Footprints

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. ~ Arthur Ashe A few years ago I became intrigued by the concept of ‘carbon footprint’, the sum of all the greenhouse gases — like carbon dioxide — emitted by someone’s actions. Early on, the size of your footprint was represented by the […]

Sprawl

To me, it is a landscape of scary places, the geography of nowhere, that has simply ceased to be a credible human habitat. ~ James Howard Kunstler, The Geography of Nowhere Some would say that urban sprawl is the major quality of life issue of our times. We see it every day, driving from our […]

More Lovely Than a Poem

I think that I shall never see, A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest, Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in Summer wear, A nest of robins in her hair; […]

Future Farming

“With climate change increasing, drought increasing, and more high rainfall events, I think there’s more of a need to incorporate permanent vegetation into agriculture systems.” Susan Stein, Director of USDA National Agroforestry Center In the movie Interstellar, the near-future world is being consumed by climate change, and one-by-one the monocultural crops that feed the world […]

It’s Al Gore’s Fault

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” Greek Proverb “In Iroquois society, leaders are encouraged to remember seven generations in the past and consider seven generations in the future when making decisions that affect the people.” Wilma Mankiller “It’s all Al Gore’s fault anyway,” […]

Changing the Climate

“It’s a boondoggle based on bad science and ignores the geologic record,” my friend stated decisively. “It’s bad enough that they’re making us drive electric cars, bankrupting the coal industry, and subsidizing wind farms, but now they’re trying to charge a carbon tax to pay for their outlandish schemes.” He regrouped for his final argument, […]

Local Is Logical

“The average food item on a U.S. grocery shelf has traveled farther than most families go on their annual vacations.” ~ Barbara Kingsolver At our local farmer’s market, there’s always a stand that makes me uncomfortable. The owner brings a semi-trailer up from Arizona full of boxes of vegetables, and sells them quite cheaply. For […]

Movin’ On or Diggin’ In?

My family lore holds that some of my forefathers (foreparents?) were Scots-Irish and the rest were English. There always seemed to be a divide in the extended family between the “rough side” and the “polished side” attributed to these genealogical differences. As I understood it, the Scots-Irish were originally poor Scots who had no land […]

Fifty-Fifty?

“It is past time to broaden the discussion of the human future and connect it to the rest of life.” E.O. Wilson, Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life Extinctions. Habitat loss. Climate change. We are wreaking havoc on the natural world. In spite of his dire warnings, E.O. Wilson is relatively upbeat about our chances […]