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Showing posts from July, 2009
July 26, 2009 – How interesting – I had to read The Ecologist online to find out that the Cincinnati City Council passed a law requiring “environmental justice permits” of businesses operating in the city.It’s not clear from the article whether all businesses will have to obtain the permit, or just new ones.The permits are a response to the well-known habit of businesses that pollute locating near the poor.While the new law puts Cincinnati in the forefront with regard to protecting its citizens from environmental injustice, this position could quickly be undermined by the fact that there is incontrovertibly NO money available with which to enforce the law.Was this merely an attempt to give the appearance of having acted on behalf of voters?Sponsoring city council member David Crowley worked on the measure for four years, withstanding aggressive opposition from the business community.Based on the lack of funding, however, it would appear that Crowley’s mettle will continue to be severe…
July 19, 2009 – I haven’t talked about the spiritual aspects of our relationship with the earth, which would give the impression that I regard these aspects as unimportant.Since this is not at all the case, it’s time to raise the subject.I’ll try to adhere to a spiritual approach, rather than a religious one.It would always be my hope that one’s religious beliefs throw a compassionate light on our living with and on the earth. The earth has long been regarded as a maternal being, the matter/ mother from which we arise and who gives us birth.It would seem to be a very logical advance in reasoning to say that, just as we treat our own mothers with respect, we should treat our earth mother with respect.We treat our mothers with love and caring.In like manner must we treat the earth.We come full circle when it dawns on us that when we care for the earth, she cares for us in return.Just like our mothers. If this is true, then the opposite must also be true.Individuals who have a fraught and …
July 12, 2009 – The members of G8 say they are all on board to make dramatic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.The members of G18 are nowhere near as enthusiastic, for obvious – although, at this point, shopworn – reasons.I think there is cause to rejoice and there is causeto worry.Cause to rejoice in that the United States has finally assumed a leadership role in confronting the issue of global climate change.This is what the rest of the world has long awaited.If we can believe President Obama, he has little interest in half measures.The time to act is now, by employing a head-on approach.For this we can all take a moment to be grateful.It is the job of every American to hold the President and his administration accountable.Cause to worry because China and India, members of the G18, are not in any hurry to crack down on polluters.Their argument is well known: they’ve just begun to develop economically, and want time for development’s effects to create a stable middle class in each cou…
July 5, 2009 – Have you ever heard of something called El Nino Modoki?I learned about it for the first time this week. El Nino is the weather phenomenon which, in the United States, causes us to have very wet summers.(La Nina causes them to be cool and dry.)In Peru, where this climatological aberration was first observed, the waters of the Pacific coast of Peru become warmer than usual.This aberration, astonishingly enough, affects weather all over the world.One effect of El Nino is a calmer-than-usual hurricane season.This year, however, has been – and, according to some experts, will be - different.I’ve written about the weather this year from time to time.It’s been an exceptionally rainy year.Much of the rain seems to fall in torrents, the result of violent storms.Temperatures in much of the Midwest were lower than normal during most of the spring.Lately, they’ve become much higher, accompanied by very high humidity.But this is El Nino with a twist.We’re now being told to expect an…
July 4, 2009 – My apologies, once again, for the dark print.You know, Cincinnati has the reputation of being 10 years behind the rest of the country.That reputation is well earned, in my opinion.It came to the fore on yesterday’s Op Ed page of The Cincinnati Enquirer.The newspaper, like the area it serves, is a bit stodgy and fairly conservative.It’s not a bad paper, though the quality of journalism, like everywhere else, continues the general trend downward.So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when I read Peter Bronson’s column regarding the energy bill passed by the House this week.Bronson contends the bill is “awful,” and besides, it addresses a problem “that might happen in 100 years – if ever.”Good grief- where to start.Mr. Bronson fails to grasp that the members of Congress who wrote the bill are experts on the subject.They have many years of studying the subject under their belts.How could they have had all that time to study?Why, thanks to the Bush II, Clinton, Bush I, a…
June 30, 2009 – First of all, my apologies for the dark print in my last post.I realize this is very difficult to read.I’m not sure what caused this!Perhaps enlarging the font will make it easier to read.Again, I’m sorry that happened.I referred, in my last post, to the Sahara and Gobi Deserts.When I said they were advancing I meant, of course, that they were expanding.The expansion, in both cases, is caused by irrigation and animal grazing, activities associated with farming.Different types of land can support different amounts of irrigation and grazing.Clay soils, sandy soils, cannot support as much as top soil containing humus.Dry soils which are over-irrigated become salty, then parched.Over-grazed land gradually loses the vegetation that holds soil in place.An over-abundance of these activities occurs when too many people are trying to eke a living out of soil meant to support fewer people.The result is desertification.This is what has taken place in both Africa and China.In each…