Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Nature and Nurture

"It will be a funky adventure..."

-Cosmo Kramer

When the temperature rarely changes from day to night, it often leaves me with a sense of ease in my environment, a prescient feeling of comfort that is harder to achieve when the elements are fluctuatung wildly in disarray. But that is nature, and I must learn to adapt to the notes in the song, not change the tune. It is always on key. I am not.

That said, it comes as no surprise when I read of our (as in us humans) collective encroachment into habitats causing problems in various parts of the globe. In Florida, it may be alligators, and in India tigers, and Australia it could be a shark. So, it is not a particularly unique American problem, it is only the press may take more notice of it here. They are not intruding into our space, I think it is the other way around. There are some places better left alone, I think is the theory.

Lots of discussion with the people I am working with at the moment on the whole GMO issue, which has not received a great deal of attention in Mainstream Media herein the States (what a surprise!) yet becoming insidiously prevelant. This article from the University of Chicago lays out yet another argument for a personal approach to Green Living via diet, for those interested in leaving a smaller impact on those much-talked-about and non renewable fossil fuel reserves. No prizes for guessing which diet is most fuel efficient.... Yup, it's thos veggies again. Not hard to figure out really, and ever since Rachel Carson's Silent Spring back in the 60's, the facts keep on coming.
Food labeling seems to be real problem here for those who wish to understand more about what they are putting into their bodies, particularly if the food contains GMOs. Pretty basic stuff really. I think personal choice is a powerful tool (and sometimes the most effective), because if we are not part of the solution, we really are part of the problem. It was Einstein, or one of those great minds that once said, "Example is not the best way to influence, it is the only way".

Speaking of which, that is one of the reasons I don't have alot of time for Americans complaining about the gas prices here, which are probably the lowest in the world, all while they are driving these huge, and I mean huge SUV's and trucks. Get over it. I can only imagine what all those celebrities on the Vanity Fair "Green Issue" drive.

Love that GREEN news, like the gift that just keeps on giving! Cellulosic ethanol, it turns out, is the most energy efficient process for making this biofuel, because the stalks and spent plant material that are used to break down into sugars (for fermenting) have already made their contribution, and the waste is the biomass required. Brilliant. A much more detailed (and probably accurate) assessment of this not-so-new-but highly touted technology, which is gaining momentum in Canada and the States can be found in this Wired article. You gotta be impressed. I am anyway.

Take a moment for yourself and read this piece from the NYTimes about how one multitasker sees her predicament. Wow, I sometimes don't know how fortunate I am! Is it the sandwich generation, or just folks loving their new gadgets?

A little history of The Geek Squad, a great business that so many of us may have wished despertely for on a frustrating hour or two at the keyboard....Now a part of a large chain, but certainly still retaining its character. Island calls?

"Lifestyle Treatments", is what they are labelling some of the pharmaceuticals that are being invented so that you too can have a disease and get some expensive new prescriptions. "Discuss with your doctor if ________is right for you", is the mantraon the saturation TV ads. C'mon, gimme a break! Restless leg syndrome, which I experience regularly, now has pills that are being pushed along with a host of other heretofore never heard of "conditions". A bit of energy surging through my leg at night might keep me awake for a moment or two, but it also lets me know I am very much alive and in my body (for better or worse), and which I am positive these little colured products of lab experiments can do nothing at all to enhance. All this research money for the wealthy with a twitch, and some yet some mosquito nets and clean water could actually save thousands of lives. The corporatisation of health care.

I do like the story of the Amazon tribe that simply walked out of the jungle and into a nearby town and world they had never seen before. Running out of food and not sure what to do, they have settled somewhat reluctantly, and are beginning to understand the basics of commerce. With no word in their vocabulary for "future" though, I wonder whether they are going to be better off. Reminds me of what Ghandi said when asked what he thought of Western Civilisation:
"I think it would be a good idea..."

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