Saturday, July 28, 2012

Climate Action

The tag line for FSP is "Inquiry • Reflection • Action" and I these seem like guiding principals for lifelong learning for all of us!  What do we know, what does it mean to us, how can we best respond? With the withering heat and crazy rains happening across the planet, climate change is often on my mind and I find I move pretty quickly to action -- the inquiry and reflection parts can stir such panic!  Nevertheless, responsible action requires some clarity about the problem... Here are a few resources I've been drawing on:

Inquiry :  Bill McKibbon's latest piece "Reckoning"  in Rolling Stone lays out the problem and his sense of solution.  If nothing else, it should be read! 

Reflection : As I mentioned earlier, I am reading Joanna Macy's newest book "Active Hope" which could be subtitled "how to not look away."  I'm finding it useful and provocative - a friend and I are going to have a study-supper to discuss it in early September if anyone would like to join us!

Action: There is a lot going on right now.  Kate and I attended the rally at bug light park and found huge comfort in the crowd (100 people showed up!) -- the petition can be signed here.
Tar sands rally in South Portland (photo by Beth Dimond) NRCM

 Tomorrow, New England Activists will protest in front of the New England Conference of Governors' in Burlington.  And next week, Climate Riders will be in Cumberland, preparing for an August 4th action.
Team Maine will take part in the Break the Trailbreaker Pipeline action in Monument Square, Portland from 11am-2pm.  Download flyer (4mb jpg).
Meet us. Come discuss the trailbreaker pipeline’s potential impact on you and all of Maine.
Support us. Make a deadly energy tag detailing what you stand to lose if New England supports the Trailbreaker Pipeline tar sands.  Make a tag at Monument Square.  Email tag to  Mail a tag to Apt. 2, 1439 Congress St, Portland, ME.
Join us. Stand against tar sands oil as we attach our deadly energy tags to the pipeline fence.  Ride your bike with us from Monument Square at 2:00 pm to the source of the Trailbreaker Pipeline, near SMCC Campus.

Many organizations are working together on enviornmental protection in Maine, including the Sierra Club, NRCM & 350.Org -- I get the emails, and tend to do what they ask me.  I appreciate all the criticisms of "clicktivists" but still feel like something is better than nothing right now, and as is true for so many of us, motherhood both fuels and limits my participation.

In the coming year, I'm curious if FSP might get more involved with Interfaith Power and Light which brings a spiritual element to the inquiry?

And, of course, there are the questions about how to best engage kids... that will be tomorrow's post!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rob, Sarah & Cedar's bike trip

If you haven't yet indulged in a few hours of drooling over posts and photos of their incredible bike trip, indulge!

Festival of Nations, This Sunday

SUNDAY July 29,2012,
Deering Oaks Park
Portland, Maine
11:00AM – 7:00PM

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Does FSP need a tool library?

From the Center for a New American Dream :
FREE Webinar!
Starting a Tool Library

Join us on Thursday, August 9, at 2:00 p.m. EST for a FREE webinar on how to launch a community tool library.

Speakers from successful tool libraries around the country will share how they obtained funding and resources, and will answer your questions about how you can launch a tool library in your own town!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Are we doing enough to teach our children digital citizenship?

This recent link at The CyberWise Daily on a new YouTube curriculum on digital literacy prompted me back to thinking about this topic. 

While my own eight year old child still has just fledging interest in Internet content (restricted to looking at YouTube videos of model trains or Legos and watching Netflix episodes of "Flying Wild Alaska" or "World's Toughest Fixes"), my husband and I are very aware of how we are and will continue to age-appropriately teach him to be a safe, smart, and hopefully, socially active digital citizen. 

This is an arena of parenting/education that I hope we can work collaboratively on with our school's administrators and teachers, as well.  I believe that we are very fortunate to have the most conducive environment within our Quaker school in which to incorporate what is another literacy - digital literacy.  Our children learn explicitly and implicitly every day and in many ways the Quaker values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, stewardship, and truth.  What better way, than with this strong set of values, to approach the expertise and creativity (and yes, the dark side) of our global community that expresses itself via the Internet? 

We have the perfect framework for this part of our children's education to work hand-in-hand with our school.  And while there certainly are dangers and inappropriate content to be found, it is our responsibility to teach our children how to use this powerful tool, just as we teach them to drive cars and say no to drugs.  It is our responsibility to give our children information (give trust) and stay in a positive relationship with them as their "soft place to fall" (receive trust), and know that these things will keep them safe and smart.

Here are a few other resources to look at, if you have not already been immersed in this yourself: 
Digital Literacy and Citizenship Classroom Curriculum from Common Sense Media
Digital Literacy from

What are your views?
Photo credit:  Microsoft Office graphics

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rainbow Toys 20% off Thursday

Rainbow Toys is celebrating 20 years in business! To show our appreciation of your business, we are offering you 20% off storewide on Thursday, July 26th!  Please come help us celebrate this special event and enjoy savings on all of your favorite items.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tar Sands & Active Hope

As regular blog readers know -- as anyone who knows me knows - I am struggling under the mighty weight that consciousness about climate change brings.  It is easy to resist knowing and very hard to accept the likely consequences that we and our children will live with going forward because of human choices.  The sweet spot is to maintain an active stance, not to be paralyzed with despair nor overly glib or dismissive of what we know to be true.  And that stance is as hard as any yoga pose could be, for me.  I am just starting a new book by Joanna Macy on the topic - it is called Active Hope and I'd love to have an FSP parents bookclub around it!  And, we have an opportunity to come together with others -- a coalition of Maine environmental groups, including 350Maine and NRCM - to protest a specific and concrete action : the development of a pipeline for moving tar sands oil through Maine. 

Please check out the Facebook Event Page & RSVP to NRCM

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 -- 6:00pm until 7:00pm in EDT

  • Join us at the lighthouse in Bug Light Park in South Portland for a rally in opposition to pumping dirty tar sands oil thorugh Maine and in to Casco Bay! Please come dressed in all black for a "human oil spill".

    On July 25, 2012, 840,000 gallons of tar sands crude spilled in to the Kalamazoo River in Michigan devastating the environment and economy. We cannot let this happen in Maine.

    The Portland-Montreal Pipeline currently pumps conventional crude oil from tanker ships in Casco Bay north to Qubec. Now, Enbridge is considering to reverse the flow of the pipeline; to start pumping tar sands oil from Quebec to Casco Bay. A tar sands oil spill in Casco Bay would devastate Portland working waterfront.   Join us for a rally and protest against pumping tar sands through Maine! 

Ice Skating & Stories by the Garden

We are HOT and in browsing possible things to do this week found that Falmouth Family Ice is offering public skating most mornings -- I've always thought summer skating would be fun - hoping I can tempt my offspring before we attend Wednesday's Stories by the Garden with Michael Wingfield, the percussionist who wowed us all during the winter visiting artists workshops...   What else are folks doing to keep cool?

Monday, July 2, 2012

"Are Family Vacations Worth It?"

Click here for an interesting collection of viewpoints from The New York Times on the traditional family summer vacation!  Where do you fall on the opinion spectrum this summer...?