All Posts Tagged ‘environment

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Latest Sierra Club News as of October 2019

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(Please “like” this post if you perceive the seriousness of it, not because you like what is happening.)

The remote Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean are covered by 413.6 million pieces of plastic debris weighing 262 tons.

People around the world could be ingesting five grams of microplastic each week, the equivalent of eating a credit card.

July 2019 surpasses July 2016 as the hottest month in recorded history.

Emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas methane from ammonia-fertilizer plants are 100 times greater than what’s reported by the industry.

So far this year, 182 dead gray whales have washed up along the Pacific Coast, many likely having starved to death because of changing fish populations in warming waters.

In April 2019, for the first time ever, more US electricity generation came from renewables than from coal.

Human activity threatens 1 million species of plants and animals with extinction.

A heatwave bakes India. Temperatures in Rajasthan reach 123 degrees F, and the four reservoirs that supply Chennai (population 9.1 million) go dry.

Republican lawmakers in 18 states want to criminalize protests against fossil fuel infrastructure, like pipelines.

By the end of 2018, 11 million people were employed in renewable energy worldwide.

Current White House officials suppress State Department testimony that human-caused climate change will be “possibly catastrophic.”

More than 1.8 million people object to a Trump proposal to strip gray wolves of endangered species protections.

Wild Thistle … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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The Precarious Times We Live In…

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We live in extremely precarious times.  We need to go beyond mere depression about things; we need to act and not merely “go along indifferently.”  The planet is getting more and more overcrowded with people (and people are still cranking out more and more babies); there is less and less space (especially for animals and plants).  Extinctions in nature are occurring at an unprecedented rate (with over a million species going extinct lately).  There is much less healthy agricultural land (as pollution is creeping in everywhere imaginable).   Carbon emissions and plastics are ruining the globe, while the Amazon and Western U.S. forests (and other world forests) burn rampantly, while some flat-earth political groups deny global warming and heavily contribute to the deterioration of the environment.  There is less viable fresh water.  Guns and weapons of mass destruction are on the rise; unfortunately, with many not realizing it, germ warfare is a very real possibility.  Automated robots will soon be replacing millions of people in the workplace.  The over-use of unnatural, made-made food products and the over-usage of synthetic medicines is making the human population more and more unnaturally sick and corrupt, with immune function diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, cancer, depression, mental problems, and such things as diabetes becoming all too common, with increasing frequencies of occurrence.  We are rapidly losing what little freedom we had; political figures are becoming more and more dictatorial and propaganda news channels (much like what Nazi movies did in the past) are making crass people believe very crazy/hateful things. 

What is one to do regarding all of this obvious insecurity?  Too many of us are looking at the problems fragmentarily.  The problems are not isolated; one problem is related to another problem.  There is a bigger picture that is more holistic, more comprehensive, insightful, and caring.  We must look beyond the $-oriented opportunistic greed that is contagiously expanding as if it (i.e., such greed) is an accepted disease (that is OK).  A holistic, truly compassionate, non-indifferent mind of wisdom and insight would not be a huge contributing factor (to the above terrible situations) and would even seriously try to help change things.  A mind that operates in the old, traditional patterns, staying fragmentary, staying comfortable and barbaric (full of bias, indifference, and callousness) would not significantly help with the earth’s present very serious problems and with the problems that human beings face; such an indifferent/crass mind would merely continue to make the earth a living hell.  We can be stable and holistic or we can be fragmented and uncaring.  We can, (in all of this danger, fragmentation, and disorder), be order, wholeness, compassion, and largely be freedom from fear. 

No matter how terrible or disorderly things may seem on the outside, wisdom would primarily be stability and joyous harmony on the inside, in consciousness; it’s wisdom’s responsibility.  It’s wisdom’s responsibility not to be sad in a sad world; it’s wisdom’s responsibility not to be nuts in a nutty world.  Empathy would still exist; we wouldn’t look away from the suffering of those (supposedly) at a distance, and we would act to help; it’s wisdom’s responsibily.    

 

Ants caring for their young (larvae). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Wordless Wednesday … Not!… Halloween Toad

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Don’t be a torpid, sluggish mind, indifferent about the environment, about others, and about goodness.   We’ve been donating a lot, over the years, to all of the Hurricane victims (both to charities for humans and for dogs), including (recently) Dorian.  These hurricanes are worsening over the years due to global warming.  I see some bloggers who claim to love nature, yet they travel — in jets and planes that spew out tons of pollutants — to distant countries or far distant places to get “great nature photos.”   I’ve been unfollowing such hypocritical behavior blogs.  I’m not afraid of devils or goblins around Halloween.  I’m more concerned about people who treat the earth wrongly, indifferently.   We all can do more to help nature; we all could do less harmful things.  Please watch the following Greta Thunberg video.  I feel very sorry for kids these days; if things do not change, they — because of the increase in carbon dioxide — will not be able to breathe properly in a few short decades.  30% of all birds in North America (alone) have gone extinct in the last 50 years; they are the canaries in the coal mine, but most adults just don’t see it enough.

During the Halloween season, this is the new greeter at Walmart stores. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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The Sensitivity of Living Creatures

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Each living creature of life has a sensitive vibration of feeling, and many have a cherished awareness.  We human beings somehow think that ours is “superior,” better, and magnificent.  However, with much of our fancy ideas and thinking, we are destroying the ecological balance of the whole… of the globe.  We perceive and think in the ways that we were taught to perceive and think… primarily in parts, fragmentarily.  We see the so-called “outer environment” fragmentally, as what can be used piecemeal, to be exploited, manipulated, and used.  

However, the so-called outer is really not separate from the inner.  The observer is not separate from the observed.  Similarly, space and matter are not separate from what time is.  We are of matter’s (thought’s) doings; we are thought, time, and the movement of time.  The intelligence of meditation takes place when thought is not merely habitual and endless.  Thought/thinking is always partial, always fragmentary, and sequential.  Real meditation is consciousness beyond the stirrings of its content; it is an effortless, unplanned, holistic quietness beyond mere fragmentation and sequential patterns.   The timeless can only reveal itself when the mind intelligently perceives beyond the fragmentary movement of its content.  

 

Grasshopper enjoying the view … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Wordless Wednesday … Not!

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Looking beyond the darkness … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

9/11 was an extraordinarily tragic thing.   Far worse than 9/11 is losing the ecological balance of the earth.  The earth is currently collapsing, nature-wise, because of our shortsightedness.  Heartless political forces, so-called big business, and indifferent so-called humans are zealously steering many of us in the wrong direction.  We all need to do much more.  A collapsing earth is a most terrible thing.   Stay local, use alternative energy, recycle, and vote green.    

 

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Latest Sierra Club News

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Earth’s glaciers are shrinking five times faster than they were in the 1960s.

The United States used more energy in 2018 than ever before, partly because Americans drove more: 3.225 trillion miles, 12.2 billion more than 2017.

Wolves return to the Netherlands after an absence of 140 years.

A suspected rhino poacher in South Africa is trampled to death by an elephant, then eaten by lions.

The last time Earth’s atmosphere had as much carbon dioxide as it does today, there were trees growing near the South Pole.

Thawing ice on Alaska’s Denali is exposing the 66 tons of feces left by generations of mountain climbers.

Sea level rise has cost property owners on the East and Gulf Coasts more than $16 billion since 2005.

Senator Mike Lee of Utah says that the solution to climate change is to “fall in love, get married, and have some kids.”

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swede who inspired the Youth Climate Strike, is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The stomachs of dead whales found in the Philippines and Italy are full of plastic trash.

Scientists discover a new species of orca of southern Chile — “The largest undescribed animal left on the planet.”

Trump’s proposed federal budget would cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent.

Composite photographer Nick Brandt, whose profound works show how nature in the world is quickly dying away due to man’s indifference, says, “My motivation is my anger and despair at what we are losing, that the human race is sleepwalking its way to oblivion.”

 

 

Lacewing Insect … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

 

 

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Short Story about the Best Wooden Thing

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Once, there was a burly man who carved things out of wood.
Many people in his village would each ask him to carve something special for them, and he usually would, with great pride.
The man would often boast about what he could expertly carve.
Then, one day, a little girl — who had never asked the man to carve anything whatsoever — asked him what the best wooden thing is.
“I am not sure,” said the man, perplexedly, “Maybe it is the large horse that I once carved for Mr. Hayes.”
“No,” said the girl, confidently, “It is that large, beautiful, living Oak tree that grows in our yard.”

 

 

Very young Oak tree sapling just beginning to get there. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019