Climate Change, Now With Fluoride Again, and Cannabis Too! (Again Updated) – January 24, 2008

The good news is, those disappearing glaciers have got to be going somewhere.
The bad news is, they’ve turned into water, and we live on the coast.

Next week, a national “Focus the Nation” teach-in will attempt to rally citizen participation in solutions to this looming problem. On the Jan. 24, 2008, we’ll have as guests several participants in the local FTN event.

For our first segment, the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District has received and released its consultant’s study of costs associated with fluoridation.

Final update: We will have the opportunity to discuss the fluoridation study after all, with Tom Marking, general manager of the McKinleyville Community Services District.

Also, the California Supreme Court has decided that Prop 215 patients can be fired for using medical marijuana at work. We’ll have a representative of Americans for Safe Access on to discuss that.

Our Focus The Nation guests, and the names of their presentations at FTN, are:

The Abundant Energy Future: Global Perspectives and Local Solutions – Michael Winkler, Schatz Energy Research Center

Footprints and Offsets – Hype? No, HEIF! – Dick Hansis, HSU Natural Resources

Obstacles to Change – Dr. Beth Wilson, HSU Economics

Oceans and Climate Change – Jeff Abell, HSU Oceanography

Why Eat Local? And How to Do It! – Susan Ornelas, local food activist
Below is the FTN press release.


ARCATA – Positive and creative solutions to climate change will be discussed at a national Teach-In on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at Humboldt State University.

This non-partisan and interdisciplinary event, called Focus the Nation, is free and open to everyone. Faculty, students, community members, and political leaders will participate in a dialog intended to change our outlook on climate change, moving us from an attitude of defeatism to one of opportunity.

Humboldt State is joining with more than 1100 universities, colleges, secondary schools and places of worship across the U.S. to devote attention to a topic that many feel is emerging as the largest challenge of our time.

“Focus the Nation offers all of us the rare opportunity to change the course of human history from one of consumption and destruction to one of caring, conservation and community,” said Gregg Gold, chair of the North Group Sierra Club and psychology professor at HSU.

Panel discussions, speakers and interactive workshops will address issues relating to climate change, and how to transform our energy and economic future.

Session topics will include: The Science of Global Warming, Psychological Impacts – Obstacles to Change, Climate and the Global South, Motivating Action, among many others. Hands-on workshops will also be included in the day’s events. Dell’Arte and Humboldt Circus performers will bring life to the ideas.

“Today’s college students are truly the greatest generation,” said Dr. Eban Goodstein, professor of economics at Lewis & Clark University and project director for the national Focus The Nation effort. “No other generation has ever had to face this kind of civilizational challenge. And we as educators would be failing if we did not prepare them with the tools to meet this challenge.”

Check-in for the Focus the Nation event opens at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 30, in the Karshner Lounge on the HSU campus, and the program begins at 9 a.m., continuing until 9 p.m. A keynote address accompanied by music and performance is at noon on the HSU Quad (Kate Buchanan Room in case of rain.)

The day’s events will also include 2% Solution, a National Video Webcast on Earth Day Network, produced by the National Wildlife Federation, shown at 5 p.m. in the Kate Buchanan Room on the HSU campus.

“We have the opportunity right now to apply our human creativity and technology to change our energy future, and this is what we have to do to stabilize our climate,” said Jennifer Berman, coordinator of Redwood Alliance’s Climate Action Project and Focus the Nation team member.

Berman added that an important goal of Focus the Nation is to notify elected officials that the American people care about this issue and to pressure them to pass aggressive climate legislation. All participants in Focus the Nation will be given an opportunity to vote on national priorities concerning our climate future. The votes will be presented to political representatives and 2008 presidential candidates.

“By participating in the democratic process each one of us has the power to strengthen our democracy,” Berman said.

Focus the Nation will continue on Thursday, Jan. 31, with a Town Hall Meeting at the Arcata City Council Chamber broadcast live on Access Humboldt Channel 12.

The Town Hall Meeting offers an opportunity for the public to engage our elected officials in discussions about local, state, and national climate solutions. Political representatives will share the stage with students representing all political parties. Each of these panel members will state their climate policy priorities and listen to questions and comments from the audience.

“Focus The Nation is an historic adventure in participatory democracy as we both educate ourselves and engage each other in order to create a more secure, just and peaceful future,” Berman said.

For more information and a detailed schedule of Focus The Nation events, go to or call (707) 845-3902.


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