Maybe humans could learn a thing or two from some simple, natural creatures. What humans are doing to the earth is unnatural and cruel. We need to change.
(Please consider going green more, and please consider donating often to such places as the Environmental Defense Fund and The Sierra Club. I donate to these monthly.)
Safe in the crimson spread of things
the foliage is my home and my guardian
I will eat it little by little
but will not eat too much of its purply protection
It will guard me, protect me, and feed me
It will become me
It is my world, my universe, my abode
It is not what i will merely destroy and abuse
I met Kurt Vonnegut many years ago when my wife and i had gone to a book signing event in Chicago. I do not agree with everything that he says, but i am appreciative of the seven very sagacious terms which he seriously provides below. Will the people of our planet change to substantially improve the health of the earth as a whole? That is not likely (in substantial enough numbers). However, at least some of us are trying. Meanwhile, with the Covid situation improving, oodles of people are once again flying around in polluting jets and are long-distance traveling in fossil fuel vehicles to get vacations that they feel they are owed. The blue sky will be getting smoggy again and the crazy winds will continue to get even crazier.
Letter to the Future, From Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.:
“Ladies & Gentlemen of A.D. 2088:
It has been suggested that you might welcome words of wisdom from the past, and that several of us in the twentieth century should send you some. Do you know this advice from Polonius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: ‘This above all: to thine own self be true’? Or what about these instructions from St. John the Divine: ‘Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment has come’? The best advice from my own era for you or for just about anybody anytime, I guess, is a prayer first used by alcoholics who hoped to never take a drink again: ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.’
Our century hasn’t been as free with words of wisdom as some others, I think, because we were the first to get reliable information about the human situation: how many of us there were, how much food we could raise or gather, how fast we were reproducing, what made us sick, what made us die, how much damage we were doing to the air and water and topsoil on which most life forms depended, how violent and heartless nature can be, and on and on. Who could wax wise with so much bad news pouring in?
For me, the most paralyzing news was that Nature was no conservationist. It needed no help from us in taking the planet apart and putting it back together some different way, not necessarily improving it from the viewpoint of living things. It set fire to forests with lightning bolts. It paved vast tracts of arable land with lava, which could no more support life than big-city parking lots. It had in the past sent glaciers down from the North Pole to grind up major portions of Asia, Europe, and North America. Nor was there any reason to think that it wouldn’t do that again someday. At this very moment it is turning African farms to deserts, and can be expected to heave up tidal waves or shower down white-hot boulders from outer space at any time. It has not only exterminated exquisitely evolved species in a twinkling, but drained oceans and drowned continents as well. If people think Nature is their friend, then they sure don’t need an enemy.
Yes, and as you people a hundred years from now must know full well, and as your grandchildren will know even better: Nature is ruthless when it comes to matching the quantity of life in any given place at any given time to the quantity of nourishment available. So what have you and Nature done about overpopulation? Back here in 1988, we were seeing ourselves as a new sort of glacier, warm-blooded and clever, unstoppable, about to gobble up everything and then make love—and then double in size again.
On second thought, I am not sure I could bear to hear what you and Nature may have done about too many people for too small a food supply.
And here is a crazy idea I would like to try on you: Is it possible that we aimed rockets with hydrogen bomb warheads at each other, all set to go, in order to take our minds off the deeper problem—how cruelly Nature can be expected to treat us, Nature being Nature, in the by-and-by?
Now that we can discuss the mess we are in with some precision, I hope you have stopped choosing abysmally ignorant optimists for positions of leadership. They were useful only so long as nobody had a clue as to what was really going on—during the past seven million years or so. In my time they have been catastrophic as heads of sophisticated institutions with real work to do.
The sort of leaders we need now are not those who promise ultimate victory over Nature through perseverance in living as we do right now, but those with the courage and intelligence to present to the world what appears to be Nature’s stern but reasonable surrender terms:
Reduce and stabilize your population.
Stop poisoning the air, the water, and the topsoil.
Stop preparing for war and start dealing with your real problems.
Teach your kids, and yourselves, too, while you’re at it, how to inhabit a small planet without helping to kill it.
Stop thinking science can fix anything if you give it a trillion dollars.
Stop thinking your grandchildren will be OK no matter how wasteful or destructive you may be, since they can go to a nice new planet on a spaceship. That is really mean, and stupid.
And so on. Or else.
Am I too pessimistic about life a hundred years from now? Maybe I have spent too much time with scientists and not enough time with speechwriters for politicians. For all I know, even bag ladies and bag gentlemen will have their own personal helicopters or rocket belts in A.D. 2088. Nobody will have to leave home to go to work or school, or even stop watching television. Everybody will sit around all day punching the keys of computer terminals connected to everything there is, and sip orange drink through straws like the astronauts.
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.
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.
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.
A true love of nature stays local as much as possible and avoids using deadly fossil-fuel jet planes and fossil-fuel road vehicles to travel world-wide to go to “exotic” nature places; such worldwide-sight-seeing (and picture-taking) is not loving nature; nature is not a Disney Amusement Park. Our globe is very delicate, fragile, and we have been brainwashed and conditioned to think nothing of traveling long distances for mere amusement purposes. Aircraft emit staggering amounts of CO2, the most prevalent manmade greenhouse gas. If you love nature, stay local.
The very wise ToadMaster perched near the toadstool, and with his croaky voice, he summoned all of the little tadpoles to swim up to the riverbank to hear another lesson.
He, in his sagely way, bellowed, “Unfortunately, many of the upright, large apes — that we have mentioned in the past — foolishly refuse to judiciously see that they too evolved from swimming fish, even as you here, as swimming tadpoles (through a long passage of time), will soon be leaving your aquatic existence to join our terrestrial lot. What is even more unfortunate is that the upright apes continue to mindlessly throw toxic debris into our water habitats and also onto the beautiful terrestrial domain that you will all soon be graduating to. The upright, large apes continue to make things that destroy things. The upright apes can be downright destructive and dangerous, though some of them are very kind and considerate. Overall, the whole world’s life forms are all rapidly disappearing due to what these, large bipedal creatures are mindlessly doing. Even as they claim that one of their kind is a God, they endlessly continue to pour cement and plastic over living things and spew out much toxic debris, killing our planet. They often do what is called “mowing their lawn,” which they think is very beautiful (though such activity callously cuts and kills many precious creatures, including us amphibians.) When you hop on land — which you all will be doing soon — do so with extreme caution, and avoid these large, bipedal creatures at all costs… and please
do your best to survive in the excessive heat (due to the climate rapidly changing).”
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.
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.”
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
Many stuffy politicians can pull many into their stupefaction pull many into their (paid-for-by- the-fossil-fuel-industries) raisons d’etre (which include bona fide lies) but as for a rogue like me, well, the cheese in their trap is made of distorted
(though expensive and smelly)
There is no way that someone would “like” this heartbreaking blog posting, but please “like it” if you see the seriousness of it, the environmental implications of it.
I, not long ago, posted some information from the Sierra Club, that i belong to, about Monarch Butterfly populations declining in North America since 1997. The Midwestern United States has seen an 88% decline. I also recently sent in a check to a Sierra Club supported drive to get Monarch Butterfly plate decals (which would help fund the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources to support Monarch habitats). However, nothing prepared me for the dismal discovery that i made while photographing insects in a wildflower field that was across a rural road from a farm cornfield. I knew about how important Milkweed plants are for Monarch caterpillars, and when i’ve been out photographing lately, i’ve been curious about the Milkweed plants. I’ve been seeing Milkweed plants that were eaten and chewed up… but no caterpillars. Then, one day, while in the wildflower field across from a cornfield, i saw some Milkweed plants. One Milkweed Plant was chewed up, and when i lifted a few leaves to get a closer look… a very — and unnaturally — dead caterpillar is what was seen (i.e., the second photograph). When i was young, corn often had a few grubs or insects around the silk end, and that little part was simply chopped off. These days, there are never such “intruders”; heaven forbid! People would vehemently complain! However, the pesticides — these over-kill overly potent pesticides — you can be sure, are residually still there and are far more precarious and unhealthy than the little pests. Little wonder why Europe doesn’t even want to get U.S. pesticide riddled corn/soy. Additionally, another factor: A recent study by Bret Elderd and Matthew Faldyn from Louisiana State University suggest climate change can alter the chemical composition of Milkweed making it poisonous to Monarchs. The increase in temperatures — due to global warming — causes Milkweed plants to be stressed and produce more toxins, toxins which then become deadly to the very Monarch caterpillars that they had protected. There are tons of people out there, unfortunately, who ignorantly deny man’s role in climate change and who do little or nothing to help change things for the better. Sad and immoral!
All the factors involved with this are far too vast for me to go into. For one thing, we need to reduce our human population; in other words, keep it at more reasonable levels, live more environmentally conscious, and grow food in more organic and considerate ways. Too few are talking seriously about any of this and it is unlikely that things will change any time soon. The bees, too, are dwindling, and many realize that when they go, we go.
The poor Monarchs are yet another unfortunate, beautiful species harmed by man.
Monarch Butterfly in a Wildflower Field… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018
Monarch Caterpillar dead 40 feet from a nearby cornfield… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018
The EPA will roll back the Obama-era auto-fuel-efficiency standards. The agency threatens to revoke California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act, which allows it to require cleaner cars.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke denies that his department censors science. A National Park Service report on how it will deal with climate change omits all references to human causation.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service doesn’t want to give threatened species as much protection as endangered ones.
The Sierra Club’s Environmental Law Program wins multiple court rulings: Now the BLM must disclose the climate impacts of fossil fuel development in the Powder River Basin; the Trump administration can’t overturn the ban on new offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic without judicial review; and the administration can’t delay increased penalties for automakers to violate fuel-economy standards.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry calls moving away from fossil fuels “immoral.”
The Bureau of Land Management blames a “breakdown of technology” for its failure to note 42,000 public comments in support of protections for the greater sage-grouse.
“I really don’t know” if humans cause climate change, says the head of the EPA’s scientific advisory board.
(The above information is from the Sierra Club that i belong to.)
I speak from the heart on this. My wife and i do not have any children. I love kids and had worked for my career as a teacher for the multiply handicapped, but this planet has way more than its share of humans. In the past, i have lost a number of girlfriends because of my stance on this. It is very interesting (and tragic) that this most vital subject — that directly impacts the whole earth and all of its creatures including man — is mostly neglected (and not seriously considered) worldwide.
In too limited of a space… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018
They cling to guns to feel safe while callously letting the environment go to hell. It’s all really starting to smell.
[Note: So sad that the U.S. is a country addicted to guns. Even the children have taken up shooting each other. On another note: So many fly in jets to go on vacations to “beautiful places,” or to take “beautiful” nature photos. The carbon footprint of jet travel, for human beings, is unbelievably high, massively high; there is nothing beautiful about ruining the environment. People who frequently go traveling around the world are admired by others, not by me.]
Our Dying Environment… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018
I find that I as time goes by grow weary of politics and all of the dirty tricks that the man in charge who by and large likes to pull because he is a fool a wealthy man in this land a one percenter a climate change hater whose only goal to get others to […]
On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. The UNGA resolution also designated the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of this special day for wildlife on the UN calendar. World Wildlife Day has now become the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife.
It would be a good day to join (or donate to) the Sierra Club or any similar animal/plant loving, environmental organization; additionally, it would be a great time to think about doing more environmentally-friendly action.
When I was very young, (before I became a vegetarian) I was an avid fisherman. I loved fishing tremendously; being out there, with nature, was a large part of it (and was very special). There was a manmade lake that I would often fish at that was fairly new; adjacent to it, and connected to it by a narrow channel, was a huge, shallow swamp area (that was nearly as big as the lake itself). Most people who fished at the lake didn’t know about the swamp area; it was a superb area that contained many fish, many of which would go there to spawn and lay eggs. All kinds of other wildlife were there. There was a large factory not far from the swamp, however, and each year the swamp would get more and more slime and oily residue floating at the surface, much of which was undoubtedly due to pollution from the factory and from the industrial environment. Each year would be exponentially worse than the next. There would be less and less fish each year and more and more noxious algae and scummy debris. Back then, as a kid, I felt that what was going on in the swamp was a precursor to what would be going on for our entire planet; I deeply felt that often.
Now scientists are saying that we don’t have much time left (before it’s too late) to “get it right” with changing things for the better with regard to the environment. The permafrost of the globe is melting rapidly, and they say it will get exponentially worse each year, which will affect our environment in drastic ways. Our weather is getting more and more erratic and violent and the coral reefs are rapidly dwindling. Please try to do something more green; please try to use fossil fuel planes and automobiles less frequently and please recycle and look into using alternative energy forms that don’t leave as big of a carbon footprint. Our human population, additionally, needs to be regulated more and intelligently diminished; an aquarium with too many fish within it cannot adequately recycle the waste and remain balanced. Each one of us is highly responsible and must do our part.
(This won’t fit under a rug; it’s our planet.)
Fly-catching. (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015
Fly-catching. (2) (Digital Crayon). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015
We won’t ever have a clean, pristine planet if, for instance, fracking is more important for creating jobs and oil than green energy is for world health.
[Brown Paper Wasp… Polistes metricus. They nourish themselves on nectar and pollen but also seek prey, consisting mostly of caterpillars, to nourish their colonies’ larvae (which reside in “paper-nests.”)]
Getting a little side-snack. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014
Nature doesn’t have its own sponsors — in the media — telling us to be less materialistic and to travel less (thereby using less fossil fuels); but big, materialistic corporations have plenty of promoters making earth-damaging practices seem “OK” and “normal.” We truly need to go beyond the advertising propaganda.
[Honey mushrooms along rocks on the river bank. Honey mushrooms, like most mushrooms, are just the visible fruiting body of the fungus. The main part of the organism is underground and is called the mycelium. Mycelium can spread for many miles… and this accounts for mushrooms being some of the world’s largest organisms. It is estimated that some honey mushrooms (that are very large, over many miles) are over 400 years old. (My photos, by the way, are all taken locally; I don’t travel any appreciable distance to take my photos. For instance, one walked to where these mushrooms were photographed.)]