Dennis Kucinich, Benson High, July 1

Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, the only truly progressive candidate in the 2008 race will be at Benson High School auditorium at 7:30pm on July 1. Come early if you want to sit down.

Be there or Be square.

Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, the only truly progressive candidate in the 2008 race will be at Portland’s Benson High School auditorium at 7:30pm on July 1. Come early if you want to sit down.

Be there or Be square.

Portland warming rally good start, but…

Portland, Oregon

As I approached Terry Schrunk Plaza in downtown Portland, I was unsure of what I would encounter at the Global Warming Rally, which was one of 1300 actions around the country sponsored by a group call Step it Up. I suspected it would be one more lame event of the kind which the mainstream environmentalist organizations tend to put on: ie, lots of talk about lobbying and speeches by politicians.

I was exactly right-on in my expectations. Eric Sten talked about what a wonderful job Portland has done – presumeably under his leadership. Rep. Dingfelder urged support for several half-assed but “crucial” initiatives making their way through the state legislative chambers. I heard a lot of ra ra ra.

It would have been dispiriting if it weren’t for all of the youthful idealism in the crowd.It would have been dispiriting if it weren’t for all of the youthful idealism in the crowd. I say this metaphorically, because, even though a lot of the audience was young, there were also a kind of contagious idealism in the faces of older people as well.

But I don’t think that most of these people are even close to understanding the danger we are in, or the changes which are coming our way in the best of scenarios.

Step it Up’s goal is to get the government to agree to “80 percent reduction in carbon” by 2050. Okay, this is necessary. No argument here.

But the real problem is that we can’t wait. If we don’t do something drastic in the next few years, it could all be too late. There is mounting evidence, accumulated since the recent UN report was drafted, that polar ice is melting at ever-increasing rates which may already be irreversible. We will soon go into feedback loops which release tons of methane into the atmosphere. The science community is saying this, not me.

The machine has to stop, folks. We are looking, in this century, at die-offs, and mass migrations, and wars of survival on a scale never seen in the history of humanity.

Hyperbole? I think not. Please wake up.

Editors to be guests of the October VIP reading

VERSE IN PERSON
Wednesday, October 25
NW Library Branch, 23rd
and NW Thurman, 7-8 PM.
Duane Poncy and Patricia McLean.
Duane Poncy and Patricia McLean are poets, activists, performers, and co-founders and publishers of The Habit of Rainy Nights Press, whose first offering was “Raising our Voices– An Anthology of Oregon Poets Against the War.”
Duane, a citizen of […]

VERSE IN PERSON
Wednesday, October 25
NW Library Branch, 23rd
and NW Thurman, 7-8 PM.
Duane Poncy and Patricia McLean.

Duane Poncy and Patricia McLean are poets, activists, performers, and co-founders and publishers of The Habit of Rainy Nights Press, whose first offering was “Raising our Voices– An Anthology of Oregon Poets Against the War.”

Duane, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, is working on a novel about his ancestors and the history of colonialism in the Americas. With Patricia he is a member of Roadside Bomb, a pro-peace, anti-war performance poetry group.

In addition to poetry, Patricia McLean writes fiction and essays. She is involved in anti-poverty work, and her poetry is heavily influenced by this experience. She and Duane recently collaborated on a mystery novel, Bartlett House.