Friday, December 27, 2013

The Redwood Forests, Marijuana Cultivation and Logging

How are the redwoods? All protected? Not yet
Our Redwood Forests are not all in protected status and those that are in designated parks need protection from human impact.  Cumulative impacts by human activities have substantial effects. What are cumulative impacts? ”A cumulative impact is defined as: The impact on the environment which results from the incremental impact of the action when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency (Federal or non-Federal) or person undertakes such other actions. Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor but collectively significant actions taking place over a period of time.” (40 CFR 1508.7) Northwest Envtl. Def. Ctr. v. Nat'l Marine Fisheries Serv., 647 F. Supp. 2d 1221, 1244 (D. Or. 2009)

Logging is still ongoing and still taking a toll on our forest ecosystems, wildlife, and watersheds. Much of our remaining Redwood Forest is on privately held corporate lands.
Contemporary forest practices, including grading and building of logging roads and the narrowing of forested buffers, have altered prime habitat for many species. Our Redwood “rainforests” forests have been reduced to 2-3 percent of the original old growth that once existed.  Many former clearcuts that I have visited within the redwood Region of California have been altered forever and have not recovered from the damage.

The northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet, the salmon, various species of amphibians, and other resident species are depending upon on all of us for protection of their remaining habitat and the ecosystems that are the life support for these species.

 15,582.6 miles of California Rivers and Streams are threatened by Silviculture (Forestry) and 10,308.0 miles are threatened by Forest Roads (Road Construction and Use) (source: data cycle: California Water Quality Assessment Report 2010).

The increase of marijuana cultivation has brought into the mix further harm to our forests.  Planting and terracing have resulted in deforestation and habitat fragmentation. Grading, terracing, damming streams, and road construction without permits, has led to the erosion and sediment deposits further degrading streams. 

A Department of Fish and Wildlife study of two small watersheds in Humboldt County using aerial imagery indicates that the number of acres devoted to marijuana growing almost doubled from 2009 to 2012, with an estimated 550 individual growing operations. 

Mendocino County is also fighting back  at the damage caused by Marijuana cultivation.
In KQED’s California Report web article, Mendocino County, Sheriff Tom Allman said, “people disagree about marijuana: its legalization, its medical use, and how it's grown.  These illegal gardens on forest land, however, should unite disparate groups… No matter where you stand on medical marijuana, I think we can come together on this," he said.  "This is one area of commonality we have to focus on." - See more at:

Forestry and marijuana cultivation continue to be a great concern when many of our remaining Redwood Region’s rivers and streams have been declared "impaired," under Section 305b of the Federal Clean Water Act.

This is not at all an issue about pros or cons of legalizing marijuana or letting forest practices continue unchanged. 

What would the Lorax do? 
Unless someone cares, human exploitation of the Redwood Forests continues. This exploitation is unjustified. Do Think about this and then help create a solution.



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Climate Talks...It is Now Up to us!

 The Climate Talks in Warsaw are over. Two weeks of talking and no action.
  Have the world's governmental representatives gathered for this year's
  climate change negotiations forgotten that the world's citizens are demanding that they   
  act now?  Do we have a do nothing Corporatocracy where only corporate interests count?

 Here are some  comments (see below) that should be considered and do share them with others.
It is now up to all of us to act with what power we have-- consumer power--since we are consumers (when we shop)  who give our dollars to support those who are standing in the way or we can support those who are working on solutions. Think of where you will or will not spend your dollars.

‘Enough is enough’
These are the first words of the joint statement (full text here) from the various environmental groups and NGOs that yesterday decided to leave the National Stadium at 14:00 in protest. An unprecedented decision in the history of the COPs that has highlighted the deep distance between civil society and the policy-makers who have repeatedly failed to take decisive and effective decisions. source:
Published: November 24, 2013
Geneva — The last-minute deal at the United Nations Climate Conference in Warsaw keeps hopes for a comprehensive successor agreement to the 1997 Kyoto protocol alive. But let us be clear: Much more decisive action will be needed if we are to stand any chance at fending off the dangers of climate change.
We now have just one more shot, next year in Peru, to make more substantive progress toward a successor agreement before the crucial 2015 Paris conference. Even before then, it will be crucial for governments to put aside narrow national interests in order to ensure that the pledges made at the 2009 Copenhagen conference — to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to pre-industrial levels — are met.
The unprecedented walkouts at the Warsaw climate talks — first, by representatives of most developing countries on Wednesday, and then by green groups and N.G.O.’s on Thursday — reveal a growing level of frustration with what many perceive as a lack of political leadership at a time when it is needed most.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Climate Change- Following the Warsaw Climate Conference

  The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change/19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19)-- aka the Warsaw Climate Change Conference opened on November 11th, 2013 in Warsaw, Poland and has entered into its second week of negotiations.  The Warsaw Climate Change Conference is  scheduled to end November 22nd, 2013 and is racing toward a goal to create a roadmap for a  globally binding climate change agreement in 2015.

As global emissions are increasing, the challenge is to have significant  agreements in creating a draft plan for next steps in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to be refined at the next  major conference. This would be the  20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP)  to the UNFCCC and is  expected to take place in December 2014 in Peru.
We are depending on governments to reach agreements. Yet, with business leaders and carbon polluting companies standing in the way, the participation of  civil society -- NGOs, trade unions, faith-based organizations, indigenous peoples movements, is  key to moving these goals  forward. But we are all consuming and contributing to the problem. And we argue over who needs to cut back on consumption behaviors.  We are all to blame in the ever  entangled web of a global economy. And as we argue- Climate Change does not care who is to blame. Climate Change is now an equal opportunity disaster.

Judith Stephenson, Susan F Crane, Caren Levy,and  Mark Maslin recently published their study: " Population, development, and climate change: links and effects on human health" ( The Lancet, 2013). Their findings conclude that it is not population that is driving climate change but consumer behavior. See details at:

How do we change the engine of consumer behavior that is driving climate change? Can we realistically expect governments to do that?  Climate is a public good. According to the UNFCC “With climate change it is the emissions of all sources in all nations that determine the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. As a consequence, the climate change problem is inherently a public goods problem. “  (see

 The dilemma that plagues the COP talks is clearly evident. How can Governments convince corporations and all people to change their production and economic practices and  consumption behavior and  patterns. It is individuals that are at the crux of the problem!

Our global markets and trade continues on steeped in oblivion as the problems associated with global warming increase. Who is to blame?  This is a question where we all need to take responsibility for addressing. As we complain about our governments, our governments are left to operate in a void with the engines of market economics gone wild.  It is up to both consumers and governments to stop this  runaway train of materialism.
Agenda 21, a program of action that was agreed upon  at the The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro in 1992) called for  the “developing of  national policies and strategies to encourage changes in unsustainable consumption patterns”.  Yet, global trade is still increasing as more goods are demanded and shipped around the planet. Our appetites for stuff and wealth is creating stresses on the eco-systems and the world’s climate.

With the gap between the wealthy and the poor increasing  each year- here in  the U.S. and around the world--is it wealthy individuals that need to change how they acquire and accumulate their wealth??

 Greed exists at the top. How much wealth does an individual need? As individuals at lower levels and at the bottom struggle to cope -- land prices increases, housing increases  and costs of basic goods and food  increase. Meanwhile there is a grand disregard across the board for the health of ecosystems, and oimpacts on clean water and clean air.
(According to the U.S. Census Bureau Report of 2011, “the nation's official poverty rate in 2011 was 15.0 percent, with 46.2 million people in poverty.”
We need address this  grand accumulation of and holding of wealth and of land access and development by the few  as well as consumption and production patterns by the many.
path towards a globally binding climate change deal in 2015 with the publication of a proposed roadmap for countries to consider. - See more at:
path towards a globally binding climate change deal in 2015 with the publication of a proposed roadmap for countries to consider. - See more at: