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Grow

Take away the cars
The boats and the planes
Clear out the buildings
Roads and the trains
Give it about
A decade or so
Then marvel at the beauty
That can finally grow

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What a wonderful world.

Looking out my sliding glass back door today made me realize something. Yeah, it’s a little overcast. There’s not a lot going on being a Friday afternoon. Until you look a bit closer.

I turn my head to the sky, fat fluffy clouds hanging lazily overhead. A bird passes by, to distant to identify.

Dip my head towards the ground and spot a line of ants making their way through a previously unknown hole in the porch siding. I’d been wondering where the ants popping up in the house had infiltrated.

I scan to my left and see dozens of vehicles of various shades of the rainbow. Which got me to thinking, how amazing is it that we live in a time and place where vehicles are commonplace. Where flight from one side of the planet to the other is as simple as popping online and buying a plane ticket, then showing up at the airport.

The numerous innovations that have made our lives not only easier, but more full in many cases. The human race is truly impressive. A few hundred years ago the internet couldn’t be comprehended. Now it’s so commonplace, many people couldn’t imagine living without it.

Seeing as how we’re so awesome, in so many ways, there’s no reason we can’t do an even better job in the future. Our generations, and those that follow will have a choice that none before them had. We can, and ultimately will, decide the future of not only our species but of every species of life on this beautiful planet.

It is our choice to do everything we can to make our future as glorious as it has the obvious potential to be. It’s pretty simple too, when you break it down. Taking a few minutes out of your day to sort your recycling, or carpooling on trips when it makes sense, and even stopping to pick up a piece of trash while you’re walking down the road does make a difference.

My dream of the future is one in which we’ve moved on from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Where people are judged based on who they are and what they do, not where they’re from or what they look like. A place in which the animals we share this planet with are treated with respect and protected. A place where war and violence and greed are a thing of the past, something learned in school history class.

The coolest part, my dreams totally possible. I can’t do it alone, but I can and will do my part. I sincerely hope others will do the same.

I wait for the day…

I wait for the day true equality blankets the globe. Where there are only have’s, no have not’s.

The day children don’t starve in one country yet struggle with obesity in another.

The day corporations are not allowed to infect politics and write the laws which cause the suffering of so many all for the sake of profit.

The day worldwide health care is everyone’s right, not a privilege for those who can afford it.

The day we get past our need to endlessly consume without restraint. When we strike a healthy, sustainable balance with nature.

The day we realize our full potential as a species, and treat our fellow species with the same respect we show ourselves.

The day our years of scientific endeavors allows us to surpass the limits of today and allows for the exploration of the vast expanse of the universe.

I wait for that day.

A way to increase the effectiveness of documentaries pertaining to the state of the world.

Being laid up at home, unable to drive or sit comfortably for more than about 5 minutes, I’ve indulged in more than my fair share of Netflix hours. Especially on the documentary section. Pretty impressed with a number of them, but the only problem is, there about how bad our society has gotten, how we need to conserve the natural resources on the planet, all the regular issues we’ve seen for years.

Something I noticed in the majority of these conservation documentaries was how negative they were. I mean, it is understandable, especially for these folks that are actually out there in the jungles or rainforests trying to stop the uncontrollable deforestation, the hunting of anything that moves for the bush meat trade, all these things and more they have to deal with up close and personal. They have the right to be a little peeved at the rest of us sitting in our typically nice houses, with all our amenities burning up energy with no regard to the long term effects. Or the people who want that rare hardwood floor in their five thousand square foot home but don’t consider the consequences on the patch of rainforest that’s devastated for no reason other than aesthetic purposes to impress friends or neighbors.

Despite their right to be disappointed with how slowly we seem to be switching to alternative energy sources, how much we continue to consume unnecessarily, and the ridiculous amount of garbage and pollution we pump out annually, chastising/lecturing/guilt tripping the folks who actually watch the documentaries seems like a poor, less than effective way to not only get your point across, but leave people encouraged by what they’ve just seen.

I’m not suggesting we sugarcoat the destruction we’ve caused and continue to cause. What I am suggesting is that after mentioning thousands of species of plants and animals are declining rapidly, with hundreds going extinct each year, offer some kind of solution for the average joe’s like myself to contribute to the cause locally, in a way that doesn’t necessarily have to be donated money.

Give us information on where we can find ways to help the environment in our local communities, in our states. Then end the documentary on a high note. Ex. “We’ve still got a long ways to go before the flat footed blue billed puffon can be removed from the IUCN red list. But thanks to conservation efforts of regular people like yourselves, the population has doubled since the breeding program began. We would like to thank our contributors and viewers for making this possible. Please visit X website for more information on how you can help save the planet!”

I just feel that by making a more positive documentary about the things we need to fix in this world for the good of every living creature, humanity included, we will see more people contributing to protecting and preserving our beautiful home.

Tiny House’s

I have to say, after watching the documentary on Netflix, as well as hours of videos on the internet, I like the idea. It’s good for the environment, easy on the wallet in comparison to a traditional 30 year mortgage, and mobile so you don’t pay near the taxes and you can move wherever whenever the feeling strikes you. Plus several of them looked pretty sweet!

I can certainly see the downsides for say a large family, but for single folks or couples without kids it seems a viable option to, at the very least save up some cash for a normal sized house that they can pay for in cash rather then be stuck with payments for the majority of their adult lives.

I’m thinking about trying it one of these days. Buy a little patch of land somewhere with a pond and some forest, grow a little garden, get some pet goats to keep the grass trimmed, preferably the fainting kind for obvious reasons. Call me simple but it don’t get much better than that. Unless you add pretty lady to the mix. That usually improves it.

Diet change. Vegan time.

So I checked out this documentary called Forks Over Knives and it got me to thinking. In the film it states that the amount of grain we use to feed the livestock industry could feed 8.7 billion people a year, more than enough to end world hunger. Another thing to keep in mind is the amount of pollution caused by the livestock industry, cattle especially.

The way I figure it, if by not eating meat, dairy, or eggs I can help in some small way to reduce pollution and help get us closer to ending world hunger, I owe it to myself and my species as a whole to give it a shot.

Not only that, but cows, pigs, chickens, and just about all the delectable critters we regularly dine on pretty cool. Pigs in particular are very intelligent, rivaling dogs if not surpassing them. Moo cows are pretty sweet too, cept for the occasional Bull that wants to be a show off. Chicken’s are extremely interesting to watch, the way they interact with each other and the clucks and calls they use to communicate are rather sophisticated.

I’m on day 2 of the vegan diet, and in all honesty, I get to eat just as tasty of food, just don’t have to kill off sweet animals to do it. I’d definitely recommend everyone to give it a go, help the planet, and help ourselves from the positive effects of a healthy diet!

Biotechnology; De-extinction.

So I was just watching a video demonstrating the possibilities of bringing extinct animals back to life  by taking preserved DNA from the extinct animal and using it’s closest living relative to incubate and conceive the extinct animal. First off, I’ll say it looked like it had a little way’s to go before it would be as easy as clicking a few buttons on a computer then tapping enter. Secondly, I can understand the moral and ethical debate associated with bringing back something that is no longer around, playing God if you will.

Like with any technology, it will grow and evolve into a more viable and cost effective option for species that are no longer with us. Whether it’s five years or fifty depends greatly on the amount of interest that can be generated in the project, same holds true for just about everything.

On to the second point. While I can understand the prior argument, as well as the argument of some conservationists that if we can just bring back extinct animals, no one will care about protecting the ones we already have, I have to wholeheartedly disagree, to a point. If a species was killed either directly or indirectly by people or the influence of people on their ecosystems and we have the potential technology to correct our prior mistakes, do we know owe it to ourselves as the most intelligent things in the known universe? I think yes.

Plus let’s face it, even without the technology to reverse extinction we eliminate a ridiculous number of species every year and have been for quite a while. But really, we’ve only known we were even capable of causing the extinction of a species for a short while big picture wise. Not only that, so many people are doing amazing things to protect the natural world around us. If such a technology as de-extinction becomes viable, and were used in an appropriate manner, I believe it would be very beneficial in the right hands at restoring ecosystems lost to societal progress.

Thank goodness for preservation/conservation of our natural world

Watching nature documentaries about Yosemite and some of the other amazing wildernesses we’ve managed to keep intact is a pretty good feeling. Admittedly we, for the most part could do a better job recycling, wasting energy, polluting etc. but it’s nice to know there are and have been good folks working to save as much as possible for future generations.

Hell, it was within the last 200 years or so that we realized the impact we as a species were having on our home. Now that we know, it’s just a matter of cutting back on the damage and switching over to sustainable energy as well as food sources. I love bbq. Big time. The livestock industry contributes to pollution in a huge way, it’s not sustainable long term, and we’re unable to feed the world with our current method. If we cut down our livestock industry by say a half or more, it would make a massive difference to the short and long term health of the planet. Of our planet.

Move on from coal and oil. It’s a dirty, war causing dinosaur. Wind and solar power are two quite viable options. I know it doesn’t happen overnight. But it can happen a lot faster if we want it to, as consumers. Eat meat half as much. If everyone does, livestock industry is cut in half, win for the environment. Carpool as much as possible and turn off lights you aren’t using, nother’ win. Just takes a little effort and willpower and our great great great grandchildren can still have a habitable planet to live on. Pretty fair trade I’d say.