Globe Moral Grounds – Ecofacts V.10 n.24

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Discussions around the globe have been sparked by the Pope's much anticipated book length document on climate change: On Care for our Common Home".   Other spiritual leaders are responding:     "The ecological crisis is essentially a spiritual problem… The proper relationship between humanity and the earth or its natural environment has broken with a fall, both outwardly and within us…" (John … [Read more...]

The Flow of Oil – Ecofacts V.10 n.23

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When the inevitable oil spills occur, it is the thick black stuff flowing onto the ground and waters that gets our attention, and those heart wrenching images of beaches lined with the stuff, of the dead and dying sea mammals and birds.   We hear little about the associated substances in that oil flowing through the pipelines that are dangerous and harmful.  In the last weeks here in Santa … [Read more...]

Local Governments and Local Living Environment – Ecofacts v.10 n. 22

healthy house

From my friend Ben Werner, whose work I admire: Is our only hope for survival on this planet to reduce our footprint? This notion presupposes that human impact on our environment is mostly negative, and though this has certainly been the case for much of modern human history, the fact that any species in a sustainable ecosystem is an integral part of that ecosystem begs the question, “What would … [Read more...]

Drinking Water – Ecofacts V.0 n.22

contaminants in the water supply

My journey to find drinking water that I can really enjoy:   If it isn't obvious, I cannot buy water in plastic bottles unless forced to, not liking plastic or BPA or the business of it. I do not like the taste of SB tap water, nor do I like its chlorine. I admit to buying water from the corner market water dispensers in my 3 gallon glass bottles. But I live in droughtland and have learned a few … [Read more...]

Energy woes,Oil, wake ups & wins – Ecofacts V.10 n.21

winter solstice

Another oil spill, noticed especially because of our very well known local history. Clearly, accidents and their resulting environmental harm are inevitable from drilling and transporting fossil fuels. Plains Pipeline, who owns this one, has had 175 infractions in the last 8 years. Each year, NOAA responds to 100+ oil and chemical spills, and just reported the proven link between the alarming … [Read more...]

The Pope and environmental action – Ecofacts V.10 n.20

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"Pope Francis’ closest adviser castigated conservative climate change skeptics in the United States Tuesday, blaming capitalism for their views. Speaking with journalists, Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga criticized certain “movements” in the United States that have preemptively come out in opposition to Francis’s planned encyclical on climate change.  “The ideology surrounding environmental … [Read more...]

GOODS not BADS Ecofacts V.10 n.19

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I saw a Whole Foods bag that said "Buy Goods, Not Bads" and was struck by this truly great marketing slogan. In a few words, it wants people to see how their market is different from regular supermarkets. But it could also have a greater impact. If focused upon, it might actually cause a pause... in the normal flow of buying, while walking down the aisle of a store, a questioning.   Most … [Read more...]

A look at Nepal Eco Facts V.10 n.18

The country of Nepal takes up an area of between Iowa and Illinois in size, and has a population of around 30 million people, with an average density of over 500 per square mile, however much of the country is mountainous.  There is one good road from India to the Kathmandu valley. More than a third of Nepalese live more than two hours' walk from an all season road, as most roads are not useable … [Read more...]

Strawberries , Farming, two glimpses Ecofacts V.10 n.17

SB County's top crop in 2013 was strawberries, their commercial value being nearly three times that of the next one - wine grapes. Delicious sweetness and intoxicating pleasure, these crops give us a snapshot of our region and its small farms, including the people who pick the fruits. Strawberries and wine grapes are economically robust despite the current drought. (Strawberries require much water … [Read more...]

Juicy flesh, Butter on our toast Ecofacts V.10 n.16

No one wants their meat bony and dry, at least the animals themselves and those who eat them don't. The point being, in the words of a favorite eco writer -  "It takes a lot of water to grow and feed a large mammal, and yet more water to cut it up into small pieces and clean up the mess." Besides beef and pork, the raising and processing of our poultry and of our dairy cattle for our milk, butter … [Read more...]