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Nature

Biology, Nature

The True Beauty Of Nature

2. “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.'”

—Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

3. “Not just beautiful, though—the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they’re watching me.”

—Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

4. “‘Is the spring coming?’ he said. ‘What is it like?’ …

‘It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine, and things pushing up and working under the earth.'”

—Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

6. “If we surrendered

to earth’s intelligence

we could rise up rooted, like trees.”

—Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

7. “The glitter in the sky looks as if I could scoop it all up in my hands and let the stars swirl and touch one another, but they are so distant, so very far apart, that they cannot feel the warmth of each other, even though they are made of burning.”

—Beth Revis, Across the Universe

8. “I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.'”

―Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

10. “This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”

—John Muir, John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir

11. “Snow was falling,

so much like stars

filling the dark trees

that one could easily imagine

its reason for being was nothing more

than prettiness.”

—Mary Oliver, “Snowy Night”

12. “Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.”

―Robert Frost, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”

14. “Quiet stars and the still of expectation. The eucalyptus branches heavy with evening dew, their feet shuffling woodchips, braiding eights in the silver grass, and edging hillocks from the first mulch of fall.”

—Will Chancellor, A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall

15. “The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.”

—Christopher Paolini, Eragon

16. “But especially he loved to run in the dim twilight of the summer midnights, listening to the subdued and sleepy murmurs of the forest, reading signs and sounds as a man may read a book, and seeking for the mysterious something that called—called, waking or sleeping, at all times, for him to come.”

—Jack London, The Call of the Wild

18. “‘To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment.'”

—Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

19. “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. … There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

—Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

20. “These people have learned not from books, but in the fields, in the wood, on the river bank. Their teachers have been the birds themselves, when they sang to them, the sun when it left a glow of crimson behind it at setting, the very trees, and wild herbs.”

―Anton Chekhov, “A Day in the Country”

22. “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,

There is a rapture on the lonely shore,

There is society, where none intrudes,

By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:

I love not Man the less, but Nature more.”

—Lord Byron, “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”

23. “Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

—John Muir, Our National Parks

24. “I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.”

—Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

 

Have a great day in nature. Enjoy it….

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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Nature

SumOfUs for the bees

Last year, SumOfUs took the battle to save our bees to the French Supreme Court. And thanks to our incredible members, we won a major victory against pesticide giant Dow.

But Dow is getting ready to strike back: after losing in court last year, the toxic company is pouring cash into its lawyers pockets to challenge a permanent ban.

We can’t let Dow weaken this historic neonic ban and set a precedent for more bee destruction. We need your help to defeat Dow’s multi-million dollar legal machine.

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Will you donate 4 € to help defend the bees and secure a permanent ban in court?

If you’ve saved your payment information with SumOfUs, your donation will go through immediately:

Donate

Last year, our partners Générations Futures got the French Supreme Court to suspend the approval of sulfoxaflor, a dangerous neonic pesticide threatening bee colonies.

Sulfoxaflor pesticides are bee-killers just like other neonic chemicals, and France has seen a huge decline in honey production in recent years. By fighting for sulfoxaflor to be banned, we’ve already made a big move forward towards saving the bees.

Dow getting its way would be a huge setback. It’s a multi-billion dollar company, and it will stop at nothing to win its legal fight so that it can keep making big money from bee-killing pesticides.

We may not have anything like as much money as the big corporations, but SumOfUs members like you have shown that when we work together we can make a real difference for the future of the bees.

The only reason we could stop Dow last time was thanks to members like you chipping in — but we need to keep up the fight to secure a permanent ban and protect the bees from a pesticide catastrophe.

Recently, over in Australia, 30,000 SumOfUs members spoke out against neonics, and as a result three major retailers decided to publicly remove the deadly pesticides from their shelves.

Let’s show Dow we are not backing down.

You can make a change

Together we are stronger

 

Love, Bees And Flowers

Brian

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Health, Learning and development, Nature, Wellness

The Hunza People

The Health Secrets Of The Hunza People Who Live Over 100 Years And Are Cancer-Free

By Sidrah

Cheerful, healthy and full of life, it seems as if the people of Hunza Valley belong to another planet. They eat fresh apricots, breathe the mountainous air, look youthful and they hardly ever get sick.

The Health Secrets Of The Hunza People Who Live To 100 Years And Are Cancer-Free

People are often surprised when they learn that the citizens of Hunza (also known as Burusho people) usually live up to the age 120. They can easily conceive even after 60 years and it is very rare for them to get tumors.

How is that possible? How do they stay healthy? What are their secrets? Let’s find out whether these are legitimate facts or merely myths.

1. Life expectancy of an average Hunza is 120 years.

1. Life expectancy of an average Hunza is 120 years.

2. It is very common for Hunzas to have children after the age of 60.

2. It is very common for Hunzas to have children after the age of 60.

It might sound shocking to you, but Hunzas can readily conceive even between the ages of 60 and 90. Again, the secret to their youth is their exceptional diet and physical activity.

3. Hunzas don’t stress over little things. They are always smiling.

3. Hunzas don't stress over little things. They are always smiling.

Tension, stress, and conflicting thoughts are unknown to Hunzas. They are completely free of stress-related diseases as they have made themselves fully immune to self-doubt and failures. It won’t be wrong to say that they lead lives like children. Content with their lives, the people of Hunza live in the moment.

4. Did you know that the people of Hunza are descendants of Alexander the Great? Yes, they could very well be Greek!

According to Burusho legend, people of Hunza descend from Baltir, the village that was founded when the army of Alexander the Great left behind sick soldiers in the valley as they could not keep up.

5. There is no such thing as cancer in Hunza.

5. There is no such thing as cancer in Hunza.

According to research, apricots of Hunza Valley are said to be the key behind the absence of tumors. Hunzas eat large amounts of the fruit which is rich in Amygdalin (vitamin B-17). Amygdalin is widely known for its anticancer properties.

6. The people of Hunza are not lazy. They are active and fast!

6. The people of Hunza are not lazy. They are active and fast!

7. For two to four months, they don’t consume anything except for juice extracted from dried apricots.

7. For two to four months, they don't consume anything except for juice extracted from dried apricots.

Once a year for a period of two to four months, Hunzas take a break from their regular diet and solely live on the juice of dried apricots. It is an old tradition that they still follow during the time when apricots are unripe. Scientists agree that it contributes to their amazing health.

8. Drinking and bathing in the glacier water is the secret to their gorgeous skin!

8. Drinking and bathing in the glacier water is the secret to their gorgeous skin!

Hunzas only drink and bathe in the pure glacier water that comes directly from the mountains. Their most famous ‘not-so-secret’ drink is an herbal tea that is made from boiled glacier water and a herb known as Tumuru. The glacier water and herbs are the reason they have such glowing skin.

The Health Secrets Of The Hunza People Who Live To 100 Years And Are Cancer-Free

www.shughal.com/health-secrets-hunza-people-live-100-years-cancer-free

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

 

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Health, Learning and development, Nature

Stop plastic pollution from McDonald’s and Starbucks

Brian,

I have two very exciting updates to share with you about our campaigns to stop plastic pollution from McDonald’s and Starbucks. In a nutshell: We’re winning!

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McDonald’s ditches plastic straws in the UK!

Yes! You read that right. Just last week, the fast food multinational announced that it would start phasing out plastic straws from its UK restaurants in May!

Since last year, SumOfUs members from all over the world have been urging McDonald’s to ditch plastic straws. More than 388,000 of you have signed the petition, you sent over 21,000 emails to McDonald’s executives, and you shared videos and images on social media thousands upon thousands of times. Thank you!

When we met with McDonald’s lawyers in February, they told us that they had heard your message loud and clear — and now we’re seeing action.

Ditching straws in the UK is a great start, but McDonald’s must roll this out globally, so we are ramping up the pressure.

That’s why a SumOfUs member has put forward a proposal for McDonald’s upcoming annual shareholder meeting, to get McDonald’s shareholders on side too.

This could be our most powerful tactic yet. Can you help make it happen?

Will you chip in 1 € to cover the costs a group of SumOfUs members attending the AGM — so they can speak up for our movement?

Starbucks promises a #BetterCup….again

Last month SumOfUS members across the world joined in with the ‘Starbucks: break free from plastic’ coalition to pressure the giant coffee chain to make good on its decade old promise to produce a 100% recyclable cup. And you did it!

The campaigning coalition formed ahead of Starbucks’ 2018 annual shareholder meeting in March. In the run-up to the meeting, the coffee giant was urging its shareholders to vote “no” on a proposal asking Starbucks to address its plastic pollution problem put forward by our friends, As You Sow.

And that’s where SumOfUs members like you really started to pile on the pressure.

Over 300,000 of you signed the petition. You emailed and tweeted the company in your thousands. And the day before the meeting, Starbucks suddenly announced it will commit $10 million in a partnership to bring a fully recyclable and compostable cup to market in three years!

Yes, Starbucks has made promises like this before. But it knows that the movement calling on it to break free from plastics is now stronger than ever, with SumOfUs members like you ready to hold it to its promiseon cups — and to push it to rid itself of plastics completely.

Time and time again, you’ve stopped giant corporations from carrying on, business as usual, with no regard for the damage they’re causing in pursuit of profits. And you’re already off to a flying start in 2018. Just think what else we’re going to accomplish together this year!

Thanks for all that you do,
Sondhya, Eoin, Tricia and the team at SumOfUs

 

More information:

McDonald’s to start phasing out plastic straws from its UK restaurants Sky News, 28 March 2018
Starbucks and Closed Loop Partners to develop recyclable, compostable cup solution, Starbucks, 20 March 2018

 

Thank you Sondhya

Kind Regards

Brian

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Learning and development, Nature

Are You Full Of Plastic?

The plastics crisis is more urgent than you know.

From The Guardian by  John Vidal

A deposit scheme for bottles won’t make a scrap of difference. This stuff is in our food, our clothes – and in us

 

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West Wales, last weekend. The old foam mattress lying waterlogged on an otherwise clean beach might have been at sea for months before it was washed up on the tide. A large bit of it had broken off, and the rest was crumbling. It was a clear threat to wildlife, so we heaved what was left of it above the wave line and promised to come back to dispose of it properly when it was dry.

But how do you safely dispose of an old mattress made of billions of tiny plastic particles leaking formaldehyde and other potentially dangerous chemicals? Do you burn it? Bury it? Do you expect the company who made it to come to collect it? Answers to environment secretary Michael Gove, who today pledged to stem the tide of plastic debris by announcing a consultation on a plastic-bottle return scheme for England, which aims to get people to recycle more.

Gove’s initiative is welcome, but minimal, and will have zero impact on the vast and growing scale of the plastic problem. The scheme is aimed at people fed up with litter, and to Blue Planet viewers who are shocked by images of birds swallowing plastic straws and turtles being choked by plastic bags. It is no more use than a heavy smoker forgoing a single cigarette.

Since we started engineering polymers to make plastic on a mass scale in the 1950s, this byproduct of the petrochemical industry, which uses about 6% of all the oil we extract a year, has spread to myriad manufacturing processes. Plastic is now ubiquitous, insidious and impossible to avoid. It makes up our clothes, containers, bottles, electronics, food trays, cups and paints. Our cars depend on it, so do our computers, roofs and drain pipes. It’s the global packaging material of choice. We sleep on it, wear it, watch it, and are in direct bodily contact with it in one form or other all day and night.

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It may have profound societal benefits, but this most successful of all manmade materials sticks around for centuries. When exposed to sunlight, oxygen or the action of waves, it doesn’t biodegrade but simply fragments into smaller and smaller bits, until microscopic or nano-sized particles enter the food chain, the air, the soil and the water we drink.

The BBC’s hugely popular Blue Planet series and a stream of scientific studies have made us aware of how the oceans are being polluted, but we still have little understanding of how human health is impacted by the many synthetic chemicals and additives that are used to give plastic its qualities. In the past few years, minute microplastics and fibres, measuring the width of a human hair or far less, have been found in an extraordinary range of products, such as honey and sugarshellfishbottled and tap waterbeer, processed foods, table salt and soft drinks.

In one study, 95% of all adults tested in the US had known carcinogenic chemical bisphenol A in their urine. In another, 83% of samples of tap water tested in seven countries were found to contain plastic microfibres. A study published last week revealed plastics contamination in more than 90% of bottled-water samples, which were from 11 different brands. And earlier this year the River Tame in Manchester was found to have 517,000 particles of plastic per cubic metre of sediment – that’s nearly double the highest concentration ever measured across the world.

The more researchers look, the more they find in the human body. The same scientists who raised the alarm on air pollution from the deadly particles emitted by diesel vehicles are now finding plastic microparticles raining down on cities, and blown into the air from cars and construction sites, washing lines and food packaging. Indoor plastic pollution may be even worse than outdoors, with a single wash of sports kit or manmade textiles found to release thousands of microfibres into the air.

At a recent UK workshop convened by the marine group Common Seas, 30 scientists, doctors and others compared notes, and agreed unanimously that plastic is now in what we eat, drink and breathe, and constitutes a significant and growing threat to human health.

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If we can breathe in these micro- and nano-sized particles and fibres, the scientists conjecture, they are likely to get into the human bloodstream, lung tissue and breast milk, or become lodged in the gut and respiratory systems. Some microparticles may pass through the body without causing harm, others may lodge there dangerously. Many are suspected to be carcinogenic or to have hormone-disrupting properties.

The consensus is that there are great gaps in what we know about how microplastics affect human health, and that we need more robust science. We don’t know the risk when we drink contaminated bottled or tap water every day. We don’t know how much we are ingesting or breathing, or what effect exposure to hazardous plastic particles may have over years. We don’t know the concentrations that are safe for adults, let alone infants. There is mounting concern that under-studied microplastic particles threaten health by presenting a potentially major source of toxic chemicals to the human body.

Although we have known for years that some of the additives used to make plastics flexible, transparent or durable are chemically dangerous, few have been tested on humans. Some countries have banned some chemicals – but there is no consistency, and the chemical companies have found it easy to avoid regulation, finding substitutes that are potentially just as dangerous.

It is not enough to single out plastic bottles, coffee cups, or the microbeads found in cosmetics. We urgently need the government to form a comprehensive plastic action plan. Banning all plastic bags and single-use packaging would be a good start, but we need to go way beyond that. Plastic production has to be reduced, just as alternatives should be encouraged. Regulators must think about phasing out whole groups of chemicals of concern, rather than slowly restricting individual chemicals one at a time, and consumers must be helped to understand what they are being exposed to, and to navigate the complexity of what can be recycled, composted or burned.

In the 1950s the world made about 2m tonnes of plastic a year. Now that figure is 330m tonnes a year – and it is set to treble again by 2050. It’s not enough to return a few plastic bottles, or even to pick up an old mattress on a beach.

 John Vidal is a former environment editor of the Guardian

 

No Plastic regards

Brian

 

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Learning and development, Nature

The Sum Of Us

Billedresultat for friends of the earth

Dear friend

Thank you for stepping up to do your bit for the planet.

As a friend of the earth, you and I are working together to change the world for good, creating a cleaner, healthier, fairer world for everyone.

Everything we achieve relies on people like you.

Over the coming months we’ll be in touch most weeks to tell you how you can make a difference – keeping dirty fossil fuels in the ground, protecting bees and combatting climate change. The Earth needs us to stand together more than ever. We need it.

I would be so pleased if you choose to fight with me side by side.

Here are some of our wins in 2017.

Highlights of the year

Bee-harming pesticides – could this be the end?

Our bees campaign celebrated big wins in 2017. We want a ban on bee-harming pesticides called neonicotinoids – or neonics – and we’ve seen progress among local authorities, retailers and government.

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The year got off to a good start as we celebrated Cornwall council’s decision to restrict neonic use in its parks,  highways and other public land. Devon, Dorset and Somerset have also committed. Great news for the South West and huge thanks to our local groups and campaigners in their communities.

In May, after campaigning by our colleagues and supporters, B&Q became the first of the UK’s big 10 garden centres to commit to stop using neonics. And in November Homebase became the 10th:  days after we’d handed over an 18,000-strong petition, the company said that by the end of 2018 it would stop using bee-harming pesticides on garden plants and in other garden products.

Also this year the UK government rejected the National Farmers’ Union’s latest request to lift restrictions on neonics. Thousands of our supporters emailed their MPs to help bring about this win.

And in the biggest victory of all, Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced in November that the government now backs tougher restrictions on neonics.

We’ll be keeping up the pressure in 2018 to help our precious polinators.

…continue reading

Coal, oil and gas: cutting off investment

We’re part of a growing global alliance persuading people to divest from fossil fuels – in other words, move their investments out of coal, oil and gas.

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We want to prevent new coal extraction and stop coal being used to generate our electricity. It’s the dirtiest of fossil fuels. So 21 April 2017 was a landmark for Britain – it was the first day since the 1880s that we hadn’t used any coal to produce electricity. The UK now gets more of its electricity from wind power than from coal.

But we’re not resting easy. In June we took part in a public enquiry into a proposed opencast coal mine near beautiful Druridge Bay in Northumberland. We’d spent months focusing media attention on the contradiction between this huge new project and the government’s commitment to phasing out coal.

Our pressure, along with thousands of signatures from local communities and others, persuaded the government to call in the Druridge Bay coal project – the first time this has ever been done for climate reasons. A decision on the project is now the government’s rather than the local council’s. And we’re hoping for good news around March 2018.

Also this year, Barclays Bank announced it will sell its investment in Third Energy, the company that wants to frack in Ryedale, Yorkshire. Barclays had faced increasing pressure from Friends of the Earth and our partners in the divestment movement.

And we had more reason to celebrate when oil company UKOG withdrew plans to drill 4 oil wells under the South Downs National Park. We’d been campaigning against the plans with local residents. Big environmental concerns included the company’s plans to pump chemicals into the wells, potentially endangering drinking water in the area.

Throughout 2017 more organisations have announced they’re moving away from dirty energy investments. Friends of the Earth local groups have played a big part in keeping up the pressure. The list now includes Hackney council – joining the likes of Waltham Forest, Southwark, Haringey and South Yorkshire – as well as over a third of our universities, the TUC, UNISON, and large parts of the Catholic church. Pressure is even growing within parliament to de-carbonise its own pension investments.

…continue reading

Shedding light on air pollution

In late 2016 we launched one of the biggest-ever nationwide citizen science experiments – and revealed the dirty truth about air pollution.

Since then more than 4,000 of you (including schoolchildren) have tested the air quality all around the UK using our unique Clean Air Kit. Many of the results have been alarming.

By uncovering hidden pollution hotspots you’ve helped put Britain’s dirty air firmly on the political agenda. Our National Air Pollution Map and groundbreaking report [pdf] show dirty air is a far wider problem than national and local government suggest.

Now our Clean Air Schools Pack, endorsed by the National Union of Teachers, is helping to educate a generation of children on the dangers of air pollution – and what we can do about it.

In the run-up to the June General Election we produced a 6-point plan for tackling air pollution. It led to dramatically improved commitments from two of the main political parties, including a pledge by Labour to end illegal air pollution by 2018 – in line with Friends of the Earth’s position.

We’ve unmasked diesel as a dirty fuel of the past. By the end of 2017, diesel sales were in an unprecedented decline, with 8 consecutive months of reduced year-on-year sales.

And garages are no longer allowed to advertise the practice of removing vital air pollution filters from cars after we launched a complaint.

…continue reading

These are just some of our victories. We hope that you win join and have more victories together with us for a better world.

Thanks for all your support.

Billedresultat for friends of the earth

 

Love Earth

Brian

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Biology, Learning and development, Nature

Friends Of The Earth

Together we can protect people and planet

Billedresultat for friends of the earth

Save Sherwood Forest from fracking

Our investigations have revealed that a huge energy company called INEOS wants to explore for shale gas in beloved Sherwood Forest – the first step towards fracking.

We aren’t going to sit idly by and let this happen. 

We need your help, and we need it urgently. Please give what you can to our fighting fund today.

Donate To Save Sheerwood:

https://act.friendsoftheearth.uk/donate/savesherwood

Love Earth

Brian

 

 

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