is not all bad

The articles that cascade off my computer are mostly tidings of bad news, grim reminders of the urgency of the climate crisis. So my eyes popped open when two recent articles carried a more positive message. You might want to have a look.

The news is not good

There are times when I put on a happy face and try to spread my enthusiasm for climate change work in order to bring more people on board. But sometimes I need to just say it like it is, frightening or not. Today is one of those days.

A Message to Mothers


Watch this short video in which Sandra Steingraber offers an inspirational message to mothers.

“It is time now to play the save-the-world symphony. I don’t know what instrument you hold, but you need to play it as best you can, and find your place in the score. That is our task now.”


Good News, Bad News

At long last spring is here, and what a beautiful time it is. My forsythia and quince are in bloom, and the lilacs are getting ready. I’ve dug up the soil and look forward planting my vegetables. It’s an amazement to me every year that I put tiny little plants in the ground in May, and later in the summer harvest crisp cucumbers and sweet tomatoes. There’s nothing more fresh and delicious. I call it the 30-foot diet.

The Future

Al Gore is a long-time spokesperson and advocate on climate change. In his new book The Future he takes a broader perspective and looks at six forces that are producing dramatic changes in the world, one of which is climate change. The others have to do with globalization, digital communication, a less powerful United States, and an economic system that results in inequality.

He talks about Canada’s “resource curse” and refers to “the core issue of adding to the reckless spewing of pollution into the Earth’s atmosphere as if it’s an open sewer.”

Don't miss this movie - Revolution

Revolution is a call to all of us to get involved and protect life on this beautiful planet. The film is made by Rob Stewart, who also made the popular and acclaimed film Sharkwater. Stewart came to realize that it would do no good to try to save the sharks if we were destroying the Earth, and that it was not just the sharks at peril, but humans as well. The film alternates underwater scenes of both beauty and devastation, with scenes of protest movements. I was particularly moved by a young boy who is determined to see the planting of thousands of trees.

Snake Oil

I had the good fortune to hear Richard Heinberg when he was in Toronto recently and gave a talk at U. of T. Heinberg is an expert on peak oil and the author of several well-known books. In his talk, titled "Snake Oil: How the petroleum industry's false promise of plenty imperils our future" (also the title of his upcoming book), he challenged industry's claims about fracking and America's potential to become energy independent.


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