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

1.hartley.DouglasCreek.watermark
“Douglas Creek”, acrylic on canvas, 3′ x 4′, 2015
 

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

 

 

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

***

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.

World Bank: What Climate Change Means for Africa, Asia and the Coastal Poor

***
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A new climate report looks at likely impacts of present day, 2°C, and 4°C warming across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South East Asia.
  • It describes the risks to agriculture and livelihood security in Sub-Saharan Africa; the rise in sea-level, loss of coral reefs and devastation to coastal areas likely in South East Asia; and the fluctuating water resources in South Asia.
  • Turn Down the Heat warns that poor communities will be the most vulnerable to climate change.

As the coastal cities of Africa and Asia expand, many of their poorest residents are being pushed to the edges of livable land and into the most dangerous zones for climate change. Their informal settlements cling to riverbanks and cluster in low-lying areas with poor drainage, few public services, and no protection from storm surges, sea-level rise, and flooding.

These communities – the poor in coastal cities and on low-lying islands – are among the world’s most vulnerable to climate change and the least able to marshal the resources to adapt, a new report finds. They face a world where climate change will increasingly threaten the food supplies of Sub-Saharan Africa and the farm fields and water resources of South Asia and South East Asia within the next three decades, while extreme weather puts their homes and lives at risk.

A new scientific report commissioned by the World Bank and released on June 19 explores the risks to lives and livelihoods in these three highly vulnerable regions. Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience (Read it in IssuuScribdOpen Knowledge Repository) takes the climate discussion to the next level, building on a 2012 World Bank report that concluded from a global perspective that without a clear mitigation strategy and effort, the world is headed for average temperatures 4 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial times by the end of this century.

Small number, big problem

Communities around the world are already feeling the impacts of climate change today, with the planet only 0.8 ºC warmer than in pre-industrial times. Many of us could experience the harsher impacts of a 2ºC warmer world within our lifetimes – 20 to 30 years from now – and  4ºC is likely by the end of the century without global action.

The report lays out what these temperature increases will look like, degree-by-degree, in each targeted region and the damage anticipated for agricultural production, coastal cities, and water resources.

“The scientists tell us that if the world warms by 2°C – warming which may be reached in 20 to 30 years – that will cause widespread food shortages, unprecedented heat-waves, and more intense cyclones,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “In the near-term, climate change, which is already unfolding, could batter the slums even more and greatly harm the lives and the hopes of individuals and families who have had little hand in raising the Earth’s temperature.”

The report, based on scientific analysis by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics, uses advanced computer simulations to paint the clearest picture of each region’s vulnerabilities. It describes the risks to agriculture and livelihood security in Sub-Saharan Africa; the rise in sea-level, loss of coral reefs and devastation to coastal areas likely in South East Asia; and the fluctuating water resources in South Asia that can lead to flooding in some areas and water scarcity in others, as well as affecting power supply.

“The second phase of this report truly reiterates our need to bring global attention to the tasks necessary to hold warming to 2ºC,” said Rachel Kyte, the Bank’s vice president for sustainable development. “Our ideas at the World Bank have already been put into practice as we move forward to assist those whose lives are particularly affected by extreme weather events.”

Open Quotes

The scientists tell us that if the world warms by 2°C – warming which may be reached in 20 to 30 years – that will cause widespread food shortages, unprecedented heat-waves, and more intense cyclones. Close Quotes

Jim Yong Kim
President, World Bank Group

Bill Moyers, Lawrence Lessig on Government Spying, Big Brother’s Prying Eyes

Full Show: Big Brother’s Prying Eyes

June 14, 2013

Whatever your take on the recent revelations about government spying on our phone calls and Internet activity, there’s no denying that Big Brother is bigger and less brotherly than we thought. What’s the resulting cost to our privacy — and more so, our democracy? Lawrence Lessig, professor of law and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and founder of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, discusses the implications of our government’s actions, Edward Snowden’s role in leaking the information, and steps we must take to better protect our privacy.

“Snowden describes agents having the authority to pick and choose who they’re going to be following on the basis of their hunch about what makes sense and what doesn’t make sense. This is the worst of both worlds. We have a technology now that gives them access to everything, but a culture if again it’s true that encourages them to be as wide ranging as they can,” Lessig tells Bill. “The question is — are there protections or controls or counter technologies to make sure that when the government gets access to this information they can’t misuse it in all the ways that, you know, anybody who remembers Nixon believes and fears governments might use?”

Few are as knowledgeable about the impact of the Internet on our public and private lives as Lessig, who argues that government needs to protect American rights with the same determination and technological sophistication it uses to invade our privacy and root out terrorists.

“If we don’t have technical measures in place to protect against misuse, this is just a trove of potential misuse…We’ve got to think about the technology as a protector of liberty too. And the government should be implementing technologies to protect our liberties,” Lessig says. “Because if they don’t, we don’t figure out how to build that protection into the technology, it won’t be there.”

“We should recognize in a world of terrorism the government’s going to be out there trying to protect us. But let’s make sure that they’re using tools or technology that also protects the privacy side of what they should be protecting.”

A former conservative who’s now a liberal, Lessig also knows that the caustic impact of money is another weapon capable of mortally wounding democracy. His recent book, Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress — and a Plan to Stop It, decries a pervasive “dependence corruption” in our government and politics that should sound a desperate alarm for both the Left and the Right. Here, Lessig outlines a radical approach to the problem that uses big money itself to reform big money-powered corruption.

Producer: Gail Ablow. Editor: Rob Kuhns.
Intro Producer: Robert Booth. Intro Editor: Paul Desjarlais.
Photographer: Alton Christensen.

Lawrence Lessig on Government Spying.

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Photo of Aaron Swartz and Lawrence Lessig at t...

Photo of Aaron Swartz and Lawrence Lessig at the launch party for Creative Commons at O’Reilly’s Emerging Technology Conference. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

"Technology has exceeded our humanity"

“Technology has exceeded our humanity” (Photo credit: Toban B.)

Seed of Light Award Nomination, Thank you MisBehaved Woman!

Seed Of Light

Thank you MisBehaved Woman!

seed-of-light-award

You only need one to start a forest!

Planting is easy: if you receive this award, simply pass it on to another blogger who inspires you through the beauty of their words/images as well as any blog which brings joyful awareness to nature and our connection to each other.

I happily pass this lovely little seed along to:

SUNSET DAILY: http://sunsetdaily.wordpress.com/ 

Join Congresswoman Jackie Speier, in support of the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (STOP Act) to end military rape.

English: Jackie Speier (D-CA), Member of the U...

Below is an email from Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Courage Campaign. Congresswoman Speier started a petition on the MoveOn website, where anyone can start their own online petition.


Congress: Support the STOP Act to end military rape. 
Sign the Petition!

Dear MoveOn member,

Sexual violence in the U.S. military is a crisis.The Pentagon estimates that sexual assaults increased from 19,000 in 2011 to 26,000 in 2012. That’s 71 sexual assaults EVERY DAY, and in roughly 56% of cases, the victims are men.

Making matters worse, each branch of the armed forces has its own judicial system, and it’s currently legal for base commanders to overturn a jury’s guilty verdict, as happened at Aviano Air Force Base in February 2013.

The STOP (Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention) Act takes the prosecution, reporting, oversight, investigation, and victim care of sexual assaults out of the normal military chain of command—which has proven grossly ineffective—and places jurisdiction in an autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office.

That’s why I started a petition to the United States Congress, which says:

I stand with Congresswoman Jackie Speier in support of the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (STOP Act) to end military rape.

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.

Thanks!

–Congresswoman Jackie Speier

This petition was created by the Courage Campaign on on MoveOn Petitions Political Action Edition, which is licensed to and paid for by MoveOn.org Political Action. We are not responsible for the contents of this or other petitions posted on the site. The Courage Campaign didn’t pay us to send this email—we never rent or sell the MoveOn.org list.

Want to support our work? We’re entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.


Google, NASA and US Geological Survey: Images of Destruction of planet Earth

Reblogged from: http://oncirculation.com/2013/05/20/google-timelapse-images-of-destruction-2/

GoogleTimelapse”: Images of destruction

Posted on May 20, 2013 by  | By Claire
Google (in conjunction with NASA and the USGS) has just released a series of timelapse movies,
showing the changes occurring to the surface of our planet since the 1970s.

How does your garden grow? Flower remedies for healing…

DSCN1058 DSCN1062

The Pomegranate tree (Punica granatum)

This tree was planted by my grandmother in 1955.

 Last year the fruit went into making jam,  grenadine, and vodka.

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DSCN1068

Yarrow (Achillea millifolium)

 The flower of invulnerability. 

Achillea commemorates the Greek hero Achilles, who used yarrow to heal wounds.

Throughout history until the early part of the 20th century it was used in treating wounds,

and to staunch bleeding.

Its oils are anti-inflammatory and antiseptic,

the tannins are astringent and stop bleeding,

the silica promotes tissue repair.

An infusion is good for and eyebath, as skin lotion for varicose veins.

Good for the digestive tract, stimulates appetite.

*

Yarrow stalks were used in China, to reawaken the spiritual,  I Ching used yarrow stalks for divination.

Last year I made Yarrow Beer. 

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DSCN1075

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Angelica (Angelica archangelica)

The flower of inspiration.

In ancient history it was a protective herb against illness, as well as evil spirits.

It stimulates the circulation, and is good for people who feel the cold.

It warms and invigorates the stomach, it is used for nausea, poor appetite and weak digestion.

It detoxifies the blood and protects against infection.

The oil is antibacterial and anti-fungal, a disinfectant uses to preserve food (wrap in leaves).

It relieves period and premenstrual pain.

***

Apple tree, Yarrow, Borage, Chamomile, Lemon balm, Lavender, Rue, Chrysanthemum, Sage, and Thyme.

DSCN1076

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Morning Glory with Feverfew.

Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium, Tanacetum parthenium)

The flower of relief.

“Feverfew is ruled by Venus and hath commended it to succour our sisters to be a general strengthener

of their wombs, and to remedy such infirmities as a careless midwife hath there caused;

if they will be pleased to make use of her herb boiled in white wine,

and drink the decoction, it cleanseth the womb, expels the afterbirth

and doth a woman all the good she can desire of a herb”.

                                                               Culpeper

It is currently a remedy for headaches and migraine. Research and clinical trials

have shown that intractable migraines in 70% of sufferers improved after taking feverfew.

One in three had no further attacks. Can be eaten fresh, makes a bitter tea.

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DSCN1082

Echinacea (Echinacea augustifolia) Purple coneflower.

The flower of wholeness.

Three of the nine species are native to North America, and have medicinal benefits.

Purple coneflower was one of the most important medicinal plants

known to the native Americans.

Applied externally to wounds, burns, insect bites and swollen lymph glands,

taken internally for headaches, stomach aches, coughs and colds, to treat measles and gonorrhoea.

From 1895 to 1930 American doctors proved the effects of E. angustifolia in healing boils and abscesses,

blood poisoning, postpartum infection, malaria, typhus and TB.

German studies in the last 60 years have proved the remedy for septic conditions,

rheumatoid arthritis, antibiotic resistance, whooping-cough in children,

flu, catarrh, chronic respiratory track infections, gynecological infections,

urinary infections and skin infections.

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DSCN1091

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Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

The flower of bees.

Lemon balm influences the limbic system in the brain which is concerned with

mood and temperament. A sedative, enhancing relaxation and inducing natural sleep,

calming tension and anxiety, and even mania and hysteria,

lemon balm is also restoring.

It can be taken as a tea frequently during the day or night.

Good for the digestive system, a bitter tonic support to stimulate the liver and gall-bladder.

A strong infusion in a warm bath will help calm you.

***

DSCN1093

Rue (Ruta graveolens)

The herb of grace.

Rue is a powerful remedy and low doses are the rule.

It is used in the treatment of strained eyes and headaches caused by eyestrain.

It is useful for nervous headaches and heart palpitations.

It is an antispasmodic, and is used in treating the nervous system for indigestion.

The rutin strengthens fragile blood vessels and varicose veins.

An ointment containing rue is good for gouty, rheumatic pains

and for sprained or bruised tendons.

In Chinese medicine rue is specific for snake and insect bite.

The tea expels worms.

CAUTION: Do not use during pregnancy. It can cause a rash.

***

DSCN1070

Borage (Borago officinalis) and Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

Borage

The flower of courage. 

Borage has a relaxing effect, and is said to dispel grief and sadness.

Modern research shows that borage stimulates the adrenal glands, the organs of courage,

increasing the secretion of adrenaline.

The hormonal properties of borage are present in the seeds which contain gamma linoleic acid.

The oil from the seeds can be used for menstrual problems,

allergies such as eczema, hay fever, and arthritis.

Borage tea can be taken to clear boils and skin rashes,

for arthritis and rheumatism, during infections to bring down a fever.

The mucilage in borage has a soothing action to

relieve sore throat and to sooth cough.

***

Chamomile 

The flower of equilibrium.

The famous physician Dioscorides recommended it as a medicine for fevers in 900 BCE.

The Egyptians revered chamomile for its medicinal virtues, for its power to cure acute fever,

and dedicated it to the sun god Ra.

It was one of the nine sacred herbs of the Saxons who used it as a sedative.

German and Roman chamomile’s are similar, and serve the same uses.

It relaxes and relieves tension and spasm, and recommended

for colic in babies, abdominal pain, and any digestive upsets.

***

DSCN1092

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)

The flower of elation.

Clary sage is a relaxing tonic to the nervous system, and excellent for stress.

A tea helps headaches, asthma, migraine, insomnia and indigestion.

It has an antispasmodic action and can relieve muscle tension, abdominal pain and constipation,

reduce period pains and ease childbirth.

It will help lift the spirits in depression.

Used topically, it can be applied to the skin to draw out inflammation and infection.

Aromatherapy Oil

Clary sage oil can produce a heightened state of elation or

euphoria, deeply relaxing and sleep-inducing.

***

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Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

The flower of survival.

Used in medicine in Ancient Greece and was praised in herbals in the Middle Ages.

Taraxacum is from the Greek word, taraxo, meaning pain or remedy.

The leaves are edible, and may be used in salads, or cooked like spinach.

This plant is highly nutritious, rich in vitamins C and B, and pro-vitamin A,

and minerals potassium and iron.

Dandelion is a spring tonic, it expels toxins, wastes and pollutants through the liver and kidneys,

cleaning the blood.

***

Garden and vegetables…to keep me alive and healthy…grown from seeds.

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Sources:

Flower Power, by Anne McIntyre, 1996, Henry Holt and Co. NY.

The New Age Herbalist, Editor Richard Mabley (1941), 1988, Simon and Schuster Inc. Gaia Books Ltd., London.

Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) in Scotts Valley...

Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) in Scotts Valley, CA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Feverfew

Feverfew (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Super Sweet Blogger Award Nomination from Dear Kitty, Some Blog

supersweetblogaward

Nominated by

Dear Kitty, Some Blog

Dear Kitty, Some Blog

Dear Kitty, Some Blog

http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com

Thank you Dear Kitty! 

Blogging on animals, peace and war, science, social justice, women’s issues, arts, and much more…

***

The rules of this award are:
•    Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you.
•    Answer five Super Sweet questions.
•    Include the Super Sweet Blogging award image in your blog post.
•    Nominate a baker’s dozen (12) other bloggers. These are my best three today!
•    Notify your nominees on their blog.

***

The 5 Super Sweet Questions: 
1.    Cookies or Cake? ‘COOKIES’, wish I had one now!
2.    Chocolate or Vanilla?   Chocolate
3.    Favourite Sweet Treat? Anything with lemon.
4.    When do you crave sweet things the most? When there is not a treat to be found.
5.    Sweet Nick Name? Sweet Heart

Best reads today:

Martin Lack: Lack of Environment http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/

Buffalohair Gazette International http://buffalohair.wordpress.com/

Stop Making Sense  http://stopmakingsense.org/ Stop Making Sense is a British based news gathering operation

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