Nurturing Nature through Wholistic Education,
Rigorous Science, Creative Arts, and Cultural Depth
RECOMMENDED BOOKS FROM MY ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES CLASSES:
YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, Viking Press
(solutions to how much is enough
IN ABSENCE OF THE SACRED by Jerry Mander, Sierra Books
(he also wrote the four arguments against tv)
EVOLUTION’S END: Reclaiming the potential of intelligence by Joseph Chilton Pearce
(must if you have kids)
THE POVERTY OF AFFLUENCE by Paul Watchtel, New Society Publishers
(great treatise and reflections on societal and personal greed)
AMUSING OURSELVES TO DEATH by Neil Postman
FLOW, The psychology of optimal experience, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Harper Perenial
(about being happy)
ECOLOGY OF COMMERCE by Paul Hawkins, Harper Business Press 1993
(for the business end of things)
SEA OF CHANGE , A MESSAGE OF THE OCEANS by Sylvia Earle, Putnam Press 1995
(for any ocean lover)
ISHMAEL, by Daniel Quinn, Bantam Turner Books, 1993
(powerful fiction on the leavers and takers, great gift)
THE CELESTINE PROPHECY, by James Redfield, Warner Books
(fiction to think about collective consciousness),
TUESDAYS WITH MOREY, by Mitch Albom
( good book to help you reflect on life)
ANCIENT FUTURES. by Helen Nordberg-Hodge
(an ecologue about westernization of ancient cultures).
THE FOLLOWING ARE GUIDELINES GIVEN TO MY ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES CLASSES
1. THE LAWS AND PRINCIPLES TO LIVE BY:
Law of conservation of matter: In chemical reactions, atoms are never created, or destroyed, they are only rearranged into different molecules and compounds.
First law of thermodynamics: Energy is neither created nor destroyed, but may be converted from one form to another. Life is a zero sum game!
Second law of thermodynamics: In any energy conversion, you will end up with less usable energy than you start with because of the inevitable loss of heat that occurs. You can not win the game!
Third law of thermodynamics: You can not get out of the game! There is no system where laws 1 &2 do not apply.
First basic principle of ecosystem function: Resources are supplied and wastes are disposed of by recycling all elements .
Second basic principle of ecosystem function: Ecosystems run on solar energy, which is exceedingly abundant, nonpolluting, relatively constant, and everlasting.
Third basic principle of ecosystem function: Large biomasses cannot be supported at the end of long food chains. Increasing population means moving closer on the food chain to the source of production. Remember we are the large biomass, it takes 10 to 20 pounds of edible grain to produce one pound of meat! This places great burdens on the land and the type of agriculture that supports it.
Fourth Principle of ecosystem sustainability: For sustainability, biodiversity is maintained. Species diversity provides ecosystem stability.
Principle of population change: A change in population of a species is the result of a dynamic balance between its biotic potential and the environmental resistance it faces.
Laws of ecology per Barry Commoner: Everything must go somewhere! Everything is connected to everything else. Nature knows best. There is no such thing as a free lunch!
Hawkens Golden Rule of sustainable business: Leave the world better than you found it, take no more than you need, try not to harm life or the environment, make amends if you do.
The Basic Golden Rule: Do onto others as you would have done onto you. The start for good ethical decisions.
Guides for Risk Assessment: In our anthropocentric view of the world, we must reconsider that humans must coexist with the natural world. Not only risk to ourselves is damaging, but also to other creatures as we are all linked together, and their death is our death. Consider the following in your decisions: the number of people and species diversity that can be affected, the geographical extent or area that might be affected, the nature and/or severity of the effects the probability of the events occurring, the immediacy of the threat, indirect effects if the threat occurs, the reversibility or irreversibility of the threat
2. GUIDES FOR ETHICAL DECISION MAKING
A set of tools every person must use in the evaluation process for old and new technologies, it should not be deferred for someone else to figure it out! Do it yourself, for yourself!
I. Making the stakeholders analysis: every decision needs to determine the stakeholders.
II. Identifying ethical principles: evaluating the actual issue, i.e., respect, honesty, integrity, fairness, etc.
III. Outlining the options, every problem has many solutions but sometimes we only see one.
IV. Determining short/long term consequences; it is o.k. at first but then it may get worse.
V. Defining whose decision it is: in many cases non-human Nature/biological organisms have no voice.
VI. Apply the golden rule: Do onto others as you would have done onto you.
BE COMPASSIONATE AND ETHICAL. MAKE THIS ENVIRONMENT CLEAN AND HEALTHY AS NATURE INTENDED. WHEN DEALING WITH MATTER: MINIMIZE WASTE; WHEN DEALING WITH ENERGY: THINK EFFICIENCY. NURTURE NATURE.
3. REMEMBER YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, BREATHE, DRINK, DIGEST, AND EXCRETE!
Dr. T's rules of thumb for good eating and a healthy vibrant body are:
1, Eat low on the food chain, the higher up you eat, the great the toll on the food puramid.
2. Eat as unprocessed as possible (remember the bit about the potato chips versus the baked potato!). keep the vitamins and life energy in your food by not overcooking, try some raw foods.
3. Eat biodiversely (explore those weird vegetables and strange fruits you find at the market).
4. Buy organically grown foods to avoid bioaccumulation, and keep the Earth and all living things healthy
5. Eat food grown locally to support local farmers and to maximize freshness and to minimize transportation!
Remember Dr. T.’s thoughts on the environmental problem: greed (problem of $$ as the value system), laziness, low self-esteem, and denial. These can all be solved with LOVE! It is not the outward appearance but the inside qualities of a person that counts, this will always outshine any physical traits. Be creative and active for a full exciting life. Sending you wishes of love, health, prosperity, and happiness.
"Man follows the example of the Earth
Earth follows the example of the Heaven
Heaven follows the example of the Tao
Tao follows the example of Nature."
Tao Te Jing, Chapter 25, by Laozi
Mother Nature lounging au naturel...
The 5 Rs of a Good Education: Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic, Respect and Responsibility
The 6 Rs of Environmentalism: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink, Repair, and Refuse
Photo taken back in the '80s travelling through all the National Parks...
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“Nature is the source of all true knowledge.”
Leonardo da Vinci
“Comprehend and Emulate Nature.”