Jews know what Bigotry and Injustice look like!

Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 10.48.00 AM

By Shoshana Hershkowitz:

“I am tired of being gaslit by my government. Seeing an American political party attempt to weaponize my family’s history enrages me in a deeply personal way. The arrogance of the Republican Party trying to tell me what anti-Semitism is, when there are literally two Jewish Republicans in the entire US Congress (2 in the House, zero in the Senate) is astounding.

I’m not much of a statistician, but let’s talk stats for a minute. Only one in six American Jews identifies as Republican. More than 79% of American Jews cast their votes for Democratic candidates in 2018. We voted for Democrats at a higher rate than Evangelical Christians voted for Republicans. So the idea of someone like Senator Steve Daines from Montana purporting to know what a Jewish person like me thinks is preposterous. That dude wouldn’t know what to do with hummus if I handed it to him on the fucking pita itself.

And let’s talk about Israel, since every Republican politician seems to think they know something about it. It seems like they missed some important facts, The reason I’m never going to support a Republican is that they continue to deny the American people what my Israeli family has: universal healthcare, affordable public college, gun safety laws, and paid maternity leave. They don’t get to tell me what Israel’s all about when they don’t even have a clue what its citizens get from their government.

Let’s talk about Israel some more, because Republicans seems to think that’s the only thing Jews care about. Which by the way, is anti Semitic in itself. I’m an American citizen. I care deeply about Israel, but I’m capable of caring about Israel while voting based on what I’d like to see happen in the nation I’m raising my family in. Assuming I vote on one issue and one issue alone insults my intelligence. And since you lump all Jews together, you should remember that Albert Einstein was Jewish. And my guess is that he was not a one issue voter. Neither am I, or most American Jews.

And last but not least, Jews know what bigotry and injustice looks and feels like. So when I see Republicans justify the atrocities against migrants at the border, when I see them practice xenophobia against Muslims, and racism against blacks, I identify with these oppressed groups far more than with the oppressor. Because we’ve been there. I don’t want anyone else to experience it on my watch.

So, in conclusion, I find far more solidarity with #TheSquad, a group of black and brown progressive women, than I ever will with the Republican Party. I’ve already been called a self hating Jew (and much worse) by lots of Pete King and Lee Zeldin supporters. It’s funny how these two members of Congress, who claim to fight anti Semitsm, allow it to flourish on their pages, isn’t it? But that’s the cognitive dissonance of being the party of Trump. And it’s why the Republican Party, try as they might to use people like me as a human shield against the just accusations of bigotry, ain’t never gonna get my vote.”

Posted in bigotry, israel, Religion & tolerance, Trump, Trump atrocities, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Children in the Camps

Submitted by Shoshana Hershkowitz

Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 9.54.44 AM

Picture drawn by child in our border camps.

I am haunted every day by the images of children in the camps. I am haunted by the pictures they draw, which bear a frightening resemblance to those in the book, “I Never Saw Another Butterfly”, drawn by the 15,000 children who were imprisoned in Terezin before dying at Auschwitz.

Mostly, I’m haunted as I go through the tasks of everyday life with my own children. As I put lotion on my son’s mosquito bites, as I go and lay down with my daughter when she wakes up from a nightmare. As I take them to  swim lessons, to play dates, as they play on the street. I’m haunted by the normalcy of our lives in these abnormal times, where #NeverAgain is now.

My mind is constantly in conflict. On the outside, I am trying to give my children the life they and all children deserve, one where they feel loved, secure, and joyful. When they cry, I hold them. When they want to talk about their feelings, I listen. When they want me to notice what they’re doing, I enthusiastically cheer them on. It’s what parents do. And as I do it, I think about those kids in the camps. Those kids who haven’t had a shower, a change of clothes, a warm blanket, a hug, an adult to care for them. And as I look at my own children, I am haunted. There are tears in my eyes as I hug them, listen to them, put band aids on their scrapes, because I know that this crime against humanity is happening in my country, and here I am, relatively unscathed, privileged.

I don’t know how we end this madness. I write, I call, I protest, I donate, I organize, I vote. It doesn’t feel like enough. It’s not enough. I think we need sustained collective outrage, the kind that ended the Vietnam War, the kind that happened during the Civil Rights Movement. Those families deserve our collective outrage. Our democratic experiment requires that outrage. It’s failing, and I think we are failing it.

I think this will only end when each of us who still has a conscience that transcends our political affiliations tunes in to that twinge  we’re feeling when we see those pictures. Too often, we push those feelings down, shove the discomfort away to focus on what’s in front of us. Don’t ignore the twinge. Don’t look away. Be haunted. That’s your humanity speaking to you. It’s asking you to care and to act. Because #NeverAgain is now.

Shoshana Hershkowitz

Posted in Family Issues, family separations, Health Care, ICE, immigration/deportation, Religion & tolerance, Trump, Trump atrocities, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Psychology of Trump Supporters

Bobby Azarian Ph.D.  posted several months ago “A Complete Psychological Analysis of Trump’s Support” to help make sense of Trump’s apparent invincibility.

We should try and understand the emotinal underpinnings of those that we find difficult to rationally speak to or correspond with.  For example, if volunteers are to engage in “deep canvassing” as discussed elsewhere on this blog, they need to understand what motivates the people they are talking with.

Azarian’s piece in the respectable journal Psychology Today is itself a summary of many publications in the psychology literature.  It is interesting.  It lists 14 categories which Trump supporters may fall in to.  Here is a brief version, but feel free to read the full text and look at a video on Terror Management Theory by Azarian.


1. Practicality Trumps Morality

For some wealthy people, it’s simply a financial matter. Trump offers tax cuts for the rich and wants to do away with government regulation that gets in the way of businessmen making money, even when that regulation exists for the purpose of protecting the environment. Others, like blue-collared workers, like the fact that the president is trying to bring jobs back to America from places like China. Some people who genuinely are not racist (those who are will be discussed later) simply want stronger immigration laws because they know that a country with open borders is not sustainable. These people have put their practical concerns above their moral ones. To them, it does not make a difference if he’s a vagina-grabber, or if his campaign team colluded with Russia to help him defeat his political opponent. It is unknown whether these people are eternally bound to Trump in the way others are, but we may soon find…

2. The Brain’s Attention System Is More Strongly Engaged by Trump

According to a study that monitored brain activity while participants watched 40 minutes of political ads and debate clips from the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is unique in his ability to keep the brain engaged. While Hillary Clinton could only hold attention for so long, Trump kept both attention and emotional arousal high throughout the viewing session. This pattern of activity was seen even when Trump made remarks that individuals didn’t necessarily agree with. His showmanship and simple language clearly resonate with some at a visceral level.

3. America’s Obsession with Entertainment and Celebrities

Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America’s addiction to entertainment and reality TV. To some, it doesn’t matter what Trump actually says because he’s so amusing to watch. With the Donald, you are always left wondering what outrageous thing he is going to say or do next. He keeps us on the edge of our seat, and for that reason, some Trump supporters will forgive anything he says. They are happy as long as they are kept entertained.

4. “Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn.”

Some people are supporting Trump simply to be rebellious or to introduce chaos into the political system. They may have such distaste for the establishment and democrats like Hillary Clinton that their support for Trump is a symbolic middle finger directed at Washington. These people may have other issues, like an innate desire to troll others or an obsession with schadenfreude.

5. The Fear Factor: Conservatives Are More Sensitive to Threat

Science has  shown that the conservative brain has an exaggerated fear response when faced with stimuli that may be perceived as threatening. A 2008 study in the prestigious journal Science found that conservatives have a stronger physiological reaction to startling noises and graphic images compared to liberals. A brain-imaging study published in Current Biology revealed that those who lean right politically tend to have a larger amygdala — a structure that is electrically active during states of fear and anxiety. And a 2014 fMRI study found that it is possible to predict whether someone is a liberal or conservative simply by looking at their brain activity while they view threatening or disgusting images, such as mutilated bodies. Specifically, the brains of self-identified conservatives generated more activity overall in response to the disturbing images.

These brain responses are automatic and not influenced by logic or reason. As long as Trump continues to portray Muslims and Hispanic immigrants as imminent threats, many conservative brains will involuntarily light up like light bulbs being controlled by a switch. Fear keeps his followers energized and focused on safety. And when you think you’ve found your protector, you become less concerned with offensive and divisive remarks.

6. The Power of Mortality Reminders and Perceived Existential Threat

A well-supported theory from social psychology, known as Terror Management Theory, explains why Trump’s fear mongering is doubly effective. The theory is based on the fact that humans have a unique awareness of their own mortality. The inevitably of one’s death creates existential terror and anxiety that is always residing below the surface. In order to manage this terror, humans adopt cultural worldviews — like religions, political ideologies, and national identities — that act as a buffer by instilling life with meaning and value.

Terror Management Theory predicts that when people are reminded of their own mortality, which happens with fear mongering, they will more strongly defend those who share their worldviews and national or ethnic identity, and act out more aggressively towards those who do not. Hundreds of studies have supported this hypothesis, and some have specifically shown that triggering thoughts of death tends to shift people towards the right.

Not only do death reminders increase nationalism, they may influence voting habits in favor of more conservative candidates. And more disturbingly, in a study with American students, scientists found that making mortality salient increased support for extreme military interventions by American forces that could kill thousands of civilians overseas. Interestingly, the effect was present only in conservatives.

By constantly emphasizing existential threat, Trump may be creating a psychological condition that makes the brain respond positively rather than negatively to bigoted statements and divisive rhetoric.

In the video, the author expands and offers a potential solution to the problem.

7. The Dunning-Kruger Effect: Humans Often Overestimate Their Political Expertise

Some who support Donald Trump are under-informed or misinformed about the issues at hand. When Trump tells them that crime is skyrocketing in the United States, or that the economy is the worst it’s ever been, they simply take his word for it.

The Dunning-Kruger effect explains that the problem isn’t just that they are misinformed; it’s that they are completely unaware that they are misinformed, which creates a double burden.

Studies have shown that people who lack expertise in some area of knowledge often have a cognitive bias that prevents them from realizing that they lack expertise. As psychologist David Dunning puts it in an op-ed for Politico, “The knowledge and intelligence that are required to be good at a task are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at that task — and if one lacks such knowledge and intelligence, one remains ignorant that one is not good at the task. This includes political judgment.” These people cannot be reached because they mistakenly believe they are the ones who should be reaching others.

8. Relative Deprivation — A Misguided Sense of Entitlement

Relative deprivation refers to the experience of being deprived of something to which one believes they are entitled. It is the discontent felt when one compares their position in life to others who they feel are equal or inferior but have unfairly had more success than them.

Common explanations for Trump’s popularity among non-bigoted voters involve economics. There is no doubt that some Trump supporters are simply angry that American jobs are being lost to Mexico and China, which is certainly understandable, although these loyalists often ignore the fact that some of these careers are actually being lost due to the accelerating pace of automation.

These Trump supporters are experiencing relative deprivation, and are common among the swing states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. This kind of deprivation is specifically referred to as “relative,” as opposed to “absolute,” because the feeling is often based on a skewed perception of what one is entitled to.

9. Lack of Exposure to Dissimilar Others

Intergroup contact refers to contact with members of groups that are outside one’s own, which has been experimentally shown to reduce prejudice. As such, it’s important to note that there is growing evidence that Trump’s white supporters have experienced significantly less contact with minorities than other Americans. For example, a 2016 study found that “…the racial and ethnic isolation of Whites at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” This correlation persisted while controlling for dozens of other variables. In agreement with this finding, the same researchers found that support for Trump increased with the voters’ physical distance from the Mexican border. These racial biases might be more implicit than explicit, the latter which is addressed in #14.

10. Trump’s Conspiracy Theories Target the Mentally Vulnerable

While the conspiracy theory crowd — who predominantly support Donald Trump and crackpot allies like Alex Jones and the shadowy QAnon — may appear to just be an odd quirk of modern society, some of them may suffer from psychological illnesses that involve paranoia and delusions, such as schizophrenia, or are at least vulnerable to them, like those with schizotypy personalities.

The link between schizotypy and belief in conspiracy theories is well-established, and a recent study published in the journal Psychiatry Research has demonstrated that it is still very prevalent in the population. The researchers found that those who were more likely to believe in outlandish conspiracy theories, such as the idea that the U.S. government created the AIDS epidemic, consistently scored high on measures of “odd beliefs and magical thinking.” One feature of magical thinking is a tendency to make connections between things that are actually unrelated in reality.

Donald Trump and media allies target these people directly. All one has to do is visit alt-right websites and discussion boards to see the evidence for such manipulation.

11. Trump Taps into the Nation’s Collective Narcissism

Collective narcissism is an unrealistic shared belief in the greatness of one’s national group. It often occurs when a group who believes it represents the ‘true identity’ of a nation — the ‘ingroup,’ in this case White Americans — perceives itself as being disadvantaged compared to outgroups who are getting ahead of them ‘unrightfully.’ This psychological phenomenon is related to relative deprivation (#6).

study published last year in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found a direct link between national collective narcissism and support for Donald Trump. This correlation was discovered by researchers at the University of Warsaw, who surveyed over 400 Americans with a series of questionnaires about political and social beliefs. Where individual narcissism causes aggressiveness toward other individuals, collective narcissism involves negative attitudes and aggression toward ‘outsider’ groups (outgroups), who are perceived as threats.

Donald Trump exacerbates collective narcissism with his anti-immigrant, anti-elitist, and strongly nationalistic rhetoric. By referring to his supporters, an overwhelmingly white group, as being “true patriots” or “real Americans,” he promotes a brand of populism that is the epitome of “identity politics,” a term that is usually associated with the political left. Left-wing identity politics, as misguided as they may sometimes be, are generally aimed at achieving equality, while the right-wing brand is based on a belief that one nationality or race is superior or entitled to success and wealth for no other reason than identity.

12. The Desire to Want to Dominate Others

Social dominance orientation (SDO) — which is distinct from but related to authoritarian personality (#13) — refers to people who have a preference for the societal hierarchy of groups, specifically with a structure in which the high-status groups have dominance over the low-status ones. Those with SDO are typically dominant, tough-minded, and driven by self-interest.

In Trump’s speeches, he appeals to those with SDO by repeatedly making a clear distinction between groups that have a generally higher status in society (White), and those groups that are typically thought of as belonging to a lower status (immigrants and minorities). A 2016 survey study of 406 American adults published last year in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that those who scored high on both SDO and authoritarianism were more likely to vote for Trump in the election.

13. Authoritarian Personality 

Authoritarianism refers to the advocacy or enforcement of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom, and is commonly associated with a lack of concern for the opinions or needs of others. Authoritarian personality is characterized by belief in total and complete obedience to authority. Those with this personality often display aggression toward outgroup members, submissiveness to authority, resistance to new experiences, and a rigid hierarchical view of society. Authoritarianism is often triggered by fear, making it easy for leaders who exaggerate threat or fear monger to gain their allegiance.

Although authoritarian personality is found among liberals, it is more common among the right-wing around the world. President Trump’s speeches, which are laced with absolutist terms like “losers” and “complete disasters,” are naturally appealing to those with such a personality.

While research showed that Republican voters in the U.S. scored higher than Democrats on measures of authoritarianism before Trump emerged on the political scene, a 2016 Politico survey found that high authoritarians greatly favored then-candidate Trump, which led to a correct prediction that he would win the election, despite the polls saying otherwise.

14. Racism and Bigotry

It would be grossly unfair and inaccurate to say that every one of Trump’s supporters have prejudice against ethnic and religious minorities, but it would be equally inaccurate to say that few do. The Republican party, going at least as far back to Richard Nixon’s “southern strategy,” has historically used tactics that appealed to bigotry, such as lacing speeches with “dog whistles” — code words that signaled prejudice toward minorities that were designed to be heard by racists but no one else.

While the dog whistles of the past were subtler, Trump’s signaling is sometimes shockingly direct. There’s no denying that he routinely appeals to racist and bigoted supporters when he calls Muslims “dangerous” and Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “murderers,” often in a blanketed fashion. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a recent study has shown that support for Trump is correlated with a standard scale of modern racism.


Posted in bigotry, Canvassing, gangs, GOP, ICE, immigration/deportation, Religion & tolerance, Travel Ban, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Attacks on Science


From Jenny Mulligan:

Attacks on Science

The Trump administration and 115th Congress have been actively dismantling science-based health and safety protections, sidelining scientific evidence, and undoing recent progress on scientific integrity.

We’ve seen this movie before. And we know how to fight back. We’re standing up for science. We’re inviting scientists to securely share information on scientific integrity abuses. And we’re encouraging our supporters to watchdog this administration and Congress, as we did during the George W. Bush administration and the Barack Obama administration.

Below is a running list of attacks on science—disappearing data, silenced scientists, and other assaults on scientific integrity and science-based policy. The list provides a representative sample of threats to the federal scientific enterprise.

Beyond this list, many other moves by the president and Congress degrade the environment for science and scientists in this country. For example, the president’s Muslim ban hurts science and scientists, including those working for the federal government.These actions are also important to document, and we continue do so on the UCS blog.

Share these stories on social media.  Tell us about case studies you think we should add through these encrypted channels.


White House officials stopped scientific information on climate change from being submitted in a written testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.

The EPA is ignoring scientists who say that data does not support its decision that several southeastern Wisconsin counties had not violated air pollution standards.

The CPSC did not consider scientific evidence in a decision to not recall a jogging baby stroller shown to harm children.



Here is what you can do about it:

  1. share this with your friends and social media contacts
Posted in Health Care, science, Uncategorized, vaccines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Save the Children

Contributed by James Ewing (Watermill, NY).

Watch this powerful video from the border where Alyssa Milano is broadcasting live:

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 2.29.31 PM.png

Over the past year approximately 400,000 migrants have been detained by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP).They are primarily from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders recently said that the Border Patrol is holding 15,000 people, and the agency considers 4,000 to be at capacity.

On any given day, 2,000 children are in Border Patrol custody, and the problems are hardly confined to one facility…Legally, they’re not supposed to be held by border agents for more than 72 hours before being sent to the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for finding their nearest relative in the US to house them while their immigration cases are adjudicated.

Almost all of these children have family members, including parents, in the United States, who are able to and want to take care of their children.

At the Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas, some of the children are going weeks without enough food, water, or hygienic sanitation. Researchers report that kids are sick, caring for each other, and lack baths and diapers.

These kids and teens are being forcibly separated from their families. Which, in spite of Trump’s repeated claims to the contrary, has not been the norm in previous administrations.

Unlike privately contracted child detention facilities (which charge the US taxpayer up to $750 a day per child), Border Patrol stations like the Clint Detention Facilty, are federal facilities, exempt from state health and safety standards, according to Texas Department of Health and Human Services spokesman John Reynolds. Child abuse and neglect investigators are not allowed to investigate the stations because they not licensed by the state.

Law professor Warren Binford, saw a 4-year-old with hair so matted and dirty she thought it would have to be cut off. The child had not bathed in more than a week, she said. She witnessed a 14-year-old caring for a 2-year-old without a diaper, shrugging as the baby urinated as they sat at a table because she did not know what to do. Here, in a warehouse filled with filthy kids who had not bathed in days, some with lice and influenza, it was kids taking care of kids. There was no soap. And when she tried to find baby food, there was none of that, either. All they had was instant oatmeal for breakfast, instant soup for lunch and a frozen burrito for dinner, “every single day,”

The Trump administration argued before a Ninth Circuit panel Tuesday that the government is not required to give soap or toothbrushes to children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border and can have them sleep on concrete floors in frigid, overcrowded cells, despite a settlement agreement that requires detainees be kept in “safe and sanitary” facilities.

A 14-year-old girl from Guatemala said she had been holding two little girls in her lap.
“I need comfort, too. I am bigger than they are, but I am a child, too,” she said.

“She’s suffering very much because she’s never been alone. She doesn’t know these other children,” said her father.

“Try to imagine what it’s like for these children, not as a parent, but as one of the children.  To be hungry, without anyone to help you, to be abandoned to filth with no way to get clean, to be trying to take care of yourself and children who are even younger that you are, to be confused about what might happen next and to be terrified that you will never be loved or cared for by anyone again.” (Unknown Field notes)

“In my 22 years of doing visits with children I have never heard of this level of inhumanity”— Holly Cooper—UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic

While existing aid levels to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras will not be reduced this year, the Trump administration “will not provide new funds for programs in those countries until we are satisfied that the Northern Triangle governments are taking concrete actions to reduce the number of migrants coming to the U.S. border, said State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus. ‘This is consistent with the president’s direction and with the recognition that it is critical that there be sufficient political will in these countries to address the problem at its source.’ ” Washington AP 6/18/1

At least 24 adults and 6 children have died in US custody under Trump’s border policies.

“The death of a child is always a terrible thing, but here is a situation where, because there is not enough funding they can’t move the people out of our custody,” says outgoing CPB Commissioner John Sanders.

The victims from upper left (clockwise): Wilmer(2), Darlyn (10), Carlos (16)  ,Mariee (20 mos), Felipe (8), and Juan (16)

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 2.51.16 PM.png

By the way, Perry Gershon has it right regarding potential solutions.

Lee Zeldin parrots the Trump and FOX line.  What a disaster.  Think about it in November 2020.

Here is what one Candaian thinks:


Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 3.14.19 PM

and here is what you can do right now:

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 3.14.36 PM

Posted in Civil Rights, Family Issues, ICE, immigration/deportation, perry gershon, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Thank you for caring.” The benefits of changing your mind about climate.

Thank You for Caring.   Her clear, youthful voice floated up to the trees above us.  Sincere words of a college freshman, Ashley Ambrocio, who had stepped up to the mic, smiling, soft brown curls escaping her pulled back hair.   It was a Friday noon, about 75 of us were assembled at Southampton Town Hall park, a show of support for students striking world-wide for climate action.

What did she mean?  I looked around.  We were writers, artists, a retired school principal, a minister, a surfer, a landscaper, a nuclear engineer, gathered for a rally.  A white pickup, bannered with Drawdown East End Global Climate Strike, parked earlier in the circular drive, worked as a message-backdrop for our speakers.  Dorothy Reilly, Drawdown East End’s originator had scouted the spot, and I had helped color in her lettering. The mostly white-haired crowd was dotted with about a dozen school age kids. They brought home painted signs: Help fight against global warming.  Save the environment.  Ashley’s was neon pink.

Thank you for caring.  I started.  Maybe these young people think we don’t care?  Our silence.  Our inability to focus on climate change.  To talk about it.  That we don’t care?  Not caring, avoiding, doing nothing — will this be our generational legacy?


Her words seemed a wake up call, like one of those hashtags twittering around the globe, communiques from her generation alerting us to the crisis, the urgent need to act — #FridaysForFuture #ActOnClimate — to create conversation, community, connection.

Ashley spoke about the need to talk about the climate crisis.  Make it real.  I leaned in to catch her words.  She sounded upbeat, appreciating our support. That we wanted to do something.

“Staying home and complaining will not change anything, but coming out to these events can,” she said to the East Hampton Star, and to the East End Beacon.

This is Drawdown East End.

Or one sliver of it anyway.

One slice of the pie — a rally, a film festival being planned, a community compost in the works — rays streaming from a central hub, activated by a core concern, the heart of something called Drawdown. 

Have you ever read a book or watched a talk that gave you an “aha” moment — changed the way you viewed a situation, helped you solve a seemingly unsolvable problem?    

img_1945-1That is what happened to me, and many of us who spoke at that May Friday gathering.  A stunning new book has radically changed our view of the climate crisis.  Crisis yes, but do nothing?  No.  Why not see this as an opportunity — to build, innovate and effect change? Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming tells us how. 

Yes.  Reverse.  

Fact:  We have existing today methods and practices when scaled up can not only reduce our overload of atmospheric carbon, but draw it down to safe levels.  It’s the power of scale. 

 Drawdown in a Nutshell.

For the curious Project Drawdown complete with useful tedtalks and podcasts, gives a fuller picture of an interlocking and very do-able system.  What is Drawdown?  My 3-point synopsis:

  • the point in time where carbon begins to draw down from the atmosphere to safe healthy levels.  It is a reachable goal. 
  • a path, a roadmap  — 100 top solutions, best-practices and technologies we already use now, when scaled up can achieve drawdown (in two ways: 1) not emit carbon by substitution with clean energy, efficiency, reduction, conservation, and 2) bring carbon overload down and sequestered back into soils.)  Actions that can be taken personally, locally, and on a national level that all fit together to reverse global warming. 
  • a philosophy — a new way of seeing.  As Hawken says in a NYT interview, “a primary goal” of his research, book, and website “is to help people who feel overwhelmed by gloom-and-doom messages see that reversing global warming is bursting with possibility.” He sees this moment as an invitation to invent and create, to move into a renewable energy economy humming with innovation, and its cascading health and security benefits.  Rather than game over, it’s “Game on!”

I didn’t know much about Paul Hawken, the editor who summoned over 200 leading scientists, economists and research fellows to peer-review the 100 reversing solutions, but gardeners know him from Smith & Hawken fame.  He is also author of a popular college textbook, The Ecology of Commerce.  His compendium of carbon-drawdown fixes complete with benefit and cost analysis is very credible.

Game On.

So a cluster of us are meeting at the Southampton Library to discuss ways to bring Drawdown into our lives.  It surprised us to learn that the top 100 solutions are both tech and non tech. Some are focused on wind, solar, building materials and refrigerants (i.e. tech), others, amazed that non-tech fixes are equally important, are delving into the chapters on food, farming and forestry, even, yes, educating girls. (More on this in future posts.) 

The exciting part is realizing our personal acts matter. What we do daily can lead to drawdown.  It’s a bit like learning a new language, or seeing through a new frame, “through the lens of Drawdown” says Dorothy. 

For example, a big piece of the carbon puzzle is food waste.   Did you know that in the US we waste 1/3 of our food?  Thus reducing food waste is ranked as Drawdown Solution #3 reducing 70.53 carbon gigatons.   If we started to reduce our food waste, just by 50%, we would reach drawdown. If we do it better, we reach it faster.  Again, the power of scale. 

Here’s another big pay off.  Once you see drawdown as visible, a reachable goal, how all the dots are connected, the true costs and benefits of our actions and inactions, the power of our purchases, then you can make meaningful choices about how you want to live.  You start to see how what you do leads to (or not) drawdown.  In many cases you find it’s healthier, cheaper and, you know, kind of fun and creative.   Choose a food or energy remedy, make it a habit, tell your friends about it, call it a drawdown solution and, then, see if the millennials in your life, who have so much to lose by our silence and inaction, notice that you care.

Hey, game on!  

What can I do?  

Talk about it.  I find useful Drawdown’s 3 levels of engagement:

1) Personally & with your family  –  First, talk about the climate crisis, hear about how others are feeling.  And while you’re at it, take a stab at reducing your food waste. 

2) Community – talk about it, with your friends, in your community.  Ask your favorite news-source to cover climate crisis solutions.   Actually there is a lot happening locally (including the start-up of a sister Drawdown North Fork.)

3) Worldwide – if you look, you will find lots of good news and conversation including 2040 a new film featuring Drawdown.

Heads up, some upcoming events.

  • Free public series Diving into Drawdown, Rogers Memorial Library, Cooper Hall Board Room, Mondays, September 9, 30, October 7, 28, 2019. Two sessions:  1) Intro into Drawdown 10:30am-11:30am.  2) Solutions Sessions  11:30am -12:30pm. First solution discussion: Energy.  Registration is required: or call 283-0774 x 523.
Posted in climate change, economy, Environment, Paris Climate Accord, science, sustainable energy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Drumbeat of War

John Bolton is at it again.  Watch the video and then please share !



Posted in Trump, Uncategorized, war, Zeldin | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment