Read in BBC Travel
On 1 October, 1973, Steven Fuller, his wife Angela and their infant daughter settled into their new house in Yellowstone National Park, just as the first flurries of the season were beginning to fall.
Snow would soon dust the entire valley: the trees, the canyon walls and the spaces between the plumes of steam that rose from the hot springs, fumaroles and geysers. The changing season also would lead to a changing soundscape: the roar of summer’s tourist traffic would be reduced to a trickle, barely audible beneath the crashing waterfalls of the Yellowstone River.
By the middle of November, the first blizzard would happen, covering the roads so thoroughly that the Fuller family would be all but locked within the park until spring – at least 16 miles away from their nearest neighbours. Fuller would then start the job that had brought them there. As Yellowstone’s Canyon Village winterkeeper, he was responsible for looking after the facilities and buildings over the cold season to ensure they would be in good shape come spring and summer.
Read in Crosscut
Sarah Bird is one of the relatively few female leaders in the local tech industry, serving as CEO of Moz, a Seattle-based outfit that helps businesses build up their online presence. And the company’s gender equity doesn’t stop at the top: while, on average only 29 percent of employees at American tech firms identify as female, a whole 40 percent of “Mozzers” are women.
That seems laudable. But Bird sees it differently. “Our gender diversity numbers are still terrible,” she wrote in the 2015 company report.
Bird has emerged as one of the state’s top advocates for achieving a greater gender balance in tech – within her company, at the state legislature in Olympia, and even at the White House. In her eyes, it is an ethical imperative.
Read in Crosscut
At the 2013 Women Think Next conference in Israel, Microsoft’s head of Human Resources and “chief people person” Lisa Brummel stood before an audience of 500 women who worked in tech. She was wearing a blue button-down shirt: the stereotypical garb of an American businessman.
“I find that men wear these blue shirts all the time,” Brummel said in her opening remarks. “It’s the oddest thing … there’s something about this color blue that keeps cropping up, I don’t know what it is. So my first career advice is please, go buy a blue shirt.”
An openly gay woman at the top of one of the world’s biggest companies until her retirement in December 2014, Brummel’s career path itself made her a pioneer in women’s and LGBT equality. But it’s no secret that the issues of gender imbalances are still well entrenched in the tech field at large – and Microsoft is no exception. According to the company’s most recent diversity report, only 26.8 percent of employees at the company are female. The number dips down to 17.3 percent if you look at leadership positions.
Published in Jungles in Paris
Juan Martin spent his boyhood roaming the Spanish countryside as a goat herder and farmhand. When he was a young man, he met a woman as she was bringing cattle in from the fields and fell in love. Her name was Sinforosa. She lived in La Estrella, a tiny village in Teruel, a harsh and hilly province located midway between Barcelona and Madrid.
Juan Martin courted Sinforosa there. In the evenings, they danced at the town's two remaining taverns. The village had 200 residents, fewer than in former days. People had been trickling out for decades, ever since a flood devastated La Estrella in 1883. The Spanish Civil War, which ended in 1939, had created a new wave of painful departures.
Still, La Estrella had everything a functioning village needed, including a beautiful church and two schools—one for girls, one for boys. Juan Martin and Sinforosa married and settled down. Mostly for economic reasons, the village continued to empty out. The schools shuttered; Juan Martin and Sinforosa's children did not stay. For the last 45 years, these two octogenarians have been the only two residents of La Estrella.
Published in Grist
Green cred: Polls show that climate change is one of the biggest issues for Latinos. But even within the environmental movement, their voices are often not heard. Which is why Quintero created Voces Verdes, “in an attempt to highlight and elevate Latino leadership on climate change,” she says. “While there’s been a tradition of environmental justice, there aren’t a lot of groups that are Latino led or Latino dominant.”
What to expect in 2016: “Right now we’re really focused on implementing the Clean Power Plan,” Quintero says. Obama’s plan to limit coal-based carbon pollution would not only help mitigate global warming, but could improve the health of Latinos across the country: According to the NRDC, 15 percent of Latinos live dangerously close to a coal-fired plant.
World view: Voces Verdes also tries to communicate how issues associated with climate change — like drought, wildfires, and flooding — will affect people living in Latin America. “The impacts [there] are very real, and very serious.”
Guilty pleasure: Buzzfeed. “After hours and hours worth of hard news, it’s nice to have a laugh.”
Published in Grist
Green cred: As a specialist in climate modeling and alternative energy, Jacobson has spent much of his career trying to understand, and find solutions to, global warming. He thinks the U.S. is now equipped with the necessary technology and economic means to get off of fossil fuels; in fact, he has done analyses to show how each state could do so by 2050. The only thing that’s missing, he says, is the political will.
But Jacobson isn’t just preaching an idealistic vision from behind the ivory tower: In 2013, he co-founded the Solutions Project — with actor Mark Ruffalo, businessman Marco Krapels, and activist Josh Fox — to engage policymakers, businesses leaders, and the public to try to put the 50-state plan into action.
What to expect in 2016: “We want to finalize the 139 country plan.” Yeah, that’s right: He wants to go beyond the U.S. to map out plans for countries across the world on how they can go renewable, and show how it is “technically, scientifically, and economically possible for each state and each country to implement them.”
On the ballot: New York and California have adopted partial versions of his schemes for clean energy — and presidential hopefuls Clinton, O’Malley, and Sanders stand behind them, too.
Published in Grist
Green cred: From Uganda to Tonga, Mocine-McQueen and Box have hosted storytelling workshops for more than 1,000 people from 60 countries with the Million Person Project. The goal: Teach unsung leaders how to project their voices and their causes using the public speaking and community organizing techniques developed by Harvard professorMarshall Ganz.
Mocine-McQueen and Box have helped embolden and amplify the stories of people who are already facing climate change — people who stand to lose their land, culture, and more with worsening tropical storms and sea level rise. MPP’s clients have gone on to share their stories everywhere, from the United Nations to international news outlets.
What to expect in 2016: Mocine-McQueen and Box will inch closer to their goal of helping to launch one million leaders into the world. In particular, they will continue working with climate activists in the Pacific Islands. Mocine-McQueen says he will never forget the stories they heard there: “They were honest, they were scary, and they were all very clear on one thing: Climate change is here.”
Proud moments: When their client Karanga John used MPP’s storytelling tips to raise $5,000 in one month to build an internet center in rural Uganda. When they worked with the artist Swoon to tell her story about her mother’s heroin addiction, which resonated with readers around the world.
New Year’s resolution they’ll likely bail on: For Box, sticking to moderate exercise. “I’m really good at extremes,” she says. “So I’m probably going to either end up running a half marathon or doing nothing.”
Published in RootsRated.
If you have ever rock climbed—and even if you haven’t—chances are you’ve heard of Alex Honnold. Sprung into global fame by his free solo (rope-less) ascents of epically difficult routes like the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome and El Sendero Luminoso in Mexico, Honnold, 30, has climbed all over the world, from crumbly desert towers, to big granite walls, to big mountains.
In his new book, Alone on the Wall, co-written with author and climber David Roberts, Honnold recounts the stories behind his big feats—which, he hopes, will show the world that despite his radical audacity and superhuman athleticism he is, in fact, a real person.
Now at the start of his rapid-speed cross-country book tour, which is coming to Seattle onNovember 19 and December 3, RootsRated got the chance to talk with Honnold about writing Alone on the Wall, his biggest climbs, and whether he ever still gets scared while climbing. Here’s what he had to say.
Published in ATTN:
As a Forbes contributor who covers personal finance, you might think Laura Shin has always been money savvy. But Shin says budgeting was in no way her thing when she was in her 20s. In fact, she spent the decade amassing big debts, without a savings account or a plan to pay them off.
Shin turned 34 before she made her first budget. And, she says, that’s what turned her whole life around.
“People tend to groan when they think of their budgets, like it’s a diet or something,” Shin tells ATTN:. “But for me [making a budget] ended up being super empowering and enabled me to start achieving my goals.” Goals that include being a successful freelance journalist, which she now is—and one who writes about money management, at that.
“I think without my mistakes, I’d have a lot less wisdom to impart,” Shin wrote in her ebook for Forbes, "The Millennial Game Plan: Career and Money and Secrets to Succeed in Today’s World." Luckily, she’s shared some of that wisdom with us.
Published in RootsRated.
It’s still dark on the drive to the cliff, but the climbers in the car are already wide awake in anticipation of the morning’s session. Seattle-based climber Audrey Sniezek is behind the wheel, calmly steering as she chats with her partners—the “morning crew”, as they call themselves—en route to Little Si, their favorite sport-climbing crag. When they pull into the parking lot, theirs is the only car in sight.
With multiple 5.14s under her belt, Sniezek, 42, is one of the top female climbers in the country—and she gets it done while maintaining her career as a high-level software engineer. Hence the pre-dawn start just to climb at the local crag: It’s Sniezek’s way of fitting in the time she needs to stay on top of her game.
Sniezek has been climbing in the early mornings at little Si since 2005. “It’s the perfect training cliff, it’s relentless,” she says. “Every time I come here I learn something new about myself.” At this point she has ticked off many of the crag’s hardest routes, but Sniezek says she had been climbing for 10 years before she realized her full athletic potential—and figured out how to reach it while still balancing climbing with a demanding career.
RootsRated had the chance to talk with Sniezek to get her top tips for climbing at your best, even in the throes of a busy life. Here’s what she had to say.