Turn and Face the Strange Changes

Parents Facing Climate Change

by Julie at ProgressiveKidfluorescent lightbulb

Now that the mainstream media have finally acknowledged climate change as a newsworthy topic, still not as pressing as the minutiae of Britney Spears’ tragicomic personal life, but worth covering nonetheless, the precarious state of our home planet is on peoples’ minds these days more than ever. For parents, especially ones with active imaginations, the future is more than an abstract mental projection shrouded in a fog of anxiety. For those of us who have educated ourselves about the current and probable future realities of climate change, imagining life for our children and their children is fearful territory. Continue reading

Home Turf Disadvantage

Grassby Sarah at ProgressiveKid

(Full disclosure: I am not a housewife, not that there would be anything wrong with that in my opinion, but some folks level the term irresponsibly as a way to discredit my opinions on turf, so let’s be clear about that; what I am is simply a professional writer who has written on a wide range of topics and who knows how to read the research of professional scientists and summarize it in an article for the rest of us to read.)

As a former soccer player well acquainted with the hazards of sand-based soccer fields in the rainy Northwest, I can appreciate a soccer club’s frustration and desire to do something to improve playing conditions for its members. I know only too well the taste of a mouthful of muddy water and the sinking feeling of seeing a perfectly timed pass floating in a small pond halfway to its intended destination.

All across the nation, more and more high schools, colleges, and park districts are installing artificial turf fields with the hope that they will be spared skid marks, puddles, and mudbaths. While improving upon some aspects of the situation, their choice creates other far more serious negative consequences, including potentially adverse health effects. Specifically, artificial turf exposes players, park users, and neighborhood residents to known inhaled carcinogens and dangerous bacteria and introduces the threat of aquifer and water supply contamination to the area. Continue reading

Pinkish Green

construction paper scrapsBy Sarah at ProgressiveKid

I’ve been called many things in my life, including “leftie,” “bleeding heart liberal,” and a personal favorite, “animal lover.” I never minded being called any of these things and never understood, frankly, why the person saying them seemed to think they were insults, which has on occasion led to my replying, “Thank you,” followed by a silence mildly uncomfortable for all parties involved.

Just recently, however, the name calling occurred again with a different result: I was surprised. It was not that the names themselves were unfamiliar. To the contrary, they were some of the old, recognizable, and not altogether unwelcome names leveled on many prior occasions. What was surprising this time was the context of the name calling. Continue reading