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December 2, 2016

Hello SCI Activists,

Another week brings more ideas! To begin with, we’re going to look at why climate change pops up in our conversations so rarely and how to talk about it, so that people will actually listen. Following is another update from Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, USA, looking at the conflict from a broader historical perspective and through indigenous perspective of the world. Read more about a successful example of agroforestry in Kenya and get inspired to do some of your own winter indoor gardening!

And remember the words of Wangari Maathai (Nobel Peace Laureate from Kenya): “Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking”.

How to talk about climate change

If you’re reading this newsletter, chances are that you find combating climate change somehow important and maybe you are even actively creating climate solutions. But think about it, how often do you talk about climate change with your friends or family members? Chances are it’s not very frequently but are our brains wired to ignore climate change? Read the review of the book “Don't Even Think About It” by George Marshall (Resilience.org)

However, there is hope! There are ways to talk about what matters to you in a way that people will listen. Tell a story, focus on solutions, don’t try to scare people…these are just some of the things to consider when crafting your message. “Here’s everything we know about how to talk about climate change” (Grist) 

So…what’s your story? Why do you care about climate justice? How did you get involved? Share what motivates you by sending even few sentences to climate4peace@sci.ngo. And just try it out with your volunteers during the study part in your next workcamp!

Stand with Standing Rock

“As the US Army Corps of Engineers issues a December 5 eviction notice for thousands of people gathered on the banks of the Missouri River, we face our truth. Those people at the Oceti Sakowin and Red Warrior Camps, along with the 550 people who have been arrested so far, are really the only thing standing between a river and a corporation that wants to pollute it”. Read what well-known native activist Winona LaDuke has to say about the recent developments at Standing Rock and even find a ray of hope if her analysis (the text also contains a detailed report of injuries caused to one of the protestors by a concussion grenade, so be mindful of that if you are sensitive to such information): “The Beginning is Near: The Deep North, Evictions and Pipeline Deadlines” (Indian Country News)

“To understand Standing Rock, you must remove the Western lens and adopt a holistic, indigenous perspective of the world”, says Kayla DeVault, a young Native woman, who can help you understand the situation and how it should change according to people, who are directly impacted by the project. What is the significance of number four and what are the key concepts in the Navajo view of the world? Find out here: ”Four Ways to Look at Standing Rock: An Indigenous Perspective” (Yes! Magazine) 

Also worth reading is the article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr: 'I'll See You at Standing Rock' (EcoWatch), which puts the struggle at Standing Rock in a historical perspective, looking back at the record of the US government breaking treaties made with the natives in the past.

Farms of the future

Farms that look more like a rainforest? Sure they exist! Agroforestry is a strategic use of trees on farms to improve soil health and insulate crops from drought. The practice has lingered for years outside the mainstream of agriculture, but some scientists see it as a low-tech, low-cost, readily available weapon for farmers against climate change. Read the story of Purity, a Kenyan farmer, who experimented with different plants and animals at her farm until, thanks to a governmental project, she found out about agroforestry. It basically means reimagining completely, what modern agriculture should look like and moving away from Western-style monocultures. “This Is What a Climate-smart Farm Looks Like” (National Geographic)

And when you think about the Sustainable Development Goals, agriculture is, in a way, what connects all 17 of them. However solutions need to be crafted to the local context and more funds need to be directed to where they are needed the most. “Climate Finance for Farmers Key to Avert One Billion Hungry” (Inter Press Service)

Indoor gardening

Winter is coming...but it doesn't mean you have to give up on gardening if it's getting cold where you are. In fact you might consider starting a vegetable garden now!  You think don't have enough space? Just read this list of very practical suggestions on growing tomatoes, spinach, garlic and 34 other edible plants indoors (btw. don't the instructions for rhubarb sound a little strange?). “Indoor Vegetable Gardening: 37 Edibles You Can Grow Indoors In The Winter” (Loyal Gardener)



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