Dr. Kushal Konwar Sarma the Elephant Doctor | Wildlife Researcher and Veterinarian

On March 2nd, a world-renowned wildlife researcher and veterinarian, Dr. Kushal Konwar Sarma, gave a speech about his work at the Santa Fe public library, hosted by the local chapter of the Outreach of the Defenders of Wildlife. He is working presently in the department of Surgery and Radiology at the Veterinary College in Guwahati, in Assam India.

Assam is a state in northeastern India known for its wildlife, archeological sites and tea plantations.

He was flown to the United States to give this presentation, sponsored by local patrons. Dr. Sarma conducted a warm and informative speech. He has worked for over 30 years as a veterinarian in the wild.

Dr. Kushal Konwar Sarma The, Elephant Doctor of Assam

Dr. Kushal Konwar Sarma The Elephant Doctor of Assam

At that time, the audience, which was full capacity, were urged by the hosts, the Santa Fe chapter of the Defenders of Wildlife, to contact our New Mexico State senators within the following days regarding (SB 81) the Game Commission Reform Bill, about to arrive for a vote to protect wildlife.

Michael Dax, a New Mexico Outreach Representative of the Defenders of Wildlife organized the event. Another organizer of Dr. Sarma’s visit was Janie Chodosh, who earned her master’s degree in environmental science a the University of Montana, and has worked as a naturalist at Yosemite National Park as a wilderness guide for the Colorado Outward Bound School. As a conservationist and writer, Ms. Chodosh conducted an in depth interview of over 47 hours in Assam, India of Dr. Kushal Konwar Sarma, regarding his tremendous work as a veterinarian and wildlife researcher who has worked with elephants in the wild for decades.

The state of Assam, India has the largest population of Elephants. Dr. K. K. Sarma began his talk saying that he’s a servant of animals. He talked of how charismatic elephants are. Regarding the fact that rogue male elephant ‘Bulls’ have a tendency to become quite boisterous and roudy, and can endanger people’s lives or property when they are in this high testosterone animated state. Basically these rogue bulls play an evolutionary role in that the healthiest and hardiest young bull will overtake the older male, and produce a herum of its own due to its success in competing with the older males.

Stories in the Field, Janie Chodosh, Elephant Doctor, Dr. K K Sarma

Stories in the Field Janie Chodosh interviews the Elephant Doctor Dr. K K Sarma

Dr. Sarma has devised a method of subduing rogue bulls by physically entering the elephant’s space to give them a sedative, risking injury or death to himself, in order to circumvent the potential death of the elephant by people who fear having their property or themselves injured during this short period of the elephant’s roudyness. Dr. Sarma has subdued 138 rogue bulls in 37 range countries over the last decades. He created an Elephant Emergency Response team.

Dr. Sarma states that Asian elephants are seriously endangered. I assumed that this was due to poaching and the black market for ivory. In fact, Asian elephants do not have tusks. Dr. Sarma stated that the greatest threat to Asian elephants is human over-population. Humans have allowed themselves to breed ferociously. The population is growing exponentially. He mentioned that Bangladesh is a breeding ground of humanity.

Bangladeshi population 161 million)

Bangladeshi population (currently 161 million) doubles every 30-40 years

population explosion Bangladesh

population explosion in Bangladesh

Basically, overpopulation encroaches on wildlife habitat, and leads to habitat loss. Subsequently, the territory of elephants is shrinking and the connectivity of their migratory corridors are not just being severed, they are gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I later discerned that Muslims do not support the education or implementation of birth control, because it is contrary to their religion. A traveler reminded me that the meaning of the word Muslim according to the Koran, is ‘to serve’. And to serve one’s god/Allah, is to multiply.

Elephants need a large area to roam through. They are highly social, and matriarchal. Dr. Sarma mentions that Assam, India is a biodiversity hotspot. It is a state located in the eastern most part of India near the borders/bordering of Myamar/Burma and Thailand. Kaziranga National Park has the highest Rhino population. As he works with many species, he pointed out that Gorillas live only in the trees, so that when forests are cut down, they have no where to go. He mentioned that in 200 sq.km. of forest, there is not a single tree. And that the lumber industry creates soil erosion, so that there have been devastating floods. Therefore one finds elephants of all places, in British Tea gardens, one of the only green places to find refuge. Dr. Sarma mentioned in addition, that Tiger and Rhino poaching is prevalent in China and Vietnam.

Assam's tea gardens, home to wild animals

Assam’s tea gardens become second home to wild animals

He mentioned that various religions of India recognize elephants as special creatures. In general, Buddhists respect life and wish no harm to wildlife. Hindus have a popular god, Ganesha – with an elephant’s head and trunk. Naturally, they wish to honor and protect elephants. The dissemination of elephant territory began when India was annexed by Great Britain. The British colonialists, began the path of destruction of land with their industrial demands of the resources India provided of timber, coal and petroleum. They began to also use elephants physical to transport timber and other resources they were extracting from their new playground India. In 1947 India became independent.

Reasons to support elephant conservation

In efforts to educate us, the public, about the practical reasons for humans to support elephant conservation, is mentions that elephants are a ‘Flagship species’.

“Wherever elephants are present, forests survive.”

In the network of interdependent species in an ecosystem, elephants demonstrate that the forest is healthy. They create a canopy for other animals to coexist.

Elephants are good teachers. One can learn from them by observing the many resources elephants utilize with their extensive knowledge of plants, on how to heal themselves, prevent illness and use various remedies and techniques with plants and nature as tools. For example, practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine in India follow and observe elephants to adapt their own medicinal practices. They observe what species of plants elephants gravitate to, to use for their own purposes of preventive medicine. For example, elephants eat bark from a certain tree to deworm themselves. Elephants never get cancer. They eat a plant that Azim B53.

Tea estates Assam India corridors for elephants to pass

Tea estates in Assam create natural corridors for elephants to pass through

painted elephants Lunar Elephants Laden

> Elephants are very intelligent. Elephants dispense seeds. They can hear from long distances, but are poor sportsmen. He mentioned.

How to protect elephants

• Mahatma Ghandhi during his rule, designated October 2nd as “Elephant Day”
• elephant awareness
• Lunar Elephants Laden
• elephant healthcare
• preservation of habitat
• reconnect elephant corridors > relocate people and buildings from elephant corridors
• fencing:
§ bio-fencing
§ solar electric fences
§ citrus fences have thorns which thwart the animals from crossing them
• mixing and burning chili powder from Assam with cow dung repels elephants
• night guard lights : for $2.50, these lights emulate the eyes of a tiger, to discourage elephants from moving towards them (sort of like the scarecrow tactic)
• fencing villages instead of fencing elephants
• develop water areas with vegetation to attract elephants
• one tea garden created a “Community Elephant Refuge”
• using people and specialists to define elephant corridors and to place people to MOUNT/DIRECT/PROTECT/DIVERT elephant herds
• eco-development committee
• ecotourism
• governors 80 mitigation

He concluded his speech reminding the audience that we must leave pure air, soil and water for the next generation. It is our duty not to exploit and ruin the earth. I was very inspired and appreciative that I had the opportunity to listen to and meet this man.

Hindu, Muslim. NGM, National Geographic Magazine

The royalty of India—Hindu and Muslim—understood long ago that power was best wielded from the back of an elephant. National Geographic Magazine

Carol Keiter the blogger

Carol Keiter the blogger

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Rainforest Destruction – Loss to Palm Oil Plantations linked to PepsiCo | Here’s what you can do.

Before even viewing the video, I was very informed just reading the information from the organizations (Sum of Us & Rainforest Action Network) who investigate, research, compile information and educate us. They use their time and expertise to investigate these habitats and their destruction, and help us all, as we are many, many people, to take action and make the difference. Each of us have the chance to learn and communicate information.

Sign the Petition, Protect Critical Rainforests Now

Sign the Petition Protect Critical Rainforests Now

Funny, that the people for the most part who eat products made from this stuff (palm oil products),
have poorer diets, get less nutrition from the ‘addictive’ and ‘dead’ junk food filled with non-descript ingredients, and typically have less education about how to eat properly. Other than standing on a street corner with a sign that states what eating this product is doing to the most precious habitats giving life to precious creatures who are losing their land at an enormously fast rate, what we can do is educate one another. This is the only earth with its abundance of phenomenal life, that we have. We can change our habits, our eating and buying habits. We can take the time to learn more about what the most effective ways are to keep these places alive and thriving. Most of our actions can be felt through what we buy. We can take these actions independently, and certainly we can’t go up against these huge organizations and manufacturing firms alone, if we are not informed about them. It is these huge industries like Nestlé who rob people of their own water – dipping into water tables – and then sell it back to them for profit and huge corporate giants like PepsiCo who only have profits in their sphere. It is our addiction to oil, thinking that we need these oversized vehicles; that the lack of health and fitness of many people who choose to drive and feel esteem and protection for their vehicles, when there is so, so much more to what life is all about. Let’s continue to do something, to do more.

It is these Big Three buyers who are causing this destruction, rather ominous abstract sounding companies that we wouldn’t have a clue about, if it weren’t for the environmental organizations who do the research to inform us. The Big Three Buyers’ of palm oil from the Leuser Ecosystem region—Wilmar International, Musim Mas Group and Golden Agri-Resources Ltd

Let me grab just this one line to r e i t e r a t e what we are dealing with.

“The only place on earth where elephants, tigers, orangutans and rhinos live in the same forest, Leuser is considered one of the world’s top priority conservation areas.”

Big Three Buyers’ of palm oil from the Leuser Ecosystem region—Wilmar International, Musim Mas Group, Golden Agri-Resources Ltd, The Leuser Ecosystem, Big Three Buyers suppliers, Palm Oil Plantations

The Leuser Ecosystem The Big Three Buyers supplying Palm Oil Plantations – Big Three Buyers’ of palm oil from the Leuser Ecosystem region—Wilmar International, Musim Mas Group and Golden Agri-Resources Ltd

WWF World Wildlife Fund Which everyday products containing palm oil, Peel Back Label

WWF World Wildlife Fund Which everyday products contain palm oil Time to Peel Back Label

rainforest destruction linked to pepsi, pepsico, clearcutting, palm oil plantations

shocking rainforest destruction linked to pepsi and clearcutting to create palm oil plantations

“A new report is shining a spotlight on some of the most ruthless destruction of elephant habitat we’ve ever seen. And the massive forest clearance is linked to the suppliers of snack foods sold by companies like PepsiCo across the world.

A field investigation by our partners at Rainforest Action Network uncovered the devastating clearance of already endangered forests in the Leuser Ecosystem. The only place on earth where elephants, tigers, orangutans and rhinos live in the same forest, the Leuser Ecosystem is considered one of the world’s top priority conservation areas. It’s also the source of drinking water and livelihoods for millions of people in the Indonesian province of Aceh.

But Leuser’s critical importance is apparently of no concern to rogue palm oil producer PT. ABN. The company has been illegally — and rapidly — turning lowland forests into palm oil plantations despite being ordered out by the Indonesian government. So who has been buying PT. ABN’s conflict palm oil? Wilmar palm oil refineries, supplier of brands like PepsiCo, McDonald’s, and Nestlé.”

The Leuser Ecosystem, Wildlife and Biodiversity, Rainforest Action Network

The Leuser Ecosystem Wildlife and Biodiversity Rainforest Action Network

The Leuser Ecosystem, Rainforest Action Network

The Leuser Ecosystem Rainforest Action Network

message-about-embracing-life-and-love

Carol the blogger's contact card while residing here in the southwest for the time being.

Carol the blogger’s contact card while residing here in the southwest for the time being.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Keiter, aka nomadbeatz, welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition
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SFCC Presents Sustainability Series | Evolving Energy Policy for a Sustainable Santa Fe

I attended this panel discussion on September 12th, part of a series.

Santa Fe Community College, Sustainability Seminar Series 2016, Evolving Energy Policy, Sustainablie Santa Fe

Santa Fe Community College Sustainability Seminar Series 2016 Evolving Energy Policy for a Sustainablie Santa Fe

It was put together by Christian Casillas together with the Santa Fe Community College. This first one on September 12th was on the Evolving Energy Policy for a Sustainable Santa Fe

SFCC Presents Sustainability Series on Mondays in September

Christian Casillas, Renewable, Appropriate Energy Laboratory

Christian Casillas-Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory

The moderator, Beth Beloff has been involved in the development of sustainability strategies at corporate and municipal levels. She’s the founder and principal of Beth Beloff a business towards Inciting Sustainability.

Beth Beloff & Associates. Incite Sustainability

Beth Beloff & Associates Incite Sustainability

The panelists were

Alexandra Ladd
Asian studies degree
housing planner in Santa Fe
acting interim director of economic development

Craig O’Hare
green building
special assistant for clean energy for the governor of New Mexico
water conservation, long range planning and watershed management

Erick J. Aune (ahn né)
transportation planning
planning director for Aztec, New Mexico

Daniel House Werwath
affordable housing,
co-founder mix santa fe
interfaith housing
creation of affordable housing projects

Adam Cohen
lead faculty of green house technologies and operations at SFCC
mathematics, marine
taught public High School
green farms; high quality foods with minimal
dvlopment os sustainable agriculture programs at SFCC

The site will have each of the panelists’ presentations digitally.

I took notes of each of the panelists’ presentations, which I’m sharing here.

Alexandra Ladd does census tracking according to the demographics of age, income, the local hispanic population, etc. She points out that the current trends are to displace the younger and darker skinned populations to the south of the city with the point that we want to preserve the city as a mixture of diverse groups living together. The trend has been for youth and the hispanic population being shut out from center of town.

Ladd mentioned that on any given night in Santa Fe, 100 young people don’t have a safe place to sleep or eat. As is the trend around the world, this leads to prostitution.

Ironically, an article from the Guardian came out this same day, on September 12th, “US teens often forced to trade sex work for food study finds.”

Alexandria Ladd also mentions that 1 out of 5 kids are in poverty and that in the center of town, 1 in 4 are over 65 in age. In fact, 50% of the residents are cost-burdened by housing costs. Only 1/3 of people living in SF work here, therefore the that commute to other places to work are spending money in these other communities.

Improving public transportation is an obvious way to help with people in poverty. The demographic projection for 2020 is that 50% of people living in downtown Santa Fe will be over 65 years of age. She implores that we need to ensure that our decision making is empowering the leadership of young people.

Craig O’Hare, talks of the efficacy of renewable energy efficiency. He mentions that promoting a green economy is important, specifically with respect to his concern about global climate disruption. Stating that the global climate change statistics have become more dire than predicted,
we need to get onto renewable a.s.a.p. He talks about Home Energy Efficiency. Specifically efficiency technologies.

• Renewable Energy: solar > solar electric
• the building envelop: walls, ceiling, attic, doors windows: with the goal to reduce air leaks & increase insulation. With respect to this he mentioned that within your own home, you can get out a lighter and check electrical plugs, windows, doors and seal for leaks. Areas with leaks will cause the lighter to flicker.

The Santa Fe Community college has an excellent ‘building performance certification program’ to insulate one’s home. He mentions that even with the best technology, windows let heat out. The best are triple panes, filled with argon gas…yet if you don’t have capability to invest in these, duct tape is also great for insulating. However, as you make the home tighter with less leakage, there are concerns about CO poisoning. NG & Propane Furnaces and Water Heaters can send carbon monoxide into the air. Fortunately, HVAC & major appliances have better technology. He points out that ceiling and portable fans are effectivee at cooling, in addition to shading your windows with trees, awnings, portals, etc.

LED lights have warm and cool light quality; warm = 2700 Kelvin.

The Santa Fe, NM County government site has a Residential Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Forum with incentives for common sense energy.

craig O'Hare, Renewable Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Forum

craig O’Hare Renewable Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Forum

New Mexico has the 2nd best solar resource. The new design of solar electric photovoltaic cells convert the sun’s light (not heat) into electricity. Yet, the utility companies are fighting this. Solar thermal produces water and space heating. He runs ads all over the county offering free solar power with a 30% federal income tax credit and 10% state income tax credit, that would be exempt from paying etstate sales tax.

• wind energy is naturally site specific

 

 

 

The next panelist Erick J. Aune speciality is public transportation.

The quest is personal mobility, which equates to freedom, which comes down to the vehicle of choice. His talk induced a wider philosophical perspective into questioning why we do what we do. Humans want access to experiences, asking why we do things, where are we going? For the most part is it for convening in addition to the economic element, going to work.

He pointed out the history of transportation in this area,the ancient roads and pathways. Pointing out that transportation surpasses coal-fired power plants for most CO2 emissions in the United States.
There is a significant production of greenhouse gas emissions from transport, because ‘in America, we love to drive’.

He speaks of the importance to recognize the value we put neurologicaly, socially and emotionally on driving, mentioning that it is extremely difficult to compete with the automobile. He mentions,
Jarrett Walker’s ‘Human Transit’ book.

Jarrett Walker, Human Transit

Jarrett Walker Human Transit

Erick Aune asks What If environmental sustainability was the goal, and all other things became subordinate to a commitment to reduce greenhouse gases?

All sorts of technologies and organizations can help towards this cause; smart phone data, bike shares, Zagster, meters, ride-shares, Über etc.

Daniel House Werwath is the affordable housing and community development guy. He talks of real community sustainability as it relates to housing. Buildings produce 39% of our greenhouse gases. New construction is needed; talking about zoning with respect to ‘infill’, social fabric and cultural diversity. He’s a community developer who wants to create energy efficient buildings. Presently he’s involved in developing a local Arts & Creativity center and affordable live-work rental properties.

He reiterates the point made by Alexandra Ladd, the zoning panelist, that “we are segregating low-income, people of color and younger people to far outside of town. Therefore he’s an advocate of zoning for higher density housing, investigating ways to broaden public participation in land use and policy making, and using technology so that everyone has a voice.

Adam Cohen is on the Greenhouse faculty for the Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) on hydroponics (a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil) and aquaponics, “a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic animals supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water.”

SFCC, Greenhouse Management, School of Trades, Technology, Sustainability

SFCC Greenhouse Management School of Trades, Technology, Sustainability

He’s talking about food; not just the energy/water nexus, but agriculture.

Food is how we store energy as a whole. There will be over 9 Billion people on planet by 2040. Over-fishing has lead to an 80% depletion of fish; almost every species we eat are either critically over-fished or will be gone, cratered to irreversible levels. Agriculture amounts to 70% of the usage of water and 40% of the land goes to agriculture. The present day agricultural systems account for 14% of global greenhouse gases. In New Mexico, 97% of the food is imported – less than a weeks worth of food in the grocery stores. Therefore fossil foods are involved in the transport chain; ie. 250 to 1,000 miles.

He claims that two generations have been brought up on processed foods. They are low in cost, yet also low in nutritional value. These habits are a strong contributing factor to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Just as the blog I posted previously about “Food Sovereignty” in which the Gangsta Gardener Ron Finely talks of his guerrilla gardening in Los Angeles.

Adam Cohen mentions that any economy that only produces raw materials is tied to poverty. He speaks of the
Omnivore’s Dilemma” book, and the cost for transporting the ingredients of a single salad my involve 3,000 to 35,000 miles.

Regarding food security, Cohen states that New Mexico is first in the nation for childhood hunger, at 18.6%. All of this pointing to the fact that we need to grow our own food ~ it is one of the easiest things we can do. Fortunately, there has been an increase in farm to table efoorts, farm to schools and farm to restaurant operations. For example, in the last 5 yrs in Dallas, Texas, he saw 14 farmer’s markets start up in addition to food co-ops, CSA’s farmer’s markets. Even the big box supermarkets are showing marked increase in preference for ‘locally grown’ food, because they save money with respect to transportation.

The bottom line, we need to produce more food > controlled environment agriculture (greenhouses). For example in northern New Mexico there are 7 months of growing, whereas greenhouses will provide 12 months a year; to grow a much larger portion of food will increase food sovereignty and community development.

In Europe 90% of agriculture is done in controlled environment spaces – greenhouses. Once again the point is made in this discussion that we have a society addicted to fossil fuels.

We need food and Ag education, and it’s best to start with children with the food education.

We need to change our food culture: We are addicted to fossil fuels and maintaining the status quo.

Currently they are putting up a teaching facility at SFCC to teach people in NM how to grow food for New Mexicans; 12,000 footage of greenhouse space. With these hydroponic and aquaponic techniques, for the same quantity of harvest, they use 95% less water. With aquaponics, there is zero waste. In aquaponics, one feeds the fish, and then the waste of the fish is converted to fertilizer, which fertilzes the plants.

These systems are simple. 1. they can be done on the counter top 2. this can involve marrying the traditional heritage of agriculture with new techniques.

The rest, is up to educating ourselves and taking the steps towards making positive changes wherever we can.

CASSE, Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy

CASSE, Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy

On this note, here’s a site I happened upon that can be another guide to the same principles brought up towards allowing sustainability to evolve. CASSE, Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy

As George Monbiot elegantly states in his blog “The Purse is Mightier than the Pen” the biggest pitfall is money.

 

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Carol Keiter, the blogger, PA

Carol the blogger back in Pennsylvania

On Positive Transformation to Health and Sustainability through Food Sovereignty | Ron Kinley’s TED talk: Guerrilla Gardening in South Central LA | Vandana Shiva Soil not Oil | Dahlia Wasfi MD on Monsanto’s Seed Terrorism in Iraq | Joe Brewer Working for Billionaires

Okay, well, my preceding blog featuring the over-the-top frightening and provocative wake-up call about human actions on the planet, needs to be answered and redirected to subjects spelling out hope, again and again. I have the tendency to veer towards economic issues and casting the blame towards the culprits, the 1% of course. Why do I feel that enough is enough? Because there’s a tendency among all of us to just feel powerless and sort of heading towards a crash, so that we become even more reckless. Say you are becoming late for an event, and there can become a point where you teeter towards not going at all, because of whatever story you’re telling yourself in your head. Or better analogy, since many people are weight conscious and become obsessed with what they shouldn’t be eating, and then wind up over-indulging big time, because once they’ve ‘broken their rule’ they say, what the hell and now after putting that diet off another day…the downward spiral may set in and feeling upset with oneself and powerless, now feeds a cycle of rationalization.

I often gravitate to talking about economics, bringing up the corpocrisy of capitalism. That’s why the article about “Making money for Billionaires” by Joe Brewer reverberates. Brewer’s punch line, “Will we honor the sacredness of life on Earth and evolve our global economy so that is in service of life? Or will we desecrate all that is sacred in this world so that a handful of families can have a few more yachts, a few more marble bath tubs, and bragging rights that they are the ones who died with the most toys?”

I don’t meant to scare people, though I may.

global, land,  sea, temperatures, 1.11C warmer, April 2016

global land and sea temperatures 1.11C warmer in April 2016


Fact: Last month, April was the warmest on record. The Guardian features this article. “April breaks global temperature record, marking seven months of new highs”

Fact: Michael Slezak writes for the Guardian, “World’s carbon dioxide concentration teetering on the point of no return

Fact: The economics of the fossil fuel industry fuels climate change which disrupts peoples lives and impoverishing their connection to nature, as does the economic political system of capitalism which has effectively taken away peoples’ rights to sustainable living.

That’s why dozens of ecological and environmental awareness groups coordinated a world-wide two-week global wave of escalated action to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground. Break Free from Fossil Fuels – through investing physically in ways to avoid these fuels and replace them with others, as well as through divestment from schools, institutions and companies that use these.

-.-.-.-.–
WHAT WE CAN DO! Anyone who is conscious, is aware of the gist of our current reality. Yet perhaps not everyone realizes just how interconnected things are; the earth’s atmosphere and climate, the various species flickering out of existence, the state of human affairs, wellness and disease connected to diet and food growth, resources and how much is leveraged by economics and greed. Yes, you all have heard of the 1% and the 99%. You see on the news the ravages of war and greed.

I couldn’t get this blog out quickly enough for my own taste, except that it has left the exposé on the lies we live there resting further on my top page. Having attended the alternative climate talks coinciding with those among dignitaries in Paris during the same two weeks December 2015, one of the main themes among the various presentations by ecological evangelists, activists, journalists and environmental entrepreneurs, was the need to create a new story to portray the radically changing climate and the radically shifting needs and solutions, so that the message for change will not be disregarded through hopelessness or gloom, but presented as palpable alternatives that can be embraced; with refreshing new ways to approach the subject – in positive ways – that people can grasp and feel inspired by and inclined to act on. Sort of like presenting things in chewable bites that are savory and delicious rather than presenting something so ferociously unwieldy and ugly that the easiest reaction is simply to turn one’s back and pretend it isn’t there, like that homeless person you step around on your way to work in a metropolitan area from the car door to the office entrance.

On this note, I am going to be treating a number of alternative change measures that we all can embrace, over the next blogs.

This one is about the easiest and perhaps most overlooked means of creating change and controlling this through one’s own actions: the food you put in your mouth. As the founders of Collective Evolution state, change happens from within.

No better place to start, than what you put into your mouth, and how this food is grown.

Ron Finley: A guerrilla gardener in South Central LA TED talks about Los Angeles's vacant lots

Ron Finley: A guerrilla gardener in South Central LA TED talks about Los Angeles’s vacant lots

Ron Finley, Guerrilla Gardener, artist's palette, plants, trees

Ron Finley Guerrila Gardener where the artist’s palette are plants and trees

Guerrilla gardening is actually an established concept; according to an entry in wikipedia: guerrilla gardening is the act of gardening on land that the gardeners do not have the legal rights to utilize, such as an abandoned site, an area that is not being cared for, or private property.

You can contact Ron Finley, the Gangsta Gardener at http://ronfinley.com to help the Ron Finley Project grow in more communities.

The 7 Spiritual Laws of Gardening,

Deepak Chopra Center 7 Spiritual Laws of Gardening by Leo Carver

As the author Leo Carver mentions in his article for the Chopra Center The 7 Spiritual Laws of Gardening “The wisdom traditions of the world often refer to the oneness and transcendence one feels when interacting with nature.”

There’s been an ongoing obstructionism of peoples’ food and farmers’ seeds going on in India, as witnessed through articles like this one, The Seeds Of Suicide: How Monsanto Destroys Farming

Vandana Shiva is an Indian scholar, environmental activist and anti-globalization author who has written more than 20 books. She’s a ferociously intelligent woman who brings her economic and political insights into her speeches, in which she eloquently articulates why things are the way they are, as dictated by the economic trends of the last half of the century in capitalism and corporate greed and globalization. I witnessed her speaking this last December in Paris as a panelist during the climate talks, orchestrated by the Place to B. She has worked to promote biodiversity in agriculture. “Central to Shiva’s work is the idea of seed freedom, or the rejection of corporate patents on seeds.” Much of her work has been on educating the public about food and agriculture, as in Vandana Shiva’s Speech on Food and Agriculture Systems
In it she mentions that “fertilizers, which are toxic and poisonous, were originally designed as weapons of war…and that 6,000 chemicals are unleashed every year by these companies. She casually points out as she’s describing the terrorism of Monsanto and it’s hijacking of the seeds of Indian farmers, that “this was earlier, this was before these companies controlled governments, research at universities and before they controlled the media.” Hearing her words reminded me of what I learned viewing multiple documentaries after the Wall Street financial collapse, where it was elucidated clearly how the world’s financial systems have infiltrated educational institutions, to be proponents and perpetuators of their own system.

She talks about Monsanto ‘We Must End Monsanto’s Colonization, Its Enslavement of Farmers

and food sovereignty as does Dahlia Wasfi MD, a physician, peace and environmental activist. Waif talks about Iraq, its occupation and the experiment of Monsanto with their own chemicals and the farmers of Iraq. Wasfi talks in this video about Iraq’s seed industry and its destruction by Monsanto, who forbid them (Iraqi farmers) after 2003 to maintain their seed bank and share their seeds. What happened in India is happening currently in Iraq, with respect to Monsanto’s occupation of farmer’s seeds.

I just discovered the site Salud America, reading that the Las Cruces, New Mexico city council members were meeting on May 23, 2016, to discuss plans for expanding the local agriculture and food environment through a comprehensive Urban Agriculture and Food Policy plan developed by local non-profit La Semilla Food Center (semilla=seed). That’s good news! I presume more of this awareness and activities around urban gardening are springing up in various states.

carol_selfie_sun copy
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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz ~ As an avid blogger who is presently picking up where I left off with my eBook to complete it and and beginning again to compose music, I ask you rather unambiguously and unabashedly to please donate, if you are able. !-))

In my carolkeiter blog I talk about the Sovereignty of Consciousness.

Biggest Threat to Renewable Energy: Politics of Oil Industry Greed | Your Voice Against Monopolies | Ecological Transitions2

Basically it’s like this. The earth has been warming due to increasing concentrations of (CO2) carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which serves like a blanket, containing the molecules and thus increasing the temperature. There are various man-made components affecting this, most of it due to industrialized processes; oil, gas and coal extraction among the biggest culprits, with industrialized agriculture trends also contributing to a nefarious impact.

EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, CO2

EPA Environmental Protection Agency on CO2

As the EPA site of the United States government describes, “The main human activity that emits CO2 is the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) for energy and transportation, although certain industrial processes and land-use changes also emit CO2.”

There have been scatterings of renewable energy projects around for years and new ones emerging, despite the intention of stock-holders in petroleum industries from keeping them from floating.

A huge project is underway in Morocco which is the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant, powered by the Saharan sun, set to help renewables provide almost half the country’s energy by 2020.

12 meter high parabolic mirrors in launch of mega solar project in Morocco

12 meter high parabolic mirrors in launch of mega solar project in Morocco

Here’s a clever very short video animation “Can the Sun Cool Down the Earth?” that is so informative, on the benevolence of solar power.

Can the Sun Cool Down the Earth, Keep It In the Ground

Can the Sun Cool Down the Earth? – Keep It -OIL- In the Ground

It’s contained within an article “Morocco Poised to become a Solar Superpower with launch of Desert Mega-Project

Keep it (Oil) in the Ground

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/video/2015/jul/22/sun-cool-down-earth-video?CMP=share_btn_fb

It’s from this article Morocco Poised to become a Solar Superpower with launch of Desert Mega-Project

The project, the biggest of its kind in Europe, will have a total installed peak capacity of 6.3 megawatts, and should generate enough energy to power 1,800 homes in its first year.
In an article in his blog Rigging the Market, George Monbiot mentions that the oil industry actually had done their own studies of the impacts of their actions on the environment decades ago, and proceeded to conceal their findings of the malevolent effects. He mentions, “But some renewables firms are being tanked by the same forces: just as natural gas prices plunge, governments like the UK’s are stripping them of their subsidies.”

“Already, according to the IMF, more money is spent, directly and indirectly, on subsidizing fossil fuels than on funding health services. The G20 countries alone spend over three times as much public money on oil, gas and coal than the whole world does on renewable energy. In 2014, subsidies for fossil fuel production in the UK reached £5 billion. Enough? Oh no. While essential public services are being massacred through want of funds, last year the government announced a further £1.3 billion in tax breaks for oil companies in the North Sea. Much of this money went to companies based overseas. They must think we’re mad.” However, Ramsay Dunning in this article “COP21: Co-operative voice is being heard in the EU” mentions that Co-operative Energy has been active over the last 12 months in both REScoop and Co-operatives Europe’s Energy Working Group, recognizing that as one door closes in the UK, another one may open in Europe. “Cooperatives Europe is part of an EU project on renewable energy cooperatives together with cooperatives from across Europe to promote and develop them.”

Monbiot discusses the politics of money in the oil industry and how much this in itself impedes progress in all of the renewable industries – wind, solar, wave, biomass, etc – which would actually reduce these rising temperatures; from the dirty activities of the petrochemical industries (oil, gas and coal extraction) that have been denigrating the environment, polluting air and water and by virtue of rising temperatures alone, corrupting and dismantling the balance of the biosphere. Humans are presently witnessing far more severe weather patterns due to unprecedented draughts and flooding, and epic storms. Yet human habitat can to a degree be rebuilt after the fires and landslides and floods. However it’s a different story for other inhabitants of the earth; from coral reef bleaching to animals dying off that are very small on the bio chain, these then affect larger marine and land mammals. Not to mention the chemical wastes and biohazards that are put into the water and atmosphere due to human industrial farming, resulting in other die-offs of species; i.e. bees and other pollinators. It appears that the smallest creatures are affected the most, which subsequently directly affect human communities; with disease epidemics that are exacerbated with rising global temperatures.

The most startling thing, is that the human condition which has tended in the last decades to be more focused on material displays of wealth and economic gain over actually using our brain power and hearts towards a real spiritual transformation that is possible, has been stuck in a fixation with making short-term profit gains, without having the sensitivity or empathy to give a hoot about anyone or any creature whose lives are affected by their actions.

And in the increasing symptom of monopolization of power, which was already taking place as the New World was beginning to make its entrance on the global platform, this trend has basically snow-balled. Though monopolies may have had their place contributing to better organization to do large-scale public works, “Monopoly is the extreme case in capitalism. It is characterized by a lack of competition, which can mean higher prices and inferior products.”

Those with money who invest it well, often stealthily, gain power and more leverage. And as this game evolves, the equation of intelligence and leadership with political sovereignty has been replaced with who has the most money to buy the election. There have been so many actions taking place behind closed doors, with people placated with entertainment and distracted by being so busy and feeling powerless to change the system, that people – by not voting and not caring – have let democracy become a hollow symbol.

It’s been a trend for a decade or three, the continued gobbling up of companies by a larger one who opts to buy up the competition, rather than allowing it to survive. I guess it seems enticing to have the money dangled in front of you. Like the farmers fields that I have seen disappearing in the town where I grew up in central Pennsylvania, but the trend is everywhere. Developers buy the land, contractors establish new housing communities that appear pretty quickly, which have these euphemistic names like ‘Greener Pastures’ or ‘Sunny side Meadows blah blah blah.

In addition to big money affecting politics from corporate bastions, individuals with enormous wealth and investment in petroleum industry and its bi-products also corrupts, such as the Koch Brothers.

Illustration by Victor Juhasz the Koch Brothers' Dirty War on Solar Power

In the Rolling Stone magazine, Tim Dickinson writes in The Koch Brothers’ Dirty War on Solar Power “But the birth of Big Solar poses a grave threat to those who profit from burning fossil fuels. And investor-owned utilities, together with Koch-brothers-funded front groups like American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), are mounting a fierce, rear-guard resistance at the state level – pushing rate hikes and punishing fees for homeowners who turn to solar power…Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s narrow 2014 re-election was financed by more than $1.1 million in contributions from the IOUs – investor-owned utilities.

In another article, Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire Dickinson writes, “The enormity of the Koch fortune is no mystery. Brothers Charles and David are each worth more than $40 billion. The electoral influence of the Koch brothers is similarly well-chronicled. The Kochs are our homegrown oligarchs; they’ve cornered the market on Republican politics and are nakedly attempting to buy Congress and the White House. Their political network helped finance the Tea Party and powers today’s GOP…The toxic history of Koch Industries is not limited to physical pollution. It also extends to the company’s business practices, which have been the target of numerous federal investigations, resulting in several indictments and convictions, as well as a whole host of fines and penalties.”

Recently driving across the country, I encountered just a few renewable energy projects, although I drove through southern states along flat areas with plenty of wind and as the desert approached, plenty of sun. As I heard more and more Christian leaning radio stations driving an automobile, I didn’t really see many projects taking hold that were utilizing these resources. However, entering California and approaching Los Angeles from the East, I was delighted to see this windy plain used extensively with one farm of windmills.

23,000 solar photovoltaic (PV), Walton-on-Thames

23,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels will be floated on the reservoir near Walton-on-Thames

Thames Water announced work on a huge floating solar array, equivalent to eight Wembley football pitches, begun in London this week. Just over 23,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels will be floated on the reservoir near Walton-on-Thames.

windmill, southern California, desert

windmill farm on the southern California desert / photo by Carol Keiter

windmill farm, southern California desert, approaching Los Angeles

windmill farm on the southern California desert approaching Los Angeles / photo by Carol Keiter

Phil Noble, California’s First Offshore Wind Power Project, Offshore Wind Farm, Irish Sea

This photo by Phil Noble for article California’s First Offshore Wind Power Project features an Offshore Wind Farm in the Irish Sea

This article “California’s First Offshore Wind Power Project Faces Environmental Headwinds” describes that again, funding is something to navigate. “Pollution-free, renewable energy for some 300,000 homes could arrive on the California coast in the next decade if a new wind farm plan can navigate the contentious climate that thus far has derailed all offshore power projects in the state since 1969.” Margaret Bruder of the University of Michigan and Western Michigan University commented on this article: “Have you ever seen a strip coal mining operation? have you ever lived near a coal power plant. If you think wind turbines are an eye sore take a close look at these too dirty eye sores. The only difference is they are not in your backyard. And as for nuclear power–they might be “clean” energy but we have no idea what is going to happen to the spent fuel rods that have a half life of thousands of years. Do you want to live near their storage tanks when the concrete cracks and crumbles which we all know is likely ot happen in Michigan climate.”

Even more abundant than sun or wind, are wave energy.

Pelamis Wave Power technology

Pelamis Wave Power technology

Wave Power Could Supply Half the U.S. With Cheap Electricity—Here’s Why It Doesn’t” The technology works, but surviving harsh ocean conditions and securing funding has proved tough.

On this note, check this out, Défis Transitions2 calling for the bringing together of the digital and ecological transition, to expedite the process and imbue this transition with a direction.

Défis Transitions2, Digital, Ecological

Connecting the Digital and the Ecological Transitions

transition écologique ecological, objectif,imperative!

transition écologique ecological est notre objectif, our imperative!

Agir Local, Act Local

Agir Local / Act Local

mobilités actives

mobilités actives

Respire ta Ville, Breathe your City

Respire ta Ville /
Breathe your City

Ecology by Design

Ecology by Design

Open Models for Sustainability

Open Models for Sustainability

Digital Transition

the 7 Leverages of Digital Transition

the Vectors of the Ecological Transition

the Vectors of the Ecological Transition

carol keiter, blogger, arizona, wwoof

Carol the blogger in her Moose-themed residence at her first WWOOF experience in Arizona

 

Here’s a pic of me, the blogger in my ‘moose lake lodge’ residence in the Sonoran desert where I’m participating in my first WWOOF experience on the Veteran’s Ranch, a means of avoiding homelessness while at the same time being very interested in learning about farming techniques from the pros – the people who run the farms and ranches – and I absolutely love and adore animals of every type.

And I’ve started to take videos of the animals, with the incentive to capture the sounds, to then weave into some new music (sounds on the ranch 🙂

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz ~ As an avid blogger who is presently picking up where I left off with my eBook to complete it and and beginning again to compose music, I ask you rather unambiguously and unabashedly to please donate, if you are able. !-))

PayPal Donate Button

In addition to the fact that donations are always welcome and appreciated, I just discovered to day February 20th, 2016 patreon, which I am very happy to join and am about to create an artist profile. It is a very similar concept to something I conjectured a month or so ago: wishing there was an artist residency somewhere where the artists can collaborate if they choose, yet which is based on earning money for what they create. They are paid, as they commit to producing work. Well, patron is not a residency, yet it does offer capital, and I’m pretty stoked to have discovered it. Certainly it will act as a motivator for all artists, lighting a fire to keep them producing new work!!! I’ll sign on to patreon as a blogger/photographer/illustrator/author creating a profile tomorrow, and will be de light ed to find some patrons encouraging me to keep on producing work!

The New Story | Sustainability | Fritjof Capra & Pier Luigi Luisi’s ‘Systemic View’ | CEL

Sustainability may not be widely discussed in the network news channels, as ‘action’ news stories often focus on human conflicts, disasters and economic problems of immediacy, rather than delving into long-term repercussions or solutions. Often one is not presented with situations from the standpoint of how you, the viewer, can potentially get involved and help to transform the situation.

In fact we have often received information, from the top-down, through a hierarchy of stations delivered by a few news networks, owned by a few individuals. However, even the new story, implies a new way of gleaning information; through social networks. This implies horizontal sharing of information which a person can actively investigate on their own, delving into sources of information that offer alternative views or by talking with one another, sharing ideas or even taking a walk in the woods to contemplate. So rather than being spoon-fed bits of information, it’s a process of actively investigating and sharing. In other words, thinking, for oneself.

You really Are What you Think.

Sustainable Man, A New Story of the People

Sustainable Man A New Story of the People

The “New Story of the People” is narrated breathfully by Charles Eisenstein; his story of ‘a more beautiful world’.

A New Story, being in service to something larger than yourself

A New Story being in service to something larger than yourself

With respect to the ‘Sustainable Human’, Eisenstein talks about how in the last hundred years science has been focused on dissecting and reducing things to their elemental parts in the quest to understand our universe and the matter which makes up our world. Yet during the scientific process, the influence of the subjective viewer has come to be understood as influencing the object of study. In the past, this would have been discounted as something that can not be empirically proven. As the Western World expands beyond its scientific rationalism and objectification of the world in the ‘Industrial Age’ into a new view of the web of connections through the discoveries during the ‘Information Age’, our definitions are changing. And these spill over from the scientific view of the universe, into parallel pursuits in other arenas, such as recognizing that there is really something to the wisdom traditions of Eastern spirituality and mysticism. A perspective that has been compatible to various indigenous people all over the planet for millennium.

Eisenstein metions that “A new paradigm has begun to evolve along with this scientific view that emerged out of physics; a paradigm which sees the universe not as discreet parts with everything distinctly separate, but as interconnected.”

paradigm shift of perception, from separateness to interconnectedness

We are in a paradigm shift of perception, that moves from separateness to interconnectedness

When I was younger, my interest in science as well as consciousness, spirituality and mysticism, drew me to read the book “The Tao of Physics ” written by the physicist Fritjof Capra.

Fritjof Capra, an Austrian-born American physicist, described in this book what the new sciences were disclosing, a completely new way of looking at the universe, particularly looking at the world from the scientist’s perspective of probing the smallest building blocks.

The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra

The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra

Capra went on to write together with biochemist Pier Luigi Luisi “The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision”. The authors mention that the book primarily deals with the question, “What is Life?”. Their years of research reveal that from bacteria, to cells, to organs, to living organisms from plants and insects to birds and mammals involve networks.

At the core of this paradigm shift, is a perception shift from ‘separateness’ to ‘interconnectedness’.

Rather than looking at isolated events or bodies within its skin or shell, the most obvious characteristic of life are the relationships among networks with other bacteria, cells and creatures as well as relationships between different species, organs and colonies of beings. Life of all kinds, is not a distinct entity which can merely be quantitatively measured and classified into a particular domain, but the very essence of life is a qualitative interconnection between others of its kind and the whole ecological system of relationships between different species.

The common thread of all life is that it is the network. the network is a pattern consistent through all of life, the network is a series of relationships. the science that describes this new perspective is called the ‘Systemic View’. Nature sustains itself in the sense that every organism, from a cell, to an organ, to a body, to the social nature of a species, to the planet itself is an autopoietic system that regenerates itself. This works because it is in a set of relationships within a network system.

Vita e Natura - Life and Nature - video intro of Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi's book - The Systems View of Life A Unifying Vision

Vita e Natura – Life and Nature – video intro of Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi’s book – The Systems View of Life A Unifying Vision

Here is an “essay excerpted from The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision”, presented on the (CEL) website Center for Ecoliteracy, which Capra co-founded.

Capra and Luisi argue “that many of the most important problems we face today – from financial instability to climate change and ecological degradation – reflect our collective inability to appreciate just how the world operates as a holistic, networked system in which every part depends on every other. This is something that can be approached and healed, from the systemic view. We need to live in a way that allows the planet itself to regenerate itself naturally. This leads us to consciousness of ecological sustainability and the intent to build and live in sustainable communities.

You are not distinct from Nature, You Are Nature

Having attended the “People and Planet First” conference in September of 2015 presented by the (IPS) Institute for Policies Studies in Baltimore, Maryland, the panelists also talked of a “New Story“. Among the speakers were Annie Leonard “The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard” and historian and political economist Gar Alperovitz who mentioned that though this new stream of activity towards cooperative business and horizontally-shared ownership is happening in discrete communities all over the United States, it isn’t being consciously driven, yet.

This New Story is all about sustainability: the capacity for human individuals and societies to live in a way that reduces the amount of the earth’s resources that they use, to a level that is compatible with the earth’s ability to regenerate itself and maintain a healthy balance.

This recognition of life as a network of relationships that are holistically healthy and regenerative only insofar as each of the interconnected parts are, as articulated in the Systemic View of life, is beginning to emerge in all different aspects of human relationships, as something to aspire to.

• in the individual – recognizing that we are as healthy and strong and happy only insofar as other members of the human community are also compatibly accessing education and opportunities as well as healthy environments
• in the cohesion of the human social community – in which cooperation rather than competition, diversity in participation and sharing between disciplines and groups is a healthy circulatory system
• in the realm of health – towards new ways of gardening and farming as well as the recognition of health sustaining nutrients inherent in foods and spices
• in emotional well-being – bringing the mind and the body into an interactive balance of movement and stillness; movement for healthy circulation, stillness to allow oneself to connect to that dimension which is beyond our immediate focus
• in spiritual continuity – recognizing that diversity is the spice of life; homogeneity breeds incestuous, narrow-mindedness and stagnation
• in economic behavior – towards openness & transparency, collaboration, horizontal sharing of ownership and the subsequent democratization of wealth
• in political systems – the more open and transparent the governing representatives, the more trust and mutual consensus for what is relevant and important in the fabric of existence; which includes humans, a healthy environment and relationship with all species

Diversity is healthy, whereas homogeneity breeds incestuous narrow-mindedness.

The New Story has evolved as our stories about ourselves, and the place of the human being in the world evolves.

You really Are what you Believe.

Ego vs Eco | Ecological Thinking for Business Transformation | The Nature of Business

Ego vs Eco | Ecological Thinking for Business Transformation | The Nature of Business

The premise of the organization “Ecological Thinking for Business Transformation” is that our perception of reality and our worldview has been outdated. “We are witnessing a change in business paradigm from one suited for the industrial era to one suited for the interconnected era.”

In 1995, the physicist Fritjof Capra together with the philanthropist Peter Buckley and think tank director Zenobia Barlow, founded the Center for Ecoliteracy with the intent of sharing the awareness of the systemic view with students, through a series of educational programs that support ecological principles and systems thinking to curricula and projects in habitat restoration, school gardens and cooking classes, partnerships between schools and farms and curricular innovation among K12 schools. Among other things, the center helps to develop projects in habitat restoration, school gardens and cooking classes and partnerships between schools and farms, with the awareness that health begins with a healthy diet.

You really Are what you Eat.

Ecoliteracy dot org Education for Sustainable Living

Ecoliteracy dot org Education for Sustainable Living