Sunday, October 20, 2013

Autumn Morning Meditation Reflection

The Autumn leaf in red, blazing against a bright pre-winter frosty morning. There are yellows and golds, orange and even a few purples to be seen from my perch beside the window. The colors compete with one another in a last great show of Nature before the blanket of snow arrives and the skies turn from blue to grey. Colors that show every emotion, feelings hidden deep within our instinctive self, that know it is time to reflect before the long winters rest to come.
This is not unique to humans as we are part of this natural state of life. We follow the rhythms of Nature, the seasons of life as all creatures do. Nature speaks softly yet reveals so much in her display of light, weather, color and in her quiet. Wherever there is life, Nature speaks, and where there is quiet, there is a knowing. Even the smallest of things understand without question that this is so.
The Laws of Nature go on, unswayed by the inventions of mankind. The Earth moves and changes regardless of how man dictates days and nights, work and rest, construction and demolition. The lifeblood of the Earth is water, and even in the deepest of winter, it flows...from the skies and deep under the icy coverings of the rivers. The winds drive the seasonal changes influenced by solar flares and solar winds originating deep in space by the Sun... yet mankind only revels in the days marked out by calendars, who's origins come from mankind and are as fallible as only mankind can be while trying to regulate something much greater than their understanding can be.
Autumn, begins the time of reflection and preparations, for Winter comes. Winter comes without malice, without consideration, without expectation... It comes to bring us time of regeneration, of inner workings of projections. A time needed for rest and rejuvenation to remain in balance to Nature's course of life. In times long past, mankind huddled together and took rest from the long nights and only ventured slightly during the short days, but today they try to continue on in their daily workings as if there were no signals to slow down. Man's imitation day lit by false lights gives mankind the illusion of day, and a drive to continue work, their 'progress' must go on, yet they care not for the 'progress' of the inner self, the natural man. They no longer listen to the voice of Nature, nor do they choose to see the signs of the Great Cycle that all other life follows.
Those that are not blind to the sight, and can hear the messages upon the winds are called dreamers, poets, romantics,...and fools. Yet these are the people who can feel deeply and understand quietly and can live in such simple bliss of knowing. These are the ones in balance and live without the illusion of suffering.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Official Position

My Official Position...
   those who know me understand the majority of this, those who do not may want to start asking questions...
In 1993, I was an eager 'go getter' and 'get things done' driven person, fueled by not only my desire to learn, but by my character of servitude. And boy did I learn... I researched and correlated information and communications from every available source of information and applied it liberally. My desire was not to become a leader, but to become a teacher.
I served a rather small but growing community at first, and within a year or two I was working with several other communities. I became a chronicler of events, a historian of an organization, a research specialist and maintained my daily duties and rituals of worship and service to the community.
I developed training systems and classes for others as well... teaching about service, history, ethics and even group dynamics and grievance council. I sat on panels, held board positions, lead workshops and developed intense training methods for preparing to fill such positions as minister, clergy, priest and councilor. All this before 2004.
In 2004, I backed off quite a bit, even took a sabbatical from my duties for a year, but never removed myself from my obligations to my deities and still served my community as a councilor and guide. I had begun a group of earnest students of history and knights, mostly students of the Squire and Maiden courses, designed to better understand and apply servitude and self discipline. By 2006, we all went on along our own paths, keeping in touch and continuing to find truths about ourselves and our communities.
I worked intermittently with other groups along my journey, as researcher, assistant, councilor and adviser, continuing my dedication to the community. My personal path demands that I serve others, yet I had forgotten to restrain my energies and suffered from it emotionally and physically. I began to slow down...
In 2010, the call for a new centralized community gathering and group became too loud to ignore where I had moved to. This time, I took the lead roll rather than a supportive position. We held open classes and workshops, hosted rituals for Sabbats and the Full Moons. In retrospect, we could have stopped there, maybe we should have. This we developed into a church format rather than a coven format, and founded a church, even chartered with the ATC (where I got my beginnings with Pagan/Wiccan church settings, but not my beginnings as a Pagan) and by 2012 I was again full swing into serving and working for my community.
That didn't last long though, but only because the group began to thin out down to a handful of active members, and even less supporters for our humble coffers. So we tried to promote without proselytizing, asking for suggestions from our community as to what they wanted... We received a lot of ideas and much of it worth while, but no one would or could help on the expenses of them. Eventually, we came to the decision to close that church, and only function as a small group of Pagans again.
During all this that I was involved in, other grand things and events were going on within my communities... and along with them, some bad things. Community leadership suffered 3 heavy losses, and although one organization carried the heaviest loss and grief, we all mourned. Mistakes come at such times, good judgment become impaired, and those with ulterior motives can maneuver easily into positions...and all such did. However, new groups began, new events were designed, old groups renewed and new people discovered the beauty of the experience because of them.
We all make mistakes right? Bad things happen outside of all our plans. However, mistakes should be corrected, and more so, bad behavior should be corrected. A lot was not, on many occasions and from many groups and individuals. The breaking had begun so subtlety that most were not even aware of it until the more aggressive and pronounced actions and individuals were taking charge. There were many calls for communication and council, corrective implementation, and even for apologies.... there were very few of those, completely absent in many cases. It was all called to be covered up and for everyone to focus on the positive. Sometimes that is the worst option, but for somethings that might work.
So from 2009 until 2011, I remained vigilant on trying to refocus on the positive, to observe without direct conflict, to research and interview, and keep record. That's what I do best. However, in 2011 I became directly involved in a pattern of offenses that I had no desire to be. It placed me in a very uncomfortable position with my church elders and many other community leaders that had either stood behind the offender, or had been a victim of the offenses. I stood up and called that person out, presented my case with evidence and supportive testimony and demanded corrective action and an apology....neither were granted and I was instructed to 'drop it' for the betterment of the church. I did, for 2 more years.
In October of 2013 I find myself facing a personal and spiritual delima. The offender now has positioned herself and petitioned (no, make that demanded) a ritual rite of Cronehood. Although she meet almost none of the 'traditional' requirements based on my belief and the majority of the community's opinion, the church backs this. Two of my Elders actually approve this. Yet, the majority of the community, and community elders, as well as the other churches do not support it. I cannot abide it, as it is a slap in the face to other Crones and offensive to most of us who have had dealings with the woman involved.
I spent only an hour in personal debate and evaluation of my principals... I retired my position as ATC Clergy.
retire - From French retirer, from re-, "back" and tirer, "throw," its first sense was "withdraw to a place of safety or seclusion."
1. to withdraw or go away to a place of privacy, shelter, or seclusion:
2. to go to bed.
3. to give up or withdraw from an office, occupation, or career, usu. because of age.
4. to fall back or retreat, as from battle.
5. to withdraw from view:
6. to withdraw from circulation by taking up and paying, as bonds or bills.
7. to withdraw (troops, ships, etc.), as from battle.
8. to remove from an office or active service, as an army officer.
9. to withdraw (a machine, ship, etc.) permanently from its normal service.

Now this does not mean I resigned;
re•sign (rɪˈzaɪn) 
1. to give up an office or position (often fol. by from).
2. to submit; yield:
3. to give up (an office, position, etc.), often formally.
4. to relinquish (a right, claim, etc.).
5. to submit (oneself, one's mind, etc.) without resistance.
[1325–75; Middle English < Middle French resigner < Latin resignāre to open, release, cancel =re- re- + signāre to mark, seal,]
However in this case, since I stood up to the church, against my Elders advise and demands, I can only assume that I have lost my license of Clergy status. I had already made plans months ago to close our church, so loosing that means nothing. No one can take away my history of service, my experience in the communities, my reputation nor can they discredit over 20 years in public works and personal growth and achievements, so the only thing that can be taken away is the 'right' of title or function...but only in their organization. So no, I loose nothing when I measure and weigh it against personal fortitude and ethical principals that I still wholeheartedly believe in.
Actually it freed me somewhat, removed limitations I was holding to, yet observed others in similar situations ignore. It removed a burden that I was sharing that was not honorable to carry, that of concealing truths and accepting inappropriate behavior. If nothing else, it allows me to refocus my personal dedications and accept a few things that I was beginning to become confused on. It allowed clarity of thought, and revealed a lot about my elders and church community.
Sometimes one must walk alone, headlong into life, ready to accept that there are real battles fought inside and out and all around that you will be involved in, wounded, and at times triumphant. Sometimes you think you walk alone and find a chorus of voices cheering and a crowd marching along. But from today, I will not worry so much about it or for the community, as I will focus on making what I know to be wrong right. I will focus on upholding to my moral compass and priorities of my principal beliefs. If that part of the journey is traveled by only myself, or even along by a very few, then it is to be that way. Journeying alone for me is not lonely, there is always the company of the Gods and of Nature....and neither have ever mistreated me.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Whats wrong with Society today?

Large topic, and many willing answers to it. But we seem to address everything about society as a whole from a very narrow angle, self perspective. Myself included. So how can we address the wonders and wrongs of a society? First we must be an active part in all of the society that we are gauging. That means we are part, not observing from the outer rims of society. This means we are part of whatever is going on, actively creating the present sociological moment....
But that is a long subject beyond the scope of my writings here in a blog; a blog that is written from a single viewpoint in time and place, and not as described in above measure....
 Lets start with this...."We the People...." As I am in America, I will refer to this one great piece of legislature that governs our land. The Constitution begins quite plainly and simply, outlying the 'sovereign rights' of the People and how we retain the control over our lives with the help of the civil servants known as our government officials who have only the power we grant them to help us in our daily lives to fulfill our 'American Dream' of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. The Bill of Rights, those first very important Amendments to the U. S. Constitution are simply that, rights. They are not subject to qualifiers to any American born (and later Naturalized) citizens. They are not 'privileges' subject to Government allowance, as the Government likes to believe.
All American citizens have been taught to believe that the government has control over all things, while in fact it has very little legal authority in our daily lives. Our Laws, both State and Federal, are mandated by the People first, then adjusted, applied and regulated by the Government in and for our behalf...Seeing it from this angle it seems that we are in control, yet we do not get to see this often as the illusion of servitude has been eroded from our government and placed somehow upon the people.
Proverbial and literal lines have been drawn and drawn again in the constant clash of government overstepping it's authority and private citizens, the People, in restricting rampant and gross negligence of who is in servitude to who. The individual's rights are being superseded by the 'rights granted by government' to entities who have no individual or single point of responsibility nor accountability for denying individual rights and imposing their own wishes over the majority. That is known as Capitalism over Democracy, and was one of the reasons that this country was formed, in the accordance of all having equal rights, not just the wealthy.
When these lines are tested, by either side, we call it a protest, then a riot...Media can play either side, yet since the majority of mainstream media is owned or regulated by individuals who are either in corporate or government seats, guess who the favor and which way they tilt the view-point. Rarely are the People heard after that, and only the misgivings stated by whom ever is currently in 'authority' over the people....laughable if it weren't so demeaning and troubling. So is Society in the wrong for demanding of it's civil servants to perform their service to the People? Or is the Government in 'control' and hold 'authority' over the People?

In these last few years, from Egypt to Australia, whenever people gather to voice their demands to the government and assemble to address the government, they are met with denial by their government, and even  forcefully removed, beaten and arrested. Now, I don't know about every other country, but in America, that is as Un-Constitutional as you can get. And we should not only allow this to happen, we should bring the offending civil servants to justice. The Supreme Law of the land, the U. S. Constitution, is on our side in these matters, not some bank, nor corporation, nor any government official has any more 'rights' than the People that hold this government and this land.
The U. S. Government, under one form or another, by one name or title or another, actually owns large swaths of lands as well as small parcels. No matter the name of the land, nor the entity which governs or regulates such land, there is one thing that they do not want to admit nor tell you.... We own the land. Again, the government stands to support its citizens, thus they hold onto only what we allow them, and only if it should benefit the Nation as a whole, not a profit for any if not all. And what about Public Lands....

Public means, well....PUBLIC. These pieces of land or 'property' are accessible by the public. The Government is responsible for the upkeep and protection of use of these areas, not the regulation nor the ability to deny use of public lands from the public...
Wanna see some Public lands that were once thought of and treated as if by owned by the People and that are no longer freely accessible by the People?.........
The House and Congress... no longer the Peoples House.
The Supreme Court House..no longer the Peoples Court House.
The White House...which has been steadily restricted by the Government to allow less and less access of the People since 1935, and now is rarely visited outside of Presidential invitation or $1300 tour fee (and that is IF you pass their Security background check)
No Longer the Peoples House.
There is something wrong with today's Society alright, but it did not start with the People in action, it started because we did not act. The Government decided to start regulating our sovereign rights, and we were quiet.
The Government began to regulate and restrict our access to address them in office, and we remained silent still. Then the government decided that they no longer worked for the People, and we reminded them that they were our representatives, and we were silenced by the Government.
Freedom is not an illusion, it is there for us, all we have to do is take it back. It comes with a price, and not one that can be bought for any amount of money....but through integrity, honesty, working hard, and yes even fighting and death may and will be the cost for us all to regain what has been ever so slowly and quietly taken away from us.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Sometimes in the end we learn something of more value than the test we took.....

Several years ago, while working as a mountain trail guide, I had one of those days...

     5 AM: We awoke to the sounds of a trailing thunderstorm, still rattling the bunkhouse windows in their frames. Knowing that we had seven riders plus their gear going up into the high pass, we scrambled to get our selves ready to start bringing in the heard of riding and pack horses. Finding the coral muddy and dank from rain and horse droppings, the meadows still marshy by the all night rain, our spirits had already begun to sink. Then we heard about the mountain lion that had been in the valley all night harassing the horses and mules. ( One of the neighbors lost a horse due to it being chased off one of the cliffs by that same lion.)

     By 6 AM the horses had been located and herded into the coral twice, only to break away and charge the wranglers who were lucky enough to have gotten a mount drawn. Leaving the rest of us on foot, pacing the flank of the now highly energized and aggravated herd, trying to keep up without pressing in on them too soon or too hard. Tired beyond my belief of ability, I finally caught my preferred wrangling mount and quickly bridled and saddled him before he decided to dance away with his herd mates.

     At 7 AM, the bosses wife had passed through the lot, which scattered the 8 head of still skittish horses I was trying to push into the wrangling coral. (Mind you that now we are an hour late for breakfast and still not ready to ride up the mountain with our guests, who were gleefully watching the wranglers round up these all to excited animals, without realizing the hardships we were going through, nor the fact about the mountain lions actions earlier in the night.) She shouted at me to turn those horses back in and get them saddled...even though her stepping out in front of them had spooked them and made them turn out and charge past me and my now exasperated mount. I in return, informed her to let me do my job and get out of the way so I can... then I offered to let her mount my horse and do it so I could catch my breath. See how this day was quickly going down hill?
     Around 8:00, we had them in, saddled the riders horses, got the pack animals loaded up, and realized that there was not enough wranglers assigned for this large group to proceed up the trail. We have to have one wrangler for every six animals, and there were seven animals being ridden, and ten being used to pack with, and we had only pulled 2 wranglers. (The riders would be dropped off leaving 2 wranglers tethering 17 animals plus their mounts back down alone. We could handle it, but the guide laws said otherwise. Not only that, in the mood we were in, and already exhausted, the boss and his wife decided to send one more rider/wrangler along to make sure we brought back the unruly animals...)

     By 9:15, off we proceed, lead wrangler in front of the 7 guests leading 1 pack animal, 2 wranglers trailing with the remaining 8 pack animals. At least the weather cleared and the sun was out, and we had time somehow to swallow a few bites of breakfast leftovers and a cup of coffee while changing into drier clothes. The ride up would take us 4 hours or better depending on trail conditions and how the riders, and animals, acted. And this being in the Wind River Mountain Range, in the middle of the Bridger-Teton Wilderness, all bets were off on that going well today by us wranglers, yet we kept that from our riders.....A long ride ahead up, and we were only focused on the return ride, hot food, and our bunks...and it wasn't even noon.

     We rode until the guests needed a break, so we stopped in a semi clearing along the trail, only an hour or so from our destination. Securing the pack lines and the saddle horses, we sat down for a quick lunch of sandwiches and an easy stretch of the legs. After everyone had eaten and worked the morning kinks out along with some new found saddle sores, we mounted up and began once again up the trail. Talk began to flow between riders, and we were all feeling a bit better about the day.
     At our destination,I looked at my pocket watch, having not wanted to look at it since leaving the valley floor, and discovered it to be closer to 3 pm than 1 pm as was our schedule. The ride up went well, except...except that one of the riders horse took a mis-step and fell, dropping him off hard on the rocks. His ankle was banged up and bruised, but nothing broken. We tended to the scratches received from the rocks, and bandaged the ankle to help ease the discomfort of riding. Then within minutes of getting back underway, my horse slipped on the still wet rocks and fell to his knees, busting his chin wide open. That wasn't too bad, but in the process of this, the pack animals in both lines had become entangled in the leads, creating what we like to call a mountain train wreck. Delays like this can take hours to get settled, and it seemed like it did, but in reality the wreck gave us only a 10 minute delay, and another few minutes to get going again, with a bit more spacing and a slower pace due to the rock trail becoming more obviously slick as we climbed.
     We hustled best we could to unload all the pack animals and ready the saddle horses to be tethered and lead back down. The horses and mules alike decided that they were going to graze and spend more time watering than we hoped, and were not going to be deterred for it. Knowing that they had been pushed hard early in the morning, and had taken us up the mountain without rest or water, we decided not to argue, but we did push them to the edge of their good nature about it. (You can argue with 1700 pounds of horse flesh, but you can't win a fight with it.) Saddled, we began our decent, lead man riding with 6 in tow tethered behind, a wrangler with 5 more, and I in the drag pulling 6...a long way to go...I looked again at the watch, almost 5pm now, and daylight is in short supply in these deep mountain valleys.

     The weather decided to turn on us within an hour of the return ride, from sunny and 70 degrees, to just above freezing with sleet and rain, and as normal for us, wind....and lots of it, from every direction at once it seemed. The trees in the dead burn area of the mountain we were riding through, were tossing back and forth threatening to snap like tooth picks and fall down on us at any moment...and one did, smacking across the back of one of the pack horses, sparking a bucking twisting of tangled lead ropes and tether lines, entangling horses and riders both....train wreck number 2, and a bad one. It took more time to settle the startled animals than it took to get the lines back in order, still it cost us almost half an hour...and the storm was only just brewing for us. The wind picked up if anything, and the rain left only to be replaced with more sleet and bits and flurries of snow, wet snow.
     Passing the cliff face we call the slide, we negotiated the hairpin cut-back trail along the face, fully exposed to the driving winds and increasing snow/sleet mix. Once we got back into a draw, and began our turn to the next pass, we were pressing hard on the horses for better speed trying to make up time, yet they were having nothing of being rushed and wanted only to head for the tree line and huddle from the storm. For once I would agree with them, but I was trailing the lead, and he was not going to let up and only wanted to keep pushing, almost to a trot down these slippery rocky trails. By now, Nature played an even more sinister hand on me...I HAD TO PEE!!! and I mean right then. However hard I called out, the wind ripped my words over two states, as neither rider ahead of me heard my calls for a stop and kept riding on, leaving me behind and pulling up to dismount.
     Now those who do not know, when horses tend to heard and work together, they like to stay together. Meaning, that my mount began chomping the bit to get moving the moment he realized that the lines ahead were not stopping when we did. As I was trying to get my clothing back arrayed, he nudged me trying to get me to start walking so we could keep moving, which only made me slip and almost fall and loose my hold on his reins. Frantically I start to remount as I realized what could happen if he bolted... and bolt he did, just as I was swinging my leg up and around. I hit the ground flat on my back so hard that it actually knocked me out...

     I opened my eyes to rain and sleet pelting me. I laid there, coat wide open, shirt and pants soaking wet, no hat, my glasses gone....not only my glasses gone, but my horse and his tethered charges were no where in sight. The shock of the cold almost unbearable, I stood up, located my glasses about 10 feet away, drew my coat closes, and saw my hat laying muddy and soaked just a few steps from being blown over the trail side and down the ravine below. Yep, this day just got worse, and I knew I only had about 2 hours of daylight left, about 10 miles of trail to get through, my body temperature was falling and my saddle bags had my only food, drink, and emergency shelter....and it was gone.
     Here I stood, contemplating finding some sort of windbreak and trying to light a fire, or begin walking down this mountain in hopes of finding my mount or any of the horses along the way and get off the mountain. I lit a cigarette, swallowed my pride, rejected my growing fear of hypothermia, and began walking....
I walked about a mile, and found my horse, all tangled in his reins and lead rope along with the rest of my charges. I don't know how happy they were to see me coming, but I was relieved that they were there. I got them untangled, checked them all for any rope cuts or sores, adjusted the saddles and even got remounted without a single upset. We rode only a few minutes before we caught up to the others, who had eventually discovered that I was no longer behind them and had drawn up to wait. Pleasantries were not exchanged, only harsh words and gruff comments. Apparently pit stops were not going to be part of the return trip and I cost them time, and if I could not keep up or in the saddle I would be left behind. (mmmm...now I am feeling the burn of that even to this day)

     I rode, in silence, through the waning daylight, into the twilight, and on into the darkness. In the wilderness, without Moon nor stars (due to heavy clouds) when I say darkness, I mean pitch black. Flashlights only startle your horses, and can attract curious night predators, so all you have is your best guess at what you think you see, and rely on your horses ability to see the trail to get you home. And still I remained silent. Another tangle-up/train wreck happens due to hurried attempts at a cutback in the trail and two tethered animals trying a short-cut. Then within a half hour we detour due to a down tree across the trail, and blaze a round about way around, again tangling up in the trees and branches which are happy to snag anything they can, this also spooks one of the lead pack animals and starts a whole new wreck. But, I remain silent.

     9 PM; the valley floor trail opens up and our humble bunk house and lodge come into a faint view by the lights left on for our return. Relief washes over me, passes through my mount and is transferred along the lead ropes and tethers to the other animals. The day is all but done. We ride that last 1/2 mile, horses dragging hoofs, riders slumped and thoroughly exhausted, all in silence, all thinking the same thoughts, of warm clothes, warm food, and warm beds.
     We dismount, tie each animal to the hitch, pull saddles and packs, trying to get this last bit done before our strength fails.  The lead wrangler decides that now was the best time to address me about the waste of time, and to impress his point that it was only my fault that this ride took so long. (Mind you he set the pace up and back, pressing for speed and causing 3 of the 4 wrecks along the days ride.) I had about all I could handle of the blame game, and turned away, grabbed my saddle bags and began to walk away. Now this was not acceptable to him, as he stepped in-front of me and made it a point to remove his gun holster from his mount.
     Intimidation does not bode well with me, and I looked him in the eye and said; "I don't know if you noticed or not, but I quit about 5 miles back up that trail. I am going to bed." This must have made an impact upon him, as he (to this date) has never spoken to me since.

     The next morning, the boss asked me what happened, and I told him knowing that the other wranglers had already spoken to him. (I did not bother to get up and wrangle horses, feed, nor any other morning chores or even go into breakfast and decided to sleep in instead.) He asked if I still worked for him, and I said that was totally up to him. He asked if I would ride with the lead wrangler up the mountain again, and I said yes, but he might not come back. So with that all in mind, he said he needed me to stay on, to take a day off, stay away from the wranglers and he'd see to me later about rides going up later in the week and the return of the group I had just went up the mountain with.
     I spent the day on the bunkhouse porch watching the herd, listening to the wind, and peacefully enjoying hours. That evening, a young wrangler approached me and said that he had heard the other versions of the previous days ordeals and wanted to hear my telling of it. So we sat down and I told him how it went from my point of view.
 After hearing it, he looked at me and said;
 "Ya know, it was all in all a bad day for you, hell, for most of us that morning it was bad. That trip was pushed, could have been delayed a day. But all in all I guess, it was the worst day that you made the best out of. You made it back, everyone is alive, the horses are okay. You did good."
     Those words have come to me a lot since that day, during many ordeals, through trials and tribulations, and in reflection of what I did or how I acted or reacted to them. Many times, I have had those' worst days I ever made the best of'.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Earth Today and in 2100....

     I once again watched a great documentary, 'earth 2100', and once again re-evaluated my part in this growing global crisis that human kind has so greatly ignored in the richer and wealthier nations, i.e. USA, UK. Humans have played the greatest hands in ushering in global crisis for the last 200 years, and we are very close to reaching the tipping point which we will not likely survive, nor will much of any life forms sadly. Am I exaggerating? I only wish. The documentary explains in social and scientific terms and though examples based on solid evidence and hard facts what very easily could happen if we do nothing, and what we could do to improve, and worsen, the outcomes.

     Greed has been the driving force for mankind's evolution and creation of societies though-out our long history....yet mankind's history is very short compared to the length of time this planet and other life upon it has thrived before humans. However, much of mankind's leaps and bounds in modern technology, science, medicine and other such advancements has not always started out as a reach for wealth or as a slave to personal greed or gain. Often it was a new or improved development that brought prosperity or relief to many, or everyone, until someone took it and placed a private label on it, patented it, or otherwise possessed it and limited it's availability, or as often as not, placed a higher and higher price for it. In that mindset and push for more and more profit, mankind has placed all other things, living or not, below it's importance. Thus began our long, or should I say short, journey to destruction, which will eventually include the very earth.

     We have reached many levels of success in alleviating the stress and strains of our Natural resources and ecology, so it's not all gloom and doom. We have developed renewable energy sources, the highest demand mankind has on this planet. ( I say this due to the fact that many Nations have reached an expected standard of living that includes much, much waste of energy and many, many products that has a very high cost of energy and resources that is just, well...., not very cost, energy, or practicably efficient to produce them.) We have developed both positive and negative, long and short term, advances in producing foods, growing crops, and preservation of them as well as the ability to not only store long er terms, but to distribute them further from the farms. (Here again I must point out not all of these 'improvements' are applicable in our 'advancement'. Some of these things include pesticides that are killing off ALL insects and causing irreversible damage to the wildlife that come into contact with them. Some include herbicides that not only kill the weeds, but many other forms of plants and again kill or effect wildlife. Some include mutations and genetic tampering, which opens up the various experimental strains of seeds and plants to new and different types and strains of diseases.) And, we have developed wondrous steps in filtering and recycling water, which is barely keeping from falling behind our ability to pollute that same water.

      I am not saying we don't know what to do, I am saying we are not doing enough....and we are running out of time to prevent things from getting much worse. We do not have to give up everything, but we must begin to sacrifice a few things, and drastically change our demands on the planet. We can do it in small and simple ways, starting slowly, and continuing our demands for enriching our lives and not our bank accounts. Face it, what good is your money when there is no more food left on the shelves in the market, or clean water to drink? We need to re-evaluate our needs, take a closer look at our lives and what we want to achieve, and leave behind for our children.
Lets look at a few things here to start with.....Energy Demands.
Solar Energy is growing, in almost every country and on every Continent. From home solar panels, businesses with solar reflectors on them, and even parking lots of shopping malls (which provide shade and shelter for the shoppers) and are also being placed over open canals to not only help reduce evaporation, but to produce the electricity to run pumping stations and flow gates. In less than 25 years, research and development of solar energy has produced better and higher performance equipment for generating 'free and clean' energy. Countries like Germany and Iceland have focused much of their energy needs and funding to be able to produce almost 50% of all electrical demands from solar energy plants and home energy producers. 

Wind energy is also growing, in the western States of North America, Australia, and spreading....The wind doesn't always blow, nor does the Sun always shine, but combine the two, and you have a pretty stable, very renewable, and mostly reliable source of energy that has next to zero negative impact on the ecology. 
Tidal energy is also a growing avenue that we can expand upon in every country. Holland might be best known for it's windmills, but they have had tidal wave towers for almost 30 years, and other countries have just now begun developing new and more efficient tidal turbines. Tidal energy supplements many power grids in shipyards all over the world, and   can be successfully combines with wind turbine mounted above the tidal towers platforms. 
I have written before about the history of hydroelectric power in America, and we have slowly been upgrading these massive generators for more efficient and longer life ones....but slowly due to a cost factor that many of us do not want to help pay. However, we still, in America, produce between 8% to 12% of our total energy output through hydroelectric means. 

Food... a world of Hunger.

Today's food markets are driven not by supply and demand as one might have been taught in school, but by mega farm industries, government regulations and worse yet, but private chemical companies. THAT HAS TO CHANGE. Natural or organic grown foods are becoming more and more expensive thanks to not the rarity or difficulty in producing them, but through the government regulations that enforce private mega farming industries  demands on the simple farmer and local co-ops that operate outside of these mega groups. Most of us have heard of Monsanto , but do we understand the long term cost of thier 'right now' plan? In plain English; if you have to dilute a product by 200% before application to your crop, and must wear personal protective equipment while applying it, and must wait 48 hours before harvesting it, and must wash it with soap and water and rinse for at least 5 minutes before eating it.....it is not healthy to use it. That  in no way make any sense to use a product that is listed in over seventeen countries as toxic on your food. And that is only one of the many product created by such mega farm corporations trying to gain a monopoly on foods, in seed, plant genes, additives such as insecticides and herbicides, and they proclaim they are 'improving' the worlds food sources.
Today's foods, and tomorrows foods, need to be  less toxic to the farmer and consumer alike. One trend that I am watching is edible yards, growing gardens as well as fruiting trees and shrubs as individual home owners and entire neighborhoods. This trend is something that  a small town to an entire city can do to help with the growing food demand and commercial prices. Maybe a small step back in the direction of the 'Family Farm', and a big boost to the local Town Market.

I can go on to include transportation issues here, but I will blog about it in a later piece. But as a note, Americans have the most vehicles per population of any Nation today, and the most fuel use....see my point?
Also there is much to be said about sharing knowledge and technology to other Nations to get everyone reducing waste, demands on Natural Resources, and pollution.

Remember about 20 years ago when this concept came out on TV? How quickly we forgot.
It is time to change, now, not tomorrow or next year. Tell your family and friends....remind your Government that NOW is the time to enforce reduction of toxic pollutants and green house gases...not 30 years from now. Demand more efficient machines, and less waste. Start by doing your part as well, for we all carry this responsibility  and will all share in it's consequences. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sleeping Giant awakens....

The earth has slumbers along as mankind has evolved  Yet in her sleep she dreams of us, however, we seldom return that consideration. and now she stirs as her dreams become restless with the influence of the reality of mankind and our potential for creation...and destruction. This is not only metaphor, but reality of what is currently going on in the world today.
Some things we do not consider on daily meditations have now been the focus of a few...The scientists, the clergy and even the Government have begun to take notice of not just civil unrest, but the Earths unrest as we have gone beyond the Natural Balance of life on this planet and tipped the scales, and not in our favor apparently.
Take a look at this...

If the moving and shaking, and the obvious awakening of deep earth movements and breathing doesn't get your attention, how about the issues of Climate Change? There is a lot to be said of mankinds acceleration of release of 'greenhouse' gasses into our atmosphere, and the effects are worldwide, although not all the world is aware of them. A simple example for the USA can be seen and explained here... http/www.epa.gov/climatechange/ and another look at weather pattern changes and forecasts can be found here... http/www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/2012-extreme-weather-climate-change_n_2348079.html
So what does this mean to us? It means that we have not single handed caused this, it means we had a hand in accelerating this. Shifting soil and rock, extracting fluids and gasses, and destableizing the ground wasn't bad enough...we burned materials that changed our protective dome of life giving air into a depleted source of life support and altered the temperatures and weather patterns that sustain life for this planet. Couple that with the destruction of forests worldwide, the paving over of nutrient rich soils with concrete and asphalt  and we can see a dramatic global reduction of our life support system for us.
And we haven't even covered trash, waste and our ever growing landfills and our toxic pollution by oil, coal and gas companies. Take a look at...http/www.greenstudentu.com/encyclopedia/pollution  There you can read about air, water and soil issues that we, yes we as a whole, have created. As consumers of the good of the companies that have played a large roll in creating this, we not only accept this, we endorse it and encourage it to continue.
My point is, although we did not cease to exist on 12/21/2012, we better wake up to the facts that we might not get many more times to become aware and start corrective measures to ensure that we are still around  by the end of 2013.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Global Change...a man made disaster?

Climate change is not the only 'global' issue we face when it comes to the health and sustainability of our planet... there is another issue we face that we can directly influence it, because we (humans) are the source and cause of 85% of it. It's called Global Structural Change.

It would normally take hundreds of thousands of years to move as much topsoil, gravel and stone around the surface of the Earth, as it has taken mankind only a few centuries. It would tale millions of years for the under-structure of mountains to be hollowed out, and salt domes to be emptied by water solutions, for arid plain's under-fields of water and oil to me drawn to the surface and the rise, and or fall, of grounds to elevations more suitable for life....and mankind has done this in less than a century. Globally.

We move substrate from under solid ground, pump fluids and gasses into hollowed out salt domes and empty coal caverns. We pump water into bedrock crevices to flush out stable channels of under-structure. We drain ponds, lakes and swamps, and fill them with strata to place even more weight than was once there before. And we remove entire mountains from where they once stood and redistribute that matter across many miles of land unaccustomed to that weight and have less structural support deep within the crust lining. And we wonder why earthquakes, landslides and flooding is an issue in our modern world.

We humans see only the surface, and only consider a few hundred feet at the most when we do these things. And although we know and have an understanding of Geology, Physics and basic Earth Science of density and tensile strength, we forgot the simplicity of the domino effect and the ripple patterns that we learned in our youth. Once one thing is removed, or placed, and even replaced, it will effect all things in the old and new places....creating short term and long term issues.

The Earth is not just rotating on it's axis, nor just revolving around the Sun; it is expanding and contracting, the tectonic plates move, the crust rises and falls on its own in its own time of new lift and under supplementation. The Earth is literally 'breathing' and shifting mass in gas, liquid and solid forms all around itself. That we have no control of, yet can influence either in a positive way or a negative way. However, the Earth will do as She pleases, and although we may argue with Her and with ourselves, we cannot win that fight.

In moving mass earth in stone, sand and soil, we shift millions of tons around. We tip the balance and things beyond our scope of control begin to shift and shake. Like a sponge, the compression once removed, it expands. Like a spring held under tension, once the tension is lessened or released, the spring moves to a more suitable or natural state. That is what the crust of the Earth is, and how it acts and will react, given time and the right influence for it.

And what about water? We humans in America, while experimenting with nuclear explosions and military weaponry, managed to poison the largest underground fresh water deposit in Nevada... although a desert lays above it, we now have millions of people living there and are desperate for constant and reliable fresh water sources from the neighboring states. We deposit crude oils and gasses into our coastal waters. We release toxic chemicals into our air which taint our rainfall rendering it all but useless to natural life, and at times deadly to any life that consumes it or touches it. And Americans are not the only ones to be guilty of this....most 'developing countries' have done the same, over and over.

And speaking of air, we need that balanced equation of inert gasses to be able to live here. Oxygen alone will not sustain us well, and the amount of it is also a factor; too much and we die, too little and we die. Not just humans, but all animals. We need our plants to thrive, if the animals are to live, including humans. Yet we clear-cut rain forest for soy beans (removing 80% of that area's ability to produce oxygen), level meadows and forest alike to cover it with concrete and asphalt, which not only removed the oxygen machine in place, but now we up the ante by creating carbon gasses and other toxins by our machines not designed for life support, but for our own comfort.

The 'Global Changes' that we face today are clearly, for the most part, our own doing. And we have gone way past the tipping point in regaining positive influence any time soon, and now have to ride out the damage ongoing and to come, while trying to install corrective change and positive influences to shore up our failing under-structure and rebuild the life support machine that we so ignorantly have been dismantling.