Fifteen years from now

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To me, old age is always fifteen years older that I am. —Bernard Baruch

So true. However, putting humor aside, there is no harm in recognizing that you are an elder.  I use this word, to level rather than elevate, to counteract the sense  of embarrassment that sometimes links with old age.  As we age some challenges fall away and others take their place. The longer I can take care of my own physical needs and have a clear mind, I’ll be grateful.

Many thanks to Kim Russell of Writing in North Norfolk for inviting me to participate in her Three Day Three Quote Challenge.  This is my second quote post—the final one will be up on Thursday.  My nominees are:

Deirdre–Words are all I have

Amy–Bedlam & Daisies

Innervoice

Rules of the challenge:

  1. Post three quotes over three days.
  2. Name three nominees each day (no repetition).
  3. Thank the person who nominated you.
  4. Inform the nominees.

New epoch in geologic time: Anthropocene

Earth and its epochs extend so far back in time that it is beyond comprehension.  I recently came across a  TED post that talks about a movement afoot among  geologists and other scientists to identify a new Epoch in Earth’s geology marked by the impact of man.  It would be called the Anthropocene.  I highly recommend that you take a look at this fascinating and readable article by David Biello, an award winning journalist and science curator for TED. He has a new book, coming out in November,”The Unnatural World,” which discusses Anthropocene.

To set the stage I have gathered some background tidbits:

  • Earth is about 4.54 billion years old;
  • If introduced, Anthropocene would end the Holocene Epoch which began 11,700 years ago;
  • Holocene began after the Ice Age.  The Ice Age extended from 110,000 years ago to 12,000 years ago;
  • The timing of the new Epoch is still being debated, but there is strong support for 1950, as the time when significant changes in air, soil, water, and rocks (caused by human activity) could first be identified.

Anthropocene david biello.jpg

…the point of naming the Anthropocene is not to memorialize humanity in the rock record. The point of the Anthropocene [‘new age of man’] is to recognize people’s world-changing impacts in the hopes of persuading us to take a slightly less anthropocentric approach. People need to make room for plants and animals if we want to avoid another mass extinction…. The world’s pollution problems have to be addressed together, or they won’t be solved at all.

In short, the point of an Anthropocene is to prove that humanity is actually not like a glacier or an asteroid. We can choose to do better…
——From  TED Ideas article:  You have been living in a new geologic time all along, by David Biello

 

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Thank you for reading my Sunday quote post, number 3 in a series of three for a Three Day Quote Challenge. I would like to thank Louise Farrell of Fantasy Raconteur for inviting me.  I love this challenge as it gives me a nudge to do a kind of post that is rewarding.

As  part of the challenge tradition I invite three other bloggers to join in.  Today I choose three nominees who as usual I ask to not feel in any way obliged to follow through.  My nominees today are:

 A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales

Ladyleemanila

 Rafiki’s Nikki

The ‘Rules’ or suggested guidelines are:

  1. Thank the person that nominated you.
  2. Post 1-3 quotes each day for 3 consecutive days.
  3. Nominate 3 bloggers each day to participate in the 3-day Quote Challenge.
  4. Have fun. Bend the rules.

We protect World Peace by supporting Climate Action

 

Climate action and peace.jpg

We attribute ancient hatreds, religious intolerance or simply greed to many of the current conflicts. However, from desertification to eroding shores, climate change has intensified resource scarcity, poverty and hunger. Vast new waves of migration may have a political ignition, but the fuel is climate change, from Africa to Asia. Somehow, even Syria’s conflict can be attributed to the spark of longer-term drought. No continent has been secure, including the more developed ones.

Muhamed Sacirbey

Often war and terror are seen as greater global threats than climate change.  This view does not recognize that environmental stress fuels violent conflict. How?  Global warming creates stressors such as drought, famine, insect infestations, destruction of food supplies and destruction of shelter (think floods, fire, hurricanes).  Such disasters lead to mass migrations.  As Muhamed Sacirbey notes in the above quote, hunger and dislocation are sparks that ignite conflict.

Hunger—conflict—depletion of arable land—conflict—water shortages—conflict—failed crops—conflict—homes destroyed by natural disasters—migration—friction between migrants and natives—conflict—military zones—persecution—migration—conflict.  Food, water, arable land, and places to live are essentials that people fight  for in times of scarcity.

A United Nations Global Trends Report released in June 2016 states that worldwide forced displacement has reached an all-time high: in 2015, one in every 113 humans (65.3 million people) were displaced from their homes due to violence and persecution.

Addressing climate change by reducing carbon emissions promotes World Peace.

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Thank you for reading my Sunday quote post, number 2 in a series of three for a Three Day Quote Challenge. I would like to thank Louise Farrell of Fantasy Raconteur for inviting me.  I love this challenge as it gives me a nudge to do a kind of post that I enjoy.

As  part of the challenge tradition I invite three other bloggers to join in if it strikes their fancy.  Before I list the nominees for this week, I would like to talk about using quotes in posts.  When I first started blogging I was mystified by references to quote challenges until I discovered what it was all about from reading blog posts,  particularly those linked to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge, hosted by Colleen Chesebro and Ronovan Hester.  There are many approaches to using quotes in posts, for example:

  • posting a quote and letting it speak for itself
  • posting a quote and expanding on its meaning or significance, sometimes with information about the author
  • posting a quote to supplement photography (some people come up with amazing combinations)
  • an introductory, tone-setting quote
  • a closing quote
  • using a quote as inspiration for poetry or prose
  • using a quote to enrich the body of a post
  • using your own words as a quote!

If you have a secret desire to try a 3-quote challenge, let me know and I will  nominate you next week. For today I have chosen three nominees who I ask to not feel in any way obliged to follow through—not all bloggers enjoy this type of challenge.  My nominees today are:

Eli Woodbine 

Magarisa of  Becoming Unstuck

Yazek of Successia

The ‘Rules’ or suggested guidelines are:

  1. Thank the person that nominated you.
  2. Post 1-3 quotes each day for 3 consecutive days.
  3. Nominate 3 bloggers each day to participate in the 3-day Quote Challenge.
  4. Have fun.

Apple pie dreams

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Road train (Public domain on Pixabay.com)

Generations born

rise from dust, return to dust

dreaming apple pie.

While life goals of survival, love, and accomplishment continue from generation to generation, the world is changing rapidly. In this century global manufacturing, industrial agriculture, shipping, and trucking of goods have increased steadily. Despite our need to cut back on burning fossil fuels,  global free trade markets keep expanding.  Rapid unregulated growth is not necessarily a good thing–nor is too much apple pie.

Naomi Klein’s 2014 book, This Changes Everythingnames trends that impede our efforts to reduce carbon emissions:

The twin signatures of this era [this century] have been the mass export of products across vast distances (relentlessly burning carbon all the way), and the import of a uniquely wasteful model of production, consumption, and agriculture to every corner of the world… (p 77 eBook)

∼ ∼ ∼

The errors of this period cannot be undone, but it is not too late…Encouraging the frenetic and indiscriminate consumption of essentially disposable products can no longer be the system’s goal.  Goods must once again be made to last, and the use of energy-intensive long-haul transport will need to be rationed—reserved for those cases where goods cannot be produced locally or where local production is more carbon-intensive. (p278-279 eBook)

For many people economic growth is like a favorite pie. It calls forth an immediate ‘Yes please’.  On the surface, ‘growth’ sounds right, a sound course, a sound goal. However there is always a saturation point when we have too much of a good thing–whether it’s apple pie or growth.  We need to slow down and find ways to live happy lives more sustainably.  We need to maintain a ‘good enough’ prosperity shared by everyone while cutting back on pollution.  Much easier said than done, but worth the effort during our lifetimes and for those to follow.

My haiku uses the prompt words ‘pie’ and ‘dust’ for Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge.

©2016, all rights reserved by ontheland.wordpress.com

Want or need?

Armaments-universal-debt quote huxley.jpg
Greed
Everywhere
In boardrooms
In legislative corridors
Hiding in ivory towers
Smiling from promo game prizes
Promising health, pushing toxins
Lurking in virtual spaces 
Grasping gadgets
(Obsolete in a year)
Insatiable want.
consumerism quote 1.jpg
Want
Feelings of lack
Need, scarcity 
Memories passed on
from past generations
Need became wanting
more, more, more
Shopping, discarding 
Shopping, discarding
Repair and durability,
Simplicity and frugality,
faint quaint memories.
Were-consumers-We-are quote.jpg
Famous role models
prestigious beauty stars 
As close as a finger tap
All day, all night
Ads everywhere
absorbing through hungry pores
Tickling, entertaining
NEW, better, faster
‘All natural’, ‘Green’
Descriptors unquestioned
Plastic bottles in spiral pink
Shrink-wrapped delicacies
Vacuum-sealed scissors
Waterproof cardboard, 
Recycle arrows appease 
flickering consciences,
sooth doubting whispers:
Hypnotism.
A-shopping-cart-flipped kintz quote.jpg
Published in  1962, Island was Aldous Huxley’s last novel ; Chuck Palahniuk is a contemporary American author; and Jarod Kintz is a contemporary American author known for his humour. I discovered these quotes on Goodreads.
This is a Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge post hosted this week by Ronovan Hester.  The optional theme is ‘trust’, touched on indirectly by my consumerism theme (or perhaps the ‘touch’ is on mistrust or overtrusting?).
©2016,  All rights reserved by Ontheland.wordpress.com

Deception

Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.

∼ Sir Walter Scott, 1771-1832

I found myself contemplating deception when a poem emerged from my pen in response to The Secret Keeper writing prompt:

What dark web have you woven?

what tight-spun disguise?

humanity pad-locked and stowed

its key lost in lies

no steel claws could scratch you free

deception’s sad victory.

This poem was inspired by the five magic prompt words from The Secret Keeper Weekly Writing Prompt #29:  WEB | LOST | BLACK | SCRATCH | LOCK

∼   ∼   ∼   ∼   ∼  ∼   ∼    ∼    ∼    ∼  ∼

Human deception is a vast topic ranging from a magician’s slight of hand to lies, half truths, and concealments that plague interpersonal relationships, sales,marketing, political speeches, and corporate public relations campaigns.

The English language has 112 words for deception, according to one count, each with a different shade of meaning: collusion, fakery, malingering, self-deception, confabulation, prevarication, exaggeration, denial.

Robin Marantz Henig

Evidence of private and public lies  can inspire attitudes of cynicism.  In my opinion, a cynical view, when generalized to every situation, blocks trust, engagement and participation.  An example of a cynical view could be: ‘all politicians are phony.’  That thought could lead to a decision to not vote in an election. To me, a decision to not participate is unfortunate and stems from an over-generalization.  Some politicians are insincere, but that does not mean there are no politicians with ideals and integrity.

Insight into character comes from listening intently to the spoken word.  The physical peson, their charisma, charm and dramatic flair is more often used to persuade audiences, as they use these stealth tools of disgiuise and deception.

Maximillian Degenerez

Rather than adopting an overall cynicism, I try to focus on a ‘buyer beware’ frame of mind. Whether I am reading a food package label, hearing about a corporation’s green commitment or evaluating a politician I keep my mind immune to broad assurances that are designed to persuade or impress. I try to question and seek reliable second opinions.

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

Soren Kierkegaard , 1813-1855

We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others, that in the end, we become disguised to ourselves.
This post is in response to  Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge–an inspiring community event focusing on combining quotes with fresh poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction.

 

©2016, All rights reserved by Ontheland.wordpress.com

Forests, trees, and people–Writer’s Quote Wednesday

forest-411491_640.jpgIt suddenly came to me: ‘This week I will post quotes about trees.’  A  TreeHugger article had presented itself in my email —it was about a book to be released in English in September, The Hidden Life of Trees by  German forest ranger, Peter Wohlleben. Applying experience and science, he talks about how trees communicate and cooperate with each  other. I have no quotes from his book as the English version is not out yet.  Instead, here is an example of  what scientists are saying about trees from The Secret Life of Trees by Colin Tudge:

The revelations build by the week: ….. how they speak to one another, warning others downwind that elephants or giraffes are on the prowl, how they mimic the pheromones of predatory insects that are eating their leaves.  Every week the insights grow more fantastical—trees seem less and less like monuments and more and more like the world’s appointed governors, ultimately controlling all life on land…but also the key to its survival.

Colin Tudge, The Secret Life of Trees: How they Live, and Why they Matter, 2005, Crown Publishing Group, New York.

forest-56930_640.jpgA second tree-themed discovery: a  recent blog post by Your Nibbled News called Caring for trees the ultimate job–Taking care of the future today.  It opens with a photo with this caption:

Caring for trees would be the ultimate job for me. This desire has no direct relationship to the biblical Garden of Eden. Trees protect the planet and humanity from imminent disaster. They should be protected, respected, groomed and nurtured. They are this planet’s oldest sentinels. They deserve our care and consideration.

Warmed by these ideas and words, I found two more quotes  to feature. In the first, Sylvia Earle, scientist, speaks about the intricate web of life visible to those who have the opportunity, time, and inclination to look.

Look at the bark of a redwood, and you see moss. If you peer beneath the bits and pieces of the moss, you’ll see toads, small insects, a whole host of life that prospers in that miniature environment. A lumberman will look at a forest and see so many board feet of lumber. I see a living city.

Sylvia Earle, American Scientist, 1935-

I have lived in cities most of my life.  The house I grew up in had one maple tree in front and one maple tree out back.  The whole yard, except the part facing the road, was surrounded by a tall cedar hedge regularly trimmed by my father. Sometimes in the autumn my father took us for walks in the woods; and for three weeks in the summer, I explored the woods near a rented cottage.  These were exciting times.

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.

William Blake, 1757-1827

robin-534826_640.jpgThese words, written so many years ago seem to still reflect the world–there are many people who see the natural world as a backdrop to be utilized and organized by humans.  Yet there are many people who care about nature.  I believe everyone has the capacity for imagination and experiencing joy in the natural world (and of course, having imagination isn’t necessarily tied to appreciation of trees).   I  believe that both imagination and connection to nature are desirable human qualities that can flourish or fade away. These potentials can be eroded by pressures of survival, ambition, religious worldviews, and economic philosophies.  Whether or not people connect with trees, birds, and so on, is influenced strongly by life experiences  and choices from birth onwards.

Photos are CCO Public Domain, courtesy of Pixabay.com.
In response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday and Be Writing on Wednesday (BeWoW).