REPORT CARD FOR THE PLANET

Disclaimer: this particular writing of mine is essentially a transcript of a talk I gave in 2016 on the health of the planet, thus the title.  What could be in essence, a small book, is presented here as a singular writing.  

Though there is quite a bit of information here, I hope you will take your time with it and perhaps even choose to read a little at a time.  I hope you enjoy this editorial, as I believe it will be very eye-opening and informative as to where we stand in our relationship to the planet.

 

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Ours is an exceptionally rare and unique planet in being a planet that has both water and soil on it. The thin skin of soil that covers the Earth is teeming with LIFE.  It’s quite literally a living organism, not some dead biologically inert thing. We’re fortunate to have soil because most of the terrestrial environments  are non-living. Most of the Earth’s terrain is mineral, it’s rock, and is absent of life. And yet, milled out of this substrate, somehow in the most miraculous of ways, soil forms on this rock, creating a very thin blanket where life is possible.

Through the miracle of nature itself, over eons of time, weathering breaks down the rock.  Out of this mineral substrate, the nutrients of the rock are transformed by fungi and lichens, into the living, nutrient-rich layer we call “soil.” This precious life giving soil, that in conjunction with the oceans and the air we breathe, is what makes life, especially our lives, possible.

Nature has provided us with an instruction booklet and its instructions are laws we must abide by in order to have a sustainable future, and yet, as a civilization we are violating those laws in a dramatic and devastating way every day, rendering for ourselves a bleak future that may soon be unescapable.

The most fundamental law of Nature, that clearly modern civilization and those of us living in it has very little understanding of, is that we cannot separate our well-being from the well-being of the planet we live on, any more than a child developing in-utero can separate its well-being from the well-being of its mother that is providing for and nourishing it.  We are not just occupants of this planet we live on, we are an extension of it.  We are quite literally made of Earth . . . .

Our relationship with the Earth in the past, was balanced, interdependent, symbiotic, or in layman’s terms, mutually beneficial, one in which both beneficiaries contributed to the well-being of the other.  Unfortunately, as business and industry has evolved in the last 200 years, our relationship with the Earth has become parasitic in nature, to the extent that we are now devouring and destroying the planet in a way, that is debilitating to every ecosystem, and every other living species on Earth.   Though imperceptible to the masses living in first-world countries, where we are to a very large degree our lives have been completely removed from Nature, our blighting of the planet is clearly evident everywhere.

So to help “connect the dots,” I’m hoping to provide perspective by providing a “report card” of the planet, so to speak, in this article to see how the world is doing as a whole. This is important to understand because quite literally our children’s future depends on it.

“DRIVING WITH OUR EYES CLOSED”

When I was a child I grew up in a large family with 3 brothers and 3 sisters. My younger brothers and I would invariably rough house with one another and as you might imagine, one of us would always managed to get hurt.  My mother delegated discipline to my father, who upon arriving home from work, and just prior to dispensing his corporal punishment (spankings), would say, “it’s always fun until somebody gets hurt.”

Sadly, we don’t always foresee the outcome of our actions or understand when we should have proceeded with caution until we brush up against negative consequences . . . . like spankings for example when you’re a child. This allegory could be a metaphor for the trajectory the human race is on, and it’s an unfortunate one.

John Muir once said, “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

Everything living and non-living is connected,  We are all individual notes in this GRAND SYMPHONY OF LIFE, that we all play a part in.  I think that’s important to understand, because for every action there is a reaction.  Since everything is connected, there is nothing we can do as individuals, or collectively as a society, that doesn’t either directly or indirectly impact or affect every other living thing on the planet.

But over the past 3 decades the understanding of how intimately our well-being is woven into the well-being of the planet has been lost.

WHAT HAPPENED???

Over the past 200 years, in our race to build modern civilization, the understanding of how intimately our well-being is woven into the well-being of the planet has been lost to the majority, with each new generation even further removed from that understanding than the one that came before it.  But in spite of the pervasive social apathy with respect to environmental issues and crises we’re now facing, there is an awakening occurring.

The environmental movement is one that is definitely gaining momentum, and there are a number of incredible, ingenious innovations, that both individuals and companies are coming up with to help us reconnect with the Earth.  But despite these efforts there still are tens of millions, in our country alone, that still have absolutely no understanding of how our actions influence life on the Planet. There’s a disconnect that has occurred where we’ve given up self-reliance in exchange for a CORPORATE LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM we’ve created, that we expect to provide us with everything we need or could ever want.

We live in a world where we see money and the “economy” as the only way to survive on the planet instead of seeing the preservation of the planet itself as the only way to truly survive.  It’s fascinating when one considers that we’re the only species that has to pay to live on the planet, especially when one understands that the Earth is a community to which we belong, NOT a commodity for our consumption.  It belongs to all of us and not to corporations who now patent even life itself.  We have yet to learn this.

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Tom MacMillan, a pundit of environmental sustainability, shared his thoughts on the subject saying, “for 200 years we have been conquering Nature. Now we’re just beating it to death.   Humanity has arrived at a tipping point, where our continued existence on the planet, and for that matter, every living species, is now being threatened.  For the first time ever, scientists are  now plotting trajectories and timelines surmising how much time we actually have left.  If we continue to live life as we are today it’s far less time than most would probably guess.

DELUSIONS OF GRANDUER

So how did we end up here?

No one would argue that civilization’s advancement in the past 200 years since the “Industrial Revolution,” has been anything short of extraordinary, but it has not come without an extraordinary cost to the planet.  It’s a sad commentary, but it would appear that we as a civilization grew up before we figured out how to live on the planet in a sustainable way.

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As we are waking up to the realization of what we are doing to our planet we must now build a new civilization overtop of the existing one, because if we don’t, our children will not have a future to inherit.

There’s essentially only one way to ensure our survival and that is to imitate Nature, not to contend with it or conquer it. Unfortunately, the way we are living on the planet as a Society is completely incongruent and out of sync with the Laws of Nature that govern the long-term sustainability of LIFE. Not only ours, but every living thing on the planet.

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As a result, the effect we are having on the planet is creating stresses to every living ecosystem that are mounting in both scope and number and gaining more momentum with each passing year as the human population grows at an exponential rate.

To give that some perspective, consider that the Earth is an estimated 4.6 billion years old.  If we were to compress 4.6 billion years into a time frame of just 46 years (which just so happens to be my age), on this timescale, humans have been on the planet for a little less than 4 hours.  Our industrial revolution, “the age of technology, innovation, industry, and manufacturing,” would have been in effect for only about 1 minute out of a 46 year time span.

In that very brief span of time, since the industrial revolution began a little over 200 years ago, we have destroyed almost 60% of the world’s forests and brought about the extinction of over 50% of the world’s animals species.  In our not so distant future  we’re facing the 6th mass extinction this planet has seen as we are currently witnessing the greatest die off of species since the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Currently, 52% of primates, 21% of reptiles, 41% of amphibians, 31% of fish species, 13% of birds species, 31% of invertebrates (butterflies, bees, earthworms, etc.), 68% of plant species and 22% of flowering plants are at a very high risk of extinction. –  Statistics provided by the Center for Biodiversity

Based on our current economic model 100% of humanity is at risk of extinction.  If we don’t change our economic model, and choose to continue with a “business as usual” mentality, then humanity has written its final chapter and we’re living in it.  Our current economic model and way of doing business is not a sustainable scenario.  Let me repeat that.  THIS IS NOT A SUSTAINABLE SCENARIO!!!!!!   This is not something to shrug our shoulders at and continue kidding ourselves that all is well in the world or even if it isn’t  that someone somewhere is going to fix the problem.

THE WORLD AS THEY INTEND YOU TO SEE IT!!!

Scientific research worldwide over the last decade has revealed several very disturbing trends that indicate that this “unsustainable way of living” is pushing civilization towards rather dismal and dire circumstances. What projections now indicate is that in the very near future, we as a global society are poised for an economic and ecological collapse from which there will be no recovery.  Sounds bleak and may even sound alarmist, but it’s not intended to. There’s room for hope, but it involves changes in our behavior, which is never easy, especially when people don’t understand the need to.  Simply put, people  don’t know what they don’t know.  In other words, they don’t know what they haven’t been exposed to.

Noam Chomsky

Some of you reading this may be thinking, “David, what are you talking about?  I don’t see the sky falling in!”  I can certainly appreciate that perspective. For those of us living in a first world country, what I’m describing lies beyond the perception that most of us have of the world around us.   It’s simply not part of our reality, primarily because we don’t see any evidence for it in our immediate surroundings.  As we go about our daily lives, we flush our toilet, but we don’t question where it goes. We put our garbage out on the curb, but we don’t ponder where it’s transported and dumped. It just “goes away.”  We get our food from a grocery store chain, without ever questioning where it came from or what’s in it.  We don’t till the fields and harvest our food ourselves.  In other words, the world we’ve created is a society completely dependent on corporations to provide for us and we have very little if any connection to the natural world from where we came and yet are imperceptibly still connected to whether we realize it or not.  Nature for most, is something we venture out into when we just need to “get away from it all.”  It’s an escape.

Our lives to a very large degree, are very out of touch with respect to our impact on the Natural World because our lives have taken on the appearance of being almost completely independent of our very real dependence on the viability of the Earth’s eco-systems.

Our perception of what we call the “Real World” is anything but accurate, because our perception of what we think of as the “Real World,” (meaning civilization and the economy) is lacking any sense of Reality as to what the ecological state of the World we’re really living in, is actually in. This is no accident.  And yes, that complicated sentence was intended to be complicated as I’m trying to emphasize how little reality there is to most people’s perception of the world around them.

Each of our lives are essentially lived out in a bubble, where down here on the surface of the planet, our point of view with respect to what is happening globally is extremely limited. It’s only in pulling back and looking at the world from the 50,000 ft. level, that we begin to see the big picture, one that is not provided to us in mainstream media.

 THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE

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Picture provide by infographic.com

Within our MAINSTREAM MEDIA there is a constant manipulation of the information we’re provided with, providing us with a very distorted and limited view of the world.  The late George Carlin, understood the tremendous power media has in molding the public mind and public opinion.  Truly considered by many as one of the greatest comedic geniuses of our time, part of his act was to harp on media.  He would say, “My mind just doesn’t seem to work the right way.  I’ve got this real moron thing I do.  It’s called thinking.  And I’m not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions…I have certain rules I live by.  My first rule, I don’t believe anything the government tells me….and I don’t take very seriously the media or the press in this country.  It’s entertainment.”

Media has never been more consolidated and more contrived than it is today.

Consider that just 25 years ago, over 50 independent news companies provided our News.  Most of these were privately held companies with a stake in making sure that the News they were providing was very accurate. Those that could be “trusted” with presenting the most accurate news coverage were viewed most and got the ratings, subsequently getting the support of those marketing companies that would advertise with them.  It’s how they funded themselves and kept the lights on, so to speak.

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Picture provide by Infographic.com 

Today those 50+ companies have not only been acquired but consolidated by the very companies that used to advertise with them.  Six publicly traded Corporate leviathans now control all our News and paint our very distorted perception of the World. Virtually every billboard, magazine, newspaper, radio and tv broadcast, is strategically designed as propaganda with a consistent message. That message is, “don’t worry about what is going on in the rest of the world, it’s all under control.  We’re taking care of everything.  And since “happiness” is something that can be acquired through the acquisition of material possessions, just enjoy your life, tend to yourself, your obligations, your interests . . . . . . . AND KEEP SHOPPING!!!”   We have been conditioned to have a very myopic view of life, tending to our own obligations with very little time or energy to worry about much else.

Our news is dispensed by the very companies trying to sell us something at every commercial break, primarily because these are publicly traded companies with an enormous stake in what goes on in the market place.  What goes on in the marketplace drives the economy.  As a result, they have used corporate interests, theirs especially, to determine what information is disseminated to the masses and what isn’t in order to massage the public mind into seeing the world in a very specific way.  Their motives are predicated on a singular goal . . . . Maintaining the Economy at all costs, using the corporate scoreboard we call “the NY Stock Exchange,” otherwise known as “Wall Street” and a centralized banking system, as a barometer for how we’re doing.

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Picture provide by infographic.com 

So it is by design that we never hear any news even remotely related to the “Ecological or Environmental Health of our Planet.”  But as is always the case with neglect, there are always unforeseen complications and consequences that come along with blind ambition.

And therein lies the problem.  With the majority of society completely in the dark, things are going downhill, and they’re going downhill very quickly.  The life-sustaining eco-systems of our planet are in a lot of trouble.  How much trouble?  Without exception, every eco-system and every life support system on the planet is in decline.

For decades, issues regarding the viability of the Earth’s life support systems have been percolating. Over the years, countless documentaries have been made and Environmental groups have been “screeeeeeeeaming” for the masses to wake up and “Save the Planet!!!!!!”  But our apathy surrounding such concerns has created a new challenge.    The challenge now is to save civilization itself and ourselves with it.

  “A BROKEN ECONOMIC MODEL – CREATES A DYING PLANET”

Save civilization?  Why does civilization need saving?  One needs to understand what builds and maintains a civilization.  Most would argue, “The Economy.”   True, to a certain degree.  But there is something far more important that sustains civilization and it’s not a monetary system or the economy.  Truly.

But on the premise that an economy is what maintains civilization let’s ask, “what drives an economy?”   Answer:  Commerce – the exchange of money for goods and services within a given monetary system.  And what promotes commerce?  The buying and selling of goods and services.  And what ensures the buying and selling of goods and services?   Obsolescence.”

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Business and industry have made an art form out of NOT only meeting our needs, but artificially creating them through a constant barrage of media venues encouraging us to do the one thing needed to power the economy . . . . . SHOP!!!!!!!!

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Photo provided by Flicker.com

Modern Economics is a well-oiled machine, where we are inundated with advertising everywhere encouraging us to shop.  But the system we’re a part of is predicated on the fundamental law that drives economics . . . . . the ability to keep selling.  The way to ensure that it to manufacture everything we purchase so that it either breaks or is obsolete within a very short span of time.

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Photo provided by http://www.lolpics.ws

Why?

So that there is always the need to buy more of it and to massage our psyche so that we will always want the “latest-greatest” of everything.  Like a Pavlovian response, the mere mention of a new iPHONE causes many zealots of Apple’s technology to spontaneously salivate in anticipation of its launch . . . and when it is launched, hundreds, and in some cases even thousands, will wait in line for hours upon hours to purchase it, staving off for 12 more months their appetite for the next new toy.

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This represents the height of our conditioning.  It is the essence of our cultural programming.  This cultural programming is what keeps the economy going, necessitating companies need to keep making more of everything, which ensures profits in the never-ending competition for market share.

But, this approach to economics is very short sighted and cannibalistic in nature, because it is a “linear model” where resources are exploited to collapse by business and industry, that provide the masses with only “throw away products.”  Resources are fashioned into a product with a limited functionality causing it to break or become obsolete in a very short period of time, with little of it being recycled.  In other words . . . . . “We consume in a fashion that no other species does.  We create waste, meaning we create and things with no utility after their initial use.”  We are the only species on the planet that does this.

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Photo provided by http://www.worldwildlife.org

This model is based only on “consumption” which creates waste on a catastrophic scale, while we devour the planet, consume its resources, and give little to nothing back, as opposed to a “circular or sustainable model” where what is produced is reusable or can be recycled back into the environment.

This linear model where resources become depleted over time is evident in our current standard of living.  Over 65% of what we throw away and put out on the curb, can be recycled.  Sadly, statistics show that only about 46% of Americans recycle.  The numbers are far lower for the business sector which produces an amount of waste beyond one’s comprehension.

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Photo provided by Annonymousartrevolution.com

This model of doing business is one in which we have essentially “high-jacked” the planet and stolen it from every “free-living” species for our own exploitation, while we destroy their habitats.  Our neighborhoods have become ecological deserts, where countless species are displaced.  Outside of my yard, I don’t see any flowers in my neighbor’s yards, and yet we wonder why honey bees are disappearing, neonictinoids (Roundup) aside.  The bees have nothing left to pollinate.

 

 “A CULTURE OF UN-NECESSARIES”

Here in the West perhaps more than any other country, a lifestyle of unnecessary spending has been deliberately cultivated and nurtured in the public by big business. We’ve in essence turned life into a competitive money sport where our feelings are externalized, where class and our sense of importance is tied to the acquisition of material possessions, preferably name-brand.  We place a very low value on cooperation and caring for one another and glorify competition, dominance, and individualism.

We’ve been pitted against one another as individuals competing for jobs, as corporate entities fighting for market share, and as entire countries competing for resources.  Because of this we accept things like war on a philosophical level.  This misguided value system has allowed Companies in all kinds of industries with a huge stake in the public’s penchant for impulsive spending, to profiteer by promoting the idea that our happiness and our sense of importance in LIFE is something that can be bought or can be attained by achieving a certain standard of living.  By externalizing our feelings we have been programmed to become compulsive shoppers …. And who doesn’t love shopping?????

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With the economy always trumping ecological concerns, we’ve created a culture steeped in entertainment and instant gratification.  Since protecting the planet isn’t very marketable just yet, we’re kept insulated and detached from the harsh reality of what our expanding civilization is doing to ecosystems the world over.

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Photo provided http://www.politicalcartoons.com  

 SO WHAT ARE WE DOING TO OUR HOME?

I promised at the beginning of this writing that I’d provide a report card for the planet, by highlighting what are arguably the most pressing issues and the greatest threat to our continued survival on the planet. So let’s do just that by starting with our Climate.

CLIMATE

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There is no amount of time or writing I could devote to this subject that would do it justice in helping us to see our impact on the Earth’s Climate, but I am going to say this. The biggest culprit is not what you think it is…..and what is presented in the News is only half the story.  Research shows that without using a drop of gas, oil, or fuel of any kind, ever again from this day forward that we would still exceed our maximum greenhouse gas carbon equivalent of 565 gigatons by the year 2030, without the energy sector even factoring into the equation, all by merely raising and eating livestock.

Despite being what is receiving all the press right now, carbon dioxide (CO2) is not the main culprit in global warming. The reason CO2 receives the most press because its presence in the atmosphere is much more persistent and longer lasting than Methane, but Methane, which traps 80 – 120 times more heat than CO2, is the main culprit in global warming.

If we reduce a number of methane emissions in the atmosphere, the levels go down fairly quickly, as will the global temperature, in decades, as opposed to CO2, where we really won’t see a signal in the atmosphere indicating an improvement for 150 years or so.  Simply put, we don’t have that kind of time left.  We as individuals have an enormous opportunity to curb global warming, with a simple lifestyle choice we make every day.

What if I told you, your diet is contributing to Global Warming more than any other contributing factor?

The single largest contributor of Methane to the atmosphere is an Industry that can be tied to almost every environmental problem known to civilization including: deforestation, excessive land use, water use and water scarcity, desertification (the process by which deserts are created), food scarcity, world hunger, poverty, the destabilization of entire populations, and on and on, can be directly tied to cattle farming and the meat industry. This industry is one that could single-handedly bring about our demise, and it is.  It’s an environmental disaster that is being ignored by the very people who should be championing the cause to fix it, meaning our government and environmental groups but remain powerless because of the stranglehold the meat industry has on both of them. The lobbyists in Washington representing the meat industry’s interests have enormous monetary resources and make sure the public is kept entirely in the dark as to how this industry is procuring meat and how it operates.  It’s an industry that is very corrupt, parasitic in nature and wrecking the planet.

Since this article is intended to be an overview of many environmental issues I’m not going to expound upon this.  Instead, I’m going to suggest a movie that connects the dots and exposes ALL the devastating effects this incredibly abusive industry is doing to the planet.  Directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, COWSPIRACY shows how this one industry is contributing to Climate Change more than the entire transportation sector, including cars, trucks, boats, planes, and trains combined. I highly recommend viewing this extremely informative movie.

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Since CO2 gets so much fanfare, how does what we’re seeing today compare to what we’ve seen in the past?  Simply put, we are witnessing the highest CO2 levels recorded in almost a million years. Now, since we live in a society of climate change deniers, with politicians and citizens repeating ad nauseum, “I’m no scientist,” as a manifesto to the climate experts to justify their ignorance on the subject matter and defiantly proclaim that we have no intent on changing any of our destructive behaviors, just to give that spike in CO2 perspective, consider the natural fluctuations of CO2 over the last 6 interglacial periods. The highest CO2 has ever been in the last 870,000 years is 290 ppm. Today we’re at 411 ppm and quickly heading to 500 ppm.  There is nothing “NATURAL” about this kind of increase in C02.  It is clearly anthropogenic.  In other words, HUMAN.

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Graph provided by http://globalclimate.ucr.edu/resources.html

Ice Core “Ancient-Atmospheric” Samples

And the story isn’t any better for Methane where we have witnessed a tremendous spike in atmospheric readings since the start of the “Industrial Revolution” in the 1800’s.

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Graph provided by NOAA.org

Direct Measurement Atmospheric Samples

As the CO2 and Methane Levels have increased so have our global temperatures. The last 4 consecutive years have been the hottest global temperatures in recorded history with April, May, June, July, and August of 2014 being the 5 hottest months ever recorded.

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Graphs provided by NOAA.org

Computer simulations, accounting for the continued projected CO2 and Methane emissions, show that the temperatures are going to continue to climb considerably over the next several decades, with an increase of 6-8F by the year 2050.

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When CO2 reaches 450 ppm the polar ice sheets will go into irreversible retreat and melt completely which will account for a 216 ft. increase in sea level. This won’t happen overnight but by the year 2100 things will look quite different.

Disappearing East Coast

Picture provided by natgeo.com

Here in the states the entire eastern seaboard would be underwater for 80 – 100 miles inland.  In this scenario, New York City, Philadelphia, Hilton Head, Savannah, GA. and the entire state of Florida will disappear under water.   New Orleans, Houston, and all the cities along the Gulf of Mexico will be under water by the year 2100.

On a bright note, everyone in New York City would have beach front property…..

New York

A ROOM WITH A VIEW

It was just announced by NASA in August of 2014, that “the West Antarctic ice sheet has gone into irreversible retreat. It has passed the point of no return.” Entering the sea and melting will account for a 3 – 5 ft. increase in sea level, and will displace over 10 million people worldwide living near river deltas where crops in the flood plains will see the intrusion of salt water, ultimately destroying the crops and making the land infertile.

Whether you believe that there is an anthropogenic or human contribution to climate change is ultimately irrelevant. The simple fact of the matter is, the world is heating up, and it’s doing so very quickly.

SO WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF A WARMER WORLD?

We need look no further than the disappearance of fresh water in the Southwest United States. A few examples providing an eye-opening look at what is taking place include:

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Butte County, CA 2011

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Butte County, CA 2014

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Disappearing Water CA 3 

Orville Lake, Ca. 2011

Disappearing Water CA 4

Orville Lake, Ca. 2014

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Disappearing Water Ca. 1

Bidwell Marina, CA 2011

 Disappearing Water CA. 2

Bidwell Marina, CA. 2014

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Lake Mead, NV 2011

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Lake Mead, CO. 2014

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Lake Mead, CO. 2014

The reason these particular pictures strike a cord with me is because 3 years ago to the day, I was standing on the middle of the Hoosier Damn and at that time, the water level was covering the exposed shorelines in white.  Today, the Colorado river that provides fresh water to southern Colorado, southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico, has dropped to 39% of it’s capacity, its lowest level in history vs where it was just 3 years ago due to Global Warming, drought, a lack of snowfall and rain in the Rocky Mountains

And just so you know this problem isn’t confined to the U.S., this is the Aral Sea lying between Kazakhstan in the north and Uzbekistan in the south.

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Aral Sea from June 1977 – June 2009

What you’re seeing here is the disappearance of 1,279 sq miles of fresh water in 22 years.  This is now a global problem and we are seeing the fastest disappearance of fresh water in history.  Water has quite literally become the new CURRENCY of the WORLD.   The United Nations and the Pentagon announced just in October that in the very near future we will be fighting “CLIMATE WARS” – wars for access to life supporting resources that still remain on the planet.   A good example of what is coming is the scenario that will soon be playing out in the United States, where the average citizen is completely unaware of how we are all connected in the global economy of our civilization.

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Map provided by www.shangri-la-river-expeditions.com

In many agricultural regions around the world snow, believe it or not, is the primary source of irrigation and drinking water.   As temperatures continue to rise, there is less and less precipitation in part of the world that rely heavily upon it.  The greatest loss of precipitation and snow occurring, is in the Himalayas of the Tibetan Plateau.  This is soon going to be catastrophic to large populaces in India and China that reside along the Indus, Ganges, Yangtze, and Yellow Rivers because of their heavy reliance on these glacier-fed rivers, where the snowmelt each year provides the water for irrigating crops in the spring and summer, that provide food for the masses.

Within 8-10 years China and India are facing debilitating water losses and subsequent water shortages.  Water shortages always lead to food shortages.

Lester Brown writes in his book, WORLD ON THE EDGE:

“For Americans, the melting of the glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau would appear to be China’s problem.  It is. But it is also everyone else’s problem.  For U.S., consumers, this melting poses a nightmare scenario.  If China enters the world market for massive quantities of grain,  as it has already done for soybeans over the last decade,  it will come to the United States – far and away the leading exporter.

The prospect of 1.3 billion Chinese with rapidly rising incomes, competing with American consumers for the U.S. grain harvest, and thus driving up food prices, is not an attractive one.  In the 1970s, when tight world food supplies were generating unacceptable food price inflation in the United States, the government restricted grain exports. This is no longer an option where China is concerned.”

Each month starting in 2008, when the Treasury Department was auctioning off securities to cover the U.S. fiscal deficit, China was the biggest buyer, now holding over $1.2 trillion of U.S. debt and has essentially become the biggest banker for the United States.  Whether we like it or not, very soon Americans will be competing with Chinese consumers for our food harvests.

Their loss is our loss.

As the availability of water and food diminishes in China, desperate for food, they will be able to outbid Americans for our own food.  Unfortunately, the economy doesn’t pick favorites. In the global economy, the market sells to the highest bidder, irrespective of nationality or who is producing what in the marketplace.

The last thing I’m going to say about global warming and climate change is its devastating impact on agriculture.

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Our ability to feed the growing population of the world, which is growing at an extraordinary rate of 232,000 people per day, is beginning to diminish rapidly because of increasing temperatures.

All life on the planet today is the product of tremendous adaptations made over eons of time in response to a whole host of environmental pressures, one of which is temperature.   In all forms, Life exists within a very narrow range of temperatures, and agriculture (vegetative life) is no exemption.   Plants, which evolved long before animal life, have the extraordinary ability to harness and utilize energy from the Sun to power a biochemical, enzymatic process of combining CO2 it pulls in from the atmosphere and combines it with water to produce carbohydrates.  This process is called photosynthesis.

Of concern, is the fact that photosynthesis is rather dramatically affected by temperature.  In a study conducted at Ohio State University, research revealed that photosynthetic activity in plants increases until the temperature reaches 68° F, where the rate photosynthesis levels out.  At 95° though, photosynthesis in rice, wheat, corn, and barley begins to decline.  At 104°F it ceases entirely.  These are heat indexes that we are hitting every year leading to tremendous crop failures, and what really sucks about this is that one of the first things to go if we continue on this trajectory is my favorite thing:

WINE.

And that’s just unacceptable….and yes, I will hold all of you responsible!!!

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DOING ARE PART….

So what can we do about it?

  • No other decision we make will have a bigger impact on Global Warming than simply minimizing or completely eliminating the intake up “RED MEAT” from our diet. . . . . which will minimize your contribution to increasing levels of methane to almost nothing.  In addition, it will stop contributing to the most environmentally destructive industry on Earth by preventing further deforestation, desertification (from overgrazing lands), water shortages and water scarcity, food scarcity, hunger, poverty, displacement of human populations, and on and on.
  • In the future cities will have to be developed around people walking or biking, instead of cars, which will dramatically reduce CO2 emissions and rising greenhouse gases.
  • Rooftops will be turned into solar cells and gardens.
  • Alternative forms of energy such as wind, solar, and geothermal sources can further reduce emissions dramatically.  Until they become more prevalent, minimizing our electrical usage with energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances helps as does adjusting our thermostats to minimize energy usage.
  • Rooftop solar water heating is a trend that is gaining tremendous momentum.  U.S. installation of these systems has more than tripled since 2005.
  • Reducing paper usage to preserve forests is going to preserve the balance in the CO2 and O2 exchange between the plant kingdom and us.  This is a system of checks and balances that we cannot afford to destroy.
  • One step that we can take to preserving trees is with respect to “Junk Mail.”  The Environmental Protection Agency reports Americans as a whole receive close to five million tons of junk mail every year with the average American household receiving 20-25 pounds of junk mail a month.
  • Catalog Choice is a non-profit group that offers a completely free service that has helped 1.3 million people opt out of receiving 19 million pieces of junk mail.   Their website streamlines the opt-out process so you don’t have to contact companies yourself.
  • On an individual level PLANTING TREES AROUND OUR HOUSE certainly, help minimize our impact on the environment. Every tree planted is one more removing CO2 buildup from the atmosphere.
  • SHOPPING AT LOCAL FARMS OR GARDENING IN OUR OWN BACKYARDS dramatically diminishes our carbon or ecological footprint.  This is because food sold in a grocery chain arrived there from vast distances and various locales often in other countries.  They are often transported by plane, by boat, by train, and by trucks, all of which run on fossil fuels, which only serves to continue adding carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere.
FORESTS

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Since we’re talking about planting trees.   Lets talk about FORESTS.  I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Screenshot 2014-12-16 21.40.01 copy

We are currently removing approximately 1 acre (size of a football field) of rainforest every second of every day since 1940.  To date, we’ve destroyed 60% of the world’s rainforests, 91% of which has been done to make room for Agri-business (the meat industry).  This is problematic because the rainforests are literally the “lungs of the planet” removing CO2 from the atmosphere and releasing the very O2 that we breathe.  They go, we go…

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DOING OUR PART

  • Reduce paper usage to preserve forests is going to preserve the balance in the CO2 and O2 exchange between the plant kingdom and us. This a system of checks and balances that we cannot afford to destroy.
  • Deforest your mailbox. “Junk Mail.”   Again, we can eliminate 20-25 pounds of junk mail a month by going to Catalog Choice – Their website streamlines the opt-out process so you don’t have to contact companies yourself.
  • Get News and Magazines online and if you can get used to using a Kindle buy ebooks.
  • Plant trees and flowers in your yard.  Our cities and suburbs are turning into “ecological deserts,” with yards we don’t use.
  • The declining number of bees in recent years has been unprecedented, with their numbers declining by 25% every year for the last 4 years.  Making our yards an oasis of flowers for bees can help them make a comeback.  THEY NEED OUR HELP!!!!  “ Without bees, the human race will go extinct within 4 years.” – Albert Einstein
OCEANS

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So let’s look at our Oceans. How are they doing?  Today our oceans are in near collapse because of 3 things:  Acidification of the Oceans, Overfishing, and the unimaginable amount of plastic in our oceans.

In looking at each of these, let’s start by looking at the ocean’s ph (percent hydrogen –  ph is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a liquid).  Because of the increasing levels of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere, what we are seeing today is a catastrophic drop in the pH of the oceans due to the uptake of CO2.   This process is driving the acidification of oceans as the CO2 combines with H2O to create carbonic acid.

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Modeling demonstrates that if CO2 continues to be released on current trends, ocean average pH will reach 7.8 by the end of this century, corresponding to 0.5 units below the pre-industrial level, a pH level that has not been experienced for several millions of years (1). A change of 0.5 units might not sound as a very big change, but the pH scale is logarithmic meaning that such a change is equivalent to a three fold increase in H+ (acidic) concentration. All this is happening at a speed 100 times greater than has ever been observed during the geological past. This is very problematic because there are countless marine species, communities, and ecosystems that might not have the time to acclimate or adapt to these fast changes in ocean chemistry.

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The effects of this process of acidification can already be seen as coral reefs are disappearing at an alarming rate. This demise of coral reefs will be especially costly to an innumerable number of aquatic species that feed off and live within the coral reefs.  The loss of the coral reefs will expand to include the loss of many of marine species.  Current estimates project that all the world’s coral reefs will be gone by the year 2023.

Further contributing to the rapid loss of marine species is COMMERCIAL FISHING.  Simply put, this is an industry that is completely unsustainable. This is because Commercial Fishing is done using trawlers like the one pictured here.

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The problem with this type of harvesting fish from the ocean is that for every 1 pound of fish caught, an average of 4 pounds of unintended marine species is caught in trawler nets and discarded as “by-catch” or “by-kill.”

This includes whales, dolphins, sharks, seals, rays, sea turtles, squid, jellyfish, etc.

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As of today, 3/4th of the world fisheries have been exploited to total collapse.  The remaining 25% of ocean fisheries are in near collapse and because of this approach to harvesting the oceans for fish, the oceans are expected to be devoid of harvested fish by 2042.

OCEAN POLLUTION

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One of the single biggest environmental issues facing civilization is the devastating impact the waste we’re producing is having on the oceans.  Approximately 100,000,000,000 tons of plastic is manufactured every year with the average American throwing away an average of 4 ½ pounds of plastic trash a day.   Sadly, only 7% of all the plastic manufactured is being recycled.  As for the other 93%? Most of it ends up in landfills, but approximately 4.7 billion tons of plastic finds its way to the ocean every year.

The perception of plastic as a benign, harmless product could not be any more of a misguided perception.  Plastic is, quite literally, a bio-toxic material, and its presence in the ocean poses an enormous problem, not only for marine life but for us as well.  It’s a little-known fact by most, but the issue with plastic is the plastic doesn’t biodegrade. Instead, it undergoes photodegradation, where UV-light, or photos of light cause the polymer chains that the plastics are made from the breakdown into smaller and smaller polymers.  But these polymers, once manufactured, never go away.  Let me make that clear.  They never go away.   As they break down, they produce long-term, persistent, toxic chemicals such as polychlorinated bi-phenols, dioxins, and mercury, that do not degrade in days, weeks or months, but rather over decades, centuries, or even millennia.

Every piece of plastic ever manufactured still exists today, whether it’s in your house, in a landfill, in the open environment, or in the ocean.  As a result, the oceans are being turned into a toilet bowl of bio-toxic chemicals as a byproduct of plastic slowly dissolving into the oceans. We are literally “plasticizing” the oceans.

In 1997, oceanographer and racing boat Captain Charles More, made a startling and tragic discovery while returning to California from Hawaii. What he discovered was a tremendous aggregation of plastic trash floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. What is now known as the North Pacific Gyre, or more specifically the “North Pacific Garbage Patch,” is a convergence of plastic trash over an area half the size of the U.S. or twice the size of the U.S. depending on the size of the particulates being measured.  It was this discovery that led to an entirely new perspective on our use of plastic and its detrimental effects on the planet’s ecosystems.  More specifically, it created an entirely new concern with respect to the use of “single use” plastics.

The oceans are being turned into a toilet bowl of bio-toxic chemicals as a byproduct of plastic slowly dissolving into the oceans.  We are literally “plasticizing” the oceans.

Today there are 5 Gyres or “garbage patches” that have formed in the oceans with the largest one being THE NORTH PACIFIC GYRE, which depending on the size of the plastic that is being measured ranges in size from twice the size of Texas to the size of the United States itself.  In addition to the North Pacific Gyre, four others have been discovered in the South Pacific Ocean, the North Atlantic Ocean, the South Atlantic Ocean, and in the Indian Ocean.

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The North Pacific Gyre is not an island of trash, but rather more like a soup of plastic confetti that’s very diffuse, this is confusing for the public to understand the threat this poses, because of the fact that we can’t really see most of it.

Despite the fact that there are environmental groups, think tanks, and scientist screaming with a sense of urgency to begin solving this problem, the prevailing mentality is, “if we can’t see it, it doesn’t really exist.”  If in fact there was an island of trash that we could walk across there may be more of a public urgency to fix the problem.  But when we see blue seas with very few pieces of actual physical debris, it tends to be very deceptive and lulls us to sleep, thinking the issue is nothing to be alarmed about.  It’s unfortunate but that is in fact, the very surreptitious nature of the plastic problem.  If we could just see all of the plastic we would probably be inclined to go out and begin cleaning it up.

How pervasive is the problem of Plastic in our OCEANS?  To show how pervasive the problem of plastic has become in 2013, photographer Chris Jordan documented our debilitating effect on even the most remote ecosystem in the world, Midway Island (pictured below) which is 2100 miles from any inhabitable continent.  What he discovered was nothing short of appalling.

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What he found was shorelines covered in plastic items and countless birds carcasses with bellies full of plastic.

MarineTrashandPlasticDebrisMidwayAtoll

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CF000677 17x22

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Pictures provided by Chris Jordan www.chrisjordan.com

Once inside the sea animals, the animal is doomed because plastic itself cannot be broken down and most of it cannot pass through the digestive tract of the animal.  It is estimated that Midway Island accumulates approximately 20,000 lbs of plastic garbage every year…..

Because of plastic in our ocean, dozens of species are going extinct and disappearing from the planet forever because of us.  We are right in the middle of the greatest die-off of species on the planet since the age of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, all as a by-product of our “civilization.” Plastic in the environment, especially in the oceans, has literally reached critical mass and if not addressed will be the catalyst in the extinction of countless marine and avian species.

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These whales have a story to tell us . . . . . 

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Plastic Bags are by far and away the number 1 killer of marine wildlife and even if we don’t live near a shoreline, we’re all contributing to the problem.

The average American consumer will throw away approximately 500 plastic bags per year.  As the artist above displays in dramatic fashion (no pun intended), that’s quite a number.  While we like to think that they go to a landfill, and many do, wind currents still carry a number of them to waterways where it still finds it’s way to the ocean.  Subsequently, it’s ingested by turtles and seabirds who mistake it for jellyfish which is the primary source of food for them.  Approximately 100,000 Sea Turtles die every year from ingesting plastic.

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With that said, consider some sobering facts about plastic bags . . . . .

  • Over 1 trillion plastic bags are used every year worldwide.
  • A single plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to degrade.  What’s scary about this fact is that once ingested, it does not break down.  When the marine animal’s body decomposes, the bag is released, where it can then be consumed again, and the cycle repeat..
  • More than 3.5 million tons of plastic bags, sacks and wraps were discarded in 2008.
  • Only 1 in 200 plastic bags in the UK are recycled (BBC).
  • The U.S. goes through 100 billion single-use plastic bags.
  • Plastic bags are the second-most common type of ocean refuse, after cigarette butts (2008)
  • Plastic bags remain toxic even after they break down.
  • Every square mile of ocean has about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it.

Facts provided by http://www.reuseit.com

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Dean Jordan PhD, Dean of Political Psychology, International University for Graduate Studies shared his thoughts regarding plastic by saying:

“Plastic now runs our lives . . . . We’ve always been told that if we would just recycle and throw trash away responsibly, everything will be okay. The lie that is built into that, is the fact that there is no place called “AWAY.” There is no place to really throw things away. Litter isn’t the issue. The issue is the manufacturing and use of plastics in the first place, and the fact that this stuff doesn’t degrade. It doesn’t go AWAY.

What kind of egotism is it that we have as a society, that we’re willing to use something once, for five minutes, and then turn around and simply throw it into this magical place called “AWAY.”  It is going to here long after we are all gone, and even much longer than when are great, great, great, grandchildren are gone, and all the while it will only continue to degrade into toxins and pollution that will continue to harm the environment, harm us, and harm our children for generations to come.”

The single action of choosing to dispose of plastic properly could save countless animals lives, including our own.  If we see garbage on the ground and choose to walk past it, the very act of picking up that plastic bottle or plastic item could make all the difference in the world.  The reality is, we are always at choice.  Just recycling plastic is no longer enough.  We’re allowed to ask for biodegradable paper products.  We’re allowed to say no to the Styrofoam cup.  We’re allowed to say no to plastic cups and bottles.  We’re allowed to say no to the plastic grocery bag, and on and on.

The choice is yours . . . . . . Prevention is the key.

In a story that only karma could write, our nativity regarding our relationship with and abuse to the planet has come full circle with serious consequences for us and our children, that is rapidly bringing a close to our time left on the planet.

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DOING OUR PART

RECYCLING IS NOT ENOUGH!!!!

  • How can we expect any company, whose main product and therefore profit involves the production of plastic bottles, whether for water, soft drinks, alcohol, cleaning product, etc. to claim that they are for the environment when in fact they are the leading source of the problem?
  • REFUSE TO USE ANY PLASTIC BAGS!!!!
  • STOP PURCHASING PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES!!!!  Instead, use reusable water bottles. Companies like BRITA and BOBBLE make reusable water bottles with carbon filters for drinking pure filtered water. Each filter can filter the equivalent of 300-350 water bottles.
  • AVOID THE USE OF ANY TOOTHPASTE, GEL, FACIAL WASH, OR BODY SCRUB CONTAINING PLASTIC “MICRO BEADS!!!!”
  • AVOID THE USE OF POLYSTYRENE (OTHERWISE KNOWN AS STYROFOAM)
    WHEN SHOPPING!!!! Bring your own bags with you. Whether shopping at the grocery store or shopping at the MALL, bringing your own bags prevents plastic from ever having a chance of finding its way back into the environment.
  • WHEN SHIPPING!!!! USE “ECO-FRIENDLY” BIO-DEGRADABLE (VEGETABLE BASED) PACKAGING PEANUTS AND OTHER PACKAGING MATERIALS. These are packaging materials made of starch, that to dispose of can simply have water added to them, where they dissolve entirely and pose no threat to the environment.

Ultimately the choice is ours!

FUKUSHIMA

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Next up in our purveying of civilization’s gallery of destructiveness is Fukushima.  This is a disaster of unfathomable proportions.

Following a major earthquake, a 15 meter (45 ft.) tsunami disabled the power supply and cooling of three Fukushima nuclear reactors, causing a nuclear meltdown accident on  March 11th, 2011.

Fukushima Reactor

The devastating effects to the reactor structure were initially well reported in all forms of media across the world, but the disaster was downplayed by TEPCO.  We were told there were “partial” meltdowns, we now know that they were each a 100% core meltdown.  All three cores largely melted in the first three days.

In order of magnitude, this disaster is many times that of Chernobyl, especially because fixing the problem is the problem!!!!  There is absolutely no protocol, no strategy in place to deal with this catastrophe.  Nowhere is there any literature or instructions on how to fix this issue.  They are literally making it up as they go along and continue to, to this day.

At the time of the initial disaster 300 tons (600,000 lbs.) of water was filtering through the site daily and seeping directly into the seawater and has been doing so for the last three and a half years unabated.  Ground water underneath the damaged infrastructure, continues to be contaminated with many different radioactive compounds such as radioactive hydrogen, tritium, cesium 134, cesium 137, and strontium.  A veritable cornucopia of radioactive elements.

Workers have been pumping this water out, at a rate of 400 tons each day, and storing it in hastily constructed steel tanks on the site.

JAPAN-NUCLEAR-DISASTER

There are now more than 1060 tanks and the ‘tank farm’ now dwarfs the original nuclear plant in size.  Because of their poor construction, the concern is that another earthquake with a magnitude of 6 or more will more than likely rupture every tank releasing millions of tons of highly radioactive laced water into the ocean.  This is a compounding problem.  As the radiation seeps into the sea, algae absorb and concentrate the radioactive elements 100’s of times.  Crustaceans concentrate them 100’s of times.  Fish who feed on the corals concentrate it 100’s of times, where they are consumed by larger fish that concentrate it even more.  Since we sit at the apex of the food chain, by the time we eat the fish at the top of the aquatic food chain, we are ingesting radioactive elements that have been concentrated by tens of thousands of times versus those radioactive elements free-floating in the open ocean.

Within days of the incident, nuclear radiation and radioactive isotopes were measurable, and not in insignificant proportions, in the rainfall here in the United States.  In addition, ocean currents are now carrying the radioactive waste to our shorelines, and the fish we are harvesting from the Pacific are loaded with Cesium 137 in their tissues.  These radioactive isotopes decay over hundreds of thousands of years and will continue to contaminate the food chain for as long.  All of these radioactive isotopes cause cancer.

German scientists constructed a computer simulation model monitoring the levels of pollution in the Pacific Ocean alone.  They show that the entire Pacific Ocean will be polluted with radioactive material by 2017.

The issue in fixing the problem is that core reactor #4 contains more than 1,500 fuel rods that are under 30 meters (90 ft.) of water in a severely damaged building above ground.  

fukushimafuel-rods copy 2

The amount of radiation in each of the 1,500 contains approximately 14,000 times that of the Hiroshima bomb.  These need to be removed from the fuel pool because in the event that there is another major earthquake, and the building goes down, all those fuel rods will be exposed to the air and will start burning, releasing an immeasurable about of radiation that at the very least would be 10x’s the amount of radiation released at Chernobyl.  This radiation would pollute all of Japan and most of the Northern Hemisphere.

The rods need to be removed and contained, but the only plausible plan for removing them is to use a crane to delicately lift them out of the cooling pool.  This is normally done using computers with only millimeters to spare.  If the fuel rods touch, criticality could be reached resulting in another core meltdown.  Nothing like this has ever been attempted, and if the rods touch all of humanity will be threatened for thousands of years.

I wish I had a “DOING OUR PART” addition to this section but there really isn’t anything “we” can do.  This one lies beyond our reach.  The one addendum I will add is to ask where your fish from when purchasing it, whether out or at the grocery store.   Purchasing fish from the atlantic may be a consideration.

SOIL

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Without soil, no life could exist on LAND.  Soil is the fundamental resource for sustaining life, and a precious resource at that, considering that it takes approximately 500 years to produce just one inch of soil.  I’ve found over the years that few people know the difference between soil and dirt.  To understand the quality of the food we’re eating, we need to understand this fundamental difference.

This is what SOIL looks like.  It’s rich and fertile teeming with life and with biologically active nutrients and minerals.  It’s literally a living organism.

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This is what DIRT looks like.  Dirt in contrast to Soil is mineral, devoid of LIFE.

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Back in the late 1930’s the chemical company DuPont sold the idea that chemistry was better for agriculture than the natural forces that had always governed plant life on the planet.  They referred to this as “Better Living Through Chemistry.”  Today we now know better.  Industrial agriculture through chemistry has literally killed the soil and every year continues to.

Dupont

Today our crops are grown in dirt, not soil which is why it requires such heavy supplementation with commercial fertilizers. We are told by the corporate killers like MONSANTO that commercial agriculture is the only way to feed the growing population.  But after 30 years of collected data,  we now know that the natural processes at work in nature are not something we can improve upon.  These processes have developed over millions of years and are by far and away the most efficient way to create the greatest agricultural-yields and feed the masses.

Organic farming, using cover crops at the end of each season returns detritus and biological actives back into the soil that can produce 2-10x’s the agricultural yields of commercial petroleum-based agriculture.

Today, commercial agriculture has become almost entirely dependent on artificial, petroleum-based fertilizers, toxic pesticides, and GMO’s to maintain their yields.  This is an industry that has literally been hijacked by companies like MONSANTO who have developed patents on seeds that can only be grown once in to make commercial farmers completely dependent on them in order to grow anything.  With the coercion of our government and MONSANTO leaders running our Department of Agriculture, legislation has been put in place to make it against the law for farmers to keep seeds and forces them to only grow with genetically modified seed, the health effects of which are well documented and have been connected with diabetes, countless cancers, and several other diseases.  To learn more about our food industry and GMO’s I highly encourage viewing several documentary films such as FOOD, INC., GMO’s OMG, and SYMPHONY OF SOIL……

81NS7vUJ0SL._SL1500_        GMO OMG         SYMPHONY OF THE SOIL

Beyond becoming the world’s biggest science experiment, the issue with commercial agriculture is that it pollutes our water tables and ground water with pesticides and fertilizers that enter our rivers and ultimately feed the oceans with poisonous chemicals.

Agricultural Runoff

This is because only 10-15% of the fertilizers dumped on the soils are actually utilized by the plants themselves.  As much as 85% – 90% of the fertilizers used to support these crops end up in the water table eventually finding its way to streams, tributaries, rivers, and ultimately to the oceans where they are toxic to aquatic life.  As of today, 270+ dead zones have been discovered in the oceans and are directly related to Agricultural Runoff.

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DOING OUR PART

Support your local farmer

So what can we do about it?

  • If at all possible, I cannot urge you enough to buy organics, for your health, for the health of the planet, and the health of every living thing on our planet.
  • Shop at your local FARMER’S MARKET or Finley Market downtown, and support your local farmers.
  • As a society we have got to take accountability for what we are doing to the planet.  A good first step is weaning ourselves off of commercial agriculture, and corporate groceries stores. Support local organic farming.
  • And if you’re slightly more daring, grow your own garden.

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Not only is it good for our local economy but it reduces our carbon footprint to almost zero and it’s a legacy we can leave our children.  We get back to being self-sustaining.

RESTORING OUR PLANET

RESTORING OUR PLANET

SOCROTES once said, “people get the government, they deserve.”

I’m going to extend that concept by saying“ people get the government, the society, and the world they deserve.”  We can fight with the politicians.  We can fight with the corporations.  We can march in the streets with banners and have clean up rock campaigns with the hopes of changing the world.  But the bottom line is, the world will never change until we as individuals change.

Mahatma Ghandi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

The very corporations and the very governments we march against are the very corporations and the very government that we vote for each and every day with the choices we make.  Every dollar we spend we are voting for the world the way it is.

The lifeblood of each and every corporation, bank, and government, is money. We have it, and they want. These entities are merely a leviathan we’ve created through complacency, convenience, and in choosing to continue support them.  The only power corporations have over us is the power we give them by choosing their products and services.  If collectively we chose to stop buying bottled water and using plastic bags they would have no choice but to discontinue manufacturing them.  If we do not like what a bank is doing with our money, simply pull your money out and move it elsewhere.

The collective action of 314 million Americans is more than any government policy could ever hope to implement, change, or influence.  And today we are stepping into the essence, the power, and magnitude of who we truly are and what we value.  No one wants to look into the mirror and admit to themselves that they are the problem because ultimately that would require us to look at the consequences of what it is we each have done in taking the future away from our children.

And it is being taken away!

Hope lies in the fact that there is a spiritual awakening occurring in small pockets of humanity, where individuals and small groups are truly beginning to reconnect with nature.  People are slowly beginning to rediscover our relationship with the natural world.

What we are finally starting to realize is that there is no one steering the ship, there are no leaders moving us in a positive direction, and they’re certainly not to be found in Washington D.C. or in the corporate entities on Wall Street.  There are small pockets of heroes choosing to champion the cause of protecting the planet from our continued neglect,

We cannot continue blaming society for all the ills we are now confronting.  Now is the time for each of us to step into the essence of who we are and the world we’ve created.  Now is the time to restore our relationship with ourselves, with each other, and with the earth.  Now is the time to begin speaking out for life.  For the ecology of the planet, not the economy!  It’s time to become advocates and heroes for Earth.

So how do we go about the task of restoring the planet?

By first realizing that in killing our ecosystems we are ultimately cannibalizing the planet that provides for us and bringing about our own demise and every other species.  Recognizing that fact first, choose to begin Reducing, Reusing, Recycling, Refusing, and our independence from our dependence on corporations and blind submission to corporate interests.  If society continues with a “business as usual” approach to industry and business, doing tomorrow what it is we have always done up until this point, nothing will change with respect to the global ecological forecasts.

Dramatic changes are going to be required of each of us . . . but the single biggest impact we can have in saving both civilization and the natural world is educating our children, teaching them to have a reverence for the Earth and its life support systems.   This is the only way our children will have a viable planet left to inherit.

It’s our world.  We can each make a difference, starting today . . .

Love and Light to you in your continued journey of discovery,
David

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