Dr. Arash Babaoff recently retired from his career at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where he worked in the Adolescent Medicine Division, Transport team and the Emergency Department since 1993.
Believing that medicine is an international language that should be practiced as such, Dr. Babaoff began his volunteer work abroad in November of 2001. Since then, he has made volunteering a way of life.
In addition to the many medical missions with international organizations such as Operation Smile, which have taken him to such countries as the West Bank of Palestine, Nepal, Chechnya, China, Cambodia, Rwanda, Malawi, Morocco, Myanmar, Mali, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and many others, Dr. Babaoff is the co-founder of an NPO providing healthcare to the people in the Bolivar Province in Central Ecuador.
We met Dr. Babaoff at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where he was also a volunteer. We found his work so inspiring, we asked him to join us on Ecotones, which he graciously found time to do.
The United States military has been aware of the escalating dangers of catastrophic climate disruption longer than most other branches of government. In spite of Donald Trump’s quick rescinding of Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13653, issued in 2013, “Preparing the US for the Impact of Climate Change,” the military has quietly continued to do just that.
In his latest meticulously researched book, All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change, the Five College Professor Emeritus of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College and senior visitiing fellow at the Arms Control Association, Michael T. Klare, shows that the US military considers climate change a danger on several fronts at once.
With charts and maps he demonstrates that globally and nationally, we are vulnerable to increasing disruptions from climate change:
A map identifying military bases that have reported problems from heavy flooding, extreme temperatures, prolonged drought, and other climate impacts. (from All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change Metropolitan Books)
Increasing water scarcity as the river systems sourced in the glaciers of the Himalayan watershed is a major concern affecting nuclear armed nations China, India and Pakistan. (from All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change Metropolitan Books)
As the Arctic sea ice disappears the geopolitics of the region are in flux as never before in human history with potential of conflict among major powers such as Russia, China and the US. ((from All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change Metropolitan Books)
What happens when a family decides to devote themselves to creating a more healing world and gathers materials from nature and engage their own creativity to make toys for children bychildren? What if this is part of bringing into reality a vision of community healing the harm of generations of trauma experienced by First Nations people? What if the busy parents ask for assistance from a local church group, and a group of elder women joins in?
In October of 2019, some of those Elders from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bozeman, “Kaalas” in the language of the Crow, brought us to the home of Drs. of Education Megkian and Shane Doyle, where we were welcomed by four of their five children: 6 year old twins, Blake and Quanah, 9 year old Lillian, and 11 year old Ruby. They shared with us their vision of the Family Healing Center, and why they created The Native American Children’s Toy Company.
Every 10th toy the children make is given to a Native American child currently in foster care with this letter: “…. No matter what happens, you will always have a home and a homeland with your people…”
Megkian (center), Quanah (left) & Blake (right) write words in English & Crow on stones to create “Story Stones”. Players pull stones from a bag & then make up stories from them. Kaalla, Ita Kileen, in the background works on a hoop for “Sticks & Hoops”.
Quanah Doyle works on a project. A bag of “Story Stones” are in front of him.
Lilian (left) & Ruby (right) Megkian (back)
From left to right: Ruby, Brooklyn, Kaalas Robyn Lauster & Kitty Donich (photo by Megkian Doyle)
From left to right: Blake, Lily’s friend, Elizabeth, Lily, Ita Killeen, Kitty Donich in back. (photo by Megkian Doyle)
Ruby (left) & friend, Brooklyn, (right)
Lilian (left) & friend, Lia, play “Story Stones”.
Quanah demonstrates “Stick & Hoop”
Unless otherwise credited, all photos courtesy of Kaala, Robyn Lauster. The family photo at top is by Arnica Spring Rae.
On this edition of Ecotones, we hear from local Bozemanites, Dr. Mary M. Clare, Ph.D. and author, Gary Ferguson, about their work in evolving the concept of Full Ecology. How regaining our sense of kinship, relationship and interconnection, and being guided by balance, rhythm and harmony, we can survive and thrive the disruptions of our personal embedded environments, and the greater environments of which we are a natural part. Gary is The author of 26 books, the latest of which is THE EIGHT MASTER LESSONS OF NATURE: WHAT NATURE TEACHES US ABOUT LIVING WELL IN THE WORLD, published by Dutton.
Les AuCoin represented Oregon’s 1st Congressional District from 1975 to 1992. At the age of 32, he was the first Democrat to do so since 1936. After serving 18 years, he gave up his seat to run for the US Senate against incumbent Republican Senator Bob Packwood, who although winning that race, resigned under threat of expulsion in 1995 after allegations of sexual harassment, abuse and assault of women emerged.
In this interview he shares his thoughts and experiences as one of the first cohort to be seated after Richard Nixon’s resignation under threat of impeachment in 1974, “The Watergate Babies.”
It was recorded on December 18,1019, as the US House of Representatives was impeaching Donald J. Trump .
Born in the Civil Rights era of the Southern U.S., Susan Neiman has spent most of the last four decades in Berlin. She is the Director of The Einstein Forum. Her latest book is Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Among the many things she reminds us of in her book is that the Nazi regime lasted only 12 years – from 1933 to 1945. Likewise, the period we call “Reconstruction” also lasted only 12 years from 1865 to 1877. She quotes her colleague, the late Tony Judt: the historian’s task (is) “to tell what is almost always an uncomfortable story and explain why the discomfort is part of the truth we need to live well and live properly. A well-organised society is one in which we know the truth about ourselves collectively, not one in which we tell pleasant lies about ourselves”.
What can Americans learn from the Germans about confronting and moving on from our racist past toward more social justice? Susan Neiman has much to share of what she has learned from the Germans.
What can we learn of what Southerners have done and are doing to heal the wounds of our past? Susan has much to share of what she has learned in Mississippi and Alabama.
Christopher Ketcham has been a freelance writer for more than 20 years. His articles have been published in Harper’s, CounterPunch, National Geographic, Hustler, Penthouse, the New York Times, Pacific Standard, Sierra, Earth Island Journal, Vanity Fair, The New Republic, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Salon, and many other websites and newspapers large and small. He was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT in 2015-16, and he is currently a MacDowell Colony writing fellow in New Hampshire, whence he spoke to us. THIS LAND: HOW COWBOYS, CAPITALISM, AND CORRUPTION ARE RUINING THE AMERICAN WEST, published by Viking, is his first book.
THIS LAND: HOW COWBOYS, CAPITALISM, AND CORRUPTION ARE RUINING THE AMERICAN WEST is a hard hitting look at the battle now raging over the fate of the public lands in the American West.
An area of ancient pinyon and juniper forests larger than the state of Vermont, adapted over eons to the arid lands of the west, is being destroyed by machines such as these – turned into mulch for the planting of seeds of invasive species for forage for the most destructive invasive specie, Bos taurus, cows.