Saturday, January 20, 2007

Plan B - orig. 10/16/05

I have just started a book called, Plan B: Rescuing a Planet under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble, written by Lester R. Brown.

I am excited that the book has a copyright of 2003. The author has excellent credentials. He is the founder of the Worldwatch Institute and was it’s president for 26 years.
...Brown has been awarded over 20 honorary degrees and has written or co-authored over 30 books... He is also a MacArthur Fellow and the recipient of many prizes and awards, including the 1987 United Nations Environmentalism Prize, the 1989 World Wide Fund for Nature Gold Medal, and the 1994 Blue Planet Prize... In 1995, Marquis Who’s Who... selected Lester Brown as one of 50 Great Americans.
In the preface he talks about the economy as a part of the environment and that we have an environmental bubble economy that needs to be deflated. He mentions the declining grain harvest in China which will put a serious stress on food resources and cause an increase in world food prices.
If we cannot stabilize population and we cannot stabilize climate, there is not an ecosystem on earth we can save.
He also mentions that he does not have the credentials to write the book, but that no one has the necessary credentials. I really like this as I feel the same. I am in no way qualified to be discussing the matters I am researching and yet they need to be discussed.

Most importantly Brown promises to outline a plan that will take us from point A to point B.

The Earth Policy Institute is the Web site given in the book.

McLibel - orig. 10/08/05

I just finished watching a documentary called, "McLibel" that was put on by the local film festival. I would probably not have gone to any of the shows as it is hard to support many aspects of the festival (in regards to destructive production methods, t-shirt sales etc.), but I am friends with the organizers and a number of people involved with the festival and have been given free tickets to the shows.

"McLibel" documents the libel case brought by McDonalds against a couple of British citizens. It was an amazing example of the ability individuals still have to control their own destinies and shape the world in a more humanistic fashion.

The protesters chose McDonalds as a symbol of corporate domination and the various evil practices that arise from corporate rule. The were sued for handing out pamphlets that said McDonalds' practices were exploiting workers, exploiting children through targeted advertisement, cruel to animals, contributing to the destruction of the environment, selling food that causes long term health risks and two other items that I can't remember off the top of my head.

The eventual verdict was split.

The two protesters went on to the European court to sue the nation of England because of the unfairness of libel laws in Britain at the time. They won that case.

To find out more go to which they set up to disseminate information as they were not able to receive appropriate coverage from mainstream media because the mainstream media is owned by corporations and controlled by corporate advertising revenue.

There was also a lot of footage of the guy who wrote, [u]Fast Food Nation[/u] which have not read, but am interested in reading. I hope my local library has it although they don't seem to have books about the environment that are less than ten years old. I wonder who makes the decision as to what books they carry.

Global Warming & Hurricanes - orig. 10/06/05

I just finished reading an article from the October 2005 issue of Time Magazine.

The article is about whether or not global warming is affecting hurricane trends.

There is no consensus as to whether or not global warming is causing more hurricanes. There seems to be more consensus regarding whether global warming causes an increase in hurricane intensity. (It sounds like global warming may very well increase hurricane intensity.)

The article also talked about dramatic and sudden shifts that occur in weather patterns. They likened the phenomenon to boiling water turning into steam. Thing can progress gradually until you reach a certain point and then the change is both dramatic and sudden.

I vote that we err on the side of caution.

Take a walk down to your local library and check the article out for yourself.

Global Fish Crisis - orig. 10/02/05 #2

I recently saw a show on PBS from the Gutted series called, Fishing For Answers: Making Sense of the Global Fish Crisis. It was hosted by Leon Panetta who was a congressman, a member of President Clinton’s cabinet, and is now the Chairman of the Pew Oceans Commission.

The show started with a documentary of the plight of families affected by fishing regulation in England. They were pretty unhappy that the fishing tradition of their area was changing, but had little awareness of the larger issues and in the end it didn’t seem to be much of a problem for those who lost their jobs to find work in other sectors.

It reminded me of a discussion I had with a friend who felt that if we all quit driving it would destroy the economy. First it is very unlikely that I am going to be able to convince all of America to quit driving. Second people are adaptable and it would encourage growth in other sectors. Third even if it were to cause a depression our nation knows how to overcome a depression and if handled properly it could actually be restorative in nature.

Imagine massive public works programs devoted to replanting the nation’s forests or something along those lines.

In any event Leon went on to talk about how 90% of the large fish in the ocean are gone i.e. mean tuna, swordfish, marlin, shark etc. He talked about how two thirds of the American coastline are degraded by pollution and that there are huge dead spots in the ocean. One of which is in the Gulf of Mexico that curiously enough was mentioned in some report during the news coverage of hurricane Katrina.

Leon talked about how we are fishing our way down the food chain. That in Monterey they fished out the primary fish and in turn the squid that had previously been bait fish ended up becoming a delicacy. He talks about overfishing to the point where all we will be left with is plankton.

He also talks about how deep net fishing destroys the ocean floor. The nets destroy everything as they drag along the bottom.

A quick quote:
LEON PANETTA: Well, you do have a job in this, and that's part of the education process that has to take place. I serve on the board of the Monterey Aquarium. One of the things they're implementing is a little card that basically is being distributed that says, "These are the fish you ought to avoid when you go into a restaurant. These are the fish that you ought to be able to order, because they're plentiful and they're not in any way endangered." And we need to educate people.

There are chefs now that, in restaurants, who are actually saying to their customers, "I am someone who is abiding by these standards. I'm not going to serve you a fish, whether it's swordfish or whether it's other fish, that are endangered. I'm not going to serve that." And what you have to do is essentially develop a culture, very much the way when we used to throw our garbage all in one can, I mean, that's something we were used to doing. But we've now learned to divide paper from bottles and other things. And we've learned that and we're doing a better job at that. I think you've got to educate people that they have a role to play in this as well.

CAROL MARIN: Tell me what fish I'm not buying this weekend.

LEON PANETTA: Well, there are a lot of endangered species that are out there. And swordfish from some areas is at the top of that list. There are some halibut species that are also on that list. And there are obviously some shrimp species that are also on that list.

So you really need to look at that kind of information, as does the rest of the public, and then make their decisions accordingly. We've all got a role to play in this. This isn't just the policy makers, it's also every family [that], in their own way, has to help in dealing with this crisis.

CAROL MARIN: And so since you've been doing this, and passionately doing this, are there a lot of species of fish you're not eating?

LEON PANETTA: There are, absolutely. There are species that I wish I could order when I go to a restaurant or go to a fish market. And I know that I've got to stay away from it, because I've got to play my own role in terms of ensuring that it's done. And you know what? It has an impact. It's amazing, when one restaurant does it, and they advertise it, other restaurants understand that they've got to do the same thing. When one fish market starts to do it, and labels that they don't carry those kinds of endangered species, then others have to do it as well. It becomes the economic club to doing the right thing.
You should go to the site. It has transcripts and a copy of the video and Leon does a much better job explaining all of this than I do.


If I saw a friend about to inadvertently hurt a child I would be compelled to try and stop him. I see a lot of people involved in a way of life that is much worse than injury to a single child.

Hydrogen Hype - orig. 10/02/05

Don’t fall for the hydrogen hype. Hydrogen vehicles externalize the actual damage done to the environment. According to the show Nova: Science Now I saw on PBS, featuring the guys from Car Talk, it requires more energy to create the hydrogen then is gained by burning the hydrogen. Thus if you drive a hydrogen vehicle you are polluting the environment twice. Once through the combustion of fossil fuels used to create the hydrogen and secondly when you burn the hydrogen itself. Hydrogen is right up there with cold fusion in regards to energy independence.


I was talking with a friend last night who felt that even were we to destroy all life on this planet that it would come back in a different form. It seems to be the ultimate extension of the disposable society. The idea that all life is disposable. I would argue that it is still immoral. Children are replaceable as well, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to kill children. I would also argue that life might not come back. It took a very special set of circumstances for life to come into existence and we are changing the circumstances by toxifying the environment.

I have yet to hear one argument that convinces me that the western consumptive habits are justifiable.


It’s been so long since I have recorded my thoughts that I have lost track of where I left off, but let’s talk about economists for a second. They might have the most myopic view of all. Economic philosophy does not traditionally take into account anything that cannot be reduced to a number. The greater good, however cannot be defined by an abstract concept like money.

I also like the President’s economic advisor who called corporations legal fictions. They are not legal fictions. They are legal realities.


Corporations right now control the media and coerce the public with a combination of the promise of wealth and inexpensive consumer goods.

Let’s not kid ourselves however, according to, “Corporation Nation” one out of four children in America grow up in poverty. This is going to get worse before it gets better. I recently saw a documentary on Haiti which is a nation with one of the greatest extremes between the wealthy and the poor. The elite, as they call themselves, travel with bodyguards and personal security at all times. This is for fear of being kidnapped and held for ransom. The wealthy in our nation are already doing the same. I believe that many of the elite in our country know what’s coming and are prepared and or preparing to defend themselves from the starving masses.

A friend recently said that all it will take is for Laura Bush to say, “Let them eat cake.”


I believe that I have previously stated that the idea of perpetual growth is preposterous. What I am interested in is a reduced and stable population and a reduced and stable economy.

More on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - orig. 09/16/05

I sent the following email out to a bunch of folks that I thought might be receptive to it:
I just caught a commercial on TV that prompted me to go to the following Web site: Apparently it is not to late to keep the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from being exploited.

We don't need to exploit the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge at this time and I feel that we should hold onto it in pristine condition for as long as possible.

One can send an email from the site that will automatically be forwarded to the appropriate senators and representatives.

I followed the links to the contact information for my senators and representative and sent them through the contact forms on their Web sites the following email which is derived from the one on the Save The Arctic site:


Dear ______,

As your constituent, I urge you to vote against the budget reconciliation package if it allows oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The harm to wildlife and to our greatest wildlife refuge would be irreparable. We need to save national treasures like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for future generations.

Thank you,
Tory Jones


Please, take a minute to research the issue and then follow through with some action.

I know that at least a couple of people have followed through and taken some action. One friend has gone farther than I have and is working on writing every republican in the House and the Senate.

I received the following response from Senator Maria Cantwell:
Dear Mr. Jones,

As the Senate continues consideration of the fiscal year 2006 Budget Resolution, I write to update you on an amendment I offered to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil exploration.

As you know, a section in the budget resolution currently being debated by the U.S. Senate requires the Senate to authorize oil drilling in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Today the amendment that I offered to eliminate this specific language authorizing oil exploration in the Arctic Refuge was brought before the Senate for a vote. I am very disappointed to report to you that my amendment was narrowly defeated by a vote of 49 to 51.

While I believe that our country must work to develop an energy policy that will allow us to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, opening up this treasured wildlife refuge to oil exploration represents a plan that will do very little to address this problem.

As you may know, it would take nearly a decade to produce oil from wells in the Arctic Refuge and thus drilling there would not offer any short-term relief for American families. According to studies conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey there is not enough oil to result in lower prices since the Arctic refuge is estimated to provide only a six-month supply. Lastly, oil drilling in the refuge would not enhance our long-term energy security by significantly decreasing our dependence on foreign oil. In fact, Alaskan oil is not likely to flow into U.S. domestic markets because it is more profitable for oil companies to sell this oil abroad.

It is clear that the oil we could potentially extract from the Arctic does not represent a viable solution to our long term energy needs or a solution to our energy shortages and the consequent high energy prices being felt in the Pacific Northwest. We need to develop programs and provide incentives to increase energy efficiency and maximize conservation. That being said, I am proud that Washington state has been a national leader in promoting its environmental technology industry, and I will continue to do all I can to support our state's efforts.

Make no mistake about it - the fight over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is far from over. Fortunately, there are several procedural options available to me to continue our fight when this legislation is considered by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of which I am a member. Although the defeat of my amendment marks a setback in our fight, I remain committed to this cause, and I am prepared to use all available tools at my disposal to protect the Arctic refuge from drilling.

It is critical that we continue working to develop responsible solutions to lessen our nation's dependency on foreign fuels. At the same time, I am working with my colleagues to map a balanced, sustainable solution to our nation's long-term energy needs while establishing an energy policy appropriate for the 21 st century.

Again, I want to thank you for your support.

Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

I received the following response from Senator Patty Murray:
Dear Mr. Jones:

Thank you for your letter regarding oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). I appreciate knowing your views on this important issue.

As you know, opening ANWR for development has been a contentious issue in Congress for many years. Some in Congress believe that our nation's energy crisis forces us to explore new areas for drilling, including pristine wilderness lands such as ANWR. While I agree that our nation faces a bleak energy situation and we must do all we can to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, I do not believe opening wild lands to development is the solution.

Throughout my Senate service, I have consistently supported legislation that protects ANWR and prohibits future development. Our precious natural resources and wildlife are quickly diminishing, and we must make every effort to halt such destruction. Environmental and wildlife protection has always been one of my highest priorities, and I assure you I will continue to fight for conservation of these resources.

What we do need, however, is to create a sensible new energy policy for the future. The Northeast blackouts of 2003 and our state's own energy crisis illustrate a real need for a new plan. While the presence of fuel-efficient vehicles in the market has increased, our oil imports are higher than ever. We can no longer afford to depend upon oil and gas from some of the world's most volatile regions; instead we must actively seek new domestic sources that reduce the harmful emissions that contribute to global warming.

There are clear alternatives to drilling in ANWR and other wilderness areas to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of petroleum. One way we can reduce our reliance on foreign oil is to increase the fuel economy of our automobiles and light trucks. Fuel efficiency improvements will bring the U.S. far closer to reducing its dependence on foreign oil than drilling in ANWR. Meeting a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard of 39 miles per gallon over the next decade, for example, would save 51 billion barrels of oil over the next 50 years - more than 15 times the likely yield from ANWR over the same period. I have consistently supported legislation to increase our CAFE standards.

Another way we can reduce our need for foreign oil is to expand the use of domestically-produced renewable and alternative fuels. In addition to reducing the demand for oil, increased incentives for investment and research in emerging technologies like fuel cells, solar energy and electric cars would also help create a more sustainable and diverse energy supply.

The Energy Policy Act of 2003, which was debated in the Senate until the end of 2003, sought to address many of these issues. While the final conference report did not contain a provision for drilling in ANWR, it included many other dangerous measures that made the bill unacceptable. With billions in tax incentives for the oil, gas, and coal industries and little encouragement for the development of alternative energy sources, the bill reflected a real lack of any sensible future policy. Thus, I simply could not lend my support to the legislation.

The task before Congress in the next couple of years will be to create a real, responsible energy policy that conveys the message that America is truly committed to protecting the environment, becoming less dependent on foreign oil, and adequately protecting its consumers. We cannot afford to accept any bill that does not appropriately address each of these concerns.

Please know that as the ongoing energy debate ensues, I will continue to advocate for protection of ANWR and other wild areas. The health of our people and our environment depend on us finding a better, more effective solution to the energy crisis.

Once again, thank you for your concern on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any further inquiries.


Patty Murray
United States Senator

Thank goodness for liberals.

As of yet I have only received an automated response from Congressman Doc Hastings.


I wanted to thank CjDisco for his suggestion of using a handkerchief. I have adopted the habit and further reduced my consumption of paper.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - orig. 09/12/05

I sent the following email to as many folks as I thought might be receptive to it:

Sorry to spam this out, but I feel it's important.

I just caught a commercial on TV that prompted me to go to the following Web site: Apparently it is not to late to keep the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from being exploited.

We don't need to exploit the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge at this time and I feel that we should hold onto it in pristine condition for as long as possible.

One can send an email from the site that will automatically be forwarded to the appropriate senators and representatives.

I followed the links to the contact information for my senators and representative and sent them through the contact forms on their Web sites the following email which is derived from the one on the Save The Arctic site:


Dear ______,

As your constituent, I urge you to vote against the budget reconciliation package if it allows oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The harm to wildlife and to our greatest wildlife refuge would be irreparable. We need to save national treasures like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for future generations.

Thank you,
Tory Jones


Please, take a minute to research the issue and then follow through with some action.


Zealotry (All Fired Up) - orig. 08/29/05

A friend accused me last night of being a zealot. I looked up zealot and here is the definition (These definitions come from

1 a One who is zealous, especially excessively so.
b A fanatically committed person.
2 Zealot A member of a Jewish movement of the first century A.D. that fought against Roman rule in Palestine as incompatible with strict monotheism.

Which led me to look up fanatic.

A person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm, as for a cause.

And the definition for zeal.

Enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal and tireless diligence in its furtherance. See Synonyms at passion.

According to definition 1a I could be considered a zealot. According to definition 1b I am not a zealot because my passion is not unreasoning. It is based on logic, research and other educated individuals application of the scientific method.

Why then am I so passionate about this cause?

90% percent of the world’s large fish are gone and of the fish that are left there are only a few that are relatively safe to eat. That’s why I’m passionate.

Global warming projections show that the world is going to lose a significant portion of it’s coastlines and that entire island nations are going to be lost. That’s why I’m passionate.

Projections show that global warming is going to cause a shift in the temperate regions where our food stocks are grown which could lead to massive food shortages. That’s why I’m passionate.

20,000 people died in Bhopal, India because it was not cost-effective to maintain the nearby chemical pesticide plant. That’s why I’m passionate.

A boy was born without eyes because his mother was living in a toxic environment. That’s why I’m passionate.

The world’s frog and toad populations are disappearing and undergoing bizarre mutations. That’s why I’m passionate.

27,000 species a year are becoming extinct. That’s why I’m passionate.

There is a man in Nigeria who has to fight for everything just to stay alive. That’s why I’m passionate.

The food we eat is being produced using toxic chemicals that cannot be reabsorbed by the biosphere. That’s why I’m passionate.

Two thirds of the waters of the US coastlines are degraded because of pollution. That’s why I’m passionate.

The tops of the trees along the nature trail at Asahel-Curtis are dead because of air pollution. That’s why I’m passionate.

Children and women are being exploited around the world to produce inexpensive material goods. That’s why I’m passionate.

There is an ongoing famine in Africa. That’s why I’m passionate.

The US has been involved continuously in Military conflicts since Korea. That’s why I’m passionate.

We are destroying the very biodiversity that we are dependent upon to sustain life. That’s why I’m passionate.

The availability of freshwater will decrease by 33 percent in the next 50 years. That’s why I’m passionate.

Every major system that we rely upon to support life is in decline. That’s why I’m passionate.

I look at my nieces and nephews and they are so beautiful. That’s why I’m passionate.

What do you suppose I get out of this. I am not looking for disciples and I am pretty much alienating all of my friends. I am not reaping material rewards. I am not extending my own life nor making it easier, more comfortable or more secure.

I care about you. I care about your children. I care about the species that cannot speak for themselves. I care about the quality of life for the coming generations.

I care enough to let go of my fear. I care enough to let go of my comfort. I care enough to be hungry, to live a few years less, to do without those things that aren’t necessary for my own life maintenance.

It’s frustrating that I am not a better communicator. I have no political power. I have no financial power. I have only a voice and a passion. I don’t know how to convince people to live differently. I just know that the time is upon us. The ecological disaster is taking place right now and it is going to get worse before it gets better. How bad it gets is directly dependent on what we are willing to do now.

It is going to take a massive effort to restore the world’s ecology. That means that a lot of people are going to have to come to an agreement upon how to restore this mess that humanity has created. It means making changes on every level from the personal to the global.

We cannot sit back and wait for others to take care of the problem. We are contributing to the problem and we are the people that need to fix it. All of us.

I know that my friends would prefer that I not be a zealot. I push them and will continue to push them. If you are making positive changes that is fantastic. I want you to go further. I will continue to push people to go further until I can no longer find references to current ecological disasters via any media.

If you want me to stop being a zealot. Step up and help restore the world.

On the Evils of Driving - orig. 08/22/05

Here is a reponse to a friend who asked my why I couldn’t support her driving to Seattle:

You will find if you look at my blog that I have been doing some research into the global ecological disaster that our society is causing through overconsumption and overpopulation. Operating a motor vehicle is destructive on a number of levels. First one has to look at the gathering of resources it takes to create the vehicle and to support it's operation of which there are both humanitarian and ecological issues (Just one example: We are currently fighting a war, one of the reasons for which is to insure that no nation will ever dare interfere with our oil supply). Then one has to look at the waste produced by the production of the vehicle. There is of course the shipping issue. Then once the consumer begins to use the vehicle the emissions are one of the major contributors to air pollution and global warming (here is a link to an entry that discusses global warming: [[The link has moved. If interested you should be able to search "Saving the World - The Beginning" to find the article]].). Then once the vehicle is no longer useful it becomes 2000+ lbs of waste much of which is a petrochemical based and cannot be reabsorbed by the biosphere.

There is nothing ecologically sound about driving a motor vehicle, which makes it very hard for me to support anyones desire to drive an automobile.

I have come to believe through the research that I have been doing that our overly consumptive lifestyle is leading to the destruction of all life on earth. We have a moral imperative to try and change this at every possible level.


I saw recently on the news that the spotted owl population continues to decline. Regardless of all the hard work that environmentalist did to try to save the species it was too little too late. The species has reached a level of population that will probably not be able to rebound. Here is a link to a Seattle PI article called Spotted owl is on a dangerous decline. No one can predict a populations point of no return.

Working thru the Arguments - orig. 08/21/05

The idea that nothing we can do can make a difference is both deterministic and defeatist. Neither are philosophies to which I subscribe. The idea that our current and future situation is hopeless is just another excuse that allows people to continue to live in a destructive manner. I believe in hope. I believe that it is not too late and that even if it were that we as thinking, empathetic beings have a moral obligation to attempt to correct the errors of our predecessors and contemporaries.

Currently I have a straightforward, unapologetic manner in regards to discussing this issue with people. I have been told, by more than one person, that this is not the most effective way to persuade people to make a change. But until I learn better how to influence people I am merely going to force them to address the issue. The idea being that they will not be able to consume without having to be aware of the issues involved with consumption.

I believe that some of the changes we are talking about will require preplanning on the part of the individuals involved. I can’t supply all the answers. It is each individual's responsibility to brain storm and figure out solutions that allow them to live their own life in a sustainable manner. It is my responsibility to do the same (So far the greatest changes I have made are that I no longer drive or ride in cars or purchase anything other than organic foods).


I went to a party last night specifically to bring up these issues with other people.

I was having a quiet talk with a guy late in the party. He mentioned something about saints. The problem with the idea of saints is that it takes a special or privileged person to achieve this status. My viewpoint is more postmodern in that I believe it is incumbent on all of us to make the changes necessary for the restoration of the ecology. I am just one person in a growing swell of awareness. I am not special. I have just come to realize the scope of the problem and begun to take responsibility for my actions.

I was interested to hear from the guy who was working on his Ph.D. in soil studies. The project he is currently involved in is trying to show that compost can be used to grow crops as efficiently as petrochemical fertilizers. He brought some corn from the project to share. The corn was excellent.

Food Packaging - orig. 08/20/05

I asked my bank to remove me from all mailing lists that they sell. I also contacted my credit card company and asked them to do the same thing. The majority of junk mail I currently receive is offers for credit cards so hopefully this should help reduce the volume of junk mail that I receive.

I am going to repost the link to a site that can help you opt-out of direct mail: I think that is environmentally sound to try and reduce direct mail.

I eventually heard back from Brown Cow in regards to their organic food line and packaging:
Thank you for taking the time to write and share your comments and concerns. We always appreciate hearing from our Brown Cow yogurt customers.

We originally chose the High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) #2 cups because we were trying to use the most recyclable cups nationwide. However, our customers were complaining bitterly that the HDPE #2 cups were not recyclable in their area.

We decided to take a closer look into this issue and discovered that even in the areas that were receiving HDPE #2 plastic, our cups were still going into landfill because they were a "wide mouthed" #2. The wide mouthed containers are not recycled because they have a different melting point than the #2 plastic with the bottle necks. (Lids are always made with #2 HDPE because it is the only plastic pliable enough to be used as a lid.)

We decided to "go back to the drawing board" and reevaluate our cups. We discovered that the polypropylene (PP) #5 cups use less resin to manufacture than do the HDPE #2. The PP #5 cups are also more efficient to manufacture as this plastic flows better and there is far less waste product. The #5 cup consumes less energy and fewer resources to produce. We have seen far less shipping damage as well as the #5 cup is a stiffer cup. Since our #2 cups were not being recycled at all and ending up in landfill, we were impressed by the fact that the #5 cup actually takes up less landfill room per gram weight than the #2 cup.

What excited us most about the PP#5 cup, however, is the opportunity for eventual recycling. Many innovative companies are researching the uses of recycled plastics in fencing, housing materials, etc. As the demand for recycled #5 increases, more recycling centers will be interested in accepting #5 plastic. We have found a recycling plant that will accept polypropylene #5 cups from Brown Cow for recycling (they, however, will not deal directly with the public). We encourage our customers to send us their Brown Cow Yogurt cups and we will forward them on for recycling. To be accepted for recycling, cups must be washed clean and dried before shipping to Brown Cow.

We have decided to drop our Organic line and we have always been proud to offer organic options to our consumers, and we first started with our whole milk line before extending it to the other fat levels. It was our hope that our organic products would grow in popularity and would take over the lion's share of our production. Surprisingly, our regular all natural products - especially our whole milk 'Cream Top' - continue to be in huge demand, dramatically outweighing the demand for organic. As a small brand, with limited production capacity, it has been difficult to keep up with the growth of our all natural products while maintaining the much smaller organic lines. And, our organic sales have actually been declining because of the duplication between the two lines. Brown Cow simply isn't a big enough brand to offer 2 Whole Milk strawberries - one all natural and one organic. We were literally splitting production runs among too many small orders, which is highly unprofitable and threatens are ability to survive in the competitive business world and keep offering great yogurts. We therefore have discontinued our organic products...for the time being.

It is our plan to offer organic yogurts again. We simply believe that organic is the wave of the future and is the right thing to do. We will be able to do that when the demand for organic is large enough to support the amount of yogurt we need to make from week to week. In the meantime, we will continue to put out our legendary Cream Top yogurt, made with 100% natural ingredients, including milk from farms that pledge not to use artificial growth hormones.

Thank you again for sharing your comments with us here at Brown Cow.
I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the response and once again you can see the complexities of the issues we are discussing.

Can wasteful packaging be avoided (in regards to gathering of resources, production, shipping and disposal)? If so how?


Here are a couple of good links posted by Sustainable Girl in regards to energy consumption. I really like the Mr. Electricity site because the guy is a character. Twenty Things You Can Do to Conserve Energy also contains at least 20 helpful suggestions. I know that in my town Hope Source, formerly KCAC, offers free insulation services for housing as well weather stripping and what not.

Overpopulation, Peace, GNP... - orig. 08/19/05

I read years ago in the newspaper that the consensus of the world’s scientific community was that overpopulation was the number one issue facing the world. This does not let us off the hook however in regards to over consumption The US population is only 290 million (lol) people, but the US is still the number one consumer in the world. It is not something that should fill us with pride. It means that as a nation we are responsible for the majority of the global ecological disaster of which we are in the midst.

It is interesting that one our most basic drives (procreation) could lead to our extinction.


I just finished watching “Cloud Over Bhopal” - “A look at the devastating effects of a toxic-gas leak from a U.S. pesticide factory in 1984 that killed tens of thousands and injured hundreds of thousands more in Bhopal, India. Included: interviews with journalists, activists and doctors.” on PBS. It was pretty heavy. The caption doesn’t mention that a whole district has serious health issues (understatement) that will continue for at least 2 to 3 generations of children.


I participated in my first vigil yesterday. It turns out it was for Cindy Sheeham. I didn’t realize it at the time. I just happened to stumble across some people with peace signs and candles standing quietly on the corner by the library. It was very beautiful and I joined them. There were about 65 people total.

I also signed up to receive email notifications of future events.


Is it good to pollute the water with chemicals that are toxic to all life and cannot be reabsorbed by the biosphere? Is it good to pollute the air? Is it good to pollute the ground? The only justification I can see for continuing to consume in a manner that is destructive to life is ignorance. But once a person becomes aware of the connection between a consumptive lifestyle and ecological disaster it becomes a moral imperative to do whatever is possible to not only change one’s lifestyle, but also to affect a change in society as a whole.

Some waste reduction and lifestyle changes may require preplanning. This is to be expected.

How can a person be truly happy in their life, without making changes, once they become fully aware that it is immoral to live their life in an overly consumptive manner.

I have heard the argument that certain ideas are not practical or realistic. These are merely excuses to allow one to continue to live in a destructive manner. A person can live in a less consumptive manner. One can make the sacrifices.


I can’t remember if I mentioned that barbecues and campfires emit gases that contribute to global warming.

Oh yeah, and coal burning power plants.


Life on the large scale is more important than personal luxuries and conveniences. The path our culture has chosen is not inevitable. It is going to require a lot of people to agree that it’s time for a change on a large scale. The changes are going to need to be more dramatic, I think, than many people are currently aware.

I am talking about a change in values. My value system is such that I believe the future of life on this planet has more value than my personal conveniences. If you value life consume less.


Population can be controlled on either the front-end or the back-end. On the front-end one can use birth control which can be promoted through education or regulation. On the back-end you have war, famine, plague, natural disasters, man-made disasters (including a toxic environment). Neither front or back-end measures have yet been wholly effective in stemming the growth of human population, but which seems more acceptable?


The ultimate aim of any institution is to maintain it’s own existence. This is true of governments as well as companies. In order for governments to remain in power they must keep their citizens happy. In order for companies to maintain their existence they must keep their consumers and shareholders (mutual funds and pension blocks currently have the most sway of any shareholders over corporations [this information comes from “Corporation Nation,” by Charles Derber.]) happy.


I am interested in doing work that has as little negative ecological impact as possible. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.


I am tired of recording my purchase online, but if you have been following you get the idea. I am trying to consume as little waste as possible and only purchase organic foods. I will record the next time I need to take out the garbage. I haven’t needed to take it out since July 29th and since it has no organic matter there is no smell. (The tall kitchen garbage can is maybe a little less than half full.)


The economists have convinced us that a high GNP is a requirement. Our government buys into it. A higher GNP supposedly means more jobs and greater incomes. People who don’t have employment have a tendency to want employment. I think there may be a link between population and the GNP. A lower population means fewer consumers and a lower GNP. It seems like a loop. Growth in the consumer base equals growth in the GNP which provides more jobs and wealth and keeps people happy. But, as I mentioned in an earlier entry, there is no model for perpetual growth in nature. There are models however of the results of overpopulation in animal communities.


Enough already.

The Great Soy Experiment - orig. 08/14/05

I am not yet ready for the full-blown soy experiment. I am going to start by removing milk from my diet and take a look at diversifying my diet overall. I have also purchased some soy cheese that I plan to try.

A Kinder, Gentler Blog - orig. 08/12/05

Here is a link to a kinder, gentler, environmental blog set up by a friend Her post from August 12th has some great ideas as far as changes in personal living habits.

Another friend suggested starting to live more sustainably by purchasing eco-friendly toiletries. Although they are more expensive one doesn’t have to buy them as often as food so it puts less of a strain on the budget.


Here’s a response I received from Organic Valley Family of Farms about packaging.
Thank you for contacting us.

Organic Valley is aware of concerns regarding paperboard milk cartons, but the quality of the milk must be our primary concern. Milk loses valuable nutrients and develops unpleasant flavors when exposed to light. Paperboard cartons protect the milk from 96% of this light. In these times, the majority of milk is purchased in well-lit stores where there can be a significant impact on quality and flavor. With paperboard cartons, our milk is the closest to farm-fresh flavor and nutrition as possible. Paper is a renewable resource, lightweight and inexpensive, thus making freight and packaging a small percentage of the final cost to the consumer. The paperboard cartons are recyclable and many communities now offer a recycling program for paperboard. Organic Valley is aware that not all areas provide recycling options for our paperboard cartons. Unfortunately, even though the plastic jugs are recyclable, the paperboard cartons are the better choice. Plastic jugs allow the milk to be exposed to light, which can derogate the nutrients. At this time we must use the paperboard cartons, as our first priority must be to the quality of the milk. We have hired a person now, who will do nothing but look at packaging options. Hopefully this person will be able to find a package that is both environmentally friendly and can protect the quality of the product.

We are attracted to the possibility of a reusable container. However, packaging in a glass or polycarbonate material like lexan still poses some negative environmental impact. The extra transportation costs, washing and production pollutants from manufacturing have to be explored and considered. As we continue this research, the quality of the milk received by the consumer will be of the utmost importance.
I cannot currently recycle paper milk cartons in my town through curbside recycling. I don’t know that I should be drinking milk anyway especially as I am encouraging people to stop eating beef.

You can see some of the issues involved. Organic Valley is still working on a fairly large scale so if they want to go to reusable packaging they have to look at collection, shipping and washing. They also mention the ecological impact of the manufacturing process in the creation of reusable packaging.

I was gratified to hear that they “...have hired a person now, who will do nothing but look at packaging options.”


I sent an email to my friend Bayou with the URL to this blog. I wasn’t thinking about when I sent the email, but am very appreciative that she added a description and a link to this site from her blog


A friend, who lives up the street, brought me a big bag of apricots from the tree in his yard. Turns out, I like apricots.


As long as we allow Corporations to be the dominant organizations in our society, they will continue to dominate us. Advertising is being used right now in an effort to try and control your mind. All the major media outlets are controlled by corporations. We are bombarded daily with messages pertaining to what we should think and feel and desire. If you don’t believe it take a second and think about all the things that you would like to buy if you could afford them. How many of those things do you need to survive? Will these items make you happier or more content in your life? What benefit do you expect to receive from these items? What are the things in your life that actually make you happy? (Not just give you a rush or get you high, but actually give you a sense of long term satisfaction.) I can’t answer these questions for you.

I can tell you that being introspective and focused on self has never brought me a sense of lasting fulfillment.


I bought some groceries today. I didn’t purchase any dairy products. The small experiment within the larger experiment is to see if soy is a viable alternative to dairy.

The packaging issue is driving me a little bit crazy. The Nancy’s nondairy yogurt packaging says, “This sturdy HDPE#2 container can be reused again and again and again... and then recycled!” (If I go through a 32 oz of cultured soy a week I am going to end up with a lot of these containers.) Of course as we have found from Organic Valley the act of manufacturing the original packaging also has issues. It is nice that the body of the container is made out of plastic #2 which I can recycle. I am finding that the body of many plastic containers are made out of plastic #5. Of course the lids are inevitably a different material. For Nancy’s neither the seal nor the lid are recyclable. I still need to look into the repercussions of recycling.


I have a friend and I think he is worried that my view of humanity has or will shift toward the negative. I don’t think that people are evil or bad. I do think that we are caught up in a paradigm that makes us believe that “created wants” are actually needs. I also think that in the course of human development we have and continue make short sighted decisions.


People love to compete. They also seem to like hierarchical organizational structures and to make judgements about each other. I remember talking to a guy years ago who said he wanted a nice house and a fancy car because otherwise how would people know he was better than they were. If I stop by your house how do you think I'll judge your level of success? It ain’t gonna be based on how much you make a year or how nice a car you drive. I am also up for a little competition if you think you can keep up.

Globalization, Etc. - orig. 08/11/05

I was talking to a friend and she mentioned that she didn’t feel she would experience the effects of the many ills I’ve been discussing in her lifetime. I kind of agreed with her at first, but I think that as a people and as individuals we are already feeling the effects; we are just not connecting the effects with the causes. We are in the midst of what’s being called a “cancer epidemic”. I have a hunch that it may be related to living in a toxic environment. The food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breath are all tainted with manmade chemicals. What is a safe level of toxin?


Laissez faire should be a carnival for people with a lack of motivation.


Here’s an analogy: I don’t know what damage my footsteps might inadvertently cause, therefore until I know more I am going to try and stand as still as possible.


A friend sent this to me. It's me riding a bike.

I especially like the motion lines.


I read a brief blurb in yesterday’s paper that said in Flagstaff, Arizona residents are being offered money to remove their grass lawns and replace them with either rocks or native plants in an effort to reduce water consumption. This seems like a pretty good idea.

To implement this idea on a personal level all a person would really have to do is to stop watering their lawn. I am pretty sure that the grass would die and native plants would take over with no effort on the part of the landowner.


Globalization means that we need to start thinking globally as opposed to nationalistically. When we’re talking about wealth most Americans are wealthy in relation to the truly poor in the world. The economy is global now. Corporations are global now. Where is the world government that should act as a check for corporatism. The United Nations is toothless. The other global ruling bodies appear to consist of an elite oligarchy whose interests are not the welfare of humanity or the ecology as a whole.


I am still enamored by the idea of mindfulness. We can try to be more aware of the impact of our actions in regards to consumption and our other daily activities.


I have tried to find a solution for the hornets nest in the wall of my house. Traditionally I would fill the hole with an aerosol poison. One solution other than poison is to use a special vacuum to suck them out of the wall.

What I am currently doing is using a trap filled with meat (both provided by my landlord). This does not destroy the nest, but it may reduce the number of hornets defending the nest. (I previously tried a sugar solution, but apparently hornets will only go for sweets in a trap late in the season.) The meat has attracted and trapped at least one hornet so far.


I believe in democracy. We have the illusion of democracy, but democracy implies choice. Choosing between two virtually identical candidates that are both tied financially to big business is really not a choice.


If you purchase Maxwell House, Kraft, Miracle Whip, Oscar Meyer or Jell-O products know that you are supporting Phillip Morris the same company that withheld information regarding the health risks of cigarettes as well as adulterating cigarettes to make them more addictive and marketing cigarettes to children. (This information comes from a book called [u]Corporation Nation[/u], written by Charles Derber.)


Here’s a quote from Maria Shriver, “If you stay afraid you stay paralyzed.”


I just sent an email to my Mom telling her to check out “The Corporation,” and mentioning this blog. If you don’t think that it’s scary to share a radical blog with friends and family then you should try it.

I am saying that you should try it. Start an environmental blog and share it with your friends and family.

I don’t know if I have mentioned before why it I try to introduce “The Corporation,” at the beginning of the discussion. There are a couple of reasons. First, it gives us a common base from which to discuss the issues. Second, I believe that it is designed to break down a person’s resistance, to deprogram them if you will, such that an individual will be more receptive to ideas regarding living in a more sustainable manner.


Here's "What's the Point #5":

The Hidden Cost of Free Trade - orig. 08/10/07

Constantly focusing on the problem/problems in regards to sustainability is causing me some stress. Hopefully by now anyone reading this blog is convinced that we are facing some serious issues such that I no longer have to keep hammering away at them. I would like to spend more time focusing on viable solutions. These are going to take time to research and formulate.

A simple thing a person can start doing now is to stop barbecuing, especially with charcoal as this adds CO2 to the atmosphere which is one of the major causes of Global Warming.

One can also stop eating beef as cattle are a source of methane which is another contributor to Global Warming. Beef consumption is also a major force behind the destruction of the rain forest in Brazil.


Here is an interesting article called In the Cards that a friend posted to the message board regarding personal energy consumption regulation that is being discussed in England.


Here is a link, submitted by the same friend, to a series of environmental blogs at a site called Grist Magazine.


I had to write a letter to my local newspaper today in response to an article by a guest columnist.
The hidden cost of free trade

I am writing in response to a guest column called “The complex benefits of free trade”. The problem with free trade is it places corporate externalities out of site of the American people and removes our ability to use trade sanctions as a means of deterrence.

Externalities include, but are not limited to, damage to the environment and the cost of environmental cleanup. It is more profitable for corporations to produce goods in developing countries that do not yet have environmental regulations or organized labor.

On a humanitarian level this means children and women working unreasonably long hours in sweat shops for wages that keep them in poverty. It also means Machiavellian tactics in regards to keeping labor forces from organizing.

Environmentally it means causing harm to the global ecology that may be irreparable. Developing nations have an extremely high rate of pollution. It is not until the toxicity of an environment begins to have an obvious negative impact on a significant portion of a nation’s population that the people begin to demand regulation.

Unfortunately the world is a closed system. The pollution being generated in developing nations right now can and will have an impact on the US.

I will use the example of global warming for this letter. Most scientists would agree that global warming is a real phenomenon that is currently taking place. Unregulated industry is a major source of the pollutants that are responsible for global warming.

A recent show I saw on PBS used a computer projection to show the portions of the American coastline, including most of Florida, that will be lost due to rising sea levels caused by global warming unless we spend many billions of dollars on dikes or do whatever is necessary now to slow the effect.

Another effect of global warming will be a shifting of the temperate zones. This means that the majority of our current farmland will become worthless in regards to the types of crops that are currently supported. This could lead to serious food shortages.

I don’t have room to discuss things like damage to other species and the destruction of the Brazilian rain forest.

Free trade agreements are extremely short sited in terms of the environment and humanity. They are designed to create short term profits for shareholders at the possible expense of our children’s and grandchildren’s futures.

Ecological Disasters - orig. 08/07/05

We can no longer hide our heads in the sand. Every day I turn on PBS and there is coverage of a new ecological or humanitarian disaster. These are not isolated incidents. They are evidence of a systemic problem.

Today it was the world’s largest glacier in Greenland. It is moving 10 times faster than is normal and responsible for 4% of the world’s rising ocean levels. The theory behind the glaciers unprecedented movement is Global Warming. Check out the story.

Yesterday it was a show on a type of algae that is completely changing the seascapes of the Mediterranean. It has no natural predators in the area and smothers all the other life forms in it’s environment. The particular strain of algae has not been found in nature, but they were able to track it to a tropical fish store. They couldn’t say whether this strain had been discovered somewhere or selectively bred in the store. It has been exported worldwide as there are no other green plants that can survive in the chemical soup of a tropical fish tank. There has recently been an outbreak in California. Here is a link to the PBS page for the show Algae Alert. It seems so innocuous to want a green plant for your tropical fish tank.

Like I said previously, I can turn on PBS any day of the week and there will be at least one or two programs about different ecological and humanitarian disasters. I have yet to see a rerun or the same disaster covered more than once. I expect to bear witness to many more of these events.

I only bring these things up because I want to press upon you the seriousness of what we are witnessing.


It is natural that there is going to be some resistance to the ideas I am sharing. They go against much of what we have been taught as Americans. Let us not forget that we have been indoctrinated since birth via the media, our parents, our schools etc. to fit into a consumeristic society. I recommend that instead of looking for flaws and hypocrisy in my logic that instead we work together to find viable solutions that allow for a sustainable future.

I have just one voice, but my voice is not a lone voice. What is called for may require millions or billions of voices to bear fruit.

I believe that many groups and individuals are doing good work, but are focused on the symptoms instead of addressing the overall picture. If we can band together for a common cause in regards to sustainability then perhaps it will buy us time to resolve our other varied social ills. I believe that our focus should be on overpopulation and destructive/wasteful production methods (which will probably require that we reign in corporate rule and end commercialism).

I don’t believe any species can leave no footprint, but in a balanced ecosystem species exist as a part of their environment. It’s okay to give up buying new stuff. Stuff doesn’t have to define you or give you self worth.


Let us address reigning in corporate rule for a moment. One of the first steps may be campaign finance reform. I would like to see no private funding for political campaigns (not even funding from the candidates themselves). All funding for political campaigns would come from taxes. It begs a couple of questions:
1. Where will the government get the money from without raising taxes?
2. How can we determine which candidates will or should receive funding?

The first question is easy. Right now there is talk of having the military be prepared to fight two full scale wars at once. Instead of being prepared to fight two full scale wars why don’t we be prepared to fight one full scale war and then not fight it? That could save the government some money.

As far as the second question I don’t have an answer yet. I will have to do more research.

Perhaps, this is not even the place to start. I am still learning and expect to steal ideas wholesale in an effort to further refine my own thoughts. We do need to start somewhere.


Here's "What's the Point #4":


One of the things that I was thinking of today is that now, if there is a taxable interest involved, the US government has the right to take your property. What I mean is that if a company can create more taxable income using your property than you can then the government can seize it from you and give it to the aforementioned company. I think this sets a dangerous precedent. Many people are buying acres of rain forest in Brazil. When the time comes the Brazilian government will probably follow our example and seize those acres from the current owners opening them up for development.

The American Dream - orig. 08/04/05

I want to thank Maria for pointing out in the last post that spelt bread is not actually well tolerated by celiacs.


I just sent some emails out asking a bunch of environmental sites if they would be willing to exchange links with


I was taking a look at “Race to Save the Planet,” episode four which showed how some decentralized communites were able to be self supporting in a sustainable manner. One was a group of rubber tappers in the the Brazilian rain forest and the other groups it looked at were villages in India. It highlighted the devastation of industrial development versus the sustainability of these groups on a local level.

One of the interesting things that came up was the Green Revolution in India. Previously locals were not using birth control as more children allowed more work to be done. Some children would stay on the families land and help work the land while other children were sent to the city to generate income for their families. The Green Revolution allowed greater returns on food which meant there was less need for child labor and as a result the local people began to use birth control.

Bear in mind that the documentary is about 15 years old. According to an article on the Food First Web site the Green Revolution allows more food, but doesn’t lessen hunger as individuals cannot afford to buy the food. It also tends to encourage farming on a large scale by the wealthy who can afford the biotech seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. The article starts by mentioning, “Monsanto, Novartis, AgrEvo, DuPont, and other chemical companies who are reinventing themselves as biotechnology companies, together with the World Bank and other international agencies, would have the world's anti-hunger energies aimed down the path of more agrochemicals and genetically modified crops.”

The article goes on to highlight Cuba’s success in regards to becoming self supporting agriculturally without the use of agrochemicals, “The Cuban experience tells us that we can feed a nation's people with a small-farm model based on agroecological technology, and in so doing we can become more self-reliant in food production. A key lesson is that when farmers receive fairer prices, they produce, with or without Green Revolution seed and chemical inputs. If these expensive and noxious inputs are unnecessary, then we can dispense with them.”


I was watching a show yesterday put together by an economist that touted free trade as the solution to pollution; that economic growth is the answer. He used some nice graphs to show that industrial pollution was reduced in industrialized nations and natural resources were preserved although some other forms of pollution increased. What he didn’t take into account was that industrialized countries externalize a lot of their pollution and plunder less developed countries for their natural resources. He also didn’t mention the fact that society not industry forces the change in regards to environmental controls. Once a societies air and water become toxic; when the air burns your eyes and drinking water causes cancer then people tend to get up in arms and force their governments to begin regulating. The show also did not take into account that the world is a closed environment. Pollution in third world countries does not only affect third world countries, but the entire biosphere.

One of the problems I had with the show was that it was trying to find a solution within an unrealistic system. There is no model for perpetual growth in nature. When populations exceed their habitat's ability to support them there tend to be mass die-offs. In the human body unchecked growth (gigantism) causes the individual to die at a much younger age than in an individual that grows to maturity and then stops. The earth is the only environment we have and it cannot sustain unlimited growth.


Make environmentalism a habit.


Are human beings really this selfish? Is our need for convenience and comfort, greed and consumerism so much greater than our compassion?

If you want to be able to visit your family then live close to your family. If you have to work then find a job that leaves as small a footprint as possible. Walk to work or at least take a bus. Forget about the American Dream. The American Dream is flawed. I don’t care about your personal dreams of wealth and security. An individual’s dreams are nothing compared to the existence of one single species on earth much less thousands of species. Some of these changes may require pre-planning on your part and you may have to chose between living close to your chosen job and living near your family.

We’ve been screwed by the industrial revolution. But the sacrifices that I am asking us all to make are nothing compared to the suffering that is coming and already exists as a direct result of the world’s pursuit of the American Dream.

You’ve got to let go. A lot of the stuff that we have been taught is wrong and contradictory. You can’t both save the forests and buy a new home. Clear cutting and replanting is not the same as a native forest. Stop buying into it. The American Dream is a sham perpetrated to keep you chasing the carrot and to line the pockets of the wealthy. Take a step back and slow down. It’s alright to get less done in a day.


I can feel the pressure of my peers everytime I interact with another person. My thinking is way outside right now and the pressure to be a “part of” is tremendous. But I will not rejoin a way of thinking that in sum has already created the worst ecological disaster since the dinosaurs. Scarily, this is probably only a foreshadow of what’s to come.

I am asking you to make these sacrifices. I am telling you that it is your moral obligation to change your lifestyle and to help change our society.


My vision is of a decentralized society with small towns surrounded by small farms. It could function with various levels of technology. Even though I have started buying organic foods they are still produced by using mechanical tractors etc. that currently are built using destructive production methods as well as requiring and leaking petrochemicals. There is also no reason that everything in our homes needs by be high-tech and made of plastic. This is a bit of a utopian ideal, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility.


If there were only 10 million of us we could do whatever we wanted. We could all drive SUV’s and live in mansions etc., but there are 6.5 billion people on earth right now who want SUV’s and to live in mansions except for the 100’s of millions who just want to eat. The American Dream is an illusion and it is no longer realistic.


Many of the ideas I express will require time and pre-planning to initiate. I will continue to search for viable solutions. If you have an idea worth considering or know of an important resource I am overlooking please let me know. I check the message board frequently if you would like to create a post.


Some practical things one can do are to begin buying organic foods preferrably produced locally. One can also quit travelling for pleasure except by bike and foot. Recycling alone is not enough. One can stop using chemical fertilizers on house plants. (If one dumps the residue from a watering can that has had a chemical fertilizer mixture in it down the drain it becomes a difficult issue with which sewage treatment plants have to contend. I am pretty sure that most treatment plants dump their “cleaned” effluence into rivers or the ocean.) One can also stop using chemical fertilizers on their lawn or agricultural crops as the run-off has been shown to cause environmental problems.

Culture Jam - orig. 08/03/05

Culture Jamming has been on the peripheral of my consciousness for some time now. I have just hit on a couple of sites devoted to this topic. Some of the ideas seem counterproductive to me in that I think it is important not to alienate your audience. I do like that people are taking action.

My friend and I participated in a little act of culture jamming at the local Jazz/Blues festival this weekend. We were imitating the guerilla marketing we learned from a advertiser who was interviewed in “The Corporation”. We tried standing on the sidewalk and talking loudly about the movie. We had a hard time not laughing and were both very self-conscious. The one guy who could hear us turned away. I think we might have made him uncomfortable.

I also ended up holding a door open for a stream of people and spent some of that time whispering “The Corporation”. This was a little creepy, but as with any endeavor we will improve with practice.


I just read a little news-bite of an article on America as a brand. I linked to it from the Organic Consumers Association which looks like it could be an interesting resource.


Genetic modification has also been on my mind lately. Here’s a nice quote, “Greenpeace warns that Monsanto's aggressive patent practices covering genetically modified (GM) crops and normal seeds threaten biodiversity, endanger world food security...” (Read the Article)

What do they mean “threaten biodiversity” and how does that “endanger world food security”?

It means just that. Companies are working towards owning all crops and animals. To do this they have to modify the animal and patent it. At a certain point all “useful” animals and food crops will be owned by a company. There have already been types of crop seed created that can not reproduce. This forces the farmer to buy new seed every year.

What happens when none of our crops and animals can produce on their own and we’ve destroyed or banned all natural varieties in the name of profit? We know that a farmer who plants only one type of crop runs a higher risk of total crop loss than a farmer who diversifies. There are cases in history where lack of crop diversity has caused famine.

So not only does ownership limit diversification we are also taking natural selection out of the process.

Greenpeace has set up a site that sends an email to Monsanto demanding that they stop their current practices in regards to patenting and exploiting life. I just sent one and encourage you to do the same at

Here is a link to Greenpeace.

Ok, I just signed up with Greenpeace to become a cyberactivist. We will see how that works out.


I just heard a quote/cliché, “The Golden Rule: The people with all the gold make the rules.” That was from an older musician talking on some public television documentary about rock and roll.


A friend sent me this:

“Hey check out my sad clown:

/ / ######
^ ^
' o

He is crying over the state of the Earth. Can you feel his pain? Then do something dammit!!!”

She’s preaching to the choir in my case.


Here is a quote from a site I am currently checking out regarding negative population growth, “Since 1950, U.S. population has nearly doubled - growing from 151 million to over 296 million today. If present trends continue, our population will exceed 400 million by the year 2050.

More people means more pollution, more sprawl, less green space, and even more demands on the earth's already overburdened resources...”

It also offers these figures from
World Population = 6,453,635,161
US Population = 296,606,757

It’s interesting that one of the first things I came across on the above mentioned site was a letter supporting a moratorium on immigration. I think this is still focusing on a nationalistic level of consciousness.

Here is another resource regarding negative population growth. The usability of the site isn’t great, but at least they are talking about the issue. If you get into the “Why Population Matters” section of the site it has some sweet counters that are worth checking out.


I picked up some spelt bread at the whole foods store without really knowing what it was. It was a tough choice because I didn’t understand any of the breads. This is what the PCC Web site has to say about it, “Made from spelt—a so-called ‘ancient grain’—spelt bread was initially formulated for people with allergies. The small amount of gluten in spelt is usually tolerated by people who are sensitive to wheat or wheat gluten. Spelt bread is usually denser and drier than wheat bread, but has a similar flavor—slightly nutty and sweet.”

It’s good and it is denser than the bread I’m used to.


I was looking for what is entailed in the alkalization of chocolate. Here is a quote from the Rapunzel candy company Web site, “What is dutch cocoa or dutching? Does Rapunzel alkalize the cocoa? Rapunzel does not alkalize the cocoa beans, a process which is commonly done to give cocoa beans better processing properties and to achieve a slightly less bitter taste profile. The ‘dutching’, as it is also called, is done by spraying the cocoa beans with sodium or potassium carbonate - roasting and milling it thereafter.”

Well according to another site it looks like just about everything I like to eat raises the level of acid in my body, including chocolate. It looks like fruits and vegetables are the way to go.

One site wanted me to order pH strips so I can test myself. I passed on the pH strips.


I finished episode three of “Race to Save the Planet”. It highlighted smog in LA and the state of the Rhine river in Europe.

The smog impacts peoples standard of living on a daily basis in LA and is also damaging the surrounding forests. The clean air measures being enacted are being canceled out by population growth in the region.

The Rhine is so polluted that it is destroying any number of aquatic species and the people of Holland have to go to extremes to clean their drinking waters which are drawn from the Rhine and they still are not able to remove trace amount of pesticides. They are working under the assumption that the water has “safe” levels of pollutants, but there are no long term studies to find out for sure. We’ll see what happens.

It also touched on the phenomenon of fungal blooms in all the major oceans which are being caused by fertilizer run-off.

It has come up more than once in my studies that the rate of industrial growth is canceling out the environmental measures that have been instituted.


Do something. Do anything. If that doesn’t work then try something else.

Email Excerpts - orig. 08/02/05

Here is an excerpt from an email that I sent regarding a yogurt purchase I made today:
I purchased some Brown Cow rasberry yogurt today and then I realized it was not certified organic. Why is this the case?

I also realized that I can not recycle plastic #5 in my town (Ellensburg, WA). I can only recycle plastics #1 and #2. Is it possible to create packaging that is universally recyclable or reusable?

The lid is plastic #2 which is recyclable in my town. Is the seal recyclable?

Here is an excerpt from a seperate email that I sent to a friend:
When I woke up this morning I worried that I was overreacting to the environmental issues that we have been talking about, but then I thought about the rate that we are losing species and the amount of reports of the various symptoms and I don't think I am overreacting. I think that the majority may be underreacting to the issues. It just seems like we, as a species, shouldn't be taking the chances that we are taking.

The world has had a number of economic models throughout the course of history some of which lasted for a couple thousand years. I don't think our current model has that kind of staying power and I believe that future generations will curse our shortsightedness.

CAFTA got signed today. (Central American Free Trade Act). How can the carrot of affluence be so powerful?

Here is part of the response to the email above:
I feel that I can't spend any more time at this job where my work serves one main purpose above all others .... to make a handful of men who are already obscenely wealthy that much wealthier. They see real estate as a game and their yachts and race cars and golf vacations as their justified and hard-earned winnings. I am certain that they never think about the people who inhabit their buildings ... those people are represented only by rent checks, and even those little individual checks are just abstractions to these huge numbers that represent whether or not one property or another is on budget or struggling or just about to be sold. They drop $20,000 checks to each other in the mail as little thank-you's for this favor or that ... when they could so easily drop that same money into a charity, or maybe give some tenant down on their luck a few more days to make rent. But that's not the nature of business itself, I see that.

It is becoming increasingly a thorn in my side, this question: Is it wrong to stay in a job that serves a purpose to which I am morally opposed?

If I have to stay there I guess I should try to take some action and make some changes, but this thought fills me with dread. Who would join me. Who would listen. This isn't what they pay me for. They're all profit-focused and that's all they see. I pass them in the hallways and see them at the vending machines and I wonder how many of them think about what they're creating, or supporting. Today I did an expense report for one of my managers. I do these regularly, separating out all the business trip receipts so they get billed to the right place. This particular guy was spending a lot of time in one city and going to the same coffee shop once or twice a day. I thought of those cups of coffee - the paper cups themselves - and how each one ended up in the trash along with its plastic lid. I thought about the line behind him winding out the door, people all ready for their disposable treat, thinking they're being conscientious when they drop those cups in the trash rather than the street. I wish they would drop them in the street! Our problem is we don't see our own mess! We conveniently have it hauled away. We conveniently keep our slave laborers in faraway countries that no one visits. We murder civilians the world over and the government won't show us the photographs or even tell us the numbers. We sit there and allow our elected leaders to talk about drilling for oil in Alaska, where the only ones to witness the rape of the forest will be the wild things with no voice at all. Reducing our dependence on foreign oil, they say. But the ozone layer doesn't care whose oil it is. There are no borders in the atmosphere.

I want to think we can be part of this planet without destroying it or ourselves. It seems too huge for me this last couple days and I keep getting sucked back into my own drama to avoid it. I'm still making the changes, the cause is still right there under the surface of my thoughts, but I guess I'm grieving the loss of my ability to thoroughly ignore it. There's no going back now, have you had this feeling? Once you allow yourself to be aware, to know that each little thing you do has an impact, you can't un-know it.

Today I was walking to an appointment during my lunch hour and this chick was on the sidewalk with a notebook and I could tell she was about to ask me to sign something. She looked at me and said "Do you have a minute to talk about the environment?" And I think I scared the crap out of her because I half-shouted "YES!" She's from this group WashPIRG ... it's the WA Public Interest Research Group. Here's what their brochure says:

"When consumers are cheated, or our natural environment is threatened, or the voices of ordinary citizens are drowned out by special interest lobbyists, WashPIRG speaks up and takes action. We uncover threats to public health and well-being and fight to end them, using the time-tested tools of investigative research, media exposes, grassroots organizing, advocacy and litigation.
WashPIRG's mission is to deliver persistent, result-oriented public interest activism that protects our environment, encourages a fair, sustainable economy, and fosters responsive, democratic government."

That sounds good. I want to believe it's true. I felt almost manic talking to this girl, who looked about 14. I told her about the Corporation and was suprised that she had not seen it. The other girl with her had "heard it was good." Then I remembered, people get paid to do this stuff, and it doesn't always necessarily mean that they're that informed, or even that involved. I did everything short of making them take a blood oath that they would watch it and tell everyone else they know.

I don't know. I'm feeling scattered and all over the place. I'm too much talk and think and not enough action. Your advice last week was right, that I need to take that despair and channel in into a positive action. I think I am letting my fears get the best of me. I feel like the happiness I've been feeling in my personal life is making me feel guilty. I have to remember it's OK to be happy. Everything in moderation. That I can feel joy as deeply as despair is the part of why I can and will affect change.

I feel drained, I need to play some bass for a while and clean up my house. I hope you don't mind that I'm unloading this stuff on you, I trust you to understand. We've suddenly become comrades in a two-person army, fighting a war that most people are ignoring.

Yes, most people are underreacting, to respond to something you said in your earlier email. Most of them aren't reacting at all - they're completely oblivious that there might be anything to react to. For most of my life I have left these issues in other people's hands and now I suddenly feel I can't shirk the personal accountability anymore. I guess it's natural that there's some resistance.

And my reply:
Thanks for writing. It's good to hear from you. I wanted to let you know that I don't think we're alone in this. I think that there are like minded individuals coming together from all over the world to try and work these issues out.

I also know that you have been sharing your views with a lot of people which I think is very courageous.

I mentioned that I watched "The Corporation," with a friend recently and the issues it brought up have been on her mind ever since. I know that she brought it up with folks at a Yoga training workshop that she's been doing in Fremont. It's kind of like a chain letter or an infection if you will.

One of the things I was thinking about today is that it is very difficult to control people. We can't force people to act in a prescribed manner. What we can do is expose them to ideas that they might not be aware of or haven't wanted to think about.

We can't know the outcome of our actions. We can only know that in the moment we are trying to make decisions based on a broad moral plain.

It fills me with joy not that terrible things are happening, but that I am on a path which both feels right and seems logically to be correct. Everyone may not be ready to live minimally, but I think there are few people who would argue that we are doing the wrong thing by trying to affect positive changes.

I was wondering, in the whole foods store today, how many people shop there to be healthier versus how many people shop there for the sake of the environment? I imagine it is a combination of both.


Rule 42 - Don't take yourself too seriously.
Rule 43 - Don't let the bastards get you down.
Rule 44 - Veni Vidi Vici - We came. We saw. We conquered. (That's Marlboro's motto.)

:lol: Sorry folks no graphic today. Check back tomorrow.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Government - orig. 08/01/05

What I need from my government is to be protected.

One of those interviewed in “The Corporation,” mentions that our government was formed by wealthy, white landowners to protect wealthy, white landowners. (I assume that she is talking about owners of large estates not just people with a house and a yard.) I have kind of felt this to be the truth for a while, but it is not the ideal that we are taught in school or by our society. We are taught that our government is of the people, by the people and for the people. How can we bring the reality in line with our ideal?


I’ve just been reading about the Organic Valley - Family of Farms on their Web site. This is the brand of cheese I’ve been consuming. It is a co-op of farmers. It seems like a decent brand, but they talk about keeping things local for the benefit of local communities and although there appear to be Organic Valley farms in Washington I do not believe there are any in my community. If you want to find out more I recommend starting on the Why Organic? page of their site.


It is recommended that all people reduce the ingestion of fish known to contain high levels of mercury especially pregnant women. Find out more about mercury in fish. I currently do not eat fish which is not to say that I want fish to have to exist with high levels of mercury in their systems.


I was watching some of the interviews from “The Corporation,” today which brought up a number of issues including the following:

Dr. Susan Linn discussed marketing to infants via branding in children’s books. The bonding and warm-feelings that happen between parent and child, while the child is being read to, are being manipulated by some companies to create brand loyalty.

She mentions having to brand children by the time they are six and ties that in to childhood obesity epidemic.

She also brings up research that shows that buying products does not to promote individual happiness, whereas social bonds and job satisfaction do promote happiness. Mary Zepernick says, “Corporations should not have rights only privileges that we grant them.”

Here is a list of Web sites promoting some of the films mentioned on the second DVD of “The Corporation”:

There was also a discussion of a measure that came up in Oregon that would require that products containing GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) be labeled. The measure did not pass, but the organizers are still working on the issue of product labeling in relation to GMO’s.

The industrial revolution has had a number of unimagined impacts on humanity and the world ecology. We can not know the full impact of bioengineering from this vantage point in time. I would prefer that we err on the side of caution in regards to bioengineering.

I also think that it may be very prideful of us to believe that we can do a better job in regards to engineering organisms than God or nature (depending on your point of view).

It is mentioned in “The Corporation,” interviews that the US has been involved in some kind of military conflict every year since The Korean War. I had a history teacher in high school whose conviction was that all wars are economically motivated.

I have been a pacifist off and on since I found out that my father and my best friend, at that time, were both being sent to the Persian Gulf War. The reason I became a pacifist was for the purely selfish reason that I loved them and I didn’t want them to die or to have to kill other people. (My father was 1st Recon in Vietnam which caused him some issues to put it lightly.) My friend came back with Gulf War Syndrome or the like.

I remember seeing graffiti at the time (I was living in Germany) that said, “Kein blud fur ol.” which means, “No blood for oil.” I believe I understand the ramifications of that statement a little better now than I did at the time.


The recent ruling by the federal government that taxable interests supersede individual interests in regards to property rights is very worrisome.


Geographic locations that require importation to satisfy their populations basic needs may not be areas that people should populate.


I recently thought that the internet was the key to marketing local products on a global scale. I now believe that goods should be produced and consumed locally in a restorative manner. This can reduce the waste consumed by shipping and bolster local economies.


I turned my freezer down from 3 1/2 to 2 1/2. I turned my water heater down to slightly below the level recommended by the manufacturer.


If we want individuals to be able to behave according to their personal morality then we need to change their situations. A company that is required to provide profit for their shareholders can never allow the freedom of personal morality to supersede the drive for profit.

The stockholder provides money to fund a company. The company is obligated to create returns on the investment.

How do we remove the profit motive such that the bottom line becomes the greater good. At first I liked the idea of limiting profits, but if a percentage scale is used this will force companies to expand in order to create greater gains within the given percentage. Larger companies are difficult to influence locally and politically and allow the individual employees to be further removed from their externalities.

That leaves nonprofit organizations which I currently know very little about. I think that small, nonprofit co-ops or small, nonprofit, employee owned companies producing necessary goods locally might be a nice model for future businesses.


The main issues leading to a global catastrophe as I see them are overpopulation and over consumption as engendered by a commercial economy.

A couple of the things I am doing right now are reducing material consumption and delaying parenthood.

Consumerism - orig. 07/28/05

Let’s talk for a second about what consumerism has done for “Family Values”. Although some may argue that feminism has brought women in to the work force, (This may be true. I don’t know much about feminism.) I would argue that it has also become a consumeristic imperative. I would argue (with no research to back this up mind you) that the capitalistic marketing model is forcing us to allow institutions to raise our children (I believe that the majority of classrooms have commercial television now). Parents also seem to have little energy left for parenting. (Children demand an incredible amount of energy and attention.) Which means that more and more children are being raised by television which is run by marketing. It is a vicious loop that demands the next generation be raised in the same manner. I remember when commercial advertising first appeared on the walls in my public high school.

Consumerism is, I believe, an addiction fostered by the marketing machine. “The Corporation,” discusses ideas including “created wants” and a “philosophy of futility”. The idea is that first you must make an individual feel worthless e.g. I’m not good enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not smart enough. Then you sell a person a product that will fix them. Unfortunately, the fix is an illusion. The person feels better briefly after the purchase of a product, (whether it works as advertised or not) but the feeling of futility must return such that the consumer will purchase future products. Is it any wonder that the US and the world has epidemic problems in regards to drug addiction and alcohol addiction.

I don’t know if I heard this on TV or in one of the books I have been reading that 70% of the German population is depressed.

(One of my favorite commercials right now is for screensavers that promise to make your life better.)

I have found lately that when I do something that I feel is moral (I am talking about a humanistic morality) I feel good. When I do something that goes against my personal morality I feel bad. Seems simple.


Let us not get distracted however. The issue we should be concerned with is, “the decline of every natural system on Earth”. I believe this concern should supersede every other issue or agenda. The problem, as it has been pointed out to me, is systemic and should be addressed on every level.


I received two copies of “The Corporation,” today. I just watched it with a friend of mine. I didn’t want her to watch it alone as it is a heavy film. I also gave her a copy of the film that she is obliged to pass on and sent her the URL to this blog. Watching "The Corporation," brought up a lot of issues, but I tried to keep our focus on what I believe is the main issue (see above).


I really like the interviews with Ray Anderson, CEO, Interface, who is working on making the carpet manufacturing company that he heads 100% sustainable. One of the things he mentioned is “Greenwash” which is when a company tells you what it intends to to as opposed to what it is doing. I have been guilty of this in my blog. I have rationalizations for this, but I will try to stick to telling you what I am doing not what I intend to do.

This is a process. I am still a product of my culture. I want it all and I want it now. There are not enough hours in the day. There are not enough years in a lifetime etc.

I still worry that Ray Anderson doesn’t take the idea far enough however. His idea is that his company would retain ownership of the product while providing a service to the customers. His company would install and maintain the carpet then retrieve it for reuse when it could no longer be maintained or became unwanted by the customer. I worry however that the company would still be manufacturing a product that’s durability is such that it cannot be reincorporated by the biosphere. I don’t know if this is the case or not, but it brings up the issue of durability.

We strive to create products that are durable. You wouldn’t want your frying pan decomposing while you are trying to cook with it. It seems oxymoronic that the products would also be designed with “planned obsolescence” built into them and manufactured in such a way that they would break easily and need to be replaced. The problem with durability though is that the durability of these objects makes it such that they cannot be reintegrated into the biosphere. Even firing clay creates objects that it takes thousands of years break down. (The main teacher that I worked with during my student teaching liked to tell a story about her instructor smashing one of her pieces because he didn’t feel that it was worthy of existing for 10,000 years or some such thing.)

Maybe we could stop creating objects from scratch and only work with non-destructible materials from wastes that we have already created. Or become accustomed to a world where products are designed to decompose naturally. This might actually be great news for a disposable society.


It seems that one issue the film has with corporations is that they are amoral. They are not moral, they are not immoral, but as institutions they have no morality.

This doesn’t ring quite true to me now. It brings me back to situational ethics. Corporations have a morality just not a humanistic morality. They are ethically and legally obligated to generate revenue for their shareholders which is a form of morality, but it is also very abstract does not take into account the impact to life other than the immediate economic success of it’s stockholders.

No institution that’s bottom line is the generation of revenue can have any interest in a restorative economy unless and until restorative business practices become revenue generators or the bottom line is changed.


I think that the point of view of situational ethics is a very compassionate one. It allows me to believe that men in power, who are making what I consider to be terrible decisions, are not evil and as such can be affected on a humanistic level.

Here is evil as defined by

e·vil :twisted:
adj. e·vil·er, e·vil·est
1 Morally bad or wrong; wicked
2 Causing ruin, injury, or pain
3 Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous
4 Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous
5 Characterized by anger or spite; malicious

My personal favorite episode of "Heroic Endeavors".


Let’s take a look at Union Carbide and Bhopal, India for a second. (I am using that situation as an example just for the sake of discussion.) In 1984 in Bhopal, India there was a gas leak that killed 20,000 people. Corporations have the same rights as people under the laws of the US and yet are not held to the same levels of accountability. I guarantee that if I were responsible for the deaths of 20,000 people I would be hunted down, tried and executed. Union Carbide is still operational. I know this because I just went to their Web site. On the front page was a graphic showing a bunch of grapes.


I heard on the news today about tax cuts related to the conservation of energy. I think it is interesting that the tax cuts were all based on the purchase of new products.


Do you remember the guy that killed himself when Bush was elected president. I believe that he was overtaken by futility. I also believe that he made a mistake. If his beliefs were so strong that he would take his own life then we need his voice more than his martyrdom especially since without clout his actions were written off as a crazy. Unless you have the personal magnetism and political influence of Ghandi or the monk who burned himself during the Vietnam War then the goal of a restorative economy is better served by adding your voice than it is by martyrdom.


My goal is to help affect the situational ethics of our culture and our businesses in order to bring them in line with humanistic values. I believe that this is what is required in order for us shift to a restorative economy.


Can you run electricity to a mud hut? I bet you can.


I haven’t talked very much about global warming (the greenhouse effect) yet. The second part of “Race to Save the Planet,” deals with this issue. Paul Hawken also brings it up in The Ecology of Commerce, The agents cited as the root causes in the theory of global warming are CO2 (a byproduct of burning coal, oil and gas), chloro fluoro carbines (There are to many products to list and I am not sure where we stand as far as the reduction of the production of CFC’s) and methane which comes from cattle (cow farts and belches?), rice paddies and leaks from coal mines.

The fear is that the climate could shift so rapidly that natural systems will not be able to compensate. One of the big worries is that the polar ice caps will melt releasing vast stores of methane that will even more greatly increase the rate of climactic change.

Rising water levels could have substantial impact on human and animal life. The temperate regions could shift such that the areas that are currently perfect for growing crops will become unsuitable for that purpose which could lead to worldwide food shortages.

I caught a newsbite from Nigeria, (I think. I could be wrong, but the location is not actually the point.) where they interviewed a citizen who said that he had to fight for everything [food and water]. “The Corporation,” documents a city in Brazil where the citizens had to rise up in order to regain their right to water. Water is a basic human necessity. No company should have the right to deny water to any individual who needs it in order to sustain their life. (I do not think that companies should be extended this same right in order to water golf courses or whatever. Why are we growing lawns in deserts?)

I do not want to have to fight for food or water. I do not want my children or your children to have to fight for food and water.

We need to reduce the generation of “greenhouse gases”. Fuel efficiency, energy efficiency and reforestation can all help. (Fuel efficiency doesn’t mean buying an SUV.)

I, personally, have not eaten meat since October of 1996 (which, for you nitpickers, is not to say I haven’t slipped and had the occasional taste of bacon or slice of pepperoni pizza). I stopped eating meat for no other reason than that I wasn’t eating much red meat and then I moved in with a couple of vegetarians who encouraged me to stop altogether. I do recall however, hearing in a class about 14 or 16 years ago, that cattle generate 25% of the world’s methane. That’s a lot of gas.


I had some friends who recently spent some time in Chile. They told me that the people in Chile don’t go out during the height of the day because of the thinness of the ozone layer over Chile.


Beware of half-measures. Half-measures have the potential to make us complacent at the cost of the ball game. If you have to rationalize your actions you may be dealing in half measures.


Lead by example. I am attempting to reduce my consumption not because I believe it will resolve the solid waste issue. I am not riding my bike for my health. I am trying to show that it is possible to affect a significant change in my life such that others can feel confident that they are also able to make necessary changes. Companies and governments are made up of individuals. You may be such an individual. You can affect a change in your life and in the institution for which you work.


Are you bored at work? Are there times when you don’t have enough to do at work? Instead of doing what you would normally do to entertain yourself in these moments take that time to brainstorm. How can you affect a change?

Then, take action. Let me repeat that: Take Action!


I just sent my blog URL out to another friend who may be ready for it. If you know someone who may be ready to view this blog please forward the URL to them.