Archive for the ‘Express Yourself’ Category

The Last Bee’s Lament by Ian Mosebach

spastic bee (julie fagan in disguise) dance – funny

With the humans moving forward so fast,
all the bees disappeared and now I’m the last.
I’ve seen killing clouds kill pesky bugs on the farm,
but the pests aren’t the only ones facing the harm.
While i watched all the workers abandon their posts
I knew that the farmers were being bad hosts.
Science had helped others from facing this fate,
but our farmers didn’t know because they didn’t communicate.
And so here I sit as the queen of an empty hive,
all the workers have left, not a drone is left alive.
Listen close to this queen of a kingdom of one,
Listen carefully to this mother who’s lost everyone,
farmers remove from your ears all of the fuzz,
so you can join us and generate the buzz:
Communicate with bee keepers to protect every crop
because without bees, most of your crops would stop.
Support alternate methods (be it nematode or viral)
to the current pesticides that sent us in a downward spiral.

Stewards Of Our Soil By Joseph Todd

Stewards Of Our Soil  By Joseph Todd

As temperatures and severity of storms climb into record breaking numbers in 2011, it seems like a moment of quiet reflection is needed.  So while sitting and pondering our global nation’s ills: oil spills, resource wars, biodiversity loss, climate change, etc. one wonders what exactly can be done.  The problems are seemingly overwhelming and infinitely complex in their size and scope. Yet, I feel they can be simplified into three primary issues: pollution, cutting down of the world’s forests, and loss of topsoil.

How can I make such simplified and bold claims?  Empirical science has pointed us to many of these conclusions.  Biology and the life systems on this planet have the remarkable capacity to capture, sequester, and break down pollutants.  Fungi, and by extension, their “flowers’ mushrooms have been shown to break down multitudes of petroleum-based pollutants.  Many plants and flowers actively accumulate heavy metals and dangerous contaminants in degraded, polluted soils.  Even simple creatures such as mollusks and oysters act as incredible water filters. 

So why care about the soil, forests, and furthermore ecosystem health in general?  It’s due to the fact that these systems, when functioning and in place, give us true health and true wealth in abundance.  Deforestation is a major issue we face in the presence of global climate change considering the world’s forests act as the world’s primary energy transducer and climate stabilizers.  Soil comes into the equation by being the groundwork, literally and metaphorically, of creating a forest and in general healthy functioning ecosystems.  In recent years it’s been estimated that the world lost roughly 83,000,000,000 tons of top soil. That’s 166 TRILLION pounds per year.  That’s a lot of dirt.  This is vital considering soil is the most diverse ecosystem on the planet.

Now that we’ve zoomed in on the issues and why they’re relevant, how does this concern an average citizen? What can one person do to make a difference?  One amazing answer lies in the garden.  Whether creating a flower garden to mend fragmented wildlife corridors for insects and birds or growing a small plot of edible fruits, flowers, and veggies to help bring down grocery bills in a time with increasing food security issues, the answers remain clear.  We need to be stewards of our soil to assist in the healing of our planet and everyone has the power to do this. This simplification of grandiose problems works when you consider other solutions to these issues fall painstakingly short as second generation problems.  CO2 sequestration, recycling, solar panels, wind farms, hybrid/electric cars, and biofuels become irrelevant if we don’t address soil loss with the mending and tending to of the terrestrial base for life. 

This simple act of creating an organic garden or green space is such an empowering and hopeful message to everyone.  The techniques are there, the information is there, and now more so than ever, the willingness to contribute is building a critical mass.  People have the power to greatly shift the course of their own lives and future generations of lives to come.  Many methods can be employed in this act of, as the great thinker, engineer, and designer Buckminster Fuller said, calling ourselves ‘trim-tab’ (the small rudder of a ship which dictates the entire direction of its course.)  What elements are needed to grow a beautiful thriving organic garden?  Healthy soil and water. 

Composting is an amazing technique to heal damaged landscapes and create healthy soil in which all life can grow.  It also mitigates our societies currently horrendous and ever growing waste-stream by taking organic matter that otherwise may have combined with other toxins in landfills and allocates it as nature intended and feeds microorganisms, which in turn feed plants, which feed us.  Food scraps, dead grass clippings, leaf litter, newspapers, cardboard, and the list goes on as to what can be used to create future soil.

The second element – water, which is the origin of life according to modern scientific consensus. 60-65% of the Earth’s surface is water, only 3% of that is freshwater that we can drink and 2+% of that is trapped in the soil or for now in the ice caps.  Needless to say fresh water is a valuable commodity.  Yet current infrastructural systems in place are harvesting water from the ground at dangerous rates to be used in polluting processes such as industrial cooling which in turn returns the water to the ground polluted which requires that we have polluting plants that clean the water that we originally polluted.  How convoluted.  So how do we cut such illogical systems off at their inception? Rainwater harvesting.  This bioregion of the North East United States receives abundant rainfall and with many structures and surfaces this rainfall runs off of capturing and dispersing it through as many biological systems as possible, such as a garden, would be extremely useful.  Many folk are on the forefront of rainwater harvesting with very cheap, low-tech solutions such as altering gutter systems to drain into gardens.  We can capture the rainwater in cisterns ranging from 12,000 gallon behemoths to simple 55 gallon converted food grade barrels.  The options are limitless. 

Sat July 30, 2011, Paul Redpath and myself (Joseph Todd) with our “Ethics in Science and Society” professor, (Rutgers University), Julie M. Fagan, Ph.D., will be hosting a rain barrel workshop and discussing composting and organic gardening techniques.  This event is free, is sponsored by Rutgers University and the Haycock Wildlife Community Habitat Group and will take place on Sat July 30,  at 11 am at the  Fellowship Hall of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 837 Old Bethlehem Road, Haycock Township; (across from the Haycock Fire Station) Quakertown PA 18951.  Come out and join the discussion and help us all become the trim-tabs so greatly needed in our lives and the lives of generations to come!

Photographic Landscape of Haycock Township








Picture montage of Lake Nockamixon’s plants (and animals)

My Very Own Wind Turbine (and solar too)