Posts Tagged ‘environment’

The turning of the year

solstice tree

Our solstice tree, decorated with water drop baubles and critters of all sorts.

Here we are at the turning of the year. It’s been a hard year in many ways. My particular concern has been the environment and natural resources. I’ve had to witness oil and gas interests take precedence over the protection of fragile landscapes, sacred cultural resources and vulnerable water supplies. Wildfires have devastated Northern California, where I live, including parts of Santa Rosa, the city where we go for many services. A huge fire now threatens Santa Barbara, in southern California, where I lived in the 1970s. Here on the northern coast, warming ocean temperatures have wrought havoc on the kelp forests and the sea creatures that depend on them. Throughout the world, as starving people flee drought-stricken lands, tribal hostilities are increasing.

Meanwhile, the days follow each other. The sun’s arc rises lower and lower in the sky, its rising and setting further and further to the south, and the darkness of longer duration. There will be a pause, a solstice or sun-standing-still, and then a return of the light, and we will celebrate, in our various spiritual traditions, a return of hope.

May you all find hope and joy in the days to come.

Strip-mining New Zealand’s National Parks?

A disturbing mailing from my homeland. It seems the New Zealand government is considering a proposal to allow mining in some of the country’s high-value conservation land. Environmental organizations are horrified. Forest & Bird, one of the country’s major environmental organizations, noted in its online article:

Mining in any of these presently protected areas will further imperil our threatened species, destroy important habitat and leave us with contaminated waterways, scarred landscapes, subsidence and erosion problems and an almighty clean-up bill from ‘orphaned mines’.

Moreover, it will severely tarnish New Zealand’s ‘clean, green’ image.

The New Zealand Government has called for submissions from the public on its mining proposals. Submissions close at 5 pm (NZ time) on Tuesday, 4 May 2010. If you have visited New Zealand and seen what could be destroyed by mining, I urge you to learn more from Forest & Bird and other New Zealand environmental organization sites, and submit a protest. A good site for an overview of protest activity is 2precious2mine.

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