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Sep 30, 2023·edited Sep 30, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

1. congrats on one year and 1k readers. Amazing.

2. The bit about whales was very timely because today I read some religious comment that said it's our duty to conserve even animals that don't benefit us, and I thought what a stupid, narrow point of view this is, because how do we know whether they're useful to us or not. Obviously, conservation is better than the opposite, but the premise was somewhat short-sighted IMO.

3. We buy things with as little packaging and as little plastic packaging as we can. What annoys me are (a) a lot of the plastic that can supposedly be recycled can only be recycled in an industrial machine; and (b) we find that we might buy something like, say, a box of pencils online, and it comes in a huge box with tons of filler.

4. I remember the ozone hole. Pretty scary. I was always annoyed that some people kept on using the sprays that were implicated in that. People often take the attitude, what difference will I, little ole me, make? But I fall back on the words in Jewish scripture: the work is not for you to complete, but neither are you free to desist from taking part in it.

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Thank you, Terry. I can't believe it's been one year already and I'm still here writing. I was very close to giving up last year in November. I stopped writing for about 2.5 months. It was very hard to get back in but I was afraid of getting back into watching Netflix so I pushed myself. I never thought that I will look at 1k subscribers at the end of the first year but things happen the we least expect them.

I can relate so much to what you and I've wanted to write about this for quite a while but I still can't find the right words: Every living being on this planet has a right to live whether they are 'useful' or not to human beings. It is preposterous to think that life on this planet is only allowed if it benefits and pleases us. Regarding the religious comment, I think that it's good that religions start teaching people about being more environmentally friendly and also more merciful towards other living beings. I'm reading a book called 'Ethnological Imaginations in the World Religions: An Ethnographic Analysis' and the author, Tony Watling, writes about the need to change our worldview about the human-nature relationship. It's a very good read. He thinks that it will take a new religion or updated old religions to help humans change their mind about our place on this planet.

It's great that you're already so mindful about packaging in groceries. In 2019 I travelled in Asia plastic-free for 2.5 months and it's been a great experience. Unfortunately, after I got back it was hard to keep up. Although I try to buy groceries that are not packaged, I take my own cotton bags from home, I try to use paper bags, I still end up with more plastic from groceries than I would like. I hope the these 3 months will help me get back on the right track. Today we went shopping and my husband was like: 'How about cheese?'

We're sometimes brainwashed into believing that we don't matter, that our actions don't matter, that we're too small to make a contribution or to change something. This is wrong. And I really hope that people will change their minds about this.

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I often think about packing it in.

The book sounds interesting.

I think religions have always taught the need to be environmental friendly. Perhaps we are more able to discern that now.

everyone's contribution matters I think.

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You will be surprised but not all religions teach us to respect nature. Especially the Judeo-Christian religions that put humans above every other living being and also have the idea of a paradise but not in this world. The book is rather trying to encourage religions to incorporate teachings about the human-nature relationship and to take this chance to contribute and revive their philosophies. There are, of course, religions which do have a profound respect for nature, like Jainism.

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Hi Claudia, I hope you don't mind my disagreeing with you. I think it's a bit more nuanced than that. I'm in a study group and a few weeks ago we were looking at some ancient Jewish texts and they were pretty clear on the need to respect nature. I mean, you have only to consider the story of Noah's Ark to recognise that conserving species was considered an important thing to do. My feeling is that religions like Jainism are more obvious about it, but I don't know very much about it tbh. As for putting humans above the rest of nature, I've read that the text in genesis about having dominion over other creatures was a mistranslation, and should have been more along the lines of having responsibility over other creatures.

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Don't mind at all. Most religions will have something about respecting nature but it's not their core teaching. And I think that I gravitate towards religions and beliefs that have the human-nature relationship at their core.

I didn't know about the mistranslation from Genesis. I come from a country with an orthodox christian religion that is not promoting the Bible a lot. A couple of years ago I visited a small monastery located in nature and talked to a monk who loved living there and would go everyday on a forest walk. When I asked him about respecting nature in christian orthodoxy he told me that it is not required for salvation. He was quite direct about the fact that this doesn't play a role. Only the trinity is important. The rest is a nice to have and aspiring to live in harmony with nature is an ideal that we cannot expect people to fulfil in their lives. He was a very nice and kind monk. But he didn't impress me with his philosophy.

All in all, I think that religions have a long way to go to 'upgrade' their believes. They need to dig deep into their scriptures and reimagine their teachings to align with current needs. I am sure that many will find enough material to reignite a sense of wonder for the world around us.

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Oct 3, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

I read this article and subscribed immediately. Why? I love the way that you presented the information in an uncomplicated way, which made it easier for me to digest, than some of the more complex text and data out there.

Thank you for giving me the feeling that I can read about climate change - one of my interests - and actually picture what you are saying and what the point is. @ClaudiaBefu

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Thank you for your feedback, I'm really happy that you found the information digestible.

I started to educate myself about climate change because I had a discussion with a climate denier who was mentioning some data from millions of years ago. I didn't have any data to present back. Nor any other facts to counteract their arguments. It left me quite frustrated.

So I decided to educate myself about climate change so that I can at least have an informed conversation next time. I try to read, digest and present the information in a way that is understandable, memorable and emotionally appealing.

Thank you for reading and happy to have you on this journey. 💚

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You are most welcome. I am very glad that you educated yourself about it and that you continue to present your content the way you do.

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Oct 2, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

What an incredible post! So many milestones (congratulations!) so much hope (we’re really working on making things better!) a challenge to increase personal responsibility (I will join you in avoiding single use plastics!) and so many things to look forward to about your work (I’m so excited about it all!).

Thank you for your incredible work!

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Thank you, Elle! I'm so happy to read from you very time I write, thank you for your support and for helping achieve these milestone. I am forever grateful! 💚

I'm looking forward to reading the work you'll write during the progress program. I also applied but I was rejected. I hope that it's as good as it sounds! Congratulations 👏

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Oct 2, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

Ahhh, you would have been such a good fit for the program. I wish you were in it too!!!!!!!! I love your work so much!!!! 🥰

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Thank you, Elle! I would've loved to participate as well. But perhaps my topics are not as suitable for the progress program. I also started writing fairly recently and I'm not such a prolific writer. I hope that next time I have more chances. I'll definitely try again.

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Oct 2, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

Love this, Claudia. So many intriguing morsels here. Regarding whales, I swear years ago I read a NYT magazine article about a scientist's theory that whalesong helps to regulate the earth's tectonic plates, that maybe that's one reason for their mysterious communications. I haven't been able to find any reference of that since; maybe I dreamed it?

I just looked up the ppm of my birth year. Thanks for that suggestion, what a cool idea. And I'm with you on plastic. It is EVERYwhere, and it seems nobody has a second thought about it. The oil and gas industry, seeing the carbon-limiting writing on the wall (despite their best efforts), is already gearing up to switch over and ramp up plastic production.

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I didn’t know that fossil fuel industry has its eyes on plastic. Though I shouldn’t be surprised. A huge % of fossil fuel goes into making plastic. A money-making planet-wrecking combo.

I’ll google what you wrote about the whale song and the tectonic plates. I’m actually reading NK Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy where there are people, orogrnes, who can control earthquakes amongst others. The whale song reminded me the book.

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Wow, a lot of interesting stuff in this post! I had no idea that whale poop was a potential solution to minimizing the CO2 in the atmosphere (while, paradoxically, cow poop is one of the major sources of CO2 emissions). Anyway, congrats on reaching such an important milestone with Story Voyager 💪💚

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Thank you, Claire. I was shocked myself when I read the research paper because this is not at all intuitive. Can poop save the world? 😅 But it's amazing how whales can do that and much more for us if they are alive and thriving. Thank you for reading and for your feedback. 💚

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Oct 4, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

It’s amazing to make this a one year routine! You managed it! Writing , is a complicated psychological and mental activity involving many abilities and mental muscles which man does not use normally and you made it already a year! Full descried creative worlds! With a smooth line of events, various characters with backgrounds... and all done!

Many congratulation to reaching this amazing milestone and having your book published by next year!!! 🥳🎉

Ps: The GE about Wales were quite surprising. I wonder why it’s not used in big cities? Can not we create similar and friendly ecosystems for them?

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Thank you, Shiva! I actually quit watching Netflix to write this newsletter and it's a far superior way of spending my time, I'll just say that. 😅

While I didn't write as prolifically as others here on Substack, I'm happy that I sticked to my routine and I'm still around one year later. It's so easy to give up.

Do you mean the whales? They're a bit big to have an ecosystem in a city for them, unless we're talking about a city at the shore of an ocean. Or did I get that wrong?

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Oct 4, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

323.04 ppm 🙏🏼

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Thank you, Leslie. It's eye opening. 💚

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Oct 3, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

Congrats! Being relatively new to this platform, your publications are one of the few I am going back into the vault and reading!

This is important work and your creative way of doing this is truly incredible. 💙

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Thank you so much, Brian. Your message went right to the heart. Every time I write something I want it to be worthwhile of people's time. I'm happy to know that you found pleasure in going through the archives.

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Oct 3, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

Why say “Holocene”?

Knowing American history, how can anyone support using money and owning private property?

These so-called rights give Capitalists (wealthy investors) the ability to provide a service: lending;

Give Countries (government leaders) the chance to make money: printing and taxing;

Give Companies (business owners) a market for profits: buying and selling;

Give Workers (poor and middle class families) a permanent place in society: keeping Capitalism, Nationalism, Consumerism, and Wageism afloat.

Any global system that provides endless opportunities for poverty, war, corruption, and pollution to exist is destined to ruin our planet therefore risk our chances of survival.

Truth be known, fair laws, humane policies, and safe practices are possible. Scientific Socialism ensures universal protection “for all by all”, granting everyone everywhere equal access to a healthy, balanced life and world.

#factsandethicsbasedapproach

#moneylessmovement

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I mean 'Holocene' as in Earth's history in the past 11,700 years since the last Ice Age. In my series I'm looking at climate change in the Holocene and before the Industrial Revolution. My goal is to check if human activity influenced the climate before the Industrial Revolution and also how humans reacted to climate change historically. My hope is to find learnings for the future by understanding our past.

Is there another meaning of 'Holocene' of which I am not aware?

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Oct 4, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

That is correct. I thought I was reading a journal entry from someone from our current era. My mistake.

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It's a historical exploration, yeah.

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Oct 1, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

325 ppm.

My family's farm could potentially sequester a good bit of carbon through growing new trees and managing the old ones better.

"Most landowners in Kentucky can accomplish this by being certified as an American Tree Farm (ATF). ATF requires that you own at least 10 acres, have accomplishments in sustainable forest management, be inspected by a registered forester and are recommended for certification. Further, the amount of credit and contract length will be determined by the type of forest project, and therefore the way carbon is being stored."

https://eec.ky.gov/Natural-Resources/Forestry/forest-stewardship-program-and-landowner-services/Pages/carbon-sequestration-faq.aspx

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For some reason I cannot open the link. But it’s amazing that you have a forest stewardship program. I’m curious to know how it works!

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Oct 2, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

I'm no expert, but basically there are third parties who certify the carbon credits and list them on the open market. As long as the landowners continue to meet the terms of the contract, they continue to get paid. As always, the devil is in the details, and as I'm not currently making decisions about that piece of land (my parents being still alive), I have some time to catch up on research. I can let you know what I find if you like.

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Does this mean that people get carbon credits for growing trees and they can sell the credits on the open market? That’s interesting.

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Oct 2, 2023·edited Oct 2, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

Not super-clear on the details of who does the listing and how the money flows, but I think that's the general idea. Soil carbon may be a bigger reservoir than trees, especially out west where it's drier.

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Oct 1, 2023·edited Oct 1, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

Congrats on one year on Substack! What an exciting journey so far & more exciting things to come! I'm grateful you've brought climate issues back to the front of my mind - I haven't been paying as much attention as I used to, back when I made the decision to go vegetarian & adopted a more minimalist, more sustainable lifestyle all around. I've learned so much from your essays & your stories are just magical. Looking forward to seeing your plans for the future realized here! (I was born at 356 ppm btw.)

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Thank you, Vanessa. It’s been a great year and trust me, I’ve learned a lot by writing the essays as well. Climate change is the type of topic that’s on everyone’s mind and on no one’s mind. It’s not a pleasant conversation. Quite the contrary. Thank you for your support and appreciation, they mean a lot to me. Looking forward to reading Dune together! 🤗

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How badly we're damaging our planet scares me.

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How is it in Japan? Are there many recycling programs? I have the impression that they use lots of packaging but they also recycle a lot...

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You're correct. There's a lot of packaging from PET bottles to elaborate wrapping at stores.

But Japan recycles in the extreme. We have eight separate recycling containers in our apartment. About two years ago, Japan enacted a bag fee at stores.

People drive less here and bike more than in the US (though I don't know how Japan is with cars compared to European and other countries.)

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That's what I read as well, that they are very good at recycling. Would be cool to look at recycling as a cli-fi topic in the future.

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Congratulations, Claudia! Here's to many more and a brighter future. PPM levels were 324 back in 69. Looking forward to our Desert Romp together!

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Thank you, Alexander! 324 in '69 and 340 in '81. That's quite the jump just 12 years. 😳

I'm also looking forward to reading Dune together. This is going to be fun and also informative.

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And Sept 30th, 2023? 418.38 ppm. When will we wake up?

Informative Fun Facts in Fiction! The Spice Must Flow. Everyone can read.

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Wow! 😱 It skyrocketed in such a short time. Sometimes I stare in wonder at these numbers and wonder if they mean anything at all. And then I look outside the window, it's October and we're walking around in t-shirts and sandals...

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Yep, and 550 by 2050?

https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/global-warming/CO2-concentration

The whole situation reminds me of Eric The Viking, the "We're not sinking" scene...

https://youtu.be/rY-HOYTz-rs?si=jLZylldSjzsKdMWA

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Wow, 550 by 2050? That's surreal.

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Sep 30, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

Born at 322ppm. Looking forward to reading both what you write with creativity and act with conviction.

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322 ppm. It's amazing to see how fast the CO2 levels grew in the second half of the 20th century. Thank you for being part of this community.

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Sep 30, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

Congratulations Claudia!

A joy to be part of your journey and to learn so much along the way, including even within this post about whales. I had no idea!

You know, I saw your ppm on your bio and thought to myself "oh, hah, that's clever and also a very good way to representing climate change".

I might add my own 342.53 ppm to my bio if that's ok with you.

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Thank you, Nathan! It's great having you here and I'm looking forward to your feedback every time I write. You've been such a support and inspiration, I cannot thank you enough.

Please go ahead and add the ppm to your bio. I stole it from Greta after all 😜

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Oct 2, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

🥳😊 A true pleasure to be here. Some day maybe our paths will cross and we can catch up over a cup of tea.

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I would love that. I the meantime I'm happy with reading a book with you. Can' wait!

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Sep 30, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

RE: 2) we had a complete disaster here in Australia last year (I think). For many years the government put soft plastic recycling collection points in supermarkets. A great idea. We'd collect any we had at home (being mindful of keeping it to a minimum of course, though as you say it's often impossible when companies package with so much plastic) and then drop these off at the supermarket. However, it was later revealed that the whole thing was a scam. The company the gov employed for this wasn't recycling them at all! They were just hoarding them or dumping them into landfill and taking in the money. They still haven't come up with an actual solution or provided these collection spots agai.

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This is crazy! What happened to that company? Did they get any punishment for what they did? There should be harsh punishment for dumping garbage just anywhere. Unfortunately, many countries even go overseas to dump plastics in environments that are very fragile already and very affected by the climate change. It's a shame!

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Oct 2, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

I'm not sure, actually. There were a lot of news stories about it when it happened, but I haven't heard much of late. The government have said a new system would be implemented, but I'm not sure when that's going to happen.

I meant to say in my reply that it's awesome you're going packaging free in your supermarket shopping as much as possible. We try and do all our grocery shopping at our nearby market in their organic store, and they have almost everything packaging-free, which is so great.

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That's great! I also have a favourite organic market where I live but many products are still wrapped in plastic. I'll have to carefully check for recyclable plastic wraps. In any case, the other day when my husband heard about my challenge he was like: What about cheese? 🤣

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Oct 2, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

😅

Maybe there's cheese that doesn't come wrapped?

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I will certainly look for it!

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Sep 30, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

That was meant to be a reply to Terry but it looks like it didn't work and appear that way, oops.

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