Beware the Ides of March!

I decided to take advantage of a cold I caught recently and spent even more time on the internet than usual. As you might have noticed by now, I have allowed the MMPF Facebook page to go out to pasture (to be buried actually). We didn’t have a lot of avid followers [no offense intended to those of you who did follow us on Facebook] and we didn’t update the content often enough to make it worth checking. I did, however, keep my own personal Facebook page alive and every once in a while I run across extremely important material that I feel is worth sharing with the rest of you Progressives out there.


We’ve now been warned by the world’s leading climate scientists that we have just twelve years to limit climate catastrophe. The UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has put the world on notice that going from a 1.5° to 2.0° C rise in temperature above preindustrial levels would have disastrous consequences across the board, with unprecedented flooding, drought, ocean devastation, and famine.

Patterns of Meaning

Greta Thunberg is a young student activist in Sweden who attracted international attention when she stopped attending school in August 2018 to sit outside the Swedish Parliament to protest inaction on climate change.


In this passionate call to action, 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg explains why, in August 2018, she walked out of school and organized a strike to raise awareness of global warming, protesting outside the Swedish parliament and grabbing the world’s attention. “The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions,” Thunberg says. “All we have to do is to wake up and change.”

“In November 2018, she spoke at TEDxStockholm, in December she addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference and in January 2019 she was invited to talk to the World Economic Forum at Davos.” – Wikipedia

Recently she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work. In her own words: “What you do or don’t do, right now, will affect my entire life, and the lives of my children and grandchildren. Maybe they’ll ask why you did nothing, and why those who knew and could speak out, didn’t.”

We Don’t Have Time are currently building the world’s largest social media network for climate action. Together we can solve the climate crisis. But we are running out of time.” – Greta Thunberg: “Sweden is not a Role Model”

My advice: follow the links above and learn more about this compelling argument for doing something about climate change. Do it now.


Coinidentally, I ran across an informational video by Geo History which uses an animated map to give a summary of the modern history of petroleum until the present day. The image above shows how the oil refineries convert crude oil into various uses (an extremely large part of modern economic activity, such as transportation, clothing, pharmaceuticals, heating oil and cosmetics). When we talk about “getting off of fossil fuels” and switching to renewables, this is what we are talking about! How can we make all these things and continue to function “normally”? Greta’s point, of course, is that we can’t and we shouldn’t.

There is some good news out there, such as attempts in China to significantly reduce the unnecessary pollution caused by urban sprawl and automobile exhaust. Peter Calthorpe produced a very interesting informational video: Seven Principles for Building Better Cities.

Meanwhile (in Waterville, Maine), we are still fighting over whether to ban plastic bags, whether to allow firearms in City Council meetings and whether or not to allow Colby students to vote in Waterville. Even after the Maine Supreme Court dismissed the case after those who brought the case to court “notified the Clerk of Court that they no longer wished to pursue the issue before the state’s highest court.”

If Greta and the scientists are right, most of the issues we argue about here in Waterville will be moot in about 12 years. But there will be plenty of parking downtown!

Don Smallidge




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