Inside Out

Island Living

Although I am not living on an island, it sometimes feels like it.

Unless I make the three mile trek to town I hear no human voices. The only footprints around the house are from feathered or furry friends. I don’t mind the isolation, or should I call it insulation? Insulation protects from outside perils.

Without the moon nights have been pitch black. It is a joy to see the sun rise in the morning. Some days there is fog drifting down from the mountains, slowly burning off, giving way to a breath-taking scenery. Those moments make up for the long, dark nights and gray, rainy days.


“The isolation spins its mysterious cocoon,
focusing the mind on one place, one time, one rhythm

– the turning of the light.

The island knows no other human voices, no other footprints.”

M. L. Stedman


I have not read Stedman’s “The Light Between Oceans”, which is apparently a novel about a couple living in a remote lighthouse.

”There is something that appeals to the human psyche about lighthouses because of their isolation. Their presence offers up a marvelous set of dichotomies the human imagination likes to explore – darkness and light, safety and danger, stasis and movement, isolation and communication”, she says.

I have read Bob Kull’s “Solitude: Seeking Wisdom in Extremes”, which is a diary about living alone for one year on a remote island off the Patagonian coast. He took his doctoral dissertation very seriously. At age 55, he  traveled to Chile with enough supplies to study the effects of deep wilderness solitude on a human being, himself.


“We experience the earth as a stranger we know we should protect for pragmatic or ethical reasons, but until we individually transform our consciousness and come to experience non-human beings as family and the earth as our home, we are unlikely to relax our demands for comfort and security and make the changes necessary for our survival, joy, and sense of belonging.

Bob Kull


His dissertation is available online. It’s an easy and interesting read. You can also learn how much stuff you need to bring to survive for one year on an uninhabited island off Patagonia.

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Note to self

Ripple effect

“In nature everything is connected,
interwoven, subject to natural law.
We cannot separate ourselves from that,
no matter how hard we try.”

Jeffrey R. Anderson


 

sea

Low Tide, Chilkaat Inlet, Alaska

I strongly believe that we are part of Nature, not separate from it, not above it. What we do with and to our environment will affect us and others. Some of it is out of our hand. In some instances, we may be able to tip the balance, either way. And sometimes we are completely accountable for the plundering and destruction of our planet.

I hope we find a way to act responsibly and leave this planet in better shape than we found it for future generations. I am sure this has been said before.

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Conservation, One Man's Paradise

Howling

It’s been bugging me for a long time.

They say if you can’t change it, don’t sweat it, or something along those lines.

I do sweat it!

blog

A few weeks ago U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has denied recognizing protection for the Alexander Archipelago wolf.

“Our review of the best available scientific and commercial information indicates that the Alexander Archipelago wolf is not in danger of extinction (endangered) nor likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future (threatened), throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Therefore, we find that listing the Alexander Archipelago wolf as an endangered or threatened species under the Act is not warranted at this time.There is no agreement on whether these wolves represent a  subspecies that deserves protection.”

The Alexander Archipelago wolf (Canis lupus ligoni) is considered to be a distinct subspecies  that is isolated from other wolf populations by water and mountain barriers.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service suggests in a November Species Status Assessment that the Alexander Archipelago wolf population occupying Prince of Wales Island declined by 75 percent between 1994 and 2014, from 356 to 89 individuals.

The decision to not grant protection equates a death sentence to the Alexander Archipelago wolf population, which is met with approval by US Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) of Alaska: “The attempt by some environmental groups to list the wolf seemed to be an effort solely to end the last of the remaining timber industry in Southeast Alaska. Fortunately, it did not work.”

Are you still with me?

On other shores the Finnish Wildlife Agency has authorized to kill nearly 20 percent of the country’s wolf population in a controversial trial cull.

“We wish to gain experience (to see) if this could be one solution to the conflict around wolves,” Sauli Harkonen, a director tasked with hunting administration at the Finnish Wildlife Agency, told AFP.
What?

Despite a hunting ban poachers had decimated the total wolf population throughout the country’s vast and remote forests to between 120 and 135 animals in 2013, from an estimated 250 to 300 in 2007. One of the contrived arguments to have this hunt is the hope that it would reduce poaching, argh.

Since 2013, the wolf population has rebounded to around 250. Now they are ripe for the taking again.

Why?

Not for food. Too protect life stock or human life?

I doubt it.

What this tells me is that arrogance, indifference, or other motivations in federal institutions lead to decisions with irreversible effects.

To tone it down. Why not err on the side of caution? A few hundred individuals of a species: Is that enough to guarantee the survival of the species? Are you sure?

What can I do?

Make you read about it.

Let me know if you have a better answer.

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Conservation

Waterfall – № 4

“Here is your country.

Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children.

Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”

Theodore Roosevelt


I am bit puzzled by President Roosevelt, who was an avid hunter and an early supporter of the National Park System. On one of his safaris to Africa his expedition killed about 11,000 specimens, hundreds of big game, including 6 white rhinos. He must have been aware of the anachronistic nature of this hunt. He asked not to be condemned, as he collected the specimens for the Smithsonian and other museums in the name of science. I guess times have changed and we have enough dead animals in collections and dangling form walls. I hope President Roosevelt would look at big game hunting with different eyes if he were alive today.

On other news, Shell got the go ahead to drill in the Arctic with the EPA watching over every step. Right. Since they just did such a great job with the Animas river in Colorado I have full confidence, not. There are 500,000 old mines in the US, many of them environmental hazards. I guess it is fair to say that the mining companies in the past were not good stewards of the land. What about the oil companies of today?

I wish men and women in power do remember what Roosevelt had to say more than hundred years ago.

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Life

Love the Earth

Fern, Coastal Rainforest Southeast Alaska

Fern, Coastal Rainforest Southeast Alaska

This is what you shall do:
Love the earth and sun and the animals,
Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labors to others,
Hate tyrants, argue not concerning God,
Have patience and indulgence toward the people,
Take off your hat to nothing known or unknown,
Or to any man or number of men,
Go freely with powerful uneducated persons,
And with the young and with the mothers of families,
Read these leaves in the open air,
Every season of every year of your life,
Reexamine all you have been told,
At school at church or in any book,
Dismiss whatever insults your own soul,
And your very flesh shall be a great poem,
And have the richest fluency not only in its words,
But in the silent lines of its lips and face,
And between the lashes of your eyes,
And in every motion and joint of your body.

Walt Whitman


WaltWalter “Walt” Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. His poetry received strong praise from Ralph Waldo Emerson, others described his work as “trashy, profane & obscene” and called the author “a pretentious ass”. You be the judge. I think the above poem is beautiful and worthwhile remembering every day.

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One Man's Paradise

Earth Day?

“What day is it,?” asked Pooh.

“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.

“My favorite day,” said Pooh.”

A. A. Milne

Today is Earth Day!

A day to celebrate? Hardly.

A day to remind us of our responsibility for this planet? Maybe.

A day like any other day? I believe so.

Resting Spring Range Wilderness, CA

Resting Spring Range Wilderness, CA

Yesterday was John Muir’s birthday. His conscience about conservation and the environment was born after an accident that nearly cost him his eyesight. At the time he was an avid inventor of mechanical devices. The accident had a profound effect on John. It was not the pain nor faintness that bothered him, it was the idea that he would never see a flower again.

I believe, humans are the first species that have the capacity to decide the fate of this planet. It is in our hands to decide, which living spaces we want to grant other species and us! Hence, every day is Earth Day. Our actions or lack thereof affect us, our children, and our environment today and in the future.

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One Man's Paradise

Change the World

I’d love to change the world
But I don’t know what to do
So I’ll leave it up to you

Ten Years After


Today the governor of California ordered a 25 percent reduction in water use by cities and towns, but not farms, in reaction to the ongoing drought in the nation’s most populous state.

Bad Water, Death Valley, California

Bad Water, Death Valley, California

That’s one way of patching an obvious and enormous problem in the state. I believe it is symptomatic for our society. Instead of addressing the fundamental problem of overpopulation and the unrealistic expectation of perpetual growth, we try to apply a quick patch, until…

Until when? Until we find a real solution? There is no real solution to perpetual growth. It is impossible.

Large parts of California are desert by nature. In the long run we can’t beat nature, not with all the technology in the world. Instead of respecting nature we decided to put the largest agricultural industry and 40 million people in the desert, draining lakes and rivers, building dams and aqueducts in support of this man-made disaster.  I believe there is only one solution to this: A sustainable level of agriculture and population. The question is, who is willing to subscribe to and defend such a wildly unpopular position?

Was rock star Alvin Lee a visionary, when he wrote the above lyrics?

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