Climate Disruption: Thought of the Week


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Global Climate March - Paris 2015

Global Climate March November 28-29, 2015

On the eve of the biggest U.N summit of the decade in Paris, the climate movement is taking to the streets worldwide… Our message: keep fossil fuels in the ground and finance a just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

~ Join a Global Climate March in your city. Learn more at

A New Look at Jonestown: Dimensions from a Guyanese Perspective by Eusi Kwayana


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Cover of A New Look at Jonestown: Dimensions from a Guyanese Perspective
by Eusi Kwayana

November 18 marked the thirty-seventh anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre in Guyana. On that fatal Saturday in 1978, over nine hundred members of the Peoples Temple died from ingestion of cyanide-laced Flavor-Aid. Their leader, the Reverend Jim Jones, died from gunshot wounds. Seven miles away, American Congressman Leo Ryan and four members of his party lay dead on the Port Kaituma airstrip.

After all these years, several questions about the tragedy remain unanswered. The then Guyanese Prime Minister of the socialist cooperative ruling party, declared the Jonestown Massacre “an American problem.” No Guyanese investigation was ever conducted. To fill this void, A New Look at Jonestown: Dimensions from a Guyanese Perspective by Eusi Kwayana will soon be released (see below for details of ordering copies). Continue reading

Climate Disruption: Thought of the Week


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I am Ice by Liam Neeson
Other Videos available at Conservation International

Nature is Speaking

Nature is essential to every aspect of human life and well-being — we want to make sure it’s included in the conversation. People are taking more from nature than it has to give, and as a result, we’re putting our own lives on the line… Nature doesn’t need people. People need nature.

~ Nature is Speaking video series, Conservation International

Our Shared Humanity


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Unknown Pianist Performs John Lennon’s “Imagine
Tribute to victims of terrorist attacks – Paris – France – November 13, 2015

This past week has been a difficult one for me. Today, November 15, I said goodbye to a couple and their six-year-old daughter: my dear friends and neighbors for the past six years. They are moving to another state to be close to the wife’s family. A victim of the toxic fumes and dust damaging his lungs, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, the husband and father now faces a battle to keep breathing.

Unlike those who sought vengeance and war against the “barbaric” enemy, this man did not fill his heart with hatred for those responsible for taking away the life he once had. Instead, he and his wife raised their daughter with a bounty of love. At eighteen months old, on recognizing me, she ran towards me with her arms open in flight. Since then, she has been my joy and gardening companion. She and her parents welcomed me into their hearts and lives.

Today, my heart is heavy with loss. Though far away, they will remain close to my heart.

On Friday, November 13th, came the news of the attacks on Paris in France, leaving 129 dead and 352 injured. I feel the pain of the people of Paris who have lost a loved one during these attacks. I mourn their loss.

I feel the pain and desperation of millions of refugees from across Africa and the Middle East who have also lost loved ones, as well as their homes and means of livelihood, and have turned to Europe for a safe refuge. The attacks on Paris – allegedly carried out by jihadists posing as refugees – now place their lives in even greater jeopardy.

Following the 9/11 attacks on New York City, our government initiated what has now become an endless War on Terror. How does one fight terror with more terror? It beats me. Over the past fourteen years of terrorizing our enemies with our military might and raining bombs, we have created what I consider our “Terrorist Beast.” Created with deception, lies, and greed, this Terrorist Beast feeds on our hatred and acts of violence in its hunting grounds.

France’s President Francois Hollande called the recent attacks on Paris an “act of barbarism.” How easy it is for us to demonize our enemies as barbaric! Warfare is barbaric, no matter which side wields the weapon. Will France and its allies continue to feed this Terrorist Beast with more bombs and boots-on-the-ground?

Lest we risk losing touch with our shared humanity, I highly recommend that you set aside time to watch the three-part series of the documentary film, HUMAN. It’s producers give us a remarkable opportunity to listen to and reflect upon what it is to be human as expressed by other humans across our diverse planet.

The fate of humanity rests in our hands. Let us not allow the powers that be to continue stoking our fears and sabotaging our lives.

Climate Disruption: Thought of the Week


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24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth: The World Is Watching (2015)

The World is Watching 2015

It’s not every day that you can say you were a part of history. On November 13-14, the world will come together to demand our global leaders act on climate change and set us on the path to a better future. Join us for 24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth.

~ Learn more at The Climate Reality Project

America’s Endless Killing Spree


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FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2015 file photo, the charred remains of the Doctors Without Borders hospital is seen after it was hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The Army Green Berets who called in the deadly strike on the Doctors without Borders trauma center in Afghanistan were aware it was a functioning hospital but believed it was under Taliban control, raising questions about whether the air strike violated international law.. (Najim Rahim via AP)

Charred remains of room in trauma hospital run by Doctors Without Borders
Kunduz – Afghanistan – October 3, 2015
Photo Credit: Daily Mail/Associated Press

At home and abroad, Americans are on a killing spree. I struggle to understand what’s driving our propensity to violence. As a nation, we also seem to have become numb to this violence.

We do little to nothing to address the scourge of young, white, male loners who go on killing sprees in our schools, colleges, cinemas, and other public places. Our guns, it seems, are more sacred than the lives of our children.

Then there are cases of policemen who go rogue. What’s more, they show a preference for African American targets. Anything – even daring to look at them – is an excuse for killing. Peaceful demonstrators against such injustices must face a police force armed for war. Continue reading

Climate Disruption: Thought of the Week


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Our Generation Our Choice Mobilization 9 November 2015 - March Route

March Route – Mobilization for Justice – Washington DC – 9 November 2015
Source: Our Generation Our Choice

Our Generation, Our Choice: Mobilization for Justice November 9, 2015

“As young people, we have the right and the power to create the world we would like to see — a world which sustains life; a world which does not discriminate, commit violence, or value a life less based on race or class, nationality or immigrant status. The need to see these changes come about has never been so urgent…”

~ Sophia Zaia in her blog post on why she’s joining the Our Generation, Our Choice mobilization.

“Common Poem” by Brazilian Poet Graça Vilhena


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Teresina Gardens with Karnak Palace - State of Piaui

Saint Benedict Church seen from the Gardens of the Karnak Palace
Teresina – State of Piauí – Northeast Brazil
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

My Poetry Corner November 2015 features the poem “Common Poem” (Poema Comum) by contemporary Brazilian poet Graça Vilhena, professor of Classical Portuguese Literature in Teresina, capital of her home state of Piauí. Her poetry, simple in its expression, tells stories of ordinary people in their everyday lives.

In “Common Poem,” Graça Vilhena uses poetic sensibility to address prostitution – affecting the most vulnerable, destitute children and adolescents – in Piauí and across Brazil. The first stanza describes the young woman, the central character of her poem. Continue reading

Climate Disruption: Thought of the Week


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2015 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

2015 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge
Photo Credit: Fast Company

Ninth Grader Invented Prototype to Tap Energy from Ocean Currents

Fifteen-year-old Hannah Herbst from Boca Raton, Florida, is the winner of the 2015 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Herbst created an energy probe prototype that seeks to offer a stable power source to developing countries by using untapped energy from ocean currents.

~ Press Release, Discovery Education and 3M announce 2015 Science Competition Winner, Young Scientist Challenge, October 26, 2015.

Blue Sky for Guyana?


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Blue Sky over the Georgetown Seawall and Shore - Guyana

Blue Sky over the Georgetown Seawall and Shore – Guyana
Photo Credit: Joel Oleson /Traveling Epic! Blog

Growing up in pre- and post-independent Guyana, I had a tough mother with a vision of a better future for me and my four siblings. Without inherited wealth or property, her hope for securing our future lay in a good education. To achieve her goal, she worked long hours at home as a seamstress. No sacrifice was too great.

My mother was not unique. The majority of poor working class parents shared her vision. United in their determination to free themselves from British exploitation and rule, they were prepared to risk their lives by taking part in street demonstrations and workers’ strikes.

But the British were no fools. On granting us independence, they not only ensured that our young nation would remain tied to their navel-string, but they also set us up to fail. You see, we fell for their bait of racial divisiveness. Up to today, the descendants of African slaves and East Indian indentured laborers still harbor mistrust, hatred, and fear of the other. Continue reading


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