Unless.

Recently I read this article in The Guardian that really hit home with me how urgent the need is to stop burning things for energy.

Sadly, until our species stops burning long-dead life-forms – fossil fuels – as our primary sources of energy for our homes, businesses, and transportation systems, this trend will only continue. More people will sicken and die due to atmospheric, land, and water pollution directly and indirectly due to burning fossil fuels for energy. Then there are the anthropogenic climate change implications – but that is another can of worms for another day.

If you do not understand the issues and the connections between burning fossil fuels, pollution, climate change and the health and continuation for humans and wildlife then it is possible that:

– you may not understand the problem.

– you may understand the problem but feel that it is hopeless and that nothing you do will change anything.

– you may have the desire to make a change, but do not believe you have the ability or the means to start the change.

or

– you may not want to understand the problem.

– you may for some bizarre reason actually believe the rhetoric of the corrupt politicians who are in bed with fossil fuel corporations.

– you may be listening to and trusting those with agendas.

– while choosing to ignore those with the peer-reviewed evidence.

– you may have money invested in fossil fuels that you do not want to loose.

– you might be comfortable in the way things are – or were – and you do not want to change – even if that change would make you more comfortable, happy, wealthy, and provide your children and grandchildren with a better world.

– you may actually believe the ancient scribblings in a dusty old story book that tells you the earth and its resources are somehow “imperfect” “corrupt” or “evil” and are here for us to dominate and squander without any consideration for future people, wildlife, or the balance of nature.

– you may even somehow believe all of the above.

This is all really very sad.

These limiting, restrictive, erroneous, and destructive beliefs will only serve to make problems such as this far more malignant and deadly.

The cold, hard, inconvenient truth is this: our species must stop burning things for energy and transition as fast as possible to local, energy secure, clean, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, gravity, tidal and wave energy, and eventually – fusion. We must keep the majority of fossil fuels in the ground and use them only as fuel for systems and projects that do not play well with renewables such as rocketry – as well as keeping them in reserve as backups for when emergencies happen and as feedstocks for reusable, recyclable products that are made from them – such as plastics.

If we want our species to continue much longer into the future – we must listen to those with the evidence.

We must follow the evidence wherever it leads.

We must listen to the science.

This is the only way we will ever evolve.

The Zombies are Coming!

Ok, so here it is.

I just learned of another “event” that is predicted by many “woke” “thinkers” and “researchers” to happen on Feb 21st. 2021.

A zombie apocalypse.

Yep, you read that right.

A friggin zombie apocalypse.

I am not ready for this.

(LOLROTFL)

If you go to Wikipedia and search for “end of the world predictions” you will find a treasure trove of hundreds of terrible, horrible, violent, “evil” civilization-ending disasters that were certain to occur.

You know what?

They didn’t happen. None of them.

The prophets (profits), doomsayers, soothsayers, and end times gurus were wrong every single time.

No, zombies aren’t real. They are fiction. They are, in fact, biologically impossible.

No, there won’t be a zombie apocalypse this year – or any year…well, except on TV, at the movies, and in the brains of some people who have never opened their mind to reality…oh wait, I forgot about that small cadre of walking dead brainless zombies who followed the insane dictates of their idiocy-tweeting führer and stormed the Capitol on January 6th, 2021 in a lame attempt to start a “civil war” or some other such nonsense.

If there had been “real” zombies (who are far more intelligent than any of the Capitol rioters or their führer) they would not have promoted their “civil war” on many social media outlets and taken selfies and videos of themselves and their friends in “action” – then post them all over the internet as an invitations to identify, locate, and arrest they and their comrades – then toss them in the jailhouse to rot like the gray matter lacking, putrid, slimy, worm-ridden filth that they are.

…oops, sorry…where was I…zombies, right.

Source: http://www.jeffzoet.com/

As the gang from Scooby-Doo found out – the real monsters are always us.

Nope, zombies are not real so there will be no zombie apocalypse this year…or any year.* However, I’m pretty sure it won’t be the only apocalypse and/or other bizarre conspiratorial evidence-lacking fabrications predicted this year (“Jewish space lasers” anyone) and, like this one, all the others have been or will be revealed to be total fabrications and/or non-events as well. (Except for all the book-writing and DVD/movie “documentary” producing, prepper product selling, soothsayers, doomsayers, and end times preaching pontiffs, charlatans, swindlers, and conmen – for them, it’s all just more of your money in their pockets.)

See you on the 22nd for just another day on this water-soaked rock we multi-colored primates call planet earth.

*There is one sure way we could create an apocalyptic situation for the population of our planet: not listening to the findings of the world’s experts and scientists, putting myth, magic, mysticism, and money above common sense and reality. I believe Carl Sagan said it best:

“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…

The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance”

― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

MASK TEST

I test several common protective face masks in a cleanroom of my own design.

This video is long because I choose to be thorough and transparent. To demonstrate this requires procedure and patience. If you are in a hurry and want to bypass all the “meat” of the video and go directly to my findings – then feel free to do so by skipping ahead to the time index of 39:17

The back story: in the early summer of 2020 I noticed many mask tests being conducted by different scientists to demonstrate the effectiveness of wearing masks to protect us from COVID-19 (and other nasty infectious diseases such as Influenza). Below is an example of one of these mask demonstrations from Dr. Rich Davis -the regional director of microbiology at Providence Health Care in Spokane, Washington.

Dr. Davis’s example along with others (listed below) inspired me to attempt a similar mask test in my classroom for my students in the attempt to show the effectiveness – and the necessity – of wearing a mask during a global pandemic.

To do this I acquired some Petri dishes (from an Amazon supplier), then – with a mask off and a petri dish held at arm’s length – I coughed, sneezed, sang, and yelled at the open dishes.  I then put on a two layer cotton face  mask and repeated the demonstration exactly as the first time. 

I labeled the dishes and let them incubate for a few days in a warm area – I did not have an incubator at the time but it was June so it was warm in the classroom, therefore – growth happened…LOTS of growth, far more than I expected…it was really gross actually and it smelled really funky. 

The odd thing was that, while the dish that was exposed to my respiratory droplets/aerosols without a mask did in fact have more colonies of growth – so did the plate I had coughed on while wearing a mask.  At first it appeared that the mask did little to stop the spread of respiratory droplets. 

I wrongly assumed my error was in the growth media of the petri dishes so I acquired some new dishes with the same growth media used by many of the other researchers – 5% sheep’s blood – and I repeated the demonstration.  This time I also added a table and placed several dishes out at 1′, 3′ and 6′ in an attempt to show how droplets travel outward from the body. 

Again, the results were the same – not much difference between masked and unmasked. 

I was perplexed. 

I compared my results to the others and came to the only possible conclusion: my samples had been contaminated by the classroom environment.  The natural dust and dirt on our feet, bodies, and hair that the students and I bring inside with us from the nearby forest and garden, our sloughed off human skin cells and hair, animal/bird dander (we have several free-range chickens), the fact that the building is an old log cabin.  Along with all this fun with particulates – the classroom is host to many different species of reptile, amphibian, fish, arachnid, and sometimes even an Opossum. Then there are the billions of free-floating fungal spores and pollen grains from the forest all around us as well as the occasional wandering house fly or gnat – and all the fun little friends that hitchhike on their feet and faces. All these contaminants and contaminant vectors were, well – everywhere.

So, my samples were contaminated by the nature of nature.

What to do? How could I reduce the natural contamination factor of my classroom environment to produce a more un-contaminated result?

A room air filter you say?  Yes, I already had one of those – a big one.  Obviously, it could only do so much.

Since it would be next to impossible to make my classroom free of natural environmental contaminants – the only option I could see was to build a Cleanroom myself in the hopes of ruling out some of the environmental contamination in the hopes of obtaining a better result – so, that is what I did.

The embedded video shows the results of my efforts and I hope it serves to demonstrate the how and the why of why masks work and why it is important to wear them during a global pandemic.

Watch to the end if you are interested in learning how I built the Cleanroom.

Special Thanks to:

Hardy Diagnostics for assisting us with this demonstration: http://www.hardydiagnostics.com

Beth Banks

Marian O’Neil

Jaelyn Crews Steverson

Matt Piper

My students and co-workers

More special thanks to my inspirations for this demonstration: Dr. Rich Davis, the Clinical Microbiology Lab Director at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/… On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIpHC…

Dr. Nwadiuto Esiobu, microbiologist, Florida Atlantic University https://wsvn.com/news/investigations/…

Lourdes Aguilar of UMC of El Paso, TX: On YouTube: https://youtu.be/Q1YOHTP5IrA

Dr. Joe Hanson of It’s Ok To Be Smart On YouTube:

     How Well Do Masks Work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tp0z…

     COVID-19 & Mask Myths DEBUNKED!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npXP5…

My Outdoor Research Mask: https://www.outdoorresearch.com/us/fa…

COVID-19 Resources

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-…

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-…

https://www.fda.gov/emergency-prepare…

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

https://news.ncsu.edu/2020/12/vaccine…

https://www.factcheck.org/issue/covid…

https://www.snopes.com/collections/ne…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronav…

Even more special thanks to Matt Piper for graciously allowing the use of his wonderful song: Orbital Horizons

Please Support Matt via https://mattpiper.bandcamp.com/music

https://www.amazon.com/Orbital-Horizo…

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5SH8b…

Please visit the Earthshine Nature Programs website and consider supporting our nonprofit work with a donation: http://www.earthshinenature.com/donate

Visit our GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/enpsolartr…

Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/earthshinenature

THANK YOU ALL!

My mask protects you, your mask protects me. 

Wear your mask.