Pt. Reyes

I am very disappointed with the horrible decision to continue the status quo at Point Reyes.  The ranch leases were supposed to expire decades ago, but now they are being extended, despite the degraded land, polluted creeks and seashore, and trash dumps on public land. Instead of protecting our environment and wildlife, a duty that NPS is entrusted with, the decision will keep damaging the environment at Pt. Reyes, and keep killing the rare elk. The vast majority of the people who commented demanded that the leases be ended.  But…

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No Diablo

Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is scheduled to close their reactors in 2024-25.  They are closing because reactor 1 was commissioned in 1968 and reactor 2 in 1970, so they are both very old. They were built in a quake and tsunami zone, with the Central Valley and Southern California downwind, and should close today. They tried to build a nuclear plant at Bodega Head on the San Andreas Fault upwind from the Bay Area! Nuclear power plants cool themselves by either transferring their heat to air towers, or they use water like…

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Gaia

We live on a wonderful planet that has air and water, plants and animals big and microscopic. Mother Earth, or Gaia, has been worshipped for millennia in many forms with different names. The fertility goddess, she represents life giving birth, growing crops, and the bounty of nature. Gaia supports life with a thin layer of soil and atmosphere between solid rock and outer space. Gaia breathes in and out each day and season in various ways. Plants and animals both breathe what the other exhales. Life is connected by our…

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The Sun

The Sun has been honored or worshiped on the Solstice since Stonehenge, up to today.  Ancient mythical stories tried to explain our Sun’s creation.  Scientists calculate that the Sun is at least four billion years old, while the Universe is over thirteen billion years old.  We don’t know what created the Big Bang, but that energy is still with us in the trillions of stars in 100 billion galaxies, and also in the cosmic background energy that has been detected on Earth. Most of us feel that we are more…

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End Violence

Jerusalem, “God’s City of Peace,” is yet again at the center of the conflict between Israel and Palestinians.  The fight goes back fifty-five or seventy-five or thousands of years, depending on who’s counting.  Both sides want their families to live in peace.  Palestinians and Jews must stop fighting, talk to each other and compromise, and end the occupation of Palestine.  They must learn to peacefully live side by side as equals in either one nation or in two states.    We are brothers and sisters, or at least distant cousins,…

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Peace Officers

Recent killings show that the police should be retrained as peace officers. They should defuse tense situations without killing anyone, and provide assistance to people in crisis. Smart phones have exposed outrageous actions and lies by some cops, yet the outrages still occur. Does a Black life really matter? Militarized police forces and mass incarceration look and feel like an occupying army. Trust in our police is low for many Americans, leading to calls for less funding.  Most police officers have been in the military, where they learned how to…

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Outside in Nature

The pandemic has forced most of us to stay home in one lockdown after another. Exceptions were made for essential work, or buying groceries, or going for a short walk with or without a dog.   My daily walk on a fire road to open space feels like freedom from the prison of my apartment.  Breathing fresh air, basking in sunshine and exercising my body helps me physically, spiritually and even emotionally with happiness inducing endorphins, views and hawks.  Many of us have discovered the priceless value of getting out into…

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A Legacy of Racism

America’s long legacy of racism, discrimination, brutality, and lynching against African Americans has finally been exposed to the light.  George Floyd’s killing by the police, along with the many other recent killings, brought outraged Americans into the streets to protest. In 2020, the idea that Black Lives Matter was raised up, and confederate flags and statues came down.  Millionaire athletes took a knee, and coaches and league presidents spoke against racism.  Sports teams changed their names— from Washington DC to high schools across the country.  Even NASCAR raced away from…

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A True Democracy

On the 58th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, President Biden signed an executive order to “make it easier for eligible voters to register to vote and improve access to voting.”  The House recently passed H.R. 1 that would increase voter turnout by having national election standards.  At the same time, GOP controlled state legislatures are trying to restrict registration and voting.  America has always been an imperfect democracy, from the days of the Founding Fathers to today.  Our history is in part the struggle to create a more perfect democracy.  First…

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An All Electric Future

New homes need to be all electric, and we need to quickly retrofit older homes and also commercial buildings to be all electric.  The PR term “natural gas” is mostly methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas.  Methane mostly comes from drilling and fracking, and it leaks from wells and pipelines, and in our homes.  Methane is blanketing and heating up our world, threatening ecosystems, wildlife, our food supply, and our children’s future.  Requiring all electric and solar power will add to the price, but the long-term cost of not…

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