Archive for environmental

To The Children of the Future

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Environmentalism, Organic Development, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 27, 2017 by Drogo

I am sorry that we of Generation X have not done more to preserve our Nature Environment. Yes we participated in protests, and various activist roles, but we have been largely apathetic as a whole, and the grip that the Baby-Boomer Generation has had on government has not lessened. Their corporate corruption certainly set the stage for Trump and his ilk. There was even talk among our revolutionaries of assassinating all the demagogues, but that did not seem reasonable to do on a weekend.

Instead of acting on our angst and over-throwing the system in order to replace with with real democracy, we instead spent our money (what little we could make in a diminishing economy) on movies and video games, preparing the way for the autism of Millennials. Ass-bergers is not to blame for the pollution of our water, land, and air; no the fault belongs to apathy and ignorance. I honestly thought that Rambo and Commando would solve all our problems through the kicking the ass of every enemy. Well we certainly helped accomplish global destruction of nature, as well as humans, through our aggression and belligerence. The shells of wasted ammo pile high, and the smog from spent fuel hangs heavy in the air. The smell of burning oil wells is our generation’s new ‘napalm in the morning’.

Cities have poisoned their own water supplies, corporations have waged wars on workers, and yet we still allow terrible, evil people to control our lives and ruin your future. I am sorry my children, I would have liked to have more green spaces for you to enjoy for quality of life, and technology for you to use for renewable energy. And yet we are developing every square foot of our country by paving over it, and building wasteful architecture. I have quite serving that system, to the best of my ability, and I fight against it, peacefully as much as I can. For you and me, I pledge I will never stop the struggle to allow us to thrive with nature, responsibly, and most of all for you because I love you.

– Drogo Empedocles

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Commercial Corporate vs Local Community Income

Posted in Economics, Services, Sales or Trade, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 30, 2016 by Drogo

As I network locally, nationally, and globally; I feel a need to talk about jobs and how less and less of us have less and less jobs, and the more education we have, the less ethical jobs are available.

Commercial corporate, industrial factory, or other greed and pollution based jobs that I and most other workers have to pay minimum wage bills are not the answer anymore. Based on the economic market since the Great Recession, there will be less of those unethical jobs. Also more of us are becoming educated about the environment, pollution, history, economics, politics, and civil rights; so less of us will want to have those jobs as we know they will affect us adversely psychologically and combined with over-population will continue to destroy our environment. Scientists seem to be saying that humans have been rapidly destroying entire species of life, but civilized people have taken no substantial actions to stop or undo pollution and killing world-wide or at home; as it would mean going to war with greedy powers.

Local community economies must become more substantial. Meetings should be held to discuss which technologies are important to us, and which ones are destroying our ability to sustain ourselves. Income based living is a fairly new concept, in the history of human existence on this planet, and we now can clearly see the out-come of Capitalist based economies: Bernie ‘Made-off’, ‘Greedy’ Greenspan, Dan Ryan, and Donald Trump. Artists and humanitarians of all kinds have been made to suffer, and told we are not worth anything and should not be able to pay our bills doing what we love and do well, which is to be alive by the grace of Nature and allowed to express our talents in the service of ourselves and others. Instead we have been told by the dominant system that only corporate or government slave labor is practical service.

I believe we have been born into a corrupt system that is wrong. I have written, and will be writing more articles about these issues. I invite you to contact SCOD (Sustainable Cooperative for Organic Development), and please express yourself and tell the world that you have a right to live, helping the community as best you can where-ever you are located; whether you are the most energetic and able bodied person; or all you are best at is being able to write, draw, or speak. Human rights should begin with allowing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and to me that means being allowed to live in a home even you cannot earn any money.

The answer as to what kind of economy we need, clearly will be based on what our needs are currently, while planning for the future. Few people think about how things will get worse, and how we can make them better. It begins with finding people locally that you like and have some ability to help you to live better; artists, gardeners, trades-workers, singers, farmers, bakers, or cooks etc… then paying them or trading with them. Next it will take changing our state or national economic system, and making the rich corporate politicians that rape the planet pay for their greedy deeds entirely. Allow the rest of us poor people (that cannot afford our own homes) to live our lives, with an ‘affordable’ living. All people should be given enough to live on by a government, rather than spending the same money on War and Plutocrats. This is sometimes called the ‘basic living wage’ concept; but it goes beyond wages and addresses the ‘right to life’.

More on this later in my books….

  • Drogo

Swallows Are Back!

Posted in Nature Studies, Poems, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 29, 2016 by Drogo

ON THE WILD SIDE for June, 2016 by Christine Schoene Maccabee

The Swallows Are Back !

“Birds, the free tenants of land, air, and ocean,

their forms all symmetry, their motions grace…”

James Montgomery, British Poet

I often wonder how many other people feel a thrill when the swallows return to our area in early May. In late April this year I began to watch for them with high expectation. Every year the swallows are drawn back to my home like a magnet, much to my amazement and joy. Their nest of mud and grasses, lined with soft feathers, is perched in a corner of the eaves of my A-frame house. Due to the strength of this nest, and how well it is “glued” to the wood, it has lasted through many a fierce storm. It is the second nest the swallows created there in more than 20 years, the first one falling down just a few years ago. That particular spring, upon their return, they built another strong nest in the very same place, and I expect it to last just as long as the other one.

The first sign of the return of my feathered tenants is their excited chirping, and my day is immediately happier upon hearing them. They sound like they are having a lively conversation, which I guess they are, and my loneliness is displaced by their cheerful company. Since arriving here several days ago, the mated pair has been zooming all day through the skies eating whatever they can find. Every spring and summer they keep my atmosphere completely free of mosquitoes, so no Zika Virus here ! However, due to all the rain and cool weather this spring, the flying bug population is not so great yet. Hopefully the birds had plenty of food while traveling north after wintering somewhere in Mexico or some country in South America. Some swallows winter as far away as Argentina !

I wish I knew my swallows’ entire story, but at least I do know part of their story here in northern Frederick county. I have seen mothers, and fathers, sitting on their nest until the babies hatch. Thereafter the wonderful partnership of the parents continues, taking turns feeding the nestlings, and themselves. It takes a lot of energy zooming around all day. It is a true joy to watch them fly far out over the fields, gathering what they can at lightening speed, and then bringing the food back to their eager nestlings. Usually there are four young ones, and once these fledgelings leave the nest the mother and father occasionally settle down to raising 4 more.

Birds, as we all know, are amazing creatures. We humans are fascinated with both their flight, and their songs, not to forget their amazingly artistic colorations. Many a poet has written eloquently about them and artists such as Audubon have painted detailed representations of them (more than 1,000 to be nearly exact!). Songs like “The Little Red Lark”, an Irish ballad, portray their amazing flights and songs, and airplanes were invented as we grounded humans decided we too had to fly. This idea may or may not have been a good one. After all, birds are following their natural inclinations, whereas humans do not, and we are definitely polluting our planet with all our unnatural contraptions, are we not ?

So, perhaps that is why I am so mesmerized by birds, particularly the swallows. They are so small, seemingly so vulnerable, and yet they can fly such long distances with the greatest of ease. In fact, once here, it is estimated they can fly the equivalent of 600 miles a day in quest of food for their young, according to the Audubon Field Guide to North American Birds. So how is that possible ? you ask.

In my research I have learned, as many of you likely already know, that birds are very light (as light as a feather in fact) due to the fact that their bones are hollow and filled with air. Also, according to a book on Natural History by Bertha Parker, connected with a bird’s lungs are tiny air sacs scattered throughout its body. These air sacs act like tiny hot-air balloons ! Therefore a typical swallow weighs far less than a mouse, lizard or frog of the same size. A birds streamlined body is another help in flying. Humans have tried to mimic these qualities, the closest coming to gliders of various types, and hot-air balloons. I will not say anything about all the other larger, costly, heavy planes, especially of war, which have completely digressed from Nature’s perfect plan.

So, back to feathers. Feathers also serve the purpose of protecting birds from rain and cold. They shed rain because they are a little oily and the intricate parts of the feathers are cleverly put together in lovely, serviceable patterns. Feathers also keep the birds body warm, trapping the heat ; think of your down sleeping bag. This winter I remember telling my chickens to huddle close and keep warm, as I closed them up for the night in their unheated coup. I even worried a bit, but they weathered the cold winter beautifully as they are fully and thickly feathered.

I am in total admiration of birds in general, and sometimes I wish I were as free as they are, unfettered by coats and boots and layers of clothing, and independent of automobile expenses. I envy them for their ability to fly and feed themselves without growing their own food or going into a grocery store.

However, as Popeye so wisely said, “I yam what I yam, and tha’s all what I yam”, and there is no escaping that fact ! I do rather like having two strong legs, and arms I can reach to the sky with, giving praise for all the wonders of life. I am also thrilled to have my swallows back here for another season. I will miss them when they gather to go south in August, and I can usually tell when the time is coming by all their excitement as they zoom around my house with their happy, chirping fledgelings, full grown by then, and fully independent. Sigh.

I wish I could fly free as a bird, and be light as a feather !

Christine is a Master Wildlife Habitat Naturalist and can be reached at songbirdschant@gmail.com with any questions or stories of your own.

Lessons of the Great Depression

Posted in Economics, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2016 by Drogo

Causes, Effects, and Importance of the Great Depression 1929-39

The common assumption is that the greatest economic depression in modern history was triggered by the stock market crash of 1929, which caused panic sell-off. However there are other theories which are more fact-based and categorically explain the order of events during that period of time. The Great Depression is vital to remember, for all citizens regardless of economic involvement, because it shows that markets can take a 10 year down turn, and rebound overall; yet many people may lose everything in the process.

Keynesian institutional theory focuses on ‘spending demand’ as the key economic factor. Spending demand is related to consumer confidence. Monetarists believe that the Federal Reserve Bank should print more money, and allow the largest companies to profit MORE during a recession, in hopes that they will hire more I suppose; which is stupid because history shows that they keep profits and reduce work force during a ‘down turn’. Banks and companies tend to ‘hunker down’ during economic down-turn, so propping them up is NOT a solution to democratic economic health of citizens who may starve to death while companies replace their jobs with the cheapest solutions. Central bankers and Corporate CEOs are the new royalty in an oligarchy given power by commercial capitalist greed.

The effects are important to note – DO NOT put all your money into stocks, and then pull them out when their value is low, because people have lost all their savings that way!!! Those that do well, use bonds and diversify assets (cds, mutual funds, safe stocks). If they cash out their investments, they do so only when the amount they remove is MORE than what they put in. If someone invests with a company that goes bankrupt and stocks never go back up, that is a permanent loss.

The importance of the Great Depression is that memory of it shows that government economies may seem to fail over a period of 10 years, but after the 10 years, it can inflate back up at the SAME prices as before the deflation period. This may be due to exponential growth of population, greed of the oligarchy, and general stability of civilization. For civilization to fail significantly enough to cause a greater depression, a global catastrophic event would have to happen, the likes of which would have to at least be closer to the fall of the Roman Empire, if not greater. Debts become greater during monetary deflation. There can be no doubt that any greed driven system like Capitalism will be volatile and hostile to all classes confined within it. The failings of democracy within tyrannical Capitalism, shows that Capitalism has failed us only slightly less, but increasingly more, than the despotic models that crushed the inherent popular good will of Marxism before it (see USSR) even began. However if you can play the system with enough money, invest in environmental companies, because some companies are better for life on the planet than others. There are corporate investment companies waiting to take your order!

Sadly war and borrowing got us out of the Depression. Why can’t peace and saving get us out of the Recession?

Environmentalist

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Environmentalism, Organic Development, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 27, 2015 by Drogo

An environmentalist is not purely one type of strict practice, nor does it mean that an environmentalist does nothing to pollute or kill things. Not all environmentalists are pacifists, vegans, or political radicals. Perhaps some of the best environmentalists are more strict about their actions regarding anger, diet, or society; but snobbishness is not the heart of environmentalism. Environmentalists think and act in many ways that they and others believe are good for Nature and individual habitats. This does not mean that we all do more than one type of thing towards natural goals, nor does it mean that we never do anything that hurts others or their environments, the truth is we all are consuming resources from living and non-living things on this planet; which pollutes to various degrees. The ultimate environmentalist is a non-existent person; for even in death we pollute some; therefore the next best thing to never being born, is safe, painless, and legal suicide options. Since we do not have safe, painless, and legal suicide options, and our deaths would only leave the worst types of people on the planet, we should at least do what we can, within our own capabilities and circumstances, which for some people will be more diet based, and others will be more political, and others will be both mixed or more personal and not subject to the judgment of others, because of decisions they have made that are not observed by anyone else.

Here is my response to anyone that says you have to practice only one type of eco-thing, or all types of eco-things, to be environmentalist; you see it starts getting like Christian ‘Sin’ to shame all those not practicing your particular belief, and claiming that one branch is superior to another because they have figured out the ‘word of god’ more than others… Certainly i believe vegans are good little environmentalists in their own ways, just as vegetarians and omnivores do good for the environment by not just eating meat products exclusively; but to say that someone is not an environmentalist because they do or do not contribute in some ways to the system is fucking bullshit. Why? Because the issues are more complex within and without any system; for example no one thing in this World is the cause of everything in this World, FOOD, MONEY, JOBS, TRANSPORTATION, POPULATION all are pollution factors but they are also connected and not exclusive to all environmental problems.  – Drogo Empedocles

Summary of a Paper by Wallace Yater

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2015 by Drogo

One of the most interesting strangers I spoke with at the Boonsboro Green Fest in 2015 was Wallace M. Yater. ‘Wally’ as he is affectionately known, is a brilliant modern philosopher. Wally handed me his theory on the importance of mutations in biodiversity, called ‘Why Such Constant Over-population; or Why Everything In Biology and Life Depends On Very Rare Random Molecular Mistakes’. His paper is a 2015 version, and begins by mentioning how Darwin would be fascinated by our micro-biological discoveries; in relation to evolution and inter-connection between species. Wally is quick to point out human concerns that threaten life on this planet as well. Problems created by population and technology include pollution, poaching, and degradation of ecology.

Human greed seems to have ruled civilization; ever since we did less hunting and gathering, and more agriculture and hoarding. Recent archeology supports his claims, and even has found evidence that gender roles were more equal before patriarchal domination of property in Neanderthal Europe. Politicians have always been bought by ‘big money’, as he reminds us that we already know. Wally also laments that Climate Change is real, and we are doing nothing substantial about it, as fast as we can.

“We are really a very strange bunch of primates, in so many ways…” Wally goes on to say. He goes on to talk about the World History and the psychology of politics. Wally says the “real enigma here, the incomprehensible conundrum, with all this is how could a species with all these conflicting negative traits, have survived…” which also leads into our perception of time, and our own period of existence on this planet. Wally says “there are many answers to this survival question.” Some answers to our survival are beyond our comprehension, some will be repellent, and some will be based on random probability. “Molecules perform flawlessly millions of times, and then a high energy cosmic ray, or a stray contaminant from the environment gets in the way, and a mistake happens.” Some of our rarest mistakes make all the difference for our survival, despite any detriments. “Inspite of all the bad results, these random ‘mistakes’ are so important, life on Earth wouldn’t even be here without them!” Mistakes change DNA, and generate variation, which is how life evolves, survives, but yes also dies.

Wally asks us “Why is sex so important?” What is with all this sexual competition? “Even bacteria trade DNA, which is a form of sex. One answer.” Wally says all the sex is about speeding up evolution for complex organisms “like us”. Wally hints that with thousands of genes chosen randomly, we should not feel bad that most of us will not be famous; because “many famous successful people have many brothers and sisters you never hear about”.

“Virtually everyone you talk to has a ‘gut feeling’ that it is only a matter of time, that this present state of affairs will drastically change in a lot of ways we are not going to like.” “Vast human die offs have always been with us.” “We have always been like rats.” Some vermin usually survive extermination. He goes on to talk about the devolution that ‘dysgenics’ causes; when the ‘less fit’ are allowed to survive and breed. Wally mentions the problem of genetically ‘fixing’ crops, while pests continue to evolve. To compensate for natural blights we drench our food in poison.

“Is genocide a human trait?” Wally thinks it seems so, given our historic patterns of slaughter and suffering. Our pack-mentality favors shared suffering. Like frogs unaware that they are slowly boiling to death in a pot, we may be massively incapable of solving our problems.

“What has been presented here is the result of almost 8 decades of observing neighbors, coupled with a broader over-all view,” of science and history. “If all 7 billion people on this planet read this, it wouldn’t change anything. Only a few would comprehend anything close to the original idea. It wouldn’t get a meaningful number of people to ‘give anything up’.” “As the Bible says, ‘the poor and the meek shall inherit the Earth’. It doesn’t tell us how much they will have to suffer, to do it; and how few of them will end up with the prize.” “…we have very close to no control over any of this.”

Most people are too ignorant and confused by the commercial-industrial system to get what Wally, and other wise elders have been trying to teach us. Even the voices of our ancestors speak to us from the pages of history, and they ask us to slow down, and learn and use the natural world around us, responsibly; because this planet is our home and we are part of a DNA family ecological system. Scientists like Carl Sagan have agreed with many of Wally’s points too, for decades. On behalf of all the rats that get it, thanks Wally!

Fairs as Wilderness Stewardship Sponsors

Posted in Events / Celebrations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2014 by Drogo

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I attended the 2014 ‘Harpers Ferry Outdoor Festival’ (HFOF) at the ‘Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship’ (BRCES) because I believe in the concept of celebrating art and sport to preserve wild land and clean water. It is amazing to consider, during a recession based on commercial monopolies, that it is possible to support local talent and save our woods, forests, creeks, rivers, and the wild and free creatures whose lives depend on these environments. During an era where it is common for people to litter on their way to a job that pollutes natural ecology, events like HFOF are truly revolutionary and patriotic in Native American terms.

The BRCES land is beautiful; almost 1,000 acres of wilderness and a small organic farm run by a caring family. Years ago when I visited with my father, BRCES had just begun their mission on the land, and the old white house was over grown and in disrepair. Now the buildings and land are functional again, while being in harmony with the landscape. BRCES is truly a success story for environmentalists.

Volunteers run the show during HFOF. I was lucky enough to be a volunteer under the leadership of President Lisa Cullinane. Lisa is very friendly, kind, and smart; which by the way is my favorite kind of leader. We started preparing a few weeks before the event, and by the event I felt things were flowing well. Vendors are small businesses and non-profit organizations that rent spaces around the field, using tables and tents. I really enjoyed the variety of concessions, and the food and drink was good. There are always tensions and stress involved in any production, but any problems that arose were resolved. Hundreds of people attended the festival; although my non-profit tent for ‘Sustainable Cooperative for Organic Development’ (SCOD), and my fine artist partners did not get visited by many people during the event, so we did not make any earnings. For me it was ok, because I believe in the concept and I was happy to be there.

Camping was easy. I slept in my tent the first night, in the field behind my table. At night the humidity lifted, however this created a dew which saturated my books and artwork exposed to the sky; however items in the tent and oddly enough below the table-cloth were fine. The second day my art partners arrived and set up a tent to shade us a bit; which really helped survive a day of full sun in the field. I also wore sun-block, a large hat, and sunglasses so as to not be sun-burned. Some of us rented the white house for the second night, which was very nice indeed! Staying at the house was a relief from the electric generator that was kept running all night at the main field, to keep their fridge on to preserve the food. Also the best part of the field at the crest, had become over-crowded with vehicles; which in my opinion ruined the very purpose of being there… in other words it turned the perfect camping spot into a parking lot. Despite traffic congestion, most reveled in the mirth, and many stayed up all night with enthusiasm and excitement!!

Bands began playing the first evening, and continued through the night into the next day and night. Some of the bands I had already worked with as friends, so it was a good treat to have them play there. I was even able to deliver my final fan cartoon print-outs to one of the band members that visited my table. Unfortunately I was not able to advertise for the bands, as I had hoped, because like I said very few people came to my booth. Although most of the show revolved around the main stage, my favorite part was the small stage by the grand fire pit. The field has a natural amphi-theater shape around the fire pit; which had just been made formal by Boy Scouts with impressive stone work and movable wood benches. At night the fire pit area hosts musical jam sessions, which embrace the audience, allowing anyone to play with the bands; this is musical freedom and creative collaboration at its finest!!!

Lastly in this article I want to thank everyone that helped make the event happen. Some of my personal high-lights were being with friends, hiking the trails, and witnessing natural phenomena such as the lightning-bug show across the fields, and even into and above the trees!! As I observed the natural light show, I meditated on how often our Nation’s founders enjoyed wonders that surpassed the magic of their technologies back then. Even today many scientists concede that our artificial efforts fail, in comparison to the energy efficiency of the natural world. Thank you also to those that stayed and picked up all the trash! I admit I was tired after the event, and disappointed to once again have to pick up after people that litter. Also the sheer abundance of garbage was not encouraging to my opinion of humanity. However I was pleased there were enough people to pick up all we could find, after many hours of pick-up. I even returned to the site days later to double check that the clean-up was as effective as I thought. Any negative issues did not stop us from having fun, nor did any problems hinder the success of the event as a whole. I definitely want to return next year to BCRES, and be a part of music festivals and sports competitions that donate to wilderness stewardship, and take place within a nature preserve. Please let us get more people to join us!!!!

Rev. Walton D. Stowell II, M.Arch.

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