Between a Rock and a Hard Place

In a scientific worldview that believes that the only reality is what we can grasp with our senses,
It causes the material world to take on a much exaggerated importance;
Since the material world does not feed the spirit, we continue to grab for more and more;
As we lose the riches of the unseen, we have less and less.

Anne Wilson Schaef (via Tom’s Blog)

The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of Anesthetics in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve.

Mark Twain (via Mark Twain Blog)

Being an Adult

No play, no fun.

Link: The Coyote Within :: It is Worth Being an Adult?

Children have most of the fun. They’re encouraged to play and to learn, two of the greatest sources of excitement and pleasure there are. Adults are expected to work instead of play, which usually means doing things they don’t want to do, at times when they don’t want to do them, for people they don’t much like, and in return for a level of payment they don’t believe is adequate.

Borage

Link: Borage – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The oil that is extracted from the seeds (marketed as "starflower oil" or "borage oil") is a good source of gamma-linolenic acid. It’s also rich in oleic and palmitic acid, which confers an hypocholesterolemic effect. This oil, which is recently being commercialised, regulates metabolism and the hormonal system, and is considered a good remedy for PMS. Borage is also indicated to alleviate and heal colds, bronchitis, and respiratory infections in general for its anti-inflammatory and balsamic properties.

A field of borage by Stu Worrall on Flickr

Carnival of the Green #37

Welcome to Myke’s Weblog, coming to you from the hot, humid South (Atlanta area). We’re honored to host this week’s Carnival of The Green #37, sharing links to posts from green-minded bloggers. Created By City Hippy and Triple Pundit as a weekly round up of the greater green blogosphere, you can get more information on this environmental carnival and how to host at either of the links above. Last week Carnival of the Green was hosted at Powering Down. Next week it moves over to Treehugger.

Here are the links for this Carnival, segmented into categories:

Biodiversity

Bora at A Blog Around the Clock asks a profound question: Is every species of living thing on the planet equally deserving of protection?  He feels that some variation of "Yes" is a correct answer and describes a number of strategies and solutions for making it happen. He also describes some of the factors might affect environmental work in the future.

Becky at CityHippy is Running For Trees — a sponsored run / tree planting, with all donations from the Green Blogosphere gratefully received.

Riversider presents Will Ribbleside Residents’ Concerns Be Heard? posted at Save The Ribble. Plans to dam and develop the Ribble River are opposed by locals who say the river should be preserved just the way it is. Developers see an opportunity to replace meadows, fields, woodland, public footpaths, allotments, and amateur league football fields with housing and businesses.

Energy

Josh at Thoughts from Kansas says that drilling ANWR in order to solve the various impending problems would not have any meaningful impact on the amount of energy we require, or the price of that energy. Josh offers several practical suggestions for improving efficiency, such as replacing every incandescent bulb in every federal building with a high-efficiency, long-lasting compact fluorescent bulb, and raising CAFE standards and closing loopholes in how those standards are applied.

David at The Good Human offers thanks to his small car in Thank you to my small car, which is saving him a lot of money on gasoline and allowing him to feel better about having to drive in Los Angeles. He suggests that if people would think about what they are driving on a daily basis, it would help us all out in the long term. In Top 10+ ways to help the environment and save money he provides a list of little changes we can make in our every day lives that can affect the big picture.

At Greenthinkers, Scott is annoyed by shops and businesses blasting their air conditioning while keeping their doors open to indicate that they are open for business.  He praises Toronto, where a Close the Door on Energy Waste campaign was started to raise awareness and get those wasteful stores to close those doors.

Going solar author Deirdre at the Ester Republic says that solar power is feasible in Alaska, but start-up costs are expensive. She will blog her adventures in solar electric generation for her tiny newspaper office, situated in a small Alaska village, as she explores the possiblities of green energy in the Frozen North. The first step is figuring out how much electricty one needs (Going solar: electric load).

Corn is not the solution to earth’s energy crisis, according to Harlan at Greener Magazine. In Corn ethanol, super fuel or hype, he provides some inconvenient facts, such as producing ethanol from corn produces more emissions from the oil required to fuel the process than it saves in the end, that make ethanol from corn look more like a political diversion than a solution to our oil addiction.

Nick Lund presents Americans for American Energy: The Oil Industry in Action posted at bird DC. It appears that a PR firm was awarded a no-bid contract of $3 million dollars of Alaskan taxpayer money to "educate voters and their elected leaders as to the wisdom of congressional approval from drilling in ANWR". The contract was given by the Alaskan delegation (including Senators Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski) to lobby members of Congress to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration and drilling.

Food Production

George at Dirty Greek says that Jeff at Sustainablog has been discussing the food vs. biofuel crops debate, but the whole discussion there leaves him with a nagging feeling. He focuses on a completely different topic that is being ignored in this debate. Many well-respected researchers, chiefly among them Francis Lappe, have been saying since the 1970s that starvation and chronic hunger aren’t a production problem. We have enough food to feed everyone already. The problem is that not enough people are getting that food. We shouldn’t be worried about how much more food is grown when we talk about feeding the hungry, we should be worried about why those people aren’t getting the food that is already available for them.

Siel is partying with organic cocktail mixers in Lap(top) Dance at Green LA Girl.

At Savvy Vegetarian, Judy looks at a variety of health risks in The Latest Scary Food News From OCA. She provides the latest info on industrial scale dairy feedlots, pesticide exposure, Mad Cow Disease, genetically engineered plum trees, and the "national food uniformity" labeling law. Scary stuff!

Green Home

In Ode to a Toilet at Persephone’s Box, Sage offers a tribute to the vented composting toilet at their getaway cabin. She is finding that roughing it makes her more aware of the waste her family produces and is motivating her to be more conscious of recycling and nature.

Dawn is struggling with gnats and light bulbs in Gnats and CFLs at Frugal for Life. Several compact fluorescent bulbs broke during installation or didn’t provide enough light. She’s been suffering from an invasion of gnats in her home and offers some hard-earned tips for getting rid of the unwelcome guests.

In Lawn & Order, the Worsted Witch writes that lawns are unnatural and detrimental to our environment. She provides some surprising statistics to support her contention. Apparently, a “delawning” movement is making its way across the country, replacing the ubiquitous lawn with native plants. She provides some links for more information on delawning.

Sally Kneidel, co-author of Veggie Revolution, writes about predation of birds and small animals by house cats, with links to several articles, in A Cat Trap Stops House Cat Predation of Birds and Small Animals. She describes confronting her neighbors and the outcome of the conflict over the cats.

Joe at Interesting Thing of the Day describes living in Missle Silo Homes. He says that missile silos are extremely energy-efficient, maintaining a fairly consistent temperature year-round, impervious to tornadoes and earthquakes. The reinforced concrete shell, of course, never rots and cannot be harmed by termites or other pests. And you don’t even have to think twice about safety from burglars or intruders.

Media

Al over at CityHippy provides a run down of what he thinks are the Top 10 Green Movies. McLibel is his top choice — an amazing story of a postman and a gardener who took on McDonalds in the longest libel trial in British legal history. Several other movies on the list include Erin Brokovitch, The Insider, Soylent Green, and The Corporation

Recycling

At Triple Pundit, Nick cites several sources in Landfills: A Source for Gold Mining?. He concludes that gold and other valuable materials can be extracted from landfills, thus reducing the need for and impact of mining.

Michael at  GroovyGreen has a post about Eco-Cemeteries. Eco-Cemeteries do not permit caskets made of steel or precious hardwoods. Biodegradable-You is the theme. The post includes a video via YouTube and an article about the whole process. This is truly the ultimate way to get back in touch with the Earth. Plant yourself!

Water

An ancient tunnel network in Oman is a new World Heritage site, and may be a model of sustainable water supply, reports Daniel in Protecting Oman’s water resources heritage at the Down to Earth blog. Aflaj is a tunnel system which extracts water laterally from a hill or mountain. The advantages of aflaj are that many are already built, and they reduce evaporative loss compared with an above-ground canal system to convey water, but the construction and maintenance can be costly.

Tracy at Eco Street cites research that washing dishes by hand wastes water. Studies by Waterwise and the University of Bonn that shows that using modern dishwashers can save a significant amount of water. The post includes a list of simple tips from Waterwise for conserving water in and around the home.

Myke targets the impact of Atlanta on the Chattahoochee River in Never Drink Downstream From … in Myke’s Weblog.

If Thomas Jefferson Blogged

Tara Koellhoffer at the Thomas Jefferson Blog inserts excerpts from Jefferson’s writings into today’s current affairs.

Link: Thomas Jefferson Blog

In Jefferson’s day, American politicians were hoping to make the nations of Europe more democratic. Today, the U.S. government is more often trying to encourage democracy in the Middle East, other parts of Asia, or Africa. In this 1811 quote, Jefferson warned that the use of violence is not the best way to convince other nations to conform with American principles:

For us to attempt by war to reform all Europe, and bring them back to principles of morality and a respect for the equal rights of nations, would show us to be only maniacs of another character.

Over the past few days, as the violence between Israel and Lebanon has escalated, President Bush has supported Israel’s use of force, saying that Israel has the right to defend itself. In a 1781 letter, Thomas Jefferson expressed similar sentiments:

Any free nation has a right to punish those who have done them an injury. . . . While I advise [another nation] like an affectionate friend to avoid unnecessary war, I do not assume the right of restraining [them] from punishing [their] enemies.

Wisdom

Most of our pocket wisdom is conceived for the use of mediocre people, to discourage them from ambitious attempts, and generally console them in their mediocrity.

Robert Louis Stevenson

via Wisdom Quotes