July 31, 2018
What better sendoff for "On the Road for Climate Action" then a benefit dinner in our honor. Held at Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach, this event was a fancy 3-course dinner that was hosted by a very generous and supportive Orange Country local named Mark Moehlman. Mark was our very first project donor. His support of this project gave Athina and I the much needed confidence and encouragement to make this vision a reality. In hosting this benefit dinner, Mark provided a means of fundraising, knowing that Athina and I are taking an unpaid leave from our careers in order to embark on this climate advocacy project. In attendance to the dinner were about 20 exclusive guests. Most were accepting of mainstream climate science. However, somewhat surprisingly there were also a couple of people at the dinner table who took issue with the notion of human-caused climate change. Interestingly, the proportion of "climate deniers" at the event reflected that of the nation as a whole, about 10%. And they were a vocal minority! Their perspectives made for some lively debate and conversation at the table. I'm not sure I got threw to them, but I'd say the experience was a good primer for what Athina and I will experience on the road! Thanks again to our host Mark. We truly cannot thank you enough for your support! -Shahir
I Surf, I Vote!
July 12, 2018
Today was a great day to be at Newport Beach, CA. A group that really cares about climate change and the health of our oceans organized an "I Surf, I Vote" advocacy event. The event brought together surfers (including myself!), environmental advocates, and even Harley Rouda, who is a local candidate for Congress here in southern California. Myself, Harley, and a few others had the pleasure of speaking at the event. It was great to see such a turnout. The group who organized the event, Blue Uprising, concerns itself with preventing offshore drilling, protecting marine habitats, ensuring sustainable fishing practices, addressing climate change, and mobilizing voters in support of such causes. Click here to see their write-up of the event. And notice the amazing aerial photograph on the right. This was captured by Charley Fitzwilliam, using his drone. After meeting him and hearing our story, he decided to generously donate a drone to our project! These are not inexpensive items!! This is one of the most valuable donations we've received, and by far the most unique; showing that support can come in all shapes and sizes. Thank you Charley, you're donation will enable us to capture our voyage in ways we could never have dreamed of. We look forward to now documenting our national tour from the sky. You can follow Charley and his spectacular aerial imagery of southern California on Instagram at @TheDroneBooth.
Happy World Environment Day!
June 5, 2018
Hey everyone, we want to wish you all a Happy World Environment Day!! But mostly, we want to wish a happy day to our beautiful planet. Athina took this video early in the morning (while I was still sleeping!), hence the quite voice. Composting is something we've managed to do, even though we don't live on a ranch or have a large yard. If there's a will, there's a way! Composting is great because it spares waste from unnecessarily having to be hauled to a dump site (which requires fuel). It also prevents you from having to buy fertilizer for your garden. You should see how big our tomato plant is...8ft, not exaggerating! Not only is the tomato plant partially fertilized using our compost, but it actually CAME from our compost. You'll find that composting creates soil rich in nutrients, but also rich in seeds (from all the food that goes in). This sometimes means unexpected vegetables growing where you least expect them. Perhaps in a future video we'll introduce our giant tomato! Athina also mentions the importance of reusable containers. This avoids single-use plastics that fill the dump site and litter the land, not to mention wast energy to produce. With that said, be sure you don't own half a dozen reusable bottles. This cancels out the benefit! -Shahir
UCI Climate Solutions Summit
May 30, 2018
Big shout out to the University of California Irvine (where I do research!) for hosting the Climate Solutions Summit. It goes without saying that climate change is the issue of our time. More summits are necessary. More meetings are needed. More conversation must take place. And more politicians must take notice, and act through legislation to prevent further climate change. This summit takes us one step closer toward advancing that conversation and bringing about such action. I was excited to have been in attendance. I even got to host a booth and share our upcoming "road for climate action" with passerbys, not to mention debut our flashy new banner! Athina had to teach and therefore couldn't make it (we both still have full time jobs!). Our project was well received though. For more info on the UCI climate summit, click here!
Parachutes for the Planet™
May 21, 2018
Last week I caught wind of an inspiring project that I'm excited to share with you all. To raise awareness of people living sustainable lives and affected by climate change, Mother Earth Project™ is asking individuals, schools, and communities around the world to create PARACHUTES FOR THE PLANET™. Literally, create a parachute and decorate it with artwork and comments about climate action and "green" living, and then share it with the world. This project is receiving tons of excitement globally! Project co-founder Barton Rubenstein says the the parachutes are a "metaphor for bringing the planet back to a safer place." In addition to art, the project is encouraging people to take a sustainable action each week (give up straws, carry reusable bags, pick up garbage, eat a plant-based diet, etc.). Share your eco-actions on social media using #myparachute and @motherearthproject. Help spread the word about this amazing project, and be sure to join the next parachute
exhibition on July 21st on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., during the Zero Hour Youth-led Climate March! Click here to learn more!
School Earth Assembly - A change to Inspire!
May 10, 2018
Last month I had the privilege of speaking to around 2,000 students at Santiago High School, CA. I can’t tell you how impressed I was by the faculty and students who organized and participated in this one-of-a-kind earth assembly. I wish we had such events when I was in high school! Students got to learn from one another about the importance of recycling, avoiding disposable plastics, and preserving Mother Earth. Thanks Santiago for letting me share “On the Road for Climate Action” and be a part of such a great day! Tune in later this month when I interview Environmental Science teacher Teri Osborne, who was the lead organizer behind this amazing assembly.
Passing Through Windmill Country
May 1, 2018
We've been super busy since Earth Day. Feedback from our video trailer has thus far been very positive. We even received a few donations after its debut, so thank you to our generous donors! At this point we are working hard to book speaking venues along our eastbound trek while simultaneously trying to publicize our journey and get the word out. Importantly, this trip is a meant to educate and inspire. Being successful therefore depends entirely on word getting out. People will need to hear our story if we are to have an impact. Our followers can help tremendously by sharing our website and video trailer on social media. We'd greatly appreciate it! In the meantime, check out this video of a beautiful wind farm in southern California.
-Shahir & Athina
Happy Earth Day!
Announcing "On the Road for Climate Action"
April 22, 2018
We couldn't think of a better day than Earth Day to kick off our first blog and announce our upcoming journey "On the Road for Climate Action." On August 1st, Athina and I will depart on a 10 week U.S. speaking tour to educate and mobilize action on climate change. Our official video trailer for the trip is now live, so be sure to check it out and share! From now on, you can check back here every few days for updates about our upcoming journey. There is much in the works. We look forward to sharing and keeping you posted!
On the Road for Climate Action!