Standing Up for the Planet with Leslie Kolovich
Enjoy the Podcast now:
Today I speak with Celeste Cobena a longtime environmental activist in the South Walton County area. Her message is to inform the community of South Walton and anyone who cares about preserving our State Parks about a proposal to put a 1650 foot boardwalk for beach access in the middle of the eastern portion of Topsail Preserve State Park. There is a public hearing July 30, 2014 at 6:00pm at the South Walton Annex on highway 331.
Topsail Preserve is one of Florida’s last pristine beaches untouched by development and home to 2 of the 15 rare coastal dune lakes in Walton County. Celeste provides history of Topsail Preserve and explains what she understands the proposal to be. The main message is we must stand up for our State Parks and conservation lands. If we don’t, the jewels we all love the most will be gone. Education is key, and understanding the importance of our ecosystems and natural habitats one begins to understand preserving land actually benefits our very existence.
Please let your voice be heard Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Topsail Preserve State Park is more than just a jewel to the state of Florida, it should be a National Treasure!
I welcome any and all comments~Leslie Kolovich
Standing Up for the Planet by Bob Purdy
Is what you are doing right now creating a vibrant and healthy Planet?
If what you are doing right now is not creating a healthy and vibrant Planet maybe it is time to do something else!
“Mother Earth” is rapidly descending into an unhealthy state and we, the people, are the driving force at the root of the cause. If you sit quietly for a time, without interruption from the distractions of today’s World, and just observe wherever you happen to be, chances are you will get a read on the health of where you are. Forget the global stuff you see and hear on the news. Sit where you live, and just pay attention to your surroundings. Listen to the sounds around you. Look at the sky, the land, the water, the streetscape, the place you call home, wherever you end up sitting, just quietly observe. What do you hear? What smells are there? Are there other people around? Do they look vibrant and healthy to you? Sit quietly for at least ten minutes, then pay attention to your feelings at the end of your quiet time. Do you feel vibrant and healthy yourself? Are your surroundings healthy and vibrant?
If the answer is yes, keep doing whatever it is you are doing, the World needs more fully alive, fully engaged people. If the answer is no, then I have a challenge for you. Do one thing that makes you feel vibrant and healthy! Do it today, vibrant and healthy people are not procrastinators. Can’t think of anything? Walk up to the next person you see and give them a great big genuine smile! Take a bus to work, and while you’re riding, talk to the person next to you. Go for an hour without buying, or doing anything that is toxic to “Mother Earth”. Go for a walk. Call a friend. Have a healthy meal. Play hooky for the afternoon. If what you are doing right now is not creating a healthy and vibrant Planet, go and do something else that will create a vibrant and healthy Planet!
What if every one of us did a little something today to create a vibrant and healthy Planet, would it be a different World we would create? How different would the World be if we all did a little more than a little something to create a vibrant and healthy Planet? What would the World be like if every decision every one of us made, and every action we took was invested into creating a vibrant and healthy Planet? Sounds like the makings of a great community to me! Personally, I would really like to live in that World!
World Paddle for the Planet September 13, Tofino, British Columbia.
Together we can send a Wave of Change across the globe! Check out our website for more information on how you can get involved in your community! www.worldpaddlefortheplanet.com
The Paddler’s Planet by Christian Wagley
We all share this wonderful blue planet, and all the big global environmental issues of our time eventually translate down to the local level. This is where we can better see and touch these issues, where they are more tangible to us in our daily lives.
Such is the case with global climate change—coming soon to a community near you….Or actually coming directly to your community, no matter where you live on planet Earth.
And while it’s hard for us to get our hands around climate change at the planetary level, in our own communities we can grab hold and work toward solutions. That’s been the case in my community the past few weeks, as we work to get our City Council in Pensacola, FL to approve creation of a task force to study climate change, learn how it will impact our town, and decide what to do about it.
The case that climate change is happening and is mostly caused by human activities is real and overwhelming. Every year scientists report more and more evidence of the changes and more certainty of the need for action to help limit the worst impacts and adapt our communities to those changes that are inevitable.
Paddlers and others who love our oceans and rivers are concerned about climate impacts such as less oxygen in the water, more disease-causing organisms in warmer waters, ocean acidification and its impacts on animals like corals that make hard shells, and many other changes. But large-scale action in the U.S. is being thwarted by a deliberate campaign to sow doubt led by those with a financial interest in the status quo of continuing to burn fossil fuels.
The oil, coal, and gas-industrial complex are the cigarette makers of today. Just as cigarette companies spread doubt about the harms of cigarettes and successfully held-off regulation for decades, so are the fossil fuel companies of today funding doubt. The planet’s temperatures are not rising, or the changes are natural, they’ll say, knowing well the emptiness of their words and that they can only slow down but not stop the tide of humanity calling for action.
Where I live in Northwest Florida hardly an elected official has ever publicly uttered the words climate change. At least that was the case until this past week. We worked with a forward-thinking member of our City Council to place creation of a climate task force on the Council’s agenda. Since then the entire community is talking about the proposal, and we’re pleasantly finding lots of support for action.
No matter where you live, climate change will impact your community. If you and your network of paddlers, friends, and concerned citizens aren’t already discussing this issue and holding meetings on solutions, then get started.
If you don’t already have one, form a group and start having meetings with monthly speakers talking about climate change. Since climate issues reach into nearly every aspect of both the human and natural world, it’s not difficult to find those who can speak to it.
For our local group we’ve hosted elected officials, foresters, toxicologists, economists, bicycling advocates, activists, and many others. Talking about the issues may seem like delaying action to some, but it’s a necessary first step for educating the public and building community support.
Climate change is here, it’s real, and the solutions are local. Get-together and create the change in your community, wherever you are.
The Paddler’s Planet by Christian Wagley
It seems to be a deep-seated part of human emotion that we’re attracted to big, high-tech, and often end-of-the line solutions to environmental problems. And that’s a huge and ongoing obstacle to dealing with the most pressing issues of our time.
We’re naturally hard-wired toward quick decisions based on that which is directly before us and most visible to us. It’s a legacy of the way humans have lived through most of our existence, when we had to quickly assess people as friend or foe, and situations as threatening or helpful. If we can’t see a problem it’s hard for us to be concerned about it, which makes most of today’s big environmental issues exceptionally difficult to confront.
We also like to believe that if we confront the most visible and obnoxious issues we have won, and that there are solutions that allow us to continue to live as we do–without having to make any substantive changes in our lives. This is the reason that most people get so excited when a new device or contraption comes along promising to miraculously solve some type of problem. We trip over each other to click “Like” on Facebook and share it among our friends. And the uglier the problem and more miraculous the solution the better.
The unfortunate truth is that high-tech gadgets and end-of-pipe solutions are rarely much of a solution, and some don’t even work at all. When they do, it’s usually as a supplement to the real solutions on the front end—better designs and better behavior that prevent problems from happening in the first place.
The plastic garbage swirling around the Pacific Ocean is not our biggest environmental issue but it certainly is one of the most visible, and it makes many of us so angry that we’ll temporarily put aside our common sense and best judgement in search of something—anything—to clean up this mess. Most of those knowledgable about ocean debris speak much more about the need to prevent plastic from reaching the oceans in the first place, rather than grabbing onto any of numerous schemes to collect plastic from the open ocean (most if not all of which have been deemed by experts as infeasible if not downright crazy). So the real solution is bringing people in poor Asian coastal cities out of poverty and providing them with garbage collection, rather than trying to sweep the oceans clear of debris.
But those seem like such big, far-away, and slow solutions. So our emotions tug at us to grab hold of the immediate cleanup—the big contraption that goes to sea and sucks-up all the plastic and magically recycles it into something useful.
Another recent distraction from reality is a proposal to create solar roadways. While the idea makes us feel better, it actually makes no sense as there is already plenty of space for solar panels on rooftops and it would be many times more expensive. It’s an idea driven by emotion, not by reality. If we really want to use less energy and stop building roads across our native landscape, we have to change the way we build our communities so that we drive less and walk and bicycle more and thus need fewer highways.
It’s our emotions that make us uniquely human and allow us to care about our fellow beings and all the wonderful living things that make our planet special. If we recognize that those same emotions can also steer us wrong, then we can be vigilant in sticking to the reality and keeping our emotions—and desire for the next big techno-fix—in a healthy balance. While not nearly as visible as big technology, better designs that prevent problems on the front end are clearly the best path forward.
Standing Up for the Planet by Bob Purdy
This is the story of the very first Standup Paddlesurfer! Legend has it that the very first Standup Paddlesurfer was known as “Outstanding”. This story has been passed down over many generations, through many people, and some say it may have been embellished a bit!
Outstanding loved to paddle and was known in the Village as a “Standup” person. The Village thought Outstanding was a bit strange, and wondered why anyone would choose to “Standup” on a board and paddle. They thought it was especially strange during winter storms, big surf, and in the rain. Adding to the strangeness of Standup Paddlesurfing was Outstanding’s habit of raising the “Long Paddle” and talking to the “Air” after every paddle. Because the villagers thought he was strange, they were a bit reluctant to get close to him, so they could never hear what he was saying.
One day, a Villager whose original name no one remembers, decided he also wanted to be a “Standup Paddler”! Legend has it that Outstanding helped the inquisitive Villager by sharing everything he had learned, and called the new paddler by the name everyone does remember, “Paddles a Lot”. As time went on Paddles a Lot, which was a mouthful to say, became known by his short name, “Pal”! Pal was a sponge and learned quickly. The two became fast friends and many believe their friendship is where the phrase “Hey Pal” originated. Outstanding even taught Pal to raise the “Long Paddle” and talk to the “Air” after a paddle! After Pal, the Villagers had two “Standup Paddlers” they thought were a bit strange!
After a time, Outstanding and Pal became inseparable. The two of them would go on to share their passion for “Standup Paddle Surfing” with many Villagers during their lifetimes. The only thing they ever asked for in return from those who learned was to share “Standup Paddlesurfing” with anyone who asked! “All Who Paddle” were also taught to raise the “Long Paddle” and talk to the “Air” after a paddle, a tradition that continues to this day. The Villagers still find this custom a bit strange, although they are not as freaked out now that there are so many more who raise the Long Paddle!
Outstanding was the first of a long line of Paddlers to raise the “Long Paddle” and talk to the “Air” after every paddle. Paddles a Lot was the first to learn that raising the “Long Paddle” and talking to the “Air” was done out of gratitude to thank the “Creator” for the “10,000 Things”, and with great ceremony to let all the Villagers know how grateful the paddlers were! It was also done to show any Villagers watching from shore that the paddlers came in friendship, joy and peace! This practice gradually came to be known as “Paddles Up” and the sight of a paddle with the blade side up is universally known, all thanks to Outstanding! “All Who Paddle” continue the tradition to this day to remember the very first Standup Paddlesurfer, “Outstanding”, to express their gratitude, and because it just makes sense!
Join Us for World Paddle For The Planet September 13, 2014, Tofino, British Columbia! Join anywhere in the world at noon and lets send a Wave of Change around the globe!