Saturday, October 27, 2012

Attention Asian environmental advocates

I'm interested in connecting with other people of color, particularly Asian Americans, who value environmental conservation. What led me to this step is at the conclusion of a shark conservation talk I recently attended, both a small Hong Kong immigrant and older white China basher were visibly convinced a (white) speaker had placed 100% of the blame for shark kills on demand by ethnic Chinese. I felt this was an embarrassment for the shark conservation movement.
Environmental conservation has radically shifted since I was in school: climate change has finally entered popular awareness and the pressure on international cooperation is on. But domestic environmental campaigns are still white-dominated. I'm interested to find if and how other Asians stand among their ethnic communities as conservation leaders. Until conservation values are held in common across national and ethnic borders, there can be little progress on global environmental concerns.

Please suggest people for me to track down or let me know what you think about domestic or international conservation movements.

Monday, October 22, 2012

New piece for voice: We Built That Together

My friend spotted a trilobite fossil on a hike yesterday. She was in Michigan, on billions-years-old tectonic plate that probably hosted the individual she found in a stream or lake. This vastly diverse group of invertebrates were wiped out 250 millions years ago along with almost all life on earth.

We're thoroughly connected to an unimaginable past and inevitable future. Our nation was connected by President Eisenhower via a spectacular program to build interstate highways. High-volume transportation burns fossil fuels, a practice that notoriously connects us to the most unstable regions of the world and destabilize the planet's capacity to sustain life as we know it.

With this in mind, I dashed off a piece for solo voice. Vocalists & linguists, please try it out! Bring your phone or favorite recorder so we can listen together. Comments are welcome here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tues Nov 6 is Election Day

In under three weeks we'll be stopping by our local polling places in the definitive act of democracy. I've avidly followed the presidential and vp debates, always arriving late from work, this Tuesday from being trained to work an Oakland return center (where ballots are collected after polls close). The process is a well-oiled machine, run by the County and citizen workers, that's put to the test only once a year, and expected to process record volumes this year.

No matter what your priorities and values, you participate in the US economy and government. Get out and vote November 6, or now if your state has early voting. You can find out this and other ballot information at By filling in your street address, the site takes you to a summary of contested seats and referendum items in your district.

I'm into the list of upcoming debates and forums, below. That's hot date material right there.

Then as always, write your representatives. They're also listed on LWV. Yes, the ones who rubber-stamped the waiver of environmental analysis for deep-sea drilling that resulted in the BP catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. Even those who aren't up for election this year. Show your friends and me what you tell them, because if nine others write a congressional office about the same issue, staff will investigate. Remember to identify yourself as a voting constituent. If you can blog, you can write your rep.

That's what democracy looks like.