EU Countries Require Proof that Trade is Not Contributing to Deforestation
The 27 European Union countries recently adopted legislation requiring companies trading palm oil, cattle, wood, coffee, cocoa, rubber and soy to verify that the goods they sell in the EU have not led to deforestation. I found this AP article on Ned Hamson’s blog: https://nedhamsonsecondlineviewofthenews.com/
… speaking of slowing deforestation:
The Rate of Deforestation has Decreased in Brazil
So far this year, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is down 40 percent from last year. In April, deforestation was down 68 percent. You can read more from Yale Environment.
Greece is Improving Wheelchair Accessibility on Beaches
Greece is working to make beaches more accessible for people in wheelchairs. The Seatrac system includes a solar powered track operated by remote control. For more information and a video showing how the system works, here’s an article from Nice News.
A Truck Driver was Rescued from a Flooded River in Kenya
A truck driver in Kenya had become trapped on the side of his overturned truck in a flooded river. The arial elephant rescue team of Sheldrick Wildlife Trust came to his rescue in a helicopter. Read more about it HERE.
10,000 Caregivers Have Been Certified to Fight Malaria in Rwanda
This year, Rwanda reached a milestone: 10,000 caregivers have been certified to fight malaria. Historically, these caregivers were women who provided care at the expense of their own economic growth. Now, with certification program, they are paid a living wage for their work. Read about how this has helped Rwanda’s people and communities in this article from GoodGoodGood.
Breaking Ground at a Geothermal Apartment Complex in Brooklyn
A large geothermal apartment complex is going up in Brooklyn, NY. It’s hoped that this project will provide a template for future buildings and reduce emissions. Here’s an article from CNBC including a video that that explains the concept.
The Good Cup
A company called, Choose Planet A, has developed a foldable, recyclable cup that serves as a takeout container for hot and cold drinks. The Good Cup has a bio-based coating and does not need a plastic lid. It’s mainly available in Canada, Japan, Australia, China, and the UK. Let’s hope such earth friendly cups spread to every country. Take a look in this article.
New York Governor Signs Bill Allowing Easier Access to Contraceptives
A new law that takes effect in November 2024, allows trained pharmacists to provide hormonal contraceptives including oral birth control pills, vaginal rings, and the patch to New Yorkers without a prescription. Here’s more from AP.
Marathoners Help Runner to Finish Line
A runner in the 2023 London Marathon last month was having trouble, doubled over, and about to collapse. Watch as two other runners come to help him finish the race.
Got Good News?
Feel free to share your good news in the comments!
“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.” Rachel Carson
Walking around your trunk,
Taking pictures of roots
Exposed by years
of river risings,
About to continue on,
I felt the call: Come
and took two steps back.
My hand moved to your mossy curling bark.
There it was ~
The subtle vibration
Holding my hand in place
Asking me to stay
Inviting me to commune
with the depth of wisdom
Drawn from the Earth,
Compelling me to express gratitude,
to acknowledge a knowing
Deeper than words.
I looked up at your branches
still bare in early spring,
draped over the singing river.
My heart opened like a blossom
Wanting to stay forever
Feeling the quiet endurance of life.
Hiking along a river in the North Carolina mountains, I touched many trees. This one called me back after I had stepped carefully over its exposed roots. I think maybe it’s a river birch – hard to be sure with no leaves yet and lots of moss on the bark. I hope to see it again with leaves in the summer.
Don’t make a scene. Unless you’re painting. That would be my usual goal. Lately, I’ve become less and less tolerant of drama, especially when it’s violent.
But on this Earth Day, I can’t forget about the violence in Atlanta in January. I don’t want to forget about Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, also known as Tortuguita, which means, Little Turtle. Tortuguita was an environmental activist camped out in a forested area near Atlanta on the site proposed for what they called “Cop City.” His family denies allegations that he shot and wounded a police officer. The recently released coroner’s report states the body of 26-year-old Manuel had 57 gunshot wounds which resulted in his death after police opened fire.
57 gunshot wounds.
I wonder if I would have protested clearing the forested land for a huge police training center if I lived in Atlanta or if it was proposed for my city. I can’t imagine carrying a gun, but then, I would not have camped out there. Maybe when I was 21, I might have camped out to protest. But not with a gun. A baseball bat is the deadliest weapon I’ve ever kept nearby – behind my door. Thankfully, I’ve never used a weapon. My environmental activism is generally as peaceful as I can make it: not eating meat, buying eco laundry sheets that come in recycled brown paper envelope, reusable grocery bags, letting the trees grow in my backyard urban forest… pretty safe stuff.
I’m just wondering….. and I don’t want to forget Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, Little Turtle.
Yeah, I’m a little down at the moment of writing this. But I’ll be okay. Getting outside helps. I’m still recovering from a virus (negative for covid and flu) and have a lingering cough and congestion. My cup runneth over with invitations and events I could go to, but I’m being very selective, being mindful of my energy level. I do enjoy walking Marley around the neighborhood in the evenings. It’s the highlight of my day.
The house on the corner has been vacant for as long as I can remember. I don’t get it. The nice thing is that, in between occasional mowings, wildflowers take over. Thank God for flowers.
Speaking of flowers, here’s a John Denver song to lift our spirits.
Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was: “scene.” Use it any way you like. Have fun!
Canopy, a company that works to reduce deforestation by finding alternatives to wood pellets, was one of ten recipients of Ted Talk’s 2023 Audacious Grants. Read more about the Ted Talk grants here. You can learn more about Canopy HERE.
Plant-based Shelters for Refugees
A Bangladeshi scientist has joined with a bioplastics startup in Texas to develop an inexpensive plant-based plastic made from jute that can be used to build stable shelters for refugees. EcoWatch has details.
A German Department Store for Recycled Goods
What makes the Stilbruch store in Hamburg, Germany different from a regular thrift store is that it’s run by the city sanitation department, and it’s big- as in 20,000-square-feet of space. Of the secondhand goods sold there, 45% are sourced from municipal waste centers and 40% are direct donations from the public. Here’s more from The Progress Network.
A Quote I Love and Five Books
“Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair. Not because I have my head in the sand, but because joy is what the Earth gives me daily and I must return the gift.”
Clicking above on “Braiding Sweetgrass” takes you to summaries of five books the GoodNewsLetter says “will Change How You Think about Climate Change & the Earth.”
Cheetah Cubs Born in India 70 Years after Declared Extinct There
70 Years after chetahs were declared extinct in India, four cheetah cubs were born in Kuno National Park wildlife sanctuary to one of the females relocated from Namibia last September. Here’s the story from BBC News, and below is a video of the chetahs from India Today:
Got Good News?
Feel free to share your good news in the comments!
Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “antic.” Use it as a word or find a word that contains it. Bonus points if you do both. Enjoy!
I confess to looking up the word, pedantic, because I’ve heard or rather read it a few times, but wasn’t really sure what it meant. Don’t want to use that word, but I might. I further confess to looking up words that rhyme with pedantic. This was not planning, it was just curiosity, BEFORE I even began to write the stream.
Words that rhyme with pedantic…. I’d much rather be romantic than frantic or pedantic. But if one is too romantic, one might end up being frantic about trying to get away from someone pedantic. This might happen because we need both the heart and the brain, working together for the best outcome. “Follow your heart, but take your brain with you,” is a quote I use in my short book about finding a healthy relationship.
Speaking of books, hearts, and brains, I’m reading Jane Goodall’s The Book of HOPE. It’s written as this guy Douglas Abrams interviewing her, but very personal, not at all pedantic. I went to get the book to see if I could find the quote. This is not planning; this was just stepping out of the stream for 30 seconds. Well, I’m not going to look that hard for it. It was in the chapter about the “amazing human intellect” being one of the things that gives her hope. BUT and this is a big but, we need the heart, as in compassion, to work with the intellect and the intellect to work with the heart. We need intelligence and compassion. It reminds me of how we need both knowledge and ethics. But human knowledge is overreaching and sometimes lacking in ethics and compassion.
My intellect says, people do have a right to own guns, though not necessarily automatic assault weapons. Why would anyone need those, unless they are paranoid or watch too many doomsday movies that I’m trying to stay away from so as not to give them power. Compassion for our children and other beings says there need to be limits, boundaries, so that the gun ownership is “well-regulated” as the second amendment states.
I recently read an article by a military veteran who makes a case for implementing strict regulations on guns like they have in the military and apply these regulations to society and guns in general. He wrote that on most military bases, people are not allowed to carry concealed weapons for example. I did not mean to write about guns, but that’s what happens sometimes in the stream of consciousness. Here’s the article from my Goodnewspaper: A Veteran’s Case for Implementing Military Gun Standards in Our Society.
Personally, I’d rather not have anything to do with guns. I’d rather go for a stroll along the Atlantic Ocean or hike in the mountains. Did I share the video of our flight over the Atlantic? I’ll have to check that and come back to it.
Meanwhile, here’s a song with antic in it:
I love Carly Simon.
Okay, in case you’ve been anticipating the flying video… I’m having trouble finding it. Plus, it makes me a little nauseous just to look at it. But here are some of my pictures of the Atlantic ocean: (click to see the whole picture.)
Now for the hike! It had been about two years since I last hiked this rocky trail next to the river. My feet seemed to have wings as I leapt from rock to rock. April Fools! Seemed like I was much nimbler in the past. This time, my feet were hesitant. But I did not get frantic. I heeded the caution sign, took my time and even sat down and butt-scooted over rocks once or twice.
(There are a few more photos from my hike I’m saving for a tree love post.)
I hope you enjoyed this rambling stream of consciousness.
Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “the last thing you emptied.” Think of the last thing you emptied or something you empty often and use it as your prompt any way you like. Have fun!
We arrived at the mountain house late Thursday afternoon. I thought David had gotten everything out of the back of the car, then discovered he had not gotten the yoga mats and something else. I forget what. Hopefully, I will actually use a yoga mat while I’m here. Probably Monday, or tomorrow, when the kids will be going to see their paternal grandfather who’s in town for the visit since some family have come from Indiana.
In preparation for the trip, I washed clothes and actually got to the bottom of my laundry hamper. That had not happened in a while, so I got to empty little pieces of debris that had collected in the bottom. They looked like tiny pieces of leaves which are abundant in the home of this tree lover. But I really don’t want to know. Now, it’s clean at the bottom.
What’s something more interesting I could write about? Surely there are interesting things that have happened or been talked about. The air here in the NC mountains is fresher than on the coast. The trees are different and have more of an earthy-airy smell, while on the coast, there are different kinds of pine needles, sand, and more pollen since Spring comes earlier. My sinuses are not empty but seem less stuffy. I was reading about the worst cities for allergies. They only looked at big cities, and I don’t think mine was quite big enough, so didn’t make the top 20 list, though Raleigh, the state capital, did. Florida had more cities than any other state.
On Friday, I did a two short hikes with grandkids with a nap in between and more to come. Here are a few photos so far:
On our first night we saw a smiling crescent moon with maybe ? Venus above. My phone camera does not even come close to doing the scene justice, so just imagine it being a smiling crescent moon.
Do you see a face in the mossy tree trunk below?
Do you see a little green man stepping out of the cave?
(Yesterday, we were travelling to visit family, and I didn’t get back to finish this post until today. So, here’s some Friday Tree Love)
You might have seen pictures of this live oak that lives across from the park in my neighborhood, but I don’t think I’ve shared it with the azaleas that just made it through an unusual March frost. A group of volunteers in the neighborhood planted the azaleas about 20 years ago.
Click on the images below to see the whole picture.
In spite of the challenges Ukraine has faced defending itself from Russian, a Ukrainian energy company has finished the construction of the first 114 megawatts (MW) of a 500 MW wind farm. For details on this story, click HERE.
EPA Proposes Restricting “Forever Chemicals” in Drinking Water
The US Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposal to limit hazardous chemical, polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), aka “forever chemicals” in drinking water. These chemicals are used in non-stick surfaces and being resistant to oil and water are hard to break down. This is something my region of coastal North Carolina has been fighting for years. Here’s more from AXIOS.
People Live Longer in Countries with Gender Equality
A study of 156 countries showed a correlation between gender equality and longevity for both women and men. The biggest connection showed up in the area of education. While this may not be a surprise, it’s good to have the published research. NPR has details HERE.
“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”
I’ve always loved pine trees. Here near the Carolina Coast, we have loblolly pines and long leaf pines. David and I walked among these evergreens with our dog Marley on my December birthday hike at Carolina Beach State Park. If you stand quietly between the pines, you can feel the doorway to a new world.