It’s Earth Day. I have thoughts (and a bunch of links).

woman wearing hot pink shirt climbing out of tree roots in the woods

The Laura in her natural habitat, in the Berkshires about a year ago. I just noticed that the rock in the upper left corner of the picture looks like a heart!

I’m trying to catch up on all the Earth Day-related news and essays around the internet, and there are a lot–you should see how many tabs I have open right now. To start, I’ll point you to the Nation, which has devoted all of its content today to climate change (!!). So far, I recommend these:
The change within: the obstacles we face are not just external.
“Jobs vs. the environment”: how to counter this divisive big lie.

In Keystone XL-related news, Obama has delayed his decision on the pipeline…again. On one hand, it’s kind of annoying that he keeps putting it off; but at the same time, it’s a sign of progress. As Bill McKibben puts it, “[W]ithout a broad and brave movement, DC would have permitted this dumb pipeline in 2011. So on we go.”

Today is the start of the Reject and Protect protest against KXL, which is hosted by the Cowboy and Indian Alliance (yes, that’s really what they call their group of farmers, ranchers, and Native American tribal leaders). There will be a big rally on Sunday, and many of my fellow Bostonians will be there. I don’t have the travel-energy for it, after two trips to Philadelphia in the past few weeks to see my grandmother, but I will be there in spirit.

A protest I might actually be able to attend is the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 20-21. Finally, a major climate action within a few hours of Boston! And I love NYC, so I appreciate any excuse to go there.

Now, on to the thoughts–which are about one particular article. To be fair, I didn’t read the whole thing, just a post about it, so take my reactions with a grain of salt; but I didn’t have the brain-space to read the whole thing when even a few quotes pissed me off so much. The article is a New York Times Magazine profile of Paul Kingsnorth, a former environmental activist who publicly gave up on climate change and retreated to the woods to found a literary journal and hold Burning Man-like parties.

As Heather Smith at Grist points out, his group “sounds less like an enduring movement with relevance to the environmental movement as a whole than a midlife crisis.” 

And then she really nails it: “In declaring the largest problem of our era unfixable, Kingsnorth gave himself — and a few other earnest, idealistic types – the perfect excuse to put on a badger mask and go party in the woods.”

My take on all this: it takes a metric fuckton of privilege to give up on the world. Continue reading

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Sunday links, 3/23/14

waffles with blueberries and maple syrup on pink sparkly heart-shaped plate

Even my plates love waffles.

Fa(t)shion
Youtheary Khmer’s spring collection is amazing!
-Danimezza rounds up ten gorgeous plus size dresses.
-Joanna rounds up lots and lots of pretty florals. *swoon* Sadly, many of them are not available in the US.
-San Diego people, check out the rad fatties yard sale and swap!
The Big Fat Flea’s tumblr has some awesome fatshion.

Fat Acceptance
-If you’re in Michigan, check out Amanda Levitt’s talk on fat visibility at Oakland University.
My weight problem isn’t my weight.
-I’ve been frustrated by this too: must every YA action heroine be petite?
-I so wish I could be in Portland for Big Sexy: A Sexy Showcase for the Fat and Fabulous!
Congress on Obesity: ego over accessibility.
-I love all of the pictures that Accidental Disney Princess posts of herself dancing, and these ones are especially beautiful.

Climate and Sustainability
Reclaiming abuelita knowledge as a brown ecofeminista.
-Hells yeah: Massachusetts emerges as the hub of the fossil fuel divestment movement.
-A haunting piece of art about politicians’ inaction on climate change.
No, we’re not just “environmentalists.” It’s much more than that.
-Andy Smith points out how indigenous people are successfully using social media to fight for their rights, costing corporations hundreds of millions of dollars.
-Zadie Smith writes a moving elegy for a country’s seasons.

Continue reading

Sunday links, 10/20/13

Fall is glorious.

I apologize for the lateness of the links roundup–my brain was way too tired on Friday to deal with it, and I was out all day yesterday. But I will make up for it with lots and lots of interesting stuff (thank you, internet, for being so smart and thoughtful this week).

Fa(t)shion
-As a cupcake fanatic, I am contractually obligated to announce that ModCloth now has a plus size cupcake-print dress (!).
-North Carolinian fatties, check out this upcoming clothing swap!
-There’s one for Philadelphians too.
-Fellow Bostonians, check out the launch event for Thicky Chicky, an online plus size boutique. (I finally get to attend one of those glamorous fatshion events I see all over the blogosphere, yay!)
-Fancy Lady Industries, known for their iconic fat necklace, now has beaded tiaras and other cool new handmade things.
-Skorch’s top ten plus size Halloween costumes.

Watching Amber Riley dance always makes me happy.

Continue reading

Friday links, 7/13/13

Happy Friday! As usual, feel free to link to interesting things you’ve read or written this week in the comments.

Fa(t)shion
-I love this queer vintage photo series.
-Etsy rounds up plus size designers who sell clothing on their site.
-Domino Dollhouse’s totally adorable strawberry dress is now available for pre-order! Also, I’m loving their pearl-covered kitty ears headband.
-The wear-all-white sunset cruise at New York’s Full Figured Fashion week looks like so much fun, and everyone has such creative outfits. I would love to go someday!

Fat Activism
-Check out Ragen’s awesome fat activist history project, In Our Own Words.
-If you’re in Berkeley, check out this amazing-looking bellydance benefit performance.
For fat patients and their doctors.
-Mary Lambert’s (yes, the singer in Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love”) debut poetry collection, 500 Tips for Fat Girls, looks really interesting.
-Big Libery has a great list of references for debunking fat hate and misconceptions.

Climate and Sustainability
-An important reminder: fossil fuel divestment is about more than reducing emissions.
Quebec’s Lac-Megantic oil train disaster was not just a tragedy, but a corporate crime.
-If you’re in Massachusetts, tell your legislator to support a ban on fracking in the state.
500 million reasons to rethink the parking lot.
Water works: communities reimagine ways of making every drop count.
-A powerful piece about fighting for life: Solidarity is unstoppable.
-I love that there’s a group of mothers and grandmothers fighting climate change right here in Boston.

Climate Summer activists asked people why they care about climate change, and this is one of the answers.

Everything Else
10 queer rappers you should check out.
Is 12-year old Willow Smith’s new video totally inappropriate, or are we just reading sexual stuff into it that just isn’t there?
Criminality, urban living, and race: when my students get locked up, I get angry.
Dirty Dancing is a subversive masterpiece, and here are four reasons why.
-In a great guest post at Captain Awkward’s blog, A. Raymond Johnson provides support to a transgender man who is sick of dealing with both external and internalized transphobia.
Gay is not the new black: the Supreme Court and the politics of misrecognition.
Rachel Jeantel’s language is English–it’s just not your English.
-The upcoming Netflix series Orange is the New Black looks promising for many reasons, including the inclusion of a transwoman of color (played by an actual transwoman).
The Kreayshawn complex: cultural appropriation as counter-cultural expression.
-A cake that says “YAY” on the inside? Yes, please.

Saturday Links, 7/6/13

I love this collage made by Hannah.

I apologize for the lateness of this week’s links! But it was totally worth it–yesterday I had an epic day celebrating the birthday of one of my close friends, involving: laser tag, arcade games, pooling together our arcade tickets so that the birthday girl could win a crayon-shaped lava lamp, dinner and drinks at an Irish pub, and then hanging out and playing board games while wearing fancy dresses in a room at a historic downtown Boston hotel.

It was all-around awesome. I have amazing friends, and sometimes having all-day adventures with them, and getting away from screens and thinking too much, is exactly what I need.

Fa(t)shion
-ModCloth has been taking some great steps toward expanding their plus size range (and making it actually sized like typical plus clothing, unlike their old sizing system, in which a 4x was equivalent to a small 22). One example of the gorgeous stuff they’re putting out is this Edwardian dress, which is coming soon. I can’t even begin to describe how much I love and want it!
-I recently came across Eff Yeah Indigenous Fashion, which showcases indigenous art, fashion, and design from around the world. Most of their posts include links where you can support indigenous artists. For example, one of my recent favorites: PowWow Styles, which is colorful beaded jewelry made by a woman from the Cree/Sioux tribes.
-Eff Yeah Indigenous Fashion also has some good posts on how to appreciate indigenous fashion without appropriating it.
-This pastel jeweled flower crown is pure eye candy.
-Domino Dollhouse has a 40% discount code, listed on their homepage, which expires tomorrow. If you’ve been waiting to get something from them, now is your chance.
-In other DD news, check out this sneak peek of two dresses that will be available soon. I love both of them!

Fat Activism
-Closet Puritan talks about the ways that fat people are often gaslighted.
It isn’t over until the fat babes sing: an ode to musicians of size.
-Awesomeness: fat, happy, and healthy women photographed by Gabriela Hasbun.
-Ragen is starting an exciting fat activism history project (at the bottom of the post)!

Communicating climate science through music:

Climate and Sustainability
United we sweat: building a fossil fuel resistance.
-A lyrical and powerful alphabet for climate change.
-The Boston Globe has a great article about churches and other faith groups divesting from fossil fuels.
-On a related note, a major Norwegian pension fund has dropped tar sands investments.  Woot!
-The GROW (Gather Rise Organize Win) divestment gatherings look really promising.
-Bill McKibben, my #1 climate justice hero, has a new book coming out in September! He’s a brilliant writer, and I can’t wait to read it.
-Sandra Steingraber, another one of my climate justice heroes, writes about the silence of science and the eloquent activism of people of faith.
-Yet another climate hero: Tim DeChristopher on Letterman: “stop and think about what it means to be too late” on climate.
-Beautiful and haunting: artist Chad Wright portrays the American Dream washing into the sea.
Michael Pollan on agriculture’s role in fighting climate change.
Obama’s Lincoln moment?

Everything Else
-An poignant reminder not to judge poor people for their devices: a homeless man and his BlackBerry.
More women are dying from painkiller overdoses: epidemic, or something more complicated?
-A different, and equally important, perspective on the Indian Child Welfare Act (which I talked about in last week’s Friday links): My uterus will not be used to fill your tribal rolls. I really like this comment on the piece as well.
Rachel, Trayvon, and the saddest thing I’ve ever read.
Playing by the rules: white privilege and Rachel Jeantel.
An open letter to new Teach for America recruits.
Entitled students, grades, and obedience: what is education for?
Putting googly eyes on everything is the best thing ever.

Why climate justice matters to me

A fossil fuel divestment rally at a college where I’ve worked. You can see me on the right. Photo by James Ennis.

So, you may have noticed that I’ve been blogging more and more about climate change/climate justice.

I’m not going to stop writing about fatshion, fat acceptance, and pretty things–in fact, I’ve got several outfit posts in the works, and lots of interesting stuff about sustainable fashion. (I just need to sit down and put it together!) But climate justice….well, it’s where my heart is right now.

I’ve been aware of global warming for as long as I can remember–I learned about greenhouses gases in elementary school. And I’ve known for years that things are pretty bad, and only getting worse. But there are so many terrible things in the world–sometimes, you have to push some of them to the back of your mind to stay sane.

So I pushed what’s happening to our planet to the back of my mind, mostly.

But lately I’ve found I can’t do that anymore.

I’ve been tip-toeing the fine line between recognizing the urgency of the problem and getting overwhelmed: vacillating between hope and hopelessness, action and inaction. Doing my best to push through it all, and just act.

Continue reading

A must-read: Bill McKibben on fossil fuel divestment

The case for fossil fuel divestment: on the road with the new generation of college activists fighting for the environment.

This gives me hope, and makes me so freaking proud of all the students who are working tirelessly to, quite literally, save the world.

If you’re a college student or an alum, and your school has a divestment campaign, I urge you to support them. Write letters, threaten not to donate any money to your alma mater until they divest from fossil fuel, do whatever else you can.

The logic of divestment couldn’t be simpler: if it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage. The fossil fuel industry, as I showed in Rolling Stone last summer, has five times as much carbon in its reserves as even the most conservative governments on earth say is safe to burn – but on the current course, it will be burned, tanking the planet. The hope is that divestment is one way to weaken those companies – financially, but even more politically. If institutions like colleges and churches turn them into pariahs, their two-decade old chokehold on politics in DC and other capitals will start to slip. Think about, for instance, the waning influence of the tobacco lobby – or the fact that the firm making Bushmaster rifles shut down within days of the Newtown massacre, after the California Teachers Pension Fund demanded the change. “Many of America’s leading institutions are dozing on the issue of climate,” says Robert Massie, head of the New Economics Institute. “The fossil fuel divestment campaign must become the early morning trumpet call that summons us all to our feet.”