Why add in-home Sprouting to your Environmentalism Toolkit?

By Robert Schwartz

If you’re reading this you already know there will be hell to pay if we don’t straighten out this climate issue.

Some people say climate change is caused by human reckless over-consumption. Some people say it’s just a natural planetary happening. The truth is even if climate change isn’t our fault it is our problem. The good news is you can affect the speed and severity that a changing climate will impact your children and grandchildren.There are 3 way that you can help heal the world and optimize the environment. The first is with your personal choices and the choices your family makes. The second is your local community, in America that’s state and local governments. The third is by advocating for national and world change, which seems like a big lift when you’re worried about making dinner and getting the kids to clean their room before they go to sleep. I try to work on all three of these points and find the most rewarding one is my own personal choices. As you know, local, state, and federal politicians have been very unwilling to make any substantial changes. I do see a glimmer of hope though, considering how the war on drugs and the war on homelessness went maybe politicians should consider a war on the environment. But all of that is for another day.  

Why I got involved in the environmental movement.  

There were three main stages to my climate journey. The first one was shock. Learning about the extent of the climate issue can really send you down a rabbit hole. The amount of information could keep you glued to your phone for literally 10 years. As I researched, I realized many people write with a political or financial agenda but even after removing biased information the real world is suffering and only the most cognitively challenged can’t see it. The second thing that happened to me was the emergence of emotional pain along with my sense of justice being offended to the point of real anger. Anger is an emotion designed to prevent bad decision making. You get angry at the kids for going in the street without looking. Most emotional anger is something that doesn’t just linger with you and over time you get less angry and settle back into a normal routine. This is the least helpful response to anger over environmental issues. The response that brought me piece was the third stage – realizing the source of the pain and responding to it.  

Learning to contribute without complaining. 

I like to think of myself as an environmentally responsible person. Carrying around my hydroflask, wearing goodwill or local made clothing, turning off the lights, rarely turn on the heat pump and having energy efficient appliances. But one day I realized my food choices nullified any positive impact I was hoping to make. Unnecessary pollution from packaging, refrigeration, and transportation. Poisoning the soil of land due to pesticides, watching the top soil get replaced with an unsustainable chemical mixture, and the massive amount of food waste from peels, stems, etc. I am luckily enough to live in rural Oregon so I can get a good percentage of food from local farmers or farmers markets but not everyone can do that year round, some people not at all.

So, what are we to do as environmental activists? 

Sprout at home!

Sprouting allows a nice harvest every 3-5 day of clean fresh organic veggies. Sprouting at home takes almost no time and very little space. No transportation, or packaging pollution and a bare minimum of refrigeration if any at all. Almost no waste and no top or any other kind of soil used and no pesticides. Best Part? Every morning and evening when I spend a minute or two rinsing my sprouts, I am reminded of my fidelity to healing the environment.

For anyone just starting a sprouting adventure, here are the simple steps that people have been doing for thousands of years.

  1. Take some organic non-gmo seeds (the only kind there was until a few years ago) soak them in cool water for 8 hours or so.
  2. Drain the water and rinse 2 times per day until little tails appear, usually in 3-5 days.
  3. Repeat with a new set of seeds.

My website, www.organicsproutbox.com has a 5 minute video that walks you through every step of the way so you will get the best results. If you’d like to learn more, feel free to email us for tips or advice to either up your sprout game or get your sprouting adventure started. I also have a variety of entry level to gourmet vegan sprout recipes.  Please look into sprouting today and if you’d like more information, visit us at www.organicsproutbox.com. SPROUT ON!

100% Clean Energy for All: In support of Oregon HB 2021

Every bill with real solutions to climate change is important right now. Among the most hopeful for this Legislative Session in Oregon is HB 2021, sponsored by Southern Oregon Representative, Pam Marsh.

HB 2021 A is moving through committees and support of the bill with comments and testimony couldn’t be more important. The bill accelerates electrification of the Oregon power grid, and offers jobs for Oregonians in communities across the state in a transition focused on community-based projects, affordability, and disaster resilience.

One key opportunity for southwestern and coastal Oregon is the excitement around Offshore Wind energy. Bill Bradbury, a long time advocate of offshore wind and former Oregon State Senator and Oregon Secretary of State joined the meeting to offer testimony in support of the bill.

To learn more about the 100% Clean Energy For All bill, link to this Fact Sheet (pdf) and read more about the campaign. You can also link directly to the 2021 A Oregon Legislative Information page that provides complete information about the bill, its sponsors, and its next steps.

You can also offer your support for this bill by submitting written comments. To submit a comment, link directly to the 2021 A Legislative Information page, select an upcoming hearing date, and click to leave a comment. If there is no immediate hearing date available, email Pam Marsh, or Khanh Pham–and your own Oregon House Representative–or their staff to let them know of your support.

100% Clean Energy!

Black Snake

I’ve taken several classes online, including a Masterclass by reporter Bob Woodward.  Woodward basically said that everyone has their own version of the truth.  What they saw, from their perspective, given their existing knowledge and underlying belief system. 

But underneath what we each believe, there are facts.  We are all entitled to our own opinions.  No one is entitled to their own set of facts. 

I started out as a documentary filmmaker.  My 1st picture was on national cable TV.  My 2nd picture went undistributed.  I couldn’t raise money for the next half dozen pictures I wanted to make, so I have a file cabinet stuffed with unfulfilled dreams.  I didn’t make any more documentaries. 

But I passionately agree with Woodward that a journalist’s job – and in a Democracy, every citizen’s job – is to come up with the best, most accurate obtainable version of the truth.  Because Democracy dies in darkness.  Because predators always hide, and human predators create a thicket of false facts to hide in.

Our founding fathers had the optimistic notion that Americans could act like good neighbors.  That we could reach smarter decisions together than any one of us could consistently come up with alone.  That we could discuss our differences calmly.  That we could look past our beliefs to find the facts.  That we would then use those facts to improve our all lives.  

Without facts there is no sustainable prosperity.  Without basic prosperity, life sucks.  A family with hungry children is the most politically unstable unit in the world.

Lately, we have seen a triumph of false facts over neighborliness.  Below is a poem I wrote about how recent political events have brought new light to a very old set of false facts, that was used to steal Native land and murder Native people.

Black Snake by Katherine Brann Fredricks 

Lay aside bitterness.
Lay aside fears.
There’s a black snake
on the Trail of Tears.

It’s been seven generations
since we took your land.
Now foreign people want mine.
Now I understand.

We all drink this water,
though we once fought to the knife.
At Oglala waters,
even old enemies have to agree,
water is life!

Cowboy boots and deerskin moccasin,
stop the black snake
with truth for medicine.
Canadian tar sands
for Chinese cars.
Stop the black snake.
Protect what’s ours.

It’s been seven generations
since we told those lies:
“We’ve come here for your good!”
Lies to colonize.

Now I apologize
for my ancestor’s lies.
Now I recognize
tribal wisdom I despised.
Now I apologize
for the genocide we legalized.
Now I cuss
foreign enterprise
come to vandalize us!

For our sacred waters,
for our farms and fields and rights.
For our children’s futures,
cowboys and Indians, time to unite,
Cowboys and Indians, fight!

Obama embalmed the KXL.
Trump raised it like a zombie:
smell that chemical smell!
Biden took a pen.  
Killed the black snake again.
Say yay! But stay tough.
Kill a zombie twice?
Twice may not be enough!

While we drink these waters,
we’ll teach our sons and daughters how
to respect each other,
and protect each other,
so they may safely drink these waters
seven generations from now!

New Music: Open Your Eyes by Katherine Fredricks & Stephen Bennett

In a lifetime spent – by preference – in the woods, I’ve faced danger a few times.  Rock climbing, and having the rock I was holding onto break off in my hand.  Accidentally walking between a mother elk and her calf.  Breaking through the ice, while crossing a stream on a winter camping trip.

The Oregon fires last fall were the first time I ever felt all humanity was directly endangered.  Listening to the news, I heard an Oregon firefighter say, he felt like he was fighting the whole world.  The first thought that leapt into my mind was, “Yeah, but who started this fight?”

I’ve believed we were in a human-caused climate emergency for years.  The wildfires of 2020 brought it home to me.  I was working as a temp for a chiropractor, watching the sky turn red overhead, as patient after patient called to cancel their appointments: “I can’t come in!  I’m being evacuated!”

I spoke to one eighty year old man, as he watched flames approach his home.  He didn’t want to leave.  His son was arguing with him: “You can’t fight a firestorm with a garden hose!”

So I sent texts for Joe Biden and was thrilled when he was elected.  I write my Congressional  Representatives regularly on climate issues.  

Last week, I was happy to receive a newsletter from Congressman Blumenauer, saying that he is working with Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on legislation to mandate the declaration of a national climate emergency. Read article here.

Last fall, watching fire clouds tower over me, I began writing a song, Open Your Eyes!  Composer Stephen Bennett related to it instantly, because his parents live in California, where similar fire clouds threatened their home.  Thank you to the members of Climate Reality, and to all people of good will and good science, who are working hard to (as Congressman Blumenauer puts it) “halt, reverse, mitigate, and prepare for the consequences of this climate crisis.”


Global solutions from Oregon


Addressing Climate Change is a global effort, and you can get involved in the process from right where you are in Oregon. And as of today, February 21, 2021, the United States is back in the Paris Agreement with American scientists, policy makers, businesses and diplomats once again contributing to the work of the United Nations on climate. UNFCCC stands for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This video is a recording of Paris Agreement 101 presented by Oregon State University and the Southwestern Oregon Chapter of The Climate Reality project with presenters (scroll down for bios) Zac Pinard, Grace Doleshel and Frank Granshaw, with thanks to Gregg Walker. As you watch, you will hear an alphabet soup of terms. UNFCCC? COP26? YOUNGO? RINGO? Don’t let it throw you off. Scroll down for links and terms.

Some terms

  • UNFCCC = United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, pronounced ‘U-N-F-triple C,’ the UN effort on Climate Change.
  • COP = Conference of the Parties (Everyone gets together, this year in Glasgow for COP26, meets, greets, and makes decisions.)
  • NGO = Non-governmental Organization (An organization often focused on an issue that is independent from government, like The Climate Reality Project or OXFAM.)
  • NDC = Nationally Determined Contribution or INDC, Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (What individual nations have said they will do or intend to do.)
  • SBI = Subsidiary Body for Implementation (A group within the UNFCCC that keeps an eye on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, mitigations and other things climate with the goal of supporting national efforts to meet climate goals.)
  • SBSTA = Also SBs, Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice. (When you need an expert to help you with implementation and policy, these guys are also within the UNFCCC.)
  • ACE = Action for Climate Empowerment. (A group designed to encourage people from all walks of life and all nations to learn about climate change and efforts to address it.)
  • YOUNGO = Also called COY (Conference of Youth), a group of young people who have come together over social media to address climate within the UNFCCC effort. The ‘NGO‘ at the end is for Non-governmental Organizations.
  • RINGO / BINGO = You get the idea, there are a number of groups of those brought together by interests, expertise, and collegiality. YOUNGO as well as RINGO for researchers (Research and Independent Non-governmental Organizations), BINGO for Business and Industry Non-governmental Organizations.
  • Climate Bridge = an effort to allow interested parties, individuals and organizations to attend the COPs virtually.

A Climate Bridge in Oregon. Not everyone can–or should–travel to Glasgow for COP26. But the more folks who can participate in this global process to address climate change the better. Folks are needed from all and everywhere if we are going to tackle the challenge that is right-now all around us. Frank Granshaw has invested tremendous effort into development of a virtual bridge that last year linked Portland, Oregon, to COP25. This Prezi presentation walks you through the idea with links, a timeline, and information. If there is leadership and interest, we could organize a Virtual Bridge to COP26 right here in Southern Oregon.

Need another video? Get some latest policy hopes as you dig deeper with this video, released in honor of today–our first day back into the Paris Agreement!–by TEDCountdown, featuring Christiana Figueres, one of the architects of the Paris Agreement, Al Gore, Chairman of The Climate Reality Project, and John Kerry, the new US Special Envoy for Climate.

Find this video on TED

A Key Resource:

Be sure to order the 8th Edition.

Zac mentioned this book in his presentation, Global Environmental Politics, 8th Edition, by Pamela S. Chasek and David L. Downie. I ordered one! What I liked about the book is that it is packed with information yet organized in a way that I can actually navigate that information. It begins with an introduction as to how Global Environmental Politics started, and covers basics, timelines, stakeholders, research, wealth and energy management, developmental goals, and there is even a little rah-rah in there as people come together in teams to roll up their sleeves and get the work done. It is an academic introduction, and I appreciated that the book covers the changing scope of the effort. This work started with careful measurement of greenhouse gasses. It has grown into an awareness that climate is about environment and so it touches everything from food and water systems to economic systems to pollution to energy to human culture and every life on earth. A great recommendation.

One more resource invitation: Zac works for Climate XChange, a nonprofit focused on research, education and advocacy tools designed to move us toward a clean energy economy. Consider plugging into the State Climate Policy Network!  The SCPN is a nationwide network of professionals in the climate space, a great place to connect with important people and organizations. Send your email to zac@climate-xchange.org to join and receive newsletter updates!

Thank you to our organizers and presenters!

Zac Pinard grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to the Pacific Northwest for college. He graduated from Oregon State University in 2019 with a B.S. in Environmental Science, specializing in Environmental Economics and Policy. In 2020, he worked as a legislative assistant for the chair of the Oregon House Committee on Energy and the Environment. During that short session, he gained significant exposure to the political battle surrounding an economy-wide carbon pricing bill. He hopes he can take that experience forward to help implement robust carbon pricing mechanisms throughout the nation.

Grace Doleshel is a 19 year old environmental activist and student at Oregon State University pursuing a BS in Environmental Public Policy with a minor in Social Justice. She has worked in environmental advocacy and policy since age 14 and has policy experience at a local, state, national and international level, most recently she attended the COP 25 Climate Conference in Madrid, Spain.  Grace’s experience includes environmental education, policy, public speaking and writing.  She currently works as the Coordinator of Environmental Affairs for the Associated Students of Oregon State University.

Frank Granshaw is a retired geoscience educator, glacial geologist, and insufferably proud grandpa from Portland, Oregon. In addition to being actively involved  in climate education and advocacy through Portland State University, the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon’s Creation Justice Program, American Geophysical Union, and the Oregon Science Network of the Union of Concerned Scientists, he has been an observer delegate to two UN Climate summits and is one of the founders of the PDX Climate Bridge.

Gregg B. Walker is Professor and Chair of the Department of Speech Communication, Adjunct Professor of Forest Resources, and Director of the Peace Studies program at Oregon State University in Corvallis. In addition, Professor Walker conducts training programs on collaborative decision making, designs collaborative public participation processes, facilitates collaborative learning community workshops, and researches community-level collaboration efforts. Gregg is also a co-author for Working through Environmental Conflict; The Collaborative Learning Approach.

We plan to do more webinars. Please check back for events, or add your name to the chapter mailing list by emailing us your name. Consider applying to a Leadership Corps training from The Climate Reality Project, and/or joining an Oregon Chapter.