Reprint of Roots That Crack The Concrete

I am pleased to announce that my first poetry book, “Roots That Crack The Concrete,” is back in print! The new second edition is available at my online storefront:

lulu.com/treesong

This new edition of “Roots That Crack The Concrete” contains all of the poetry from the original limited edition chapbook. However, I’ve also added a preface, updated the edition and contact information, and made other minor style adjustments.

The new edition is available in either print or digital format, so if you’d like to lighten your carbon footprint by reading it on your computer or a book reader, buy the PDF version. My royalties from the print and digital versions are essentially the same.

Pick up your copy today! Also, stay tuned for updates to treesong.org and a brand new poetry book that’s due out around Thanksgiving.

Thanks for your support! If you have any questions or comments about “Roots That Crack The Concrete,” or any of my other projects, you know where to find me.

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Age of Stupid

I just got back from the global premiere of a climate change movie called Age of Stupid. The experience was amazing, to say the least. First, I’d like to review the movie. Then, I’d like to review the state of the world in relation to climate change.

The movie itself was brilliant. The premise is simple: in the year 2055, the world has been devastated by the consequences of human generated climate change. Society has collapsed entirely, and the systems of life as we know them have largely unraveled. One man remains as caretaker of a collection of humanity’s relics and an archive of their knowledge. The film follows his narration as he reviews clips of the recent past (our present day) and wonders why people in the “Age of Stupid” didn’t do more to prevent the apocalypse.

Tonight’s screening was a huge worldwide event with a short pre-show and a longer post-show consisting of interviews and commentary on the subject of climate change. Unfortunately, I missed most of the pre-show and the first 15 minutes or so of the main event due to technical difficulties at our local theatre. I did see enough of the film, though, to be thoroughly impressed.

On the one hand, the film is intensely and transparently didactic. It’s an unabashed call to action on the issue of climate change. Active disbelievers in human-caused climate change will find it abhorrent, and some snobby film critics who dislike any overt politics in a film will say it’s too preachy.

On the other hand, it’s also very entertaining and compelling. It mostly consists of clips about the present day contributions to climate change, both good and bad, but the framework about a future apocalypse works well and emphasizes the seriousness of the information being presented.
The blend of individual people’s stories and global implications make the film’s narrative compelling, creative, and highly relevant.

After the film, there was a series of brief live interviews on the subject of climate change. There was a lot of chaos throughout the post-show due to a mix of technical difficulties and seeming disagreements as to who was supposed to speak when. The material itself, though, was pretty amazing.

Speakers included former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the President of the Republic of Maldives (the first climate neutral nation), someone from MoveOn, a British politician whose name I forget, and others.

First of all, I found it very impressive that important political officials like Kofi Annan and the President of the Maldives were actually there in person at the event. I also was impressed at how strong and well-stated all of their arguments were in favor of taking action on climate change in order to avoid the dire consequences on the horizon for both humanity and the planet. Finally, I was amazed and excited and taken aback by the confrontational attitude that one of the film’s creators took toward the British politician who had been invited to speak. He’s supposed to be leading their government’s action on climate change, but apparently he’s not going far enough, so the filmmaker kept challenging him and asking him why he wasn’t doing more to improve the agreement being formulated for the next climate meeting in Copenhagen this December.

All in all, the film premiere was an amazing experience, marred only by the 15-20 minutes of local technical difficulties at the very beginning. Unfortunately, almost all of the people who came locally gave up on the film due to these technical difficulties. And I can’t say that I blame them — I was about to leave myself when the video resumed! But luckily, I stayed long enough to see most of the film and be part of the global phenomenon.

And that brings me to my review of climate change itself.

I won’t speak much about the details of climate change because the film says more than I can or should in a single blog entry. Seeing this film, though, drove home to important points that I feel cannot be overemphasized.

The first is that our current situation is dire. Human-caused climate change has already started, and in order to keep it from spiraling out of control, we need to ensure that the global temperature doesn’t rise more than 2 degrees Celcius above the pre-Industrial Revolution temperature. And in order to do THAT, we need to ensure that our global carbon emissions peak in 2015 and rapidly decline from then onward.

This is serious business. In order to achieve that goal, we’ll have to work together internationally to change the entire direction of our economies and societies within a matter of several years. If we don’t achieve this unprecedented shift, then we will likely reach the tipping point soon. The destabilization of both climate and society will accelerate, and the systems of life as we know it will rapidly collapse within my lifetime.

This may sound very gloomy — and in fact, it IS very gloomy. This is the greatest threat to life on this planet that our species have ever witnessed.

The good news, though, is that there is still time for action. We are the source of this problem, and we must take action to resolve this problem, if only for the sake of our own survival.

The film itself is a striking example of the power of grassroots campaigns to create something inspired and transformative. Age of Stupid started as a small independent project and evolved into the largest simultaneous showing of a film in human history. It was funded by grassroots organizing, promoted by social networking, and made possible by communications technology which didn’t even exist 10 years ago. We have an increasing ability to network and communicate with each other on such globally vital issues, and an increasing power to take meaningful action both as individuals and as active citizens in our respective cities and nations.

There are many ways to take action. The makers of the film are encouraging people to take action through the Not Stupid site:

http://notstupid.org/

I’ll also have more news and more ideas for action soon. In the meantime, check out Age of Stupid when you get the chance, and do whatever it takes to change the present and the future for the better.

Each of us may at times seem small in the presence of local, regional, national, and international systems of power. But each of us in our own way can make a difference. And with our powers combined, we can change the world.

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My New Logo

Treesong Logo, Transparent, 500x500: This is my personal logo. It was designed by Josh Guess on September 6, 2009. The roots and trunk of the tree are a musical staff, while the leaves and branches are musical notes. This is a very dynamic and artistic interpretation of "Treesong." I am pleased to announce that I have a new logo! A friend of mine named Josh Guess stepped forward and drew the first design that came to mind. Thanks to Josh for a job well done!

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Artist Needed for Logo Design

I have big plans for the coming months. The details are still emerging, but these plans will involve my return to a more active role in the local community as well as a renewed effort to advance my career as an author, teacher, and public speaker. In light of these plans, I’m looking for an artist who can design a new personal logo for use on my website and any printed materials I produce.

Earlier this year, I discussed my new logo plans online in public and private conversations with a few dozen friends. I originally was planning on using a popular tree image that I found online as a template for this logo. However, it turns out that this tree image is copyrighted and unavailable for use. Therefore, I’ve decided to seek out an artist to design a new logo from scratch.

This logo — or sigil as I prefer to call it — will be used in a variety of personal and professional contexts. It will appear on my website, business cards, letterhead, and any books or other materials that I self-publish. I may even put it on my clothing eventually. In essence, it will become the artistic equivalent of my signature, much like a family crest or seal.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the money right now to pay an artist for their services. However, if I do use the logo you’ve created, you can add it to your portfolio of professional work, and I will give you credit on my website and in my books.

I already have a fairly clear understanding of the basic elements I’d like included in this logo:

(1) A circular border, preferably in the style of Celtic knotwork.
(2) The silhouette of a tree, specifically an oak.
(3) A treble clef in the trunk of the tree at the center of the image.

The image should be high resolution and scalable, looking good at both 2″ on a business card and 10″ on a sign or T-shirt. It should be in either black-and-transparent or black-and-white.

If you’re interested in submitting such a logo for my consideration, please let me know either online or offline. Since I currently don’t have the money to pay what such a logo would normally cost, I’m going to have to rely on the kindness of any artists who are reading this message. If you’re a new artist with little or no professional experience, then hopefully the extra exposure for your work will help you out too.

Thanks in advance for any submissions or other feedback. If and when I find the logo I’m looking for, I’ll be sure to let everyone know.

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My name is Treesong. I'm a father, author, talk radio host, and Real Life Superhero. I live in Carbondale, Southern Illinois. I write novels, short stories, and poetry, mostly about the climate.

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