Archive for May, 2010

The Gulf of Mexico is a sewer of oil, and I have no doubt it all could have been prevented. Here’s the lesson: We can’t let private industry regulate itself. It doesn’t work. They won’t do an adequate job. Why should they? They don’t give a horseshit in hell about keeping the environment clean and safe for people and wildlife. They care about their profits and bottom line, and won’t spend an extra cent on safety if they can avoid it. If we haven’t learned that yet about American industry, then we just haven’t learned anything. I write this as a Mindful Hiker, a Conscious Hiker, a Concerned Hiker, and an Angry Hiker. And it’s not like we should have to give up our cars. We can have our cars and a clean environment. The technology is there. The science is there. The money is there. The will of the people is there. What is not there is the will of the politicians who run the government. And it doesn’t matter if we replace the whole crew with a batch from another party–any party. They all lack the guts to put into effect laws and regulations and taxes to protect this planet from harm from our digging and probing and drilling and shoveling and jack hammering and bulldozing and spraying and fertilizing and draining and polluting and whatever other degradation we perpetrate on this gorgeous and vulnerable globe. (more…)


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In this thoroughly public world where news confronts us at every turn, we need our personal secret places. Thomas Moore wrote eloquently in Care of the Soul of how people in medieval times reserved places in their gardens for quiet retreats to go inside and give themselves freedom to feel. We need to “get away from it all” on occasion, even every day, to touch upon those parts of ourselves that are too often cloistered and sequestered. At my job, we are given two 15 minutes breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and, believe me, though some of my colleagues ignore them, I take them, leaving the office, walking down four flights and taking a breath of air–not exactly a secret place but a space of refuge and rejuvenation. On days off or after work, I go up in the hills around home, one to a spring-fed pond filled with frogs and snakes and Canada geese, another to the coast at Bodega Bay where I frequent a spot whose view is the better part of the Western Hemisphere, the wet part, and yet another park where its secretness lies in the fact that it is so crowded that eye contact is not expected, allowing me to be completely anonymous and in my own world. We are all there separately yet thoroughly bonded by our love of the park and its beautiful lake.

I used to actually live in a secret place, (more…)

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