In part, this essay is born out of the current local discussion within the Floyd County Board of Supervisors about the best way forward for the county. The fork in the road offers the options of continued reliance on “cheap” fossil fuels (if price at the pump is the only cost) versus making the transition to other no- or lower-carbon energies, as well as a commitment to using MUCH LESS energy, wood, and the stuff we purchase at a low price but a high cost to the well-being of people and planet.
…The bottom line is: Neither humans or non-humans can live healthy lives on an unhealthy planet. We cannot achieve a shared ecology of wellbeing if our personal ecologies contribute to the depletion and ruin of the planets living systems. And there are so many of us now.
…Will we amend our failed relationships with nature and with each other while there is time? By definition, no unsustainable process, movement or culture survives.
Essay Towards a Whole Earth Ecology posted at medium.com and appeared in the Floyd Press on 4 Jan 2017. Read more…
And so, like many of you, I struggle to find balance, courage, and focus for the coming year. And I see work (a few items listed below) that is worthy of my time—a commodity in somewhat short and uncertain supply approaching three score and ten this year.
Like you, I vacillate between the urge to scream and flail and rant and the urge to assume fetal position and be passively overtaken by the tsunami of unreason, injustice, indifference and arrogant triumphalism that confronts us with each days news. But doing nothing is a ticket to becoming a victim of our own slack-jawed, inert acquiescence to actions and tweets and attitudes and values that we abhor.
That said, what can one person do—in particular, what can I do—in 2018 that might make a difference and give voice to what I believe to be the good, the honorable, the just and the true walk with what keystrokes, minutes and synapses I have remaining?
1. I can find balance between time reading about and understanding the issues (my main focus is biological and ethical) and making time to gather those resources together in a new way that might change hearts and minds. I will strive to create a deeper and more accurate understanding of the issues and their consequences in the next decade. One generation plants the trees, another enjoys their shade. If there are no trees being planted…or if they are being turned to pellets for the monster Drax in Europe..(another story returning to Fragments soon)
2. I will support the SustainFloyd Personal Climate Pledge in whatever direction it goes in the coming year. I encourage you to read online or download the packet of information—including the printable pledge—that begins to turn our individual life choices regarding energy, food, and consumption-in-general away from the precipice of environmental overshoot. (more on this soon)
3. I will give shoe leather support actively to the campaigns of Tim Kaine and Anthony Flaccavento in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
4. Through writing I can hold up the contrasts between the policies and missions and values of Mr. Griffin versus Mr. Flaccavento for voters to gain an understanding of the consequences of the two plans and divergent philosophical foundations for the future. Again, my focus will be chiefly on what these two leaders would do to ensure a healthy future for our soil, water, forests, wildlife and agricultural systems; and to follow the money and the moral choices behind those divers money trails.
5. And (this should really be #1 but it wont happen if I give full service to #1-4) I can regain the discipline and devote the many hours to do the writing towards my personal projects, and then with a new book in my hands (and readers hands of course) speak to a wide diversity of audiences, with media including my photography, on the matters in the book that I believe matter most.
What does your can-do list look like? Have you written it down and pinned it to your refrigerator yet? Why not do that today.
We usually don’t drive the whole way to Columbia MO in one day anymore, so make a regular stop in Ferdinand, Indiana.
This year, at our favorite pub in “downtown” Ferdinand, we saw signs announcing HeimaFest that day, in a park a few blocks away.
Say what? Apparently, it’s a “home” festival in this German Catholic mid-western town.
It was a low-key Floyd kind of thing, with lots of kids, with free admission. We did not stay for the cornhole contest or the beer keg toss.
But this engagement pictured below, by even the kids typically a little too old to be cool blowing bubbles, shows them very much into SuperBubbles.
I don’t know any of the details other than what you can see here–five gallon buckets of thick “bubble-stuff” (maybe a bulk-volume dishwashing soap?) and dowels with a loop of light-weight chain. Dip the loop into the bucket, and swirl!
I thought this might be something that would work at Lineberry Park or the Harvest Festival later in the summer here. So share this with those who might be looking for a kid’s activity. Maybe this already happens, but I never saw it before. Did you?
I happened across this piece I’d written some years back–for Blog Action Day maybe–and thought it might have a place in what used to be the book I was writing and compiling from odd bits here and there that might deserve to see the light of day.
So I posted it at Medium.com today. Go there to read:
The Right To a Nature-Rich Childhood
No I’m not sleeping in these days nor have I run out of things to say. You kidding?
I just seem to be juggling cats most all the time any more and wondering in years past where I found the time to spend filling this page with dog and snake stories, grampa tales and avuncular pronouncements about things environmental.
Below: some of what I’ve been up to by way of a “story” I created (with a few images also from Andy M) from Saturday’s Floyd Market Breakfast, organized and made to happen by SustainFloyd and a lot of great community volunteers.
Money made above costs will go to support the market operations, promotion and maintenance, and we ALL benefit!