reening Ways         for earth-wise days Photo by Greening Ways
VISION AS CULTURAL DIRECTION Where Are We Going? How Are We Getting There? This website is designed to discuss various issues surrounding environmental problems and solutions, and to provide as many local and other applicable resources as possible.  Northwestern New Mexico, southwestern Colorado, northern Arizona and coastal Oregon are covered in more detail on this website, but other areas are not ignored.  Does It Do Any Good to Vent Over Concerns?  Does Fuming and Fussing Help? Does it do any good to discuss greed, self- centeredness, low vision and inadequate education as lurking culprits behind this permanent devastation?  Does casting a judgemental and angry voice do any good?  Not unless we turn our concerns into something positive.  We can allow our dismay, grief, outrage and downright anger fuel useful and well thought out alternative approaches so we don’t keep making the same mistakes repeatedly.  We have to find a system, or a way, which penetrates the sluggishness and self- sabotage and takes us to another dimension.  We have to re-qualify values/approaches and re-quantify activities/outputs so that what is important or meaningful takes on different tones.  Example of One State with Heavy Devastation of Forests What happened to the forests in Oregon is tragic – pristine rainforests demolished by our own government, businesses and countrymen – truncating forever the special beauty and qualities of that area.  Anyone with any sensitivity to the natural world has to be moved by the destruction plainly visible there.  We are talking hill after hill, expanse after expanse - the only remaining section of coastal rainforest is the Oswald State Park not that far from the Washington state line.  Everything else has been obliterated and either turned into endless stretches of tree farms with trees lined up in sameness and size - or left barren. Americans in Oregon who allowed or directly participated in the widespread destruction of their truly unique and magnificent coastal forests and coastlines were not prepared to deal with economic issues beyond a certain level; in addition, because the mindset of the area was that it was easier to cut down trees rather than to come up with alternative solutions for more immediate turnaround money, people repeatedly got off the hook for shallow thinking and grunt work (lumberman) activities. They removed from the rest of their society and the world treasures which can never be recovered because they saw value in the money from the trees, not the forests themselves and their other benefits (like clean air from the pollution ameliorating old growth trees, emotional health and well-being benefits, aesthetics, etc).  The Oregon coastline will never be the same again.  It’s over.  What is left is a pitiful reminder of the once reigning grandeur of the area.   Oregonians were not prepared to push themselves a step further to think out more creative solutions for survival, economic viability and employment more productively beyond going after non-renewable resources, but this was not just an Oregon thing – it was an American and it was broad-based societal thing.  In many ways Oregon has shifted its approach to the rest of its forests but it is too late for the coastal forests. Oregon Not Unique What happened in Oregon has happened all across the United States and other areas in one way or another.  It is happening in the Four Corners and other oil and gas resource-rich areas the people with money in these areas are spending yet more money, education, technology and time figuring out ways to get more oil and gas rather than identifying alternative energy solutions with concomitant jobs and environmental health.  This behavior is going on right now as we speak – petroleum leaders strategizing how to obtain more of this or that out of the ground rather than figuring up new ways to get solar, wind and other renewables into the area.  Millions of dollars go into the petroleum world feeding a dead-end system.    In addition, the people who are in these industries tend to take a culturally different viewpoint as a whole to the areas in which they live as well as the world; they may have a consumer driven approach to the land, housing, development,  as well as resources in such a way progress looks more like urban sprawl than wise and efficient use of the area.  You can see it run through the social systems in all areas with employers who tend to consume non- renewable resources – you find it in the politicians, the religious leaders, the lenders, the real estate developers, and so on.  They may keep an area tied up and unavailable as a whole to new ideas and approaches with softer, gentler relationships to the natural world and our environment and with more efficient approaches to real progress.    The culture in these areas may be downright resistant to anything other than the superficial look of activity and development, no matter the cost to the environment.  In addition, the culture might not realize that what they think is minimal destruction for a good cause (ie, economic development) is actually major destruction for a relatively trivial personal or corporate cause.  The culture might create blinders because people are not prepared to be sensitive to nature and the world around them beyond a certain point. In short, we need to prepare all people to rethink how to approach economic problems in our lifetimes without using crisis management and easy money tactics. This Website Makes Available Various Sources The resources on this website include information on a variety of topics, including both human as well as environmental issues.  We will consider social behaviors which tend to discourage environmental degradation while encouraging healthy, happy and productive lifestyles.  It is for this reason the arts, social sciences, psychology and other topics are discussed here.  It’s how people think about themselves and the world which starts the ball rolling either for or against a healthy planet.  What people are taught at home, schools, political institutions, religious groups, employers and neighbors (neighbors, strangely enough, can keep each other in the same bucket through gossip and cultural or religious pressures.  These pressures can  generate fear of rocking the boat or being different) largely influences how people treat this planet.  If it is socially normal and acceptable to wipe out resources in an area with a focus on jobs, then alternative ways of making money become very difficult because people are locked into boxes of fear and lower vision.  It is often culturally driven how far people will go to reconsider their choices and new approaches.  If people feel the only way to get a job is to get one from employers who exploit the environment and pollute our air, water and soil, it makes it hard to pull out of that grind.  On the other hand, if people are willing to open new businesses and create ways that help the planet, we are much better off with that kind of thinking. Broader Humanistic Considerations Go Along With Environmentalism Being able to pull out of the grind often means digging deep into our human selves and giving ourselves permission to look at things a new way and to take risks.  It means recognizing and acknowledging that if at basic core levels people are not treated well, they will turn around and abuse themselves, others and the planet.  So a key point made on this website is that people need to learn to speak and act gently with their children and each other at home, on the job, around town, etc.  Rough handling starting early in life predisposes people toward lowered sensitivity, degraded or limited intelligences and it hinders creative thinking.  Abuse leads to shrunken visages and feelings; this reduced state means people are less inclined to work out healthy solutions. Another way to put it is if people feel tense from some ongoing fear of reprisal or punishment, they won’t be able to openly accept differences and a variety of choices.   We need people healthy and happy in our societies.  It starts at home.. updated 04/09/2015
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