Heat Domes, Deepfakes, Disinformation-Plus History of Juneteenth and CEO’s choosing dollars over Democracy with George Polisner, Founder of Civ.Works

Yogi Berra quote: “It ain’t the heat it’s the humility.”

“When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.” Ronald Reagan

Over half of the United States is currently sweltering under a heat dome making millions of people miserable. The song Summer Time written by George Gershwin, which has been covered by Ella Fitzgerald, Janis Joplin and others has the line “summer time, and the living is easy” but climate change is changing the tune. As weather becomes more extreme, heat waves, floods and wildfires are now the norm, and more and more people are living in conditions that are detrimental to their health and well being. The cries from the cult say it’s all a hoax, and it’s just the weather. Well, if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. The weather is so extreme, that insurance companies are no longer offering home insurance in many states which are more prone to hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and earthquakes. Deny, deny, deny and drill, drill, drill continue to be the mantras of a certain political party out of touch with the citizens who they represent who have been affected by extreme weather and cannot get their lives back. Disinformation is being used to divide the populous and create chaos. A government of the people, by the people and for the people cannot subsist when propaganda rules the news cycles. So what can we do to make things better and how can we shape policy and forge ahead in a more positive way? There are actions being taken to help the environment, such as the newly established American Climate Corps. The first class of ACC was recently sworn in to this federal program that is meant to place young people in the clean energy, conservation and climate resilience sectors. In addition, there are clean tech innovations being developed and environmental groups are working to protect the planet. In terms of what you can do to help, be active in your community and teach civility and civics to your kids. Also, please make sure you are registered to vote (go to voteamerica.com). On this episode of TMSOG podcast, our resident environmentalist, political analyst and curmudgeon, George Polisner, founder of Civ.works, gives us some insight into environmental and political issues. We discuss Juneteenth, deepfakes and disinformation, as well as what actions we can take before November 5th and much more. Visit civ.works for more info.

To listen to past TMSOG shows go to HudsonRiverRadio.com and Malcolmpresents.com. Follow The Many Shades of Green on Facebook, Instagram and Threads @tmshadesofgreen. Listen to TMSOG podcasts on all major podcast apps. #RaiseYourEcoConsciousness

TMSOG is proud to be on Feedspot’s list of the 50 Best Environmental Podcasts to follow in 2024: https://podcasts.feedspot.com/environmental_podcasts/

War, what is it good for? And Some Good environmental news in Portugal and more with George Polisner founder of Civ.Works

WAR by Edwin Starr 1970War, huh, yeah…What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, uh!

The sixties and seventies were filled with protest songs like WAR, as battles raged in Vietnam and Cambodia, killing thousands of young men and Vietcong, as well as the collateral damage of innocent lives. There was a draft, and young men did not want to fight what they thought was a senseless war. A song written in the 50’s by Pete Seeger, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, has the lyric “When will we ever learn”? And the Rodgers and Hammerstein song from South Pacific, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” has lyrics which delve into racism and hate, placed within a beautiful ballad: Here are some of the lyrics: 

You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear. You’ve got to be taught from year to year, it’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear—You’ve got to be carefully taught!

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid of people whose eyes are oddly made, and people whose skin is a different shade—You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late, before you are six or seven or eight, to hate all the people your relatives hate—You’ve got to be carefully taught! You’ve got to be carefully taught!

Fast forward to October 2023, and the question stays the same, WAR what is it good for, absolutely nothin’!!! There are no words for the atrocities which are being unleashed in Israel and Gaza. Mankind has once again plummeted into yet another war. So what is the answer? Does one avenge and take revenge? How does one cope with the humanitarian and moral dilemma? I truly have no words to express my feelings and outrage. How long will this hate and destruction go on? So the tune “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” keeps popping into my mind, and the refrain written by Pete Seeger in 1955, “when will they ever learn when will they ever learn” is now a constant ear worm in my head. There is much to discuss, and on this episode of TMSOG George Polisner our resident political, economic, environmental, social justice expert and founder of Civ.works gives us some insight into the Israeli conflict with Hamas, the insanity of US Politics and some positive energy solutions from Portugal. For more info check out Civ.Works and for past podcasts go to HudsonRiverRadio.com and Malcolmpresents.com. Please subscribe to The Many Shades of Green on all major podcast apps. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Threads @tmshadesofgreen #RaiseYourEcoConsciousness

The Democracy Doomsday Clock is Ticking

We are now in very trying times and the need for putting together the collective will of the people who want clean air, healthcare, gun reform, affordable housing and democratic values is becoming more difficult due to the spreading of misinformation and outright lies. The citizenry must vote for leaders who have the ability to provide policies, and are educated and versed in making government work. Time in not on our side, and my guest on this episode, George Polisner, says that the democracy doomsday clock is quickly ticking away. George is a monthly commentator and friend of the podcast, who is working to educate citizens about civic responsibility to increase participation to promote the civic good. He is working to engage the populous to be more active and take action to protect our democratic values. George is a Behavioral Economist and Technologist with a passion for civic engagement and works to create a growing and fair economy, safe and well-funded schools and environmental protection. He is active in policy, addressing wealth and income inequality, participatory democracy and he has significant experience in corporate social responsibility. George is the Founder of Civ Works, a non-profit technology platform for civic engagement, constituent engagement, participatory democracy and participatory budgeting. For more info go to Civ.works. Please subscribe to TMSOG podcast on your favorite podcast app, and for past shows go to HudsonRiverRadio.com and Malcolmpresents.com #RaiseYourEcoConsciousness

Getting Fed Up

 

By Susan Lutz

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is watch. We know we should speak up. We know we should act. But, at times, we must let go and watch.

For years I’ve watched young people around me participate in life according to what others have told them. Advertisers cram sugar down kids’ throats; plastic toys fill up bins; we consume and consume and create chaos in our drive to satiate our desires.

I’ve worked to be a model for my kids in how I eat. I speak up about how the milk on the table is made and where the eggs in the carton come from. I show them videos about ecology, recycling, and humane treatment to animals. After awhile, I feel like the teacher in the comic strip, the Peanuts: bla bla bla – after awhile, my message thinned over the airwaves of our home. I knew some was getting in, but society pushes hard. I gave up on some issues, even warmed to a few I once staunchly disliked (i.e. Disney comes to mind).

As I watched my kids and friends’ kids grow, I’d learn of one becoming a vegetarian, another off to build a solar boat, and others blossoming in their awareness of the environment. When a young person’s mind turns on, it’s an amazing thing to stand witness too.

After a class of kids I know saw the documentary film, Fed Up, some were appalled at the treatment of our food system and as if awoken from their childhood world and were shocked at how corporations had a grip on what went into our food. Some I talked to truly empathized with people in the story, suffering from obesity or health issues all so companies could turn a buck.

The light bulbs didn’t just go on – the passion arose. I could see their minds ticking and their ire rise. Discovering the message the film was way more powerful than me just babbling on about it at the dinner table. I am sure the message will fade and settle over time but perhaps a few will let it truly sink in.

The hard truth is we have to go back into the grocery stores, feed our families, and ourselves drink our water, and breathe the polluted air. Cutting out sugar is a lot harder once we realize it is in almost everything we eat. Yet, the power in what they now know gives me the confidence to now watch as they take on these issues for a new generation. And, once they’ve grabbed on and owned it, we can join together and speak up with a louder voice than before.

The Olympics: The View from Here

By Susan Lutz

Warming up to these 2016 Olympics took awhile. All the reports of the toxic water, Zika threats, and displacement of people from their homes made the Summer Olympics seem superfluous – an extra we might be able to live without or at the very least change?

But the games began. I’ve plopped in front of the television so many times over the years to watch the athletic phenoms, it felt odd to ignore it. The hype is hard to ignore. With kids, I grapple how we can understand what the tradition these games are, yet bring in a balance of the very real costs to the environment and world it can cause.

From the nightly news to social media, reporters highlight the trash in the water or the post a picture of the protests in the street. I want to cheer them on, stand up and do a fist pump when a swimmer gets another gold, and marvel over the mind-boggling gymnasts. Yet the images of cost both environmentally and socially linger in my consciousness while I watch. The hour broadcast delay also adds to the disconnection the larger powers have with the people who play and support the athletes.

Because it is about the athletes, the coming together of nations for a few weeks, in the hopes of putting down hostilities and instead playing some hoops (and all other games). As an athlete that competed at the collegiate and national level, I found inner strength, trained to break barriers (especially my own), and came together day after day with teammates for the purpose of a higher goal. That feeling in the gut, from throwing that pitch, making that shot, nailing that dive, or winning that sprint, those moments represent a long path of people working together and can translate to a deep connection to others. I see it when my son takes a shot in soccer or gets back out there after falling down – he’s rallied around, supported, and finds a strength to continue on. I truly believe these skills help him in his daily challenges.

Yet, we can’t play our games and shoot down others in the process. When the Olympics leave Rio, how will the country change? How will we change? What will happen to the neighborhood once the torch is extinguished? So many Olympic villages rode into town and left behind an empty land. What will we do differently before the next summer – and winter – Olympics return? Maybe it’s time to have one permanent spot for the Olympics. Or a guaranteed plan that the immense building that takes place due to the creation of the Olympic village has a useful, environmentally effective, re-purposed to move a city, state, and its people forward.

I’ve also lived in a country where the site of trash in the waters and along the road was tough to stomach, sometimes literally. Shaming a country from our the screens of our phones casts a quick judgment on the deep challenges a society faces from budget to resources to societal norms. We can embrace the change and ignite other nations by working at change in our homes and villages.

I’m still drawn in by the bottom line of the Olympics. I tell both stories to my children, the challenges and the successes, with the hopes of opening their awareness to the cause and effect we have on our world. I am not sure the world today is better or worse with the Olympics. The cost seems awfully high, but it won’t disappear in the next years. Cities will bid for the right to host until we all decide to change. The Olympics, like us all, are in a process of growth. What I hope is that looks to the future with an eye for making the world better for us all.

 

 

 

 

 

1612: The Boys are Back in Town

The boys are back in town, as my Token Bros Phil and Mitch Margo join me this week, to discuss the greening of the music industry. Are music venues being more eco-conscious, and are musical artists doing more to promote environmental issues? Both Phil and Mitch drive hybrid/electric cars, reuse and recycle, are doing their part to be more sustainable on a daily basis. Is the peaceful village in The Token’s famous song, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, powered by solar yet? For more information, visit thetokens.com.

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Star Power

By Susan Lutz

Looking up to the sky, I seem so small. “100 Billion Galaxies each with 100 Billion Stars,” said Carl Sagan in the Cosmos episode 7, “The Backbone of Night.”

The power of his message grew with the rise of his own star. Today, many stars lend their voice to our star, planet earth, in hopes of fixing the mess we find ourselves in.

That smallness continues as the dawn breaks, I look around, and wonder how we can do anything to create change. We’re choking on plastic, dumping toxins in rivers, and spewing harmful gasses into the atmosphere. This is just the short list. Again, I look to the stars.

There are a lot of people doing important, tough work for our environment. I’d have to Google their names though because I can’t remember them. The moment a star, a film or literary or political star, begins talking about the environment – that I remember. I sit up and listen, or at least pause, when a star speaks about the work we need to do concerning the environment.

The reality is, a familiar face brings attention to the issue. Leonard DiCapprio spoke to the Pope about the environment. He has his own foundation called, The Leonard DiCapprio Foundation, dedicated to protecting the world’s last wild places. Julia Roberts is Mother Nature in a gorgeous, short video, “Nature is Speaking.”

Woody Harrelson hosts “Ethos,” a documentary looking “into the flaws in our systems, and the mechanisms that work against democracy, our environment and the common good.” Jeff Bridges narrates the video for the Plastic Pollution Coalition, “Open Your Eyes.”

Either I am starry-eyed or I am truly hearing the important message these spokespersons relate. After I saw the video narrated by Jeff Bridges, I felt nauseas at all the plastic I used. And I consider myself an aware person. Though the practice could seem cliché, I see a twinkle of light and hope as perhaps the message breaks through the atmosphere or our messy minds for just a moment. And funny, after hanging with Julia, Leonardo, Woody, Jeff, and even Carl, I feel like a bit of a bigger star. I feel inspired to do more, to and to help, even if it is the smallest of things.

 

 

 

John Parker – Riverkeeper

john-luis-parker-environmental-lawyerRiverkeeper, the guardian of the water, land and air celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year, and it is fitting to have friend of the show, John Parker, Director of Legal Programs at Riverkeeper, as my guest this week. We discuss all the great work Riverkeeper has done over these last five decades, as well as what they will continue to do to preserve and protect the environment. Keeping the waterways vibrant, and our drinking water clean, is essential to the health and well being of the citizens in New York State and beyond. To find out more about this great organization, go to Riverkeeper.org.

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Get the Lead Out

1610-Get-The-Lead-Out-The-Many-Shades-of-Green-promoAs the people of Flint Michigan fight for better quality water, the problem of lead pipes has come to the forefront of the newscycle. Enter our guest this week, Bill Spataro, a metallurgist who has worked for the New York Power Authority. Bill explains how chemicals from lead leach into the water systems, and what effect those chemicals have on those who bathe in and drink lead laced water. This is not just a problem in Flint, it could happen in your own backyard or community. Is this all preventable? To find out more about this issue go to health.ny.gov/environmental/lead/

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1607: The Essence of Effluence

My guest this week is Carl Gilpatrick, Senior Sewer Operator for the Town of Stony Point, NY. We discuss the essence of effluence a/k/a how waste gets treated when it is flushed, what sludge is comprised of, and what goes through the sewer system. The process is quite interesting, and sewage treatment plants are crucial to proper waste management, as well as the health and safety of the citizenry. There are things that should never be flushed or be put down the drain. Tune in to find out what those items are. You can get more info by visiting www3.epa.gov

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Women Farmers Turn Over the Land with Success

By Susan Lutz

The roles of farmers often seem to go to men. Perhaps rooting from generations of roll assignments – the men work the land, the women raise the children and support their husbands. My family’s roots stretch back to farming. I remember the stories of my grandmothers supporting their husbands, doing the chores, and feeding the family and the extra farm hands. Without these women, the farms wouldn’t run. As times change, the farm is changing, too.

Organic lifestyles are creating demands for less pesticides, more local crops, and food grown without GMOs. Farms used to rely on the next generation of children, usually the son, to step up and take over. As large corporations took over acres, they created a mass production and marketing system and small farms couldn’t compete. We watched family farms collapse in the ’80s. Today, women are finding ways to farm with new insight and success.

The US Department of Agriculture reports that, beginning in the 1980s, women farmers were the “fastest-growing sector of the country’s changing agricultural landscape” and they will continue to be well into the next 25 years. The number continues to rise and women farmers are gaining visibility. The economic challenge for farmers has shifted from the tradition of turning the farm over to their children, especially to the boys, to the unknown. Many families turn away from the farm for work, but today more girls and women are choosing to stay. Some enter farming for reasons such as wanting to raise children in the rural lifestyle while others may see it as a profitable way to live. Some simply want to promote organic living. Some women choose sustainable farming and some undertake a larger scale.

Where does a woman, either working alone or with a partner, turn for resources? The growing number of women farmers has created new opportunities in education, management, production, and financial resources. The Internet, blogging, and social media have opened up a new avenue of community to women farmers. With a quick click, any woman can look up how to attack a cucumber beetle without pesticides or when the best time to plant a certain crop is, and they can share stories and develop friendships with other farmers.

Women are taking back the earth. Not from men, but together as partners. My grandmother and grandfather left the farm even before the economy suffered. Over time they gravitated closer to factories and industries offering steady pay. I wonder, if the resources today were available to them, would they have had a chance to grow their farm and adapt with help rather than flee in the hopes of just staying alive and making ends meet. The organic movement is so important to so many women I know. One farm at a time, we may see the land and its caretakers turn over a whole new leaf.

 

Getting Green on the Road

Seth-LeitmanElectric cars are cool, electric cars are fun, electric cars don’t pollute the air we breathe, so why aren’t there more of them on the road? My co-host Brian Horowtiz and I chat about this and other topics, with my guest Seth Leitman, Green Living Guy. Seth is an EV car aficionado, and author of a series of books called the Green Guru Guides. He is working with the Solarize initiative in Westchester County to promote solar energy. Seth will be lecturing and touring colleges this Spring, to spread the word about green living. For more information go to greenlivingguy.com

 

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