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A New Shade of Green

By Sherry Listgarten

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About this blog: Climate change, despite its outsized impact on the planet, is still an abstract concept to many of us. That needs to change. My hope is that readers of this blog will develop a better understanding of how our climate is evolving a...  (More)

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An Interlude of Gratitude

Uploaded: Dec 22, 2019
It’s a busy time of year so this post will be short and sweet. Since it also happens to be the 50th post, a mini milestone, I thought I’d take the opportunity to thank...

Readers
First of all, thank you for taking at least a few minutes each week to read about and think about climate change with a local slant. It’s not always a fun or easy topic, but it’s important. Hopefully we can all keep learning about this stuff together.

Commenters
Second, thank you for making the effort not only to read but to post thoughtful comments and questions. A guy from Caltrain looked at this blog a few months ago and said: “Wow, you have a polite and well-informed comment section!” I learn many things from your comments, as I’m sure do others.

On that note, I care a lot about how we communicate about climate change. Katherine Hayhoe is a well-regarded climate scientist and communicator. When asked what encourages and discourages her about this past year, her response on the latter was telling: “I am profoundly discouraged by how quickly this (increased popular awareness of climate change) turns into fear, and fear turns into judgment, and judgment turns into circling the wagons and attacking each other…. I used to fear that apathy could doom us – now, I fear that it is our fear that will.” Your thoughtful comments show that we can do better.

This applies especially to those who may disagree with a post or another comment, yet are able to read with an open mind, acknowledge things you do agree with, and respectfully communicate alternative points of view. It is so much harder to take in and process dissenting information than information that conforms to your existing views. I really appreciate that extra effort.

I’d also like to give a special shout-out to those of you who wade through the rare mean-spirited or duplicitous patches of comments to weigh in with something positive, informed, and/or funny to bring readers together again. It helps and I love it. Props also to those who report “objectionable content” when they see it. That helps to keep the comment section more pleasant for all. Thank you!

Fellow bloggers
My fellow bloggers at Embarcadero Media have been really helpful. I’d particularly like to thank:

- Doug Moran. Doug’s “A Pragmatist’s Take” blog was an inspiration for my use of footnotes and commenter guidelines. He also provided help with the website’s prehistoric markup capabilities (e.g., how to do bold face), and provided practical and moral support for dealing with mean-spirited comments. My favorite was when he advised “Don’t worry. Most people don’t read the comments anyway.”

- Diana Diamond. Diana is a lot of fun to talk with. My favorite was when she had a great thread of comments going on one of her blogs and then she turned it off. I asked about it, and she said “I didn’t do it! The paper did it!”, and we had an entertaining conversation about the difficulties of moderating.

- Chandrama Anderson and Elena Kadvany. Their early support, along with Elena’s help with uploading photos, was very helpful and appreciated.

More generally, all of us Embarcadero Media bloggers share a belief in the importance and relevance of local journalism. Go bloggers!

Publisher and editors
Finally, thank you to Bill and Jocelyn and the others at Embarcadero Media who have figured out how to turn out well-written and relevant local papers each week during times when many are folding. It is something that we should not take for granted. Thank you! (All: Don’t forget to support local journalism!)

I have turned off commenting this week -- it's a holiday! Coming up next week we’ll discuss New Year’s resolutions.

Current Climate Data (November 2019)

Global impacts, US impacts, CO2 metric, Climate dashboard (updated annually)
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Short story writers wanted!

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 27, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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