March 1: UUFSD Directory Photos

Sunday, March 1st – 10:00 – 11:00 AM

Steve Bartram will be taking “Passport” type photos that will go into the UUFSD Directory. Simple black and white, no frills, smiles only pictures. There will be a camera on a tripod and an “X” for you to stand on. No children, just adults.

Here is a sample of our own Vicky Newman:


Repurposing with a Purpose

Casas de Luz is an ongoing UUFSD Social Action program, that brings volunteers together with families in need to build houses in Mexico.

Repurposing Donations
Just about every week, Casas de Luz brings donations to families around Tijuana, Mexico.  We get these “in-kind” donations from people all over San Diego, and in some cases, outside of San Diego.

Ktahybigdonationsload-300x225If you are about to throw something away that could be used by someone else and live in the San Diego area, contact us today!  We will make good use out of it, saving the environment by keeping it out of the landfill and helping a family in need.  We call this “Repurposing with a Purpose”, as we are giving (“Repurposing”) unused items to people who will use them much more while keeping the items out of the landfill (“with a Purpose”). Read more HERE

Study Finds Rising Levels of Plastics in Oceans

Some eight million metric tons of plastic waste makes its way into the world’s oceans each year, and the amount of the debris is likely to increase greatly over the next decade unless nations take strong measures to dispose of their trash responsibly, new research suggests.

The report, which appeared in the journal Science on Thursday, is the most ambitious effort yet to estimate how much plastic debris ends up in the sea.

Jenna Jambeck, an assistant professor of environmental engineering at the University of Georgia and lead author of the study, said the amount of plastic that entered the oceans in the year measured, 2010, might be as little as 4.8 million metric tons or as much as 12.7 million.


Indian fishermen pushed their boat through plastic waste last month in Mumbai.

The paper’s middle figure of eight million, she said, is the equivalent of “five plastic grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world” — a visualization that, she said, “sort of blew my mind.”

By 2025, she said, the amount of plastic projected to be entering the oceans would constitute the equivalent of 10 bags per foot of coastline.

The researchers, from the United States and Australia, derived their estimates through a complex calculation that began with the overall mass of waste produced per person annually in 192 nations that have coastlines, worked through the proportion of that waste likely to be plastic, and how much of the plastic could end up in the ocean because of each nation’s waste management practices. The researchers then projected the amount of waste going forward based on population growth estimates.

“This is a significant study,” said Nancy Wallace, director of the marine debris program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who saw the paper before it was published.

Ms. Wallace applauded what she considered the sophisticated use of available data to estimate the amount of plastic entering the marine environment, both collectively and country by country. “Of course we know these aren’t absolute numbers, but it gives us an idea of the magnitude, and where we might need to focus our efforts to affect the issue,” she said.

The research also lists the world’s 20 worst plastic polluters, from China to the United States, based on such factors as size of coastal population and national plastic production.

According to the estimate, China tops the list, producing as much as 3.5 million metric tons of marine debris each year. The United States, which generates as much as 110,000 metric tons of marine debris a year, came in at No. 20.

While Americans generate 2.6 kilograms of waste per person per day, or 5.7 pounds, to China’s 1.10 kilograms, the United States ranked lower on the list because of its more efficient waste management, Professor Jambeck said.

Plastics have been spotted in the oceans since the 1970s. In the intervening decades, masses of junk have been observed floating where ocean currents come together, and debris can be found on the remotest beaches and in arctic sea ice.

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The problem is more than an aesthetic one: Exposed to saltwater and sun, and the jostling of the surf, the debris shreds into tiny pieces that become coated with toxic substances like PCBs and other pollutants.

Research into the marine food chain suggests that fish and other organisms consume the bite-size particles and may reabsorb the toxic substances. Those fish are eaten by other fish, and by people.

Cleaning up the plastic once it is in the oceans is impractical; only a portion of it floats, while most disappears, and presumably what does not wash ashore settles to the bottom.

Any collection system fine enough to capture the smaller particles would also pick up enormous amounts of marine life. So the best option, Professor Jambeck and others suggest, is to improve waste management ashore.

But prodding developing countries to spend money on waste management is difficult, she acknowledged. “You’ve got critical infrastructure needs first, like clean drinking water,” she said. “It’s kind of easy to push waste to the side.”

Over the years she has pursued this line of research, Professor Jambeck said, she has seen a strong, even visceral response from the public.

“You can see waste,” she said. “Not that people want to.”

By JOHN SCHWARTZFEB 12, 2015 New York Times

March 5: Volunteer at the Food Bank!


Food Bank Volunteer Night – March 5

Join us at the San Diego Food Bank in the Miramar area; just 20 minutes from UUFSD! It’s always from 6:00 – 8:00 PManyone over 7 years old can help! Mostly we just put food in boxes on an assembly line or bag fresh produce – really easy, no lifting, no bending, great camaraderie.

Last month we our team  prepared 606 Friday Take-Home bags for needy families and sorted through 2500 lbs of donated food. Each Take-Home bag contained a bag of beans, a box of pasta, a can of tomato sauce and a can of chicken….If you let this sink in it’s hard to believe this sort of small portions is so needed by so many who live in our neighborhoods here in San Diego….we can’t solve the world problems but we can make a difference right here, right now, one small effort at a time.

This is a wonderful way of helping locally those in need and strengthening our UUFSD community as well. The San Diego Food Bank distributes over 20 million pounds of food annually to individuals, families and a network of nonprofit organizations that work to alleviate hunger throughout San Diego county. They need our help!

Email Sara Ohara for more information:

Check out more pictures…

Nature Climate Change Scientific Journal

Here is one of the best Scientific Journals on Climate
that is accessible to the lay-reader
Recommended by John Atcheson

Public division about climate change rooted in conflicting socio-political identities

Of the climate science papers that take a position on the issue, 97% agree that climate change is caused by humans1, but less than half of the US population shares this belief2. This misalignment between scientific and public views has been attributed to a range of factors, including political attitudes, socio-economic status, moral values, levels of scientific understanding, and failure of scientific communication. The public is divided between climate change ‘believers’ (whose views align with those of the scientific community) and ‘sceptics’ (whose views are in disagreement with those of the scientific community). We propose that this division is best explained as a socio-political conflict between these opposing groups. Here we demonstrate that US believers and sceptics have distinct social identities, beliefs and emotional reactions that systematically predict their support for action to advance their respective positions. The key implication is that the divisions between sceptics and believers are unlikely to be overcome solely through communication and education strategies, and that interventions that increase angry opposition to action on climate change are especially problematic. Thus, strategies for building support for mitigation policies should go beyond attempts to improve the public’s understanding of science, to include approaches that transform intergroup relations. Read more HERE.

Regular book reviewer John Atcheson, has more than 30 years in energy and the environment with government, private industry, and the nation’s leading think tanks.  He is working on his own novel about climate change.

Feb 8: Creating a Community of Caring

Creating a Community of Caring

Join together on Sunday, February 8th, as the UUFSD Pastoral Care Team launches our Community of Caring Initiative. Sunday’s activities will include, a free luncheon, a Community Forum after the 2nd service on Being in Mindful Relationships, and the commencing of our Community of Caring Teams.

Contact Kellly Kelsoe for more information:

Feb 8: Lecture-Oceans Under the Ice

Why does the Southern Ocean (Antarctic) matter to Earth’s climate?

Sunday, Feb 8, Founders Hall 10:00 AM

Our own Climate Researcher, UCSD SIO Professor Lynne Talley, will give an OCEANS lecture!

There are TWO fossil fuel CO2 problems: heating the Earth and acidifying the ocean. UCSD’s new ocean monitoring network (robotic buoys) for watching it happen and improving models that predict the future of the climate system.

Read more at – click on the Blog to see our Antarctica work as it happens.