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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Archive for February, 2010

G4C 2009: The first update from Facing Climate Change

Posted by Eugénie | February 19th, 2010 | Filed under Environmental Change, Grant for Change, Partnerships, Sustainability

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Washington snowpacks are among the most sensitive to warming in the West because of their relatively low elevation.

Editor’s note: This post marks the first in a series of updates from our 2009 Grant for Change grantees, Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steele. The Seattle-based documentary team will be sending us monthly updates from the field, as they work to build eight new stories for their long-term project, Facing Climate Change.

My partner Benj and I are a documentary team that specializes in multimedia stories about people, nature and climate change. A few months ago Nau awarded us their first annual Grant for Change to support our long-term documentary project, Facing Climate Change. Throughout this year, we’ll post periodic updates about our work in The Thought Kitchen, and we wanted to start off by introducing ourselves and explaining a little bit more about what exactly we’re doing.

Facing Climate Change uses photography and multimedia to personalize the story of global change through local people. We began this work back in 2006 with a series of stories about Sámi reindeer herders in Norway, volunteer glacier monitors from Iceland and fishermen of the North Atlantic. The G4C is going to help us create a new series of stories that explore the impacts of climate change through people who live and work in the Pacific Northwest. From wildfire fighters and apple growers, to coastal tribes, paramedics and snowmakers, people throughout this region must confront and adapt to the consequences of warming. Their unique stories about who they are and what they do, their everyday challenges and long-term ambitions will help to make an abstract issue more accessible to local audiences, while also contributing to a global conversation.

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In the Pacific Northwest region, the area burned by fire is projected to double by the 2040′s and triple by the 2080′s.

We think that our own backyard is an ideal region for a case study, not only because of its diverse ecological, cultural and economic landscapes, but also because of an unprecedented new assessment that downscales global trends into local projections. At more than 400 pages, the Washington Climate Change Impacts Assessment documents the latest research on how climate change will likely affect eight sectors of our environment and economy by the end of this century: agriculture, coasts, energy, forests, human health, salmon, urban stormwater infrastructure and water resources.  Read More »

“Is this heaven?”

Posted by admin | February 2nd, 2010 | Filed under Compassionate Capitalism, Personal Reflection, Positive Change

sfa_imageAs a fully functioning adult living in a world as a ‘normal’ person (of course, that could be debated) I never had the opportunity to spend any time with the developmentally disabled population until the creation of Search for Adventure (SFA). About 6 years ago, Horny Toad (Nau’s sister company) and Search, Inc. got together to create SFA. The big idea here is that people without disabilities regularly have experiences that shape them outside of home, work or family – the developmentally disabled are often dependent on the government for benefits and services – rarely do they get the chance to experience the world beyond their day to day regiment. The primary goal of SFA is to give access to life experiences based on what they want to do instead of on what others have thought they should or shouldn’t, could or couldn’t do.

I have learned first hand that these trips empower people with developmental disabilities. They are able to see the world outside of the daily routine; not just survive but thrive, learn and experience. In 2004, one of the first trips was to the Powderhorn Dude Ranch in Colorado. One of my favorite quotes from this first trip is from Ed.  Ed is a horse enthusiast and budding cowboy. He got off the plane, took in the scenery and asked, “Is this heaven?”. If I could share the twinkle in his eyes or the excitement in his voice… you would understand.

This program has been so successful that we would like to offer additional experiences to more people. In our dream state we conjured up the idea of the “Adventuremobile” – essentially, a modified van. This vehicle would allow more accessible and economical trips to the most severely and profoundly disabled individuals. Here’s the cool part – you can help us reach our goal with the simple click of a button. (Seriously, it is that easy.) SFA has applied for a grant and the one with the most votes wins. You can learn more and, of course, we welcome your vote.

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