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Signs of Climate Change

The People’s Climate March this past Sunday was an exhilarating experience in NYC!  It felt great to unite with 300,000+ people for an urgent cause and make history.  On TV the march looked more like a street party than a protest, which is a testament to the organizers’ abilities to infuse a positive spirit into the march.  The early hours of the
march, however, were spent standing in one spot in sardine like conditions due to the great turnout.   There’s only so many times you can play I spy with your kids.P1080939

How do you keep your sanity when you can’t move an inch?  Enlist your kids to find the best signs and slogans out there.  So, here they are folks, the 20 most clever signs we spotted:

20. After Today Then What
19. Evolve or Dissolve
18. Climate Action Not Climate Gamble
17. Your Grandchildren are More Likely to Die from Climate Change than from Terrorism
16. Imagine if Trees Gave Off Wifi.  We’d Plant So Many We’d Probably Save The World.  Too Bad Trees Only Provide Us With the Oxygen We Need…TO LIVE!
15. Rich Kids Investing in the Next Economy
14. Hotties Against Global Warming
13. Nurture Our Nature Naturally
12. Change How We Live to Ensure We Can Live
11. Turn Up the Hope Not the Heat
10. The Best Unit of Energy is a Negawatt
9.   Dinos Did Not See the Asteroid Coming.  What’s Your Excuse?
8.   System Change Not Climate Change
7.   Let Solar Power Flower
6.   Have the Nerve to Conserve
5.   Keep the Oil in the Soil
4.   Don’t Be A Fossil Fool
3.   Solar Spares Polar Bears
2.   Earth Needs Some Likes
1.   There is No Planet B

Moms versus Mowers

A stand of Milkweed plants grows alongside a road close to my home.  It’s only about 20 feet by 10 feet, but this island of Milkweed must look like an oasis to a female Monarch butterfly gliding above as she searches for a place to lay her eggs.  These beautiful butterflies will only lay their eggs on Milkweed, the sole source of food for Monarch caterpillars.  Milkweed plants are much less abundant nowadays, which is one of the reasons the amazing annual migration of the Monarchs from Mexico to the Eastern US is now endangered.

Recently I was approaching the island of Milkweed as I was driving home when up ahead I saw a mowing truck.  With its mechanical arm outstretched, it was cutting the roadside vegetation and closing in on the Milkweed.  My heart sank.  This was not only a critical habitat but a sacred location to my 9-year-old son who I call the Butterfly Whisperer.  My son is on a mission to help save the Monarchs and this milkweed is at the center of his efforts.  He collects caterpillars and eggs off these plants and takes them home to raise in his bedroom safe from predators.  He also collects this milkweed to feed his caterpillars.  We have never seen a mower here before, but there it was like a hungry monster with ferocious teeth and I had little time to think.

I drove over and pulled up alongside the mower saying to myself, “I don’t know who’s driving this thing but he is going to think I am nuts when I ask him to stop.”  The mower was very loud but, fortunately, the driver saw my car approaching and turned his mechanical monster off as he could see I was stopping alongside.  I saw a young man was at the controls as I began with, “you are probably going to think I’m crazy but you’re about to cut down some very important plants.”  I thought he would likely not care about the little insects or that he would tell me he was just following orders.

I have sometimes wondered if I would throw myself in front of a logging truck if I lived near the giant sequoia trees.  Well, would I do it now?  Would I throw myself between the mower and the Milkweed?  How far would I go?   Fortunately, the young man told me that he had cut enough for what he needed to do and he could stop where he was.  I felt relief wash over me as I smiled and thanked him.   It also gave me added strength to continue my environmental education work, which can sometimes be a frustrating effort. Certainly not everyone will listen or try to do their part, but maybe enough people will.  Long live the Monarchs!