All posts tagged Sustainability

It started with a group of maps a friend shared on Facebook…

So Michael and I began to recall similar maps we’d read about in recent studies and decided to put together a larger collection to show the correlations. So without further comment…

Poverty Rate by State

Senior Citizens Living in Poverty

Low Income Students by State

Graduation Rates by State

Diabetes and Obesity in Adults

Child Obesity by State

Adult Obesity

Life Expectancy Decline in Women

Preterm Births by State

Teen Birth Rate – 2010

Billion Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters 1980 – 2011

Baptist Christianity

Church and Synagogue Attendance by State

2011 Gallup – Republicans by State

Preliminary Results of the 2012 Presidential Election

Corporal Punishment in the United States

Voter Turnout by State

Presidential Votes 1992 – 2004

Subsidy by State

Property Crime by State

State Marriage Laws – 2012

Incarceration Rates by State

Thanks, Ann Giese!

Thanksgiving: A Native American View – by Jacqueline Keeler, member of the Dineh Nation and the Yankton Dakota Sioux – via AlterNet

I celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving. This may surprise those people who wonder what Native Americans think of this official U.S. celebration of the survival of early arrivals in a European invasion that culminated in the death of 10 to 30 million native people. Thanksgiving to
me has never been about Pilgrims. When I was six, my mother, a woman of the Dineh nation, told my sister and me not to sing “Land of the Pilgrim’s pride” in “America the Beautiful.” Our people, she said, had been here much longer and taken much better care of the land. We were to sing “Land of the Indian’s pride” instead. I was proud to sing the new lyrics in school, but I sang softly. It was enough for me to know the difference. At six, I felt I had learned something very important. As a child of a Native American family, you are part of a very select group of survivors, and I learned that my family possessed some “inside” knowledge of what really happened when those poor, tired masses came to our homes.When the Pilgrims came to Plymouth Rock, they were poor and hungry — half of them died within a few months from disease and hunger. When Squanto, a Wampanoag man, found them, they were in a pitiful state. He spoke English, having traveled to Europe, and took pity on them. Their English crops had failed. The native people fed them through the winter and taught them how to grow their food.These were not merely “friendly Indians.” They had already experienced European slave traders raiding their villages for a hundred years or so, and they were wary — but it was their way to give freely to those who had nothing. Among many of our peoples, showing that you can give without holding back is the way to earn respect. Among the Dakota, my father’s people, they say, when asked to give, “Are we not Dakota and alive?” It was believed that by giving there would be enough for all — the exact opposite of the system we live in now, which is based on selling, not giving.To the Pilgrims, and most English and European peoples, the Wampanoags were heathens, and of the Devil. They saw Squanto not as an equal but as an instrument of their God to help his chosen people, themselves. Since that initial sharing, Native American food has spread around the world. Nearly 70 percent of all crops grown today were originally cultivated by Native American peoples. I sometimes wonder what they ate in Europe before they met us. Spaghetti without tomatoes? Meat and potatoes without potatoes? And at the “first Thanksgiving” the Wampanoags provided most of the food — and signed a treaty granting Pilgrims the right to the land at Plymouth, the real reason for the first Thanksgiving. What did the Europeans give in return? Within 20 years European disease and treachery had decimated the Wampanoags. Most diseases then came from animals that Europeans had domesticated. Cowpox from cows led to smallpox, one of the great killers of our people, spread through gifts of blankets used by infected Europeans. Some estimate that diseases accounted for a death toll reaching 90 percent in some Native American communities. By 1623, Mather the elder, a Pilgrim leader, was giving thanks to his God for destroying the heathen savages to make way “for a better growth,” meaning his people. In stories told by the Dakota people, an evil person always keeps his or her heart in a secret place separate from the body. The hero must find that secret place and destroy the heart in order to stop the evil.I see, in the “First Thanksgiving” story, a hidden Pilgrim heart. The story of that heart is the real tale than needs to be told. What did it hold? Bigotry, hatred, greed, self-righteousness? We have seen the evil that it caused in the 350 years since. Genocide, environmental devastation, poverty, world wars, racism.Where is the hero who will destroy that heart of evil? I believe it must be each of us. Indeed, when I give thanks this Thursday and I cook my native food, I will be thinking of this hidden heart and how my ancestors survived the evil it caused. Because if we can survive, with our ability to share and to give intact, then the evil and the good will that met that Thanksgiving day in the land of the Wampanoag will have come full circle. And the healing can begin.

You still have time to buy a duck (nah, buy at least six) for Cincy’s 18th Annual Rubber Duck Regatta taking place Sunday, September 2 during the P&G Riverfest.

An estimated 150,000 ducks will be dropped into the Ohio River and the owner of the first duck to cross the finish line wins a 2012 Honda Civic, and if their duck is the “Million Dollar Duck” they get – you guessed it – a million buckaroos (you don’t know how hard I had to fight the urge to write duckaroos just then). The owner of the second place duck will receive $100 from Kroger every week for a year, and five additional runners-up will win $500 cash from KEMBA Credit Union.

Soon after we moved down here, I learned that the Rubber Duck Regatta is the Freestore Foodbank’s largest annual fundraising event, netting approximately $550,000 each year. I read on their webpage that the event has cumulatively raised nearly $6 million for the Freestore Foodbank and its more than 315 non-profit partner agencies. It’s a fun-spirited way to gain community awareness in regards to the very real problem of poverty and hunger in the region, and as a newcomer to this city, it’s amazing to see how the community responds with such generosity!

Price: $100 for 24; $50 for 12; $25 for 6; $5 per duck

In September of 2011, Flint Community Schools eliminated the art education program and budget for all elementary schools. As concerned citizens and parents, this husband and wife team decided to volunteer to teach art and are trying to raise funds for next school year.

Kids Need Art Supply Drive! “The program we created is completely voluntary and the teachers are under no obligation to invite us into their classrooms, but every teacher in the building [Eisenhower Elementary] consistently welcomes us into their rooms with complete enthusiasm.”

I’d love to see them accomplish their goal!

BP Oil Spill Aftermath: Eyeless Shrimp, Clawless Crabs and Fish with Oozing Sores

From the page:

How bad is it?

The effect that the oil spill and its reckless cleanup has on sea life is frightening, damning and sad. Here’s a list of deformities that Al Jazeera found in its report:

*Shrimp with tumors on their heads
*Shrimp with defects on their gills and “shells missing around their gills and head”
*Shrimp without eyes
*Shrimp with babies still attached to them
*Eyeless fish
*Fish without eye-sockets
*Fish without covers on their gills
*Fish with large pink masses hanging off their eyes and gills
*Crates of blue crabs, all of which were lacking at least one claw
*Crabs with holes in their shells
*Crabs with shells that have no spikes or claws or misshapen claws
*Crabs that are dying from within

The fishermen, scientists, and seafood processors who talked to Al Jazeera are all in unison: They’ve never seen this before. Some have worked in and around the Gulf for over 20 years, and most have seen thousands and thousands of fish. This is the first time they’re seeing the mass mutation and destruction of seafood.

Clean Tech Could Disappear — But It Doesn’t Have to

From the page: The end goal is to allow wind and solar to compete with natural gas—or electric cars with gas-powered ones—without the need for any government support. These technologies can’t stand on their own quite yet, which isn’t surprising: Wind and solar are competing against the oil and gas industry, which has enjoyed years of support for developing innovative technologies and infrastructure, while biofuels and electric vehicles are going up against a transportation system that’s centered on gas-powered cars for decades.