China growth and what it means to Natural Resources

The Devouring Dragon
The Devouring Dragon

The Devouring Dragon by Craig Simmons is a gripping account of what the future holds if the developing world plays on the same playing field as the United States. China with its billions of people see the Madison Avenue  coke soda ads and what it too.

I’ve been thinking about natural resources and as an elder, with an expected longevity beyond my parents time that means I would be using more natural resources for possibly an extended life.  This is not good when you think of how many of us there are.

It is reasonable to think that with billions of people needing natural resources, there will be a great strain on the natural world to provide raw materials to house, cloth and feed more people than ever before.

What is going to happen? Edward O. Wilson wrote in The Future of Life, “The juggernaut of technology-based capitalism will not be stopped. Its momentum is reinforced by the billions of poor people in developing countries anxious to participate in order to share the material wealth of the industrialized nations. But its direction can be changed by mandate of a generally shared long-term environmental ethic. The choice is clear: the juggernaut will very soon be either chew up what remains of the living world, or it will be redirected to save it.”

Many of us are on the side to save it. I wish so for governments of all nations. Native nations, environmentalists, citizen scientists and scientists are teaching and trying to reach the masses in order to educate the public about the preciousness of natural resources. I teach on the wings of a butterfly. Jason Graham teaches about building natural nests for native solitary bees. Karen Oberhauser teaches about Monarchs in the Classroom and Journey North. There are countless others.

We simply can’t put our heads in the sand. We must plant seeds of wisdom in the hopes of regeneration of the earth.

Sources:

Simons, C. The Devouring Dragon (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2013).

Wilson E. O. , The Future of Life (New York: Vintage Books, 2003), 156.

Why is Earth Day Important?

Earth Day is Every Day although many people don’t realize that we need to protect the environment for future generations.

Reason being, Nature is being assaulted on many fronts. Xerces Society founded by in 1971 is a nonprofit

Bumblebee gathering pollen on late blooming aster
Bumblebee gathering pollen on late blooming aster

organization dedicated to conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. The reality is honey bees are declining because of colony collapse disorder. According to Xerces Society, “Native bumble bees are also at risk like many plants and animals, bumbles are suffering from loss of habitat, pesticide poisoning, changing climates, and diseases that were introduced along with non-native bees. Western bumble bee, the rusty-patched bumble bee and yellow-banded bumble bee used to be very common, but their numbers have decreased by 96 percent and their range shrunk by as much as 87 percent.” The Franklin bumble bee of Oregon and CA is thought to be extinct.

In 2010 President Obama launched the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative (AGO) with the aim of developing an agenda for 21st-century conservation and helping Americans reconnect with our nation’s lands and waters.

According to Robert Louve, author of Last Child in the Woods, children are suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder. Xeriscape Council of New Mexico, President George Radnovich states that Nature Attention Deficit applies to adults as well as children because as a whole American society is losing interest in the natural world. The natural world can live without us but we cannot live without the natural world.

Loss of habitat in three countries Canada, United States and Mexico is the main concern for monarch butterflies. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has announced that the Monarch Butterfly Migration is at risk. According to WWF A well-preserved forest ecosystem in Mexico is critical for the survival of the Monarch butterfly wintering, which has been recognized as an endangered biological phenomenon, and the first priority in world butterfly conservation. There is also concern by Lincoln Brower, Professor Emeritus of Biology at University of Florida. Brower states in the NOVA film, “Incredible Journey of the Butterflies” that the monarch is facing an endangered migration phenomena. Monarch needs native habitat and biodiversity which are declining in the United States and Canada.

Farming which used to be run by families many of which practiced good land stewardship. Now farming is mostly run as Corporate Farms. Just like people, pollinators are poisoned by pesticides. The butterfly can’t find native nectar sources when large tracks of land are now being planted with monoculture crops.  USDA is looking at the importance of pollinators. The USDA has acknowledged that we need more biodiversity if we are to have pollinators’ to produce many vegetable crops and fruit. In 2006, a Science report documented what appears to be a major decline in bees in England and The Netherlands (possibly a 30% loss in species richness since 1980), especially among specialist bees, and a corollary decline in wild plant species that require insect-pollination.

Elaine Evans author of Befriending the Bumblebee
Elaine Evans author of Befriending the Bumblebee

Elaine Evans, author of Befriending the Bumblebee, will be the speaker at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College (LCOOCC), Hayward, WI, on April 13.  Happy Tonics, LCOOCC, Web of Learning Sustainable Living Institute and the LCOOCC Library are sponsoring the event.   

Earth Day Event 2011. Ken Parejko, author of Monarch of the Butterflies, will be the speaker. Parejko is a Professor Emeritus of Biology at Univ. of WI at Stout. He is well versed in the monarch butterfly and has pointed out that we need to protect pollinators for future generations.  Plants are dependent upon pollinators. Did you know that butterflies are the second largest group of pollinators in the world after bees?

Happy Tonics, Inc. was founded in 1999 and has been involved in conservation work on behalf of the monarch butterfly and food safety issues ever since. Visit their Web site to learn more at www.happytonics.org