communicating with the environment
People worldwide still thank me for my first blog post, Prevent Disasters with Clean Energy Policies, written almost two years ago. Unfortunately, the escalation of fossil fuel extraction and plans to build new nuclear power plants have made our need for clean energy and environmental preservation even more urgent now. In this spring issue, I’ve revisited the environment with a subject closer to home: lawn care. Following is an article written by guest blogger, Dr. David Dobbins, Emeritus Professor, plant anatomy and development, morphology, and horticulture, Millersville University, PA. Thank you, David, for sharing your knowledge and wisdom about the responsibility homeowners and landscapers have for helping to preserve and restore the environment that sustains us! - Aggie Perilli
a reprint of our holiday post for our animal friends, and the selfless volunteers who rescue them
by Aggie Perilli
The $295 my husband Michael and I paid to adopt a fifteen-pound bichon poodle from the Last Chance Ranch Animal Rescue in Quakertown Pennsylvania covered Raphie’s vaccinations, de-worming, neutering, and medication for the prevention of kennel cough and other infections (the price our local veterinarian charges for vaccinations alone).
The Last Chance Ranch had rescued Raphie from a “high-kill” shelter in Philadelphia, where he lay curled up in a fetal position in the corner of his cage.
by Aggie Perilli
- Honesty is the foundation on which a candidate builds trust. It’s more important for Americans to know what a candidate is for, than against. Americans elect candidates to advance positive change, rather than cling to a past that is dysfunctional, unsustainable, and even violent.
- Candidates need to reveal the details of how they will champion the success of all Americans, which includes a budget that can support their plans. Voters question the intentions of any politician who exploits scare tactics, then asks to increase military spending beyond the levels expected.
- Attempts at voter intimidation and suppression may backfire. Among the most shocking examples are voter ID laws, struck down in Pennsylvania until after the 2012 election; false and confusing advertisements aired anyway by Pennsylvania officials who claimed “voters would be asked but not required” to present a voter ID; and billboards in the minority areas of Ohio and Wisconsin warning “voter fraud is a felony that carries 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.” These and other possible projections of voter fraud need to be thoroughly investigated and rectified, well in advance of the next election.
- Voters want candidates who value people more than politics. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie put safety first when he partnered with President Obama in the relief effort, and demonstrated what a functional democracy looks like. Candidates must appeal to mainstream America, provide for vital government services, such as disaster relief and Social Security, and strive to achieve consensus on solutions that benefit the greater good.
- In a democracy as great as ours, voters find it reasonable to expect a fair distribution of taxes, affordable healthcare, and support for education. When one of us succeeds, we all do.
- Media pundits who obscure the facts and engage in relentless partisan attacks––described by my father as “a bunch of people who holler at each other”––are answerable to both the media and voters who verify the facts and spread the word through mobile and social media. Voters regard unfounded accusations as unfair, unproductive and, even worse, dangerous. The best policy is still honesty––as well as kindness, or, at a minimum, respect.
- Money can’t buy an election. Millionaires and billionaires paid super PACs and nonprofits hundreds of millions of dollars to sway voters towards candidates who lost anyway. (Now, can we revisit campaign finance reform, and redirect at least some of the money lost on ads, calls, texts, e-mails, and neighborhood canvassing to nationwide election reforms and technology?)
- Extremes in global climate have convinced many to err on the safe side and accelerate the inevitable shift from fossil fuels to clean energy. Far from clean, however, is the perilously unnatural extraction of gas (a fossil fuel) through hydraulic fracturing, exempted by Congress under President George W. Bush from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Defended by both candidates, hydraulic fracturing injects volatile organic compounds and known carcinogens 6,000 feet underground and threatens the safety of our water supply. Even more potentially devastating is nuclear power, evidenced by Fukushima and the dire need for safe storage for spent nuclear fuel for the incomprehensible several thousand years it remains highly radioactive. Weather extremes may exacerbate these hazards, especially for the majority of power plants located near water. Clean energy, which is safe, means solar and wind power, geothermal, biomass, fuel cell, and other sustainable technologies.
- As I wrote in my October blog post, Activism and Interdependence, voters reward candidates who treat others the way they wish to be treated. Rather than resist the positive changes the public urgently needs and wants, why not commit to mutually beneficial communication and collaboration across the political aisle?
What did you learn from the 2012 election?
This is the third of three blog posts on communication guided by values.
by Aggie Perilli
Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, mobile and social media, metaphors for interdependence, have increasingly transformed a culture of fear and blind obedience into a culture of communication and collaboration.
My September blog post demonstrated how communication conveys shared understanding. Communication also leads to community––described by Rollo May as intimacy and mutual valuing. Otherwise, the information exchange is something other than communication––a projection, obfuscation, certainly a red flag.
by Aggie Perilli
During a yoga class at a park nearby, a passing motorcyclist saw some of us in a headstand. He pulled over, and, leaving his helmet on, joined us.
As the motorcyclist’s legs waved in the air, we whooped and cheered. Back on his feet, the motorcyclist thrust his fists in the air, and we cheered again.
Then the helmeted stranger jumped on his motorcycle and roared away. We glided through the rest of class, still laughing.
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communicating with each other
After interest in political conventions fell to an all-time low, a lineup of eloquent and diverse Democrats inspired enthusiasm with successful, and even masterful speeches. Whether or not you agree with their messages, here are a few examples of communications that inspire a world of positive response:
From Michelle Obama:
- “I love that, for Barack, there is no such thing as ‘us’ and ‘them.’ He doesn’t care whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or none of the above. He knows that we all love our country, and he’s always ready to listen to good ideas…he’s always looking for the very best in everyone he meets.”
This is the second of three blog posts on communication guided by values.
by Aggie Perilli
At a gathering of women professionals recently, an associate asked me to address why communication is especially vital in a crisis, when so many of us turn a blind eye in the hope no one will notice.
Naturally, I thought of Johnson & Johnson’s immediate recall of Extra-Strength Tylenol in 1982, after seven people died from capsules tainted with cyanide.
In the aftermath of this inexplicable tragedy, you may recall that Tylenol’s 37 percent of the $1.2 billion analgesic market dropped to 7 percent, and marketers predicted the brand would never recover.