Pollyanna on the environment: part 4 – why hope?

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This is mostly a picspam of what I think of when I think about what we as humans can experience and allow future generations to experience by taking better care of “the environment.”  I wrote a post a few months ago linking to a website with a really brilliant series on the potential our indoor environments can hold and I just felt like doing a random inspirational post about the wilderness that is still here for us to enjoy.

There are so many awesome and beautiful places on this planet and so many places that can be restored or made even better.

Did you notice the obvious human influence and management in several of the photos? We humans do not automatically spoil nature by our presence. We are not some inevitably corrosive and damaging blight on the beauty of this world.

There ARE many areas we have messed up, and Chernobyl is one of them. This is an interesting documentary I watched some time ago – it seems to be a bit staged in parts, but overall it is a fascinating look at what happens when we abandon an area and how resilient and quick nature is to rebuild.

youtube.com/watch?v=ud33w26qsWQ

Especially notice the types of plastic and biodegradable items left behind.  Then watch how greenery is taking over and everything is becoming lush and more and more wild looking.

Please remember that we as humans do not have to despise ourselves. We can not only live in harmony with nature’s cycles, but we can improve and beautify what we touch, as well.
Y Girl

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Pollyanna on the environment: Part 3

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Dirt. The word can conjure up irritating work dusting and sweeping and washing cars and it can also bring to mind rich, delicious smelling black loam bursting with potential for life.

There is so MUCH dirt on this planet, if you stop to think about it. It seems rather simple at first glance – various minerals, some organic matter, some bugs and bacteria and poof, you have dirt.

For years I have occasionally gone on research binges about soil and how to improve it and what varieties there are and honestly I don’t think I’m ever going to have a really good grasp of the topic – it’s actually incredibly complicated the more you find out. As interesting as it can be to read about, I must admit there are times my eyes start to cross from the technical details, though!

On my sidebar there is a link to some free books by Gene Stratton-Porter, a naturalist and gifted novelist in the late 1800s, early 1900s. I think possibly her descriptions of the swampland may have started my love of gorgeous dirt. Anyway, if we as humans made the changes suggested in my last post, we could stop paving over, dumping trash on, and degrading so much of the dirt around us. We could have far more opportunities to walk around barefoot, not just at the beach, to see greenery around us, and to have abundant life of all sizes and types, both animal and vegetable, thriving around us. I am not sure what I think about the practice of earthing as far as the science goes, but I do know that there is a deep peace that comes from being outside barefoot on clean ground and seeing even just a few plants and the way the sun drifts through tree leaves or lands on your bare feet. I think we all deserve to have that experience more often.

Find some good dirt and stick your feet in it!

Y Girl

Pollyanna on the environment: Part 1

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It can get pretty discouraging reading about how badly we humans have messed up this little planet in just the last 100 years. We’ve been modifying it for thousands of years, but for a long time it was more on a scale similar to termite mounds or bird nests – we built things like step wells in India, the pyramids in Egypt (and South America), Roman roads all over Europe, built things like the Hagia Sophia, and in general manipulated our environment in many ways.  But, we still had a not-overburdened planet. When one area got kind of messed up, we could move and find new resources. Read the tales of explorers coming to the New World just a few hundred years ago and you will find stories of such magnificent abundance of food and beauty as will make you ache for a time machine. Read stories of lobstermen and trappers and how MUCH there was out there of every type of food and raw materials. It’s just astounding. In California, where I live, there used to be far more streams and springs even in the middle of summer, where you could get a drink when traveling. Now there are very few springs and all but the biggest waterways dry up all summer long.

Of course, in the good old days people did do things like use lead in pottery glazes, try arsenic as pesticide for crops, and commit acts of war such as spreading salt to make land infertile. Even cosmetics were often contaminated, with no oversight at all of ingredients (not that the FDA seems to help much nowadays either), and containing various poisons. The good old days were pretty terrible in a lot of ways and human rights have certainly come a long ways since then (phew!). Medicines and technology have made life a lot easier and with less suffering for many.

But now, something has gone wrong and we seem to be fouling not just our personal nests but the entire world, in what may be permanent ways. Why bother reading dystopian novels or watching disaster movies when we already are dealing with that? It’s just not quite as dramatic and fast as an apocalyptic movie.

This is where I always get really depressed and then I rebound and start thinking about all the good things that are possible. It might be pretty Pollyanna-ish, but who cares? Sometimes that is fun. In this series I’m going to let my imagination run a bit wild and idealistic. Let’s imagine what could be possible, what IS still possible!

Y Girl