"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Makes me think...

...will it make you think?

Sunrise - 7.02a.m. 26th April 2014
Sunset - 6.15p.m. 27 April 2014
...and this?

The beginning and the end of a day.

Stunning, aren't they :)

When one sees scenes like this one cannot help but be reminded just how infinitely, exquisitely, beautiful this planet is.  How privilged we are to be living on it - to share of its' bounty and to experience its' wonder.

We don't get these spectacular sunsets or sunrises during the dryer summer months - there isn't sufficient cloud to assist in creating them.  They occur more so in winter.  And, to me, each and every sunset is breathtaking.  In our previous town house we lived in a valley bordered on three sides with mountains, and, on the southern side, by the bay.  That meant for 22 years I never saw a sunrise nor a sunset.  I am starved for sunrises and sunsets, and eagerly await that possibility each and every day.

It would be incredibly sad if, due to the dramatic climates changes we mere humans are directly contributing to, we could no longer have a start or end to a day that gives us this breathtaking beauty, don't you think?/

If, due to trapped carbon dioxide, the earth's atmosphere continues heating up, then the reality of rising sea levels, extreme storm events, dangerous heat waves and severe droughts will become the norm.

I was watching a programme the other night - Evacuate Earth.  It is a programme of hypothetical situations which could cause mankind to evacuate this planet - if they had anywhere else to go.  In the one episode they spoke of sea level rise.  And gave a specific example of New York.

Most of New York's buildings have deep support pylons drilled into the earth - these pylons are filled with steel re-inforcing.  What happens to steel when the sea level rises, the level of the ground water table increases and that steel gets wet?  It rusts.  With, or without, seawater compounding the problem.  And it gets weaker.  And, could - and probably will - eventually result in all those high rise buildings collapsing like dominoes. All that steel re-inforcing is merely a quick fix.  A man-made solution to wanting to build where the ground is not suitable for such a structure.

Mankind needs to be proactive not reactive.  What compels man to develop ruddy great cities near the moisture laden waters edge.  Yes, by all means have a harbour positioned there - but an entire mega-city of skyscrapers?  The concept is, to me, beyond comprehension.  And it's origins, like so many things involving man, is profit and greed based.

In the USA and Europe this past winter - the weather was extreme to say the least.  And, it was, from the blogs I follow, an extended winter.  Now California has been be declared a drought disaster area.

How much more information do we need before we are convinced that this planet is changing - and not for the better?

The choice is in our hands.

Change our ways now, or lose the opportunity.

Climate change is not going away because we decide to avert our eyes, or close our ears, or label someone as wacky because, single handedly, they are trying to make a difference. There is no way we can cover-up, have a quick fix, nor use a bandage  to make it better - other than what we humans can, and must, do to rectify what our greed, selfishness and shortsightedness has resulted in.  And that won't necessarily be a comfortable journey.

Like a witness in the courtroom, who is being cross examined by a probing, efficient prosecuting attorney, you can't take your time to consider your answers or reactions.  The evidence is clearly visible.

The responsibility lies with each and every one of us.

Instead of resisting the inevitable, how about becoming part of the groundswell of change.  There are recent examples of people revolting in order to effect change.  I am not advocating a revolt - not at all.  All I am asking of anyone who reads this blog posting is that you add your voice to the groundswell in whatever and whichever way you can.

Take some baby steps.

For example, recycling - and this study by students at a university in Utah will frighten you - to quote one excerpt from their publication:

"Of these recyclables, Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild the entire commercial air fleet every three months, enough steel to reconstruct Manhattan, and enough wood to heat 5 million homes for 200 years."

If you don't have a recycling facility near you, create or sign a petition addressed to your municipality to instigate one, or approach a local recycling firm and encourage them to, at least, do a feasibility study.

Sign a climate change petition addressed to you local Member of Parliament to make him aware that unless he takes the necessary steps to act on your behalf, his position may be in jeopardy in the next election.

Do whatever you can to effect change - no matter how big, or how small.
If only for your children's sake.

Do yourselves a favour - beg, borrow or steal a copy of a book I am currently reading : ""The World Without Us" by Alan Weisman.  I am 31% through this book on my Kindle.  As I write this I am gasping for air through a throat choked closed with overwhelming emotion.

I am not, generally, an emotional person.

Life has taught me that there are many lessons - both easy and hard - and I have taken them all on board.  I am a react-or who only allows myself the luxury of melting down once a crisis is passed.  But this is mind blowing.  I am simultaneously horrified, ashamed and heartbroken.

After reading it you will understand just how much damage man has been done to our only home, Earth.  I will definitely be begging, borrowing or buying a copy of Mr Weisman's latest work, "Countdown - Our Last Best Hope for a Future on Earth?"

And, as you munch through your dinner of chicken, beef, pork or lamb tonight, by way of gratitude for the privilege of your meal, go on-line and order a copy of "Farmageddon" by Philip Lymbery.  You can read a review of the book here or here.  Or you can see a trailer of the movie that has been made of the book here.  I'm not saying that you must go vegetarian.

All I am asking is that once you have read one, or two, or all three of these books, please - blog about the book.  Blog about what you discover.  Blog about your feelings.  Blog so that others may learn what you now know.

Even something simple like asking for one, or all, of these books to be the book of the month at your bookclub, if you belong to one.  Or donating the book, once you (and, hopefully, your family and friends) have finished with it, to the local municipal library or high school library so that the message may reach a broader audience.

It is the least you can do.

Be warned - each publication will probably make you assess and take responsibility for your part in the ongoing and increasing damage being perpetuated to this blue planet.

Are you brave enough to read one, two or all three?  Please - please - be brave enough.


  1. we are turning the focus of the food we eat from vegetarian (with too much dairy) to vegan (no more eggs). Learning step by step. Instead of meat-free Mondays, we are trying for a lunch or dinner without - the poached egg, cheese sprinkles, spoonful of yoghurt.

    1. (Diana - I did reply to you - via my smart phone. But for some reason it came up as a stand alone comment.)

      Diana - Just watch your protein / calciun intake isn't too low.

      But, I agree, an only vegetable dinner is delicious, and one which I live while RMan is eating his plateful of red meat.

      But, I couldn't go without eggs or cheese :)

  2. Diana - Just watch your protein / calciun intake isn't too low.

    But, I agree, an only vegetable dinner is delicious, and one which I live while RMan is eating his plateful of red meat.

    But, I couldn't go without eggs or cheese :)

  3. I liked the sunsets. If I want to watch the sunrise or sunset, I have to walk up through the woods a bit to some granite outcrops where there's a good view. I often do that.

    It's hard for us here in America to focus on long term things because just surviving day to day is so iffy. It's like the old saying "It's hard to remember your initial objective was to drain the swamp when you are up to your a** in alligators."

    1. Harry - It's not just America - I think the whole world is still reeling from the on-going effects of this last recession. Add to that ineffective heads of state and we all have an excuse.

      But, does the planet have the luxury of waiting until things are "normal" again?

      I guess we'll find out when it's too late...

  4. I think a healthy perspective to take on the issue of climate change is that during all the ice ages and other climate changes of the past, there wasn't 6-7 billion people living on the planet consuming it's resources and driving however many millions of cars there are today. With that said, I would think that, since the climate on this world still changed so much during those time periods, that it would be safe to assume that climate change is actually normal and not a catastrophe. Thoughts? Opinions?

    1. Josh - And how do 7 billion people on this planet think they are going to survive climate change?

      With farmed animals - which are fed what?

      With infertile GM crops?

      Never mind that, what additional consequences are there going to be this time round, with all the damage that man has done to this planet - viz, fracking / mining / damming?

      Can you picture the scene when a glacier moves over a fracked area - the massive collapse of those empty cavernous spaces under the weight of the glacier, the transferral of the residue chemicals in the fracked mines across the land by means of glacial action.

      Or the unbiodigradable plastic nurdles created by glogal warming or glacial action which are going to literally cover everything, etc... The conveniently undisclosed chemical content of the fish that is caught is as a direct result of the amount of positively minute plastic particles they are ingesting in the sea would and should sound the loudest alarm bells.

      Climate change this time round will be unlike anything this planet has seen before. But, we have the power to reverse the damage we have caused / are still causing.

      Providing we remove the blinkers, and all take responsibility for the part we are playing in the impending tragedy.

  5. I think it makes sense to do whatever we can to conserve our assets. I did this even when it wasn't fashionable simply because I had European parents living in the US and because I went to school in a time where conservation awareness and pollution were things that were being integrated into all of our learning. So a great many people have been conserving, looking for green strategies, or practicing integrated pest management etc. I don't always do everything the least expensive way, but we do try to do everything that preserves natural assets and is truly the best practice.
    I do worry though that man occupies only a small portion of the planet. Although we do everything in our power to perform best practices for the Earth, I fear that the climate changes may simply be part of the evolution of Earth. I worry that no matter what we do, the carrying capacity of our planet is not as high as the number we occupy now. Through floods and all manner of disaster and pestilence the planet will naturally reduce the number of people here, just as the dinosaurs passed, glaciers left my neighborhood. I worry that the power to change the evolution of our planet isn't ours and never was.

    1. Jane - I couldn't agree with you more.

      Conserving whatever we can will only benefit not only the planet and it's resources, but also our purses. For the past 150 years mankind has had a willy-nilly attitude to all things, aptly demonstrated with our current "throw-away and replace with a new model" attitude.

      And, yes, evidence of previous climate change exists, but NOT a climate change which is going to be compounded by the poisonous chemicals in all forms, which we insist on pumping into the environment / oceans / atmosphere. I fear that that is going to be one heck of a "climate change"...

  6. something to try in your solar oven?

    1. Diana - Thanks - I was able to access the wheatberry bread. I'm not sure if it would work in the solar oven, as it's not "baked" per se, more dried. Also, will it be crunchy enough for RMan...? ;)


Thank you for taking the time to comment - it makes my day and removes the "loneliness' of sitting at my screen blogging supposedly to myself ;) I try and reply as quickly as possible so please forgive me if sometimes my response is delayed.