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Posts tagged ‘Mother Nature’

Myth busting – Part 11

Continued from Myth busting – Part 10. If you have not read Part 10 yet, I suggest you go start there, in order to keep everything in context. Thanks!

Carbon sequestration

 

To be clear on usage of certain terms:

Carbon (organic carbon) means the mineral carbon, an essential building block of all organic life on Earth – plants and animals, including humans.

Carbon dioxide means the gas breathed out by animals, and taken in by plants. Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring gas in our atmosphere – but human activity burning fossil fuels has increased the amount.

Over millions of years, plants ‘breathe in’ carbon dioxide and use it as a building block for cellular life. As those plants grow up into big strong trees, so the dense wood holds lots of carbon. When the tree dies, the logs fall to the ground and are buried in new growing organic matter. That carbon is taken down into the ground and stored for many years, slowly releasing its mineral content into the soil to nourish other plants and animals. This is a crude explanation, but you get the idea.

Carbon sequestration means ‘taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and storing it as carbon bound up in life forms (such as wood, plants, soil, insects, etc.)

A carbon sink is a place or thing that acts to sequester carbon, such as a tree.

Mother Nature provides places to sequester carbon naturally. The oceans, the topsoil, the forests and peat bogs (peat wetlands or peatlands) are all massive efficient carbon sinks, the world’s top four. The problem is, those carbon sinks are not working optimally.

Where have all the fishies gone?

Approximately 70% of the planet is covered by oceans and seas. Currently, around one third of all the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is sequestered by our oceans. They could be taking a lot more.

However, there is a problem with our oceans. We have over-fished them for the last century or more, and the result is that early in the 21st century we find that 85% of fisheries worldwide are over-fished and seriously depleted. We have massively reduced fish stocks in our oceans, and the use of trawlers and supertrawlers has decimated marine life, hurting Mother Nature’s ability to restore what we have taken. In some species, over 90% of living stock has been wiped out over a few decades, reducing numbers below a certain ‘critical mass’ to such a point that populations can’t recover. This means the oceans have a reduced ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, due to lower levels of biological activity in ocean waters.

You see, it’s supposed to be the life in the water that sucks up the carbon…not the water itself. However, with more carbon dioxide in the air, our oceans are also suffering from something called ‘ocean acidification’ which means the water itself is absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, because there is more there to absorb, and it’s changing the pH of ocean waters, reducing the oxygen-richness of ocean waters. This makes it harder for marine life to proliferate. It’s a double whammy, and a vicious negative cycle.

We need marine life to proliferate in order to sequester carbon. Ocean acidification, over-fishing and pollution have left the oceans with reduces amounts of algae, phytoplankton, seaweed and fish. The result is that our best carbon sink isn’t working at all well, and the largest part of the planet’s surface, that should supply a huge proportion of our food, is drastically depleted. The answer must be to stop over-fishing, stop polluting our oceans with plastics, chemical waste and more, stop polluting the atmosphere with burned fossil fuels and let the oceans work naturally, the way they are supposed to.

Without trying to sound too melodramatic about it, it’s a bit like the zombie apocalypse, but underwater. Reduced life, pollution, loss of marine biodiversity, massive scars of land destroyed by trawlers, ‘kill squads’ out slaughtering marine life en masse. What’s happening in our oceans isn’t pretty. Read more

Symbiotic relationships and the wonder of Nature

In so many ways, I find wonder in all that Mother Nature does. Things that often appear simple, are often in fact wondrously complex.

As a home-based worker in a small office with big windows looking out the back, I have quietly studied this garden of mine every day for the last 12 years, and for 12 years I have watched the squirrels take the hazelnuts from our hazel tree and bury them all over the garden. I regularly remove them from the lawn, the strawberry patch and the flower beds, and I feel pretty sure that if I hadn’t been doing that for 12 years, by now Read more

How to live – health, peace and happiness

The Simple Things

You know, it’s just so easy, it’s just simple things…we have over complicated everything in this world, abundant good health is easy.

Every day I talk to people about the secrets to good health. Every day I read books and papers about weight loss, nutrition, longevity and more. There are so many companies out there selling ‘secrets’ and solutions, supplements and superfoods, home gym equipment and work out routines, and it just doesn’t have to be that complicated.

Good health is really, remarkably simple.

Here it is, all you need to know:

  • Get plenty of fresh air, do things outside, not just on sunny days, get outside all the time
  • Get plenty of sunshine – when it’s out, we should be out!
  • Eat good natural healthy food – lots of vegetables, outdoor-reared, grass-fed, organic meat. Wild, sustainably caught fish. Eggs. Fresh fruit. Nuts and seeds. Herbs
  • Try to grow some of your own food, and teach your kids how food grows, where food comes from
  • Do everything you can to ensure your food is organic, fresh, local. I mean really organic, really fresh, really local. If you can’t always afford it, just do the best you can. All any of us can ever do, is our best at any given point in time
  • Avoid the poisons and addictions of the modern world. Nicotine, alcohol, refined sugar, additives, e-numbers, chemicals, TV, the media frenzy, disrespectful pornography, trash people and trash talk and trashy lifestyles, too much time in front of a screen, too much time online, etc.
  • If you cannot envisage something in its natural state, growing on a tree or bush or root, or running/swimming/flying around, then you almost certainly shouldn’t eat it
  • If something is too heavily packaged, and has a long list of ingredients and a bar code, then you almost certainly should not eat it
  • Know that just because they sell 40 or 50 thousand ‘mostly edible’ products in your local supermarket, that doesn’t mean they are all good for you. Apply the logic of cigarettes (just ‘cos they sell ‘em, don’t mean you should smoke ‘em!) to all that unnatural food and all those products that are so full of chemicals
  • Move your body, stay active. Find an exercise or sport that you like, a little bit of competition, even just against the clock, is good for your body and mind. There are thousands of options out there, find one you like
  • Remove stress from your life in areas where you can. Shout at your kids less, ease up on those ‘rules’. Relax more. Laugh often. Smile at strangers. Be nice and kind to people, even people you don’t know. Tell jokes. Watch funny and inspiring movies now and then. Listen to upbeat music. Actively work at being happy
  • Don’t borrow money to buy things you can’t afford, apart from your home. Save and buy them when you can afford to. Clear you debts. Buy less ‘stuff’. It won’t make you happy. Find ways to be happy with less clutter, We should value each other, not ‘things’
  • Don’t throw anything away. There is no away. Away ends up somewhere. You don’t want a landfill site near your home. Recycle, everything. Buy quality. Less is more. Teach your kids these principles
  • Get a job you enjoy, don’t just be slaves to a pay check. Find your purpose in life, follow your passion
  • Raise your kids with love, don’t bully them. You didn’t have kids in order to prove how you are bigger and stronger than they are. Also, you’d do well to remember that one day, they’ll be bigger and stronger than you
  • Give to charity. If you have no money to give, give your time. Give your wisdom. Give your love. Visit someone lonely. Write a letter. Lend your voice and your signature to a good cause
  • Leave the car at home sometimes. Walk to the corner shop
  • Get a bicycle
  • Allow more time in your schedule and walk places with your kids – try school, every day
  • Use a rucksack, walk to the shop, carry your stuff home without using a car
  • Reconnect with nature. Find the joy in the natural world. Don’t be afraid of a bit of mud and a few bugs, none of it will hurt you
  • Enjoy more picnics, take your kids to places they can splash in a stream. Sleep in a tent and be woken by the sounds of nature
  • Camp in wild places. Camp without a tent, just sleep under the stars. Wake in the middle of a clear night and stare at the sky…the longer you stare, the more stars you will see. It’s amazing!
  • Walk barefoot in meadows of wild flowers and long wet grass. Walk barefoot on sandy beaches
  • Get a pet dog, walk every day, meet people, talk to your neighbours, make friends, smile
  • Climb a mountain. Even just a small one, it’s great fun and the views are beautiful. Standing up on high makes you feel good, that’s scientifically proven
  • Go camping. Take your kids. It’s fun and they will play outside more and meet other kids and not stare at the TV so much
  • Walk in wild places. Disconnect occasionally, get off the grid, leave your phone, leave your email, get lost, go on an adventure, on foot. Meet new people, smile and say hello
  • Love more
  • Don’t hate. Ever
  • Be the change you want to see in the world. Lead by example
  • Vote for the world you want to live in – vote with your words, your actions and your money
  • Smile, often, for any reason or no reason

1luvx

Secrets of longevity

“I mind my own business and I don’t eat junk food.”

Following her husband’s death at the age of 68, in 1963, Cooper lived alone on their farm until 2001, when she moved into a nursing home at the age of 105. Their FARM, please note.

 

Longevity secrets

Increasingly, I find myself drawn to research around longevity. Many studies suggest that in fact, a lot of the ‘trends’ or factors we associate with good health are not necessarily shown to be the factors that prove instrumental in promoting a longer life.

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Nuts!!

I love nuts, and eating nuts is one of my top choices of snack options. I love Brazil nuts, but I am not supposed to eat too many of these because they have a very high ratio of omega 6 (bad fats) to omega 3 fats (the good ones). One of the best nuts to eat are walnuts, which have a much better ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids.

I’m away from home on a family holiday this week (Aug 2012), staying in a beautiful converted barn with walnut trees growing outside the front door. I have never thought about how walnuts grow before, so I love having these trees right outside the door. They look like horse chestnut trees, and the walnuts grow looking like green ‘fruits’.

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