Editorials for 2012

Editorials provided by contributing members of WRC.

 


Editorial November/December 2012 – Thinking Longer Term

The warming climate – producing ever increasing wildfires, tornadoes, drought, floods and “100 year” weather events – is affecting global biological and ecological systems and thus poses a huge security risk, one that (to date) has been overlooked by the U.S. 2012 election campaigns. According to climate scientist Andrew Weaver (Feb. 12, 2012 Nature) “Conventional and unconventional oil is not the problem with global warming… The problem is coal and unconventional natural gas.”

How did we get here? I think that poor critical thinking skills, low science IQs, effective misinformation campaigns, emotional reactivity and male arrogance have played their part. I don’t usually critique the male ego but Naomi Klein’s TED talk “Addicted to Risk” has a certain resonance, especially in light of the ongoing game of chicken between China and the US regarding coal consumption.

Might energy conservation investment pay better returns than the stock market? After all, a penny saved is a penny earned. There are internet guides for energy conservation strategies, for example the Town of Front Royal’s Energy Resources Department and the Union of Concerned Scientists have do–it–yourself energy audits on their websites. I also recommend “The Carbon Busters Home Energy Handbook” by Godo Stoyke (New Society Publishers, 2007) and “The Carbon–Free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil–Fuel Habit” by Stephen and Rebekah Hren (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008) for more in–depth cost/benefit carbon busting analyses.

Our high efficiency oil burner, upgraded insulation and improved light bulbs paid for themselves years ago. Our house is more comfortable, our monthly expenses are dropping and our hybrid family sedan will save us 450 gallons of gasoline per year. That’s an 11% payback.

Proactive consumerism aside we in Appalachia have to also consider the Marcellus Shale and the practice of fracking. Fracking is “unconventional natural gas” and as such is a major contributor to rising CO2 levels. The Shenandoah Valley Network notes that “there are unknown and unintended consequences of this technology, including potential contamination of ground and surface water.” Check out their website for detailed descriptions of the impact of fracking on tourism, farming and drinking water and learn where the local leases are (e.g. Frederick County).

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the task at hand. What can we do but our easy best while loving God and each other. I think that good politics and spirituality intersect at the verb “to love.” May love inform your thoughts, reason and actions now and for evermore.

Best wishes for the holiday season,

Leslie Fiddler

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Editorial September/October 2012

“The truth is that women voters are not a special interest or a constituency group‚ but the predominant set of voters who decide elections. There are few places where a …candidate can win without the support of women. As is the case in the workplace‚ at home and‚ increasingly‚ in halls of power‚ women do make the difference –– and will determine … fate in 2012.” Lisa Grove‚ Grove Insight

It’s time again for another Presidential election and we find ourselves in the thick of politics and pundits on all sides. I have been dreading this election because it’s clear‚ with the huge party divide that now exists in our government‚ this race isn’t going to be pretty. I find that it is all too easy to fall into anger‚ pettiness‚ fear and judgment if I listen to too much of it; yet‚ I want to stay informed and not stick my head in the sand.

So much is at stake this election that will directly affect women. The vital issues of childcare‚ affordable health care‚ jobs and employment opportunities‚ war‚ terrorism‚ our individual rights and basic freedoms‚ clean air and water standards‚ the increased decimation of our environment and women’s reproductive rights are all under the gun. Maya Angelou said soon after 9/11‚ “It is time for thinking people to think.” It seems that there has never been a more important time for women to educate themselves on the issues (the real issues)‚ and show up at the polls to vote.

There was a piece circulating around the web about the 33 women suffragettes who picketed in front of the Woodrow Wilson White House. The women were all arrested‚ put behind bars and force fed with tubes when they went on a hunger strike. They suffered through these indignities so that women could gain the right to vote. I read about what these women went through and I am appalled to learn that the great “silent majority” of voters that refused to vote in the last election were women. More than 20 million unmarried American women never even voted in the 2000 presidential election. They didn’t think it was worth the effort. How sad that is.

Marianne Williamson states in her tape series “Everyday Grace”that we need to change our focus in politics from short term economic gain to long-term humanitarian goals. The Native American Indians had this wisdom and always considered the “seventh generation”when making decisions for the tribe. We need to begin asking and answering the vital question: what kind of world do we want to leave to our children and their children? I confess that I have a dream. My dream is that the women of the world will come together and become the vital force to move us collectively beyond partisan politics‚ “good guy vs. bad guy‚”fear and scarcity based beliefs. The truth is these belief systems don’t work anymore (if we needed a lesson on this‚ the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been great teachers.) When women come together‚ borders break down and cooperation begins. When women become more passionately engaged in the world‚ hope appears. To place a compassionate and informed vote this November is a beginning.

JoEllen McNeal

(Note: Much of this editorial appeared in the Sept/Oct 2004 issue of The Weaver. I chose to reprint it as the issues are the same ones this election as then, only more so. – JM)

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Editorial May/June 2010

Janet Brome

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Editorial March/April 2012

by Barbara Greco

Among the many well known quotations are the opening words of Ecclesiastes‚ “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heavens.” These words hold especially true for me at this time‚ as I have renewed my activities with the FRWRC. Not only has this been the season for my renewed purpose/interest in the Women’s Resource Center‚ this also has proven to be the season of a deeper understanding and connection between others and myself. As a result of having become an active member of the FRWRC Book Circle‚ I have discovered an intelligent group of women with whom stimulating conversation and laughter readily flows. From this connection‚ friendships are developing based on mutual understanding and respect. During the intervening twenty years between my first involvement with the Women’s Resource Center and my current membership‚ my psyche has matured‚ thereby producing a fertile environment in which new relationships can more readily develop.

The FRWRC’s third Friday Book Circle‚ which meets in members’ homes‚ provides a safe environment in where we can explore new ideas and confirm the validity or fallacy of others through the spring board of published texts. By letting go of numerous relationship expectations‚ I now have a deeper appreciation of what it means to be human. Arriving at this point has been made possible by the many preceding seasons I have experienced during my life. The season of peace is now upon me. May it be so for each of you; but should this prove otherwise‚ please remember‚ “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heavens.”

 

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Editorial January/February 2012

Happy New Year!

Dr. Cheryl Thompson-Stacy, President of Lord Fairfax Community College

I hope your holiday season was a joyful one and that you had plenty of time to share with family and friends. I also hope that you took time for yourself to relax and reenergize your batteries! As the new year begins‚ I find myself thinking about the power of women. We are so good at balancing our lives and juggling many commitments. My concern is that as a “power base” in this country‚ women have not made as much progress as we need to in order to have a real say in the laws‚ regulations and other areas that have a true impact not only on females but on our country in general. As the website (www.offthesidelines.org)‚ getting off the sidelines‚ states so well – “Getting off the sidelines is a state of mind. More women need to embrace the fact that their voice matters and that they can make a difference‚ with their vote‚ with their advocacy‚ with their candidacy”.

More women must get off the sidelines and make a difference in their community. Whether it’s in the classroom‚ the boardroom‚ Congress or at home‚ it’s crucial that more women adopt this philosophy to affect change in ways both big and small. Because if they don’t‚ decisions will be made without them that they won’t like the outcome of. If we don’t become more involved nationally‚ decisions are made for us not by us!

In 2012‚ only 17% of United States senators are women and‚ as you know‚ the majority of people in this country are female so we are woefully underrepresented. Only 12% of the members of the U.S. congress are female – again‚ we are woefully underrepresented.

As I write the column‚ just 3% of the Fortune 500 companies in this country are run by women and when you expand that to the Fortune 1000 companies‚ only 2% are run by females. Another troubling fact is that the United States has no guaranteed medical leave for childbirth and we trail 168 other countries that do offer this benefit to women – yes‚ 168 other countries offer this benefit to women but the United States does not.

I do not want to start the New Year with a negative column but I guess it’s too late for that! Seriously‚ what I want to convey to all the women reading this piece is that we must encourage the girls and young women in this country to step forward and take on leadership roles.

Our message is Women have the power to shape the future‚ it’s just a matter of getting off the sidelines and getting involved. Please help spread the word and continue to be a mentor to younger females. They can change the world in such positive ways and our experience and wisdom can help them have the confidence to lead the way to a better tomorrow – we want to have real decisions that affect us made by us not for us!

 

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Editorials 2012

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