‘Disappearing México’ published by Sierra Club

I’m looking for a book a good friend gave to me a few years ago about the changing ecology of México as a result of poorly planned development.  One of the essays reported on Alcoa’s activities across the border and the amount of toxic metals contamination from its smelting facility.  This information just helps one to understand the complex situation at the border and presents well researched evidence that many people who risk their lives to work in the U.S. are trying to escape the pollution created by some companies owned by U.S. citizens.  

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Compost

I’ve started some Green Zebra, Purple Russian, Mortgage Lifter, Cherokee Purple, Tlacolula, and Paul Robeson heirloom tomatoes from Baker Creek Seed Company using a simple mix of well composted plant material and egg hells from our kitchen and vermiculite.  That’s it, and this mix is working very well.

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Measuring Contaminants in Air

Last summer two friends of ours, a married couple who live in Delaware City, described waking up often in the early morning hours before sunrise with a burning sensation in their lungs.  It turns out that other Delaware City residents were also experiencing the same type of sinus and bronchial discomfort.  These residents suspect that Delaware City Refinery, which had just begun refining Tar Sands bitumen, was off-gassing during these early morning hours.  Independent air quality monitoring is costly, and it seems the refinery management has a deal with Delaware Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  Concerned Delaware City residents got a chance to voice their concerns about the refinery’s air and water violations at a town hall meeting, but the meeting was rigged to be a battle between scared and angry refinery workers and frustrated community members.  Although the refinery and community reached no agreement, the meeting got some press coverage, and the refinery no longer off-gasses illegally in the early morning hours.

Some in the House are pushing H.R. 3826, the Energy Security and Affordability Act, which would place oversight of EPA rulemaking in the hands of Congress and repeal new greenhouse gas emission standards for new fossil fuel-fired power plants.  According to Matt Kibbe, President and CEO of FreedomWorks.com, “The Energy Security and Affordability Act re-emphasizes to EPA that they answer to Congress and the American people, not their own radical anti-coal agenda.”  When I see the wind turbines and photovoltaic arrays, I see an alternative means of energy generation that is better than coal.  And I’m also tired of authoritarian politicos whining on that the EPA is an unnecessary regulatory body.  When Delaware City residents voiced their concerns to the Delaware Department of Environment, they saw no action.  However, when these residents took their fight to the EPA, they got a town hall meeting.

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Kites

 I’m looking forward to kite flying season.  I’ve got bamboo and China paper with which to experiment.  The giant kites of Sumpango, Guatemala are astonishing, and the children flying their homemade kites from hilltops surrounding the town is a sublime sight.  Kites make me happy to contemplate the future where wind and solar power dominate, and communities all over the world no longer have to live with the fear that their aquifer is going to be destroyed by toxic contaminants from oil, heavy industry, and agriculture.  We’ve got to  watch out for each other.

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Self-serve

Hairy Woodpeckers, Bluejays, Carolina Wrens, Gold and House Finches, Grackles, Tufted Titmice, and Blackcapped Chickadees all dine on sunflower and thistle seeds, peanuts, and suet cakes in  suspended from a hollow pear tree in the yard. 

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