Overcoming Shock Politics


“Have faith: The state of our union is hopeful, resilient, and enduring.”

Rep. Joe Kennedy III delivered the Democrats’ rebuttal to Donald Trump’s State of the Union address with a powerful message of hope. He spoke of a nation of immigrants working together, full of hope for the future. The American Dream is alive. We need to build resilient communities and care for other countries, seeking alternatives to hate and war. This is not the end of America, we will endure. Kennedy spoke from the heart and his words were compelling, a clear call for action.

Resiliency is essential

Building resilient communities is an essential response to the 21st century’s sustainability crises. Think Resilience by Richard Heinberg is a self-paced online video course to help you get started. You will learn how to make sense of the complex challenges society now faces, what are the underlying, systemic forces at play, what brought us to this place, and how to build community resilience. Please visit resiliency.org and postcarbon.org.

Ecological economics

Traditional economic thinking, based on consumption ignoring environmental costs, is no longer relevant. Ecological economics includes Earth’s natural systems, human health and well-being.

The prosperity claims of the Trump administration were based on irrelevant, deceptive numbers, and the US deficit and the national debt were ignored, along with the crisis in Puerto Rico. Trump claims credit for the stock market gains. Ironically, the DOW Industrial Index lost 400 points as he slowly read his SOTU, and kept going down, ending the week 666 points lower. On Monday, the DOW lost over 1,000 points. Karma?

Chaos is used by the rich, to profit from the poor. Here are some of the threats we face and suggestions on how to overcome GOP distractions that create hate and fear.

Public lands

The Department of the Interior is expediting the leasing process on public land for oil and gas drilling. Under the new guidelines, leases must be processed within a 60-day period without public review. The changes were announced one day before leasing Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears monuments in Utah. The Natural Resources Defense Council works to safeguard the earth, its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. NRDC supports a fracking ban on public lands. Please join and support their efforts at nrdc.org.

Natural forests

Natural forests are the opposite of pine tree plantations. Wetlands are our best defense for eroding coastlines and rising seas. Standing forests and the carbon-rich soil help mitigate climate disruption by sequestering carbon dioxide and providing clean air. These oxygen factories protect the soil from erosion and severe flooding, and store and filter rainwater. Please join the Dogwood Alliance Forest Defenders at dogwoodalliance.org the top organization protecting our forests from clear cut disease (CD).

The US Forest Service and most foresters are trained to see forests as timber and fuel energy sources. This is an incurable mental disorder preventing foresters from understanding the true value of the trees and soil. Arkansas has a high incidence rate of CD in Pine Bluff and Clark County, near the Ouachita National Forest, a 1.8-million-acre natural treasure. US Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) introduced the “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017” (H.R. 2936), a nasty bill to give USFS unlimited power to harvest natural forests without environmental review. Westerman has an extreme case of CD, a high threat for the climate emergency. Highland wood pellet mills and a larger smelly Shandong Sun Paper mill requiring massive amounts of fresh water are also in the high threat list.

Nuclear war

This is Trump’s ace in the hole. Tweeting threats of fire and fury to North Korea is only to fund the 2018 military budget. How do we replace the war system? What truly makes us secure? What are the foundations of a peace system? Please join Building the Alternative Global Security System, an online course at worldbeyondwar.org starting February 26.

Call for Action

The stakes have never been higher. There is a great deal of work ahead. With faith, we embrace the challenge knowing we will prevail.


  1. Here is an update on the Nuclear threat … not good news

    “The Trump administration has officially rolled out its new Nuclear Posture Review after weeks of commentary and analysis of a leaked version of the review. Much of this pre-release comment focused on the NPR’s call for increased spending on the nuclear arsenal, including on programs that would create new kinds of small nuclear weapons, and on its suggestion that nuclear weapons might be used in response to attacks of a non-nuclear nature, including, specifically, cyber attacks against critical US infrastructure.

    Administration officials have portrayed the NPR as a required response to changed world security conditions, particularly Russia’s supposed increased reliance on nuclear options in its military doctrine. Many experts outside government have criticized the new NPR as a return to Cold War thinking and budgeting that makes the United States less rather than more secure.”


  2. Here is another comment from FSEEE on Westerman’s logging bill, with a name he does not understand:

    “The bill was authored by Arkansas Republican Bruce Westerman, who calls it the “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017.”

    It would allow the Forest Service to sanction clear-cuts of up to 10,000 acres with little or no environmental review. In doing so, it would eviscerate the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. And it would limit the ability of regular citizens to have a say in how their national forests are managed.

    Westerman’s bill has already sailed through the House Committee on Natural Resources. Its supporters will likely try to attach it to some sprawling “must-pass” legislation in the weeks to come.

    We’re working to inform key members of Congress about what’s at stake here. We need our allies to stand up to those who would hand over our shared public estate to private interests.”


  3. FSEEE is the leading caretaker of natural forests, they should know, they are former USFS employees. Here is what they say:

    “Westerman, who holds a forestry degree from Yale, likes to describe himself as the only professional forester in Congress. The implication is that he has the expertise to know how national forests should be managed.

    His bill would strike at the heart of the National Environmental Policy Act, the 1970 legislation that requires the federal government to undertake environmental impact reviews before undertaking major projects.

    H.R. 2936 would exempt the Forest Service from conducting NEPA reviews for logging projects as large as 30,000 acres. It would undermine the Endangered Species Act, as well, by allowing the Forest Service to forego studying a project’s impact on protected species if the agency determines that an action “is not likely to adversely affect a listed species or designated critical habitat.”

    It would also curtail the ability of citizens and interest groups to mount legal challenges against logging projects on national forests, instead requiring logging opponents to enter a binding arbitration process. The law stipulates that arbitration must be concluded within 90 days.”


  4. In addition to the Dogwood Alliance, other organizations are fighting Westerman’s logging legislation. Please see what the Wilderness Society says:

    Statement from Megan Birzell, National Forest Campaign Manager with The Wilderness Society:

    “The floor vote today on HR 2936, the “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017,” was a misguided vote on a reckless bill that does nothing to make our forests more resilient and healthy. It does not adequately solve the fire funding crisis that confronts the Forest Service, nor does it address fuel reduction where it needs to occur – near homes and communities.”


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