The Superheroes Beneath Your Feet


Pleurotus ostreatus growing on a dead tree stump

Do you want to help reverse the damage we humans have inflicted upon the Earth?

Interested in learning what you can do in your own backyard to remediate the Earth’s natural cycles of nutrients, which humans have disrupted with factories upon industries upon capitalism?

If we don’t protect the Earth’s biodiversity, we’ll have to say goodbye to many of the organisms we enjoy today, including all flowers and fruit.

Mycoremediation, which is use of fungi as a bioremedy to eat up plastics and other contaminants, is one solution – one we can all participate in every now and then. With a little sweat, we can preserve soil diversity so that our children will know the joys of reaping literal fruits of their hard labor. Read more at Ctenidium [ten-ID-ee-um].

Noosa Biosphere: Sustainable Luxury

Here’s an article I wrote for The Karmic Press! It is wonderful working with Cheyenne Burroughs, and I look forward to my next venture with TKP. In case anyone’s wondering, I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus lately (more on that later) – but I’m working on getting back in the groove of things, and this is a great way to begin! Hope you enjoy!

Floating Land Festival

Photo courtesy of David Shipton.

Imagine a place where everyone, together as one human race, walks through life with a mind to educate the world community about depletion of natural resources. Each person mindful of their carbon footprint and seeing a relationship with environment as a precious connection. A community who plans together for long-term conservation in order to indulge in the resources necessary for putting on awesome cultural events: Floating Land Festival, Noosa Biosphere FestivalGreen Art awards that celebrate community engagement with sustainability, and sustainable surfing (just to name a few).

This is how people in Noosa Biosphere Ltd. (NBL) live: beautifully and, more importantly, mindfully. They are especially mindful of the three biosphere principles:

                  Conservation                      Sustainability                       Learning

These three principles are the backbone of any biosphere, which can be termed as “the zone of life on earth, a closed system (apart from solar and cosmic radiation and heat from the interior of the Earth), and largely self-regulating.” [Wikipedia] There are over 550 UNESCO-recognized biospheres worldwide, designated as such in efforts to reassess human relationship to environment.

NBL is one such site. But it’s more than just a site – it’s a living community of folks who stand above the crowd through commitment to social accountability – e.g., helping humans understand how their footprint affects nature through eco-conscious industry, or getting involved on one of six community sector boards, which support civilian participation in government of the region. NBL residents see the long-term benefits of society working together to improve conservation status and sustainable practices. While Yosemite National Park upholds civic engagement and historic preservation, and the Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve (GGBR) provides easy access to nature recreation/education – which are great resources necessary to encourage research on sustainable economic development – it falls under local responsibility to demonstrate a balanced relationship between themselves and nature. I am proud to say that Port of Richmond (part of GGBR) has wonderful city officials whistleblowing Chevron Refinery’s corner-cutting, but we still don’t have the same widespread organic forging of community guided by sustainable development. In Noosa, the community are part and parcel to the nature. Their government only shut down once in its history, and, thankfully, they didn’t think it necessary to “shut down” nature on public land.

The US Govt. shut down from October 1-16 2013 prevented access to public land. If it's public land...why can't I access it?

No, America! NO Muir Woods for YOU. You’ve had enough already.

Imagine if you lived in a habitat like Muir Woods or Yosemite. Let me tell ya, the native Aussies and their lucky visitors are living that dream. Everyday they work, learn, and live on – excuse me – in harmony with a UNESCO site. By communing in and with nature, these people learn the ins and outs of their habitat and, thus, are able to understand the biological and cultural processes that lead to depletion of the earth’s resources.

And just in case you still believe that climate change is a hoax, NEWSFLASH – human-produced greenhouse gases and forestry are two of the biggest contributors to our aquifers being depleted here in CA and desertification the world over. Don’t want draughts? Then quit the unsustainable land management: we cut down our forests and use the land for grazing animals, then overgraze the land due to human demand for beef. In grasping habits which ruin the earth’s hydrological cycle, we prevent the earth from naturally filling our taken-for-granted aquifers and reserving water year-round. We can do better, and we know so because NBL manages to integrate sustainable practice and economic feasibility. Some don’t think luxury and sustainability can co-exist, but NBL prove otherwise.

Tourism Noosa, the premier tourism organization of northern AU, commit to their own Sustainable Destination Action Plan (SDAP). Guided by a vision to redefine sustainable luxury, they take responsibility by leading redefinition of what tourism means for a community: “working together to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability for tourism in the Noosa region.” [SDAP] While there are many discrete organizations dedicated to sustainability in Northern CA, there exists no such staunch, organized consideration of ecotourism in any region of the state. We’ve got our work cut out for us! And it will only become more necessary to integrate sustainable practices in all parts of society as time goes on: we (and our #1 biosphere, planet earth!) aren’t gettin’ any younger! There will be no earth for our future young’ins to sustain if the environment keeps showing signs of what could be the 6th Mass Extinction.

Let us end with an inspirational quote from Phillip Moran, NBL Honorary Fellow and General Mgr. of Noosa & District Landcare:

“It’s a celebration of community, is a simple way of putting it. The interaction of man and environment. So it’s not just locking it up like a national park, it’s encouraging businesses to adopt sustainable practices and work together to try and keep this land in as good a possible condition as we can for our kids.”

the importance of looking within to find what is without

Learning new things – okay, life in general – was so much easier for me in adolescence – from the theatrically musical inspirations of Peter Pan to the eloquent, rhymed sentiments of 2Pac Shakur (and in a great 2Pac throwback by Travie McCoy), we see this call back to the days of our bright-eyed, inquisitive selves. But youth isn’t exactly what I miss (no thank you curfews). It’s the seeming straightforwardness with which I was educated; the creative spirit that was encouraged in a grade-school microcosm meant to progressively teach the skills we’d need upon traversing into young adulthood.

Unfortunately, general education doesn’t always prepare you to deal with deceptive leaders who value profit over their communities harmed by negligent corporate practices. Here’s looking at you, Chevron: with 2 billion in profits per year, there is no excuse to put off 100% modernization of your refinery and invest in renewable energy (which will hopefully keep lawyers from filing all these claims cases, right?). And we all know Chevron isn’t the only one getting away with murder.

So I’m here to say that those getting away with things (and please know that I’m no angel – but really, who is? well, maybe this guy) have a responsibility to encourage healthy life in our environments, which begins with looking inward. Our bodies are environments in themselves. They need many of the things that the earth provides. And we may find our way to mars – but why go there and do exactly what we’re doing here? We should work on learning to live with what we have, not what we think we want or need.

Everyone breathes the same thing, is composed of 60-some percent water, and seeks out pleasure over pain. But I can’t help imagining how much pain my generation’s descendants will experience if fracking and carbon emissions aren’t presently considered as true long-term threats to the environment.

How much emotional pain will they experience when they realize that we somehow forgot they would need drinking water, that far too many ignored this slow threat that we could have planned much, much better for? We are the descendants of others and deal with many of their lingering triumphs and mistakes, so let’s try and minimize what terrors we leave for our progeny.

Whether or not you believe in global warming, climate change IS occurring – the droughts and fires in my native CA are definite proof of a shrinking source of water. And whether or not you’ve been impacted by fracking, there are plenty of complaints and displacements on record showing the hazard it poses to communities’ drinking water alone. So we need to look at what really matters. Technological advancement should not happen at the expense of the planet, nay, universe which borne humankind into existence.

We must coexist, and this coexistence will be difficult if we can’t see that, on the inside, we’re all the same. My blood is your blood, and yours is mine. Perhaps we do not look the same, but what we learned in grade school prevails whether or not we’d like to acknowledge it. Golden rules shouldn’t only apply to a few, for we are all worthy. For we are many, and we are all one body – corporation, even – of humanity.