Some are bored or afraid of the world around them. I'm in awe. So many things that have happened, or that people have done, leave me stunned. How did they build that building? How come it doesn't fall down? How did that tree get so big? Where in the world did all those flowers come from? And all that huge machinery moving mountains of dirt and pipes and stuff on the ALMONO site - how's that work? Trains coming through, trucks, ducks on the ponds, people working in gardens. How do we human people manage to get along so well most of the time? And the birds, how do they do THAT?
There is so much evidence of the beautifully miraculous all around us, we shouldn't need to be reminded.
Yes, the planet is full of tragedies also. Why? What is the meaning of all this suffering? What is it about life that it makes it so dam contradictory and complex? Why can't you just separate all the bad guys from all the good guys and then just get rid of the bad guys and everything'd be fine? And why do I have to be so open-minded all the time and try (or pretend to try) to see other peoples' points of view?
One thing that keeps ME breathless is Nature's recycling. Here you have paper, cardboard, orange peels and seeds, old cole slaw, baked goods starting to get moldy, coffee grinds, grass clippings, dead animals, chicken bones, used vegetable oil and grease, banana peels, manures from countless species of animals large and small, dead tree branches, etc. They fall to the ground and the next thing you know they're gone. The hungry soil (the hungry creatures great and small in or on the soil, to be more precise) eats them up and turns them into carbon dioxide, water, and mineral plant and animal nutrients. Is that not magic?
Oh, there's scientific explanation for all this transformation of waste, all right. But scientific advances at this point in history are pointing to the most jaw-dropping conclusion - Anything, absolutely anything, is possible. If you can imagine it, it is possible. When we were growing up my mother used to say to us things like: "You can do anything you really want to." Now every time I hear about some terrible massacre or environmental catastrophe in the world I remind myself of the Dick Tracy hand-held communication devices so many people carry around. And I think of the many thousands of scientists and inventors and activists around the world; they are gearing up to not only turn around this vast industrial destruction machine we are a part of but actually re-purpose it, using robotics and computers and human cooperative labor to regenerate, re-enliven the Earth's ecosystem.
So, with a can-do attitude (rather than focusing exclusively on the problems), we can set to work on solutions to the difficulties all around in this time of great change. They are solvable, just as so many seemingly insurmountable problems before were dealt with - with faith. You take one thing at a time, break it down, see what it's connected to, figure it out, and see how it works with the whole. When I was a kid and my bicycle wasn't working, my Dad made me work on it till I fixed it...Day after day that was my job, just work on that bike till I fixed it. And after a while I did finally figure it out and fix it. That was empowering.
So here's a problem we can work on. In fact (like that time with my Dad), this is a problem we HAVE to work on. We don't get a choice. We can't put it off and do something else; we have to deal with it:
We in our modern society have gotten into the bad habit of making waste out of once was resources - our dead animal and plant matter, and our manures. We invented the concept of "waste", meaning we came to consider certain things as useless and needing to be disposed of. Eat that chicken and throw the bones away because they're "waste". Makes sense, right? I mean, you don't eat the bones, they're no good.
But bones ARE good. Not for people food, but for plant food. You can pay several dollars a pound for natural bone meal fertilizer for your garden. Or, IF you know how to do it properly, you can turn your own chicken bones into bone meal fertilizer. You could grind them up the way the companies that sell bone meal grind them up. Or you could nurture the soil organisms that eat bones in an enclosed composter that did not have openings wide enough for any animals to get into.
The same with dead plant material. Feed it to the soil life - bacteria, molds, earthworms, bugs, etc., and the waste becomes plant food.
Manures also properly are a resource rather than a waste and should be fed to the land via the community of life in the soil. Manures and composts properly handled don't have to stink and they don't constitute health hazards. Let's be logical. Diseases may be CARRIED by certain what they call "vectors" (things they grow on), but the vector (be it a live plant or animal or dead organic material) is NOT a disease. A properly-run enclosed composting bioreactor nurtures aerobic (oxygen-using) organisms which compete with and so suppress disease. So an ecosystem (including the people in it) is more resistant to stresses from disease when it's inhabitants (including it's people) are more well-fed and live in a diverse community.
Kind of sounds like the best of Hazelwood to me. For all the (legitimate) complaints about our problems, and our very real pollution problems (including in the soil), there is a health to living here that comes from openness to have friendly relations with people from all over the world and all cultures. Our industrial history - condnecting commercially with all the rest of the world - has given us an open-mindedness an open-heartedness to all peoples. The high-tech company Uber has chosen to locate here because they think of Pittsburgh as the next Silicon Valley.
We're a city that values education and cooperative work. Let's make good livings fighting the REAL enemies - poverty, pollution, abrupt climate change, overpopulation, loss of biological diversity in our soils and environments generally, deforestation, overfishing, dying coral reefs, inequality, hunger, the loss of our soils' water-holding capacity, emerging infectious plant and animal diseases, ever-increasing earthwide refugee crises, wars, terrorism. And let's understand that all these problems are connected by both cause and effect. If we are to solve any, it must be by solving all - with whole system, big picture, long-term, wide-angle, all-inclusive, really democratic solutions. Nature used to recycle organics back to feed the community of life. Part of the way out of the hot water we're in now is to go back to that.
composter and biotech researcher 412-421-6496