environmental

Insects

20150505_luna-moth-spread-wings

When I was a kid I liked insects, after I came back from Asia I hated them. I don’t think I had one meal in all those months where I could sit back and relax because of the constant battle to keep flies from carrying off my food. I don’t think I had one night in the bush without getting half eaten alive by mosquitoes.

That was the way I felt until yesterday. After watching that video about the world wide insect populations sharp decline I felt differently, and a little fearful for all of us. That’s when the light went on in my head and I began to realize where this was all heading. That light, now, upon further research, has only gotten brighter and my conclusion to all this is scarier than those bug filled nights in the jungle.

I realized that at least part of my current fight wasn’t with the ineptness of government, or the greed based corporate system. . . . These things couldn’t compare to the mountains of trouble I saw in that video.

One thing I noticed for certain is that we are in deep trouble whether we have caused all this environmental degradation or not. I am seeing right now, first hand, a large disappearance of insects, birds and mammals taking place on my property. Regardless of the reasons, we are about to face in this country, a multi-species die off on a broad and frightening scale, and soon hunger will become the order of the day.

When it comes to the insects that were always a pain to me, this year a large percentage of them were MIA. The carpenter bees that came by the hundreds . . . this year came by the tens.

At night in summer zillions of flying insects swarmed around the porch lights until I had to start turning them off. Bats, who are also AWOL loved it though because it was a smorgasbord out there for them.

I saw none of my favorite night flyers either. The large mint green Luna moths were also AWOL.

Man, as I sit here and think about this, I can visualize all sorts of bugs and worms I don’t see anymore. . . . and in spite of my aversion to creepy crawlers, I want them to come back. I want to continue seeing my world as a place of peace and safety instead of this barren hell I’m beginning to visualize.

So, what’s the deal? Has the ozone layer shrunk enough to allow the incoming UV light to intensify until it is now killing off or sterilizing the insects and birds and frogs and wood creatures of all sorts all the way up to deer? I hope not, but I think so.

Poison is being spread around here for the Ash borer disease, Monsanto crops ( that are deadly to ALL life!), and God knows what else, but to lose, quite quickly, at least 75% of everything all at once is frightening and discouraging . . . WTF ARE THOSE IDIOT MFERS! behind the spray nozzles up to?   

Well it’s hard to say for certain, but I believe MOST of them are sane conscientious people who believe they are doing the right thing. They’ve attended a seminar or two from Monsanto, they’ve witnessed first hand the destruction of insects who love to chow down on their crops and they are all for chemically spraying everything they grow . . . it makes sense . . . it makes money . . . what could be wrong with any of that?

Well, the ONE glaring problem that I see is that the people who have the power to do these things are looking FIRST for profit and second for planet . . . “well, we can make big bucks here and the collateral damage won’t be so bad that we can’t cover up the evidence from the occasional accident” . . . well guess what? The collateral damage IS so bad!  The corporation needs to put PLANET first before profit.

The SECOND glaring problem I see is that in this country, and probably the entire Western side of civilization, we have been taught from birth to compartmentalize our research systems as well as our belief systems.

“What are you talking about?” you ask. Here let me show you . . . let’s start at the top with religion.

We are mostly Christian in this country, but the same applies to all the main religions, so:

To try to understand the mystery of life, and creativity, and spirituality, we have had to compartmentalize God, Jesus, the bible, the apostles, heaven, hell, the various denominations, parishioners and priests. All the way down the line we’ve had to separate and breakdown every part of the mystery in order to understand it. We’ve done it through doctrine, biblical interpretation, pastoral and church law, etc.

Instead of a free flowing, all inclusive celebration concerning the mystery of life, we have created a corporation that moves in the same track of racial bigotry that the non whites in this country receive every day. The only difference this time is that being black is fine, but being Buddhist or Catholic or Baptist, or anything you aren’t is not fine and unless you repent and join “our” church you are in deep hellish shit.

“Are you saying the Christian Church is racist?” HOW DARE YOU! “

Yes I am and here’s why . . . the definition of racism:

Racism: the belief that all members of each (RACE) possess characteristics or abilities specific to that (RACE), especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another (RACE) or (RACES).

Religion: the belief that all members of each (RELIGION/CHURCH/DENOMINATION) possess characteristics or abilities specific to that (RELIGION), especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another (DENOMINATION) or (RELIGION).

What makes Christianity fall into the racist category is the fact that by compartmentalizing it in search of truth we have instead broken apart the free flowing, all inclusive reality concerning the mystery of life, set ourselves up as standard bearers of the truth, and sat ourselves at the right hand of our imaginary God.

We worship OUR God while pissing on the beliefs of all the others.

When and if we ever drop exclusivity of race as well as exclusivity of religion we will be in line for a huge jump in human evolution. Now I know that went over every true believers head instantly and they probably didn’t read it for fear of maybe believing it, and going to hell for doing so . . . so let’s talk about something else . . . medicine.

Western medicine is great for some things, I’d be dead had I not had a heart bypass a few years back or going blind had I not had the cataracts removed from my eyes. Instead I am 75 years old and as good to go as I always was (though a bit slower) I still build things, work out, etc. and I give all the credit to my genes and modern medicine. I only maintain proper weight and try to eat right (sometimes) and those guys do the rest.

We made one huge mistake though when we were developing the healthcare system we now use, we compartmentalized. When we did that, all Eastern inspired holistic healthcare went out the door in favor of  the modern western approach.

The whole body approach that had been used for thousands of years was replaced by the new approach of attacking disease at its source and either extricating the offending part or fixing it with super heavy pharmaceutical drugs.  

This approach works fairly well as long as it’s not dealing with something that is not localized like fibromyalgia, or chronic pain, or viral infection. When faced with any of these it becomes impotent rather quickly.

Here is a pretty good analogy I discovered on the web by a Dr. Emill Kim. He’s using a fisherman as the Eastern approach . . . a fishmonger as the Western approach.

A fisherman spends his days in the ocean understanding the currents, the temperature of the water, and the restlessness of the waves. Over a lifetime, he learns the habits, preferences, idiosyncrasies of his catch. He already knows if it swims alone or in a school; acts as predator or prey; migrates with the changing seasons or stays in local waters. The fisherman and fish have a living, dynamic relationship because they share the same home. Like family, what affects the fish will affect the fisherman.

The fishmonger, on the other hand, lives in an environment far removed from the coastal depths or briny shores. His work place is one of sterility and smelling of chemical disinfectant. He wears a white smock often bearing a sharp knife. His understanding of fish anatomy is quite detailed and he can deconstruct one readily. The fish who arrive in his clutches are already dead or dying so he has little or no interest in how they swim, play, or interact. He’s likely never seen one vibrantly alive. (end of quote)

I am a fan of the East for their holistic approach to medicine, but reserve the West for emergency work needing invasive surgery, etc.

Thing is, medicine works best when both disciplines are used together in a non-compartmentalized way. That would be the way I feel our government should be working towards balance in the profit/planet question.

Can we find a way to destroy insects like the ash borer? Of course we can, there are already ways, but it takes study, and intelligence, and time to come up with a viable individually focused solution.

America has NO time worked into anything. We live in a “I want it . . . and I want it now!” society . . . so instead of finding a natural predator that could do the job for us and not make a mess of it, we grab the poison canister, put it in a plane and drop the shit out the door until it ends up all over everything in the area, after the poison falls to the earth it begins at the bottom of the food chain infiltrating itself into the earth worms, ground crawlers, etc. . . . finds its way into a stream . . . then a creek . . . then a river . . . then a lake and ultimately ends up on your dinner table lodged in the flesh of that clean, fresh smelling trout you just caught this morning.  

After years of absorbing these various and sundry poisons you end up in a hospital dying of cancer crying out to the god of heaven . . . “Why Me??” Really? Are we actually that stupid? I think so and I find that thought as scary as anything I have experienced in the last 75 years of living on this planet. We ARE that stupid. (end part 1)

 

Trouble In Paradise

disappearing birds

Years ago my wife and I decided to move out of the city and into this quiet, wooded valley. I, a retired builder no longer in sync with the rhythm of the modern world was looking for a place to chill out and get back to nature. My wife, a life long naturalist, wanted nothing more out of life than to own a cabin in the woods and live there in peace with a man that loved her . . . she got both. We got both.

For the last ten or so years, after we personally built this place up, we have lived in close proximity to a plethora of creatures both large and small. We have many birds at our feeding stations. . . we have deer, turkey, raccoons, opossum, bobcat, snakes of all species. Under the guest cabin there lived a six foot black snake. (I haven’t seen for a few years)

We have ginseng and many other herbs growing wild in our woods and we have two fine springs we developed, one for usage, the other I’m holding in reserve just in case. I have figured all the angles just in case the preppers are right and the SHTF like they say. We are as close to self sufficient as we can get.

Life was not perfect, but nice . . . it all started souring this summer with the disappearing birds. They were still around, but in much lower numbers. We figured they found better seed in the natural world and would be back when it got cold. I noticed the snake population was not right, they were not in the wood pile or under the cabin or anywhere in the woods. I noticed the big wolf spiders were gone from my tool shed, actually ALL the spiders were gone. I noticed the bees were gone (the species that were not honey bees. They left long ago.) The carpenter bees were fewer . . . the hornets were fewer . . . yellow jackets were fewer . . . the swarms of ladybugs didn’t show up this year. . . even the nasty stink bugs were far fewer. We began to worry and to wonder. My wife called the State and the young know-it-all that managed it practically laughed at her.

The 12 squirrels I used to chase from the feeders every day stopped coming around . . . the chipmunks too . . . as well as the possum who came at night and stole the cat food . . . and the raccoons who came too. Even the deer seemed to be fewer this season . . . and our pet turkey hasn’t been around.

The crawling insects are also disappearing . . . ants . . . beetles . . . flies . . . stick bugs . . . worms . . . centipedes . . . etc. Everything I can think of (except seemingly the deer ticks) are gone!

WTF is going on? They said it was the hawks, but we know better cause there has always been hawks and owls and vultures. I thought it was the Monsanto garbage they put on the cornfield by the river . . . or the fracking injection well on the other side . . . but now what I think is happening is far worse than I could have imagined . . .  

Watch these videos and you will see why I am so disturbed.

https://youtu.be/ybc3odsZbs4

 

Silent Spring Revisited

Silent Spring 3.20.17 3

Way back in the late sixties I picked up the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. This immensely popular book had already laid the groundwork to an environmental movement that was soon to force the Nixon administration and Congress into action by getting tough on pollution.

Silent Spring was the impetus, the Clean Air/Water Acts as well as the new EPA department were the results. Those laws remain in effect today, but the EPA is sadly, because of the current administration, receiving huge efforts to neutralize it of all its power.

I recently purchased a new copy of the book. Seeing through the eye of time, I cannot believe the prophetic conclusions Rachel came up with all those years ago. She was right on in so many ways, and her book has been so well received, I am finding a hard time believing that we as a nation, are to this day, oblivious to the facts she presented so eloquently way back in 1962.

Today, President Trump is doing all he can to disable the water/acts and to neuter the EPA by putting clowns in control. This travesty of putting profit over the environment has disturbed me greatly and I wonder if we haven’t entered into a period of total insanity when it comes to the environment.

I am not a Trump basher, nor do I want to kill his head of the EPA as some do. I see these guys as men like the pharisees of old who. . . ‘knows not what they do’. I see them as ignorant fools, yes, but somehow they and their ilk need to be taught about the interconnections of all things in nature. They all need to take their eyes out of their wallets and read Silent Spring with an open mind . . . or we are all going to suffer intolerably if they don’t.

Following is a short comment by a man named Bill Graham that I found on the web as he critiques someone’s work. I thought enough of it to copy/paste it into this writing as I would have said much the same.

 *

I am a bit taken aback by the author’s myopic, and somewhat “reductionist”, view of Silent Spring. He fails to see Carson’s main contribution — begging for an awareness of connectivity in Nature. Her vision came long before the idea of systems biology and complex adaptive systems became well known by Western science. If one could summarize, Carson’s main message is that “everything is connected”.

Rachel Carson’s most powerful message was not about the dangers of harmful chemicals. Her strongest message came through many examples of how everything is connected. In the course of making her case for the harmful effects of DDT and other insecticides and weed killers, Carson skillfully defined the connections between various living creatures and their environment. Then she recorded man’s ignorance of these crucial connections. Carson became an early chronicler of the importance of connections in Nature. Some 50 years later, this idea has begun to take hold in the form of Systems Biology. The importance of Rachel Carson’s message concerning connections in Nature is reflected in a quote by her biographer, Linda Lear.

“I don’t think Rachel should be or would want to be credited with starting the environmental movement or banning pesticides. I think what she was hoping to do is raise the American consciousness about the natural world and our interconnection to it, instead of thinking we can control nature.”

Carson’s powerful, message was a precursor to a major paradigm shift in Western science. In her “Essay on the Biological Sciences” written in 1958 she said:

“Only within the 20th Century has biological thought been focused on ecology, or the relation of the living creature to its environment. Awareness of ecological relationships is — or should be — the basis of modern conservation programs, for it is useless to attempt to preserve a living species unless the kind of land or water it requires is also preserved. So delicately interwoven are the relationships that when we disturb one thread of the community fabric we alter it all — perhaps almost imperceptibly, perhaps so drastically that destruction follows.”

In “Silent Spring”, she offered many examples of man’s ignorance in tampering with Nature’s connections. My favorite is her description of how the U.S.Forest Service used chemical weed killers to kill sagebrush and substitute grasslands for cattle ranchers that leased government land. In her own words, Rachel Carson described this folly by our government:

“The earth’s vegetation is part of a web of life in which there are intimate and essential relations between plants and the earth, between plants and other plants, between plants and mammals…. It was no accident that the great plains of the West became the land of the sage. The bitter upland plains, the purple wastes of sage, the wild, swift antelope, and the grouse are then a natural system in perfect balance. ..One of the most tragic examples of our unthinking bludgeoning of the landscape is to be seen in the sagebrush lands of the West, where a vast campaign is on to destroy the sage (using weed killer) and substitute grasslands.

…it is clear that the whole closely knit fabric has been ripped apart. The antelope and the grouse will disappear along with the sage. The deer will suffer too… The spraying also eliminates a great many plants that were not its intended target. The sage was killed as intended. But, so was the green life-giving ribbon of willows… Moose had lived in these willow thickets, for willow is to the moose what sage is to the antelope. Beaver had lived there too, feeding on the willows, felling them and making a strong dam across the tiny stream. Through the labor of the beavers, a lake backed up. Trout in the lake thrived so prodigiously that many grew to five pounds. Waterfowl were attracted to the lake, also. But with the ‘improvement’ instituted by the Forest Service, the willows went the way of the sagebrush, killed by the same impartial spray. The moose were gone and so was the beaver. Their principal dam had gone out for want of attention by its skilled architects, and the lake drained away. None of the large trout were left. The living world was shattered.”

Due to human insensitivity and an ignorance regarding the interconnectivity in Nature, government funds are used to “manage” our environment and create ecological disasters. Rachel Carson started it all with “Silent Spring” by exposing the ignorance and the disastrous assumptions that biologists made about ecological interrelationships. She laid the foundation for an awareness of interrelationships in Nature. Her legacy is the new and more productive ways in which we can now holistically view Nature.

Bill Graham, September 26, 2012

This is serious stuff folks. If we don’t get smart and give nature a seat at the boardroom table . . . we are going to kill the natural interconnection of all things to the point of no return.

Personally I don’t think we will do much to stop the obvious conclusions. I think we are too stupid to see beyond our cell phones and CNN and FOX. I think it is too late for enough people to wake up to Rachel’s message in any number large enough to make a difference . . .  but I will try anyway.

 

The Art Of Discussion

debateHow many times have you read “no religion or politics” when looking at the membership rules in a web forum? I mean, you can talk about lots of other things, but two of the most important issues facing us in this life is considered taboo? . . . What’s up with that? Any talk concerning our spiritual well being . . . taboo. Any talk concerning the governing of our physical well being . . . taboo. These two categories are still, even in this supposedly enlightened country, considered unsafe because they always end up causing a heated argument . . . why?  (more…)

The Dream?? . . .

burbs

Eleven o’clock on a summer morning and the place was seemingly deserted, no dogs, nothing. Where’s everybody at? Where’s the kids?

I slowly drove past one house after another in the upscale housing development. I gazed upon one perfectly manicured lawn after another, each bisected by ribbons of clean concrete drives and sidewalks. There probably wasn’t a dandelion in the whole allotment.

This carefully designed scene, instead of evoking envy, made me feel creeped out and sad, especially for the chubby kids that must be inside huddling around their TV’s and computers breathing stale, conditioned air. Kids who’ve never heard of kick the can, or knew the pleasure of playing hide and seek outside after dark. Kids who’ve never danced in the warm summer rain. or got into a good fist fight. To me, this atmosphere was cold, sterile, and alien.

Day after day, aside from the occasional guy who still mowed his own lawn, or his wife coming and going in her new S.U.V., I rarely saw anyone. The only noise in the neighborhood was the sound of construction around the new overpriced homes we were building. (more…)

Small House Living

DSCF0523

The way of life in this country is changing, of that I have no doubt. Personally I am broke most of the time. The things we used to do we no longer can. It costs too much to drive our vehicles, grocery shop and heat the house for us to go on even a real day trip. I’ve been saving for six weeks just to get enough money together to buy materials to roof my dojo.

Ok, I’m retired on a fixed income, I have enough to eat, a roof over my head and I live in a nice little valley with tree covered hills surrounding it. I shouldn’t complain, right? I should be content, but am I? . . . you’re damn right I am!

I’m happy as a deer in springtime. I’m happy as my pitbull who just stole a bone from my Rottweiler . . . I’m so damn happy most of the time that I often wonder why the rest of the folks I know are complaining so much.

My goal to help them be as happy and content as me WITHOUT their cash and credit cards. Since we are spending more time these days at home, I feel it is imperative we make the place as warm and cozy as possible. Of course those words mean different things to different folks. I’ll tell you what my wife and I did to assure that feeling for ourselves, and then perhaps you can figure out your own way within your own parameters. (more…)

Enough

enough pollution

I want to write a love poem . . . sweet and easy.
I want to find a way to say the golden things
The things with wings.
I want to mimic Gibran . . . and Rumi too
I want to write a love poem . . . I do I really do.

I sit at the break of day
When the hush of morn surrounds.
I think of all those loving things
where peace and love abounds.
A thought so strong it births a tear
Takes me back to a better year . . .

BUT ALL I HEAR . . .

Across the hilltops flying high
Are cries from earth
And water
And sky.

ENOUGH! ENOUGH! . . . we say
IF you wish to live another day!
ENOUGH! ENOUGH!! ENOUGH!!!

Global Warming

globalwarming

It looks as if EPA is about to take a hit from the Trump administration. Everybody knows Trumps viewpoint when it comes to global warming and Myron Ebell, Trumps choice to lead his environmental team seconds that emotion in spades. Myron, a prominent climate change skeptic, has made a career of advancing theories that question the scientific underpinnings of global warming although he is not a scientist and has never worked for the agency whose environmental mission he has attacked for years.

Environmentalists have called his selection a “sick joke.” Even some Republicans wonder how someone who has spent most of his career at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, could be thrust into a prominent role that includes interviewing agency staff, identifying potential employees and designing a new direction for EPA under a president who has threatened to shrink its authority. (Emily Holden and Kavya Balaraman)

As an environmentalist I am alarmed because I truly believe that when it comes to the environment Mr. Trump as well as Myron, don’t know their asses from a hole in the ground when it comes to the reality of climate change.

The simple answer to the issues on their side is that climate change is not caused by human interference at all, therefore it is unnecessary and nonproductive to attempt to control naturally occurring events that have been going on since the beginning of time. . . . and of course on our side we see the sky falling and the planet dying a slow, sickly, death.

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Tiny House

I have gotten so many hits on this tiny house that I have decided to soon draw up some computer plans along with a materials list for anybody that wants to download them. If anybody is interested in purchasing the download for about 5.00 bucks let me know and I will make a decision pro or con depending on the interest level. (Hard prints would be more of course, but I don’t see why anybody would need a set as this house is pretty simple to build.)

I built the structure for about 600.00 but I used left over materials from my main cabin to frame it and planned for an outhouse (or sawdust toilet) as well as an outside cooking area similar to one I once had in Alaska. It will cost much more using new materials though depending on how fancy you need to have it as to electric/plumbing, etc. . . as well as being within code if you happen to be in a place where there is one.

I am not personally big on all the regular large home amenities like toilets, etc inside a small dwelling for obvious reasons as well as the fact that they take up way too much room. These places are IMO basically either for camping or a SHTF situation. I once built a shower house for a family in Big Lake Alaska who lived in a smaller sized cabin and they loved it. (I will also design one for download here.)

My guess is that in the future many will be living without a lot of things we take for granted today so I am advocating buying a few acres of land in a fairly remote area and building a squared up structure similar to those common in rural America back in the thirties. Tiny houses on wheels make great campers but are extremely limited for long term use, IMO.

Following are some photos of the cabin in question:
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What If . . .

shaking handsWhat if the plant world was intelligent and cunning and patient and not at all living a passive existence? What if they evolved through millenniums just as we have, but their evolutionary trail traveled in a different direction in order to insure a beneficial relationship. (We breathe oxygen, they make oxygen)

What if, because of the need to protect itself, the plant kingdom has decided to break the peaceful relationship with us? What if it has chosen to go to war with humankind and eradicate us because it realizes we are madly out of sync and capable of destroying the whole planet?

Sounds like pseudo science fiction I suppose, but in their defense . . .

Man has chosen to play ‘Creator’ and manipulate the DNA in plants that have taken millenniums to evolve as they are.

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