December 24, 2012 - During the coming year, please do as many of the following as you can:
Plant trees.Grow your own food organically.Make your own organic fertilizer. I've found that comfrey "tea" is fabulous. Comfrey is not hard to grow, has pretty blue/purple flowers in spring and early summer, and can be vigorously cut back a few times a year. Take the cuttings, put them in buckets so that they're 1/2 - 2/3 full, then fill with water. Let stand three days. Powerful stuff!Forego new clothing to as great an extent as possible. When you do buy, look for something "virtuous": Made in America, organic, recycled, repurposed.Recycle and repurpose other possessions, too.Let your house get colder in winter and warmer in summer, i.e., conserve energy.Conserve water.Save more money for hard times.Amplify your pantry so that preserved foods could see you through at least a few weeks, preferably a few months.Set water aside in 2 liter pop bottles.Buy some rain …
December 17, 2012 - I confess, I'm always a bit relieved each time I
rediscover that we Americans are not yet untouched by our own
barbarianism. Incredibly, last Friday's heartbreaking events seem to
have diminished us all; we walk more diffidently, we speak in lowered
tones; our hearts ache, we shake our heads both in disbelief and in
sorrow. So maniacal were the actions of the lone gunman, so basically
wrong, his victims so utterly defenseless, that we stand stripped of
even our capacity to feel. Gutted and forlorn, the world looks upon us
in horrified wonder.
Yet another mentally unstable
American male has wounded us. We are not dead, not like the 27 in
Newtown. But the hurt is very deep and very wide, if we are brave enough to allow ourselves to feel it. In our search to
discover meaning, questions ring in our minds. They say his poor,
deceased mother was a lovely woman. How is it that she knew so little
of her deeply-troubled, 20-year-old son? That was…
December 10, 2012 - There are, apparently, 16 national intelligence agencies in the U.S., and they have issued a report today about "major trends" the world faces in the 21st century. Laughably, the "crisis-prone" global economy tops the list. As for climate change ... the consensus amongst these 16 agencies, and the "academics, research institutions, political leaders, and corporations in 14 countries and the EU" with whom they collaborated, is that climate change will complicate resource management. (Now would be a good time to take a deep breath.) In addition, they appear to express mild concern about the fact that it is happening faster than predicted.
Alright, alright - so the CIA is not the EPA. They have vastly different missions. I get that. The intelligence and business communities do not take climate disruption into account because it's someone else's job, and besides, everyone knows that terrorism and the economy win the Importa…
December 4, 2012 - The UK newspaper The Guardian's e-edition is an excellent source of information about environmental and conservation happenings here in the U.S. I got kind of a kick out of the headline on this particular story: "Campaigners sue EPA over carbon emissions." "Campaigners" just isn't a word you ever hear in America. It's also an odd way of describing the activities of the group concerned. As it turns out, it's the Institute for Policy Integrity (IPI) who's doing the suing (sorry). Once upon a time, the abbreviation "NGO" (non-governmental organization) was used to refer to groups like the Institute. I don't see it much in use these days, however. That said, campaigning is not at all the reason they exist.
The lack of policy integrity responsible for the threatened lawsuit is the EPA's failure to uniformly and consistently enforce the Clean Air Act, according to the Institute. A formal notice of intent st…