Monday, December 15, 2014

The Promise

The one critical element missing in all the work being done in the matter of climate change is that NO ONE is promising that we will take the actions as a global citizenry to ensure that the temperature does not increase beyond 2 degrees Celsius.  And that promise is there for the taking.  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Being Heard

Sometimes it seems I can't get heard.  Interesting place to be, where you can see exactly what's missing and yet have no actionable way to get it in.  It is so clear the difference that a conversation to shift the context would have in the matter of mitigating climate change, and there is the task of getting that conversation to the people who can run with it and make the biggest difference.  I am working on getting a meeting with the UN Secretary-General.  

I also have to secure some kind of funding to bridge the gap until the consulting work I am lining up comes through.  

Welcome to my Sunday.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The hunt is on!

In the throes of raising capital.  King cash.  This beast doesn't run on good intentions.  Or good looks. Or good luck!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Time for the Big Time

Hosting a strategy meeting tonight for "Context News: The Next Chapter."  Lots of invites and not so lots of confirmations.  We'll have to go with the "quality not quantity" angle on this one.  Then it's time to get serious about getting a new batch of acquaintances.  With one or both qualities: rich and connected.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

UN Climate Summit - Deforestation and Climate Change

UN Climate Summit - Deforestation and Climate Change                                                                           September 23, 2014                                                                                               
by Laughlin Artz

Today, the UN Climate Summit hosted a special session on deforestation.  A series of panels, focusing on topics such as “The Role of the Private Sector – Market Disruption, Investments, Political Cover for Reforms”” and “Indigenous Peoples and their Territories – Fundamental to Climate Change Solutions” gave over 30 panelists the opportunity to voice their concerns, commitments and perspectives on the current and future state of affairs of our forests.

Over and over, it was stated that the time to act is now.  Deforestation accounts for 11% of CO2 emissions, and every minute we destroy forest acreage the size of fifty soccer fields.

The New York Declaration of Forests was lauded by several panelsits as the most comprehensive and binding commitment to reverse the trend of deforestation.  The Declaration calls for reducing deforestation levels by 50% by 2020 and ending deforestation entirely by 2030.  This plan is consistent with keeping overall climate warming to a 2 degree C increase.  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Our Examination of the Michael Brown Shooting

Today we released our segment on the Michael Brown shooting.  The question we begin with is "With all the law enforcement-related fatalities that happen daily in the US, what is it about the death of Michael Brown that incited two weeks of rioting?"  

We offer the opportunity to consider that the riots were not in response to the event, but rather were the actions consistent with how the event was "seen," and that how it was "seen" was as racist.  And to consider that there was nothing in the event itself that was inherently racist, but that racism was the context in which the event occurred, thereby shaping the ensuing activities.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

We Need a Shift in Context

Climate Change – A Matter of Context
by Laughlin Artz

What will get us out of this mess is the same thing that got us into it – action.  Not just any action, but a new kind of action, an entirely different order of action that comes from a new kind of thinking.  As Einstein said:      

             “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of
              thinking we used when we created them.” 

We need action that isn’t just more, better and different versions of what we’ve done before, but action that is bold, radical and produces results not possible in the current landscape.

The current climate situation is the direct result of actions taken and not taken.  And our success or failure in effectively mitigating that situation will also be a direct result of actions taken and not taken.

To effectively get at the whole matter of action, we need to examine what determines action.  Not what explains it or justifies it, but what actually determines it. 

What determines action?  Facts?  No.  Otherwise when 20 people are presented with the same facts, you would get 20 people taking the same actions.  Knowledge?  No.  It is common knowledge that to lose weight, one needs to eat less and exercise more.  Yet that knowledge does not predictably translate into the actions of eating less and exercising.  In fact, when you test out much of what is believed, assumed or theorized to be what determines action, it doesn’t hold up in the real time moments of “what is happening” when people are taking action.

Consider that what determines action is not the “situation” itself (the facts, the “what is happening” in the moment), but rather “how the situation is there, how it shows itself).  And if you alter how the situation is “there” for someone, his or her actions alter accordingly. 

For example, when the situation of Climate Change is “there” for someone as “a hoax” the actions that person takes will be completely correlated to that “how it is there for them,” which will be the action of taking no action.    

Given that what will make the difference in the matter of Climate Change is ensuring that the right actions are taken at the right times to produce the right results and that action is correlated to how the situation called climate change is “there” for people, then the question becomes: 
“How do we get Climate Change to “be there” for people such that the correlated actions of that “how it’s there for them” are the actions that mitigate the situation?”

What determines how a situation is “there” for people, and correspondingly the actions they take or don’t take, is not the facts but rather the context in which the facts exist.

Context gives/shapes the way the situation “is there” for people, and therefore is the key determining factor in the matter of people’s actions.  People’s actions are determined not by the situation itself, but by how the situation “is there” for them.  And what determines how it’s there for them is context.  Calling people to effective action is the power of context.

We need a Shift in Context.  If we as a global community are to be successful in mitigating the predictably catastrophic future of Climate Change, a shift in context is requiredNot just important, but required.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Upcoming Episode 9

Stay tuned for Episode 9 - our investigation into the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson.  To get the heart of the situation, not just in the matter of the incident itself, but as importantly, the ensuing riots.  Of the 318 law enforcement-related fatalities in the US in 2013, and the other 57 similar deaths in August 2014, what is it about the Michael Brown shooting that resulted in riots?  Watch September 1.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Our Environment, Our Well Being

Our Environment, Our Well Being
by Laughlin Artz

If you don’t have a vital, healthy, sustainable environment in which to dwell, nothing else really matters.

That goes for both your planet and your body.  I campaign on these issues in tandem.  They are intrinsically connected and as such, hitting them as distinct yet mirrored entities will maximize the power we can gain in both arenas. 

You see, there is a direct connection between our relationship to the well-being of the planet and our relationship to the well-being of our bodies.  Beat the crap out of it, fill it with junk food and poisons over long periods of time, poo-poo advice to alter detrimental behavior, and then finally – only when our bodies/planet start to break down and revolt – only then do we begrudgingly attend to it. 
And even then only long enough to arrest the immediate crisis, which once abated, we go back to doing whatever we can get away with.
Now let’s consider what might be the context of all this.  The whole arena of well-being – our own and that of the environment – is viewed as feminine, “girly,” not manly, not macho, and for sure not the rough and tumble invincibility that we so proudly, as Americans, claim to be.  Even the language is crafted within that construct.  We name our planet Mother Earth and we frame our tending to our personal heath in the context of “care,” a traditionally feminine trait.  Environmentalists are themselves characterized in this same vein of feminized ridicule as “tree-huggers.” 
This should in no way to be construed as any agreement with, or validation of, these historic and misogynistic perspectives of women as the “weaker” sex.  This is simply an investigation into the condition.  The fact is that men run the vast majority of nations, and as such, much of the current polices and behaviors in the arena of well-being are born of these antiquated “masculine” views.  Me Tarzan. You Body/Earth.
The planet, our celestial body, and the bodies we inhabit are viewed as “ours”; they exist separate from ourselves, we own them, they work for us, they exist for our own use and pleasure.  Even the notion that we can “own” property, that we can actually make claim to a piece of Earth, all comes from the perspective that the planet is ours to have our way with, to do with what we will.  Earth is our bitch.
Capitalism gives us economics as the context through which to view and interact with the planet.   Given that the game of capitalism is growth, growth, growth, it pits our thinking and actions in direct violation of the natural order of life, which exists in a context of balance, wholeness, interconnectedness, and oneness
The capitalists are constantly scheming for how to increase profit, market share and the like.  Any talk of limitation on that pursuit is viewed as constrictive – an attack on the very nature of the game.
The earth is a limited resource, a finely crafted ecosystem that exists and flourishes in a natural condition of balance.  Everything on the planet came into existence in relation to everything else, and to not have an awareness of and operate consistent with that condition of balance is to violate the natural order and systematically extinguish the life force, which is what gives us all life.  We must move the environment into its own context and begin to remodel our economic models to co-exist within that natural balance.
The planet’s health is our health. 

We are the planet, and the planet is us.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Episode 8 - The Middle East

Getting ready to release Episode 8, which examines the situation in the Middle East.  It is an important piece, and we invite you to watch and share it.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Why We Are Here

It is getting clear that our job is primarily to provoke the conversation, to engage people in the inquiry of the critical connections between language, context and the current state of affairs in the world.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Second Coming

Finished shooting Episode 2.  Now David works his magic to make it all happen.  What a gift to have him as my partner in this endeavor.  A real gift.  And the episode ROCKS!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Shooting For The Stars

Shot Episode 2 tonight.  This is beyond what I thought it would be. Taking more from us, and taking more from the viewers.  David is an amazing partner in this wild ride.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Wow, It is actually happening!  Context News is now on the air, with our first episode up for viewing.  Thank you to everyone who made this possible.  All the folks who contributed to having this dream become a reality.  And thank you for your generosity and patience as we work out the opening day kinks.  If you like what you see, please share this.  Now back to working on future episodes.

Friday, April 25, 2014


The launch is now 6 days away, and everything is getting readied so that it comes off with a minimal number of hitches.  The facebook site is now up and folks are finding it and liking it.  The promo video now has over 300 views, and we are at work to bump that number dramatically.  The partnership of everyone involved is completely inspiring.  It is time to make context a global priority and it is time for Context News.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Coming Soon!

Stay tuned for our upcoming launch.  We have the first episodes shot and being edited.  Very exciting!