Posts Tagged ‘earth’

Intro: This was originally written back in 2000 as a writing exercise. The idea is to draw a quote, any quote, and write either 400 words, or for 20 minutes.  I’m pulling this old writing exercise from my archives today in honor of the “Environmental Awareness” Fairy Oracle drawn in this morning’s Daily Dose.

“Our Only Legitimate Hope of Survival”
Written by:
Wendi Friend

To cherish what remains of the earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.” -Wendell Berry-

I took it as a compliment when a co-worker branded me as a “hippie-chick.” Never could I have been more flattered than when someone else called me a tree hugger.

Saving our earth is important for obvious as well as not so obvious reasons. If we destroy the ozone layer, we’ll perish. If we demolish the rain forest, we rob ourselves of life preserving essentials. you wouldn’t set your house on fire, would you? We shouldn’t rip apart our environment, either.

Aside from the protective barriers and nutritional growths of the earth, there is a silent, unseen energy that she exhales. People of every religious venue have sought from nature a spiritual experience. When we leave the pressures and familiarities of our daily routines and find time for nature, we emerge from the experience feeling energized, revitalized, clarified. We emerge from nature feeling whole, confident, connected, determined and ready to face new challenges.

We are inspired by landscapes, sunsets, ocean waves, mountain peaks, vivid jungles, steep cliffs, serene forests, spring gardens, rushing waterfalls, chattering animals, twinkling stars and weather phenomena – and yet, despite our fascination with her many faces and functions, we disrespect and destroy her daily, polluting her waters and air.

We feed from the earth, drinking her juices and enjoying the flavors of her fruits – and yet, we starve her of the attention, respect and gratitude that she deserves.

She shields us with her protective wings, keeping us out of the chaotic realm, lacking oxygen and gravity, called space – yet, we disintegrate that barrier with our chemical creations and arrogant, spoiled needs.

It would be such a blessing if our society could remember the earth. It would be a salvation if they could respect and protect her.

If we destroy the earth, we destroy ourselves. The dinosaurs didn’t have a choice in their extinction. We do.

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Intro: This was originally written in 2001 for RITRO.com, a volunteer Web community based on Real Insight Through Raw Opinion. I’m pulling it from my archives today in honor of the “Environmental Awareness” Fairy Oracle I drew this morning in today’s Daily Dose.

“Environmental Health: Our Ozone”
Written by:
Wendi Friend

In a daydream, I picture myself laying on my back in a green meadow, gazing off into the infinite blue that stretches across the sky. Looking at little white puffs floating by, I imagine all those things imaginable when looking at the clouds. I look beyond the clouds thinking about flight, freedom, fresh air. Beyond that, I think about the heavens – the stars, the gravity-absent blackness that surrounds us far past where our sun shines. I think about the protective barrier around our planet, the delicate balance of the ecosystem. Fearful, I think about the destruction being done to that protective barrier. Uncertain, I question the severity of the claims of a hole in the ozone layer, wondering what the effects of such a hole might be. I reflect on my own behaviors to see if I’m contributing to the damage.

According to an article called Under The Ozone Shield, found at Ozone and UV Radiation Research, “Ozone is a molecule in the Earth’s atmosphere. As much as 90 % of ozone lies at heights of 10-50 km above the Earth’s surface. An ozone molecule consists of three oxygen atoms. Despite the fact that ozone forms only a small fraction of all the constituents of the atmosphere, it is still an important factor for the continuity of life on planet Earth.”

By visiting Beyond Discovery and viewing the article called, All About Ozone, one can read, “Ozone is a relatively simple molecule, consisting of three oxygen atoms bound together. Yet it has dramatically different effects depending upon its location. Near Earth’s surface, where ozone comes into direct contact with life forms, it primarily displays a destructive side. Because it reacts strongly with other molecules, large concentrations of ozone near the ground prove toxic to living things. At higher altitudes, where 90 percent of our planet’s ozone resides, it does a remarkable job of absorbing ultraviolet radiation. In the absence of this gaseous shield in the stratosphere, the harmful radiation has a perfect portal through which to strike Earth.”

Without the protection of our ozone layer, 95-99% of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation would strike the earth. This biologically disturbing, high-energy radiation is said to cause skin cancer, impairment of the eyes, damage to the immune system, and upset the fragile balance of an entire ecosystem.

Researchers now know that chlorine creates the hole in the ozone layer by destroying ozone molecules. The source of the chlorine: human made chemicals called chloroflurocarbons (CFC’s) that have been used in spray cans, foam packaging and refrigeration materials.

Refrigeration materials are partially responsible for global warming? Figure that out!

According to this Ozone Index at Environmental Database for use in Schools, “chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were invented in the 1920s. They are a compound of carbon containing chlorine and fluorine. CFCs are man made chemicals, so we call them synthetic chemicals. Since their introduction CFCs have been used as refrigerants in refrigerators and air conditioning units, propellants in aerosol cans, foaming agents in the production of packaging, cleaners used in the electronics industry, and fire extinguisher chemicals.

CFCs are well suited to all these applications as they are non-flammable, non-toxic, have high chemical stability and the chemicals properties are well suited to the applications given above. CFCs are also relatively cheap chemicals compared to some alternatives which is always a good reason why a particular chemical is popular in industry.”

Developed during a search for a new, nontoxic substance that could serve as a refrigerant, these substances or chemicals all fit the bill. However, CFC’s are carried by wind currents 10-30 miles up to the stratospheric ozone layer. Ultraviolet rays then break down the CFC’s, releasing the chlorine atoms to dissolve the ozone, remaining active for more than a hundred years.

In September 1987, 24 nations, including Canada, pledged to reduce the use of CFCs by 50 percent by 1999, and to freeze the use of halons by 1992 at their 1986 levels. This agreement, the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, was the first of its kind and set a global precedent. Since then, the Montreal Protocol has been ratified by over 70 countries. The Protocol now calls for the total elimination of ODCs by the year 2005, according to an article titled, It’s Your Health.

Knowing that changes are being made on the large scale, we still need to ask ourselves what we as individuals can do to make a difference. Without the ozone layer, we will not survive. Each of us must do our part to preserve the planet we inhabit. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides useful tips on what you can do to make a difference in the struggle to save the ozone layer.

Fact: If all ozone-depleting chemicals were eliminated, the ozone layer would, in time, heal itself.

In a daydream, I picture myself laying on my back in a green meadow, gazing off into the infinite blue that stretches across the sky. Fearful, I think about the destruction being done to that protective barrier. I begin to reflect on my own behaviors to see if I’m contributing to the damage.

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Intro: This was originally written back in 2001 for RITRO.com, a volunteer Web community based on Real Insight Through Raw Opinion. I’m re-posting it here today in honor of the “Environmental Awareness” Fairy Oracle I drew this morning.

“Environmental Health: A Look at the Rain Forest”
Written by:
Wendi Friend

One who experiences the diversity and indescribable beauty of the rain forest may be impressed with its plant and animal variety on a strictly visual and audio basis, but the rain forests are essential to human life, providing medicines, foods and climate control.

Rain forests have provided enormous contributions to human well being through food, climate control and drugs obtained from, or based on, plants from the rain forest; including Rosy Periwinkle, a plant used to battle Hodgkin’s disease and child leukemia. It is estimated that the Indians in Amazonia used no less than 1600 pharmaceutical plant extracts. Amazingly, it is probable that there are at least 10,000 plant species worldwide that have not yet been identified. In addition, as food crops, we only use 7,000 of about 75,000 known edible plants.

Unfortunately, for all the beauty, life, life-saving foods and medicines the rain forest has provided humanity, our way of saying thank you has left much to be desired. While some may chop down the forest for purposes of logging; some clearing it for agricultural purposes and indigenous peoples who cultivate the land through lack of choice, humanity is setting itself up for certain disaster.

Each year, up to 54,000 square miles of rain forest are destroyed and 500,000 trees are cut down every hour. Due to the removal of trees, we lose 20,000 to 100,000 species per year and may lose 20% of all species on the planet within the next 30 years.

The immediate causes of deforestation are logging, shifted cultivators (indigenous peoples forced from their natural homelands into the rain forest, of which they have no knowledge, understanding or appreciation), cash crops & cattle ranching, firewood, large dams, mining & industry, colonization schemes and tourism.

Underlying causes of deforestation are development & over consuption: The basis cause colonialism, exploitation by industrialized countries, the debt burden and the role of poverty and over population.

As a result, tropical rain forests are reduced to less than 6% of the world’s surface. Before we destroy that as well, let us remember that the 6% of rain forest left contains no less than one half of all the world’s species of plants; one of which is currently being researched as a potential cure for AIDS.

While the rates of destruction are overwhelming, there is something you can do to help. The Tropical Rain Forest Coalition has provided the following list of things you can do to help save the rain forests, therefore saving ourselves:

1. Write, email or call your representatives in government.
2. Make changes toward a less environmentally harmful lifestyle.
3. Support human rights of indigenous peoples worldwide.
4. Do not buy products that cause destruction of the rain forests.
5. Donate to organizations that save rain forest acreage.
6. Learn more about the rain forests.
7. Spread the word to others on the importance of rain forests.
8. Help out or form a local club or social group that supports rain forest preservation.
9. Sponsor a school study program educating about the rain forests.
10. Learn more about The Rain Forest Coalition’s “save an acre” program.

Deforestation threatens to change climates and accelerate global warming. Deforestation eliminates food and medical possibilities, creates soil erosion, floods and destroys the life of plants and animals. To learn more about the rain forest and what you can do to help save them, visit the Tropical Rainforest Coalition or the Rainforest Information Center.

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Intro: This is being extracted from my archives today in honor of the “Environmental Awareness” Fairy Oracle drawn in this morning’s Daily Dose. If I’m not mistaken, I wrote this when I lived in Tulsa, so about…. 6-8 years ago or so.

“Earth Alive”
Written by:
Wendi Friend

I am alive in the winds
You hear my voice
Whisper through trees
You feel my breath
Comb through your hair
Like what? Like fingers of
The Goddess herself

I am alive in the waters
You hear my love erupting
In waves of blue
Over You
You feel me touch you
Embrace You
Envelope and nurture you
Through life’s currents

I am alive in flames
Licks of fire fueled by desire
You hear me roar
You feel my heat
You know my warmth
From the Sun
From the Power of Knowledge
Gained by mankind —
Mankind — the only life form on Earth
Aside from Mother Nature Herself
With such ability to handle and control
beauty and destruction

I am alive in the Earth —
You nurse from me daily as you
Breathe my breath
Eat from me
And as you sleep
Cradled within my womb

I am alive
And I’d like to thank you
For recognizing me
As such.

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What if?

“What if”
Written by:
Wendi Friend

What if…
the power most often referred to as “God”
were actually a pregnant woman
called “Mother Nature”,
Her womb called Earth,
the fetus – humanity

What if…
we have not yet become
what we were conceived to be –
and may,
through lack of regard for consequence,
abort ourselves
before such beauty
is ever given life?

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