I hate when liberals say politicians denying climate change are ‘dumb’ and 'we just need better education’. Like no, they get donations from fossil fuel companies and carry on their agenda.

The tobacco lobby did the exact same thing and yet liberal politicians treat this differently. Drop the elitism and #expose these people…oh wait you often back their policies as well.

Art, Science, Politics & Paralysis

(this is probably the most personal thing I’ve written about trying to make art)

Before the election I had it all figured out. I had turned my artistic sights onto something I felt was truly important: science & space. My plan was to create art & stories that hopefully inspired people to get more interested in science. Art in the spirit of Carl Sagan & his poetic “pale blue dot”. There was a deeper goal underneath that first one… I wondered, once a person becomes emotionally invested in nature & science wouldn’t they want to preserve it? From my experience, unless you’re Miyazaki, environmental stories are the quickest way to make your audience glaze over. This was my answer to that. This circuitous route of space was about fun & engagement - reframing the narrative of conservation. The reframing was stories of nature’s magic & exceptionalism that generate within people a sense of protectionism. I felt like I finally found something that would fully engage me & create art that really spoke to my values.

After the election that started to seem frivolous. With the goals of this administration, I started to wonder are these objectives too esoteric? To rooted in privilege? How can i make adventure stories about science when people might soon be fighting for the most baseline of rights? Not that this is new - many people are fighting for those scraps of human rights now. It just seems to have the potential to be so much worse under Trump. It feels like a mandate on bigotry & greed.

My privilege felt screamingly clear - me musing on art goals while while black men die in the streets & immigrants pray not to separated from their families. That made me think, isn’t that all the more reason to use my privilege & skills for good? Isn’t this the perfect time to make art? But are stories about science really what the world needs right now? Are direct, intense messages of action & solidarity a better response to these times? Clear messages about justice, equality & compassion feel like the best response to Trump rather than sci fi comics with thinly veiled environmental aspirations.

Now I freeze. This is the point where so, so many times in my life paralysis takes over. Becoming so focused on impact that I DON’T act. Theorizing & brainstorming without creating because I never know what’s the “right” thing to do. I fallback back on “safe” artistic areas & then ultimately feel unfulfilled & empty. Full potential left unharnessed & values left lying on the floor. Indulging again in the same paralysis that has plagued me for so many years feels unbearable. I’m done doing less than what I’m capable of because it’s not impactful enough… or  it won’t be popular… or that I’m not good enough… or that it won’t sell… or that it doesn’t fit into an artistic brand… or any of the other myriad of limiting ideas that hold me back. DOING seems like what’s important. I’ve made some bad decisions recently & I’m done with paralysis.

I’m motivated to do-the-fuck-outta some art.

So doing both types of art is on my schedule - make my adventure space comic & do poster style art that calls for action. Both executions are important to values I hold to my heart like some kind of glowing magical amulet. They look wildly different in execution & people will likely think they are from two different artists but I’m done confining or censuring myself. I’m just going to MAKE.

(speaking of here are some character sketches for the above mentioned science comic “Juno the Fearless Explorer”)

8

While we’re on the subject of honeybees, I was recently visited by a swarm!

I came home Tuesday to find a huge cloud of bees all around a magnolia tree by the garage. In less than an hour, they coalesced into a tight ball of bees about the size of a football.

Now, I knew from a lifetime of nature documentaries that honeybees are at their most docile and least likely to sting when they’re swarming. A this time, they are stuffed silly with honey, don’t have any young to protect, and can simply fly away to avoid predators. They’re cruising around with their queen, looking for a new place to build a hive.

I wasn’t worried about them hurting anybody, but I didn’t necessarily want them to take up residence in my garage or attic. So I did what anybody would have done in this situation. I made a Facebook post about it and then googled what to do.

Fortunately, a friend of mine works at the Stratford Ecological Center in Delaware, Ohio. She put me in touch with their Apiarist (beekeeper), who was simply ecstatic to hear that I had a stray swarm and that I hadn’t poisoned it (apparently, lots of people don’t know the difference between honeybees and wasps/hornets/yellowjackets/etc). We set up a time for him to come rescue the swarm, and he even called a couple of students up to share the experience. One of them had been waiting for over two years to go on a swarm rescue run.

He brought out a hive box with some already-combed frames. We cut down the twig the bees had clustered on and dropped it into the box, and they immediately began claiming it as their home. Detecting the wax comb on the frames and recognizing a good hive location, the bees started to emit a lemony “homing” pheromone, letting all of their sisters know to settle down here and start laying down wax.

We kept the hive box overnight to allow errant scouts time to return. He came back the next morning to pick up the hive and take it to a quarantine site, until he could be sure of the bees health and temperament. He even left us a little parting gift from the apiary at Stratford. Everybody kept saying what an absolute treat it was to find and save a swarm, and how rare it was to see them. Provided the hive is healthy, in a month or two, I could go up to the ecological center and visit my bees! 

With 40% of honeybee colonies in the US dying in the last year, every bee that can be saved is a small victory. It was a real privilege to witness this event and have a hand in finding a good home for the swarm.

If you see some swarming honeybees in the wild, call a beekeeper! They’ll be grateful to hear from you, and you’ll be doing some good for our pollinator friends!

Who gives a fuck how social an animal is or how smart an animal is. All animals deserve to live, regardless of how any animal “measures up” to humans’ standards. It is no better to exploit one animal as it is to exploit any other animal. We need to stop thinking the whole fucking world and everything and everyone in it revolves around us. 

Okay, consider this:

Vegans have absolutely no reason to lie to you about conditions of meat, dairy, and egg farms. By exposing those industries, they do not personally gain anything. But the government has billions of dollars riding on animal agriculture.

Think long and hard about that before you accuse vegans of propaganda and brainwashing.

The “I do whatever the fuck I want” attitude is getting old. “I do whatever the fuck I want even if it hurts people!” “I do whatever the fuck I want even if it destroys the environment!” “I do whatever the fuck I want even if it hurts the innocent!”
You are not that important. I’m not that important. No one is that important that they get a free pass to do whatever they want. If people thought about consequences maybe we wouldn’t be in such a mess.

Animal agriculture
  • Uses tons of grain that could be fed directly to people
  • Uses tons of fresh water that could be used to grow healthy food
  • Creates tons of urine and feces that ruin our lakes, rivers, and drinking water
  • Creates about 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions
  • Contributes to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer
  • Causes epidemic zoonotic diseases
  • Contributes to the creation of antibiotic-resistant “super bugs”
  • And is heavily subsidized by our tax dollars. 
5

Amazon Indian Warriors Beat and Strip Illegal Loggers in Battle for Jungle’s Future | Warrior Publications 

A group of warriors from Brazil’s indigenous Ka’apor tribe tracked down illegal loggers in the Amazon, tied them up, stripped them and beat them with sticks.

Photographer Lunae Parracho followed the Ka’apor warriors during their jungle expedition to search for and expel illegal loggers from the Alto Turiacu Indian territory in the Amazon basin.

Tired of what they say is a lack of sufficient government assistance in keeping loggers off their land, the Ka’apor people, who along with four other tribes are the legal inhabitants and caretakers of the territory, have sent their warriors out to expel all loggers they find and set up monitoring camps.

Last year, the Brazilian government said that annual destruction of its Amazon rain forest jumped by 28 percent after four straight years of decline. Based on satellite images, it estimated that 5,843 square kilometres of rain forest were felled in the one-year period ending July 2013.

The Amazon rain forest is considered one of the world’s most important natural defences against global warming because of its capacity to absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide. Rain forest clearing is responsible for about 75 percent of Brazil’s emissions, as vegetation is burned and felled trees rot. Such activity releases an estimated 400 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, making Brazil at least the sixth-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide gas.

(Photo Credit: Lunae Parracho/Reuters)

Reasons why...

You can’t call yourself an avid environmentalist and be non-vegan:

Take the United Nations’ advice and go vegan.