Category Archives: Environment

Curbside Gardens thrive in Los Angeles

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“Permaculture is revolution disguised as organic gardening.”
~Graham Bell, from Permaculture – A Beginner’s Guide

When I visited Los Angeles in August, I took a few pics of some curbside gardens that were recently legalized.  It’s hard to believe that this guerrilla gardening had been illegal, and that in the early 21st century planting food on unused strips of land is revolutionary, radical, direct action!  Permaculture is a trending.  Want to know how to DIY? Check out the Urban Farm Magazine.

I love gardens. Perhaps it’s the connection with my roots as well as the plants?  My mother was an accomplished vegetable gardener who grew enough for our family and to barter with neighbors.  In my early years, most of our food came from what was grown or raised on our small farm.  But city life and supermarkets had become a way of life by the time I reached my teens.  As a young adult, I decided to find my way “back to the garden” and good nutrition.

Today, food scarcity is spreading throughout America, and more of us are feeling the hunger pangs.  It’s scary to see so many politicians determined to deprive our most needy citizens from receiving food stamps.  Poor neighborhoods are described as food deserts because residents don’t have access to healthy food.  We’ll  have to learn how to grow our own food if we want to keep eating.  So find out how to “dig-in” and “permablitz.” Plant a garden and change your life!

“We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon, And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.”   ~Joni Mitchell

Japan’s nuclear nightmare is going global

nuclear disasterMore bad news from Japan.  Fukushima has become an unstoppable  fountain of radioactive chemicals pouring into the Pacific Ocean.   The radioactive contamination from this nuclear disaster is worse than the Japanese people suffered from the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II and worse than the Chernobyl meltdown.

Soon after WWII, Japan’s radioactive monster Godzilla made his movie premiere in the early 1950s.  The creature was considered a metaphorical warning about the danger of nuclear weapons.  But in later films, Godzilla was cast as a hero or the best choice among bad options. This transition coincides with U.S. efforts to develop nuclear power to generate electricity.

Godzilla is now a world-wide cultural icon with movies, merchandising, games and memes.  Nuclear weapons and power plants have also proliferated around the world despite strong opposition from the inhabitants of the planet.  Now, this Fukushima Daiichi Godzilla flowing from Japan threatens to irradiate all life on Earth and the 1977 Blue Oyster Cult ode to the monster seems like a prediction instead of a parody.

“History shows again and again
How nature points up the folly of men.”

It’s odd that Godzilla transitioned into a hero.  Could this reflect the Japanese peoples’ eventual acceptance of  nuclear energy dependence for their tiny, volatile island on the Pacific Ring of Fire?  What about the rest of us?  How were we convinced that nuclear power was a good idea, that nuclear weapons should be stockpiled and that making munitions with depleted uranium is amoral?  Did we ever have a choice? What would we choose if we could?

We can’t escape the reality that we’re all in the same fragile lifeboat we call Earth, and a radioactive monster is spreading our way.  Some would say that we can’t escape our karma.  They might be right.

But I have to keep hoping that we can influence karma by our actions; that collectively we can create a different outcome.  What’s the safest way to avoid nuclear annihilation?  Stop using nuclear power.

“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present.  And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”    ~ Cloud Atlas