Slow Elk season open now!!!

And I don’t mean beer! The Forest Service at 9- mile wasn’t kidding when they said they were returning the area to “historic”. First, in the mid to late 1800’s, humans logged the area of 500-600 year old larch, cedar and Doug fir, then they burned it, then they put cows on it. In a period of enlightenment, in the 1960’s to 1970’s, they finally got the cows off. It took 20-40 years to get all the barbed wire out. It’s taken 50-60 years for the forest to heal and regrow.

But, for the last several years, the F.S. has logged the biggest trees, burned and reburned, and now they put the dam cows back on public land! No wonder they wanted the native sedges, kinikinik and grouse berry out. It’s all weeds, now, and sparse non-native grasses for the dam cows. The elk haven’t even been there much since all the burns. Their food and habitat has been destroyed for cows! for human-centered historic use, so we can remember how abusive the human race is to native forests! So, forget hunting elk. It’s slow elk season, year round. We’re not getting paid for cows grazing on our land. We didn’t get paid for our public trees being logged for someone else’s profit. And we didn’t approve the waste and destruction of the F.S. thinning and burning program. Maybe we should sue the Forest Service for abuse of public lands — multiple abuse! It’s historical abuse! Young people now don’t even know how much forest we used to have. It wasn’t all vast areas burned off, or clearcut, or thinned to looking like a bad hair transplant on the hillsides. It’s no longer a forest, but a bunch of sticks sticking up with a sterile understory, a dead ecosystem. None of the diverse wildlife of the forests can live in this open, sparse landscape; no trees are even allowed branches lower than 20 feet! It’s discouraging that all the work of the 1970’s to save diversity and forest habitat has been wiped out in less than 10 years due to greed, ego, and stupity.

What forests used to look like:

What the F.S. has done to an area across from a creek, a wet area! Now, the cows will finish the job.

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What is your impact on the world?

I’m reading a book, I’ll mention it in a bit. In it, I read about some people in New York city years ago who were trying to have no impact. It is impossible for a human to have no impact on the world. They kept their professional jobs, but quit driving, turned off their electricity, kept giving up things — this would have no end until one gave up life itself! Instead, ask yourself what kind of impact are you having? Humans are just toxic little waste sites, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You could give up driving if it was easy to walk to work or the store, or to use public transport. Or you could reduce your driving, make errands more efficient, keep your car in good shape, so it pollutes less and is more efficient in gas. You could quit idling your car while checking your phone messages! Plug your phone in at home! You could quit using any toxic product, quit using fragrances products, which contain solvents and fixatives to keep the fragrance lasting longer (and not listed in the ingredients, not required to!). You could reduce energy use, reduce electricity consumption, reduce consumption, period — buy less! There’s many things one could do to reduce negative impact. There’s things one could do to have a positive impact! Think about it!

This book is really good. The Good Life Lab – Radical Experiments in Hands-on Living by Wendy Jehanara Tremayne. Published, 2013 by Storey Publishing, 210 MassMoCa Way, North Adams, MA 01247. Here are some web links:

http://www.gaiatreehouse.com.  & http://www.thegoodlifelab.com


One could say that the subtitle could be “homesteading in a small town with a tech genius”. This isn’t your typical self-sufficiency. They make things. To quote the author, “In the pursuit of a decommodified life, I came to believe that when all of life is for sale, it is a revolutionary act to become a maker of things.” They grow their own food, make their own soap, make their own kombucha, etc., but also, make their own electronics! It’s a modern version of “homesteading”! Nothing is really given up. Instead, it is made more sustainable, using “waste stream” for a lot of it, and renewable natural resources, renewable energy, etc. They make their own bio-fuel to run their vehicles! Amazing!

So, how can you lessen your negative, polluting, wasteful impact, and make one that’s lighter, less negative or even positive?!

Camping Non-toxically

In Wendy Tremayne’s book, The Good Life Lab,  she says that modern civilization requires acculturated knowledge that has to be taught or mimicked, but can never be intuited. I never learned it! My grandparents and parents grew up on farms. I was never able to figure out “people” and their “ways”. But, I think natural ways need to be taught, too. People must be taught everything! Perhaps, they can intuit some things about nature once they learn to see and learn to learn!  It always amazes me how little common sense people have about nature. 

People’s houses in town are full of chemicals and toxic products that they dump down the drain into the aquafier. It would be good if no one used these things and kept their houses clean and free of chemicals and toxins. When you go out camping, or on a picnic in nature, don’t bring those things along!!! 

Here’s some ideas:

Don’t even use dish soap. Scrub your dish out with bread! Give it to the dog, if you don’t want it. Scrub pans with used tea bags (tea still in it) or used coffee filters and grounds, then dump it and rinse it out. If you feel it needs more sanitizing, set the pan over a flame briefly.

Don’t ever litter! Not even dental floss, not even Q-tips! Don’t litter cigarette butts! Don’t throw live butts on the ground or in the bushes. Use an ashtray and grind them out. You can burn any paper product in your campfire, including pee toilet paper. Sort your recyclables and take them home. Keep trash separate and clean.

Make sure you dig a proper toilet hole and bury it sufficiently. If you use one of those private toilet tents, keep some cold ashes and dirt in a bucket to cover it after each use. Don’t use the non-compostable synthetic handy-wipes. Use toilet paper. Be sure to fill in the toilet hole completely when you leave. I saw one that people were using. When they left and took down the toilet tent, they left a stinking, unsanitary overflowing hole! Disgusting! They should have their photos posted on the web! The toilet hole must be  100 feet from the flood line of a creek or lake. They put theirs 20 feet from it! The Forest Service won’t even come in and clean up this crap, so do it right! 

Don’t use any chemical sprays or herbicides. Minimize your use of bug spray. In some places, when you are going in the water, the authorities request that you use no bug spray or sunscreen beforehand.

Don’t ever dump gasoline or car oil anywhere. Don’t use bleach or dump it. Use biodegradable soap to wash yourself and your hands with (dish soap is unnecessary!).

Also, don’t pick wild-flowers. Don’t cut living trees. Use a campfire only if you need to, and if it is allowed — a lot of places don’t allow them anymore. They are polluting and often use up precious local trees.

Don’t run your car to run a radio or charge up a phone. Get a small solar panel! Just don’t sit there idling your car. If you are cold, or hate it there, then just go home! No one is forcing you to stay.  And, sitting in the car, running the engine is dumb anywhere, but especially in the woods, or beach, or anywhere in nature!

Respect that people want a nature that is clean and toxin- free, unlike the towns and cities. Don’t think that nature will just absorb it because of all the “fresh air”. It takes vigilance and commitment to keep the environment clean.

Plastic

What to do with plastic?

There’s a recycling business, terracycle.com, that has some free programs for certain items. It’s best used by a group to make the most of the limited number of free programs. Check out their website for your community center, school, etc.

Plastic melts. Other companies could be formed to melt down plastic recyclables to sell to companies using plastic to make products.

A young couple are making plastic bricks. See them at divinegreenswi@wordpress.com

One could always make art out of plastic, similar to the couple making bricks.

Use less plastic, of course, but substituting paper is not a good solution, since our forests are in big trouble. Just buying less so less disposable plastic is used is good.

Quite frankly, people won’t change unless it is done for them, so, in Europe, they are planning on banning some plastic. See the link for the article, below.

https://top10events.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/e-u-proposes-ban-on-some-plastic-items-to-reduce-marine-pollution-milan-schreuer/

Ethical consumption

“Exceptional, truly ethical consumption, within the current global capitalist system, and considering the global crises, would have to adhere to the following criteria:

1) Products and services would have to be sourced and produced locally to their point of consumption, meaning that every element in the supply chains of that production would have to be local. Local production allows the highest transparency of process and thus highest potential energy efficiency of production. Also, the least transportation involved, the greater resource efficiency. Local production is also more resilient to global and remote events, including crop failures and environmental disasters. Finally, fair trade and the fair treatment of workers can be assured if the whole production process is within local reach. ‘Local’ is of course a subjective value, but should be taken to mean within decades of miles, rather than hundreds and thousands of miles. ‘Local’ does not necessarily respect state boundaries as state boundaries are not a criteria of sustainability (just look at the military conflicts around the world).

2) Products and services created / consumed would have to result in minimal ‘waste chains’ in production and consumption i.e. processes of waste and disposal, and such processes would have to be kept local. Truly ethical consumption implies that there is no ‘waste’ whatsoever in the product consumed, although ‘waste outputs’ may have been converted into inputs into other systems / processes, run by other agencies in the community.

3) Products and services consumed must be made using sustainably sourced materials. The definition of a ‘sustainably sourced’ material is open to debate, but common definitions include lack of ‘damage’ to the environment in the material’s extraction and processing, as criteria. This is conveniently vague. I would suggest that a sustainably sourced material is one that, in its harvesting and processing, preserves or even enhances local habitats, biodiversity and ecosystem services.

4) Truly ethical consumption pays attention to all the workers that have been involved in the creation and selling of the product or service. Beyond fair trade and fair treatment and payment of workers, if any workers commute over long distances to get to work in private fossil-fuelled vehicles, and arguably even private vehicles fuelled by a renewables-based energy grid, then the sustainability of the product is seriously open to doubt. (Unsustainable is unethical). Commutes may be mitigated by incorporating into them other functions useful to the community. Additionally, the coherence and sustainability of human culture is damaged by excessive mobility. Fragmented culture in turn can result in a further disconnection from and degradation of the environment.

5) Similarly, it is highly questionable whether products and services that rely on consumers from distant places, including via the internet, can ever be sustainable or ethical. As in 4) above, waste of fossil fuels and other energy sources, degradation of the environment, and fragmentation of human culture are all implied.

6) Finally, the nature of the product or service itself, including what it is used for, how it is used and what narratives it plays a role in / supports, is implied in ‘ethical consumption’. If the product or service encourages the consumer to disregard these six principles in any other products and services consumed, then it is unethical.”

I stole the above from the WordPress site below. I hope he doesn’t mind. He explains responsible consumerism so well. However, I can do without the psychology. There’s no point for me to say why people are indifferent (I can’t excuse them!). One can be cynical, yet still do the right thing. I am a cynic, obviously!!! But, being cynical about other people doesn’t excuse me from choosing ethical behavior! “Be the change you want to see” makes me feel very cynical! If only people would do half of what I do (or, it’s not do, really — not buy, not idle your car, not use motorized recreation like jet skis, powerboats, ATVs, snowmobiles, etc., and more). It irks me to pay high prices for basic living. Not buying, not paying means not helping those people get rich!!!! It’s better to do without in most cases.

https://epictomorrows.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/hypocrisy-a-defining-feature-of-the-civilised-psyche-1-part-one-of-two/

God?

I don’t believe in “God”. The very idea is preposterous. I don’t believe in a human spirituality that assumes the planet is a playground or learning ground for human growth, spiritual or evolutionary. If there is a God, then he is an asshole — just look around and you can see that it is so. The only “god” is the collective consciousness because the will of many people in the majority is very powerful. That’s why I don’t even believe in people — just look around and you can see what the majority are about — greed, oppressing others, violence, destroying for no reason except to destroy, etc. Unfortunately, majority rule is also the rule of the lowest common denominator. People might say that a dictator is not majority rule, but it is. All the Germans gave Hitler their consent even if they didn’t know what was really happening. When peasants get tired of giving their consent to dictators, they rise up and depose them.

John Lennon said “God is a concept by which we measure our pain”. But, I say, God is a concept by which we measure all people. So, when any of these asshole gun shooters kill people or blow up things in the woods, you can say, “there is God, the asshole!” Until people get off their complacent butts, there’ll always be violence, greed, destruction of our planet — the majority are allowing it to happen. I’ve said before that people aren’t capable of changing (except a few) because they are animals and all their actions, good or bad, are just fighting for territory, food, mates, etc., so, it’s, no doubt, hopeless to try for any change. However, I believe people should not give up their integrity in an integrity-less world. At least, there can be pleasant pockets and people trying to save the natural world instead of destroy it for profit. So, those who are — keep up the good work and enjoy it’s goodness.

Spring burning

Every burn contributes pollution to the air. All of the burning I’ve seen is stupid — a field already grassy, burnt, weeds will come in first; a forest with little or no undergrowth, burnt, trees dead or damaged, and shrub will expand more than if it hadn’t been burned. The best thing to do is clear out the brush and dead trees, chip it and compost it or turn it into paper.

The Forest Service is lying again. They said they were done with 9 mile, but they’re doing some burning again this year. All their burns have been in clean undergrowth areas that, then, turn into vast patches of ninebark shrubs and dead, charred logs. Everytime they thin, they cut out the live, young trees (future forest) and leave the vast areas of bugkill dead to burn in huge forest fires that they won’t even try to put out. It’s sad. It’s sick. And we’re paying these scum with our tax money!!

Since, the 1970’s more than half of the forest in Missoula and Ravalli counties has been destroyed in clearcuts (blame Plum Creek timber co. and the Forest Service) and forest fires. More is effectively been lost in housing development — the g.d. Montana subdivision law, which basically means any developments have to be subdivisions, and can’t be 10 acres taken off someone’s 640 acre ranch for a little organic farm. No one can afford land unless they are millionaires. No one can afford to keep the land together.

People are still reproducing too much, and population is growing. For the past few years, there were 2 or 3 new multistorey apartment buildings going up every spring in town. This year, there are, at least, a half a dozen!! Next year — a dozen? The year after that — 2 dozen? The human pressure on wild nature is too much and yet, the forests and the ocean are the lungs of the world. The ocean is polluted and has increasing dead zones.

Why kill the forests more than they already are? Ticks and bugs seem to increase after a burn, probably because birds have left or been harmed by the smoke. So, a surplus of bugs occurs while the forest heals and birds can come back!