Coffee Art 029 (Added Fire and Lightning)
This is not the good news, this is the reality.
In this post I aim to give information, and to give some avenues to make a difference that we can all do today. I’ll start with the issues, then show what we can do on the global level and the local level.
The Climate is changing and it has already started to negatively impact one of the most important crops of all – Coffee. Putting aside the fact that we love to drink it, there are whole countries whose people rely on it as their source of income. As the climate changes, those people are already losing their livelihood.
I am starting a new show series in the next couple months where I plan to show at coffee shops across Los Angeles and Orange county. When I am not working on new pieces in the studio, I have been researching what I think is the most important issue we the people of earth face today–Climate Change. I am going to use these shows to spread awareness, and more importantly cause action and raise funds for the projects I believe will make a difference.
Climate Change – Making Money vs. The Health of the World
Guess who is winning?
For many years marketers have worked through political representatives to put in question the existence of Climate Change. With overwhelming and consistent evidence, the debate has shifted from the existence of Climate Change to a fight over who caused it. Was it humans in the last century, or a natural occurrence building over a millennium?
Leaving that argument to oil industry representatives and scientists, we must now take action. In time we will have our answer to the cause of Climate Change, but to live long enough to find out we have to do everything in our power to conserve our environment now. We have to deal with Climate Change and its effects powerfully and immediately – or we will lose our way of life.
Canary in a Coalmine – Climate Change VS Coffee Itself
Guess who is winning?
La Roya is also called Coffee Rust, a fungus that attacks coffee plants and kills them over time. It may have started in Asia, but has spread across the world like an outbreak. Because of rising global temperatures, the Coffee Rust is able to spread. Without the climate change problem, the fungus would not have been a problem.
We are all at fault, we in the so called “Developed and Developing World.” We have been living fat, with cars and supermarkets and giant energy needs. We have been ignoring sustainability and environmental conservancy for a hundred years. We are destroying the world for everyone. People in countries all over the world are being affected by our consuming, just look at the giant trash deposits in our oceans.
For La Roya check out:
“In the past year, more than half of the coffee farms in Central America have been affected by la roya, causing the loss of 500,000 coffee-related jobs and approximately $1 billion in revenue.”
My biggest question? What other unseen threat is working it’s way up? We may be able to live with a period of coffee headaches and a lifelong memory of our beloved morning coffee, but what about bananas? What if it is tomatoes? What is all of it can’t grow if the climate changes? If we are to face starvation, let’s not bring it on ourselves.
Worldwide Change – The Hydra VS Hercules
Guess who is winning?
The Hydra a the multi-headed beast that represents those companies fighting to live (make a profit) off the destruction of our environment. They use their positions of power, their marketing, their earnings (that we ignorantly hand over to them every day), and their Lobbyists to push a campaign against “fact” itself. A campaign that has been related to the marketing and political efforts the Tobacco industry waged in the face of medical “facts” when they arose. Same “think tank” is being employed to do it actually – literally the same guys: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/23000-the-climate-deniers-are-using-the-same-tactics-as-the-tobacco-industry
Hercules is coming in a lot of forms, but the one I like the best is the environmental activist non-profit Ceres and their group Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP). Raaarrrr Bicep – I just realized the acronym is a muscle. In short, these are big businesses like Starbucks and Ben and Jerry’s that see their customers, their product, and their suppliers in grave danger. They have had enough of the Hydra destroying the landscape they live, work, and prosper in, and they are fighting back. I like them because they are using the weapons of the Hydra against it, and have the power to do it.
They are working on Wall Street, Washington D.C., and pretty much everywhere they can to leverage the enormous profitability of environmental well-being. They see not only the conservation and growth of their business at stake, but also the incredible profitability of pro-environmental energy businesses as a future for them to invest in.
It is coming down to a fight between the entrenched energy businesses making money, and the new energy businesses taking that money away. Take it with your big Biceps Hercules! Take it!!
Where will you put your cash? Into renewable energy, environmentally friendly businesses? Or will you keep giving your money to empower the Hydra to destroy your home? Ceres has been fighting the battle using the biggest weapon there is against a giant monster–other giants. Ceres finds and recruits like minded people, investment groups, and companies that can leverage their might to save the environment for everyone.
Ceres website: http://www.ceres.org/about-us/who-we-are
Read about Ceres on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceres_%28organization%29
Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP): http://www.ceres.org/bicep
Read about BICEP on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_for_Innovative_Climate_and_Energy_Policy
Website to learn for yourself, get involved, and give some much needed cash: http://www.ceres.org/donate
Local Change – Factory Farming VS Your Front Lawn
Guess who is winning?
Do you know how much our current farming system impacts the environment? Not only are we being poisoned by the food itself in a hundred different ways, the actual production of food is helping to kill the environment. The Wild animals are impacted, everything is impacted. Learn more here: http://ecowatch.com/2013/01/21/factory-farming-global-warming/ and check out the Environmental Integrity Project: http://environmentalintegrity.org/
The cattle farts (Methane), the fuel burning oily ships and truck exhaust, the effects on the ground itself, the deforestation. There are new models for mass farming being ignored – they are not being employed because we are entrenched financially, reliant on immediacy, and for the most part don’t know any better. There is a new world possible, and we can actually make it happen. It starts at home, it stars in our neighborhoods, it starts in our schools with our children learning about how to make things grow for themselves.
It starts on the front lawn.
Watch this TED Talk with Ron Finley, it’s super funny. More importantly, it’s something we can actually do, and do now. “Growing food is like Printing your own money,” says Ron Finley, one of the leaders of the Los Angeles Garden Council. They fought to get permission to turn the parking strip in their neighborhood into community gardens (instead of useless water sucking grass).
Now, people in the neighborhood can farm together, grow the food they need, and eat great healthy produce without the Carbon impact of factory farming and shipping, or even the car ride to the grocery store. People are free to come and pick the food! It is like living in an abundant jungle, also known as “my dream for Los Angeles.” Imagine if kids walking to school could pick fruit and vegitables on the way. How would that affect out school lunch programs?
Get involved. Volunteer with Ron (firstname.lastname@example.org) and learn the ins and outs of growing your own food, then take it back to your own neighborhood and get it started! Grow your own food and save so much money! Let’s turn LA from ridiculous grass lawns to a city of produce gardens.
Website to learn for yourself, get involved, and give some much needed cash: http://lagardencouncil.org/
Who will win in the end? Who will lose? The answer is so obvious I can’t believe I am writing this.
If the Hydra wins, it loses. It eats it’s own tail – it is suicidal. It cares nothing for its young, it burns its own nest. The Hydra needs the climate it destroys to live in. Short sightedness and greed blind it.
How is our short sightedness and greed blinding us? What do we need to see to make the changes in the way we live that will fundamentally change this world?
Vote with your dollar and take the actions to free yourself from a system that is destroying the planet.
Or, no more coffee for you!
I am going to start a show series soon where I hold a Coffee Art show on Saturday nights/Sunday mornings in LA and Orange County coffee shops to help raise awareness and money for Ceres and the LA Garden Council. If you want to support me, please buy some art here: http://www.mikelanni.com/shop/