Plastic kills sea life

I am trying to get this published in Humboldt County

Letter to Editor
A friend of mine recently returned from a Hawaiian vacation. She went to Oahu. I know her as someone who loves the water and the beach. I asked her how she enjoyed her trip and curiously she said she didn’t enjoy or go in the water that much. I asked her why and she said there was so much plastic on the beach. The beaches around hotels are cleaned but she favored less frequented, less touristy beaches.
I have long deplored the insidious encroachment of plastic into our world. The commercial interests have decided that any product we buy should have a hard or soft layer of protective plastic. Some packaging is even worse. They combine plastic and metal in the new resealable pouches such as mylar and a thousand other Frankenstein concoctions.
These packages and the materials they are made from are good at protecting their contents, for a long time. In a short-sighted way, it works well for products made a long way away and a long time ago, cause the package does not degrade (for many years) and the “product” is protected from germs and from oxidation. However, these benefits conferred on the product and the convenience of it for manufacturers then turns into an absolute horror for the earth.
The product may be enjoyed for 5 minutes, a day or a week but the package may stay with us for a thousand years or longer. They don’t degrade well. They are not meant to. They are meant to protect the product, for a long time. However, after the product is consumed we are left with these horrible packages that blow into, are dumped into or somehow find their way into the ocean, waterways as well as on streets and parks. Even when they go to landfills they sit there mostly not degrading and slowly polluting the land and water.
We are very numerous. We create a lot of trash with our eating of potato chips, vegan energy bars and jerky sticks. Is the convenience of a fast snack worth the wrapper that may stay around for a thousand years? I am raising this issue consumers, yes. We can do better. Try to buy in bulk or fresh or from farmers markets. However, we all know the plastic and plastimetal materials concocted in labs by chemists and material scientists ARE EVERYWHERE. They are hard to avoid. Often there is no choice, or no good-choice at the grocery store. The choice may be forgoing something we really want or getting the wrapped product.
I would like to say we should demand our local stores not carry these pouches, that they not carry non-recyclable or non-degradable packaging. But it is so pervasive. We can grow our own or go to farmers markets for part of our purchases but we all know in our fast-paced world a grocery store is essential.
We should demand manufacturers fundamentally change the attitude and materials that are used to protect our foods. I don’t exactly know how to do it. What do you think? Is a debate and organizing on this issue important?
What I do know is that if the beaches of Oahu are being littered with pieces of plastic and mylar food packaging something has got to change. Oahu is in the middle of a very large ocean, quite far from the American landmass, quite far from the Indonesian archipelago and quite far from China. But lots of plastic is ending up on Hawaiian beaches.
I ask that we take this issue on. It is not a side issue. It is a matter of global survival. Do we want an ocean that can support life? Do we want to leave a clean world to our children or is the entire world our garbage dump, meant to be used and abused by the humans and left polluted, choking and dying?
Andrew Nash, Petrolia

Plastic Bag Phase out begins

Well that was the headline for one store in Australia called Harris Farm. Can we do it here. The plastic that wraps up pallets and crates of six packs and building materials and most everything else that gets shipped in trucks or on boats and then is presented to us is contaminating the oceans.

Lets all demand an end to this lazy crazy practice. It aint right for a momentary convenience to have such a crazy heavy impact. There must be truly biodegradeable cellulose or mushroom plastic out there. Lets ask for it or tell stores we can not support them.

I know it will take a bit of time but the planet can’t wait.

Beyond Petroleum?

Wasn’t the symbol of BP about ten years ago remade into a starburst and the BP of British Petroleum rechristened Beyond Petroleum? Then Corporate heads must have nixed deep sixed or otherwise canned this forward thinking idea. Damn. For a minute there one there was some hope from the oil companies.

Then came the Deep Water Horrizon, the most polluting and most costly oil spill in history. Maybe it was Karma kicking them in the gut over their “safe” decision?

New York to dump oil shares and is Suing oil and gas companies

In a story reported by the Guardian on January 11, 2018, New York has decided to divest 5 billion dollars of pension funds oil, gas and coal investments. It also being reported that New York will be suing the the largest oil and gas companies for damaging the climate for future generations.

This to me is very good and promising news. After a year of unprecedented climate change enhanced climate disasters people are waking up. If our Federal Government refuses to lead, states, municipalities and the People will take the lead. How can we all be part of the climate solution?

Search for affordable community ?

Hi. I just read a nice article about a new type of real estate developement, Utopian Wellness communities. Heres the link, https://www.fastcompany.com/40512467/utopic-wellness-communities-are-a-multibillion-dollar-real-estate-trend .

I read it through and it is good to hear. Some people are eschewing golf communities and upper end single family palace type living. People are looking for meaningful connection with each other, healing spaces, connection with nature, and multi-generational living. I too am searching for some of these things. I also am looking for affordable living. I am at this point 46 almost 47 and I have spent a lot of my adult life working hard and somewhat playing the rat race game. I never totally bought in to it. However I didn’t really have another viable model to live by. I was ok at. I worked hard and survived and did things I wanted to but didn’t get a big pile of money set aside. Now I am working a little less hard but networking and investigating different types of work and community models. Maybe you are interested in this as well?

I enjoy the craft and community that comes from developing a trade and plying it for people to help them on projects on their property, (I am a tree worker and an amature builder, I am an aspiring permaculture gardener, a thinker and other uncatagorizable things.) but I am often troubled by the idea that I am more motivated by money than by doing right by trees and nature and this bothers me.

I am looking for affordable community models that bring together synergistically community of different peoples and ages and skills with gardens, local business, ecology. I feel that our models are lacking in this country and lately I have been envisioning an eco-community in Southern Mexico.

Capitalism Eats The World

Capitalism Eats the World

I feel this.  I participate by living in the way we must live.  I fly.  I consume.  I travel. I don’t protest much.
I would rather not have an impact. However I am American. What is an alternative to destructive consumption? Living locally and sustainably. Its not easy and most of us don’t live sustainably. Most of us buy corporate food that travels an average of 1500 miles.

A man is not an island. We are interconnected. Humans started out as small bands of wandering nomads. We hunted, we gathered, we lived off the land. Survival was far from guaranteed. Now life in America is easy. But most are disconnected with nature, insulated from harsh weather. We use or consume products and energy as we live insulated and separated from nature and true reality. Capitalism is a big part of how we get our food, our transportation, health care, housing.

Capitalism in my mind is an aspect of commerce or business that seeks to extract a return greater than was invested. Generally the return is a form of money. It could be cash. It could be stock value. It can be value that can be traded at some later date for cash or other valued product. The big players in capitalism can be rewarded by cornering a market, convincing people to buy their product and generally out gaming other capitalists in their field. People get fabulously rich or can lose it all. It is an amazing set of tools. It is an amazing game of wealth accumulation played on the world stage.

The fatal flaw is that in the closed limited system that the earth ecosystem is, a continual model of growth is destructive, extractive and ultimately doomed to fail. Therefor cycles of boom occur. Witness the housing boom in the Bay Area between say 2000 and 2008. The banks and investment houses sought out high profits rather than healthy people,egalatarian society and modest profits. Now we have skyscrapers, amazing mansions, cars, cars, cars and we also have dying ecosystems, and tent cities. Capitalism has winners, and it has losers. Some of the losers are people and some are weak governments and tragically the biggest loser are the ecosytems that underpin life in its many amazing forms, here on earth.

Then the inevitable bust as people could not pay for the houses they bought.
Capitalism puts the highest value on monetary return and grudgingly countenances other values such as people, environment, government regulation, quality and so many others. However, the structures of government have been corrupted by capitalism, nature is subjegated and packaged as a product to be sold to tourists. All services the earth, people, plants animals provide are partially or entirely monetized by capitalism.

Capitalism has been dominant. It has been too successful. Too strong a force. Its power dominates governments, poor less influential people and nature. It concentrates money or power in the hands of those who are deft enough and best positioned to use it.

Capitalism came out of mercantilism and royalism and war. It seeks a return on an investment. The American Stock market is a very good example of what capitalism is about. For profit companies seek investments (selling of stock) to grow and develop and in exchange offer returns and growth of stock to the investors. This past year with something like 17 climate related natural disasters