On my Way to Netroots Nation

Plane.jpgI am once again attending the great progressive bloggers conference, Netroots Nation, formerly called YearlyKos.  This year it is being held in Pittsburgh.  Before I talk about the great sessions here this year and the tone of the conference, I want to talk about a great set of conversations I had on the plane ride here yesterday.

I started out talking with the woman on my left, Donna, who hailed from Homer, Alaska.  It was fascinating to hear her talk about life in the 4000 person (winter population) town that, as she said, had about an equal mix of saloons and churches and an equal mix of liberals and conservatives.  She works as a domestic violence counselor, which meant, as a I expected, that we would wind up talking politics and talking about the huge amount of attention that Sarah Palin has drawn to the state.

All the while, the man on my right was silent.  When I began talking with him, he made it fairly clear that he doesn't talk about religion or politics.  So we talked about his military experience and his daughter, whose graduation from Navy Boot Camp was the reason for his trip.  We talked about how he liked living in Bremerton and about his intention to retire in Texas.  I felt comfortable by then to make passing reference to Bush.  That started the political discussion.  He was contemptuous of Bush - and we were off.  

We talked the entire gamut of issues, starting with healthcare and ranging through the difficulties that military folks have with decreased benefits and Bush's legacy.  When we got around to climate change, I was very interested in what he said.  He was still waiting to see what the impacts were before he really saw this as being important.  I mentioned the crumbling glaciers in the Arctic and the Antarctic which he'd heard of.  I ran through what I think is the best, simple explanation about how far we are through the 6 degrees of atmospheric warming that we have before the climatic changes are likely irreversible, which I'll run through here soon.  It made sense to Cliff and reinforced for me how desperately little we collectively understand about the dangers of climate change and the reasons that we need to be focusing on that issue like a laser.   Over at my work website, I wrote about a poll that the University of Maryland had done to determine how important the citizens of 19 prominent countries thought climate change is.  It's rather instructive about why we at a nation are putting so little attention on this topic.  Take a look.

Hi, Cliff and Donna.  I really hope you do make it over here to read this blog.  If you do, feel free to jump in.


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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Allen published on August 14, 2009 8:55 AM.

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