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.

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