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CLIMATE SCIENTIST TAKES STAND: Climate scientist James Hansen is helping to mobilize a powerful and global movement for change that has continued to grow leading up to crucial UN climate talks in Paris in December.

On Sept. 9, 2015 in Washington, D.C., the former NASA head climate scientist urged participants in the Grandparents Climate Action Day to push their leaders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Hansen, the human and material costs of not acting will be immeasurable. "Amplifying impacts" and feedback loops will accelerate climate change. For example, he explained Superstorm Sandy remained a hurricane all the way up the eastern seaboard to New York because the waters in the Atlantic were abnormally warm.

Youth file climate lawsuit

Now an adjunct professor at Columbia University, Hansen is supporting a constitutional climate change lawsuit filed by 21 young people (including his granddaughter Sophie) against the U.S. federal government. The plaintiffs, who range in age from eight to 19, filed their complaint in the U.S. District Court in Oregon on Aug. 12, 2015.

They allege the federal government has known for decades that fossil fuels are destroying the climate system, but continued on the same course anyway. The complaint, which was filed with the help of the Oregon-based nonprofit Our Children's Trust seeks a court order requiring the president to immediately implement a national plan to decrease atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide to a safe level: 350ppm [parts per million] by the year 2100.

Hansen said: "Young people have all these rights that are guaranteed by the constitution, and that's what we're asking the courts to look at, and I think this may be our best chance to force the government to do its job."



CANADIAN AUTHOR HONOURS DAD: Mr. Frank has been measuring, cutting, sewing and mending clothes for decades in his tailor shop in downtown Toronto (ON, Canada). In this beautiful children's picture book, the tailor completes a very special order for a young boy. Who is the boy?

After sewing the last stitch, Mr. Frank decides that it is finally time to hang up his measuring tape and put away his pins for the very last time.

Author and illustrator Irene Luxbacher pays homage to her dad, "Frank the tailor." This is a moving story that children, parents and grandparents can share with equal delight.



AUTO THERAPY A HIT WITH OLDER ADULTS: Researchers used photographs of automobiles going back several decades to help older people explore their lives. The study involved 19 participants (10 women and nine men) from a continuing care retirement center in a U.S. midwestern community.

The exercise was conducted on a one-to-one basis, with each participant sitting side-by-side, with the researcher in front of a computer screen, and viewing Internet images of automobiles. Older adults embraced the exercise, recalling memories of parents, dating, travel, children and grandchildren.

Some examples:

  • An 84-year-old man described his mother teaching him to drive when he was 14 years old.
  • One 99-year-old woman recalled the drama on her honeymoon trip when the couple were forced to deal with four flat tires. "So that's how we started out our marriage [laughs]. . . . We were together for 63 years," she said.
  • Another participant flummoxed his son by buying a new Fiat at the age of 86: "I just figured I'm on my last fling and I like that car and to Hell with it! I'm just going to get it because I want it. And it's just wonderful to drive."

Keith Anderson and Katherine Weber reported details of their study online in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work on March 3, 2015.




I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.

I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I've been circling for thousands of years
and I still don't know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?
                               – Rainer Maria Rilke, Book of Hours