41 results for author: Kathryn Thomsen


Lost in Death Valley Beyond Time and Place

Sometimes when you least expect the most unlikely events occur. Call it synchronicity or just plain luck to find myself surrounded by rugged bone-dry beauty tucked away in all that rocky terrain. I was a newcomer exploring Death Valley with a friend who had hiked and camped all over those parts for years. I’ve heard that luck is about being in the right place at the right time. When you’re in the middle of a desert hot enough to fry an egg on a rock, the concept of time and place takes on another dimension...

Citizen Science and Bioblitz Brings Planet Activism to Everyone

At a time when we may need to rely on bake sales in the U.S. to fund scientific research, community activism is picking up steam and maybe some of the slack. Although most of us don’t have deep pockets, we do love nature and being outdoors. Citizen science is a growing movement to encourage the public to get involved in collecting data for scientific research. Did you know that data collected from citizen scientists has contributed more than 77 percent of studies on birds and climate change? I sat in on an animated discussion about citizen science recently at the Climate Reality Leadership training in Denver by Gillian Bowser, a research ...

Sustainable Tourism and Organic Farming in Togo, Africa

Jeremies Pimzi is a social entrepreneur with a creative spirit and big heart. A couple years ago he started Fly for Life, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism and organic farming. The purpose of the organization is to improve the environment, education, and incomes of farming communities in Togo, Africa. As a tour guide Jeremies discovered that sustainable tourism was a win-win for the local community and the volunteers who participate. Both gain a rich cross-cultural experience and the local economy gets a boost. This small but mighty operation has been churning out successful sustainability projects with the help of its ...

Restore Hope and Focus on Climate Change Solutions Now

Looking for support to focus on climate change solutions, I recently attended the Climate Reality Leadership training in Denver. After working on climate change and energy issues for many years I was still waiting for the magical day when U.S. carbon policies would align to solve the global warming crisis. I hoped the training would restore my faith in our nation’s ability to ignite large-scale, effective solutions for climate change. The workshop offered a new arsenal of tools to communicate with the public - at all levels of understanding - about global warming. After spending three days rubbing elbows with Al Gore and his well-trained army of ...

It’s Not too Late to Break Free and Act on Climate Change

Sixteen year-old Earth Guardian youth leader Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and his sister, Isa Caress, performed at the Climate Reality Project Leadership training recently in Denver (March 4, 2017). Eco hip-hop artists and indigenous activists, the siblings write and produce songs to educate youth about the global climate crisis. They hope to inspire people of all generations to break free and act on climate change using creative and positive actions. "Don't let it break you.... It's time to break free, break free, break free..." At the end of our first day of Al Gore's 3-day workshop, I joined 970 other Climate Reality Leader trainees waving our arms ...

Educating our Hearts and Minds to Bring More Compassion to the World

With our democracy quickly descending into fear and clashing ideologies, I’ve begun to hunt for ways to resolve differences and find common ground among my fellow humans. A possible way forward would be to focus on educating our hearts and minds by integrating compassion, creativity and respectful listening into our actions. I intend to stay alert and question the alternative facts threatening to turn our world upside down over the next few years. I’m more than a little concerned about a regimes leading our country away from democratic ideals like freedom of expression, kindness and human compassion. Starting inward and moving outwards to ...

Tackling the Sustainable Development Goals One by One

If you wanted to internalize ideas and actions for sustainable development into the community - how would you tackle such a challenge? There are some creative ways of tackling the Sustainable Development Goals and planting these into our collective brains. To begin, here's a plan of attack. Start with a priority list for the year: Save the world from hunger and poverty. Ensure that all are able to thrive with good health, wellbeing, education, equality, decent work and livelihoods. Don't settle for less than clean water, sanitation, and an environment safe from harm. Why stop there? Add affordable clean energy, economic growth, innovation and ...

Soup Kitchen and Brooklyn Microgrid Team up for Energy Resilience

A soup kitchen and homeless shelter for pregnant women in Park Slope, Brooklyn plans to become a microgrid hub for the local community. The nonprofit CHiPs, is teaming up with Brooklyn Microgrid to purchase solar panels for their rooftop and hopefully generate enough electricity to share with neighbors. CHiPs feeds 250 people a day from its soup kitchen and houses nine homeless families in the building's all-electric residential units. Building operators pays a hefty price for heating and cooling the kitchen while individual residents pay their own electricity. Funded by LO3 Energy and established in 2015, Brooklyn Microgrid launched its first ...