Wind, wind, and more wind, plus a little rain, some snow flurries, and the temps will be going down by 10 or 10 degrees. I'm always amazed how the birds seem to deal with it. This morning, even with the birdbath water frozen, the sugar-water in the hummer feeder hadn't frozen, and there were 3 of them fighting for position. The pair of Towhees that were the only ones here all winter have been joined by Western Bluebirds, Dusky Flycatchers, California Quail, Morning Doves, Purple Finches, White-crowned and other Sparrows, so I am putting out lots of seed and fresh water every day. Last year was a dry one, so they need all the help they can get.
It's all very unsettled. Lots of wind, increasing clouds, but not usually much rain. Did catch this afternoon rainbow, which will be the first of many, I'm sure.
At the moment, I'm doing my last push on work on Volume Two, which will go into production next month, after the final edit.
More from the Sierra Club. I have chosen their articles, but there are many more on the internet from many organizations. This is not stuff you'll hear about on the nightly news, because, in case you hadn't noticed, big businesses are buying up the networks, in effect, buying the news you hear every night.
Genetic engineering (GMOs) and Privatization of Genetic Wealth
The genetic diversity of our planet and the genetic resources which are the fruit of 100 centuries of human agriculture are a shared common treasure of mankind. Transgenic agriculture - using modern genetic engineering techniques to splice genes from one species into another - involves many risks which are yet to be fully evaluated but one danger in clear sight is the use of patent protections to shift equity from the global genetic commons into private hands. This is theft in broad daylight.
The principle argument in favor of life patents is that they spur innovation. Yet genetic engineering in plants has so far consisted only in the splicing of genes from one species into another with no significant increases in yields or benefits to consumers. What has happened is that this rewriting of the genetic code has sufficed to win patents. This is not technological progress but the veneer of technology being used for theft. The patents allow seed companies to impose new conditions in contracts with farmers. The actual "innovation" is a loss of farmers' rights. In the United States and Canada, farmers are being sued for planting their own seeds (saving seeds) without paying a fee.
It's the U.S. which has pushed life patents and genetic patents on the world. We believe that, just as the nations of the world have agreed that there should be no slavery and that a contract which calls for slavery would be unenforceable, that there should be no patents on the genetic machinery of life, and that all contracts based on such an idea should be null and void. That would be to the advantage of every man, woman and child on this planet - we are the heirs to this planet's genetic diversity and shouldn't let that heritage be claimed by corporate greed.
One way to put the brakes on GMO agriculture that will soon be available is the Biosafety Protocol (Cartagena Protocol) of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Although the U.S. hasn't ratified either the Convention or its Protocol, the Biosafety Protocol has obtained ratifications from over 50 nations and has entered into force. As part of international treaty law, it allows nations to invoke the Precautionary Principle in order to stop imports of GMOs. We urge farmers in the U.S., and likewise the farmers and nations of the world, to defend their rights to save seeds. We urge them to work for the abolition of patents on the molecular machinery of life. While changes in U.S. patent laws may be slow in coming, our position is that if farmers use their own seed or sell seed crops intended as food that they shouldn't have to pay licensing fees twice.
Seems clear to me - if we don't learn to love our home, we're going to lose it—or at least access to it, as IT will most likely survive us, if not entirely intact. So the primary goal of this website is to engender curiosity about something in nature—anything, whether it's an amoeba or the oceans. Whatever does it for you —get active, if you can, or get interested and support, if you're like me and are not able or inclined to tromp around in the woods.
I am an artist and writer, living off grid, in a strawbale house on the high mesa near Taos, New Mexico. I have four cats, and live amongst a variety of wildlife including, but not limited to: coyote, pronghorn antelope, elk, endless bunnies and jackrabbits (and myriad other rodents), ravens, mountain bluebirds, rattlesnakes, and tarantula.
The cats stay in, everything else stays out.