Friday, March 11, 2011

The Direct Line Between The Vampire Diaries and Environmental Activism

... in 5 easy steps!

(At the end of this post, you can find out how to become an activist too ... just in case you want to skip the parts about vampires. All you have to do is click some links!)

Step 1: Get really obsessed with The Vampire Diaries.
I am not going to lie. I love TV. I love getting obsessed with stuff. And I love vampires. I know it's de rigueur these days to be obsessed with vampires on TV/movies, but I'm no Bella-come-lately at that ball. I mean, I watched the Dark Shadows reboot in 1991. Put that in your pipe, Stephanie Meyer. I find the vampire mythology to be fascinatingly flexible in both shaping and reflecting current mores. Also, vampire stories are usually filled with pretty people. And fog.


My friend Kelly and I trade TV shows the way other gal pals trade shoes, so when she told me to get obsessed with VD, I did. So much meaty plotting! So many pieces of enchanted jewelry! And fog!

Step 2: Watch all of the existing episodes in two weeks.
So, the ignominious second step between Vamp Diaries and environmental activism is to Google:"Vampire Diaries spoilers." I know, I know. But there's not a new episode until April 7th.

I didn't find any good spoilers. However, I did find an item about how one of the actors, the very pretty Ian Somerhalder, is starting a foundation focused on youth and environmental causes (called, shockingly, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation). My two favorite causes! (Boy. Activism makes me exclamation-point happy.)

I have a little compulsion to click any environmentally-related link (just FYI - do not click links that include the words "Fox News" and "environment", unless you want to spend the rest of the afternoon moping). So, I clicked.

Step 3: Look at all the pretty pictures of animals on the foundation website. And of Ian Somerhalder. And then click the link about the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ian likes pets. Pets are awesome.
It's worth visiting the foundation website just to look at the cute animal photos.

I'd like to say I'm really well-informed about the news in general, but I'm part of that generation that gets their news from two sources: Jon Stewart and NPR while commuting. My commute is short; hence my news knowledge can be extremely patchy ... especially since I work from home a lot to cut down on using gas by commuting. But I knew I'd heard something about the EPA lately ...

Step 4: Read about how the Upton-Inhofe Bill is threatening the ability of the EPA to protect us from harmful pollutants.

OK, so here's the deal. The Clean Air Act - which is now 40 years old, can I get a woot! (yes, I'm old enough to say woot, but I'm not as old as the Clean Air Act) - says that the EPA can determine which pollutants are harmful to people and regulate them. And the EPA says that greenhouse gases are harmful, and so should therefore be regulated. But the Upton-Inhofe Bill wants to hamstring the EPA, and curtail their ability to determine which emissions are harmful. Rep. Upton (R-Mich) and Sen. Inhofe (R-Okla) claim that there's no proof that greenhouse gases are harmful.

The Bill is now out of committee. It's likely to pass the House, but it's up in the air whether the Senate can muster enough votes to fend off a likely veto. WHICH MEANS YOU SHOULD ACT NOW.

And yes, I'm yelling with capital letters. It's that important.

Step 5: Click easy-to-use link that allows you to send a message to your Congresspeople about how you DO NOT support Upton-Inhofe.

So, from I went from watching The Vampire Diaries to the Googling and the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, and I then clicked to the National Resource Defense Council, where they have this super-easy to fill out form that allows you to write to ALL of your Congressional representatives in one fell swoop.

Which I did.

I received a response from Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. One thing you can say about Kay, her response system is quick. I always hear back from her in a day or two. But ... I always hear back with some crazy talk like this: the EPA’s backdoor climate regulations will drive up the cost of energy in America — and everyone will pay.

And that makes me mad.

What YOU can do

I live in a Republican-dominated state. I know that my voice is just a whisper in a hurricane. We need people in swing states to help make sure this bill doesn't pass. Please tell your representatives that you do NOT support cutting off the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. JUST CLICK THIS LINK.

What My International Readers Can Do

I love my international friends. You can help by chuckling softly to yourself about how America's leaders don't believe in climate change.

Hey, and if you write to your Congressionals, let me know in the comments!

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