Hope in Youth Leadership

If you are feeling overwhelmed by climate news and the threats to our democracy, NextGen America and Our Children’s Trust will hearten your spirit.

NextGen America supports the Youth Vote. It made a huge difference in the 2020 election – the fight to save the soul of America and is now gearing up to influence the vote in 2024. Their mission statement is, “NextGen America’s mission is to empower young voters to engage in the political process and ensure our government is responsive to the largest and most diverse generation in American history.”

In a zoom presentation today with Doug Emhoff encouraged us to make sure the vision and investment in America through the Inflation Reduction Act is widely understood. We need to show how it is making a difference in our lives. See the Rewiring America Guide to the IRA below, a handy guidebook to understand the great deals that are now possible for families and individuals as well as businesses, nonprofits, and states and cities. It is massive in its impact IF AMERICANS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT. We’ve got ten years of these programs and their savings with this long lasting program. The money is available but only if each of the stakeholders from individual citizens to families to governments take advantage of it. In other words, Biden and Harris have made the Clean Energy Transition possible but we have to be the agents of change by buying an EV, making our appliances and homes more energy efficient, and helping our communities convert to more renewable power until we make the full transition. Please share with your family and friends.

Another very hopeful youth-led group initiative is Our Children’s Trust which support youth taking their governments to court for violation of their rights to a safe and healthy future. *Coming up June 12, the first constitutional trial is happening in Montana. The implication of a rule in their favor can have a massive impact on moving our slow acting governments to make serious, demonstrable actions toward a safe environment for the young generations here now and those coming behind them. Be sure to view it and share with your friends and family to make people aware of these eloquent and brave youth who are pushing adults in power to do the right thing for theirs and future generations.

Below is the Guide to the IRA for citizens. Download it for your own information and use for your family, neighborhood, business, and community.

Where do we go from here?

Photo by Susan Feathers

The previous post provided a downloadable copy of the latest IPCC report on climate change science and forecast for policymakers. It is condensed for quick reading. If nothing else, skim to the highlighted summaries.

All Bets Are Off

We are on track for massive warming. And because the Earth’s systems are complex with many hidden tipping points, we are unlikely to predict much of what might happen except that life as we know it will be greatly destabilized. What might happen then will become harder to predict.

The imperative is to halt burning fossil fuels as fast as possible. Most people don’t believe it is possible. But, the IPCC report tells us that is exactly what we must do NOW. Take heart: a plan already exists and is working we just need to do it faster. See Project Drawdown.

We are required to reinvent the way we live. Much of what we Americans refer to as modern life is fraught with stress and uncertainty. Except for the few wealthy among us, we experience everyday that we are working harder and enjoying life less. We are less healthy. We witness the beauty of the world fading before our eyes. Our democratic institutions are under attack from a vocal minority but at least in that area of our common life I think most of us are reasonable and see a way forward together. The last election proved that.

Many forces try to divide us on issues that are polarizing. We love our children and families and believe in the Golden Rule. So, we can come together. See here a short video of John Hume, the great Irish leader who made peace when no one thought it possible.

So to this majority of citizens I appeal. Gather your families and neighbors and have a good chat about how you can help move our nation to a more sustaining way of life and avert a certain catastrophe for our children. What are the elements of life that you recall you love the most? How can we simplify but also enjoy greater abundance together?

Listen to this insightful discussion about smart design based on nature on OnBeing.org with Janine Benyus who wrote about biomimicry.

Attend your local city council meeting to express your concerns. Just go. Contact your senators and express your views and ask what you can do to help. A phone call, an email, a letter to the editor. We can ALL do these simple things.

We must look for and cultivate leaders who are of this mind set. President Biden has initiated legislation in the right direction but much more needs to be done and certainly approving drilling rights in the Alaskan waters with its great biodiversity and intact ecosystem is NOT that direction.

We have to be more vocal together. We must look together at candidates that believe in the democratic principles set forth in our Constitution. Who are they? What have they done? Elect them no matter their political party. Stay off the major news channels. Read. Discuss. Think for yourself.

Try Independent News.

Until the people of Who-ville (the “silent majority”) come together to confront the GRINCH (our way of life), we will not survive, or we will live very degraded lives in the near future. Many across the world — people who have contributed the least to climate change– are already suffering. But, it is coming home for all of us soon. We must rise to it, be responsible, and act together. And, whatever you do, support our children and youth who are fighting for a future and looking to us to help make that possible.

You know what to do.

Visionaries of the future

Remembering Origins

More conversation with Amitav Ghosh, author of The Nutmeg’s Curse on Emergence Magazine brings up similar themes incorporated into Threshold, a novel about climate change in the Southwest. In it, I layered the rich cultural endowment of the Tucson area, with ancient Indigenous and current day Native Nations wisdom, and Mexican American land and agricultural practices that have and continue to shape the local zeitgeist. But, like most communities in the Southwest, capitalistic systems drive commerce rendering the living Earth mute. All these ways of living mix together yet one has dominated the political and economic forces, imperiling Tucsonans to climate emergencies.

Listen to a chapter from Threshold as a major character of Mexican descent, Delores Olivarez, takes a hike up “A” mountain observing the changes in the Tucson valley that trace all these cultural ways of knowing. Thanks to Terrain.org for publishing this chapter of Threshold.

Threshold at the Tucson Festival of Books


February 4, 2023 | Tucson, Arizona

Visit Threshold for more details.

Southwestern Novel From Fireship Press—A fictional novel exploring the dramatic affects of climate change in the desert community of Tucson, Arizona

A Love Story in a Time of Climate Change
A Love Story in a Time of Climate Change

Susan Feathers will be present to sign and sell copies of Threshold during the Indie Authors Pavilion at the Tucson Festival of Books on March 5, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Confronted by crisis in their own world—climate scientists, politicians, and desert museum curators face the biggest challenge man can encounter—no water, anywhere. In the barrios, families and community leaders, band together as they face unbearable heat and the crushing weight of the gangs that intimidate them. Amidst the turmoil, three teens navigate adolescence to become leaders in a new world. With shifting sand underfoot, characters follow their intuition and learn new skills as they chart a way into a viable future. Threshold will make you think while it celebrates the enduring nature of communities as they search for what is lasting and true. Threshold is a powerful new western novel in the best of its tradition. Appropriate for high school classes.

“In a riveting, multi-stranded plot, Threshold translates the conceptual worry over climate change into immediate, interpersonal dramas.” –Mary Lawlor, Muhlenberg College

“Such a well-written and thoughtfully conceived novel regarding very poignant issues of the day; THRESHOLD is a valuable contribution. The author continues a tradition in Southwestern Literature of social and environmental consciousness –Mark Rossi, Frank Waters Foundation.

About the Author

Susan Feathers is a writer and educator with 30 years of experience communicating science to the public. She served as the Director of Education at the Sonora-Arizona Desert Museum. Her writing focuses on the importance of place in forming character and destiny. Susan is an excellent speaker with years of experience delivering programs to the public. Her blog, WalkEarth.org, now in its 14th year, has an active following.

Fireship Press

P.O. BOX 68412 • Tucson, AZ 85737

520-360-6228 • fireshipinfo@gmail.com


Fiction: General, Action and Adventure, Urban

Trade paperback: 978-1-61179-369-7 / $19.95 • ePub & Mobi: 978-1-61179-370-3 / $7.95

Available through: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks and Kobo, and at Antigone’s and Barnes and Nobel (Wilmot) in Tucson.


Fund Developing Countries: COP 27

During the final days of the Conference of the Parties (COP) 27th meeting of world leaders and parties to continue to plan toward the goal of 1.5 degrees C average global temperature rise, a fund of $2B was pledged. Dozens of countries are currently ravaged by floods, droughts, and heat extremes. Most of them need assistance from the big polluters such as the U.S.

Read the World Resources Institute article about the fund and what the COP 27 accomplished.

Dream Acres, Bowling Green, KY – Photon by Susan Feathers

All Hands On Deck!

11-10-22 UPDATE: From David Roberts at Volts Podcast: Transcripts from his recent interviews with experts on the IRA funding and impact on pocketbooks and climate change goals. These are invaluable for keeping track of the IRA.

Today I learned about the Bicameral Electrification Caucus. Contact your representative if a member of the caucus, and alert them to join it if not.

A new Volts podcast with two experts discusses the relationships between EV charging and keeping the grid functioning well. This is an important component of the new EV world that is coming at record speed. A very enlightening discussion. EVs can be storage units of energy, too and potentially could help stabilize the grid during this change over from dirty fuels.

Yale Climate Connections: Lithium mining is much less impactful than coal mining. Video presents the Salton Sea as a huge reservoir of lithium in the U.S. Explains how the mining there is less polluting than other mining sites in the world due to how the lithium is geologically structured.

Because Virginia K-12 schools are allowed to purchase third-party solar, they lead in the U.S. for solar power generation. Also see Brighter Future 2022 Report on solar energy use among K-12 Schools nationwide.

Talking Through the Inflation Reduction Act: Volts Podcast: https://www.volts.wtf/p/talking-through-the-inflation-reduction#details

Diving further into the Inflation Reduction Act: Volts Podcast: https://www.volts.wtf/p/diving-further-into-the-inflation-d7e#details

Calculate savings with Rewiring America Calculator: https://www.rewiringamerica.org/app/ira-calculator

From EESI: How the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Work Together to Advance Climate Action – September 13, 2022

Rewiring America; Electrification and the IRA

From RMI: How Contractors and Electricians are Tackling Emissions in US Homes.

New Volts Podcast: What’s up with Manchin’s plan to reform energy permitting. David interviews Abigail Dillen at Earth Justice. 09=07-22

U.S. Department of Energy: Newsroom

Check here for Sept. 8 Webinar re: Careers in Clean Energy

The success of the climate bill depends on states, cities and us.

Come January 1, 2023 citizens will be eligible for tax credits for their homes and transportation. Each citizen can receive up to $2,000 in tax credits for energy saving purchases and installations of a heat pump, insulation, energy saving windows or appliances, and other weatherization costs. Tax credits for purchase of EVs is another investment that citizens can reap through purchase of a clean energy vehicle. The legislation invest in the industries producing the cars and trucks, and the infrastructure (recharging stations, battery production, etc.) to support it.

Axios article about these tax credits.

The tax credits will be refreshed each year for a decade. So, plan ahead: what do you need first, second, etc. Over the decade you may be able to greatly reduce the amount of energy you need to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. These improvements will increase the value of your home. By millions of citizens participating, it creates a wave in the right direction: rapid transition to a clean economy. But, we all have to participate for it to work. Spread the word and help neighbors and friend to invest in their homes and transportation.

I suggest also that you subscribe to Volts Podcast on Substack Publishing Platform, moderated by David Roberts. See podcasts 1 and 2 about the details in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) legislation. These are long but worth the listen as it includes estimates through modeling about how likely we are to meet the climate goals to reach carbon pollution reduction to the 2005 level by 2030.

There are still unknowns since each state may handle these funds differently. **If your state is not acting within the spirit of the funding, go to your state reps and local council to make sure they use the funding as it was intended. Call them out publicly, use social media — we have to make this happen. Every hour counts now as to how much we can put the brakes on climate-induced forces that are causing record floods, heat, fires and droughts here and abroad.

As I learn more details I will continue to post information for you and your family to take advantage of these savings programs. **I invite each of my readers to comment back with what they are learning with links if possible.

The success of this legislation is directly dependent on us participating as much as we can. There are provisions for offering communities without the resources to take advantage of these savings through nonprofits and other community programs which will assist families in weatherizing their homes and reducing energy costs.

One more thing: if effective programs to reduce climate risk are in danger of misuse or, not used, due to politics, shout it from the rafters! Generations are depending on us to do the right thing.


New Resource about Heat and Health. Sign up for webinars and links to follow on social media.

Also, check out this article by David Klepper Associated Press on the deleterious impact of climate misinformation.

See below also, my novel about heat and water issues in Tucson, Arizona. Learn how different cultures respond to living in hot places with limited water. Consider the wildlife affected by human induced climate and follow Duma, a jaguar in the Sierra Madre Plateau. We can solve this problem and live better.

Threshold - a Novel about Climate Change in the Southwest
Novel about Climate Change in Tucson and the Southwest

Growing and securing world food supplies during war and climate change …

Most of us do not pay much attention to the geography or politics of food production, trade, and distribution. In western countries in general, we go to shop and the food is simply there on the shelves.

Today, steady and abundant food supplies are not a given for anyone. We’ve already experienced a sharp rise in food prices in the U.S. caused by the rising price of gas and other inflationary conditions such as interruptions in global and national supply chains.

Famine is present in war-torn countries (Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia) and it may become more generally present in countries where dependence on imports of grain can be disrupted by conflicts.

Climate change threatens food supplies much more than war as it is changing the ecosystem functions of land and sea. We do not pay attention to this in our fractious human community, beset by troubles which hold our attention from the fact that food is becoming less obtainable for more and more people.

Read a New York Times Article by Michael J. Puma and Megan Konar where this is discussed as well as actions that governments must make to stabilize prices and availability of food. Not least of these is ending the war in Ukraine, which produces a lion’s share of the grain many nations depend upon.

COP26 Goals

COP26 will begin this coming Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland. Read the major goals of the conference here.

See this informative paper that explains the COP26 and the path to Glasgow. It is a hopeful but realistic summary of where we are and what is at stake now. Good way to get ready for following the gathering of world leaders.

Farmers Could Help Reduce Climate Change Impact

In Threshold, Dr. Carla Connors takes a 2-yr sabbatical from her job as a climate scientist to learn from ethnologists at the Mission Garden in Tucson who are growing heirloom seeds to test for viability in new climate conditions, while demonstrating many previous cultures’ farming practices in their Timeline Garden.

Carla investigates the potential of plants to sequester carbon from the atmosphere and deposit it into the soil. While this is a normal activity of some kinds of microbes in the plants we call legumes (barley, soy, clover), she wants to know if the ways farmers planted, grew, and harvested crops actually may be important clues to how farmers might help stem global warming.

carbon-farming-heroIts called CARBON FARMING. See this article from Modern Farmer, “Carbon Farming: Hope for a Hot Planet” by Brian Barth, March 25 2016.

Scientists now believe carbon framing could become an important and beneficial tool in fighting the rise of carbon dioxide in the air and could potentially reverse it while producing healthier food and enriching top soil.