Category Archives: Ethos

The Human Race & The Human Being

Discussing ecological, economic, and social injustice, I noted “how can we do this to ourselves?” Through a dear friend’s response I was reminded that most in the movement don’t accept that the injustice is something we do to ourselves and instead feel the injustice is something a select, privileged few do to a disenfranchised many. We both thought and spoke for a little, agreeing that it is a little bit of both. To defend my point I shared that if I look at it as my privileged self and select few versus the vast many who suffer from my benefits (like having this computer and website to share information through), then there is a clear disconnection that challenges any sort of care and consideration. To truly care and strive for improvement with regard to my fellow human, however unseen and suffering-for-my-benefit they may be, takes empathy and connection – it takes seeing one another as fellow human beings.
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Way of Water: Waterways – Neighborly Rays

What is a watershed?

A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place. John Wesley Powell, scientist geographer, put it best when he said that a watershed is:

“that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.”

Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes. They cross county, state, and national boundaries. …

via the US Environmental Protection Agency

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War on Wastefulness and the Law of Conservation of Energy (the First Law of Thermodynamics)

We send our energies here and there, often in wasteful ways. Can this be reversed? No – to move backward we must still make progress forward in some way.

Though we can not undue our wasteful actions in all cases, we must recognize that our behaviors are never a total loss. Our positive and negative activities progress through our environment. We may never directly see their consequences, but there is no doubt that all things are ultimately connected. In attempting to do better after making errors, we may find that we have exhausted our supplies and cannot try again. This is where we must recognize that our efforts do not end and disappear – there are ways to recapture the essential materials that have been spent in some useful ways. Sometimes this is a stretch: we must look to the lessons we can learn to recapture materials in the form of thoughts; sometimes we must look at a chain of events that comes from our activities and patterns in order to see where the energy has ended up, and what energy and materials may be salvageable in this reservoir.
There is a flow to all things, as there is also a static state. Thus the principles of a watershed apply as lessons for more than conventional ecosystem management.

Backcountry Survival a Mystical Teacher about Living a Good Life

What is the greatest threat to man in the backcountry?
The greatest threat to most people is themselves, to be honest! Remembering to move slowly, to pay attention to surroundings, to hydrate often, and to control heat loss and gain through layered clothing, will eliminate many problems before they can occur. The three things that get most people into problems (other than mechanical injuries) are hyperthermia, hypothermia, and dehydration.


This backcountry survival advise is also very applicable in the frontcountry or in our everyday lives. Consider the above quote, taking it in through a metaphoric lens of the classical elements. Some examples: excessive heat corresponding with excessive fire element, masculinity, yang-energy; excessive cold corresponding with excessive water element, femininity, yin-energy; water corresponding with qualities of stillness, balance, reflectiveness, flow…go explore some water to see what else it knows!


On Divestment: Investire – Time for a Change of Clothing

I begin by giving thanks to the Source; to ecology & economy educators and to Divestment Movement activists, all of whom helped inspire and inform this post. Like all things, please, take this with a grain of salt; this is merely my own perspective, but I hope I may share a helpful one.

This Friday (02/13/2015) is ‘Global Divestment Day’ when groups of people and large institutions are teaming up to make a commitment to shift investments away from volatile fossil fuel companies and toward more prudent companies. I encourage folks to check out this movement, and if you are interested, show support moving the movement in your locale.

Broadening the scope and I think rightfully the audience and impact of the Global Divestment Day spirit: I encourage people to think of divestment beyond only a movement away from fossil fuels. Divestment, and specifically the unified hopefully-high-impact Global Divestment Day, is an invitation to march away from that which we hate: injustice in the environmental, social, and corporate-governmental (ESG) sectors. Simultaneously it is an invitation to move toward that which we love: low-risk, high-return, responsibility in the ESG sectors, and greater yet may we support those who innovate and regenerate those sectors to become better.
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On The 10,000 Vessels: One Thousand Separate Boards of Wood from One Hundred Trees of Ten Forest, Built to Be One Oceanic Temple

“I was trained in the natural sciences early on and thought they had all the answers to managing the land and that cultural answers to how we manage the land, that had been rooted in communities for centuries, were probably imperfect. Now, after spending time in many western communities, I see that a natural science that complements traditional land based knowledge is what we need. It is not one way of knowing the land or the other; it is how we bring [ways of knowing] together.”

via Gary Paul Nabhan
Ecologist, ethnobotanist, writer
Speaking on the importance of community in yielding benefits from sound land ethics; from the short film “Conservation around the Green Fire – Agriculture, Food, and Community

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