Posted by: shipbright | August 20, 2009

A thank you or two, a mini-update and what to expect :-)

I’ve JUST gotten back from three days in 90+ degree weather down in Cambridge, Massachusetts [lock the jaw up when you say it Lovey!] and went to “Mudflats” blogging boot camp among other activities.  For those that have not read Alaska Mudflats, or AKM to friends, AKM was voted the 2008 Political blogger of the year award. Her rocket launch into fame was fueled by the fact that she was really only one of the few people who was following Sarah Palin [because she was Mudflat’s Governor] before Sarah Palin was chosen to be John McCain’s running mate.  She’s a whiz…you should follow her at:  www.themudflats.net

I can tell you from having lived in Alaska for about nine months most of the locals follow her because she is onto things before the main stream media–more about that in a second.  Thank you Mudflats!  …  fist bump.

Also joining AKM in Cambridge, fresh from the Netroots Nation convention in Pittsburgh, was my dear friend Shannyn Moore who has her own well known blog: http://shannynmoore.wordpress.com/ and is a frequent guest commentator on MSNBC’s Countdown. 

Now Shannyn was going to go to the Netroots Nation Convention as Mudflats sidekick and kind of  “tag along”…oh no…turns out Shannyn gets called to the podium and is awarded the “Gillard Grant of Merit” which, among bloggers,  is A BIG DEAL.  Congratulations Shannyn!  … and while I know that gracious Mudflats had no issues with you and the limelight, I can only say, and protecting Mudflats identity, that one should never mess with someone from a certain petro-chemical refining state …check your drinks, get a remote car starter, and always ask where you’re going if Mudflats offers you “a ride”. 

It turns out that my friend Stu Shieber [Computer Science Prof. at Harvard–just a little on the smart side…] was able to get Mudflats and Shannyn into Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society to speak with Faculty, Fellows and staff.  What followed was an hour and half discussion among substantive practitioners and cutting edge Academics who are at the tip of the spear in how society is changing as a result of the internet [for those who haven’t read it, I highly recommend Thomas Friedman’s book, “The Lexus and the Olive Tree”…a personal favorite of mine].

Maybe I was too close to it when I was living up in Alaska but last winter many of the villages along the Yukon had NO FOOD.  Did anybody read about it down here in the lower 48?  Fuel was ~$13~ a gallon, no food, no money…it’s minus 40 degrees and people need medicine as well.  There are reasons why this took place but thats another story or if you all hound me I’ll re-edit and spend another paragraph as to why …anyway, the mainstream media in Alaska did not pick up this issue first..it was the bloggers…this breaks down my long held notion that our Press is always out there in front breaking stories, protecting our freedoms with transparency, and sniffing out whats really happening in life…but newspapers are cutting back staff and TV news people don’t really travel and get out like they should, especially in Alaska where there are hardly any roads and you have to fly or take a boat to many many communities.

So at The Berkman Center with all these accomplished and smart people I truly “got it” and truly “get” why I’m doing this blog.  It’s about getting information out in a digestible and understandable fashion so we can make a difference from the grassroots up…NOT “astroturf” artificial creation of “will” like political campaigns but the real deal born from knowledge and insight.  It’s about you. 

ShadowoftheMoon_filmstill_13I am an unapologetic optimist and idealist… I really care about this stuff and I believe we can all make a difference.  I’m a child of  the America that had a leader that said we were going to put a Man on the moon–guffaws, snorts of derision,  hoots and whistles, not gonna happen–and we went and we did it.  We can solve whatever comes at us IF we have the collective will. 

Shannyn Moore, THANK YOU for being a muse and inspiration.  

Mudflats, THANK YOU, for your wisdom and experience on how to do this. 

Shannyn and Mudflats are unapologetic liberals and regardless of one’s political leanings we should appreciate what they have done, with some other bloggers in Alaska, for fellow human beings, alone, freezing, and starving along the shores of the frozen Yukon when mainstream media was ignorant to their plight.   They brought this issue to the worlds attention and before the first story ran in the Anchorage Daily News or any of the usual media outlets, food packages were already being flown in from places like Hawaii and Pennsylvania.  Naysay that power…

 earth_water_dropMy small little “drop” here is to lay out info, invite others to guest blog, get the discussions moving.

 What to expect from Fresh[water] ideas for a thirty planet:  I am going to be posting my own work once a week on world water issues as well as primer “background” info.  These will be doable doses and they will not be written for postgraduate degree students…its for ALL of us.

I also have started setting up some “Guest Bloggers” that I will post every week or two as they come in.  I already have lined up:

  • The former Foreign Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, The Honorable Fred Mitchell;
  • Episcopal Minister and former Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner, the Rev. Martha Kirkpatrick  who will write a piece on water and spirituality;

Invited are:

  • An international expert on desalinization;
  • An expert on National Security;
  • An academic expert on water and pollution

If you know of anyone who you think might be an interesting guest blogger send me an email or post a comment!

I’ll also be making some mini-posts with thoughtful quotes or a beautiful picture–its not all bad news out there…we can make this work!

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Responses

  1. This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,

    A definite great read…:)

    -Bill-Bartmann

  2. The fields are round becuase of irrigation techniques. a large central watering arm that “rains” water down on the crops is on wheels and fed by a central “hub” of water. The arm slowly rotates around the hub creating an irrigated circle that you see from the air…

  3. Just saw you being recommended on facebook by Shannyn. Coincidentally we were discussing water issues on an open thread on Mudflats today. The trigger was a photo AKM published of flying over “America”. Everybody wondered about the fields shapes being round…

  4. Very nice post. We were very happy here in Pittsburgh last weekend to host both AKM and Shannyn. Awesome ladies!


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