9-23-2020 Hopeful Wednesday
September 23, 2020
I really need a lot of hope this morning. Yes there are several national events that are upsetting. The Notorious RBG died of pancreatic cancer and her body is not even laid to rest, and already an orange-hued president whose name rhymes with DUMP has offered forth a replacement. A good portion of the Republican Party is upsetting me especially Mitt Romney, as they seem to be falling in line as this was their deal with the orange dumpy devil. Let him do whatever he wants as long as he tilts the highest court to the right. Then there are over 200,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the US. Those 200,000 lost lives have created concentric circles of grief that are creating ripples in our communities. Yesterday I delivered one of my personal N95s to the airport to a friend of a dear friend whose wife is also a friend of my sister, as he boarded a flight in an attempt to see a friend who is being pulled off the respirator dying of COVID19. He is part of my community, and needed to say his goodbye. I don’t do these last minute heroics lightly and pulled a crazy U-turn near the closed San Diego Airport Cellphone Parking Lot. I had to confess to Mr. Plastic Picker last night my attempt to get to the airport on time. I made it and I hope my friend’s friend is able to say his goodbyes.
Despite all the chaos in the world, I am very matter of the fact going about my Dr. Plastic Picker life. I picked up my 300th bag of plastic pollution yesterday. I do small actions everyday to try to make the world a better place. Therefore the tsunami of less than ideal events does not bother me as much. I know that in my little corner of the world I’m making small waves. Whether I get submersed and the entire world drowns as well, is kind of out of my control. I’m doing my part. Doing a lot of little deliberative actions to try to stop climate change is empowering. I decided one year ago to panic about catatrophic climate change, so the Supreme Court whether left or right does not bother me as much. The reason I need hope this morning is a far more selfish reason. After morning clinic today I have this really really painful middle management meeting that lasts 2 hours. It rhyhms with BLIP and it’s a state-mandated meeting I need to attend on behalf of our HMO. It’s just painful for various reasons. Let’s just leave it at that. I should get an additional middle manager bonus for sitting through this meeting as Assistant Boss. Chief Boss was supposed to go, but she ducked out a few years ago and delegates it to me her Assistant Boss. She is one smart cookie. Who is the poor soul sitting as the MD representative to these meetings? It’s me. I thought I was pretty smart when I figured out this complicated vaccine spreadsheet yesterday. But maybe I’m not as smart as I thought LOL.
So let’s go look through my iPhone screenshots for Five Reasons to be Hopeful This Wednesday, to get me through the BLIP meeting. Did you know that I don’t even really get paid to go to this meeting? Yeah. If anyone reading this wants to do my job, you’ll have to go to this meeting! That’s job security for me.
- Doggy Poop Bags Refurbishing Project: Doggy poop bags drive me crazy. They seem to be everywhere in my house! We have exactly one 12-pound poodle mix who poops very little poops. Yet Mr. Plastic Picker is forever buying poop bag rolls after poop bag rolls. How many can you possibly need? Mr. Plastic Picker is a closet shopaholic. Since we have decreased our overall consumer consumption, he has these little fits where he randomly buys non-sensical things. He bought his father a new computer yesterday. He buys a lot of doggy poop bags. The picture above is when I refurbished two rolls by rerolling many clean doggy poop bags around into two pleasing rolls. I did this during one of our virtual middle managment meetings. I actually enjoy that meeting, especially since I was able to reroll the doggy poop bags. This is a news item only in my mind. But it gives me hope that my husband will stop buying endless plastic doggy poop bags.
- Sizzler Files for Bankruptcy. I was sad initially when I heard this news. I posted in reply to a friend “We only went once a year growing up at the end of tax season. Wow memories.” And indeed it was the “fancy” dinner at the end of the 4 months of tax season, where our immigrant family celebrated our journey to the American Dream after together working at my dad’s tax business with a steak dinner. But now that I think about it, Sizzler going bankrupt gives me hope because they sell cheap beef. If cows were their own nation, they would be 5th in carbon emitters. If we are really to stop climate change, we have to stop eating beef or at least eat less. I haven’t purchased any beef in years, even before becoming Dr. Plastic Picker. I don’t count the rare In and Out Burger, but even that it has been many moons.
- New Zealand’s Prime Minister Pledges 100% Renewable Energy by 2030. The Dr. Plastic Picker household went 100% renewable back in 2017-2018 when we installed solar panels. Now New Zealand is following suit. They are doing this with hydropower and with that I am not sure? Hydropower tends to affect downstream fish. But anything is better than coal and natural gas. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/new-zealand-renewable-clean-energy-hydro-solar-wind-carbon-12992204
- GE Says Goodbye to Coal. General Electric is one of the world’s largest makers of coal fired power plants. CNN reports “Struggling GE announced Monday it won’t build new coal-fueled power plants, making it the latest major company to dump coal in an exit that may include asset sales, site closures and layoffs.” Previously GE had acquired Alstom’s power business which made coal-fired turbines in a $9.5 billion dollar move, and they lost money. This gives me hope because it demonstrates market forces are working https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/21/business/ge-coal-power/index.html
- Making Our Own Hope: And what gives me the most hope is the hope we are creating in our own physician community. San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air officially endorsed the Hiring of Environmental Justice Staff for San Diego, and our intern #3’s logo made it onto their social media campaign. I’m still awaiting our montage video and have been periodically checking on Mothers Out Front’s Facebook Page. That is a group of 15 pediatricians who have made environmental activism as part of their lives. And I recruited a pediatric dermatologist and a pediatric NICU doctor for our AAP Climate Change and Health Committee. I can’t make our monthly Public Health Advisory Committee meeting this afternoon which is another group I am a part of due to the BLIP meeting. But I sent a true and heartfelt email when I realized the conflict to my friends “I am so sorry to have to miss the meeting. We had last minute meeting change and have peds quality/vaccine meeting tomorrow at the same time. I will catch up with everyone and if it wasn’t peds quality meeting, I would otherwise make it. Profuse profuse profuse apologies. PHAC is an important committee/work to me. Thank you for everyone’s understanding.” And I meant every word. I’ll catch up with them after today’s painful marathon afternoon meetings regarding our next climate project.
And with that I realize that there is so much hope to get us through the BLIP meeting, and all the challenges our collective world faces. As one of my litterpicking friends was inspired by one of my comments. He had shared an instagram video on the teachers of a Native American elder, which I watched in full. And the phrase that stuck with me is the WE NOT ME. That in turn inspired him. And that I can inspire anyone, and can be inspired in turn – gives me so much hope.
Looking for more hope? Check out last week’s Hopeful Wednesday post. https://drplasticpicker.com/9-16-2020-five-reasons-to-be-hopeful-this-wednesday/