Keeping positive



(Come friend Aunt Ruthie on Facebook and let’s hang out.)

The good news is where you find it:

“Hi, I’m a junior in high school in Ventura, Calif., and I’ve been a climate-change activist for four years now.” His name is Alec Loorz, the teen dynamo who started Kids vs. Global Warming when he was 12. “I think the voices of our whole generation need to be raised together so that the ruling generation can see that the climate crisis is really about us, our future. That’s how the idea for the iMatter March began.”

Loorz will be in Sacramento for the iMatter March at 10 a.m. on May 8, Mother’s Day. The starting location wasn’t locked in as of this writing—go to for more details. It will be an international event, with marches in Pakistan, Nigeria—everywhere, all as a challenge to the crisis of climate change.

Loorz is a compelling young dude—Auntie Ruth has a soft spot for any teenager who reminds the world that Thomas Jefferson called for revolution every 20 years or so.

Then there’s the lovely flash-mob video viraling about: A recycling bin and a plastic bottle are set down next to each other in the busy walkway of a food court in a four-story Canadian mall. Person after person walks by the plastic bottle, ignoring the obvious call to action. Finally, a woman puts the bottle into the recycling bin and boom: Hundreds of people surrounding her don red caps and start applauding wildly, from adjoining tables, from the escalators, from the three stories above the food court itself. The applause goes on for a minute or so; the message is charming and important and will make ya grin. Google “flash mob recycling” and pass it along.

It was a good week: Auntie Ruth sat in on the keynote speech for Power Shift 2011 via a streaming video of Al Gore as he implored what enviro-organizers called “the largest organizer training session in history.” The speech was technologically challenged—Gore kept wandering in and out of the camera frame, the audio was echoey, and a bunch of us were yakking on the Facebook link as much as we were following the speech. But the energy in the room—young, activist and determined—was not to be denied.

There’s work to be done; there’s joy in that. Keep smilin’.