First Picture by Todd

Under The Table

In the days before digital cameras, I had several bouts of being a serious photographer, serious in the sense of owning good cameras, taking thousands of pictures, and even getting paid to take some of those pictures. I was primarily a black and white photographer, though not a darkroom person, and therefore availed myself of the excellent photo labs in the towns and cities where I lived—Santa Cruz, Sacramento, Berkeley.

When I moved to Mendocino eleven years ago, photography was completing the grand switcheroo to digital everything, while I was still possessed of a three-pound Nikon requiring actual film. Shortly after arriving in these hinterlands, I discovered there was no easy access to an excellent photo lab, so I stopped shooting and eventually gave my camera away.

Marcia brought a little digital camera into our marriage, and over the past decade I have occasionally borrowed her camera to snap pictures she then uploaded to her computer and sent to my computer via email.

A week ago, after several years of yearning to have a camera of my own, I purchased a diminutive Nikon weighing a mere five ounces. I must confess that electronic gizmos, even very simple ones, befuddle me, and that is the main reason I waited so long to buy a digital camera. I do not own a mobile phone, either smart or dumb, nor will I ever. For the likes of me, owning such a device would be akin to carrying around an incessantly yapping dog that can never be appeased.

Why Congress needs an openly atheist member, now…




From The Hill

In 2013, Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) became the first openly gay U.S. senator. It’s easy to understand why members of the LGBT community hailed this achievement as another meaningful step toward equal rights. After all, Congress is an extremely human place where the personal experiences of its members are critical to everything they do. As former Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) once stated, “Each of us, as United States senators, comes to … this public place with the sum of our beliefs, our personal experience and our values, and none of us checks them at the door.” Predictably, Baldwin has been a champion for gay rights. Just last year, she introduced legislation to “amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation.”

While members of Congress need not be part of a marginalized community to speak up on its behalf, the reality is that they are much more likely to do so if their lives have been personally touched by an issue. For example, former Sen. Pete Domenici, (R-N.M.) was a leading proponent of mental health while in Congress, mainly because his daughter suffered from schizophrenia. As former Rep. Lynn Rivers (D-Mich.) said, “I think it’s possible that nothing at all would have been done by Congress if it weren’t for legislators like Domenici who were galvanized by personal experience.” The unhinged gunman who murdered the husband of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) motivated her to become the nation’s most vocal gun control advocate.

How Fish Oil Is Made…


foFrom Nourishing Traditions

Why We Need Fish LIVER Oil, Not Fish Oil

Twenty years ago, no one had heard about omega-3s—we may have thought they were a type of car or a variety of Greek column. Now omega-3 (omega-3 fatty acids, that is) is a household word, considered good little guys that we can’t get enough of. As usual, however, the truth is more nuanced.

Omega-3 fatty acids caught the public eye in a cookbook called Nourishing Traditions (published 1996), which argued that the American diet provided an excess of omega-6 fatty acids with very little omega-3, and that human beings need to obtain these two essential fatty acids in a balance of something like 2:1, 3:1 or perhaps even 4:1—but not the 20:1 that comes with a diet based on industrial seed oils. The total of omega-6 plus omega-3 should not exceed about 4 percent of total calories—that’s less than a tablespoon from all sources in a diet of two thousand calories. (The other fats should be a combination of saturated and monounsaturated, with no set limit on either.)

The proposed solution in Nourishing Traditions  was to avoid all industrial fats and oils (which tend to contain mostly omega-6 fatty acids, and damaged ones at that), eat liberal amounts of natural fats like butter, egg yolks and meat fats (which all contain small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, even if not pasture fed), add a small amount (emphasis on small) flax oil to salad dressings, and choose organic vegetables, wild fish and pasture-raised animal products over those that are conventionally raised—because the omega-3 levels tend to be higher in foods that are naturally raised.

But omega-3s found themselves in the headlights with the publication of The Omega Diet: The Lifesaving Nutritional Program Based on the Diet of the Island of Crete (published 1999, now out of print) by Artemis P Simopoulos and Jo Robinson.

Unlike Nourishing Traditions, The Omega Diet exudes political correctness, promoting a “Mediterranean Diet” low in red meat (because “saturated fats contribute to heart disease by raising cholesterol”) but rich in vegetables, legumes and sea food, with a grudging inclusion of cheese and eggs.

How Music Works…



STOICON ’16: the largest gathering of Stoics, ever?


From How To Be A Stoic

What STOICON ’16 looked like

STOICON ’16 just ended in New York City, and according to one of our speakers, Bill Irvine, it was the largest gathering of Stoics, ever: 331 attendees. It was, more importantly, an amazing opportunity to meet and mingle with people from different parts of the world who are interested in, or regularly practice, Stoicism as a philosophy of life. All the talks, and one of the workshops, will soon be available as video on YouTube (stay tuned for announcements!), but let me give you a flavor of what happened this past Saturday in the Big Apple, just to whet your appetite.

The first speaker of the day was Don Robertson, with his inimitable Scottish accent. Don, who is the author of the very first book on modern Stoicism that I read — Stoicism and the Art of Happiness — talked about the connection among Stoicism, mindfulness, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (he is a licensed practitioner of the latter). He pointed out that Stoic mindfulness is different from techniques aiming at emptying your mind of wandering thoughts, for instance, as it is done in some strands of Buddhism. The Stoics meant it as a cognitive exercise to constantly remind themselves to live by focusing in the here and now (hic et nunc), as well as by paying attention to the ethical dimension of everything they do (though both of these concepts are also found in Buddhism).

Julia Annas, one of the foremost scholars in ancient philosophy and author of Intelligent Virtue, rhetorically asked the audience if Stoic virtue is as off-putting as it seems, proceeding to regale us with an in-depth analysis of apparent paradoxical concepts, such as that we are all equally unvirtuous, and yet we can make progress (see the “drowning man metaphor“); or that the Sage is like the mythical phoenix, i.e., a state that can never be achieved by actual human beings. But if so, then why bother trying? My own take on these questions is that the Sage is an ideal, and it doesn’t matter if any such man or woman ever existed, it is simply something to strive for. As for the apparent paradox that we can make progress (we are all prokoptontes) and yet we all equally lack virtue, I take it to be the Stoic way to remind us to be humble, that the job is really never finished, it continues to the end of our lives.

William Edelen: It’s In the Genes — The Bright Light of Truth


eMy maternal grandparents: Papa and Mama Deaver

From Our Archives August 2014
WILLIAM EDELEN (1922 – 2015)
The Contrary Minister

Over the entire 40 years that I have been writing “religious” columns… I have received, literally, hundreds of letters, emails, and phone calls saying “THANK YOU… for setting me free from the mental prison of organized doctrine and dogma”. Maybe my column today will have a similar effect on human lives, suffering from this issue.

My subject is about ‘GENETICS’ and family history. Why am I writing about that? Because TRUTH matters. And truth is not as bad as our ignorant and half formed fears about it. Everybody today is knowledgeable about DNA (genetics) and its value in family history… relationships… paternity… and so forth. But many remain ignorant about the value of genetics in shaping a human being with values and personality traits and habits. “MAN IS A THINKING MUTANT,” wrote Pascal. And so it is.

Sunday Song: Why I Don’t Believe In God


Thanks To Bruce

I heard the truth about you
And it really doesn’t read at all
Like the whipping stick you raised me with
A scared woman in a private hell
Hushed voice like electric bell
Strange talk about Edgar Cayce and the long lame walk of the dark 70’s
I heard the truth about you
Yeah you
Mama they woke me up
I was deep in an idiot sleep
I was just eight years old
Heard big words with a horrible sound
Why’d they have to call my school
Tell me my mother had a nervous breakdown
I wish I believed like you do
Yeah you
In the myth of a merciful god
In the myth of a heaven and hell
I hear the voices you hear sometimes
Sometimes it gets so much I feel like letting go
Sometimes it gets so goddamn hard I feel like letting it all go
Letting it all go
I ran away, went looking for you
Back to Culver City and the old neighborhood
Need to know if you were really gone
Need to know if you were gone for good
I ran through the projects at night
Hide in the dark from my friends in the light
Hide from my brother-in-law
Hide from the things he’d say
Said you weren’t losing your mind
He said you just needed a rest
He said you’d be coming home soon
He said the doctors there would know what’s best
Said that maybe I could go live with them for a while
I know the truth about you
I know the truth
Mama they woke me up
I was just eight years old
Sometimes it gets so hard I feel like letting it go
Letting it all go

Freethinker: Friedrich Nietzsche Born On This Day In 1844…


From Freedom From Religion

On this date in 1844, Friedrich Nietzsche was born in a town near Leipzig, Germany. “Fritz” was the son of a Lutheran minister who died when Friedrich was four, and the grandson of two Lutheran pastors. At age 20, he wrote his sister that one could choose consolation in faith, or pursue the truth no matter where it led. During a stint of mandatory military service, he suffered a serious chest injury. He then enrolled at the University of Leipzig, where he met and became friends with Wagner and Wagner’s wife.

The brilliant student was given his Ph.D. without an examination, and joined the faculty of the University of Basel at age 24. Working as a hospital attendant during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, Nietzsche’s health was permanently weakened when he came down with diphtheria and dysentery. His first book, The Birth of Tragedy (1872), was written when he was 28. It was followed by Human, All-Too-Human (1878-80), which ended his friendship with Wagner. Nietzsche resigned from his University position due to health problems.

TODD WALTON: Sweet Libby’s


queen for a day toddq

Queen For A Day painting by Nolan Winkler

Under The Table

“Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.” Romeo and Juliet

There are days when things juxtapose so exquisitely, one can’t help feeling some sort of transcendent author is writing out the simultaneous arrival of related elements composing a harmonious whole greater than the sum of the parts.

To wit: on the very day Marcia read to me from the Anderson Valley Advertiser that Libby’s restaurant in Philo is closing, we received in the mail our Netflix copy of the Japanese movie Sweet Bean. Libby’s beans—if you have never dined at that incomparable Mexican restaurant—are not sweet, but the experience of eating Libby’s beans comingled on a fork with her delectable rice is a divine culinary experience—sweet in the sense of magnificent.

The 2015 movie Sweet Bean is based on the novel An by Durian Sukegawa, adapted to the screen and directed by Naomi Kawase. An translates as “sweet red bean paste” and is the filling for a favorite Japanese confection know as dorayaki, consisting of sweet red Azuki bean paste sandwiched between two small round sponge-cake patties. The quality of the dorayaki depends entirely on the quality of that red bean paste, and thereby hangs the cinematic parable Sweet Bean.

Trump in Exile…



From Sam Harris

It is a cliché, of course, to claim that a presidential election is the most important in living memory. But we arrived at that point in the 2016 campaign many months ago, when both sides declared their opponent unqualified for office. Unfortunately, this time the cliché is true, and one side is actually right. A choice this stark proves that there is something wrong with our political system.

Hillary Clinton is a terribly flawed candidate for the presidency, and this has allowed millions of otherwise sane Americans to imagine that she is less fit for office than Donald Trump is. Much depends on a majority of the electorate seeing through this moral and political illusion in the weeks ahead.

To consider only one point of comparison: We have now witnessed Donald Trump bragging about his sexual predations in terms that not even Satan himself could spin to his advantage. He has admitted to repeatedly groping women, kissing them on the mouth without their consent, and invading the dressing rooms of teenage pageant contestants to see them naked. Every day, more women come forward confirming the truth of these confessions. Trump has even said that he would have sex with his own daughter, were she the offspring of another man. He talks about his libido as only a malignant narcissist can: as though it were a wonder of nature, a riddle no mortal can solve, and a blessing to humanity.

Deep Time…



From John Michael Greer

An Afternoon in Early Autumn

I think it was the late science writer Stephen Jay Gould who coined the term “deep time” for the vast panorama opened up to human eyes by the last three hundred years or so of discoveries in geology and astronomy. It’s a useful label for an even more useful concept. In our lives, we deal with time in days, seasons, years, decades at most; decades, centuries and millennia provide the yardsticks by which the life cycles of human societies—that is to say, history, in the usual sense of that word—are traced.

Both these, the time frame of individual lives and the time frame of societies, are anthropocentric, as indeed they should be; lives and societies are human things and require a human measure. When that old bamboozler Protagoras insisted that “man is the measure of all things,” though, he uttered a subtle truth wrapped in a bald-faced lie.* The subtle truth is that since we are what we are—that is to say, social primates whow have learned a few interesting tricks—our capacity to understand the cosmos is strictly limited by the perceptions that human nervous systems are capable of processing and the notions that human minds are capable of thinking. The bald-faced lie is the claim that everything in the cosmos must fit inside the perceptions human beings can process and the notions they can think.

(*No, none of this has to do with gender politics. The Greek language, unlike modern English, had a common gender-nonspecific noun for “human being,” anthropos, which was distinct from andros, “man,” and gyne, “woman.” The word Protagoras used was anthropos.)

It took the birth of modern geology to tear through the veil of human time and reveal the stunningly inhuman scale of time that measures the great cycles of the planet on which we live. Last week’s post sketched out part of the process by which people in Europe and the European diaspora, once they got around to noticing that the Book of Genesis is about the Rock of Ages rather than the age of rocks, struggled to come to terms with the immensities that geological strata revealed. To my mind, that was the single most important discovery our civilization has made—a discovery with which we’re still trying to come to terms, with limited success so far, and one that I hope we can somehow manage to hand down to our descendants in the far future.

The thing that makes deep time difficult for many people to cope with is that it makes self-evident nonsense out of any claim that human beings have any uniquely important place in the history of the cosmos. That wouldn’t be a difficulty at all, except that the religious beliefs most commonly held in Europe and the European diaspora make exactly that claim.

The Baseless and Detrimental Nature of ‘Gender Roles’ Shoved Onto Our Youth…


From The Bangladeshi Humanist

“Real men don’t cry.”

“Real women should like cooking and cleaning .”

“Real men don’t show their feelings.”

“Real women always wear nice clothes.”

“Real men don’t like the color pink.”

“Real women should play with dolls, not action figures.”

“Real men play with action figures, not dolls.”

“Real women have ‘caring’ jobs such as teachers, nurses, and secretaries.”

“Real men should be in a position of authority, such as principals, doctors, and bosses.”

“Real women don’t work out physically, it makes them ugly.”

“Real men shouldn’t cry.”

“Real women don’t talk loudly or laugh too much.”

“Real men should be playing video games and enjoy violence, such as in the form of wrestling.”

“Real women don’t watch sports.”

“Real men should be buff and be adept at sports and physical tasks.”

“Real women should get married and have children.”


The perpetual collection of baseless stereotypes enforced in the domain of gender is dangerous. It’s common, it’s ubiquitous, it’s ingrained into our perception of normalcy, and it’s utilized to bring shame and discomfort when one does not conform to these standards. Undeniably, both men and women fall prey to the jaws of social ostracism on the basis of not “maintaining the image” of your gender. Men are expected to be firm and heavy-handed and authoritative. and boys are shamed and labeled “weak and un-manly” when they display emotion or sentiment. Women are anticipated to be sentimental and submissive, and are suppressed when they take interest in sports or science or typically “masculine” areas of life.

MAD Magazine took John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ and rewrote the lyrics to honor one of the most despicable men in the world…



Michael Moore: Trump Is Not The Only Grabber Who Must Go…


From Michael Moore

The rats are quickly jumping from the sinking ship of Trump. But not so fast, dear Republican senators and congressmen. Trump may have verbalized his misogyny, sexism and abuse of women into an open microphone, but over the past decades you – YOU – have LEGALIZED it. He may talk of “grabbing” sexual organs, but YOU have created laws that legally grab control over women’s bodies. Trump may brag about his power over women; YOU, the Republican legislators (and your backers, the Christian Right and rich businessmen), have made sure women aren’t paid the same as men, don’t have paid maternity leave, or can’t get easy access to birth control.

Trump has been called “disgusting” for his remarks. But you, by actually blocking women’s equal rights, you’ve been rewarded for your misogyny with re-election, campaign cash and future lobbying jobs. You think by disowning Trump now that we, the people, are going be grateful to you. But we know that Trump is only the natural result of a Republican culture that has viciously fought the women’s agenda for years. Trump hasn’t destroyed your party; he’s your end game, the grim reaper from the seeds you have sown, showing up now to preside over your demise. Defeating Trump, or pushing him to drop out, is NOT what will make this right for the majority of us Americans. Like any good doctor, we need to remove the cancer from its source, and that source is you.

Don’t try to make Mike Pence out to be some sane, better alternative. This guy was behind the legislation to require women who have an abortion to hold an actual funeral for the fetus! The rest of you have tried to kill Planned Parenthood and many other things that make life a bit easier for women.

Trump bragged to Billy Bush about his “grabbing pussy.” But those of you who are the elected officials, who have spent this weekend decrying Trump with your crocodile wails of “shame” and trying to distance yourselves from him, YOU are the ones who’ve been “grabbing” women the legal way by passing laws that, in effect, assault them. It is an assault to pay women less. It is an assault to block day care for all. It is an assault – and a form of gender apartheid – when only 20% of Congress is women, the majority gender.

As far as I’m concerned, there are 54 Trumps in the US Senate and 237 Trumps in the House. You can’t make this look good by removing your endorsement from Trump. Yes, Trump has to go — but so do you, all of you. Starting with the election on November 8th, we need to show up at the polls and remove as many of you as possible. This abuse of women stops now. I believe that most women and many men are going to determine their vote with this one thought, thanks to you and Trump:


And if you’re against women, you’re over. There’s a fourth wave of feminism afoot now — and you are going to be its first casualties.

Or, as I prefer to see it, its first victory.

Thank you for letting the American public see your true (orange) face. I’m glad you “grabbed” our attention and mobIlized the masses against you. The only thing sweeter than seeing the lot of you gone would be a 50-state sweep for Hillary.


Those Seven Times Christopher Hitchens Nailed Everything…



Christian Crock: Women Should Not Be Leaders…



History of Religion In Three Minutes…



Inhersoll: Foundations of Faith — Jehovah




From The Archives
ROBERT INGERSOLL (1833 – 1899)
The Great Agnostic

GOD the Father.

The Jehovah of the Old Testament is the God of the Christians.

He it was who created the Universe, who made all substance, all force, all life, from nothing. He it is who has governed and still governs the world. He has established and destroyed empires and kingdoms, despotisms and republics. He has enslaved and liberated the sons of men. He has caused the sun to rise on the good and on the evil, and his rain to fall on the just and the unjust.

This shows his goodness.

He has caused his volcanoes to devour the good and the bad, his cyclones to wreck and rend the generous and the cruel, his floods to drown the loving and the hateful, his lightning to kill the virtuous and the vicious, his famines to starve the innocent and criminal and his plagues to destroy the wise and good, the ignorant and wicked. He has allowed his enemies to imprison, to torture and to kill his friends. He has permitted blasphemers to flay his worshipers alive, to dislocate their joints upon racks, and to burn them at the stake. He has allowed men to enslave their brothers and to sell babes from the breasts of mothers.

This shows his impartiality.

The pious negro who commenced his prayer: “O thou great and unscrupulous God,” was nearer right than he knew.

Ministers ask: Is it possible for God to forgive man?

And when I think of what has been suffered—of the centuries of agony and tears, I ask: Is it possible for man to forgive God?

What If No One’s Watching?


What if No One’s Watching by Ani DiFranco.

Thanks to Bruce

If my life were a movie
there would be a sunset
and the camera would pan away
but the sky is just a little sister
tagging along behind the buildings
trying to imitate their grey
the little boys are breaking bottles
along the sidewalk
the big boys, too
the girls are hanging out at the candy store
pumping quarters into the phone
’cause they don’t want to go home

and I think,
what if no one’s watching
what it when we’re dead, we’re just dead
what if it’s just us down here
what if god ain’t looking down
what if he’s looking up instead

if my life were a movie
I would light a cigarette
and the smoke would curl around my face
everything I do would be interesting
I’d play the good guy
in every scene
but I always feel I have to
take a stand
and there’s always someone on hand
to hate me for standing there
I always feel I have to open my mouth
and every time I do
I offend someone

but what
what if no one’s watching
what if when we’re dead, we’re just dead
what if there’s no time to lose
what if there’s things we gotta do
things that need to be said

you know I can’t apologize
for everything I know
I mean you don’t have to agree with me
but once you get me going
you better just let me go
we have to be able to criticize
what we love
say what we have to say
’cause if you’re not trying to make something better
as far as I can tell
you’re just in the way

I mean what
what if no one’s watching
what if when we’re dead
we’re just dead
what if it’s just us down here
what if god is just an idea
someone put in your head

I mean what
what if no one’s watching
what if no one’s watching…


Faith is just pretending…


Jesus and Mo…




Home court

Old Ball photo by Todd

Under The Table

“There are only two reasons why people fail. One is irresponsibility. The second is fear.” Wally Amos

I have been enjoying the occasional stint in the Mendocino High School gym assisting coach Jim Young with training his most promising basketball players. The ambience of the indoor court takes me back to my two years as a gym rat at UC Santa Cruz in the late 1960s when that university was only a few years old. I was not much interested in academia, and when I wasn’t writing my fledgling fiction or throwing a Frisbee or hunting for pianos to play, I could be found in the field house playing basketball.

A towering five-foot-ten, I was a good shooter, a better passer, a reluctant rebounder, and a fair defender when the spirit moved me. My freshman year, in those days when basketball was still largely a non-contact sport, I was perhaps the thirtieth best player on a campus with a few thousand students, not many of them basketball players. Having honed my shooting skills on a bumpy sloping driveway with an out-of-round hoop, playing in a gym with a springy wood floor and glass backboards and perfectly round hoops was profoundly pleasurable for me.

A month or so into my second year of college, my game took a quantum leap and I began to dominate players who had previously dominated me. Faculty members who frequented the gym began to address me by my first name, and older guys who had previously ignored me, now wanted me on their teams.

One afternoon I was playing one-on-one with Alex, a fellow gym rat a few inches shorter than I, having a silly good time, when into our gym strolled two young men we had never seen before. One was a muscular six-foot-five, the other a rangy six-foot-two. They watched us play a few points and then challenged us to a game.

Freethinker: Joe Hill Born on This Day…



From Freedom From Religion

On this date in 1879, union organizer, itinerant laborer, poet and songwriter Joe Hill (né Joel Hagglund) was born in Gavle, Sweden, the fourth of six children. His parents, Olaf and Margareta Katarina Hagglund, were devout Lutherans who enjoyed music immensely, filling their home with song. Hill started composing songs when he was still relatively young, and played the piano in local cafes as he got older. Only nine years old when his father died, Joe, along with his siblings, was forced to leave school and go to work in order to support his large family.

Joe worked many hard labor jobs, from rope factory to crane operator. At age 20, Hill was diagnosed with skin and joint tuberculosis. He moved to Stockholm for treatment, undergoing a series of disfiguring operations on his face and neck, incurring scars which remained for the rest of his life. His mother died of complications from a back operation when Hill was 22.

Joe and his brother, Paul, went to America, and the other children stayed in Sweden. Working various laborer jobs over the years, from the east coast to the west, Hill started his life as a union organizer, writing songs about the experiences of the working class, bringing their plight to homes across America. Songs about immigrant factory workers, homeless migratory workers and railway shopcraft workers were common themes and became a part of the International Workers of the World’s (IWW, “Wobblies”) Little Red Song Book. Hill’s songs include: “The Tramp,” “There is Power in the Union,” “Rebel Girl,” and “Casey Jones – Union Scab.” Hill’s irreverent classic, “The Preacher and the Slave” parodies the hymn, “In the Sweet Bye and Bye” and lampoons the Salvation Army (“The Starvation Army”). (See song below.)

Hurricane Matthew is super strong  —  because of climate change…

Hurricane Matthew, October 4 (via NASA)

From ThinkProgress

“Category 4 and 5 hurricanes could double or triple in the coming decades,” expert warns.

Hurricane Matthew is slowly approaching the East Coast where it is expected to wreak havoc with storm surge, wind, and rain. Matthew has already set a number of records — and global warming is giving it a boost.

Hurricanes “extract heat energy from the ocean to convert it to the power of wind, and the warmer the ocean is, the stronger a hurricane can get if all other conditions that it needs to exist are present,” meteorologist and former hurricane hunter Jeff Masters explained last month on Living on Earth. “So, scientists are confident that as we continue to heat up the oceans, we’re going to see more of these high-end perfect storms.”

Case in point, as meteorologist Philip Klotzbach has noted:

  • Matthew set a new record as the longest lived Category 4 (or higher) Atlantic hurricane in October — 84 hours.
  • By Monday, it had already “generated the most accumulated cyclone energy” of any Atlantic hurricane ever recorded in the eastern Caribbean.
  • As a result, the 2016 hurricane season has “already generated the most accumulated cyclone energy in the Atlantic in October since 2005” (the year of Katrina, Rita, and Wilma).

Let’s look at some of the latest climate science. One 2013 paper found that “since 1975 there has been a substantial and observable regional and global increase in the proportion of Category 4–5 hurricanes of 25–30 percent per °C of anthropogenic global warming.” Another 2013 paper concluded that “dramatic changes in the frequency distribution of lifetime maximum intensity (LMI) have occurred in the North Atlantic,” and the stronger hurricanes “have become more intense.”

In other words, warming oceans create stronger hurricanes, like the one we’re seeing now.

The conflict between capitalism and the environment is the fight of the century…



From Resilience

In his remarkable study When Corporations Rule the World, David Korten recounts a meeting he attended ahead of the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The meeting was led, Korten notes, by indigenous leaders who were anxious about the direction in which global environmental policy was being steered. They were also, quite justifiably, worried about who was doing the steering.

“In the conference’s preparatory meetings,” Korten writes, “corporatists…proposed that to save nature we must put a price on her.”

It’s a familiar story: Capitalism, we are often told, can be made green. Incentives can be established. The corporations previously leading the way in pollution, plunder, and exploitation can, with a few adjustments, become the world’s leaders in the development of clean energy and pave the way to a sustainable future.

As is often the case, it is those who have seen up close the harm done by corporate greed who most quickly see through the facade.

GENE LOGSDON: Oh Deer, What Can The Matter Be?



From Our Archives August 2007
GENE LOGSDON (1931 – 2016)
The Contrary Farmer

Thirty years ago, if I saw a herd of twenty or thirty deer grazing in grain fields in our neighborhood, I would have thought seriously about going on the wagon and I don’t mean a hay wagon either. There were no deer in our county then. Today such a sight is common.

Deer are becoming a very big problem but the general populace doesn’t think so yet. Have you ever been at a public meeting where hunters ally with wild animal lovers to lash out against homeowners, biologists, farmers and insurance companies who want to reduce the number of deer significantly? I have. It is not pretty. These people really get angry, shouting and cursing at each other. Ted Williams, my favorite wildlife writer, described in Audubon magazine a couple of years ago a confrontation where a biologist was trying to tell hunters about the depredations that deer were causing to the wild. They “interrupted him by stomping and jeering, … cursed and spat at him, … pushed him and threatened to kill him.”