Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
If you make a contribution of $150 or more, you will become an official “Friend of the Planet” and receive a Friend of the Planet T-shirt or water bottle. You can also submit opinion essays to us for our consideration for posting on our new “Bright Ideas” op-ed page.
This fall, PBS premiered a new animated show called Molly of Denali, that “stars” a ten-year-old girl from the Alaskan Athabascan Tribe with a bush pilot for a mother, a wilderness-guide dad, and a diverse cast of Alaskan friends and neighbors. Outside Magazine described it as “Dora the Explorer meets Northern Exposure, except that as the first show with an Alaska Nativeas its star, it’s in a category all its own.” Princess Daazhraii Johnson, a creative producer for the series, makes sure Molly of Denali accurately presents Alaska Native values, language, and culture. And rather than just bring in a tribal member as a consultant, Daazhraii Johnson includes indigenous people whenever possible — from voicing the characters to writing scripts, to helping with animation. The show gives young Native Americans (and other kids from diverse backgrounds) an authenticrole model who looks like them, while also introducing Alaska’s spectacular (and rapidly changing) environmental and cultural landscape to kids in the Lower 48. “She’s Molly of Denali” — and she is irresistible!
Why This Matters: Millions of people around the world — including Americans — are already suffering due to climate change and it has created a refugee crisis. According to the proposal’s proponents, since 2009, a climate-related disaster has displaced about one person every second due to severe weather events, famine, drought, and rising sea levels, and other climate impacts. The United Nations believes that 22.5 million people worldwide have been displaced due to climate change since 2009 and that number could rise to 200 million forcibly displaced people by 2050. We will be confronted with this problem regardless of whether Congress passes a law allowing the government to deal with it directly.
Military dogs are often homeless once they are retired from service. And worse, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) won’t pay for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) to adopt them or other dogs as service dogs. Congressman John Rutherford of Florida has introduced a bill — the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) Act of 2019 to provide funding to veterans diagnosed with PTS who would like to obtain a service dog.
Why This Matters: It would be a real win-win to see some of these dogs– or other dogs in need of homes — go to veterans who are suffering from PTS as an alternative or supplement to other treatments.