Category Archives: environment

The Real Recycling 101

After the city’s falsely named “Recycling 101” event turned out to be more of a budget meeting than a presentation on how to recycle, Sustainable Tucson hosted our own program, “Recycling and Beyond.” We stressed to Sherri Ludlam, Environmental Scientist in the Department of Environmental and General Services, that this time we wanted her to concentrate on the rules for recycling. Her chosen topic was “old and new challenges to Tucson’s recycling program.” One of the new challenges was that China wouldn’t be accepting all of our dirty recycling anymore because of the contamination. Contamination is all the trash that doesn’t belong in recycling – including plastic bags that jam up the machines. That same contamination is costing the company contracted to do our recycling truck loads of money. Our bad. Tucsonans put everything from dirty diapers to dead cats to Saguaros in our recycling cans. Sherri reminded us that there are actual people who sort through all that yucky trash. So don’t throw in anything that you wouldn’t want to find in your own recycling can.
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Climate Change Deniers Must heed the Lessons of Noah and the Ark

In the telling of the later versions of the Genesis tale of Noah and the Ark (those not in the original Biblical accounts), the people are shown mocking Noah and his family for wasting a century in constructing the large vessel that would sustain them and the selected animals during the flood. In other versions, they ignore Noah’s warnings to build arks of their own so they avoid the cataclysm that God intended for Earth. Today, with a significant portion of the Trump (formerly Republican) Party denying the existence of human-made climate change, it is easy now to see the Genesis Flood story as one of climate change with Noah as the protagonist warning people of the natural catastrophe that was about to be unleashed and the rest of the populace denying and ridiculing him until it was too late. Today, it is the scientists warning of the consequences of our actions and inactions on climate change and it is the Trump Administration, in denying its own far-reaching report, that are not heeding the lessons of history and pursuing policies to combat the problem while it still can be.

We need to pay heed to the environmental lessons of Noah and the Ark.

It is ironic that the now Trump Party in its former Republican Party form once embraced and championed science, land conservation, and environmental protection. It was a Republican President Theodore Roosevelt that helped develop the United States Forest and Park Services. It was a Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, following the launch of Sputnik, who oversaw the creation of N.A.S.A. and the start of the space race. It was a Republican President Richard Nixon that signed the legislation that created the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) and Clean Air Act.

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Celebrate Our Sustainable Future

 

Sustainable Tucson invites you to our holiday party.

St Mark’s Presbyterian Church, Geneva Room,  3809 E 3rd St.
Tuesday, December. 11, 6-8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30)

Share the bounty of the season at our holiday potluck. Non-alcoholic drinks provided by Sustainable Tucson. Save a dinosaur; bring your own flatware and glasses.

REASON TO CELEBRATE: If you’ve read the recent IPCC study on climate change, you might not think there is much to celebrate this holiday season. The idea that climate change is progressing faster than first predicted can be quite a jolt, even if you’re already working to fight it. But it could also be an opportunity to come together as a community to envision and create a better, more sustainable and resilient Tucson!

At this year’s holiday party, Sustainable Tucson will be celebrating the possibilities by recreating a festival atmosphere with street fair activities:

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Reactionaries Attack the Progressive Propensity of Doctor Who

New Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker and her new team of companions (from left to right) Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, and Tosin Cole

Since human beings could learn to write, satirists, playwrights, and writers (especially those in science fiction and fantasy) have written about the human condition, often in fictional works that depict moral parables and themes. Examples such as Gulliver’s Travels, Les Miserable, Moby Dick, The Count of Monte Cristo, Pinocchio, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and the Harry Potter series illustrate how writers express their views on humanity through the camouflage of fictional storytelling.

As technology made it possible, noted movie and television creative influences like Rod Serling, Fritz Lang, Genes Roddenberry and Coon, Steven Spielberg, and a host of others used the new visual art medium to convey what is good and bad about the human condition. Indeed people who have watched the best episodes of the Twilight Zone, Star Trek (all the series,) and The Outer Limits were drawn to the episodes that made them think and reflect on what humanity is like and its potential for both good and bad. Likewise, the silver screen with classics like Metropolis, The Bride of Frankenstein, Planet of the Apes (the original), ET, and The Twelve Monkey’s have had a lasting impact on the moral lessons they have taught since their theatrical release.

One noted science fiction and fantasy television show that, like the ones mentioned above, has historically tackled social issues since its creation in 1963 has come under renewed scrutiny by reactionaries who take issue with the show’s progressive direction in casting and story selection. That show is the BBC sensation Doctor Who.

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Blue Wave Washed over #AZLeg: Seven GOP Incumbents Lose Seats

AZ House Democratic Caucus

Democratic Caucus of the Arizona House– all 29 of us! Our newly elected Minority Leader is Rep. Charlene Fernandez (center in white jacket).

In the week since the 2018 Midterm Election, pundits have been judging the size and very existence of the predicted Blue Wave . To determine if the Blue Wave of newly elected Democrats was a tsunami or a just ripple, the media has focused primarily on Congressional and gubernatorial races–with little or no mention of state legislatures.

With voter turnout at 60%, there is no doubt that a Blue Wave washed over Arizona on Nov. 6, 2018. Democratic women won major victories: US Senate (Kyrsten Sinema), CD2 (Ann Kirkpatrick), Corporation Commission (Sandra Kennedy), Superintendent of Public Instruction (Kathy Hoffman), and maybe but still too close to call Secretary of State (Katie Hobbs). The incumbent Republicans for three of these seats– Corporation Commission (Tom Forese), Superintendent of Public Instruction (Diane Douglas), and Secretary of State (Michelle Reagan)– all lost in the primary. Now, Democrats will hold those seats.

In the Arizona House, the Blue Wave was more of a tsunami. Seven Republican incumbents will not be returning to the Arizona Legislature in January 2019.

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