Paradise, CA one year after the fire

Kendra Walters is a friend from western Iowa who has spent many summers in Paradise with her family. A year ago, the worst wildfire in California history devastated Paradise. Kendra has shared with me her family’s perspective on that trauma, and regularly updates me. Here’s a bit of what she’s shared:

“‘Then traffic stopped. The fire was so bad that both sides of the road were fully ablaze and covering the road with flames. I touched my window and the glass was so hot it burned my fingers. I called my boyfriend in case it was the last time I heard him talk. He tried to keep me calm, but I could hear he was scared, too. I screamed for traffic to move and honked and begged the drivers to start moving. I sobbed as I sat in the flames and realized I might not make it out. Continue Reading →

Sheila Knoploh-Odole for City Council

A whole lot of fine candidates have thrown their hats into the ring. But one candidate stands out: Sheila Knoploh-Odole. 

Why Sheila? She’s the only candidate laser-beam focused on creating local strategies for climate resilience. You’ll hear a lot of talk from candidates about potholes, and sure, that’s important. But potholes aren’t a threat to human existence. Sheila discusses potholes, water, housing, immigration, and mental health — but she connects these issues to the existential threat of climate change. Continue Reading →

Understanding the Syrian conflict

No foreign policy morass is more complicated, nor more tragic, than Syria. Michel Younadam, a good friend from Homs, Syria, joins us on this week’s Forum to discuss the state of affairs in his homeland.

According to a United Nations report, “5,000 people flee Syria every day, and 28% of its population has now been driven from their homes. There are now 9 million Syrians who have fled, and 6.5 million who have been displaced but stay in the country.” Continue Reading →

Alaska’s inaction on climate taken to court

On this week’s Fallon Forum, I interview Kat Haber and Bob Shavelson. Kat was a participant in the 2014 Great March for Climate Action, and remains vocal and active on a number of climate fronts. Bob is an attorney, and his two daughters are plaintiffs in the Sinnok v. State of Alaska lawsuit.

The suit was filed by sixteen young Alaskans against the State of Alaska, Governor Dunleavy, and five state agencies. The lead plaintiff, Esau Sinnok, lives in Shishmaref, a small coastal community that has seen extreme erosion in recent years due to climate-induced ice melt. Continue Reading →

Iowa Climate Defenders Five go to trial

“Given the absolute urgency of the climate crisis and our concern about a million species that will soon be extinct if we don’t act to reverse this crisis immediately, we felt totally justified to be there and to confront Republican donors and the president himself to take action to address climate change, before it’s too late,” said Miriam Kashia of 100 Grannies for a Livable Future, one of the five arrested. Continue Reading →

A Conversation with Marianne Williamson

Williamson is a different kind of presidential candidate. Yeah, I know, so is Donald Trump. But think of everything you don’t like about Trump (sure, long list) and Williamson is pretty much the opposite. Continue Reading →

How Dare We!

Greta Thunberg spoke at the United Nations Climate Action Summit yesterday. “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood!” roared Thunberg to the world leaders gathered for the Summit. “People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

Indeed, how dare they. The Summit, was convened to garner commitments for more aggressive action against climate change, and it did not go well. While some smaller nations stepped up to the plate with deeper, though still inadequate, commitments, the three biggest greenhouse gas emitters — the United States, China, and India — failed miserably. Continue Reading →