Thursday, November 30, 2006

Victoria's Dirty Secret: Sexy is Killing Boreal Ecosystem

(Click on image to enlarge)
Men! Women! Stop Call Victoria's Secret and stop clearcutting our boreal forest.

Learn more about Victoria's Dirty Secret

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

This Is The Hay That No Man Planted--a poem

This Is The Hay That No Man Planted by Elizabeth Coatsworth.

This Is the Hay That No Man Planted

This is the hay that no man planted,
This is the ground that was never plowed,
Watered by tides, cold and brackish,
Shadowed by fog and the sea-born cloud.

Here comes no sound of bobolink's singing,
Only the wail of the gull's long cry,
Where men now reap as they reap their meadows
Heaping the great gold stacks to dry.

All winter long when deep pile the snowdrifts,
And cattle stand in the dark all day,
Many a cow shall taste pale sea-weed
Twined in the stalks of the wild salt hay.

Thanks for contribution from poet John Hildebidle

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Diet for CarboNation

Carbon Taxes for the Complete Idiot

Why Carbon Emissions trading won't work, what kind of carbon tax would work, and the bottom line-- you want a large publicly funded effort to deCarbonate USA.

Of course we could do nothing -- Nature's most prolific new species come after massive extinctions-- like this one being guided by corporate tools.

My thought for the day: Make a yellow tape like we see at crime scenes.

Print on it DANGER: CO2icide Site.

Likely sites to wrap it around: Your local gas station.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Picture This: To Love

Thought for the day from one of my favorite authors:

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance.

To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you.

To seek joy in the saddest places.

To pursue beauty to its lair.

To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple.

To respect strength, never power.

Above all, to watch.

To try and understand.

To never look away.

And never, never, to forget."

- Arundhati Roy

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

how rich are you?

Need a little perspective this year?

Take the test to see how you measure in dollars and cents anyway.

I measure wealth differently-- starting with health and friends, number of poems read, friends and family loved, meals shared, and meaningful work.

But I offer this link to startle you: Show Me The Money

Mad Farmer Manifesto by Wendell Berry

Here is my Thanksgiving Prayer. I read Berry's poem over several times a year, but on my favorite holiday I make it part of my prayers.

I was searching for another Thanksgiving favorite -- a poem I think is titled "Oh Pie!" that I found in Utne Reader years ago.

And a conversation about that poem brought back this one

Monday, November 20, 2006

Inconvenient Truth even in United Arab Emirates

Read Remi Parmentier's journal entry

Cafe Lago-- friends Carla and Jordy make a great website

Cafe Lago has the best wood fired pizza and hand made lasagne in the world.

They recently remodeled their website -- and lined up the flavor and atmosphere in Carla and Jordy's restaurant with their online presence. As my graphic deisgner Leslie Newman said -- "Gorgeous!"

I thought you'd enjoy this site's remodel. Beautiful.

Can you imagine turning Good Nature into an old field guide?

Check out our friends at Cafe Lago's new website.

I love it.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Aspen Communities at Risk Art Campsite

Aspen Ecosystem at Risk Art Campsite--

Welcome to Good Nature's special Aspen preview page!

I've chosen fine artist/naturalist John Pitcher to illustrate the upcoming Aspen poster field guide. (Note: artist's page loads slowly)

Good Nature starts every poster field guide with a draft species list. We expect to create a rough draft, a final tight draft and then full color art 90 days from November 14th.

(Bulk quantities to sponsor this art available. $5 ea per 100/ $3.00 ea per 1000
Aspen Ecosystem poster field guide will retail for $16.99/$22 lam -save 60-70% today by ordering First Edition now.

Aspen Ecosystem at Risk DRAFT Species List

Common Name/ Scientific Name:


Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
Flammulated owl Otus flammeolus
Calliope Hummingbird Stellula calliope
Red-naped sapsucker Sphyrapicus nuchalis
Lewis woodpecker Melanerpes lewis
Mountain Bluebird Sialia currcoides
A warbler would be nice?


Mule Deer Odocoileus hemionus
Elk Cervus canadensis
Beaver Castor canadensis
Spotted Skunk Spilogale putorius
Little Brown Bat Myotis lucifugus


Weidemeyer’s Admiral Limenitis weidemeyerii
Dreamy Duskywing Erynnis icelus


Aspen Populus tremuloides
Wild rose Rosa woodsii (L)
Snowberry Symphoricarpos sp. (L)
Corn lily Veratrum californicum (L)
Ranger’s Buttons Sphenosciadium capitellatum (L)
Sierra Tiger lily Lilium parvum (M)
Monkshood Aconitum columbianum(M)
Columbine Aquilegia formosa(M)
Geranium Geranium richardsonii(M)
Bog/Reid Orchid Platanthera leucostachys(M)
Golden Pea Thermopsis rhombifolia(M)
Bog Mallow Sidalcea oregana(M)
(M)=Medium. (L)=Large
Lewis’ Monkeyflower Mimulus lewisii

Questions? Suggestions? Write me.


Timothy Colman

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Obscenity of Carbon Credits

Excellent editorial in THE GREEN ROOM-- BBC's new section for commentary on green future:

If we want to curb climate change, carbon trading won't do, argues Kevin Smith in the Green Room this week. From the Stern Review to Europe's Emissions Trading Scheme, he argues, the aim of reducing emissions has been perverted by neo-liberal dogma and corporate self-interest.

Read on:

Kevin Smith

Be Happy -- Work at it!

Decide to be Happy

Decide to be happy
Render others happy
Proclaim your joy
Love passionately
your miraculous life

Do not listen to promises
Do not wait for a better world
Be grateful for every moment of life

Switch on and keep on

the positive buttons in yourself,
those marked optimism, serenity,
confidence, positive thinking, love

Pray and thank God every day
Meditate - Smile - Laugh
Whistle - Sing - Dance

Look with fascination at everything
Fill your lungs and heart with liberty
Be yourself fully and immensely
Act like a king or queen unto Death

Feel God in your body, mind,

heart, and soul

And be convinced of eternal life

and resurrection

by Robert Muller

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Children in a Time of War -poem by Linda Pastan

Apple Season in a Time of War
by Linda Pastan

The children are terrible
in their innocence,
and the frightened parents
can neither scold nor protect them

as the leaves continue to fall
like tiny portents
from the ancestral trees.
Weather is all

that remains unchanged,
with its accidental
almost merciful cruelties,
its winds, its falling temperatures.

But I can hear the children
whose laughter rings
like small but dangerous
hammers on an anvil.

I can hear the buzz of radio voices,
persistent as insects
on all the frequencies
of madness.

Thanks to J. Hildebidle

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

November 7th GREAT BLUE WAVE

And inside America's political blue wave is a green wave -- metaphor for a clean healthier and socially just world where there is enough for all God's creatures.

Best fishes,


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Appalachian Cove Forest Species List

White Basswood
Carolina Silverbell
Eastern Hemlock
Yellow Birch
Fraser Magnolia
Mountain Laurel
Flame Azalea
Red Trillium
Wood Anemone
Solomon’s Seal
Ginseng Hooded
Wood Thrush
Black Bear
Mountain Dusky Salamander
Two-lined Salamander

On the Need to Write and Read-- Art's Uselessness

I want to tell you a story:
From The Guardian

Paul Auster, one of America's greatest living novelists, argues that fiction is 'magnificently useless', but the act of creation and the pleasure of reading are incomparable human joys that we should savour

Sunday November 5, 2006
The Observer

I don't know why I do what I do. If I did know, I probably wouldn't feel the need to do it. All I can say, and I say it with utmost certainty, is that I have felt this need since my earliest adolescence. I'm talking about writing, in particular, writing as a vehicle to tell stories, imaginary stories that have never taken place in what we call the real world. Surely it is an odd way to spend your life - sitting alone in a room with a pen in your hand, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, struggling to put words on pieces of paper in order to give birth to what does not exist - except in your head. Why on earth would anyone want to do such a thing? The only answer I have ever been able to come up with is: because you have to, because you have no choice.

This need to make, to create, to invent is, no doubt, a fundamental human impulse. But to what end? What purpose does art, in particular the art of fiction, serve in what we call the real world? None that I can think of - at least not in any practical sense. A book has never put food in the stomach of a hungry child. A book has never stopped a bullet from entering a murder victim's body. A book has never prevented a bomb from falling on innocent civilians in the midst of war.

Some like to think that a keen appreciation of art can actually make us better people - more just, more moral, more sensitive, more understanding. Perhaps that is true - in certain rare, isolated cases. But let us not forget that Hitler started out in life as an artist. Tyrants and dictators read novels. Killers in prison read novels. And who is to say they don't derive the same enjoyment from books as everyone else?

In other words, art is useless, at least when compared, say, to the work of a plumber, or a doctor, or a railroad engineer. But is uselessness a bad thing? Does a lack of practical purpose mean that books and paintings and string quartets are simply a waste of our time? Many people think so. But I would argue that it is the very uselessness of art that gives it its value and that the making of art is what distinguishes us from all other creatures who inhabit this planet, that it is, essentially, what defines us as human beings.

To do something for the pure pleasure and beauty of doing it. Think of the effort involved, the long hours of practice and discipline required to become an accomplished pianist or dancer. All the suffering and hard work, all the sacrifices in order to achieve something that is utterly and magnificently ... useless.

Fiction, however, exists in a somewhat different realm from the other arts. Its medium is language, and language is something we share with others, that is common to us all. From the moment we learn to talk, we begin to develop a hunger for stories. Those of us who can remember our childhoods will recall how ardently we relished the moment of the bedtime story, when our mother or father would sit down beside us in the semi-dark and read from a book of fairy tales.

Those of us who are parents will have no trouble conjuring up the rapt attention in the eyes of our children when we read to them. Why this intense desire to listen? Fairy tales are often cruel and violent, featuring beheadings, cannibalism, grotesque transformations and evil enchantments. One would think this material would be too frightening for a young child, but what these stories allow the child to experience is precisely an encounter with his own fears and inner torments in a perfectly safe and protected environment. Such is the magic of stories - they might drag us down to the depths of hell, but in the end they are harmless.

We grow older, but we do not change. We become more sophisticated, but at bottom we continue to resemble our young selves, eager to listen to the next story and the next, and the next. For years, in every country of the Western world, article after article has been published bemoaning the fact that fewer and fewer people are reading books, that we have entered what some have called the 'post-literate age'. That may well be true, but at the same time, this has not diminished the universal craving for stories.

Novels are not the only source, after all. Films and television and even comic books are churning out vast quantities of fictional narratives and the public continues to swallow them up with great passion. That is because human beings need stories. They need them almost as desperately as they need food and however the stories might be presented - whether on a printed page or on a television screen - it would be impossible to imagine life without them.

Still, when it comes to the state of the novel, to the future of the novel, I feel rather optimistic. Numbers don't count where books are concerned, for there is only one reader, each and every time only one reader. That explains the particular power of the novel and why, in my opinion, it will never die as a form. Every novel is an equal collaboration between the writer and the reader and it is the only place in the world where two strangers can meet on terms of absolute intimacy.

I have spent my life in conversations with people I have never seen, with people I will never know and I hope to continue until the day I stop breathing.

It's the only job I've ever wanted.

© Paul Auster

· This is Paul Auster's acceptance speech for the Prince of Asturias Prize for Letters, Spain's premier literary honour, which he received last month

The life

Born: 3 February 1947 in Newark, New Jersey.

Education: Attended school in Maplewood, New Jersey, and graduated from Columbia University in 1970 with a master's in comparative literature.

Family: He lives in Brooklyn with his second wife, Siri Hustvedt, author of three novels including What I Loved, and their daughter, Sophie, 18, a singer and actress. He has a son, Daniel, 28, by his first wife, Lydia Davis.

Early career: Auster worked on an oil tanker after university and spent four lean years in France, where he translated French literature for a living and wrote poetry. He returned to America in 1974. The New York Trilogy (City of Glass, The Locked Room and Ghosts) was first published as a single volume in the UK in 1986.

Film: In addition to 11 novels and collections of essays and poetry, Auster has had four of his screenplays filmed. Smoke and Blue in the Face were made with director Wayne Wang, and Auster himself directed Lulu on the Bridge and the forthcoming The Inner Life of Martin Frost.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Aspen Ecosystem in Peril Poster Field Guide

Aspen Community Species List

Common Name: Scientific Name:


Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis

Flammulated owl Otus flammeolus

Calliope Hummingbird Stellula calliope

Red-naped sapsucker Sphyrapicus nuchalis

Lewis woodpecker Melanerpes lewis

Mountain Bluebird Sialia currcoides

A warbler would be nice?


Mule Deer Odocoileus hemionus

Elk Cervus canadensis

Beaver Castor canadensis

Spotted Skunk Spilogale putorius

Little Brown Bat Myotis lucifugus


Weidemeyer’s Admiral Limenitis weidemeyerii

Dreamy Duskywing Erynnis icelus


Aspen Populus tremuloides

Wild rose Rosa woodsii (L)

Snowberry Symphoricarpos sp. (L)

Corn lily Veratrum californicum (L)

Ranger’s Buttons Sphenosciadium capitellatum (L)

Sierra Tiger lily Lilium parvum (M)

Monkshood Aconitum columbianum(M)

Columbine Aquilegia formosa(M)

Geranium Geranium richardsonii(M)

Bog/Reid Orchid Platanthera leucostachys(M)

Golden Pea Thermopsis rhombifolia(M)

Bog Mallow Sidalcea oregana(M)

(M)=Medium. (L)=Low

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Plane Speaking: Tax Plane trips dramatically

London's Mayor Livingstone is interviewed about Carbon Dieting -- including the taxation of plane trips enough to reduce traffic-- can Boeing react in time with a greener energy path for our planes here in Seattle?

Read on:

Plane Speaking

Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, is on a mission to tackle climate change - and that includes challenging the aviation industry head on, he tells John Vidal

Wednesday November 1, 2006
The Guardian

The mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, holds an energy saving lightbulb in his office at City Hall. Photograph: Martin Argles

Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, is these days possessed of one great idea. Climate change, and how to avert it, consumes him. It now informs all his decisions on transport. It is top of his agenda for social housing and new building developments. He reads about it in his spare time. He talks about it to anyone who will bend an ear and he will travel to the ends of the earth if necessary to cut deals with other politicians, to steal the best ideas from other cities and to communicate with anyone the urgency and scale of the problem.

Last week, Sir David Attenborough went to City Hall to talk to staff about the acceleration of change. When former US vice-president Al Gore's film on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth, was released, Livingstone hired a cinema and invited staff to watch it. He bought 20 copies of Jared Diamond's book on the ecological collapse of civilisation and gave them to colleagues; yesterday, the day after the Stern review warned of economic mayhem unless climate change is tackled, Livingstone signed up to Friends of the Earth's lobby for a law to reduce national emissions annually.
"In a practical sense, you can see climate change is now top of the London agenda and is being personally driven," says one of his colleagues, impressed at how Livingstone has linked the social and environmental agendas. "People used to see the congestion charge and public transport from the point of view of social inequality and the functioning of the city. They are all still core issues but they are not separate to climate change, they are integral to it now. He had to focus on things such as the public-private partnership [for the London Underground] in his first term. Now he has more time, the emphasis has changed. It helps having a strong Green contingent in the assembly, because there is very little disagreement."

Livingstone admits his position has changed, is changing, as information emerges. "I think what is happening is absolutely terrifying. When I first ran for mayor in 2000, the scientific consensus was that we would reach the climate change tipping point around the second half of the century. Depending on which scientific evidence you look at, it's down to between two and 10 years. There's no time for more studies or surveys.

"I just do not think that politicians understand the implications, which at the very extreme is the end of most large life forms. If we slip into irreversible climate change, it means hundreds of millions of people migrating and deaths. It means the poorest being hit the hardest."

As mayor, he has one arm tied behind his back, he says. If it were up to him, he says he would legislate against almost anything that adds to the problem. He would ban inefficient light bulbs, bang on carbon taxes, and massively increase the cost of air fares. "I think that every city is doing something quite well," he says. "We should take the best from around the world. We could take the plastic bag tax from Ireland, the packaging laws of Germany. We should put them together.

"But the one big thing that no one is tackling is aviation. Emissions are completely undermining the reductions achieved elsewhere," Livingstone says.

But there have been serious contradictions in his positions. His proposals for the London Plan, which will determine development in the city from 2008 onwards, says major airport expansion will be needed in the south-east "to meet London's economic needs". Is that not arguing that Londoners should be able to travel by air more? "I am no longer sanguine about that," he replies. "When we drafted the London Plan in 2002, we were nowhere near getting the alarming information that we are today. We have to address it. We are now preparing amendments to the plan against any further runway capacity in the south-east."

While Livingstone has no direct power over future developments at Gatwick or Stansted, observers say the significance of his withdrawal of support for the growth of these two airports - he has always been against the expansion of Heathrow - is that he is now challenging the aviation industry head on, as no other major politician has been prepared to do. His target is not business travellers, he says, who would need tickets to be massively more expensive to reduce the number of flights they take, but the frequent leisure fliers. "All tickets should reflect the impact of carbon emissions of that journey," he insists. "Instead of £12 or £15 for a ticket, it should be five or six times that. A lot of Labour party people say that the dramatic growth in air traffic is the poor getting on the plane for the first time, but it's not that at all. Half the population never gets on a plane. What's happening is that relatively few people, instead of going away once a year on holiday, are going three or four times a year to Barcelona or Prague or wherever. That's all very nice, but not at the cost of the continuation of life on planet Earth."

Targeting carbon polluters

What he can do, and intends to do more, is make it harder for carbon polluters in London and easier for people to cut back. Over the next year, Londoners will get a blizzard of new initiatives aimed at decentralising and reducing energy consumption. The city's new climate change agency has begun a commercial partnership with French energy giant EDF to roll out combined heat and power units across London; all new social housing developments will soon have to be nearly 60% more efficient than they are now; in 2008, he will introduce Britain's first low emission zone, which will ban heavy goods vehicles and cut emissions by 4% across much of central London. A new organisation will advise and oversee the greening of people's homes and lives. It will be easier for householders to install wind and photovoltaic energy systems; new congestion charges will be shortly announced that will pile more cost on to polluting cars. He is said to be delighted that Richmond council, in west London, is planning to increase parking charges for cars that are heavy polluters.

Just as US mayors and state governors have led federal government in setting targets and timetables for emission cuts, Livingstone sees one of his roles to pummel and lobby central government, and other authorities, to act. The governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was heading for defeat, Livingstone says, before he grabbed the climate change agenda. Now he is leading the polls again.

London is the first city in Britain to set itself statutory carbon dioxide emission reduction targets. They are roughly on a par with the government's - 20% cuts by 2015, 60% by 2050. They are not as much as Livingstone would like, or thinks possible, but they are as far as he thinks they can be pushed for the time being. London's particular problem is that, unlike most local authorities, aviation represents 30% of the city's emissions. To get them down means he absolutely must tackle flying as well as transport and housing.

To do so, he has linked with leading green campaigners. Charles Secrett, former head of Friends of the Earth, advises him, and Greenpeace has worked with him on devising a plan to decentralise energy. "Livingstone understands the increased threats that climate change poses and the incredible opportunities it presents if we act fast enough," Secrett says. "He sees London's future being shaped by our response to climate change threats, and that if we decentralise energy and have non-polluting transport systems we can create jobs, have a better standard of living and show others a way forward in a climate-changed future."

Other EU cities are far ahead of London, Livingstone says, but he's chuffed at what's been done in just a few years. London is the only large city in the world, he says, that has achieved a major shift in transport from car to bus. All the predictions were that car use would increase, but traffic levels have been held for six years. Four years ago, 38% of people used their cars daily in London, it's now 19%; there has been a 72% increase in cycling over four years and there will be a 70% decrease in bus emissions as 500 buses are converted to run on hybrid electric-diesel motors; renewable targets for buildings are to be doubled; there are 20% more pedestrian crossings and 48% fewer people died on the roads last year compared with 2000; in a year the low-emission zone comes in, curtailing heavy lorries and coaches.

Meanwhile, Livingstone has been to the US to link with other world cities to share knowledge on reducing emissions, and to China to see the beginning of the world's first major eco-city. London will not get a Dongtang - a carbon neutral city for 800,000 people, powered by wind and sun - but a minuscule version of 200 carbon-neutral homes in Docklands. Every bit helps.

"That's the future," he says. "That's the way the market is going. London is going to grow by 100,000 people over the next 10 years and we don't want anything built that will add to the problem. My vision is of a city with a lot less carbon emissions, a lot more walking, more public transport, more bicycles. If you look around London, it's not a very attractive place to walk round."

But he is criticised, too. His backing of a controversial £450m motorway-scale bridge over the Thames in east London will increase traffic and emissions and - say Friends of the Earth, the Greens and locals - increase environmental injustice for some of the poorest communities.

Restraint on development

Livingstone fiercely defends the scheme, saying the green campaigners are "dangerously close" to proposing that poor people should be restrained from developing. "They have at present no option about where they cross. It's not unreasonable that they should have one bridge," he says.

The locals of Beckton, contemplating 20,000 cars an hour passing through their community, are not impressed. "He's talking rubbish," says one of the local organisers of the opposition to the bridge. "It's only for car drivers and just 25% of us near the bridge have cars."

Livingstone is on far safer ground with climate change. "I do not think there's the slightest doubt that we can get the emissions down," he insists. "In the areas I have power, a lot is being done. Individuals are already making decisions not to have that extra weekend in Barcelona or Prague. Nothing we are doing means that anyone's quality of life needs to change. It's not a massive change. It's just doing things differently."

Photo credit: from NASA off Google Images