Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Al Gore will testify at U.S. Congress on March 21, International Equinoctal Earth Day - 2007

The International Equinoctal Earth Day, March 21 is a time when it is possible to create an awareness in Idaho, in America and around the world that this was a special day and a special time of year - Spring - when new living organisms (and ideas) can begin to grow and flourish.

I have written about Al Gore's rousing reception in Boise last month. Two days ago his movie An Inconvenient Truth, received two Academy Awards. Now he is asking people to add their voices to another big effort to bring the Global Warming message to Congress. Of all the people in the world no one is creating a more positive attitude about networking for positive solutions. We should all try to add to his efforts with our own commitments for action starting now.

Al Gore is testifying at Congressional Hearings on March 21, 2001 on the Climate Crises. Today he sent out a "Our Next Step" message to everyone on his mailing list to ask people to send an e-card to their representatives in Washington D.C. demanding real action on global warming. He also asks everyone to send a copy of the e-card form to at least 10 people for them to sign as well.

Al Gore also has a Blog Journal where he is providing important news articles and links to valuable Global Warming web sites.

I plan to expand on this topic in the next few days as it relates to Spring 2007 and Earth Day activities in Boise and Idaho.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Western States Unite to fight Global Warming

Today, the governors of five western states agreed to work together to reduce greenhouse gases by forming the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative. Articles in News Channel 21 in Oregon, and in the Seattle Post Inteligencer explain that Washington, Oregon, Arizona, California, and New Mexico announced the plan at the annual Winter meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington D.C. .

Idaho is not one of the states - yet! The time has come for concerned citizens to become much more proactive in petitioning our Governor and other state leaders to join this regional plan, or explain publicly why they won't. This issue has to go beyond the silly game of politics we often see. Clearly, for our own future and future generations, we have to start creating positive actions now to slow down the pollution and greenhouse gases problems we are causing in Idaho, the U.S. and the World.

I submit that a strong effort to promote this communication with our Idaho state leaders could take place in the next 8 weeks as the International Equinoctial Earth Day March 21, the Step It Up - 2007 event April 14, and Earth Day April 22 are being organized. In Idaho as elsewhere, individual citizens, community organizations, environmental groups, churches, businesses, and schools are all starting to take a role in reducing greenhouse emissions. We have every right to expect our state and federal government to help us with this effort now and in the future.

In earlier posts I have discussed similar issues and actions. See especially February 05, 2007,

Lisa Stifler in the Seattle PI, notes that the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative sets out to:

"-- Create a regional target for reducing greenhouse gases within 6 months.

--Establish over the next 18 months a mechanism for meeting that target, which may mean creating a cap-and-trade system that would allow utilities or businesses that are beating the target to sell others the right to pollute.

-- Create a five-state registry for tracking and managing greenhouse gas emissions."

Stifler's article also notes that, "The initiative is being designed so that additional states and provinces can sign on, said Kathleen Drew, Gregoire's climate policy expert. Leaders in British Columbia have expressed interest in the plan, she said. And it could provide a framework for a national program for combating climate change."

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Idaho Climate Actions

On February 22 I met with about 10 people to discuss ideas for the Step It Up 2007 event to be held in Boise on April 14. My own input was that we should be learning how to use Social Networking tools to empower citizens to learn how to take action every day in the future - and that this single day event should be aimed at this objective. The meeting resulted in the formation of a Yahoo Discussion Group where some messages have already been exchanged. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday February 27. (More detailed information is available on the Step It Up Boise Yahoo web site.)

On February 16, 2007 I created a new Environment page and Posted the following article on the local.wikia.com section for Boise, Idaho.

Idaho Cities join Climate Protection Agreement

Boise Mayor, David Beiter, Sun Valley Mayor, Jon Thorson, and Pocatello Mayor, Roger Chase have joined with over 400 other mayors nationwide to sign the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement to make their cities more environmentally friendly.

On June 13, 2005 the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement was unanimously passed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Seattle Mayor, Greg Nickels has provided a web page with detailed information and list of all the Cities in the U.S. participating.

You can find out what Mayors and their cities are doing to fight climate change, improve the local environment a conserve energy by downloading the U.S. Conference of Mayors Energy and Environment Best Practice Guide.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

National Day of Climate Action

I am seeing many efforts on the Internet to engage people in Global Warming actions now and in the future. Al Gore's book and movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" is one of the most well known. An associated effort is the web site "Stop Global Warming.org" where over 600,000 people have already joined a "Virtual March." It is encouraging to see efforts to organize action groups in local communities starting in the next few months. The links below go to a specific effort to organize a National Day of Climate Action in cities across the U.S. I hope this day will extend out to actions by everyone every day of the year in the future.

I plan to attend the organizational meeting in Boise and, as I noted in my recent February 5, post, to suggest we should organize some local social networking tools to help this important action continue.

Visit the national Step it Up 2007 web site for for information about 675 similar events that are already planned in 48 states across the country!

In Boise a group of people have registered for Boise to participate in this important nationwide day on April 14, 2007 to begin to reshape our Global Warming future. If interested in attending an organizational meeting there is an online RSVP form you can send in or you can ask questions by e-mail.

An e-mail notice has been distributed that notes "Our first organizing meeting will be held on Thursday, February 22nd, at 7pm, at the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, located at 6200 N. Garrett St., in Garden City. This meeting will be to decide on what type of event we would like to have here in Boise, and then making the plans to make that even a success! We hope to see you all there!"

Friday, February 16, 2007

Local Wikia Community - Help please!

(Update Feb.17) I did get a response from DNL who is helping with the Local.wikia site.

"I saw that you added some stuff to Category:Boise, Idaho Environment. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that anyone will read it there. If you want people to find your articles, enter them into this form. At the bottom, be sure to select "Idaho" and "Boise" in the drop down boxes as prompted, and in the "tags" box, type "Environment." If you do it that way, your article will be added to the Category:Boise, Idaho Environment page automatically, and your article will have a chance at hitting the front page of the site! Let me know if you have any questions. --DNL "

My response - "Thank you DNL -- Before I saw your note above I started to write another article this morning and the Form did work."

And, as DNL suggested, two articles I wrote appeared as "Popular Articles" on the National Local.Wikia home page and also now show up on the Boise, Idaho local.wikia page.

Original Post Feb. 16/

I need some help understanding how to edit the Local Wikia pages I mentioned in my last post. For some reason some of their "help" sections do not give me the results I expect. For example the "Create" page forms do not always work.

I have been trying to add some information to the Local Wikia Community for Idaho and Boise. I was able to create a new page titled "Environment" in the Local news section and add some information about Global Warming and Climate Change. However, I am having trouble getting a link to the "New Articles" section to appear on the Boise, Idaho main page as I expected to be able to do.

Does anyone have suggestions to help me (and others) to learn how to use the Local Wikia Community efficiently?


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Wikia initiates "Local Community" project

Today I read about a new Wiki project that could greatly accelerate my ability to conceptualize how citizens could be effective in applying Social Networking solutions to natural resource issues. You can read the short article titled, "Wikia adds new communities" by Elinor Mils written for CNET news on February 13, 2007.

My immediate interest was in the new "Local Community Wikia" project which will provide users the opportunity to add and edit a wide range of topics for nearly every town in the United States. The main categories include Politics, Business, Tech, Education, Health, Arts, Sports and Other. Once you are visiting any town you can find sections where people can share stories, write articles and update information about community events, organizations and concerns.

This new Wikia project is just starting and only a few pages have been created in Boise, Idaho. However, I plan to initiate a few experimental pages to discuss topics like 1. Sustainable Remodeling, 2. Local Organic Food sources, 3. West Nile Virus control, and a few others in the near future. I also plan to experiment with this new concept to see if it would be able to satisfy a wide range of natural resource and ecosystem social networking concepts I have discussed previously in this blog. It is also possible to start new specialized Wikis, blogs and Wikia projects using the Local Wikia project. I will also explore this in more detail in the near future.

It should be noted also that co related to the Local Wikia, two additional Wikia Communties have also just been initiated. An Entertainment Wikia will provide movie guides and reviews and a Politics Wikia will provide national, state and local sections which could be valuable for the 2008 elections. These and other Wikia and Wiki projects on the Web should link together when the concerns and issues are similar.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Web 2.0 and 2008 Presidential Campaigns

People who are following Democratic candidates John Edwards and Barack Obama already know they have launched campaign web sites that use Web 2.0 tools to encourage citizens to participate.

A review of these and other presidential campaign web sites can be found in "Campaigns tread carefully into world of Web 2.0," the title of an online article in Computerworld on February 12, 2007.

The article also mentions that the web sites of Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republicans Sam Brownback and Mitt Romney and suggests that as the campaign progresses these and others will probably adopt more social networking and Web 2.0 tools.

My view is that any social networking groups that organize, even if they are not associated with a specific candidate, should try to make their views known to all of the candidates in the next 21 months. These groups should also strongly encourage every candidate to take a clear stand on important national and global concerns, including ecological and natural resource issues such as Global Warming, before the election.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Salt Lake City Green and Mayor Rocky Anderson

Related to the Salt Lake City Green project article below I am interested in how Wikis, Blogs and other Social networking concepts are developing. Boise Idaho where I live may be beginning to benefit from some of the same changing attitudes and behaviors. I will do some research and report my findings. Comments and reference information from others are welcome.

In an article titled "School of Rocky" on Grist - Environmental News and Commentary on February 6, 2007 David Roberts interviewed Salt Lake City Mayor and green innovator Rocky Anderson who states that "Sustained progressive change has got to come from people who care. Most people in this country do care, very deeply. The reason our elective officials don't do anything to bring about positive change is they don't sense the people really care about it. It's not in front of them."

"But people are starting to understand that good environmental practices, good business practices, and good long-term, sustainable economic development go hand in hand."

Roberts also notes that Rocky Anderson has been instrumental in helping develop the "internationally acclaimed Salt Lake City Green program has slashed the city government's greenhouse-gas emissions, built popular support for public transit, enticed private businesses to go greener, and made Salt Lake more friendly for walkers and cyclists."

The Salt Lake City Green Web site has a news page with several video clips, an Info Center and opportunities to get involved in the e2 Business Program and many local environmental initiatives.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Global Warming and mitigation using a Common Adventure Process

In a "Declaration of INTERdependence" in 1975, Henry Steele Commager wrote ..."that all people are part of one global community, dependent on one body of resources, bound together by the ties of common humanity and associated in a common adventure on the planet earth.

That humans continue to negatively affect earth's ecosystems is not news to anyone. A stark public reminder that we are causing significant amounts of Greenhouse Gases and this is related to the dramatic increase in Global Warming was issued by a 4th Assessement of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last week. Former Vice President Al Gore and many others have been warning for years that all citizens have to take more responsibility for changing our personal, governmental and corporate behaviors in an attempt to mitigate the climate change that is accompanying Global Warming.

I suggest that there is recent evidence that this change can explode into Common Adventure action groups starting with our families, friends, and social groups and organizations we belong to, or soon join or develop. During the 1960's and the 1970's many of us will remember that the impetus for the "Modern Environmental Movement" in the United States did create the kind of social networking movement that is now needed again. Today, in contrast to 40 years ago, almost everybody can have instant and comprehensive communication using cell phones, e-mail, blogs, wikis and other social networking tools provided by the growing Internet infrastructure.

If we as individual citizens have the will and the interest we can all start to put heavy pressure on our politicians and business leaders and on local, regional and global corporations we will have an opportunity to thoughtfully, scientifically, and truthfully attempt to mitigate our human effects on global warming, climate change and general deterioration of earth's ecosystems.

I am preparing to initiate a Common Adventure Social Networking project in an attempt to help stimulate a discussion about how to increase the citizen interest and participation in this mitigation. One target time frame I expect to put forward to begin this effort in 2007 is the time before the International and Equinoctial Earth Day, celebrated on the Vernal Equinox March 20-21, to include the more popular Earth Day started in the United States, April 22, 1970. Hopefully the discussions that result will also stimulate local and regional interest and participation in these observances and many other events during the year 2007 and into the future.

I have written about my experience with the "Common Adventure Process" in earlier posts on this blog (August 18, 2006). In the near future I expect to start another project to include a Wiki and possibly a Blog with discussion options.

Comments are welcome ! Stay tuned!