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‘Round and ‘Round We Spin

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Author: the Inkslinger

If news falls in the forest and no one is there to report it on the Inspired Protagonist, does it make a sound? Oh my, yes, my green philosopher children. It’s been roaring for weeks while I’ve been elsewhere. In fact, so much worth mentioning has been piling up in my digital in-box that I briefly considered tossing the whole thing into my virtual trashcan and starting over. Seemed easy than trying to wade through it all. But that’s a bit of a cheat and the losers would be you, dear reader. So I’m biting the informational bullet, sifting through it, and aiming to play catch-up over the next few days. Here goes…

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We Can Do This

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Author: the Inkslinger

We can, you know. It’s really not as hard as it looks.

I know, I know… You pick up the paper, read the headlines, and run screaming from the room in a blind war-fevered eco-panic so overwhelming the only way out you can see is to barricade the door, cut the cables, kill the lights, and hole up in the basement surrounded by soft pillows and a nice fluffy comforter with a case or two or ten of good merlot and that Sex in the City DVD set you got for Christmas but haven’t been able to watch because who’s got time for Carrie and the girls when dinner’s burning, the kids are screaming, the phone’s ringing and the nattering nabob on the evening news just said we have about ten minutes until humanity’s warranty on the whole operation expires?

But wait. Because there’s proof all around that we can do this. Kill the war and cool the world and not be so bush-wacked over it all. If you know what I mean… In fact, there are steps being taken in the right and better direction all the time. And some of them are pretty big. You just have to know where to look. I’d suggest right here…

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Yesterday’s News

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Author: the Inkslinger

And now as public service of the Inspired Protagonist, we bring you yesterday’s news today. Because, well… I’m so completely behind the curve that from where I sit the curve appears on the very distant horizon only as the faintest suggestion of something not flat. And really, from here, even that could be an atmospheric trick. The reason for my lateness, as everyone who knows me knows, is a recent relocation to a new abode that has reduced my home office to rubble and triggered a week’s worth of connectivity problems that have left me wandering alone in the terrifying e-darkness. Still, better late than never with these tidbits I’ve been meaning to share…

US News and World Report had a good article earlier this month about avoiding bisphenol-A, the toxin currently number one with a bullet at the top of the toxicological charts. Good advice about keeping this bad boy out of your bloodstream.

A new study says that emerging “carbon markets” are unwittingly encouraging the clearcutting of virgin forests, an act which would release one official massive ton ‘o carbon into our beleagured atmosphere. Oops. Maybe we better rethink this one. (I still don’t get the whole let’s-trade-carbon-pollution credits thing. How about we just all agree not to make anymore rather than just treat what is a rather pressing situation like it was a couple of packs of baseball cards in a schoolyard?)

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Precaution is Not Toxic

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Author: the Inkslinger

Chrystie in our marketing department just forwarded an interesting article from the January 22nd issue of New York Magazine entitled Indulge Your Paranoia in which writer Susan Burton discusses her parental struggle to banish toxins from her Brooklyn family’s life. Coming from someone without a background in this stuff, it’s an enlightening take on the subject not so much for the information it provides but for what it tells us about what’s going on in other people’s minds as they think on the issue of playing chemical roulette in daily life.

Her main point is that in today’s chemically intensive world it’s hard to keep track of all the potential toxins around us and even harder to take preventative action on on each and every one. That’s pretty true. But I don’t agree with the throw-up-your-hands-and-surrender attitude that seems to creep in at the edges of the piece. And there are several places in the article where Burton lets myth and misinformation stand.

Bisphenol-A, for example, may not yet have been studied by the National Institutes of Health, but the jury is hardly out. In fact, the vast preponderance of the evidence that exists very strongly suggests that it mimics estrogen to dangerous effect in the body, and the case against it is “still being argued” mostly only by industry spokespeople. Elsewhere she comments on a mother’s worries about a (most likely totally safe) recycled fleece blanket even as she blithely watches her own child dubiously jamming (very probably toxic) “low-VOC” carpet samples into her mouth.

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Charters for a Smarter World

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Author: the Inkslinger

The latest issue of the highly recommended Rachel’s Precautionary Reporter leads off with an interesting note about the new Bemidji Statement on Seventh Generation Guardianship, which was released on July 6 as part of the proceedings of the Indigenous Environmental Network’s 14th annual Protecting Mother Earth Conference in Bemidji, Minnesota.

The statement is a 21st century take on the same Great Law of the Haudenosaunee that inspired our own name and company philosophy. It’s a good one for sure, but as Rachel’s Peter Montague observes, the really interesting thing here is that with the Bemidji statement, we now have a fairly complete framework of ideas that everybody can coalesce around in the name of a saner future.

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