This below is the latest blog entry by a fascinating woman, excellent writer, mentor, mother of 5, public health nurse, and spiritual (without in any way being heavy handed or prosletizing. OK, so I am spelling challenged?) person seeking a truth in life that speaks to and works for her. She is obviously a talented writer and sharing and writing of her insights and experiences is a way that she grows but is also a gift and opportunity for the rest of us which, in the end, is also of benefit to her personal quest as well.
We are not all the same thankfully and reading Marilyn´s offerings reminds us that not only is that just fine but probably better for us as individuals as a species (IE. It probably gives us better odds for survival long term). More to the point, we felt that it was not in any way an obligation nor in any way a failing if we do not always share her religious or world views. In fact, we probably do or will find that we do or at least overlap over time albeit using different language and contexts which occupy that grey area between the illusory “absolutes” and what in most cases is “reality as lived by each of us and regardless of how we may choose to interpret it as individuals.
We include this work because it is an example of excellence and wisdom and vision and…humility and lacks pretense of any kind. We share this too because if you are or were an expat or are thinking of becoming one then this blog will surely speak to you if you are able to take it in and ponder it for a bit…or several years perhaps.
~ communicating across the boundaries of faith & culture
FYI: If religion or churches or evangelicals (Marilyn is by no means one!) or hypocracy or wars “in His name” gets you riled or at least turns you off (as all of the above generally does for us) then let us first please say “No worries”. May we also suggest that you simply read the blog piece first for your own edification and then perhaps learn a bit more about this very special person by checking out her “About page” so that she and you simply have a chance to be introduced. We suspect that many of our readers will enjoy her (we think) important offering and perhaps even an on-going connection that we ourselves now look forward to.
“Shit happens” as they say but sometimes, usually when we least expect it, “Grace happens” too. One has to wonder if both are not happening, are not functioning, are not “available” all the time and that the main difference (assuming there is one?) between the two experiences has more to do with what we turn our attention to than any real number of events in our experience? I can´t say personally or difinitively but Marilyn seems to be well on her way to finding out for herself….For our part, we will probably be thinking about this issue, very much related to “personal peace”…much of the rest of this day and already suspect it will be a better day as a result. And tomorrow?
Thanks Marilyn. Thanks to our visitors and fellow travelers as well.
“Here’s the single most important thing you need to know about the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report: It’s not too late. We still have time to do something about climate disruption. The best estimate from the best science is that we can limit warming from human-caused carbon pollution to less than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit – if we act now. Bottom line: Our house is on fire. Rather than argue about how fast it’s burning, we need to start throwing buckets of water.” – Michael Brune, Director, Sierra Club, Sept. 27, 2013
Michael Brune is right. Our house is on fire. We’d better start throwing buckets of water.
Today, World Food Day, I urge everyone who wants to help put out the fire to take a close look at the food you eat. Where did it come from? How was it grown or raised? What did it take to get it from the farm to your table?
These questions are rarely part of the climate-change debate. Yet they should be.
Transportation, manufacturing and energy corporations are considered major greenhouse gas (GHG) polluters. Climate scientists agree that if we want to cool the earth, we have to build solar arrays and wind generators, instead of fracking wells and coal plants. We have to retrofit homes, homes, commercial buildings, factories, transportation and electrical grids. We need to walk, carpool, ride bikes, trains and buses, instead of mindlessly cruising the highways in gas-guzzling cars, trucks and SUVs.
But few people understand that the worst U.S. and global greenhouse gas emitter is “Food Incorporated.” The global food and farming system of today, with its intense dependence on biotechnology, chemicals and fossil fuels, is destroying the natural capacity of plants, trees and soils to sequester the excess greenhouse gases that are cooking the planet.
The fastest route to averting a climate disaster is to drastically reduce emissions from industrial agriculture and forestry, and start sequestering billions of tons of greenhouse gases in our plants, forests and soil.
This “Great Transition” must be driven by a mass consumer rejection of factory-farmed and industrial/genetically engineered food, coupled with mass demand for products that are organic, sustainable and climate-friendly.
Most serious threat ever faced by humans:
As the most recent scientific report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) bluntly warns us, global warming and climate change now pose the most serious existential threat that humans have ever faced in our 2,000,000-year evolution.
At 395 parts-per-million (ppm) of CO2 (and 434 ppm of all GHG), and an additional 10 billion tons of carbon per year (36.7 billion tons CO2) in annual emissions from burning fossil fuels, non-sustainable agricultural practices and deforestation, we now have the most CO2, methane and nitrous oxide polluting the atmosphere that the Earth has experienced in the past three million years.
This excess of GHG pollution has already caused a significant increase in average global temperature, a rapidly warming and acidic ocean, a great extinction of countless living species, and an increasingly menacing disruption of “normal” weather patterns.
As Dr. James Hansen and other prominent climatologists warn us, global society must drastically conserve energy, reduce fossil fuel use, and naturally sequester as much GHG pollution in our soils and forests as possible, in order to bring atmospheric concentrations of CO2 back down to a safe level of 350 ppm. According to Hansen, “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current [level] to at most 350 ppm.”
The Arithmetic of Human Survival:
Industrial farming and food production account for at least 35 percent of U.S. and global GHG emissions. (The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ridiculously low estimates range from 7 percent to 12 percent, while some climate scientists believe the figure could be as high as 50 percent or more). Agriculture- and biofuels-driven deforestation and draining of wetlands accounts for another 20 percent.
That makes non-sustainable agriculture and forestry practices the number one cause (55 percent) of global warming and climate disruption.
We now have 800 billion tons of carbon (the equivalent of 3200 billion tons of CO2) supersaturating the atmosphere and disrupting the climate. If we’re going to survive, we have to reduce that number.
We can start by conserving energy, reducing fossil fuel use and increasing biochar production. But that’s just one side of the equation. We also need to suck 100 billion tons of carbon (through plant and tree photosynthesis) from the atmosphere and store this excess carbon in its natural sink or repository—in the plants, trees, perennial grasses, and soil.
Though it rarely comes up in the climate debate, soil has tremendous potential to store CO2. And the way to get the CO2 out of the atmosphere, and into the soil, is through organic and sustainable land management (farming, ranching, and forestry) practices.
The heretofore unpublicized “good news” on climate change, according to soil scientists, is that transitioning from chemical-, water-, and energy-intensive industrial agriculture practices to organic farming and ranching, on a critical mass of the world’s 3.5 billion acres of farmland and 8.2 billion acres of pasture or rangeland, could sequester thousands of pounds-per-acre of climate-destabilizing CO2 every year, while nurturing healthy soils, plants, grasses, trees and animals that are resistant to drought, heavy rain, pests, and disease.
And as millions now understand,(1)* organic farms and ranches provide us with food that is more nutritious, richer in vitamins, anti-oxidants and essential trace minerals, and free from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), pesticides, antibiotics and sewage sludge, than the food supplied by industrial farms and ranches.
Facilitating the Great Transition:
How do we mobilize the global grassroots to force the thousand or so multi-billion-dollar corporations and 200 national governments who control the world to reduce, much less reverse, global warming? (2)*
To facilitate a mass transition to organic we must force the U.S. Congress, local and state governments, and major corporations to move away from business as usual, while we simultaneously build an organic and sustainable economy in our local communities and regions. We must also start planting and nurturing several trillion trees on the 10 billion acres of forestland that remain.
Thousands of U.S. farmers and ranchers have already made this transition. Over five million backyard, market and community gardeners are now utilizing organic practices. Millions more need to do the same.
If we’re going to cool the earth, we must:
• Phase out factory farms, junk food and industrial-scale, genetically engineered agriculture, and replace them with non-chemical organic farming, and non-factory-farm carbon ranching, where free-range animals are rotationally grazed on deep-rooted, carbon-sequestering perennial grasses. Not caged or intensively confined and fed genetically engineered grains.
• Prepare more organic whole foods at home, and reject fast-food outlets.
• Replace our lawns with urban gardens.
• Reduce excess consumption and recycle our wastes—all our wastes, rural and urban, including food, crop, and yard wastes – to make compost and eliminate the hazardous use of sewage sludge and nitrous oxide-polluting chemical fertilizers.
• Halt the deforestation and slash-and-burn agriculture, especially in tropical and sub-tropical areas, and rapidly scale up the production of biochar, a special type of charcoal that sequesters carbon and increases soil fertility and moisture retention.
• Educate ourselves and mobilize a grassroots army to transform marketplace practices and public policy.
• Create a globally coordinated Works Project Administration to train and employ a massive “Johnny Appleseed” green corps of students and the unemployed to plant a trillion trees on public and private land, restore desertified areas, and create the green infrastructure of a post-carbon economy.
• Start incorporating the science of biochar(3)*into our agriculture and climate-stabilizing practices.
On World Food Day let’s pledge to do all of the above. Let’s commit to the Great Transition. Let’s organize at the local level and coordinate our efforts with North American networks such as the Organic Consumers Association and www.350.org
The fate of human civilization and the living Earth lies in our hands. The hour is late.
____________________________________________________________________________________________YucatanBlog.com related footnotes, references, and recommended additional reading: 1).7 Ways Organic Farms Out perform Conventional Farms (Based in part upon a 16 year scientific study by Roadale Press among others.
La Vida Eclectico -The “eclectic life” succinctly sums us up.
We are historians, anthropologists, seminarians, volunteers, teachers, and even retired CSI´s. We have worked in or are still working at all manner of jobs and diverse professions from carpentry, roofing, cabinet making, contracting, farming, ranching, truck driving, as educators, cooks, aquaculturists, physiotherapists, university researchers, and now researching our own projects and interests which include profitable and sustainable reforestation, indigenous medicinal plants and trees, permaculture, and the on-site development, production, and use of our own environmentally friendly, organic pesticide alternatives and also petro-chemical-free, organic fertilizers as well as non-commercial, on-site production of organic animal and fish feeds.
We are slowly evolving permaculturalists, organic gardeners/farmers. We are for decades involved in food politics and food sovereignty, Climate Change and Global Warming. That´s right, these issues are very real, indeed crucial, and it is also true that in fact the world, our fragile planet, is indeed round and not flat as too many of the worshipers of folly and the darker sides, the dangerous, the truly subversive sides of ignorance would have us believe.
We are morally and personally offended by people in places of power who lie, manipulate, start, maintain, and profit from illegal wars and whatever other means of domination, and who not only ignore and disrespect their own constitutions, institutions, and citizens but systematically seem to do everything they can to undermine them in the name of freedom, justice, and far too often, God. Hypocrites, sycophants, power addicts, and shameless prostitutes for and defenders of the Dollar or whatever other currency are of course welcome but may often not like what they read on our postings. We will nevertheless be watching them, talking about them, their dubious deeds and machinations. Count upon us.
So yes, we will “do” politics. We will “do” science, as well as history, culture, and anthropology and yes, we do hug and plant trees every time we get the chance. At least some of us are directly involved in supporting indigenous local Yucatecan endangered species. “Is that really political?”, you may be thinking? Because any of these issues inevitably have something to do with habitat preservation, or more often destruction, the answer is “Probably in most cases”. In any case we think these are interesting and important topics and we like, at times feel compelled to be, talking about them so maybe we´ll all learn something from this and other peoples´ good efforts.
We always endeavor to be as “objective” as possible, double-checking our facts and history, but be advised that we make no claim to always being, or claiming to be, “objective”. It´s our blog, Truth is our goal, and surely our presentation and understanding of Truth and reality in all of their shades, qualities, and permutations is a work in progress. We accept that no matter how hard we try our efforts may at times be imperfect in some cases. FYI, we welcome legitimate questions, criticisms, and corrections. Such is life and life is short so let´s do the best we can for as long as we are here, shall we?
I know the name of the blog ( I should because I chose it) is YucatánBlog.com. We will indeed be writing a lot about things Yucatecan and Mexican but, as the title should make clear upon closer inspection, we will be commenting on all manner of things, happenings, and issues mainly but not always …”From the Mayan Yucatán” not necessarily only aboutthe Mayan Yucatán. That afterall would not be terribly eclectic would it? So, let´s get on with it shall we? Pull out all the stops and warp speed ahead Mr Sulu!
Two final quick comments: #1. This blog will, as time permits, be offered bi-lingually or at times only in Spanish, depending upon our mood or who is writing. We´ll leave it to those resourceful folks truly interested to find a way to read or translate these pieces. Meantime, we will continue our efforts to figure out how to upload and make function the Google Translator program ASAP.
#2. As simple as it is supposed to be, WordPress has proven to be anything but for us not-so-techy types so please bear with us as we hopefully master the overall learning curve in the very near future.
¡Bienvenidos! Thanks sincerely for stopping by! We hope you will be inspired to do so often.