Announcing Creation of “Strawberry Fields Forever” Awards in Honor of John Lennon, Co-Founder of “The Beatles”

beatles

On the day of what would have been John Lennon’s 75th birthday (October 9th), I am announcing with this post the creation of “John Lennon Strawberry Fields Forever Awards” – to be given to individuals, political representatives, members of the mass media and government officials who best put John Lennon’s “Strawberry Fields Forever” song lyric “Living is easy with eyes closed…Misunderstanding all you see.” into practice.

2015 winners of the John Lennon Strawberry Fields Forever award are the following:

The Wisconsin Legislature, Governor Walker, and his administration – for again failing in 2015 to take up the threat of global warming and climate change on Wisconsin, its natural resources and Wisconsin’s current and future businesses, residents and visitors. While scientists with the state’s many colleges and universities, including the University of Wisconsin – Madison, all say there is ample evidence now that global warming and climate change are occurring, will be with us for the long term, and that the impacts on Wisconsin’s people, animals and businesses will be increasingly negative and irreversible, Wisconsin’s publicly elected officials in the legislative and executive branches of Wisconsin’s government have continued their practice of avoiding any discussion of climate change and what the state’s position ought be on it, despite ample evidence that changes to the climate now underway are human caused, linked to too much fossil fuel burning and deforestation (paving), which have led to unprecedented increases in the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Governor Walker and his security personnel have contributed hundreds of thousands of additional greenhouse gases to the atmosphere in their countless plane trips around the U.S. and to foreign countries in his failed campaign for the Republican nomination for the U.S. presidency; and more hundreds of thousands of GHGs were undoubtedly emitted in his trade missions to Europe and China, to say nothing of the massive volumes of GHG emissions from trade with far away countries. (You may also want to read this that there is no mention of greenhouse gases in the trade pact President Obama is supporting (The TPP), that greenhouse gas emissions generated by international transportation are substantial yet widely overlooked by those pushing to “fast track” the 12 nation agreement by the Pacific Ocean boarding countries.)

The Legislature refused to take up the threat of global warming and climate change, despite numerous letters to newspaper editors from Wisconsin citizens and testimonies given at public hearings on the state budget on the importance of addressing climate change in Wisconsin. Instead, it has been advancing bills that provide: for more lenient campaign finance laws and a doubling of the amount of money that can be donated to political candidates; allowing blaze pink colors for deer hunters; overhauling Wisconsin’s Civil Service System.

The Legislature also failed at ensuring Wisconsin’s workforce is fairly paid for its labor, allowing countless residents to make no more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. New census data released in September show nearly a quarter of a million Wisconsin children lived below the poverty line in 2014; 738,000 people in the state were living in poverty in 2014, 150,000 more than in 2007.

The poverty rate for people who identified as black or African-American was 37.7 percent in 2014 compared to 9.6 percent among white non-Hispanic Wisconsinites. The poverty rate for black children was 49.4 percent, four times the rate of non-Hispanic Wisconsin children in 2014.

Gaylord Nelson said “Some people who talk about the environment talk about it as though it involved only a question of clean air and clean water. The environment involves THE WHOLE BROAD SPECTRUM of man’s relationship to ALL other living creatures, INCLUDING OTHER HUMAN BEINGS. It involves the environment in its broadest and deepest sense. It involves THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE GHETTO, which is the WORST environment, where the worst pollution, the worst noise, the worst housing, the worst situation in this country — THAT HAS TO BE A CRITICAL PART OF OUR CONCERN and consideration in talking and cleaning up the environment” [Emphasis added].

Every member of the U.S. Congressional Delegation in Washington DC is awarded the John Lennon Strawberry Fields Forever award for being missing in action in 2015; as were previous congressional delegations the last two decades who have exhibited callousness on a grand level about the greatest threat for all earthlings for far too many years already. The mass media ought have held the Congresses’s “feet to the fire” to get legislative action taken by our government but no doubt that would not go over well with the automobile industry, who pays TV networks for the countless number of automobile advertisements broadcast to American households every week during NFL football games.

Wisconsin Public Radio is awarded a Strawberry Field award for continuing to sponsor its exotic trips to far away lands that require long distance air travel, done for the purpose of fundraising. Flying airplanes has been labeled as the worst single activity an individual can do as far as adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, now linked with certainty to more rapid global warming and climate change. Public radio’s encouragement of atmosphere – damaging airline travel is the opposite of what it should be doing – encourage less fossil fuel burning by everyone.

The typical American consumer, who continues to burn excessive quantities of fossil fuels in transportation, heating, and using electricity derived from burning fossil fuels, and consumes far too many products requiring burning large quantities of fossil fuels, despite warnings of irreparable harm due to climate change from all credible scientists.

The failure of all media to issue needed public action alerts for the mounting accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, as they do for other weather and climate threats to people, animals and property, is inexcusable.

The awards go to individuals or groups who close their eyes and minds to the fact that global warming caused climate change and sea level rise is now a reality and is a growing threat to the safety and well-being of all people and animals living on Earth today, and is a much greater threat for future humans and animal lives who have yet to be born.

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About Mike Neuman

Identical twin; Long-time advocate of protection of our environment; Married; Father to three sons; Grandfather to one granddaughter; Born and raised in Wisconsin; Graduate of University of Wisconsin; post graduate degrees in agricultural economics and Water Resources Management fro UWMadison; Former School Crossing Guard for City of Madison; Bike to Work for 31 years with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Retired from DNR in 2007; Biked to school crossing guard site 2 X daily for 7 years retiring in 2019; in addition to being an advocate of safeguarding our environment, I am also an advocate for humane treatment of animal, children, and people in need of financial resource for humane living. I am presently a Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Madison, Wisconsin. I oppose all long (>500 miles) distance travel (via fossil fuel burning) for nonessential purposes and all ownership of more than one home. I am opposed to militarism in any form particularly for the purpose of monetary gain. I am a Strong believer in people everywhere having the right to speak their minds openly, without any fear of reprisal, regarding any concerns; especially against those in authority who are not acting for the public good?in a timely fashion and in all countries of the world not just the U S.. My identical twin, Pat, died in June 2009. He was fired from his job with the National Weather Service despite having a long and successful career as a flood forecaster with the Kansas City National Weather Service. He took a new position in the Midwest Regional Office in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, Pat’s work for the NWS went sour after he began to see the evidence for concern about rising global temperatures shortly after relocating to Minneapolis, and how they appeared to effect of flooding on the Red River that flows out of Canada before entering the U.S. in North Dakota. . Pat and I conversed on a regular basis with other scientists on the Yahoo Group named “Climate Concern “ and by personal email. The NWS denied his recommendation to give his public presentation o n his research at the “Minneapolis Mall of America” in February 2000, which deeply affected h,im. I will h He strongly believed the information ought be shared with the public to which I concurred. That was the beginning of the vendetta against my brother, Patrick J. Neuman, for speaking strongly of the obligations the federal government was responsible for accurately informing the citizenry. A way great similar response to my raising the issue of too many greenhouse gases being emitted by drivers of vehicles on Wisconsin highway system, my immediate supervisors directed: “that neither global warming, climate change nor the long term impacts upon the natural resources of Wisconsin from expansion of the state highway system were to be any part of my job requirements, and that I must not communicate, nor in a memorandum to all the bureau, shall any person who works in the same bureau I do communicate with me, neither verbally on the phone, by email.

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