One year after the EPA removed “Climate Change”

Climate Change removed by the EPA website
A search for “EPA Climate Change” in Google shows the page has been removed

On January 19th, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency removed climate change from its website. White House PR has called it an act of aligning priorities under the leadership of President Trump. I call it censorship.

Those who control the flow of information, control reality itself.

On the Internet there isn’t a spectacle, there aren’t memorials, but sometimes you get a temporary banner:

Screenshot of the site on January 18th, 2017 Screenshot of the site on January 18th, 2017

One day the banner will likely be removed. How are we to keep a truth record of what’s past with the Internet as such as short-lived medium? One solution is Started in 1996, is a non-profit website that catalogs semi-interactive snapshots of a website through time.

If you want to see what MTV’s website looked like in 1999? You can. If you want to find out Barack Obama’s stance on climate change before he was elected? You can visit his homepage dating back to 2006. And, of course, at you can view the entire history of EPA’s websites:

“Climate Change” was added to the EPA’s homepage on January 25th, 2006
“Climate Change” was added to the EPA’s homepage on January 25th, 2006
Snapshot of the EPA homepage on January 18th, 2017 the day before “Climate Change” was removed

The Post-2017 EPA

You may be wondering why the president has the power to remove pages from the EPA’s website? Alone, he doesn’t. But the president does have the authority to hire and influence those who do. During his term, he appoints over 1,200 positions including the board members for the Library of Congress, The Department of Agriculture, and yes, the EPA.

In 2017, President Trump appointed Scott Pruitt as Head of the EPA. Before taking charge of the EPA, Pruitt was the former Attorney General of Oklahoma where his biography proudly declared himself “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.”

January 9th, 2016 — Scott Pruitt’s official biography on the Oklahoma State website.
January 9th, 2016 — Scott Pruitt’s official biography on the Oklahoma State website.

Mr. Pruitt’s 2016 bio has since been removed from the website. After the appointment, his latest revision includes a softer, pro-EPA stance.

How can someone who opposed the EPA, and denies the science on climate change be put in charge of upholding the original promise of the EPA?

Why we need the EPA

Scott Pruitt was born in 1968. Considering he was only two years old when the EPA was created, he may not remember what life was like before the EPA. Ask any American who lived through the 1960s and you’re likely to hear stories of cities trapped in smog, undrinkable tap water, and rivers that caught on fire.

Then President Richard Nixon recognized the hazard. And so in 1970, he signed a bill that kicked off the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency with a mission to “protect human health by safeguarding the air we breathe, water we drink and land on which we live.”

The EPA caused massive improvements across the country: no river has caught on fire since 1969. We now have four times as many cars on the road as we did in 1970, but our cities are no longer suffocating in smog, and American kids born today have 1/20th the level of lead in their blood as they would were they born in the 1960s. None of these achievements will be appreciated or remembered if we don’t preserve our history. As the adage goes, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

Greater than my fear of censorship is my fear of apathy.

Eventually, dropping webpages and re-writing history won’t seem like a big deal, because it happens all the time. But perhaps we can shine a spotlight on government censorship, and bring attention to the EPA’s tilting of reality.

We have the potential to add an alternative voice to the web. Or at the very least a counterbalance to future Google searches.

A mockup of how a future Google search could look when we speak up
A mockup of how a future Google search could look when we speak up
As Vice President Al Gore once said in regards to America’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement,

“Make no mistake: if President Trump won’t lead, the American people will.”

The more we speak up, the harder it is to censor us.

* Originally published on Medium

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari [On Books Podcast #52]

From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others?

How Not To Die by Dr. Michael Greger [On Books Podcast #51]

What is How Not To Die?
In How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of, examines the fifteen top causes of premature death in America–heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s, high blood pressure, and more–and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches to help prevent and reverse these diseases, freeing us to live healthier lives.

8 Essential Books to Raise the Level of Human Consciousness

Human consciousness means being aware. It means listening to that voice in your head. Raising consciousness means knowing when to question whether that voice in your head is on autopilot, or whether you’re awake and thinking critically about the world around you.

One of the first times I remember questioning reality was when I heard the new media theorist Marshall McLuhan say,

“I don’t know who discovered water, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a fish.”

Until then I hadn’t considered the idea that fish may not know they are in water. After all, if water is all you know then how can you know anything else? Years later David Foster Wallace would go on to write an essay building on this idea called “This is Water” where he added,

“The immediate point of the fish story is that the most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about,”

Last year I read (or reread) over 40 books. At first, it wasn’t clear to me, but by the end of the year I noticed that I’ve been reading around a theme: I want to see the water.

I want to be more conscious of my health, my government, my spirituality — where I’m going, and where I’ve been. I believe that books (more than fast-food mediums like blogs, news, and television) have the power to raise our level of consciousness. Here are eight books that may help you see the water around you.

1. Sapiens

by Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens tells the history of humankind. The big idea of the book is that our ability to tell stories — over the past 200,000 years — is what has created humankind’s wealth, prosperity, and is truly what defines our dominance on the planet. Sapiens deconstructs Christianity, Democracy, currency, and modern brands like Google to illustrate how each of these is nothing more than a collective illusion, stories we tell ourselves.

“How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as Christianity, democracy or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined.”

“You could never convince a monkey [as you could a human] to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.”

“Large numbers of strangers can cooperate successfully by believing in a common myth. Today [Peugeot the car company] employs about 200,000 people world-wide, most of whom are complete strangers to each other.”

2. How Not to Die

By Dr. Michael Greger

You will live a healthier life after reading this book! In How Not to Die Dr. Greger has boiled down research from over 1000 peer-reviewed medical studies into one friendly book. He cites the science, challenges the status quo, and lets you decide for yourself.

The book is divided into two parts:

Part one is ordered by the top 15 causes of premature death in America. For each Dr. Greger gives food advice to decreases your likelihood of falling prey to these deadly diseases. (hint: lots of veggies, avoid milk, meat, and sugar).

Part two is ordered by food. The big takeaway here is Dr. Greger’s “Daily Dozen Checklist.” You can learn more about the Daily Dozen Checklist when you read the book or by visiting

Some highlights:

  • Turmeric taken daily can dramatically reduce DNA damage in your blood.
  • Hibiscus tea works better than drugs for high blood pressure.
  • Exercise 40 minutes a day every day for (not just three times a week as the government tells us is enough)

3. The Internet of Money

by Andreas Antonopoulos

Bitcoin is the future. This book will tell you everything you need to know. The book is a quick read at only 150 pages, and in that time it covers the basics starting with “What is Bitcoin?” and taking you through the long-term vision of why the smartest people in Silicon Valley think Bitcoin will change the world.

For example, did you know there are 7.6 billion in the world of which 4 billion (almost half) don’t have access to stable banks? With Bitcoin, if you own a cell phone you can instantly be your own bank.

As a leading educator in the space, Antonopoulos is the #1 guy you want to learn teaching you Bitcoin.

“Saying Bitcoin is like digital money is like saying the Internet is just a fancy telephone.”

4. Slow Death by Rubber Duck

by Rick Smith & Bruce Lourie

“Even the most clean living among us are polluted,” writes Smith. Newborn babies in America are being born with over 200 chemicals already flowing through their bloodstream: heavy metals, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), phthalates, PBDEs, MEP, DEHP, the list goes on and on. Pollution has changed dramatically in the past few decades:

  1. Pollution is global rather than local
  2. It’s moved from being highly visible to being invisible
  3. In many cases, its effects are now chronic and long-term, rather than acute and immediate.

In Slow Death by Rubber Duck, the two authors run experiments to test their blood for dangerous chemicals (think: Tim Ferris, or the movie Super Size Me). In each chapter, they expose themselves toxic products and foods such as canned tuna, non-stick Teflon frying pans, antibacterial soap, and plastic baby toys (e.g., Rubber Ducks).

Slow Death by Rubber Duck shook me awake. I now have a much better understanding product lifecycle, many of the common ways toxins leach into our bodies, and how to get them out.

5. Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

When speaking about American Slavery and reparations I often hear the defensive response, “I didn’t own slaves, why should I be responsible?”

No, you’re not responsible for the slavery, but yes you are responsible, as a citizen of America for educating yourself so that this never happens again. And that education begins with Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Between the World and Me isn’t about slavery. But it’s about what happens to a country that chooses to ignore traditional of destroying black bodies. It’s what happens 150 years after to a divided country left unresolved on its heritage.

The book is written as a letter from Coates to his son. It begins,

“Son, Last Sunday the host of a popular news show asked me what it meant to lose my body. The host was broadcasting from Washington, D.C., and I was seated in a remote studio on the far west side of Manhattan. A satellite closed the miles between us, but no machinery could close the gap between her world and the world for which I had been summoned to speak.”

6. The Clock Of The Long Now

by Stewart Brand

The Long Now Foundation was established by Stewart Brand to foster long-term thinking and responsibility. This book is his guide to understanding long-term thinking, problem-solving, and humanity itself. How do we make long-term thinking automatic and common instead of difficult and rare? Read this short 208-page book and learn it all!

“Nobody can save the world, but any of us can help set in motion a self-saving world.” — Stewart Brand

“‘The greatest good for the greatest number’ means the longest good, because the majority of people affected is always yet to come.” — Stewart Brand

“There are problems that are impossible if you think about them in two year terms — which everyone does — but they’re easy if you think in 50 year terms.” — Danny Hillis

7. A New Earth

by Eckhart Tolle

The most spiritual of all the books on this list — A New Earth is a guide for building a better planet. Seeing the future of humanity through Eckhart Tolle’s eyes is beautiful, and once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it.

“As the consciousness of human beings developed, flowers were most likely the first thing they came to value that had no utilitarian purpose for them, that is to say, was not linked to some way to survival. […] Seeing beauty in a flower could awaken humans, however briefly, to the beauty that is an essential part of their own innermost being, their true nature.” — Eckhart Tolle

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” — Eckhart Tolle

“At the core of all utopian visions lies one of the main cultural dysfunctions of the old consciousness: looking to the future for salvation.” — Eckhart Tolle

“A wake-up call for the entire planet . . . [A New Earth] helps us to stop creating our own suffering and obsessing over the past and what the future might be, and to put ourselves in the now.” — Oprah Winfrey

8. 1984

by George Orwell

You’ve probably heard of 1984. But have you read it?

1984 is a captivating novel about what happens when the government controls the flow of information. Written after World War II, but decades before the Internet, 1984 cautions us against an imagined world where books are banned, negative words are removed from the dictionary, and the truth is debatable.

In 2005 Time Magazine named the novel among their Top 100 English-language novels of the past century. And last year the NY Times named it the “must-read” book of the year.

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” — 1984

“In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy.” — 1984

“And when memory failed and written records were falsified — when that happened, the claim of the Party to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested.” — 1984

“The dystopia described in George Orwell’s nearly 70-year-old novel ‘1984’ suddenly feels all too familiar. A world in which Big Brother (or maybe the National Security Agency) is always listening in, and high-tech devices can eavesdrop in people’s homes. (Hey, Alexa, what’s up?)… A world in which the government insists that reality is not ‘something objective, external, existing in its own right’ — but rather, ‘whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth.’” — NY TIMES

8 Essential Books to Raise the Level of Human Consciousness in 2018

* Originally published on Medium.

Social Activism is the New Brunch?

I’m grateful for of all the amazing souls that came together this past weekend to organize, educate, and build community around important political issues.

I overheard someone say, “Social Activism is the new Brunch,” — and it certainly feels that way. There’s been a wave of intersectional community organizing in 2017 and it’s given a new meaning to what’s possible beyond Friday night drinks, and Sunday afternoon at Brunch.

Two events from this weekend that really moved me:

On Saturday night 40+ people gathered in Bushwick for a two hour lecture and discussion about protecting Planned Parenthood from being defunded, a screening of the film Names of Women (a true abortion story — watch this now!) — followed by a dance party until 4am.
$4,500 was raised for Planned Parenthood from proceeds at the door! Big shout out to Eviatar Frankel and all the organizers!

On Sunday, thirty-seven people came together at One Month for a Political Hackathon to brainstorm, organize and research the question: “How do we increase voter turnout in 2018?” Yes, we’re two years away from the next election, but there are some clear steps that need to be enact before June in order to move this along.

If you’re looking to get involved there are plenty of opportunities abound. Feel free to ask! Otherwise, please invite me out for “brunch” again some time soon. 🙂

An Email to Dig Inn

Dig Inn

Dear Dig Inn,

I’m writing because I eat at Dig Inn twice a week. I believe Dig Inn is a forward thinking, and responsible company. I love your mission.

One Request:

Everyday Dig Inn staff ask customers, “Would you like a protein with that?”

It’s clear that you mean “Would you like meat or tofu?”, but the truth is that vegetables have protein! Some vegetables have more protein than meat! The subtext of your question, “Would you like a protein?” is, “If you don’t choose a protein, you aren’t getting enough protein.” Which is false.

I know that sounds like a silly nitpick thing. But Dig Inn serves tens of thousands of people each day. You have a powerful opportunity to educate people about nutrition by using language correctly. Saying “meat is equal to protein” propagates an already false belief that protein only comes from meat.

The second consequence, is that your question “Would you like a protein?” reduces an animal’s life to a single nutrient. Thereby removing us further away from the farm — a direct contradiction with your mission. It also removes us from the conversation that livestock is the #1 contributor to climate change, because at Dig Inn I’m not ordering an animal, I’m ordering a “protein.”

I’d love it if you could ask, “Would you like meat or tofu?” instead of “Would you like a protein?” Maybe other companies will follow suit and you can lead the way in this conversation.

Thanks so much for listening.


Hey Chris,

Wanted to send over a little hello and a big thank you. Your message to us on Medium was heard loud and clear and caused quite a stir at HQ. It really gave us an opportunity to think seriously about our mission, our goals, and our language. As a veggie-centric restaurant that still serves meat, it’s all the more important that we have our priorities straight and communicate effectively.

If it’s okay with you, we’d like to reference your piece in a Medium article of our own that lets our guests know that we’re on top of it and are changing our language to reflect a little more clearly what we’re all about.

In the meantime, if you’d be so kind as to send over your mailing address, we’d love to send you a couple free meal tokens as a “token” of our gratitude.

All best,
(Dig Inn)

My Human Body 

I almost wasn’t going to go out to the march today. My human body awoke tired. For me, marching in the Women’s March today isn’t “anti-Trump.” It’s my body’s desire for attention to two critical concerns:

  1. Equal rights for all human bodies
  2. Pressure against the irresponsible experiment we’re all conducting with the Earth’s atmosphere (aka. Climate Change)

I want Donald Trump to Make America Great — I want him to succeed. But I want it to be clear that it will not be at the expense of minorities, or women, or Muslims, or people with disabilities, or survivors of sexual assault, or the planet.

Today I’m donating my body to the cause, along with thousands of inspiring friends, family, and fellow Americans. I wish that we can Make America Great for everyone. Otherwise, let it be known that we are here, and we will come back again, ready to throw our bodies up against the machine.