It is easy to see that the world continues to find reasons for fighting – whether between countries, or within countries, or between individuals. Since every single human being is aging and since precious time passes, the obsession with difference and conflict is in reality an illness that afflicts humanity.
A cartoon from a Facebook post I read this morning reminded me of the foolishness of conflict, and it made me laugh. It also reminded me of the Christmas truces of World War 1, well-known to historians. The Christmas truces were an outbreak of peace in the middle of what was supposed to be a war.
The need to see others as different has led to conflict as far back as we can trace in human history. It leads to racism. It leads to hatred between rival political parties. It leads to civil wars and to wars between countries. And, in contrast, the more fundamental need to see others as being like ourselves, has always led back to peace and to mutual acceptance and appreciation,... See entire blog item
Americans' health, security, and economic well-being are tied to climate and weather. In the last 2 years, the United States experienced 25 climate- and weather-related disasters exceeding $1 billion ($115 billion total) in damages and claiming 1,019 lives. The public, businesses, resource managers, and policy leaders are increasingly asking for information to help them understand how and why climate conditions are changing and how they can prepare.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a primary provider of climate science, data, tools, and information used by stakeholders and citizens in decision-making contexts. These resources... See entire story
For those who think that green action is a luxury, optional, and an after-thought, I will present here some links to resources created by a variety of organizations, for-profit and non-profit, exhorting all of us about the importance of developing and living in a sustainable and "green" world. As a bit of black humor, I will start with a reference to The Onion, a biting satirical look at this issue. The other references are traditional, serious sources of research and discussion:
I believe that many individuals feel responsibility to reduce their impact on the planet. One major area where the developed world has a problem is with disposing of electronic equipment. The consumer world of electronics consists of cell phones, CD and DVD players, televisions, computers, audio equipment, and various portable electronic devices. I used to wonder what to do when one of these items broke down or, occasionally, when I simply needed or wanted to replace it with a newer, faster, more compatible equivalent.
The good news happened when I learned that Best Buy, at all its stores across the United States, accepts almost any electronic device for recycling. The accompanying video shows the processing to which they subject these... See entire story
Walking on the beach, a mother and daughter observed thousands of starfish, stranded on the beach after a storm that had just ended. They felt bad for all the starfish, doomed to suffocate on dry land. Finally the daughter picked up one of the starfish, walked up to the water, and threw the starfish as deeply into the ocean as she could.
Her mother thought for a few moments, and then asked her daughter, "Dear, what difference does that make? Look how many starfish there are still stuck on the beach!". Her daughter replied, "It made a difference for that starfish!"... See entire story
One path to wisdom is removing the disturbed ideas which can make us harmful to ourselves and others. After observing daily life for many years, I have decided that it would be useful and enlivening to list some popular maxims that are essentially a pile of garbage (to avoid stronger language). And without further ado, here they are!
1) When the student is ready, the teacher appears
Many, many devoted students strive to understand the principals of life, or to excel in their field of music or art or... See entire blog item
A frog in water
Doesn't feel it boil in time.
Dude, we are that frog.
-grist.org haiku winner
This video "mockumentary", starring a plastic bag and the voice of Jeremy Irons, really should be seen. Plastic as a whole involves toxicity from start to finish, and its chemical components have penetrated every part of the planet, including our human bodies. The chemical industry is one of the prime suspects in the great rise of autoimmune disease in recent years. The humor and clever parody of the BBC "Earth" series, makes the topic quite a bit more enjoyable to watch, despite the serious underlying message.
Because it relates to the failed efforts so far to change environmental policy, as well as to implement true economic reform and healthcare policy reform, it is time to state the obvious:
Barack Obama is a fine gentleman, and has excellent self-control, but is lacking as a leader.
This lack of leadership has had the effect of allowing defeats, with only very slight improvements, in the three major policy... See entire blog item
World Wildlife Federation has a brilliant series of images dramatizing the impact and urgency of global warming. One sample accompanies here. See the others here.