Harassment in Nashville, Tennessee

Once upon a time, way back when I was in High School, I got detention for not identifying the person who, unbeknownst to me, had thrown a spitball at the teacher. I was one of those kids who kept a low profile and never challenged authority. I truly don’t know if I would have ‘squealed’ on my classmate if I had known who it was, or not. I do know that I would have preferred to stay out of it. I still remember the sense of injustice I felt, however, since I had no option. I had no idea who had thrown it.

I felt that sense of injustice again, recently. Not just for myself but for all the people treated similarly to this latest event, an injustice suffered by many on a daily basis, whereas I, living a privileged life, have not previously experienced it.

Dave and I had just flown from Trinidad & Tobago to Nashville, Tennessee. We then took the city bus from the airport into the Main Bus Station, downtown where we planned to buy SIM cards for our phones so that we would have communication and Internet access. After the purchase, we planned to continue on by bus to our AirBnB. We had 2 suitcases, 2 back packs, a computer bag, and another personal bag for a total of 6 items weighing about 150 lbs total.

I made use of the waiting room at the bus terminal downtown, while Dave went to the nearest MobilePCS store to get the new SIM cards. After some 10 minutes or so, a security guard informed me that I needed to leave! I explained that I was waiting for my partner who was getting SIM cards since we had only just arrived in the country. Irrelevant. Waiting in the waiting room was only permissible for a few minutes until the next bus arrived. When I showed her my bus pass for the day, she agreed to allow a few more minutes, but reiterated that no one was supposed to stay longer than absolutely necessary to catch a bus.

Dave’s errand took longer than I expected and he was gone an hour or more. The security guard reappeared with a colleague who turned out to be her boss. He was more insistent and told me flat out that I had to leave. This made no sense to me and I have to admit that I challenged him. What was the problem? Isn’t this a public facility? How would I reconnect with my partner? What did he intend to do if I stayed? ‘The Boss’ said he would have the police escort me off the premises if I failed to leave peacefully. That reconnecting with my partner was my problem. He said the buses were public transportation but that it was a private company and I had already been there an hour which was way too long. I needed to go outside to the sidewalk. I was totally flabbergasted.

Luckily, I had some thin rope with me, so I tied bags to each suitcase, put a backpack on my back, and actually managed to get my 150 lbs of luggage out to the sidewalk. I was worried that my partner would come into the station aboard a bus and not find me at the waiting room and, of course, would not know to look for me outside. I was there for a few minutes when a police officer showed up and told me that I was still behaving unacceptably. That the side walk was also off limits! I thought maybe he meant the bus shelter and stepped outside and asked if that spot was okay. No! Well, where? The entire sidewalk was off limits. I was having a hard time understanding his demands. I think he indicated that if I was constantly moving and not obstructing other people, I might be okay. (Although I’m sure I would be far more ‘obstructive’ on the move with all my stuff.) If I went across the street where there was less traffic, he MIGHT not bother to arrest me even though I would still be illegal! Again, there was absolutely no suggestion for how to deal with the situation of needing to connect with my partner who had the phones and the address of our AirBnB. I am old enough to remember when police officers were there to help rather than harass.

I went across the street. Dave returned on foot and I was able to get his attention.

(Dave: I was carrying both phones. If I had returned and Robn was not there, I have no idea how I would have found her. File a Police Missing Person’s report? The bus station covers the whole block. It was just luck that I approached from the side that Robn could see and that she saw me entering, and could yell loud enough for me to hear her. Due to the bus schedules, I returned as fast as was possible.)

We figured out what bus to take which happened to be leaving in a few minutes. So we went to the bay to catch the bus. The cop shows up and tells us that we could not be there for 24 hours – he had already ‘thrown me out!’ Nothing had been said before about a 24 hours prohibition. This all felt like totally unjustified harassment for a completely unknown reason. At some point I mentioned my mystification of what was going on, and he said that “ignorance of the law is no excuse” not that he ever cited anything beyond the usual catchall ‘obstruction.’

So, we were being told that we could not catch the bus to our AirBnB. Dave looked on the phone app and it said there was a bus stop for the bus we needed, a few blocks away. We had to lug our luggage to that bus stop and hope that we did not miss the bus, as it was due any minute, and they ran once an hour.

Eventually, we managed to get to our lodgings. Everyone else in Nashville was friendly and helpful, including the bus drivers, but some people seemed to think that the behavior was acceptable because they were ‘having problems there with other people’.

I think this was/is unjustified and inexcusable. I am fully aware of this trend to criminalize the poor for their poverty and I find it abhorrent. It appears that anyone using a city bus qualifies for harassment. There were other people at the waiting room who were being treated similarly who were not being the least bit disrupted in any way. So much for the land of the free! I fear for society if their answer to any problem is this kind of marginalization. I’m guessing that there are mentally ill and addicted people who cause financial losses to businesses and make people uncomfortable, but I consider them the victims rather than those who are inconvenienced. We need to find a better solution.

I fear that people will think that I am objecting to this happening to me as opposed to others. Rather, I am objecting to it happening to anyone. My first person account merely gives me proof that this is the new (unacceptable) norm.

In almost two circumnavigations and visiting many countries, I have never experienced such treatment.

Robn

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My Experiences With Schengen in the EU

This was an email that I recently sent to a friend that wanted to know how it worked.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I’ll do my best to help. I’m sure that you know that the answer depends on what country your passport is from. In the beginning we would often get advice from people from other countries, that did not apply at all to what Americans need to know.

Question, "Have you been able to stay longer than 90 days in Schengen countries while living on your sailboat?"

Yes. When we were in Portugal, some Canadians showed us how to go to a carefully hidden office in Porto Mao, that gave work permits and visa extensions to foreigners. Most of the people there were from countries looking for work permits inside Portugal.

As I recall, back in 2006, we spent most of the day waiting in line, and then filling out some paperwork, and giving them some photographs of the correct size and location of your head, similar to passport photos. It is possible that they use passport photos. I do not recall. Many places have a different requirement.

As I recall, it cost us €45 each, for an extra 90 days. And we were able to renew it at the end of that time, for an additional 90 days.

I believe that it only allowed us to stay in Portugal. I think if we had traveled to any other country after the initial 90 days was up, we would’ve been breaking the law.

Before the end of the third 90 days, we were in Spain. At that time, dozens of people told us that Spain did not care how long we stayed. If we were there three or four years, then they might come after us.

Our British friends were quite concerned, because when the time ran out, they believed that they would then be liable for attacks on their total net worth. Not just the value of their boat. They were wealthy, so that really frightened them. I think they felt it safer to leave after a year, and be out for a time before returning.

We flew from Spain to Houston, by way of Frankfurt and several officials looked at our passports that clearly showed that we had overstayed, but said not a word. And the Immigration Official in Frankfurt was REALLY angry with the man he had just waited on ahead of me.

When I walked up he was still FURIOUS and I am sure that if he could have, he would have loved to fine me, just on general principles.

When we got into Italy, we were told virtually the same thing. We were told that the Italians were quite aware of how long we were in the country, but they did not care as long as we did not break any other laws and that we could stay for several years if we wished. This was back in 2006 through 2008. We did meet one American couple, that I think had a problem in Genoa related to overstaying. So, it may depend on which official you are talking to, on the day that you are talking to them. And, it may well have changed by now.

We flew in and out of Rome and were clearly over our time, but not a peep at the airport.

And, I think you are aware that it is now gotten very easy and relatively inexpensive to get a two year residence permit in Turkey. We did.

A Canadian boater recently posted that they could get an official extended visa. I think it was for one year in France, but they believed that they would then have to pay VAT on their boat. The % required for VAT varies a LOT by country, so, if you plan to pay it, do it in the best Country and low-ball the value of your boat as much as you legally can. Cruising boats are sometimes selling for VERY low prices in some ports.

I have some American friends that were able to get a six month visa before flying to Florence, Italy. They were not boaters. They got it at the Italian Embassy in Washington, DC. And, they said it took several trips. One of the problems was they had to show that they had health insurance that would cover them while in Italy. That was annoyingly expensive.

Ironically, the wife had to go to the hospital while they were there and was treated extremely well. When they were done, my friends asked where is the office that we go to give you our insurance information to pay for the service that we received?

This was met with total confusion. No one that they could find, and they tried, was able to find any way that they could compensate, or file insurance papers, for their healthcare.

You actually asks several questions, but I believe that I’ve answered all of them. Please ask more if I was not clear, or you think of something else.

I would suggest that anyone always get several opinions of local knowledge. This is sometimes harder to do than you would think as most of the people you would talk to, do not need to deal with Schengen, because they are not Americans, so they did not have any correct information but think that they do. Ask many Americans, Canadians, or whatever country you are from and then take your best guess. Greece has its own system. The EU is NOT homogeneous and does NOT clearly spell out the rules. Similarly, RECENT info about specific ports where the officials are nasty, or friendly is valuable intel.

noonsight.com usually has excellent, up-to-date information.

An boating acquaintance spent a year in Greece, illegally, in 2006 & 2007, without permission and when he was about to leave the particular Immigration Office that he went to, was as nice as they could be. I think they fined him 300 Euros or some-such and strongly suggested that he just leave with his boat for Turkey without telling any of the other offices that legal people need to visit for checking out. Your experience may be quite different. We are told that some Greek Islands had nice officials and some had BAD officials. We used the good ones and avoided the bad.

And, that is a good question to ask people that have been through various offices. We a Canadian friend that, when they entered Greece at Corfu, the wife’s passport was not stamped. Her husband is British. When they left Greece, some Greek Port of Entry, near Bodrum, the official was going to fine them a lot of money because of that.

I have never understood that when a professional official makes a mistake, that I am supposed to pay a fine. They are the ones that are supposed to know what the laws are. If you want to fine somebody, fine them!

Therefore, when we entered at Corfu, Janet made sure to get both passports stamped. The official swore up and down that it was not necessary, but she politely insisted until it was done.

She also asked, very carefully, where else do we need to check in with an official and get stamps on our paperwork?

The agent quite clearly said only in Thessalonia, or Athens. Nowhere else. When we got to Itea, Greece, and official came down to all the boats in our part of the harbor and said that we must come to the office at specific times to deal with our paperwork. He gave each boat a slightly different time.

Several boats immediately left rather than have to deal with that. But, we had just arrived and wanted to spend three days and go to Delphi by bus.

So we went and were charged about four times the going rate for the Moorage. We were surprised that it cost so much to stay there, and asked a neighbor when we returned to our boat. He decided that they had misread our documentation and thought that we were a dramatically larger boat.

He suggested that we go back and get a refund. We had already formed the opinion that the person we were dealing with, was an idiot. The amount of money was not gigantic, and we thought it unlikely that we could get a refund. But, we went anyway.

Happily, there was another man in the office, who, especially by comparison, was quite bright. He immediately saw the problem and order the other man to give us the appropriate refund.

And, when we checked out of Greece at Simi, Janet was mildly criticized that we had not gotten our papers stamped every few weeks. "For our safety". What??? But, there was no drama. Just different rules in different offices.

In Mexico, and some other countries, the normal situation was that you officially entered Mexico, at the first port of entry. Then, you have to check in when you pass another administrative office for that part of the coast. In Mexico, that was every 150 miles or so. As I recall, there was no money involved, just lots of walking kilometers in the hot sun to find offices that were carefully hidden.

Therefore, when we first checked in and the Azores, we asked where else do we need to check with officials. We were told that the answer was nowhere. If an official asked to see your papers, then you must display them, but you were officially entered and did not need to go to another official office until you were ready to leave the EU.

When we got to Cascais, Portugal, there was a customs office nearby, and so we took our paperwork to see if we had understood correctly.

It was curious that she very carefully copied all of our paperwork for her records, but then she told us that we did not need to check in anywhere in the EU, and did not stamp anything that gave us a record of having checked in. So, why did she photocopy everything?

Once, or twice in our travels, as we were rowing ashore, some official did ask us for our paperwork, so we went back to the boat and got it.

I’m pretty sure that I remember all of the above quite clearly, however, it covers the time from 2005 until 2008, so much may have changed.

Each Summer we sailed to Morocco or Tunisia or Turkey, for a few days to re-set the 18 month VAT exemption.

Many years ago now, we heard that Brussels was changing the law, so that cruisers could easily stay for a year or two without leaving. But, I think that idea never materialized.

Some Ideas on How to Save Our Planet

Here is some info, especially Greta and the video further down by Gabe Brown. As I learn of new info, I will add it in the appropriate part. Please come back, from time to time.

Greta Thunberg

https://www.themercury.com.au/news/world/greta-thunberg-un-climate-change-conference-in-poland/video/ae124de8e21fc55c4027281c09d22fe4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TYyBtb1PH4

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/12/12/whoever-you-are-wherever-you-are-we-need-you-15-year-old-greta-thunberg-calls-global

Watch the video on this site for a calm, matter of fact powerful explanation of what we are facing due to climate change:

https://rebellion.earth explains the need for getting control of the government:

The good news is:

Regenerative Agriculture can help solve the technical (but not the political)
problem.

https://www.greenamerica.org/healthy-soil-cool-climate/heal-soil-cool-climate

In the links below you can see videos where farmers seem to mimic Nature
and minimize the disturbance of the soil. Tilling damages the healthy soil.
For example, fungi mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus or
fungus-like bacterial colony, consisting of a mass of branching,
thread-like hyphae. Tilling tears that up. Just a few years ago they
discovered that the thread-like hyphae secrete a weak adhesive that allows
the worms and other tiny critters to make tunnels and gives the healthy
soil the ‘black cottage cheese’ effect. This allows the soil to clump and
increase aeration, water absorption and water retention.

In the first video Gabe Brown went from nearly dead “soil” that looked like
whole wheat flour. Dry and compacted and low in nutrients, to ‘black
cottage cheese’. Rich, black moist soil full of diverse life. In 1991 his
soil would absorb only 0.5″ of rain/hr, but by 2011 it would absorb over
8″/hr. He normally only gets 15″ of rain/yr of rain, but his soil can hold
20″ He does not need to irrigate. He uses zero fertilizer or pesticides. He
is Organic, yet he has better yields than his conventional, chemical using
neighbors, at much lower costs.

There is much more if you search on-line. Some are smarter than others. The rules that I think I see each of these farmers
aiming for include:

>Till as little as possible. Let the underground livestock aerate the soil.

>Never have bare soil. It will be cooler in the Summer and warmer in the
Winter and keeps the moisture in.

>Carefully ‘design’ the crop(s) and ground cover choices for your
situation. Diversity and Synergy are important. Typically 10, or more types
of plants at one time.

>Trampling the ground cover may be important, especially in the Winter. Get
as much carbon into the soil as you can.

>Livestock, chickens, beef, etc, transform the nutrients as do some of the
crops and careful ground cover choices. Certain nutrients available only at
great depths can still be brought up by special plants with extra deep
roots.

>Plants and animals, eggs, etc are vastly more nutritious when the system
is working at natural optimum efficiency. Joel Salatin said the eggs have
over 20 times the folic acid, just as an example.

Green America:

https://www.greenamerica.org/healthy-soil-cool-climate/heal-soil-cool-climate

Gabe Brown: Keys To Building a Healthy Soil
https://youtu.be/9yPjoh9YJMk

Some of his stats are repeated here:

More microorganisms in 1 tsp of healthy soil than Humans on Earth.

60+ earthworms in 12x12x2″ of soil

1991 0.5″/hr, 2011 8+”/hr of water absorption

Gabe gets 15″/yr of rain & his soil can hold 20″ He does not need to
irrigate.

He says that he did not instantly change damaged land into fertile, healthy
soil. It may need some chemicals at first, but very few.

More from Gabe Brown:

http://brownsranch.us/category/videos/

https://www.facebook.com/brownsranch/

Dairy-grazing-program saved previous confined feed operation:

video: https://www.lexiconoffood.com/video/runaway-cows-trantham’s-sustainable-“12-aprils”-dairy-grazing-program

article: http://www.happycowcreamery.com/12-aprils-program/

Reversing desertification: Using livestock to restore deserts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpTHi7O66pI

The next link is a Talk in Danby, NY Apr 29, 2017 about Vegan Regenerative Farming (although I believe that the correct animals, used the correct way are better for the soil. You do not have to eat them, but for some time Humans are going to want meat.)

https://youtu.be/bMpMTo3–eY?t=542

Kelly Kirsten & Bob Flatly at Ahimsa village PA

http://www.ahimsavillage.org/about.htm

https://www.organicconsumers.org/file/soil-organic-carbon-keystone-sustainability-changing-world

Joel Salatin on recovering bad land:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsbDXQBuwPg

A book “Call of the Reed Warbler” by Charles Massey is said to be good (we haven’t read it yet).

https://youtu.be/hr3qciR6WOY?t=393 interview with Charles Massey

Water recovery and reversing Desertification
https://www.abundantedge.com/abundantedge/zach-weiss  (many links there)
http://www.holzerpermaculture.us/
http://www.elementalecosystems.com
https://www.agprofessional.com/article/meet-del-ficke-apostle-regenerative-agriculture

Political Activism related:

A “Green New Deal” is a US political proposal to deal with climate change that is getting much more attention. Please contact all of your Govt people and ask them to support it, or thank them for supporting it, as the case may be.

Some info can be found at

https://www.sunrisemovement.org

Initial details on the proposed Green New Deal:

https://www.dataforprogress.org/green-new-deal/

non-violent civil resistance:

short version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJSehRlU34w

long version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6jJGFv23Jw

https://worldbeyondwar.org/talk-nation-radio-dave-lindorff-on-the-pentagons-fictional-budget/

Evidence that the powerful few are not to be trusted, period, with anything. Given by whistle blowers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aCA36J8R4Q

More miscellaneous Links.

https://www.organicconsumers.org/essays/five-new-reasons-monsanto’s-‘science’-doesn’t-add
https://www.organicconsumers.org/sites/default/files/gnd_fact_sheet.pdf
https://www.organicconsumers.org/essays/why-we-endorse-greennewdeal-and-how-we-plan-support-it

https://regenerationinternational.org/resources/#top

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
The items above are mostly about Ecology, but being able to vote is the main way that Americans think they have to change. Here is a link on how to get Ranked Choice Voting. Regardless of your views on the Green Party, there are some good points here. I am sorry that the points seem to appear so slowly, but that is the way it is. Please write a succinct summary and I will post it.

Here are some broad spectrum things that I hope that everyone can get behind.

1) Honest, verifiable, fair elections. One person. One vote. No Gerrymandering. No voter purges. No closing polling places in the areas that you do not want to vote. During the 2016 primaries/caucuses when Clinton and the DNC & GOP were rigging caucuses (Nevada and New York), no purging voters (New York), no closing polling places (Arizona), not rigging voting machines, not tossing out uncounted provisional-ballots, not changing or shredding ballots (California).

2) Get all of the money and bribery out of Politics. When “we” pay them $150,000/yr and the Rich pay them $2,000,000/yr, who will they want to make happy?

3) Stop the ‘two Party’, which is really a One Party monopoly. Have some basic rules, like you need to get 50,000 signatures, etc to let anyone run. All candidates would have equal coverage for free. Part of the cost of being a TV station, Newspaper, etc.

4) A good form of ranked choice voting. I think San Francisco has had it for a long time. Maine has it. Look into the various methods and pick a good one. There are several. “STAR” voting sounds even better.

5) Good Universal Healthcare for all. We are the last, not the first country to do it. Italy has the 2nd or 3rd best healthcare in the World. Their govt pays about US$3,077/capita/yr. ($256/month. Do you already pay more than that out of pocket?) If you look at many studies by Govt and other Credible sources, not Fox News, the US Govt is spending US$9,267/capita/yr ($772/mo/capita) for the 36th best healthcare, and the CDC tells us that over 400,000 people die each year of preventable diseases, we have the 170th best infant mortality, (there are only about 220 countries in the World) the 138th best Maternal Mortality, the 43rd best life expectancy, etc .

So, the ONLY reason for this is the Rich ‘Medical Leeches’ bought our Govt and keep the masses ignorant of the Facts.

EVERY penny you pay in personal cost of crappy healthcare goes to the Leeches. And about $6,000/yr of taxes. Direct to the Leeches.

Source:
Am J Public Health. 2016 March; 106(3): 449–452.
Published online 2016 March. doi: [10.2105/AJPH.2015.302997]
There are, of course, many more issues, but why are we not united behind these? Simply because we allow ourselves to be manipulated by a massive propaganda machine that keeps us fragmented.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2017.0919 says average annual premiums (employer and worker contributions combined) for 2017, = $6,690

https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2018/demo/p60-264.html
2017, the number of people with health insurance coverage = 294.6 million. out of 325,700,000 people
294.6/325.7= 90.45% => $6051/capita => 6051+9267= $15,318/capita/yr => $1,276/mo

 

Robn, Dave and a Trini Friend trying to save the Planet

This was back on 14 Dec 2018. I do not have a copy of the photo from today yet.

We are as close as allowed to the US Embassy in Trinidad. Several Trini passers by stopped to thank us and show support. The lady in the middle even held the sign for quite a while.

Lots of cars driving by tooted and/or gave us big grins and thumbs up. One man is a native Trini, who joined the US Army as a private and retired as a Lt Colonel and became a US Citizen. They all felt that we have a nice Planet and it is a shame to Trash it.

Please Google Greta Thunberg

From writing to raising awareness

I haven’t quit writing. I just haven’t been writing my journal. I’ve been writing about my views regarding political issues and humanity instead of about me and my life.

Then we listened to Greta Thunberg, 15, from Sweden who spoke at the Climate Talks about the global non-action on the climate crisis. She very pointedly said that there was no point in asking the so called leaders yet again to do something that they have no intention of doing. She told the listeners that WE, the people, must act. She called for a global-wide school strike on Friday to call attention to the issue. Which is technically still asking the government to do its job but with a bit more disruption than just a polite ‘please’.

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
Frederick Douglass

https://www.themercury.com.au/news/world/greta-thunberg-un-climate-change-conference-in-poland/video/ae124de8e21fc55c4027281c09d22fe4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TYyBtb1PH4

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/12/12/whoever-you-are-wherever-you-are-we-need-you-15-year-old-greta-thunberg-calls-global

We heard her speech and strike call on Thursday, and agreed that talking and writing were not enough. We, too, were guilty of not doing enough. We quickly made three signs out of what we had on hand – manilla file folders, and blue felt tip markers – and on Friday went to the US Embassy to support any and all striking students. I have no idea if anyone here was aware let alone joining. We didn’t care. It was just the two of us. One of the security guards promptly asked us to move to the other side of the street from the corner we started at. Then we decided to move over to the other side where there was shade. Since it was a one way road around Queen’s Park Savannah, the move actually put us closer to the drivers.

I had expected it to be unpleasantly hot and sunny but with shade and breeze it was quite pleasant. The breeze made it necessary to hold our floppy signs with 2 hands, so we were unable to display all three. They read: “SAVE OUR PLANET”, THERE IS NO PLANET B, and “THERE ARE NO JOBS ON A DEAD PLANET”.

We were encouraged by the number of beeps and thumbs up that we got. After half an hour a local woman came and joined us and happily brandished our third sign while we chatted for the next half hour. A bit later we were joined by a local man who is a veteran of the US armed forces, retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after enrolling as a private, now a US Citizen. He was also interested in the cause, so we told him about CommonDefense, a progressive organization of vets and active military personnel. He said he would look into it.

On the way home we went shopping for material to make a banner, having decided to make a weekly event of it. The woman who first joined us said that she would do the same down south where she lives.

We felt that we got more exposure in that hour and a half than we ever did by writing bits on social media – especially since the latter is mostly preaching to the choir. I’m sure some of the drivers disagreed with us and would hardly be influenced by anyone holding signs. Others, however, were probably not paying much attention to the issue, especially since it gets so little attention by the press. Seeing us, though, might make them curious, get them thinking, prepare them for more down the road. We felt good about the day’s efforts.

Next spring we have to leave Trinidad as our visas expire, so we will go to Tennessee and attend the UnRig Summit 2019 to discuss ways to reclaim the democracy that has been stolen from us. Then we go to Puget Sound and will be attending the Global Earth Repair Conference at Fort Warden, Port Townsend early May. Then we go to Turkey and do some preventative maintenance on Alegria.

I am feeling more and more hypocritical and guilty about my carbon foot print. I think I kept it very low for many years, and less low for most of my life, but this flying hither and yon has blown it, I’ll have to figure out how to get it back down.

Way way back in the 60’s I was already wondering why people were so willing to pollute our environment. Air, water, and sea were and are apparently believed to be infinitely capable of absorbing our dirty byproducts – despite the obvious fact that it isn’t.

Most of the activism regarding climate change has been centered on fossil fuels, which I do believe need to be phased out, especially since most of our wars are over oil and need to be ended. I have no sympathy for the fossil fuel industry as they have been aware for many decades of the magnitude of the problem and could easily have prepared for the end of fossil fuels by diversifying into alternative energy sources.

Less attention has been given to agriculture’s role in climate change. Addressing it’s role may well be our best chance at restoring the carbon balance and thus minimizing the damage being done.

We are heartened by the potential healing offered by regenerative agriculture. Various farmers have demonstrated the potential for sequestering megatons and megatons of carbon (given enough acres) back into the soil by using minimal till (if any), mulching, composting, animal husbandry, crop rotation, and (very importantly) diversity – getting way away from monocultures. Mimicking nature can do wonders.

If we phase out the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and antibiotics using modern techniques of regenerative agriculture, we can vastly improve the quality and quantity of food produced (and hence our health) AND bring down atmospheric carbon. It also reduces the agricultural demand for water, can help recharge aquifers with cleaner water. The list of benefits is long.

Big Ag is no more interested in doing this than Big Oil is interested in closing their doors, so it, too, is not an easy solution politically. As a solution to many many problems including climate change, however, it should get top billing. Since these regenerative farmers have demonstrated the profitability of their methods, education ‘should’ be able to convert conventional farmers. If only it were that simple!

We are not farmers, yet we found the following videos very informative, encouraging, and even entertaining. Perhaps you would also enjoy them.

Regenerative Agriculture: Not theory, this is actual experience. Sequestering carbon, water retention, improving nutrition, no till, no poisons, etc.

https://youtu.be/9yPjoh9YJMk

Run away cows saved dairy farm:

https://www.lexiconoffood.com/video/runaway-cows-trantham’s-sustainable-“12-aprils”-dairy-grazing-program

Reversing desertification: Using livestock to restore deserts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpTHi7O66pI

Extreme example of regeneration success:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsbDXQBuwPg Joel Salatin on recovering bad land

So we look forward to a new year of activism to push regenerative agriculture, thereby reducing poisons, improving nutrition, and sequestering carbon and water, plus fighting war and the continued unnecessary dependence on fossil fuels. No more war for oil, no more oil for war.

Cheers, Robn and Dave
P.S. Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year
Mele Kalikimaka, Hau ‘oli Makahiki Hou!