The California State Legislature Burned Us

The consequences of the last California legislative session were astounding. From all the rhetoric, one would think our legislators would have implemented policy to help us adapt to wildfire and make us safe again. Unfortunately, with the exception of one bill, that was not the case.

The legislature and Governor Brown ignored where and why dozens of people died and thousands lost their homes to wildfire since October, 2017. Instead, at the urging of the timber and biomass industries, the legislature focused on forests where only 1 in 17 of the state’s most devastating wildfires have occurred. They completely ignored the main reason our wildfires have been so devastating – planning agencies have allowed the construction of flammable homes on flammable terrain. The legislature also reduced the liability of utilities for the fires they cause.

Addressing the flammability of communities themselves? Barely a word.

In case you missed them, our solutions are offered here.

Continue reading

Posted in Fire, Politics | Leave a comment

Nature – The Cause Worth Fighting For

As I have listened to the unenlightened blame dead trees for all our fires, where there are no dead trees, have suffered under the barrage of ignorance from politicians and industrialists who talk of clearing forests to protect us from fires that occur nowhere near such forests, and fretted over the demonization of habitat under, between, and far from forests in the form of small plants and bushes, I have found myself embittered, saddened, remorseful, worried about our future as a species.

DSC_0051 III

Have we really become so disconnected from Nature that we now make up stories to push her further away, to justify her domestication until all that is left is the occasional weed between the cracks of a sidewalk, or the random shrub that appears in the human-made, park-like forest? Do we really believe that logging companies, burners of smashed habitat, and Novocained bureaucrats who have barely left their desks in years to kiss an unfettered stream, have our best interests at heart? Do we honestly think such broken souls will fix Nature for us so that she will finally bend to our will? Do we really believe in our own hubris so much that we really think we can force Nature to reflect our fantasy of a bucolic place that has lost all manner of teeth and spirit? What kind of world do we think we are creating?

I shall suggest what type of world.  A world filled with filtered air, indoor lights, meeting rooms, refrigerators, and fat asses.

Log the trees? Clear the brush? Dam the rivers? Create the final app that will suck us all into an artificial world that allows us to forget where we came from?

I say to hell with that. To hell with the politicians who listen to the entrenched bureaucracies who care more for their budgets and careers than for the mission they are charged to follow. To hell with those who listen to the money instead of listening to the people who can not travel to the capitol or to those who speak for Nature for no monetary return. To hell to the industrialists who infect the capitol with their multitudes. To hell with the non-thinking masses who fail to question anything they hear, especially, of course, if it confirms their own vapid beliefs twisted into a form that no longer recognizes truth.

Continue reading

Posted in Becoming Aware of Yourself, Nature Education, Nature Stories, Reconnecting to Nature, Value of Native Species | 7 Comments

The Doorway to Nature is Sitting Right Next to You

This morning, Nature was lying next to me, upside down, paws in the air, with a slight smile that only a complete abandonment of responsibility can create.

As I reached over and threaded my fingers into the soft, dense fur under his chin, I could feel a wave of relaxation course through my body. My heart rate slowed, blood pressure dropped, and remnants of excess cortisol left over in my body from the previous day’s stresses disappeared. And the pair-bonding hormone oxytocin began to work its magic on both of us.

As I rubbed his soft tummy, his four limbs reached out as far as they could, creating a dog-and-a-half. I leaned over and mumbled sweet things into his ear. He responded with that sneeze of his and a full body wiggle, letting me know he concurred.

But there was something more in those eyes than just another animal looking back at me, something more than the simple enjoyment of having soft fur nearby. My dog provided an access to something very deep inside.

While there are many mutually beneficial relationships between species, the one we have with our four-legged companions is truly unique.


Continue reading

Posted in Becoming Aware of Yourself, Reconnecting to Nature | 3 Comments