Saturday, January 12, 2013

Four Things That Stirred My Blood This Week

1) Don't medicate your kids -- get them outside. It's free and has no side effects. A new study says "chronic nature exposure" (ha) can ease and heal ADHD and other disorders and imbalances. Strange how, as our society has started spending more time inside, mental and physical health issues have increased. Could it be we are part of this planet? Why do we deny that connection? Why do we work so hard to deny our nature? why do we seek or accept imbalance?

2) As much as half of global food is wasted in production, transit, or storage. So next time you're debating the merits of new cropland as it destroys native habitats, or the gmo / chemical / super weed conundrum that is food production, mention this article. Folks, food production is about profit -- "feeding the world" is an illusion. Teach a man to fish. Teach his wife and kids, too -- then Monsanto will be outta business, or will simply need to hire more lobbyists and purchase more politicians.

3) There's less and less hope for native stands of anything to be able to replenish themselves if given the opportunity. This piece discusses how invading nonnatives have and will rule the day -- partly because there's so little native plants left, and partly because by their very nature non-natives are invasive (not aggressive, but invasive, since some native plants can and should be aggressive).

4) Chris Helzer lists the effects of grazing / burning of prairie restorations over a decade, with observations along the way like this one: "Butterflies are nectaring primarily on ”weedy” wildflower species in our prairies.  Again, I’ve dealt with this in a previous post.  Essentially, regal fritillaries and most other butterfly species in our prairies are primarily nectaring on hoary vervain (Verbena stricta), thistles (Carduus nutans and various Cirsium species), and milkweeds (Asclepias species) – which are considered to be weeds by many people.  Those “weeds” appear to be awfully important to butterflies and other pollinators."


allanbecker-gardenguru said...

One cannot have an honest discussion about "global food" and the waste of it.
Here are only two of many reasons:-
1]Local socioeconomic conditions impact the waste of agricultural produce on such a large scale that it is unrealistic to presume that ingenuity and common sense are able to correct the situation. For example, in Egypt, 30% of all harvested food rots during transport to market because farmers cannot afford refrigerated trucks to protect cargo from the African heat.
2] The article about food waste that you refer to was developed by engineers whose skill in analyzing empirical data does not include an understanding of human nature. For example, reference is made to farmers who do not harvest produce that is unattractive for retail sale. That is reality. It reflects human nature, which is unalterable.
Sadly, only those who work in the marketplace truly understand the power and influence of human nature. Environmental philosophers, bemoaning the havoc wrought on the planet by human commercial activity, underestimate the role of human nature in the decision making process that is allegedly destroying our planet. Its easier, but intellectually dishonest, to blame Monsanto, gmos, and chemicals instead. Scapegoating will never alter human behavior.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Human nature is not unalterable. It may require thousands of years worth of evolution, but I can't believe it's stagnate and constant over our existence. I also think human nature is effected by heat, a/c, good families, a free democracy, etc, and those things can gradually evolve our nature if they exist for the above amount of time. Everything is a complicated issue, and to fairly discuss an issue would require books and books and not just one blog post. Which is why I read about 100 books a year. We ARE influencing this planet. We ARE hurting it. We ARE changing it not for the better. I will blame Monsanto, I will blame the market forces behind them, I will blame consumers, I will blame government regulation and lobbyists, I will blame our act first think later genetic engineering. Our science is too far ahead of our ethics and morality. That's how I see it.