One Planet III

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A photo taken in Sydney, Australia in 2008 – one of those used in my revised One Planet video.

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My 1983 pro-environment anti-nuke song has gained new, urgent relevance.

Back in 1983 the situation was so scary that I wrote two songs on the nuke issue.

Note on March 7, 2022: even more perilous.

In 2016, I  replaced the old One Planet video with a much better video produced using new equipment and software. It contained new, HD photos taken by me with the same great, old, quotations from gifted female and male thinkers on world issues.

Having done a very small editing of the 2016 version II I now call the video,

One Planet III

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Dr. Vandana Shiva, author of the above photo’s quote, born in November, 1952, is a brave, brilliant agricultural activist from India, known as the Seed Lady for her successful securing of seed banks of key, traditional plants against their extinction. Traditional seeds are now threatened by the patenting of seed for profit perpetrated by powerful corporations like Monsanto. This article from 2019 indicates that the valiant seed battle continues. The older ways are sometimes less threatened by flooding and the “food crusaders” are fighting hard to preserve India’s heritage of a vast variety of plants and seeds.

Ducks On Our Front Lawn??

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A pair of Mallards in our front garden near our Magnolia check me out.

At the beginning of an ice storm, as the trees start to collect ice on their branches, my spotter noticed these two on the lawn. The female’s beak gives her away and this is only a crop of a low resolution photo taken by my old iPad Air.

Made me think how important the male colouring is to attract a female but, once the important job is done, her camouflage becomes vital and his perhaps less so. A new insight for me perhaps…

But the appearance of these two on our front lawn is something we don’t remember ever seeing. A few in the creek behind our house are common, and the two small subdivision “lakes” have plenty because folks, yep…, feed both them and the plentiful geese that like to be fed the easy way.

Anyway, it’s worth noting.

North Dakota Fascism – A Wake-Up Call?

Bleakness abounds. Politicians with considerable power turn away. Mammon rules with asymptotically growing crudity, cruelty and excess, even without Trump in “power.” No big surprise that American “democracy” is a crock if one’s eyes are truly open to HRC’s portrayal by Wikileaks. We have learned nothing from the fascism of the past and, ironically, we minions who have benefitted from neocolonial atrocities committed upon others around the globe for over a century will, in turn, be ground under.

So wrong on so many levels.

And, President-Elect Trump, the idea of Greatness in the old-fashioned, Roman sense of economic growth and world dominance, is meaningless. In a finite biosphere, growth, as we have known it, is unsustainable. Get over it.

It is time for a Damascene Conversion.

True greatness Continue reading “North Dakota Fascism – A Wake-Up Call?”

Sunflowery Ways

This spring, Maya, our 2+-year-old granddaughter, was visiting us from about 4 hours away by car where they live.

We planted a few sunflower seeds with her from our bird feeder.

They didn’t grow, so I bought a little pack and planted those in mid-June.

Shhhhhh……

The bloom and bud were photographed today.

Maya thought that the pictures were “Great!” Heck, they were only taken with my iPad…

She came to see us and visited her sunflower about 10 days ago:

Nothing like a young grandchild filled with wonder to cheer one up.

Let’s build her a healthy world, folks.

 

Ice II – March 25

Second look at the set I shot on March 25, with a little more time to play with the results of the 6 quickies I took from our deck. The sun was just enough with lots of cloud cover and unreliable openings. The moments needed seizing, and three shots were discarded due to insufficient sun.

I include the sepia photo again and two zoomed shots with slight cropping and brightness reduced just with the iPad’s software. All 3 photos were taken with a Sony 18-55 mm zoom lens on the A-6000 body.

For Our Grandkids

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Granite Ridge, Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario

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Head down. Bum up.

A delightful, irreverent, Aussie phrase for unthinking submission to the status quo, blind faith in the “experts.” I got the expression from a great CBC Ideas Podcast called It’s the  Economists, Stupid on the scary B.S. and hubris of this pseudo-science.

Sometimes I picture a worker bending over in a field… or something more bawdy… The powerful like us that way.

Come on folks! We owe some difficult work to our grandkids. We all must do more than trust the “news” fed to us by any mainstream paper, radio station or channel to be accurate. Should we trust respectable sources like the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, the Guardian? The CBC? PBS? BBC?

Hell, no! We need to use alternative sources of news.

Why alternatives? While the traditional sources will point out some negatives about political figures and policy through their token liberals, on some of the huge issues of geopolitics (like, for one, the US/NATO/Ukraine/Russia debacle) even the most respected media are presenting the neocon-approved side almost all the time. They were wrong in unison with Bush and Cheney on Iraq’s WMD; only Canada’s PM, Jean Chretien, was brave enough to disagree publicly in 2003. And there are many more abject failures that most of us aren’t aware of – Libya, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Honduras, etc.

Not to do some fact-checking as an elector is failing to fulfill your duty as a citizen – your duty to your grandchildren and future generations.This is because our democracy is on life support.

Never before in history has so much been asked of the average citizen.

Check my blogroll for some of the truly alternative news and opinion sources.

The respected MSM are all singing essentially the same tune as the tabloids – though the harmonies may be more complex – a few more flat 9ths and a smattering of augmented 5ths, perhaps. They distract us with cute human interest stories, advertising, endless repetition of items sanctioned by the powerful and  not even daring to mention other key viewpoints on hugely important issues. They serve the tiniest fraction of the population: the 0.0001% who corporately control all US presidents and everything else on our planet.

Many billions are spent every year on false news to keep the corporate ball rolling.

In the U.S. they offer Americans the choice between Democrat and Republican, which really means “You can have your choice of two candidates in November, neither of whom will rock the deadly neocon destroyer skippered by the super rich.” Significant differences are basically imaginary. Neither  the erratic Donald Trump nor the closet neocon, Hillary Clinton, will make the world a better place. You can have strawberry or vanilla, but it’s ice cream only, folks, and there are only two flavours.

And Justin Trudeau just may turn out to be on the wrong side of the two biggest issues, for me, in Canada: punitive trade deals like the TPP (bad) and true Proportional Representation (good).

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What politics do I read?

  • Tweets and their linked articles. Following the Arab Spring got me started.
  • Following the farcical, phoney, Dutch-led, America-run (let’s face it), investigation into the MH17 incident devoured my time for over a year and still brings me back to Twitter. Ukraine, one suspect of the shoot-down, has a veto over what gets published!
  • Robert Parry, via consortium news.com. Parry won awards in the 80’s when he exposed Reagan’s Iran-Contra scandal and one in 2015 from Harvard for distinguished investigative journalism. He still has CIA contacts who give him the scoop on stuff.
  • John Kerry… just kidding…
  • Noam Chomsky. In the 80’s I discovered him on US exploitation of its Central and South American back yard.
  • Naomi Klein of no-logo and BDS fame, and a recent convert to environmentalism.
  • The New Republic, thought-provoking for more than  century (since 1914).
  • Lots of other stuff.

 

To what do I listen? CBC podcasts, particularly three:

  • Writers and Company, the wonderful in-depth interview skills of Eleanor Wachtel interviewing so many of the great writers.
  • Ideas, on every night from 9 PM until 10, hosted by the great Paul Kennedy
  • The Sunday Edition, with its illustrious, long-time host Michael Enright.

These three, at their best, almost make me feel guilty, glancing sometimes over my shoulder in fear of the Orwellian thought police. Try them; you’ll like them. The link to CBC Podcasts is also in my blogroll.

 

What do I watch on TV?

  • Almost nothing. It is not the best, or the healthiest, use of my time (it makes me curse). Mainstream TV news is entertainment and, much worse, propaganda, increasingly styled à la WW II.

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So for the sake of your grandchildren, get off your intellectual ass and find alternatives to the easy stuff. We OWE our descendants a better chance at survival.

 

 

 

 

Something New

  Queen Anne’s lace blooms appeared this week in “Our Woods.” Just a few; it’s early yet 🙂

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I always like this flower. It tells me that we are getting closer to my favourite season – autumn. And Apollo was brilliantly shining low in the sky just after 7 A.M.

Things like this remind me of why I still care.

Laudato Si – A “Third Testament”

Laudato Si is a great title for Pope Francis’ brave, direct encyclical on our collective human responsibility for polluting and endangering our home here on earth. Francis of Assisi was the first European environmentalist. He wrote his Canticle to the Sun back in 1223 in Italian, and this 2015 encyclical by our modern Francis, eight centuries later, is named Laudato Si after the 5th line in the Canticle. “Laudato sie, mi Signore cum tucte le Tue creature” translates as:

Be praised, my Lord, through all Your creatures

All “creatures” on this earth give simple, pure praise by their very existence and diversity. Canticle of the Sun is, in a way, a “Third Testament”, more evolved than the Old Testament and the New Testament.  The Old Testament, in Genesis 1: 26, clearly expresses God’s wish that we be masters of all the other creatures. It is easily seen as flawed and human-centric when viewed in today’s precarious setting by all but the most closed minds. Here I offer an original song about interconnectedness. It is called Sapphire, after the iconic photo from space that helped us realize how beautiful and precious is Planet Earth. The New Testament tells Christians that God the Father sacrificed his son, Jesus, to redeem humanity from our sins.

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Brother Sun and Sister Moon… What I call the “Third Testament” was perceived back in 1223 by the revolutionary genius and sensitivity of Francis of Assisi and by indigenous peoples many millennia ago. In Canticle of the Sun Francis personifies even the inanimate to show the intimacy of every thing in our universe. Here, Francis celebrates not the triumphant division of creation into masters and chattels, but the oneness and interdependence of all living and non-living things on earth. What the “Third Testament” tells us, if we are truly listening, is that we must now struggle  in extreme haste to see creation as one. We must see our “enemies,” in love and vulnerability, as partners in our urgent struggle.

We humans must, in fact, redeem ourselves.

Bumblebee Forced Resettlement

Bob's Bumblebee Base - Clay Flowerpot, Tile Roof, Tube Entrance
Bob’s Bumblebee Base – Clay Flowerpot, Tile Roof, Tube Subway Entrance

Common bumblebees had set up house in a stack of firewood produced by removing a diseased ash tree and a couple of storm-damaged crab-apples. The wood, next to the house in our back yard, had been covered by a tarp to protect it as it aged. When I removed the tarp this June I noticed the nest and disturbed it. It ended up as a small, rounded pile of fuzzy, fibrous plant material on the patio stones surrounded by a bunch of scattered fireplace logs. I spread out the pieces with an eight-foot 1 x 2 to isolate the nest, and watched the bees work hard to keep it intact. The bee population is plummeting in Ontario and around the world. It was worth trying to save this little community and set them up somewhere on our long-time pesticide free property.

Scattered wood and patio after moving the nest.
Scattered wood and patio after moving the nest.

It had to be moved to a safer place far from the house and our small woodpile. I got my honey’s permission to move it, if possible, to the back border garden. Anita is allergic to stings, but these little guys seem relatively calm-tempered. Time to learn about bees. The British Bumblebee Conservation Trust website was very helpful. It showed how to build a shelter to encourage new bumblebees to inhabit your garden, and how to move a nest safely to another location. My solution, hopefully, was to combine and adapt these ideas to our situation… Continue reading “Bumblebee Forced Resettlement”