Birth of a Painting Series VII, “Douglas Creek”.

1.hartley.DouglasCreek.watermark

“Douglas Creek”, acrylic on canvas, 3′ x 4′, 2010

 

Douglas Creek is one of many small creeks that come directly from the high-country snowmelt and natural springs. It is our drinking water for our cabin in Stanislaus National Forest, located at 6,700 ft. where the water is delivered by gravity flow. After passing by our cabin it enters the South Fork of the Stanislaus River, which begins at (9,635 ft. (2,937 m) Leavitt Peak, in Tuolumne County and eventually enters the San Joaquin River, and drains into the San Francisco Bay.

This little mountain stream and river have sustained life well beyond our time. There are parts of wagons used by the settlers trying to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains. There are obsidian points from the Miwok Native American tribe and grinding stones. The tiny stream banks are lined with willow, horsetail herb, mints, orchids, and many other wildflowers.

As a child I wandered where ever I wished, with the caveat that, if lost, head downhill. I have slept outdoors with bear and mountain lions as possible visitors. Deer have taken a nap beside me. Chipmunks and Golden Mantle squirrels have sat in my hands. I trust the four- legged critters but keep a wary eye on the two legged.

Climate Change is changing our landscape quickly. We had to saw down six large beautiful Ponderosa trees this year alone. They are dying at a rapid rate, from bark beetles (love the heat), and a fungus, which spreads from fir tree roots. This was all predicted by a U.C. Berkeley scientist that wrote about how pollution affects the photosynthesis process, especially in the Ponderosa Pines. I watched a fire burn this summer across the river, tree torches burning brightly in the night.

Thank you for reading,

Denise Hartley

 

 

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The Beauty of Change, the Basics for Survival, Earth Unplugged

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Basics for Survival, Earth Unplugged

The Beauty of Change, Essay 1, the Basic Steps…

Simple Steps for Improving Your Life:

  1. Cherish what you have. Appreciate your life, family, friends, and your blessings given by our planet and ‘Mother Nature.’  Everything comes from Nature. Every material object in your life came from our Earth, at a great cost. The planet cannot keep up with our consumption. Give back to Nature, recycle what you do not need, it is made from precious material. Watch what you throw away, are you really giving back to Nature by dumping into her earth and water what you have consumed and no longer want?
  2. Recognize that you have what you need. If you have a home, food, water, you have enough. Everything else is a want. The First World (us) has taken too much from a finite planet (the only one we have). We are stripping our planet of its resources for our pleasure, leaving little for the rest of humanity. We choose not to see what our selfishness has caused, and the suffering of the Third World, who is starving and thirsty. I know we can do better.
  3.  Simplify your life. Having less material objects creates a space that you will enjoy more. Give away or sell what you do not need, someone else can use it. Eating less and more healthy simple foods will increase your enjoyment also. Growing your own organic foods gives pleasure, knowing that you are working with, and in nature. Your body is part of Nature, give it simple good food, and it will reward you with good health. Learn to recognize what will enhance your diet, and create good health. Eat less high resource foods: meat, out of season fruits and vegetables (they have probably traveled more that you have), factory created foods (processed, and dead, also well traveled).

What Easy Improvements I Made to Enjoy My Life More:

  • I sold my large house, and downsized (2003)…AND use way less power. Easier to clean, more time to spend outside in Nature
  • I became a vegetarian (1995)…I grow my own food, and my protein is from fruits and vegetables, legumes, and eggs from my chicken, AND have great health. I eat less and enjoy it more. I don’t eat GMO corn or soy products (they are hidden in packaged food).
  • I use less energy in my new home, replace your light bulbs with more energy efficient CFL’s…Check your appliance efficiency. My heater is on a low setting, so I dress warm.
  • Gave up TV (1995)…The new flat screen TV’s use 2x to 4x the energy of the old tube ones. Again, I am outside in Nature, or reading, or painting.
  • Unplug what you are not using, standby mode uses electricity….
  • I sold my super cool Black & Silver Dodge Ram truck, and bought a small Toyota pickup, now I have downsized again, being given a free car that has great gas mileage.
  • I found something useful to do, and am getting a teaching credential, AND blogging about climate change.
  • I stopped buying what I do not need. Yes, even Christmas presents, I bought everyone socks for Christmas! I make my own beer and wine (another blog), and gave as Christmas presents).
  • I recycle everything. I have a compost pile, recycle cans, jars, plastic, etc., I have very little trash to send back into the Earth.
Starting the Garden
Starting the Garden
Growing the Garden
Growing the Garden
Eating the Garden
Eating the Garden
Mother Nature

Mother Nature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BBC Program on Fracking, featuring Professor Iain Stewart.

ReBlogged from Lack of Environment: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond

iain_stewart

Professor Iain Stewart

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Letter written to Professor Stewart by Lack of Environment, author Martin Lack: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond

Herewith appended below is an email I sent today to Professor Iain Stewart (and copied to all those named in it).

Dear Professor Stewart,

I wanted to express my appreciation for the sensitive way in which you handled the issues in last night’s Horizon programme and for all the facts, figures and research findings it contained.  I was particularly interested in the evidence that shale gas has escaped from poorly-constructed wells in the USA.  Even if the UK can improve on the 6 to 7% failure rate in the USA, 100% success (i.e. no failures) is highly improbable.  Therefore, if fracking must be pursued (for whatever reason), this would make it imperative that the BGS establish baseline monitoring for methane as soon as possible. Would it be possible to get a copy of the transcript of the programme (or a list of References)?

Given my geological background and my MA in Environmental Politics, I have written a great deal about Fracking and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) on my blog.  However, having started out very much opposed to both Fracking and CCS, my position has evolved as a consequence of ‘exchanges of views’ I had last year with Professor Peter Styles (Keele) and with Professor Robert Mair (Cambridge/Royal Society).  As a result of these exchanges – summarised or linked to here on my blog – I would agree with Peter that we probably need shale gas.  However, I believe Peter also agrees with me that we probably cannot afford it*.  I also understand that the remit of the Royal Society specifically excluded the long-term sustainability implications of pursuing fracking.

Nevertheless, this leaves me wondering whether you could encourage the BBC to do a second programme to address the consequences of humans burning all the Earth’s fossil fuels simply because they are there; and/or the need for ‘Western’ per capita energy consumption to be drastically reduced?  Having read David MacKay’s book, Sustainable Energy: Without The Hot Air, I think our biggest problem is that most people do not think holistically about the problems we face or, even worse, they seem to think concepts such as ‘ecological carrying capacity’ are just eco-Marxist propaganda.  However, although it would seem that CCS is now going to be essential in order to minimise anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD), I think it is also the biggest obstacle to getting politicians to take decisive action to decarbonise our power generation systems.

Even if such a second Horizon programme is not likely, I remain very appreciative of all you have done – and are doing – to raise the profile of ACD as an Earth Science issue that should be of concern to all.

Kind regards, [etc]

ReBlogged from Lack of Environment: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond

* If fracking becomes the new energy boom, it is very hard to see how CCS will ever be able to be rolled-out on a global scale to keep pace with unabated CO2 emissions.

Sign California! Support Fracking Moratorium AB 1301 Petition. 350.org Bay Area

Please Join Food & Water Watch – Make a difference.

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/

Why Ban Fracking? | Food & Water Watch. Petition your state.

reblogged from Food and Water Watch

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/fracking/

Fracking

Members of New Yorkers Against Fracking, a broad-based coalition, deliver hundreds of thousands of ban-fracking petitions to Gov. Andrew Cuomo
(L-R) Daniele Gerard of Three Parks Independent Democrats, Zack Malitz of Credo Action, Betta Broad of Frack Action, Alex Beauchamp of Food & Water Watch

Join Us

Want to learn about what you can do to stop fracking? Visit ourfracking action center to take action and be sure to sign up for our mailing list for regular updates on how you can help fight fracking in your community and beyond.

What Is Fracking and Why Should It Be Banned?

Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing. It’s an extremely water-intensive process where millions of gallons of fluid – typically a mix of water, sand, and chemicals, including ones known to cause cancer – are injected underground at high pressure to fracture the rock surrounding an oil or gas well. This fracking releases extra oil and/or gas from the rock, so it can flow into the well.

But the process of fracking introduces additional industrial activity into communities beyond the well. Clearing land to build new access roads and new well sites, drilling and encasing the well, fracking the well and generating the waste, trucking in heavy equipment and materials and trucking out the vast amounts of toxic waste — all of these steps contribute to air and water pollution risks and devaluation of land that is turning our communities into sacrifice zones. Fracking threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we all depend. That’s why over 250 communities in the U.S. have passed resolutions to stop fracking, and why Vermont, France and Bulgaria have stopped it.

Why a Ban? Can’t Better Regulations Make Fracking Safer?

BAN FRACKING IN YOUR AREA
FEATURED PUBLICATIONS

U.S. Energy Insecurity: Why Fracking for Oil andNatural Gas Is a False Solution

No. Fracking is inherently unsafe and we cannot rely on regulation to protect communities’ water, air and public health. The industry enjoys exemptions from key federal legislation protecting our air and water, thanks to aggressive lobbying and cozy relationships with our federal decisionmakers (the exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act is often referred to as the Cheney or Halliburton Loophole, because it was negotiated by then-Vice President Dick Cheney with Congress in 2005.) Plus, the industry is aggressively clamping down on local and state efforts to regulate fracking by buying influence and even bringing lawsuits to stop them from being implemented. That’s why fracking can’t be made safer through government oversight or regulations. An all out ban on fracking is the only way to protect our communities

Learn More:

What You Can Do

Why Ban Fracking? | Food & Water Watch.

Bill Moyers, My Hero! ‘The Toxic Assault on Our Children’ and ‘Dance of the Honey Bee’

BILL MOYERS and Company present…

Full Show: The Toxic Assault on Our Children

April 19, 2013

Biologist, mother and activist Sandra Steingraber joins Bill to explain why she was willing to go to jail — and did — for blocking access to the construction of a storage and transportation facility involved in the controversial process of fracking. Steingraber has become internationally known for building awareness about toxins she says are threatening our children’s health by contaminating our air, water and food, and talks to Bill about how we must take action stop these “toxic trespassers.”

With government captured by the very industries it’s supposed to regulate, Steingraber has lost patience with politicians and corporations, and says we need to work together now to prevent destruction to the environment.

Also on the show, Bill presents the short documentary “Dance of the Honey Bee.” Narrated by Bill McKibben, the film takes a look at the determined, beautiful, and vital role honey bees play in preserving life, as well as the threats bees face from a rapidly changing landscape.

Bill Moyers

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Sandra Steingraber, Scientist & Author, Raisin...

Sandra Steingraber, Scientist & Author, Raising Elijah (Photo credit: SteveHarbula)

***This image was selected as a picture of the we...