smittenbyu: (Sketch)
So, yesterday and today, the temperatures hit 70-75F! Tomorrow, it's going back down to 50s. And the remainder of the week is forecasted to be in the 60s - the WHOLE week. So, woo hoo... love this weather.


POLLEN! The trees are confused. Some have sprouted buds. The pollen count is growing and guess what?! The cold and cough hubby and I have been having?? It's allergies!!! Oh...need to go stock up on Claritin-D before others finish the pharmacy's stock. sigh.

I guess everything comes at a price.

Tomorrow is a holiday and we will be out all day in a forest. Can't wait. 
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sigh.. what a day.

But here's a big loss - UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres to Step Down! She has been nothing short of amazing! She was given the reins of no short feet! She has brought so many divergent people/countries to the table! And she did it! She deserves a good holiday at the beachside in Costa Rica. OK that would be my dream of a well deserved holiday. She deserves a good holiday of her own choice, wherever that might be!

Impossible isn’t a fact; it’s an attitude: Christiana Figueres at TED2016
smittenbyu: (distraught)
In India, my friends/family joke about politicians who get elected who have absolutely no knowledge or experience in the subject matter of running a government! I would half hear their grumbles. They have this image that it's a little better here in the US.

So, here's one who frightens me: Senator James Inhofe! And guess which committee head he has become, Environment & Public Works Committee.

How do they get these positions? Is it at random? Really?! I heard about it a few months ago. I as usual, closed the browser window thinking it was some horrible joke. I was hoping anyway. Alas, as usual it's me in denial.

I doubt with anyone else anything would happen anyway. So, maybe he will provide some comic relief? Again, I am looking at the positive. Trying really hard. Because the alternative is living in fear and dread. 
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Oh so true! My thing to the skeptics who don't think we humans are responsible, that's fine. It doesn't matter if you believe that or not. But what does matter is that climate changes, with humans or without humans. It has been changing for as long as the Earth has been alive. And right now the forecast of changes to come will leave the earth going around the sun just fine.

It's arrogant to think that we who make up a speck on the whole earth's history can cause its demise. But what climate change will do to us, is affect our survival. It's important therefore to be ready for the changes and do what we can to adapt with it to allow the future generations to also survive.

We can no longer deny the interdependence of the world's environment. We cannot just worry about our actions in our immediate neighborhood. Our activities affect people's climate in Africa. By shipping jobs overseas (manufacturing), what we have also shipped abroad is the pollution. India wants to be like China, bring manufacturing jobs into the country. uggh... they don't realize the price tag of that. We often don't see the real China, where to enjoy the products of industrialization you have to wear gas masks to breathe. Could you imagine the amount of resources, non-renewable resources needed if 2 billion people want all the things 330 million people enjoy?!

This was a scenario we played out in 1990s in our basic environmental science class. It seemed ever so far away. But my goodness it's here. I hate listening to people who talk about the gloom and doom be it in science or religion. But you know, there's a reason for these gloom and doom scenarios. It's to hope that we will wake up and do something about it.

And to the naysayers to increasing credits/funding for renewable source fuels, etc. WTF?! You are shutting down a possible solution even before trying. Why are oil companies then still enjoying the benefits? Can't we say that they are successful and have had their chance? The whole auto industry got such financial support, with infrastructure building (gas stations), etc. Isn't it time they stopped getting them?

I don't like the cap and trade program. But someone has to pay the price in dollars, since that's the system we have set up for ourselves. And I'd rather die trying to do something about it than not at all. We should be having discussions about solutions. We should not be still debating over whether or not climate change is happening. That's the silliest thing ever heard. Climate changes. It never has and never will stay predictably the same. And those who adapt will be the ones to survive. It's completely in our self-interest to do something about it!


Feb. 15th, 2012 09:59 pm
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I take D to many playgroups. It's a lot of fun to put several toddlers in a room and see what happens. They all want the same toy the one kid discovered. The host often shares how her kid had never shown interest in that toy before, too! Some mothers work very hard to get their kid to share. I have witnessed toddlers get into a complete tug of war over a toy, screaming and shouting. Sometimes, we moms have also had to get into the tug of war to separate the screaming kids. This is an age where they don't understand the concept of sharing.

And yet we try place such importance to it. We keep trying, failing miserably. Once they learnt to share, we forget about how important this skill is in the world.  It seems so trivial, a small thing. But if you see the numerous problems with the world today, it comes down to being unable to share.

Watching the news often makes me realise that not much has changed since toddlerhood.

Last week, I was home, and so watched the Republican Presidential candidates give their speeches at CPAC. I am not a conservative. But it's good to hear what the other side thinks. Additionally, I have low blood pressure and since their no cure for that except for adding salt to my food, this was a good solution. So, I listened.

At one point, Santorum made a claim that "climate change is a leftist scientific conspiracy to destroy America!" And he went on about this group uses the conservatives' sentimentality of being good stewards of this earth to gain power. I nearly fell out of my chair. Where has he lived in the last three decades? He referred to the positive correlation between energy consumption and standard of living and therefore we need to stop the "no-growth environmental radicalism".

hmmm... when people make such claims, there really is no way to argue. It leaves no room for a discussion. So, I return to the room this morning where D was enjoying her weekly music and movement class, filled with wild crazy toddlers in a room with lots of colourful balls and two small slides.

The two small slides required them to climb up the two steps and slide down and take turns. Some toddlers played with the colouful balls and quite a few were more excited about the slides. D was excited to crawl up the slide and slide down. We had to teach her that she had to climb up the stairs, slide, then get back of the line and go her turn. So, once she figured that out, everyone was happy!

As adults we also want the same "toy" - a comfortable life, with a house, car, running water, good health, the latest gadgets, and other consumables. But we live in a world where the resources are limited. So, we should relearn what our parents so painstakingly taught us - to share!

smittenbyu: (Default)

In July I attended a seminar where Dr. R. K. Pachauri spoke about Climate Change. It was a real wonderful honour to meet him!

Pachauri  Seminar Smitha
photo by/credit: Anne McDonough 

At a time when everyone is talking about Environment, Health, Safety, Climate Change, Responsible Care, Energy Crisis, Economic Meltdown, Sustainability, etc, at a recent sustainability seminar here in DCthat I attended had a talk by Dr.R.K.Pachauri on “Status of Global Climatic Change Negotiations".

The audience included CEOs of MNCs, members of the US Department of State, non-profit/NGOs, members of the Congress and media. His talk could not have come at a better time with the US Congress debating the Climate Bill, the just completed G8 summit, the G20 and the Copenhagen meet coming up, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's India visit!

Honours sit lightly on Dr Pachauri who is the co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace. He also serves as the Director-General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi, India and has recently been appointed to lead the newly established Yale Climate and Energy Institute. A scientist first, he radiates great humility and has the patience to hear out diverse opinions and the capacity to listen without throwing judgements - qualities which make him the ideal candidate for being the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change.

His talk was insightful, the questions from the audience interesting, and his response even more informative that the two hours just wasn't enough to cover the many topics and ideas people had.

Summary/Highlights from the talk )


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