Thursday, January 24, 2019

Day 2 - A beautiful Drive North to Santa Cruz

What a beautiful drive it is up the CA coast. Today we headed north from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz, and it was a gorgeous day on the 101. The impact of the recent rain in the area was super clear, as the rolling hill sides were very green. We stopped in Pismo Beach to send a few email, and made it to Santa Cruz in time to catch a beautiful sunset. 

Shahir attended an event cohosted by the South Bay Facilitators Community of Pachamama Alliance, the Santa Cruz Chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby and the Santa Cruz Climate Action Network titled Reversing Global Warming: Introduction to Drawdown. The event was solutions oriented and very community engagement focused. It pointed out how eco-movements often encourage Level 1 outreach (personal behavior/carbon footprint) and level 4 outreach (calling/writing our elected officials in Washington), without paying attention to the incredibly important Level 2 (speaking with friends, neighbors, etc.) and Level 3 (speaking with local officials, business owners, etc), which is of equal or perhaps even greater value. For all the climate events we attend, there is still something to be learned at each one!

Heading North for 3 Different Climate Events!

Hi Everyone! We are excited to be heading north for three different climate events! The first being a book singing at Chaucer's Book store in Santa Barbara. On the way to Santa Barbara, the GPS informed us that the quickest was was on the PCH, and we easily opted for the beautiful pacific views instead of the trafficy one! The drive to SB was beautiful, with the afternoon sun descending over the big blue ocean. When we drove past Malibu we began to notice all of the evident fire damage. The noticeable damage stretched for many miles along the coast. We didn't have time to stop the car, so Shahir, my co-pilot, snapped some photos of the fire devastation. You can see the black palm trees that lined the PCH in the above photo. 

We made it to Santa Barbara right in time for sunset, and headed to Chaucer's book's where there was a reading and signing of Beyond Debate. The event was awesome, and the community members that came out to the event had interesting questions and thoughts on climate change. Chaucer's book store was not only a super cute community book store, but was also Shahir's best book signing event yet, with about 25 people attending. The book store staff told us that the audience was big for a weeknight. We were kindly hosted by some Santa Barbara CCL'ers, and are now on our way north to Santa Cruz for the next event!

Thanks to Citizens Climate Lobby for helping to organize this event, and to Chaucer's Bookstore for hosting!


Monday, January 21, 2019

On the Road for Climate Action: Announcing The Sequel!

We have some exciting news! We are going back On the Road for Climate Action! 

Last summer's 11 week tour was just the beginning; we learned a lot of lessons, have done a lot of reflecting, and feel extremely inspired to continue our mission! There is so much work to be done and we are motivated to continue doing what we can to educate and elevate the climate conversation! 

We will be departing on May 1st, and will be visiting the pacific northwest! We will also be crossing the border into Canada and returning back to southern California through the northwest where we will visit some habitats/areas that have been experiencing climate change impacts such as Glacier National Park. We will continue to organize community climate talks, visit universities and schools, talk to farmers, vintners, wildlife preserves, and beyond in order to hear about climate concerns, and raise awareness about climate change and what is happening both globally and locally. It is very exciting, and we are diving right into planning mode for this six week mission. We thank each of you for your support in this large undertaking that this project is. 

If you would like to support or help our next leg of the Road for Climate Action, there are a few things that you can do! 

1. Consider donating to our GoFundMe. No amount is too small!

2. Organize an event in your community.

3. Share our project on social media.

4. Take our online climate survey.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Book Reading at Gatsby Books - Long Beach

With the last week being extremely rainy, a beautiful, sunny Saturday was embraced! I started off the day at the local Women's March, which is always uplifting and inspiring. Especially to see so many people right here in my community who are concerned about important issues such as climate change! Following the march, Shahir and I visited Gatsby Books in Long Beach where Shahir did a book reading. It is the cutest book store, with a collection of new and used books. Shahir read some various excerpts from his book. It is always interesting to hear how Beyond Debate is received, and which chapters and topics people want to hear more about. 

Shahir at Gatsby Books in Long Beach

OC Womens March

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Rendezvous with the Rotary Club of San Juan Capistrano!

Shahir and I attended our first ever Rotary Club meeting and it was a great time. Larry Kramer invited us to be the featured speakers at the meeting. The San Juan Capistrano Rotary members are a fun fun bunch. We really enjoyed meeting this community and learning about the important service that their community organizes. Shahir gave a 30 minute talk, answered some really interesting questions, and shared some great conversations after the meeting concluded. The opportunity to speak to the Rotary Club is very special, as Rotary is not a climate focused organization, and offers a diverse audience with a range of knowledge about the issue of climate change. From our conversations, it seemed to be a mixed audience of conservatives and progressives, some of whom were less acquainted with the issue of climate change. Its always nice to reach new people! We hope this is the first of many events with Rotary!


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Keeping it Local - Progressives of Southern OC

We were invited to be the featured speakers at the monthly Progressives of Southern OC meeting in Dana Point on Tuesday. It was an awesome night, started off with a beautiful cotton candy sunset over Dana Point. Shahir spoke to the group of about 70 OC progressives about climate science, our findings from the national climate action road trip, and how each of us can do our part to continue to prioritize the issue of climate change. We had copies of Beyond Debate for sale, and the presentation was followed by a lively Q&A session. This presentation was a bit different because there was no projection capabilities for the slide show. Shahir did a great job painting a picture with his words for the attendees. It continues to inspire and ignite us to meet so many people who are enthusiastic and passionate about achieving climate solutions and elevating the climate conversation. Not to mention our neighbors right here in OC!

- Athina

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Shahir Speaks at LA Environmental Conference

Shahir attended the Fifth Annual Health and Environmental Conference in Los Angeles. He was one of the four main speakers at the event and also had a booth where he was selling copies of his book, Beyond Debate. The audience was largely made up of Hispanic women, many of whom did not speak English (a translator was present). His talk was the only talk on climate change at the conference, and was well received! The conference was aimed at equipping undeserved communities with the knowledge to protect themselves and their families from toxic chemicals in their daily environments. 

An example is cleaning solvents and BPA in bottles. Shahir braved one of the strongest downpours this year on his drive to LA. On his way back, he popped into a bookstore to inquire about the prospect of them carrying his book, Beyond Debate. When Shahir left the bookstore, his book was on display at the store! A great way to wrap up the last month of the year. Beyond Debate is making its' way into a number of different hands, and we couldn't be more excited!