Tags >> Santa Rosa
Sep 29
2009

Bill McKibben and 350.org

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , waste , technology , Santa Rosa , resources , policy , ocean , international , Ideas , events , environment , climate change , carbon , author , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

Global warming has moved from a looming problem to an imminent crisis, warns environmental writer Bill McKibben, and the international campaign to demand action rests on a simple three digit number.

The urgency that underscores the 350 campaign is tied to the newly realized effects of the well-documented one degree increase in the temperature of the world’s oceans. Noted environmental writer Bill McKibben says that until recently, it was believed that was not enough of a difference to trigger the cascading changes that are now being documented.

 

Even if humankind is successful in tempering the worse effects of global warming, McKibben says it will take generations to bring atmospheric carbon levels back down to 350 or less.

 

  Bill Mckibben is the author of The End of Nature and numerous other books on environmental issues, including the newly published Bill McKibben Reader. He’ll be talking about the 350 campaign  on Friday, October 2 at Sonoma County Day School in Santa Rosa.

 

 

Sep 28
2009

Catholic Charities

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , speaker , Santa Rosa , religion , poverty , nonprofit orgs , healthcare , government , families , employment , economy , children , activism

Bruce Robinson

Official statistics on poverty in America tell barely half the story, even before the current recession kicked in, says the leader of a national anti-poverty effort, while the recovery now being forecast will take months or more to trickle down to the nation’s neediest citizens.

Father Larry Snyder took over as the head of Catholic Charities USA in early 2005, and found himself, just six months later, presiding over his agency’s efforts to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Looking back on that disaster now, he believes it has helped open Americans’ eyes to the prevalence of poverty in our midst.

 

 

The expansion of federal funding for faith-based organizations under the Bush administration actually amounted to less than it appeared, says Father Snyder. It merely extended a long-standing practice to include some additional service providers.

Catholic Charities  USA has announced a concerted campaign to cut poverty in America by half, and has developed an array of web-based resources and information as part of that effort. The data summarized below is taken from that website.

National Poverty Data

Updated September 2009

39.8 million people live below the official federal poverty level, which was $22,025 for a family of four in 2008. This number is up from 37.3 million in 20071.

The number of people in poverty has not exceeded the 2008 figure of 39.8 million people since 1960. It is expected to rise as the new census numbers account for 2008--which was just the beginning of the economic downturn.

The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 45.7 million in 2007 to 46.3 million in 2008.

Almost half of all Americans will have experienced poverty for a year or more at some point in their lives by the time they reach age 60.

Income and Employment

The federal minimum wage is $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008; and $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.   Real median household income declined by 3.6 percent in 2008. As of September , 2009 the national unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent. Learn more

Location

Poverty rates are highest in central cities and rural areas. Inside metropolitan areas the poverty rate and the number of people in poverty were 12.9 percent and 32.6 million, both up from 2007.  The poverty rate for those outside metropolitan areas is 15.1 percent.

The South has the highest rate of people in poverty,14.3 percent. Mississippi and Louisiana have the first and second highest rates. Find your state's rank.

Racial Inequality

The poverty rate for non-Hispanic whites is 8.6 percent, while the rate for Hispanics is 23.2 percent, the rate for Asians is 11.8 percent, and the rate for African Americans is 24.5 percent.  Learn more about Race and Poverty.

Age

The number of people 65 and older remained at 3.6 million in 2008. Children experience a higher rate of poverty, 19 percent, than the rest of the population. This number is higher than in 2007.  Children represent 35.3 percent of people in poverty but only 24.6 percent of the total population.1

Sep 13
2009

Doctors for Healthcare Reform

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Santa Rosa , poverty , politics , medicine , legislation , healthcare , Health , government , events , economy , activism

Bruce Robinson

Another voice in support of public healthcare reform is coming from family practice residents in Santa Rosa.

America's current health care system is deeply flawed in its capacity to deliver care to the patients who need it, says Dr. Rachel Friedman (left), which is the fundamental reason she is advocating for systemic reforms.

Those inequities in care, which are driven by disparities in health insurance coverage, tend to give doctors a narrower range of patients to work with, observes Dr. Veronica Jordan (right), while her ideal would be to see a more fully representative  spectrum of people in her daily practrice.
The activism that Drs. Friedman and Jordan are engaged in is not unusual, Friedman adds. Most of their residency classmates have joined in, and they have many counterparts across the country.


 

 

Sep 10
2009

The Political Mind

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , speaker , Science , Santa Rosa , politics , news , media , Ideas , history , government , education , Congress , author

Bruce Robinson

The political differences that divide progressives and conservatives run deeper than policies and opinions, says linguist and analyst George Lakoff, they are embedded deep within the brain itself.

UC Berkeley professor George Lakoff is primarily a linguist, and here he explains how that background leads to the political applications that form the basis of his current book, The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist’s Guide to Your Brain and its Politics.

 

George Lakoff(right)  will read from The Political Mind  at Copperfields Books in Montgomery Village Sunday afternoon, September 13th at 2 pm.

President Obama has been praised for actively re-entering the debate over health care reform with his address to Congress this week, but Lakoff says the administration is still bound by a policy-driven approach that stints on making an essential emotional connection with the American electorate.

 

 

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