How to be a responsible steward of Democracy, Human Rights Capitalism and Planet Earth.

How to be a responsible steward of Planet Earth.

Monday, January 30, 2012

spirit and nature

Healing the split between spirit and nature

Jun. 06, 2011
Earth and Spirit
Federico Fellini’s beautiful 1963 film “8 1/2” is an autobiographical story about a director, Guido, played by Marcello Mastroianni, who is trying to complete his new film. As he tries to escape pressures by entering a fantasy world, incidents in the film repeatedly link to childhood memories, showing how his Catholic upbringing shaped his life.
One scene involves an odd incantation. At a party, a magician performs with a clairvoyant who demonstrates her ability to read people’s thoughts. A skeptical Guido agrees to be a subject. The clairvoyant studies his face and then writes the words “ASA NISI MASA” on a blackboard. Fellini then cuts to a brief flashback of Guido’s childhood. “Asa Nisi Masa” is a bedtime chant the children would say, a phrase with the power to make the eyes of a wall portrait come to life.
The chant is children’s play language, pig Latin. When each second syllable is dropped, we have the word anima. Fellini was interested in the work of Carl Jung, who used the word anima to describe the personification of female characteristics in the male. It’s a reference to Guido’s confusion about women; the film shows how the many women in his life influence his thoughts and actions.
The word anima means soul or life force. It’s what gives zest and lift to our lives.
I head-over-heels befriended a young woman who lived upstairs from my first apartment in college. Her name was Christina. Her eyes flashed with wit and intelligence. She had an ironic mouth, a wry humor, a stalwart strength, a storming and irreverent mind. If the moon had a sister, Christina was the dark-haired and more stimulating of the two. Lost in the razzle-dazzle shock that is late adolescence, I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had suddenly unfolded filmy butterfly wings and fluttered up off into the evening. I wanted nothing less than to gather her silver music, her darkness into my hands, and take tentative sips.
One summer evening when it was too hot indoors, we sat, Christina and I, in a back alleyway under a buzzing neon billboard and talked, just talked, until well past midnight, about things we discovered we both happened to treasure -- Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast fantasies, Captain Nemo, Ray Bradbury, calling butterflies “flutterbys,” about outrageous thoughts and madcap schemes. That she liked what I liked and thought funny what I chuckled at -- moreover that she even fancied, just like me, crunchy peanut butter spread over toast -- these were discoveries. Not only did I share the planet with mysterious creatures like her, but in important ways we were kith and kin.

We related to each other as equals. The one time I strayed from this footing, she lashed out at me expertly, with uncanny radar, demolishing me with a few well-chosen words.
We all have such encounters. Others are alluring, nurturing, enchanting -- and can be dangerous, just as nature is.
Ecofeminist Starhawk titles her blog “Dirt Worship.” It’s shocking, revealing the discontinuity in our religious views, and shows how reclaiming the feminine together with the sacredness of the natural word is a political act as well as a spiritual calling -- and it’s deeply healing in an ecological sense.
The split between spirit and nature, with “spirit” assigned to men and “body” to women, devalues not only women and female bodies, our source, but the natural world, also our source, and gives human beings license to destroy the very life-support systems that sustain us all. To heal that split, we embrace the deep value of this world, of life, flesh, nature, sexuality, emotion, intuition and all the nurturing aspects that have been assigned to women. This is what creation spirituality is all about. When we empower women, we also free men -- to hold their own bodies and sexuality as sacred, to reconnect with the Earth and their own loving, emotional and nurturing selves, to feel their passion.
When women can cherish the vulnerability of men as much as men can celebrate the strength of women, a new breed may lift a heavy yoke from us both. We all could breathe free, look life’s realities in the face, deal with them in an adult way, and stop recoiling from them like 50-, 60- or 70-year-old teenagers. Among the disruptions of our time, the strife between women and men takes heavy casualties -- families torn asunder, broken hearts, a wasteful drain of vitality, a Catholic church broken apart. It’s hard to see how the rift will mend.
After several decades of marriage, I am beginning to learn: When the light comes, it shines on a man who wishes to grow up before he grows too old. We can move into responsible masculinity -- and humbly discover what we’ve been missing.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune asked poet Robert Bly to propose activities for a National Day for Boys equivalent to Take Our Daughters to Work day. Bly suggested fathers take their sons off to the library and show them the books and play the music they love. Women have often been excluded from the work world, Bly noted. “I think it’s just as likely now that men will be shut out of the inward world.”

Asa nisi masa.

[Rich Heffern is editor of the Eco Catholic blog on NCR’s Web site at]

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Whooping Crane is an endangered species.

Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary

Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary

Adopt an Elephant | How You Can Help | Our Mission | Elephant Biographies
International School For Elephant Management | Current Information
The Elephant Experience Weekend | Links | Contact

Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary
was established by Scott and Heidi Riddle in 1990
See Maximus on Animal Planeton 330 acres in the Ozark Mountain foothills in Arkansas as a non-profit
[IRS 501(C)(3) EIN-71-0694957] home for elephants needing one for
any reason. This is the only internationally recognized sanctuary that
accepts any elephant regardless of species, gender, or disposition.

This Arkansas elephant sanctuary currently houses Asian elephants
and African elephants, and both males and females. Elephant care
and elephant management are taught at this elephant haven in the
peaceful Arkansas countryside. Programs include Elephant Experience
 and an annual International School for Elephant Management.
Major goals of the sanctuary include the care of the resident elephant
herd, but also elephant conservation in general, helping to ensure the
long-term survival of these magnificent and highly endangered species.
Visit our site to learn how you can help elephants or to "adopt" an

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Florida manatee.
1. Species distribution.
The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is a subspecies of the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus). The Florida manatee's primary range is the Florida peninsula, but individuals can be found as far north as Virginia and as far west as Louisiana during warm summer months.

2. Reasons for endangerment.
The estimated population for the Florida manatee in 1992 indicated there may be as few as 2,000 animals. Tragically, manatee deaths are increasing each year. Since 1976, total deaths have risen an average of 5.3% each year. The majority of human-related deaths are caused by collisions with boats; boat divers can't see the camouflaged, slow-moving manatees to avoid accidents. Prenatal deaths (i.e. stillborn and newborn calves) are also quite high. The exact cause of these deaths isn't known. Other causes of death include disease and parasitism, exposure to cold weather, crushing in flood control structures and navigational locks, shooting by humans, and entanglement in fishing line and ropes.

3. Conservation efforts.
Florida manatees are listed as endangered by the Endangered Species Act, vulnerable by the IUCN/World Conservation Union, and on Appendix I of CITES. They're also protected under the MMPA and the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act.

In most Florida counties manatees are also protected by boat speed laws and no-boat zones. Several institutions (permitted by the USFWS), including Sea world of Florida, are involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of injured or sick manatees.

California condor. 1. Species distribution.
The California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) once ranged throughout the coastal regions of North America, from British Columbia to Baja California, and from Florida to New York. By the 1800s the condors were restricted to the Pacific coast. Today they live only in the Sespe Condor Sanctuary in Southern California, the Los Angeles Zoo, and the San Diego Wild Animal Park.

2. Reasons for endangerment.
California condors used to number in the thousands. By 1939 their numbers were estimated to be under 100, and by 1982 only 21 to 24 birds remained in the wild. Reasons for their decline include habitat loss, poaching, a low reproductive rate, electrocution by high-voltage wires, and poisoning by eating animal carcasses that contained lead.

3. Conservation efforts.
In 1981, the California Department of Fish and Game permitted the San Diego Zoological Society and the Los Angeles Zoo to breed condors. Chicks and eggs were first collected for the program, but due to continued threats to adults in the wild, all birds were captured by 1987. The breeding program has been successful, with over 50 birds now in captivity. Eight birds have been reintroduced into the Sespe Condor Sanctuary and future releases are being planned.

The California condor is listed as endangered by the Endangered Species Act, the IUCN/World Conservation Union, and Appendix 1 of CITES.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Nature Connection with David Suzuki - Episode #2 Urban Ecology - YouTube

The Nature Connection with David Suzuki - Episode #2 Urban Ecology - YouTube: ""

Uploaded by on May 4, 2009 In this four-DVD set, Dr. David Suzuki leads a group of children on twelve field trips to discover different aspects of the environment and learn how we are all "connected" to nature. Through their adventures, the children learn to appreciate their relationship with the environment and what they can do to protect it. The collection is designed to inform, stimulate and motivate parents and their children to take up an environmental project. It encourages the natural instinct children have for discovery, and increases their awareness of the beautiful and complex web of life and our place in it.

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Earth

Does The Planet Need Saving?

The Power of the Planet - BBC

Uploaded by  on Oct 16, 2009
Is the planet able to cope with all we throw at it? Are we pumping too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere? Dr Iain Stewart assesses the impact of man on our planet in the ground-breaking BBC series. Visit for all the latest animal news and wildlife videos and watch more high quality videos on the new BBC Earth YouTube channel here:




Standard YouTube License


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, It is the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
Helen Keller

“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.”
Henry David Thoreau

Human beings have become the predominant destructive force on Earth. With power of hands and minds amplified by machines, our impact exceeds that of great floods, hurricanes and earthquakes. The time has come when we can envisage the end of nature; the time has come to realize that we are able to destroy the Earth.

-Calvin B. DeWitt

Friday, January 13, 2012

We are all prodigal people when it comes to our role as stewards the planet Earth.

Henri Rousseau

File:Henri Rousseau - The Flamingoes.jpg

We have inherited an incredibly beautiful and complex garden, but 
the trouble is that we have been appallingly bad gardeners. 

We have not bothered to acquaint ourselves with the simplest 
principles of gardening. 

By neglecting our garden, we are storing up for ourselves,
in the not very distant future, a world catastrophe as bad as any
atomic war, and we are doing it with all the bland complacency of an
idiot child chopping up a Rembrandt with a pair of scissors.

--Gerald Durrell 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

American Sustainable Business Council Endorses Responsible Electronics Recycling Act to Limit Toxic E-Waste - MarketWatch

American Sustainable Business Council Endorses Responsible Electronics Recycling Act to Limit Toxic E-Waste - MarketWatch: "
Most Popular"

'via Blog this'

Prodigal People

We have inherited an incredibly beautiful and complex garden, but the
trouble is that we have been appallingly bad gardeners. We have not
bothered to acquaint ourselves with the simplest principles of
gardening. By neglecting our garden, we are storing up for ourselves,
in the not very distant future, a world catastrophe as bad as any
atomic war, and we are doing it with all the bland complacency of an
idiot child chopping up a Rembrandt with a pair of scissors.
--Gerald Durrell