Home Synopsis Buy the Book About the Author Subscribe to Our Newsletter The Mommy Brain Blog Read an Excerpt Reviews Q&A The Mommy Brain
The Mommy Brain
How Motherhood Makes Us Smarter

The Mommy Brain Blog

Friday, October 12, 2007

al gore and the media

A friend sent this recent story in Vanity Fair about the media's treatment of Al Gore -- that would be the pre-Inconvenient Truth, pre-Academy Award, and certainly pre-Nobel Gore, but including post-presidential winner Gore. It's extremely depressing to read, but I urge you to do so. In retrospect -- and why not at the time? -- it's just outrageous to consider the ad hominum and often erroneus attacks reporters published and editors allowed against Gore, in opinion pieces and "straight" reporting alike. Will it happen again with the current crop of Democratic candidates? NPR reported today that voters are leaning toward Democrats by 13 percent but that there's only a 3 percent gap between Hilary Clinton and Giuliani........

Thursday, October 04, 2007

against despair

I read today's new op-ed http://clipmarks.com/clipmark/38889F4B-19E3-4307-8835-D5B19F4ACB60/ by Thomas Homer-Dixon in the Times on global warming and feedback loops, and once again thought of climate scientist Stephen Schneider's recent warning that we have to avoid an "On the Beach" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Beach_%28novel%29 mentality -- i.e. nihilism, about global warming.

Homer-Dixon calls on mothers to mobilize against further greenhouse gas emissions escalations. The basic problem is that to decide to work on this issue, you have to know enough about it to potentially thoroughly depress yourself out of any kind of action at all. I think about and write about climate change enough to have to periodically remind myself that it's not doing any good for my young kids for me to mentally inhabit a future full of food-supply problems, epidemics, heat waves and authoritarianism.

So what's a mother to do? The op-ed reminded me -- again -- that at very least, I want my kids to know I didn't ignore this threat. So I'm making a new pledge to a) compartmentalize my feelings sufficiently so that I can enjoy my son's violin practice without thinking "what's the use?" and b) take three steps a day to be on the right side of what Al Gore rightly has called the moral issue of our time. One of my three steps today will be to plan some kind of way to participate in Bill McKibben's next Step It Up http://events.stepitup2007.org/ demonstrations in November....