To care or not to care, –is that even a question?

For some, “activist” is a naughty word. For others, it’s provocative. Yet still, for others, it is a hair-trigger sound that turns one off so readily and automatically that not another iota of attention, energy, or consideration is granted to she or he who utters it.

The implications are broad and decidedly negative: extremism, narrow-mindedness, hostility, political murkiness, high-risk, non-neutrality, and other unsavory ideas come to mind the moment when one identifies oneself in such a way. It goes against dinner-table manners and first-date talk. It’s frowned upon in business circles. It’s certainly provocative in nearly all aspects of modern life without due explanation and a detailed clarification of exactly what you mean when you refer to yourself as an “activist”.

So, let’s get back to basics. Let’s work under the New Oxford American Dictionary’s operating definition of activism as, “the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.”

That’s a little less scary, no?

So when I say I’m a “femme” activist, “animal rights” activist, or “pro-union” activist, I mean that I incorporate campaigning (through social media posting, in-the-streets protesting, letter-writing, senator-calling, vocal advocating, striking, boycotting, congregating, manifesto-penning, and maybe generating some healthy mayhem ;)) to bring about actual change in the world into my every day life. I’m “living” my ideals. I’m producing a physical expression of my beliefs and my convictions. Merely giving expression to something internal.

I’d like to shift the focus from me, however, to you. I’m one small example of one expression of an “activist”. What I am now challenging you to do, is live an expression that is your own.

What do you care about? What can you care less about?

If you’re a broke comedian living in the city, and your favorite wing-shack around the corner where you improv at has switched from supporting local farms for their organic free-range chicken to a cheaper, steroid-injected franken-chicken, — I hope to see you picketing outside and opposing the new management or whatever happened to have caused the switch.

If you’ve never voted in your entire life, and the upcoming election of 2016 depresses the hell out of you, I hope to see you writing letters to your representatives, peacefully protesting in the streets, and exploring every available option to express your opposition to the candidacies.

If you work a minimum wage job (maybe two) full time and still cannot afford to support yourself, let alone your family, I hope to see you protesting, striking, and linking up with the others across the country who are fighting for the $15 minimum wage and a union.

If your child is suffering and/or dying from something that cannabis oil treatment has been proven to reduce (or cure?) in clinical studies, —I hope to see you travel across whatever state lines you need to in order to treat your child and be a legitimate voice of advocation for that treatment.

If you believe that being a rude, mean, and spiteful human being is just plain tacky, —I hope to see you infusing every human interaction with graciousness, kindness, and tolerance as your personal advocacy of human gentleness.

I’ll clap for you. I’m an actor. It’s my job to understand every perspective of experience of the human condition while refraining from judgement. Do I judge those who do not passionately advocate what they believe in? No. I don’t.

What I know is, if you don’t take a responsible part — no matter how large or small — in creating or altering the world you live in, someone will do it for you.

And it might not be pretty. It might not be what you want. It might not be what you approve of. It could be downright despicable.

So, I encourage you, support you, and challenge you (whatever you respond to best!) to decide on ONE THING this week that you play “activist” for. Pretend you’re me, pretend you’re an actor. This week, you must research a role of an activist. So for an exercise, practice advocating one little thing you care about in your personal life, or opposing something you do not care for in your personal life. And take one small action for or against it.

Post a picture with a thoughtful or informative caption on Instagram.

Sign a petition online.

Write a letter to your state rep/alderman/etc.

Post your support or opposition to something going on in the world on your Facebook page.

All of the above things can be done from your phone. And you know what? It’s you campaigning to bring about change. Yes, it’s that simple. No, it’s not that scary.

Inspired? Try buying local and supporting local businesses. Try boycotting GMO’s. Check to see what people are protesting in your city this month and see if anything resonates.

Activism doesn’t have to mean extremism… It just means that you care.

NN E5: Age Doesn’t Matter Because Time Isn’t Real

“Time” is an agreed upon construct that we have measured as one of Earth’s rotations equalling one orbit of the sun, divided it into segments, then given those segments labels, power, and a reductive judgmental quality.

You don’t need to contribute to ageism and judge yourself by “age”. 

“Beauty”, is an agreed upon ideal that changes with cultures and various periods in the culture’s maturity and emotional trends.

You don’t need to feel shitty about not being considered attractive. You shouldn’t be a dick to people if you think you’re better than them because you’re something todays society considers “attractive.”

The “aging” process is 50% determined by your DNA, and 50% determined by your FREE WILL CHOICES, that will either prolong or accelerate the process of decay.

Take responsibility for your choices, your inner & outer beauty, your image. Use your free will wisely, and stand behind of and take pride in how you’ve designed yourself. 

Reject standard forms of beauty and value! Create your own and revel in your own individuality!

 

I’m hoping after you watch the video you’ll be able to chuckle to yourself at the silly notions of being self-conscious about how “old” you are. I hope you use this thought-provoking episode to give momentum to any positive changes you’re thinking about or already implementing in your life. I hope you buy the color lipstick you previously thought wasn’t “your age”; I hope you go vegan and shuck the previous self-consciousness at the immense shit you’ll get for doing it; I hope you fall in love with someone that lasts because they were instantly attracted to the uniquely and defiantly “you” package you present to the world; I hope you can feel happy for others without feeling shitty about yourself; I hope you design some cool shit when you think of who you really are and decide to represent that in how you look; I hope you improve the quality of your life; I hope you understand why you’re the most important person in your life; I hope you do whatever it is that you want to, and I support you completely. 

Design who you are, take responsibility for it, and derive confidence from your individuality.

Lots of love,

Natalee

NN E:4 How to Support a Freedom Fighter


I hope you’ll enjoy and think deeply on this episode of Natalee’s Notions. It’s titled, ‘How to Support a Freedom Fighter’, but it’s really a way  for me to publicly support (and hopefully garner more support for) an old friend of mine, Jeremy. There was a bit of push and pull for me making this: I wanted to humanize him to anyone who cared to do some research on this “hacker”, but I also wanted to present him with enough information so as to be honest and thoughtfully equanimous. Not quite sure how I did… if it’s too personal or not nearly personal enough.

Either way, friend or not, he’s someone who is going through real pain, punishment that he walked into knowingly, in order for us to benefit from the (thanks to him) now exposed ‘secret’ information about our governments acting against us.

Join me in supporting Jeremy and others of his rank for acting on their convictions for the benefit of the masses.

Please consider donating to his defense team or reaching out with a letter telling him thank you and supporting him.

View from A Top

I feel especially reflective, grazing in the fields of the last year. Slowly and safely upturning new blades of grassy insight, shielded from the pressures and judgements that were locking me down in mind and spirit at the time.


I packed many little lives (therefore, diverse lessons) into such a small amount of time: I was a monk, master, photojournalist, actress, film producer, entrepreneur, traveler, instructor, style maven, screenwriter, and most of all, a very deep thinker, feeler, and communicator.


While no pain has been lost on me (I take no experience or suffering for granted) I find my caprine self discovering new value in them from this view… from today’s craggy mountain.


It’s a calmly arousing perspective: quiet, serene, and at the same time mentally thrilling. Almost as if new sunlight each day reveals more and more detail of the past, the rays somehow stimulating their golden values to rise to the surface of my attention…having been there all along.
Safe on my rocky perch, I can warm myself in the sunny glow of earned experience, with my eyes darkened by the shade of clever, hardened awareness and resourcefulness.

2015
Originally Posted on Instagram


The wind whistles a sharp and knowing tune, hints of what airy turbulences are yet to come… Its eery melody a forewarning of the importance of groundedness.
The sun begins to cross the apex of my mountain, already taking much of my life with it as it starts its descent into darkness.
But lo… It’s alright, this goat doesn’t fear the night. This sure-footed mountain nanny knows she has a friend in the moon.

With a sharpening of my horns on some nearby brush, I ready myself for my next leaps and bounds and climbs from my modestly-sized mountain to the next, larger mountain ahead of me.


Only this time, through a new and different alpine trek, I’ll see a beauty unknown to me but that’s promised to be shone by moonlight. For what’s a goat girl to do without something to climb, new terrain and skills to learn, a long journeys view to enjoy, and a lofty, idealistic, pinnacle to mount?


I satiate my desires in every moment along the way. Some strengths must mature in the dark, and this wise hooved woman knows better now. 

NN E3: SUMNER REDSTONE


Sumner Redstone is an American business man and media mogul, owning the National Amusement theater chain as well as CBS, Paramount Pictures, and Viacom (MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, BET to name a few).

This video explains a critical moment in the life of one of the (last?) great American industrialists as his mental competency is being challenged in a court of law by ex-girlfriend and former health care directive agent, Manuela Herzer. This is happening, like… Now! So hop on to get caught up and watch it all unfold!

Between the ex-girlfriend, the formerly-estranged daughter Shari Redstone, and favorite protege and confidant of 30 years Philippe Dauman, the battles have only begun for the 92-year old billionaire (himself appraised by Forbes to be worth 5 Billion in his own right) in the fight for control of the 40 Billion dollar media empire he spent his entire life building.

I’ll be further updating and contextualizing on this exciting development. So, stay tuned!

Take care babes, muah! :*

The Benefits of the Pause: Break Optimization

It isn’t easy in our fast-paced culture and faster-paced work culture to “take breaks”, or interrupt the flow of progressing work –even when it’s “well earned”.

Culture and society aside, it’s the reaffirming inner voice that’s egging us on to do more, keep going, do better, work faster, and grind harder.

Taking breaks, resting, pausing, and especially any declaration of “needs” regarding an individual practicing self-care is heavily stigmatized as not being able to keep up, or being wussy, high-maintenance, or not taking work “seriously”. (These are just a few reasons, a host of others include maintaining a sense of job security and keeping a competitive edge on the serious level of actually keeping your job, a stress pressed upon far too many by employers who want to use that psychology to exploit their employees.)

Thankfully, there are labor laws that help justify the importance of taking a break. But what about those of us who have non-traditional/unorthodox work practices? Or who exchange the 9-5 for the 24/7 self-employed route?

Well, it’s much less structured, and that’s the point.

However, loving what you do and experiencing the reward-based system of fulfillment it brings with each accomplishment, milestone, and gain, opens the back door to exhaustion and a very real tendency to work yourself into the ground. Whether it’s fueled by creative ambition, monetary goals, the sheer competitive spirit, exalted ideals, or by a dutiful sense of service to humanity, you’ll find a reason to push yourself farther than is healthy for your body and your mind.

But pause, you must. I think of it this way, “I must rest now, because what I’m prioritizing my focus on deserves the very best of me.” It’s the same idea that you must help yourself so that you are able to help others, so as to not tax yourself helping others that you cause detriment to your being.

As a creative entrepreneur who loves work so much that I exploit my own insomnia to get more done, I’m ardently suggesting to you: Give yourself a break.

 

I hope you’ll feel a little less guilty for breaking. In fact, I hope you’re reading this in a relaxed state that allows time to get through the whole article. But, you’re probably in the middle of something, are in transit, or are mindful of the time because… you’ve got shit to do! That’s cool. If you’d appreciate some break-spiration, I’d like to share a few personal tiers of remedies for different levels of over-work.

Mental Breaks

(for fast stress management)

First, try an easy remedy to help regulate workflow productivity by taking short “mental” breaks from the task at hand when having difficulty focusing and instead put your attention on a separate activity that is still engaging and creative but different enough to provide stress relief.

I plan trips.

It opens up my imagination and creativity to dream up the most ideal adventures and engages the part of my personality that is passionate about structure and organizing.

Neuschwanstein

This is the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria out of his personal fortune (and not paid for by any public funds) to serve as a refuge for the reclusive king.

I’m currently planning a nature/exploration/step-retracing/castle-tour trip for my next German Adventure, along with: an American Legend Road Trip, a Romanian Mystery Mission, the Trans-Siberian Train Junket, several film and director-themed expeditions and a host of others. Since I’m under no actual pressure to plan/book on anyone else’s timeline, I can really enjoy the pre-planning process and let my imagination fly.

So not only do I give myself a “break” from the tasks at hand but I’m also being productive. When the time is ripe for one of these adventures, I actually just pluck it off a shelf, purchase my requisite tickets/reservations and I’m off!  Poof!

Mental breaks are incredibly important, they refresh the mind and spirit, and will make you much more efficient when you come back to your main work and produce better work with less errors than you would have if you tried working straight through.

So, what do you like to daydream about? Try planning it!

I Snapchat.

It’s very silly, very fun, and breaks up the pressure on my attention resources.

So unless you have fears that Snapchat is building a facial recognition database, snap on!

I watch a music video.

This is another way I love to give myself some mental relief. It also gives me something small to look forward to, a reward system favorite that can temporarily transport me to another place. Current repeats are:

Rammstein – Stripped
Beyonce – Formation
Muse – Madness
alt-J – Every Other Freckle

These will usually rotate or expire after their initial appeal (usually that it’s new to me) wears. However, some gems (Like Rammstein’s “Stripped”) I never get tired of as I take in nostalgic value and new inspiration and insight with every view. I’ve been watching that video for years!!

 

Physical Breaks

(these are truly restorative)

There’s just no way to perform at your highest level without allowing time for rest, physiologically. When you work very long periods the brain is using up oxygen and glucose as they’re the primary forms of the brains energy.

Naturally, maintaining unbroken focus or engaging in demanding intellectual activity for several hours really does burn enough energy to leave you feeling drained.

Anti-Screen

Both trip-planning and Snapchatting require looking at a screen, and extended time engaging in these activities will burn me out especially if I’m going from a work screen to another screen. This is where it’s great to get to know yourself better; By the way I feel, I can tell if I need a short snap-break or a break where I need to disconnect my vision, attention, and body from all screens/electronics and move.

Breaking from the screens is what will provide a true respite and effectively reboot your brain. Personally, I’m very fond of walking. I just pocket a few essentials (knife, keys,  lip balm, pen & paper) and walk out the door. If I’m feeling public-evasive, I’ll pace indoors and will usually pause to stare out a window.

Blood-Flow

I’ll piggy-back this onto the pacing: love movement if you don’t already. In whatever form suits you best, just get the heart rate up even (or take a deep breath to reset if it’s already up from stress) like putting some oomph in your step, doing squats, stretching, 10 push-ups every couple hours, jumping jacks, dancing, walking to the second nearest coffee shop, etc. Personally, I really like to shadow-box. It’s a quickness on my feet and practicing my favorite moves that gets my heart going, with the added benefit of fun because I pretend I’m ALI.

Besides, increasing blood flow to the brain helps sharpen your awareness. A study by Jim McKenna from the University of Bristol showed that after exercising, work performance was consistently higher as shown by better time management and improved mental sharpness. As your brain is your single greatest asset that we cannot afford to let it dull!

Exercise improves your brain in the short term by raising your focus for two to three hours afterwards. Now that you know this, try planning any pitches, presentations, or situations accordingly so as to be at your mental “peak”. Test the results yourself! Long-term, you can fight brain deterioration and Alzheimer’s on a cellular level (neuroplasticity), as the brain is able to improve itself with blood flow (yay, exercise!) and levels of brain-derived protein.

How do you like to move your body? Don’t do something you’ll grow to resent, because you’ll just stop doing it. Pick something physical that you enjoy.

We all know exercise releases endorphins, those feel good chemicals. Did you also know that endorphins improve the prioritizing functions of the brain?! How cool is that! A natural remedy for impulse control! So when you come back from exercise, your ability to sort out priorities will be greatly improved, allowing you better concentrate on the task at hand, and what’s truly important.

If you want something done, give it to a busy person.

It’s a proven fact that productivity begets more productivity. So give yourself a damn pat on the back for the work you’ve done and reward yourself with a few minutes to up to half an hour most days of increased heart rate. Because when you come back from your blood-flow break, you’ll be a little high off the endorphins, glistening from a dewy glow, a prioritizing maestro, and sharp as a tack. 

All this amounts to a more productive day as well as a being a real aide in finding/keeping an optimal work/life balance. A regular blood flow/movement/exercise routine is essentially a structured activity that helps us become better at time management and more confident in our ability to pull off the demands of life.

This is why I stress the importance of moving in a way you like to. Without the joy, it could be the first thing you eliminate when looking for more slices of precious time. I know it’s tempting to nix, but it could be just the thing that helps keep your life, mind, and body functioning smoothly and in balance.

Scooby Snacks!

I’m a HUGE snacker. I like to keep munchies or “scooby snacks” nearby just incase I need an energy boost or nibble.  I love seeds and nutmeat, here are a few personal favorites:

  1.  SUNFLOWER SEEDS (from their shells salted, baked into sea-salted nuggets,  in sonnenblumenkernbrot –I’m actually not that picky so long as they’re salted!)
  2. Trail mix
  3. Pistachios
  4. Salted Cashews

They keep very well and aren’t prone to spoil or deform under the sun.
Now, we all know food is fuel. So when picking snacks that serve you, try to pick the ones that’ll keep your engine running longer, as opposed to the ones that you’ll burn through fast only to crash now and suffer (as will your work!) later.

I look at it this way: Fire needs fuel just like I do. You ever burn some paper? Fire eats it up in a pinch before it’s out. What sustains fire? Dense logs. Nutrient-poor and sugary snacks will run you hot and flame out fast, so steer clear and opt for healthy snacks as your slow-burning fuel to keep you going all day.

Protein People! Lest we forget, protein-rich foods contain an amino acid that increases the production of neurotransmitters that regulate concentration and alertness: tofu & cheese for the yay!

 

Meditation. Obviously.

I left Chicago for ten days to learn the Vipassana meditation technique. It remains one of the most valuable and privately cherishing experiences of my life. Incase you’d like to learn more, this is the place I went to. I promise, they don’t try to sell you anything, guilt you in any way for any reason, or try to steal you from your family and friends to devote your life to the will of a charismatic but dangerous leader.

While there, I submitted to the strict eating schedule of two meals a day plus fruit and tea at dinnertime. Everything was organic, fresh, and there were enough options for a picky eater like myself. The day began at 4:00am and I, along with the other students, meditated for 10 hours with a few rest/meal periods, and concluded with a short instructional lecture ending the day at 9:00pm every night, for ten full days straight.

I loved it, and returned soon after to volunteer as a server, an experience which served it’s own purpose.

When I first got back I was able to meditate two to three hours a day. Over the course of a year it dwindled to 15 minutes in the morning and at night until I fell asleep. As of this writing, it’s now just at night in my bed, whatever time it is I crawl into it, until I fall asleep. It’s my one-year anniversary and I consider it a great opportunity to reinstate such a healthy habit!

The skinny is this: I wasn’t “sold” at the idea of shipping myself away for ten days in the care of potential weirdos, taking a vow of silence, in the middle of BUFU-nowhere, where upon I surrender my cell phone, all technological devices, paper, pens, writing instruments and all other forms and ways of committing information to remembrance. Only when I did research, and came upon an article called, “Transcendental Billionaire” did I take the leap of faith and apply for the course (It’s FREE, no-strings-attached free, so there’s always a waiting list).

I’m so happy I did.

If you have something similar you practice to quiet your mind, re-center, calm the nerves, and restore perspective, try incorporating that into your day and see what happens. If you’re open to trying Vipassana on for size, or any other meditation technique, give it a go and see where it takes you. I can only speak from anecdotal experience, so I’d rather you try it yourself and have your own experience.

If none of that looks appetizing, try sitting quietly for ten minutes and focus your attention on the sensations of your body, the exhaling through your nose and how the air moves over your upper lip, the temperature, breezes over your skin, the dull ache from last Tuesday, your heartbeat, etc.

Break Optimization –Natalee Style

  1. Work in bursts, then take a break. I’ve read that 90-minute spurts could be more effective, this is according to a theory of rest that borrows from other observations made during sleep research. They get this from the ultradian rhythm which we progress through all five cycles of sleep and sort of apply that to the cycles of waking life signifying the movements between higher and lower states of alertness in a perceived rest-activity cycle. Now, I don’t time my activity-rest cycles according to the ultradian rhythm, but feel free to try it! You can also “feel it out”: Pay attention to when you’re about to burn out, then check for water, a snack, fresh air, blood circulation, sleep, etc. and supply whatever you need accordingly.
  2. Napping. Napping improves learning and memory, it boosts mental alertness as well as increases creativity and productivity. For me, naps can be tricky, and I definitely plan them carefully. The 25-30 minute recommended nap along with the more beneficent 60 minute nap will sometimes do it’s job as a short and effective energy booster. But sometimes it can work against me and I wake up feeling weird and disoriented, especially if I’ve fallen hard (overtired) and wasn’t ready to be pulled from a dream, if I had an intense nightmare, or if I had a surrealism dream and I wake up feeling like I’m in a different day/place/version of reality (ah!). My life constantly teeters relative normalcy and Rod Serling-normalcy. But you probably don’t have any Rod Serling issues and will be able to nap just fine, so go for it!
  3. Mindfulness. Basically applying some meditation techniques and/or other extremely effective perspective-adjusting exercises that are very calming. For me, it’s meditation, for you, maybe it’s a yoga or deep breathing. Admittedly, I sometimes forget I have this invaluable tool in my life-toolbox -especially if I’m overtired, hungry, or my judgements are compromised somehow. If you forget too, try leaving little clues for yourself when it is on your mind, like a post-it with your snacks “checking in” or setting an alert on your phone. The benefits are instant! (But if you’re not into meditation, don’t sweat. I also love re-reading my favorite quotes and book-passages. It’s a different kind of stabilizing and provides a very secure feeling, like a deep reassurance from a trusted friend. So keep a favorite book nearby, it helps!).
  4. Anticipating the Need. Do your best to think of yourself first and anticipate when and what kind of break you’ll be needing. While working long and hard is invigorating for me, I know that if I don’t stop myself, I’ll try to force myself through fatigue and try to scratch the absolute bottom of my mental barrel. If this sounds familiar (and if you’re an entrepreneur or have the creative impulse, it absolutely will!), try setting a time limit to your break, take it, return to work, and you’ll be happy knowing you’re working smarter.

My ultimate recommendation is: Take what you can use from this post and discard the rest. Fit it to your life and your needs.

Resisting the urge to copy and paste this entire beautifully written post from The Scientific American, I’ll just relay a few choice quotes that stuck with me:

“Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life. A wandering mind unsticks us in time so that we can learn from the past and plan for the future. Moments of respite may even be necessary to keep one’s moral compass in working order and maintain a sense of self.”

The article also goes into detail relaying new research that supports the idea that our brain is working no less when we are in a state of rest, or downtime. That support greatly adds to the favor of intuition as an information bank which is exciting for me as I’m regularly explaining to people the scientific function and overall importance of the real human mechanism called the intuition!

“…that the human brain is in fact a glutton, constantly demanding 20 percent of all the energy the body produces and requiring only 5 to 10 percent more energy than usual when someone solves calculus problems or reads a book.”

So, give yourself permission to care for your brain, and Give your Self a break!

Earth Day 2016 | Earth Day Every Day

It’s a capitalists’ mistake not having fully incorporated nature as part of capital.

Until now, and in the worst way.

From 1970 to 2008, the earth system has lost 30 percent of its biodiversity. In tropical areas, the loss has even been as high as 60 percent. This is the result of an economic system that monetizes nature as a “thing”, objectified as this forever-flowing resource to be exploited, sold, transformed, and profited from.

So let’s take a closer look at “green economy”, which looks a little bit (I mean, a lot) like transnational corporations promoting more capitalism under the ambiguous moniker.

Back to biodiversity; We’re in a great struggle to preserve biodiversity, but how do we put a price on the free services that plants, animals, and ecosystems offer humanity? Back up a sec, what do you mean, “put a price on”?

Specific functions of ecosystems and biodiversity that can be priced and then put out into a global market are being identified as “Natural Capital”.

The following is an excerpt from a report by Ecosystem Marketplace of what motivates Green Economy advocates:

Given their enormous impact on our daily lives, it’s astounding that we don’t pay more atten¬tion, or dollars, to ecosystem services. Ecosystems provide trillions of dollars in clean water, flood protection, fertile lands, clean air, pollination, disease control – to mention just a few. These services are essential to maintaining livable conditions and are delivered by the world’s largest utilities. Far larger in value and scale than any electric, gas, or water utility could pos¬sibly dream of. And the infrastructure, or hard assets, that generate these services are simply: healthy ecosystems.

So how do we secure this enormously valuable infrastructure and its services? The same way we would electricity, potable water, or natural gas. We pay for it.

Next steps are privatizing functions and processes of nature and then labeling them “environmental services”, setting a price and putting it out on the market. The report also includes estimates of annual values of these “environmental services”.

REDD(Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation)’s purpose is to isolate one of the functions of the forest, like it’s ability to capture and store carbon, and then measure how much CO2 it can capture. Once the value of the potential carbon storage of the forest has been estimated, carbon credits are issued and sold to wealthy countries and behemoth corporations who buy/sell these credits as polluting permits in the carbon markets.

If Indonesia has a deforestation rate of 1,700,000 hectares per year  and only deforests 1,500,000 next year, it’ll be able to sell in the REDD market the carbon credits for teh amount of CO2 that’s stored by the remaining 200,000!

Corporations purchasing the credits still release CO2 into the atmosphere, as they’ve essentially bought polluting permits for the rich. (Kind of like how some religious organizations will sell “free passes” to commit wrongs under many guises and names, methinks)

Big deal: Only countries that REDUCE their deforestation will be able to put carbon credits in the REDD market. So if a place has always preserved its forest, they won’t be able to sell any carbon credits from reduction of deforestation. Results include countries that are cutting down trees with the purpose of increasing deforestation later, so that in the future the “reduction of deforestation” will be higher and they’ll be able to put more carbon credits onto the market.

That’s just the “green economy” for forests: the entire system is about monetizing nature and cheating everyone.

You can see where this will lead.

Lots of market-based solutions require monetizing nature and that just plalys into the paradigm of commercialization.

Dr. Vandana Shiva says in her book ‘Making Peace with the Earth’,

“Green economics needs to be an authentic green, it cannot be the brown of desertification and deforestation. It cannot be the red of violence against nature and people, or the unnecessary conflicts over natural resources”.

We need a new vision. We need a new economic paradigm. We need to make changes on the structural and foundational level.

The Veni Vidi Amavi Foundation considers these and more environmental concerns, and let me tell you, we are poised to make a massive difference for the planet and all geocentric life. Please join us in our commitment to planet Earth, and consider doing something in your life, big or small, that returns benefit to the nature around you.

I posted this exact post on the linked website, and guys, it sounds gloomy, I know. I know, but I’m really excited to roll up my sleeves and get in there to do my best to offset some of this damage. So, stay tuned for the great programs, initiatives, and all other sorts of kooky-creative ideas I’m cooking up to make a difference.

I hope you’ll consider joining me.

EarthDay2016