Measure A Needs Rewrite to Focus on Public Lands

I voted for Marin's Measure A last time, but millions of our taxes went to wealthy ranchers instead of to our public parks and playgrounds. Public money should go to public parks, not to politically powerful ranchers who exclude the taxpaying public from their subsidized ranches. Zoning prohibits developing the ranches anyway.  And the ranches are a major source of water pollution and greenhouse gasses in Marin. Measure A should be modified to only fund protection of land that allows public access, or that removes cattle permanently with the goal of rewilding West Marin.…

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Air

Many people today feel alienated from one another, Red vs. Blue states and counties, racial and religious divisions, choice and sexuality. We even argue over science, like climate and vaccines. No matter our politics, race, religion, or gender identity, everyone breathes the same air. We are breathing the same recycled oxygen atoms once breathed by our ancestors. Air also connects everyone to life on Earth. Animals, bugs, plants and trees breathe the same air that we do. We need to protect forests and preserve ecosystems that absorb carbon and release…

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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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A Tale of Gaia the Great

The Greeks had a place and a story for everything in the world. Gaia, the Goddess of Earth, was in charge of all. She created her husband, Uranus, the God of the Sky. She also, clever woman that she was – and is – created Pontus, the Sea. In early times, in all cultures, Gaia in one name or another—is in charge.  There were, of course, many invasions of the system she commanded. Men learned early to throw bombs of fire and bring hills and mountains to their knees. We…

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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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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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Women and Children First

In the struggles for clean water and clean air, all too often women and young people are on the front lines of the battle for change. Why? Because they are also on the front lines of the fallen. This is a story of how women and young people across the country are struggling, and may very well succeed, in their battles for their, and our, safety. Their growing activism is against such toxic chemical giants – Chevron and DuPont and, in some cases, even against their own city governments.  Yearly,…

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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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We Can Do This!

Once upon a time, several years ago, I was Mayor of the Town of Fairfax in Marin County. Fairfax is a population of 7000 souls with a stable compendium of old and young, progressives and conservatives But all are actively doing something that matters to them. Some are devoted to their 30-year jobs; some are devising new kinds of work.  All the people in Fairfax, whether young or old, are involved in something that matters to them. Volunteering at the church thrift shop, or shelving books at the library or…

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