Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

“The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, “What good is it?” If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.”  ―  Aldo Leopold

Finally  Spring has settled into a familiar pace which temperatures near normal and rain nurturing the parched land.  The last two days brought steady rain which the soil swallowed up without a puddle in sight.  Even the earthworms did not have a reason to rise to the top as they usually do after a two-day soaking of the ground.

One of my hero, Aldo Leopold, would be proud of the people of Wisconsin who recently defeated Governor Walker’s mining repair bill.  Just like the “budget repair bill” that he rammed through our legislator in spite of the people’s’ outrage, the mining bill would have done irreparable harm to the very fabric of nature in our state.  Imagine a strip mine four miles wide, one mile deep, and 25 miles long with permanent rights granted to divert rivers and groundwater for its operation and the dumping of slag into nearby wetlands; and all of this to show “job creators” that “Wisconsin is open for business.”

Only a blind and greedy fool could believe that such a thing would benefit or state.  The only benefit a rational observer could possibly detect would be the profits filling the pockets of politicians and corporations alike.  But we, the people of Wisconsin, defeated such an outrage and god willing we will defeat Scott Walker with the recall election in early June.

In celebration of this year’s Earth Day NASA’s on April 22, Webby Award-winning Global Climate Change website, http://climate.nasa.gov , has unveiled a new version of its popular image gallery, “State of Flux.” earth-day:

NASA image gallery highlights Earth’s changing face.

I wonder what Aldo Leopold would think if he could see those images, and I am certain that he would confirm what he said so long ago:

“We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” 

Aldo would be proud to know that here in Wisconsin we still cherish nature and we remember that without the earth we are nothing.  And yes,  the good fight continues in the State he loved and once called home.

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It is March and already it is crystal clear that something is very much out-of-order.  Last week brought hundreds of tornadoes racing through the heart of the United States, leaving devastation in their wake and entire towns whipped from the face of the mid-west.  All the while I see Sandhill cranes winging their way up the Mississippi and Blue birds already in the orchard – all of them early in their migration north – early by almost a month.

But why should that matter to us? Why worry about such things, when there are daily matters to be concerned about?  Paul Gilding tells us why we should pay attention to the changes at hand.

And James Hansen explains how our elected officials have kept a lid on climate truth.  Jim has tried to get our ear about the truth of climate change for over 30 years, however, without much success.  But now, that his predictions are knocking down our doors we may finally stop and listen.

So, the next time you hear a politician talk about the need to open up oil reserves, about strip mining, and about the need for a Tar Sands pipeline, think about how this puts all of us into harm’s way.

Don’t be mislead by slick commercials about the “save” extraction of oil and  gas and learn about the true cost of fossil fuels made from fraking, from tar sands and shale.

Garth Lenz: The true cost of oil | Video

Think about yourself, your kids and grand kids.  And better yet, think about calling your elected officials and demand that they do what is right for us and our planet.  Solutions are already here, what is missing is not the technical know how, but rather the political will to put them into action.

Hold your elected officials accountable and force them to change course now, while we still have a change to make a difference.

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in order to bring the wealth of communal knowledge to people in need.

Meet Bunker Roy whose lifelong committment to human dignity and self-sufficiency has proven that a single individual can make all the difference. 

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On September 25th the world lost a true hero in the untimely death of Wangari Maathai.  Her story is one of unmatched courage in the face of oppression and of boundless optimism for the future.  A story where one single women stood up to political and social oppression and to environmental exploitation.  She fought for the reforestation of her homeland which she knew was closely linked with bringing economic justice to the women of her homeland.

Honoring Wangari Maathai.

Upon hearing of Wangari Maathai’s passing I felt a deep sense of loss, as if she had been personally dear to me.  But in truth I know that the loss I feel is not personal but rather that it stems from the realization that an incredible force for the common good has left us forever.

I will mourn her deeply.

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All is well at Sontheim.  The gardens have turned into a jungle, the fruit trees are heavy and the air is alive with the sound of summer.

Hummingbirds are playing at the feeders and sugar-water production is in high gear.  Some of our beloved Hummers are getting fat and soon they will be ready for their epic migration South.

The dogs are having fun in the fields nearby and it is awesome to watch their curiosity when they encounter the myriad of wildlife coming from the woods.

The only thing that is short in supply among all this abundance is TIME.  The time to sit and tend to my blog seems to have disappeared.  So, instead of sharing my own ‘pearls of wisdom’ I give you more food for thought.

Meet Eve Ensler in her newest presentation on TED:


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It’s a tropical day in Wisconsin.  Too hot and humid to venture outside.  And there are swarms of ferocious insects ready to strike.

So the prudent plan of action is to spend another day inside.

Just yesterday when I watched our hummingbirds play at the feeders I noticed unusually large mosquitos at the window.  Hard to believe, but they were more than double the usual size.

The arctic too is melting and some day mosquitoes will make their way to the place where there used to be eternal ice.

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A perfect solution to the vexing problems of  saving money, the environment and closet space.

What could be better???

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