COVID-19 is only the beginning…

My sinuses and eyes are dry, my lungs feel congested, I have an occasional dry cough, last night I felt weak and “under the weather.”

No, it is not covid – I’m vaccinated for that damn plague.

My respiratory symptoms are due to the horrible air quality we are experiencing from the smoke we are receiving from all the wildfires on the north American continent mixed with all the pollution from burning fossil fuels for energy in our automobiles, power plants, and factories.

In my classroom I’m running the air filter on turbo mode so my students have cleaner air while in class…

…and all the while people seem to only be talking about the pretty sunsets while continuing to deny anthropogenic climate change and carry on like nothing is wrong.

It boggles the brain.

We are our own limiting factor.

In my opinion and experience, many politicians and religious leaders are nothing more than openly (or under the table) highly paid businesspersons who are adept at saying exactly what you want to hear so you will willingly feed them more of your support, time, and money.

They do not care one bit about you and are nothing more than charlatans and leeches feeding upon the fears and tears of the masses. They have nothing to offer me when it comes to making the important decisions that support us all.

The lessons of history show that many politicians and religious leaders are out for only personal gain or the betterment of only their chosen “side” or agenda. This side-taking helps only a very few and it only servers to widen the gap of division, doubt, fear, and hate.

To think that a politician, a religious leader, (or a random loudmouthed citizen on social media) would have better health, science, or environmental suggestions/recommendations than those learned individuals who have devoted their entire careers, lives, and passions to the betterment of human health, understanding the environment, energy matters, and the progress of everything moving forward – would be the ultimate in senseless, futile, self-sabotage.

Therefore, in great matters of health, environment, evolution, adaptation, life, and death, I will always first and foremost choose to listen to and follow the careful recommendations of the experts. If however, a politician or religious leader chooses to ignore the lure of money, status, power, prestige, and instead choose to actually listen to and act upon the guidance of the experts – then I might choose to give them a chance to live up to their claims.

So far this has not happened yet and we are spiraling down toward our species demise.

If we do not adapt – nature will have its way with us because in nature there are only two options: adapt or die.

In this case adapting means putting aside toxic politics and dusty ancient dogma in favor of following the evidence, logic, and listening to and accepting the findings and recommendations of the planets unbiased experts. Then, with this knowledge in hand we must all work together to do the following:

We must transition as fast as possible away from a fossil fuel based energy economy and replace it with a renewable energy based economy.

We also need to end single use throw away items.

We need to learn to eat far less animal protein – unless we buy locally and ethically produced meat or raise, or legally hunt/fish for them ourselves.

We stop having litters of children just because we can.

We all need to go get ourselves vaccinated when faced with planetary plagues.

We must work together to be more accepting of each others ethnicities, nationalities, choices, and differences – we need to be more humane humans.

We need to plant more trees, flowers, and vegetables.

We must help animals and humans in need.

We must help the young get a good start and help the old find friendship, support, and rest.

If we can find the will power to do these things – our species will thrive.

If we cannot do these things I fear that we will end up living on only in the fossil record.

Make good choices.

Do good things.

Be the change.

Are you air aware?


Another trip around the sun

Another trip around the sun completed successfully.

Some perspective: On this day in 1968 I came into this reality – whatever this reality really is – and as of today, I have existed in this reality for 53 earth years.

I was premature so I had to cook in an incubator for a while until my body took over and I could support myself without the assistance of science and technology.

I was soon adopted by two amazing people Cathy and Clayton – who accepted me into their home as their own child. They later adopted another child in need and named her Lesly who then became my wonderful sister. She met Jonas and they raised two wonderful children – Cody and Ashlyn – who I just know will go above and beyond and do great things. I am lucky and proud to be a part of this family.

I was born in the middle of one of the greatest scientific achievements humankind had and has ever experienced–the Apollo-era moon missions and landings… and, fitting the space exploration and cultural turbulence of the times, the first incarnation of Star Trek was on TV…and it still is!

I have been alive (whatever that means) for ~464,280 hours and climbing. I have orbited our closest star Sol – 53 times. I have now traveled around 30,952,000,000 miles (49,812,415,488 kilometers) through space in an ever-spiraling circle around a rather remote and average little yellow star while riding on a water-soaked living rock along with you and over 7.25 billion other naked, bi-pedal, mostly hairless, multi-colored, fire and tool-using, thinking apes, and countless other amazing life-forms – while spinning at an equatorial rate of around 1000 mph while at the same time passing through the icy blackness vacuum of space at around 67,000 mph in our orbital path around the sun while also orbiting around the supermassive black hole in the center of our home galaxy at a rate of around 514,000 mph. At this rate, it will take me, you, our wet rock, and our star – about 230 million years to make one trip around the galactic center thereby completing one Galactic Year. And all of this, all of us, everything, our entire Milky Way galaxy – is traveling through intergalactic space at around 1.2 million mph (1.9m kph) relative to the cosmic background radiation.
Ponder it.

So far I have had an amazing existence full of tons of excitement, exploration, friendship, laughter love, and light as well as periods of loss, pain, hardship, and a little bit of darkness.

I was here the last time Haley’s Comet passed by our pale blue watery rock of a dot in 1986 (and I plan to be here to see it again when it comes back around again in 2062).

I rode along in spirit and in support of every space exploration mission humanity has launched since I can remember way back as a 4-year-old kid watching the last Apollo astronauts bouncing about the lunar surface in the early ’70s. I have since watched in awe, great appreciation, and hope as the incredible Space Shuttles flew and 15 nations set aside their differences to build the international space station – a castle of science, discovery, and international cooperation in the sky. Today I am elated at the rapid evolution of non-governmental space travel organizations and I hope to see us back on the moon and then Mars before too long. Go SpaceX!

I chased nature and wild animals, first as a child for personal interest sake, and later in the name of science, education, and conservation of species. My favorites being the misunderstood creatures of the world such as reptiles, amphibians, bats, Opossums, and vultures.

On a few occasions, my body was invaded by microscopic festering armies of “wildlife” that tried to use me as a replicator for more of their kind and/or end me, and yet, my own immune system as well as the findings of many, many scientists that came before allowed me to boost, augment, and bio-hack my body through the use of antibiotics and vaccinations thereby giving me a “force field of science” inside and out so I could continue awkwardly onward into the future.

I came closest to feeding the soil, worms, and trees when in 2014 a rather archaic and not that useful part of my internal anatomy (my appendix) malfunctioned and suffered a massive R.U.D. (Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly) – so I had it removed by a robot that was designed by science and piloted by a scientist we all call a doctor so I could continue in my present state of existence.

In 2016 I had an encounter with a wild venomous serpent (Timber rattlesnake) who was only defending himself due to my accidental stupidity and, while I was in no danger of meeting my end – it did really hurt a bit and slow me down for a few weeks (yes, the snake still lives in the wilds of the forest 🙂 ) The only way I was able to overcome this one without losing a finger and possibly suffering lasting damage to my body was through the findings of science. Yep, there is that science thing again. Ain’t it wonderful 🙂

On all these close calls (and many I have not even been aware of due to my science augmented/trained to recognize and destroy the “bad guys” immune system 🙂 I was given another chance at existing in this reality through the findings of science, miracles of modern technology and engineering…and possibly a little bit of some as yet undiscovered by science mystical energy field or omnipotent ancient and possibly extraterrestrial/interdimensional intelligence that, for some strange reason, many individuals/cultures/factions on the planet have coined different names/stories/belief systems for – yet cannot ever seem to agree upon…and often even choose to childishly take sides, argue, fight, and even kill each other over…so bizarre is the proudest monkey. IMHO – if this intelligence exists – it is as far “above” us as we are “above” our closest relatives the Chimpanzee and Bonobo…or maybe the bacterium…or the virus. Whatever the case, I’m pretty sure that if it exists it might be studying us as we study the animals and it cares not one single bit about the books we write about it, our childish bickering on who/what it is, who or what is right and wrong, who uses which bathroom, who’s skin is what color, who is left and right, etc. – just like we do not care about the comings and goings of bacteria and viral organisms…until they invade our personal space and become overpopulated…hmmmm…

At an early age I became tired with all the factions telling me what to do, how to believe, how to think, how to live my life, how to be a human – so I chose to follow my own path. I chose to listen to nature, to the evidence and logic and teachings of the wilderness and the findings of the great minds and philosophies of history. Some may call me a “free spirit” – nice! – thank you! Some have called me “lost” – really, how rude! But whatever the case this is my path and I will never try to force it on you or anyone. You must find your own path.

I learned to drone a didgeridoo.

I fell in love with a wonderful beautiful intelligent human female called Marian and we settled down a bit…but not too much 🙂

A few years later I fell into a wonderful career inspiring, leading, and sharing knowledge with at-risk amazing youth on the connections, beauty, and joy of nature, wildlife, science, and life the universe and everything.

While working to inspire tomorrow’s youth to better themselves by connecting with nature, wilderness, wild things, and to trust science and let it be their guides in life – my students, interns, volunteers, amazing friends Jim and Bob, and I all worked together to build a photovoltaic solar power plant that benefits not only our classroom and campus but the entire local community with clean, locally-produced renewable energy!

Around this same time, my wife and I started phasing out almost all our connections to nature and life-harming dirty fossil fuels. We have been driving mostly electric since 2013 and intend to soon go fully electric with most of our transportation, energy, and fuel needs coming from EV’s and local renewable energy sources.

Relatively recently the amazing findings of the science of genetics and DNA sequencing allowed me to connect with my wonderful biological father and other awesome family members and answer many of the questions about my genetic roots and my connections to nature that I have had since an early age.

And now I find myself near the end of a global viral pandemic that has sadly ended the lives of many and upset the lives and plans of most. As before, I will follow and trust the science above all other randomly repeated, vociferous, evidence-lacking, emotional, opinions and options. I rolled up my sleeve and gladly accepted the expertly recommended vaccinations against this microscopic attacker and I will continue to trust in science, even with its changeable and incomplete nature, to give me guidelines and support during this global human emergency. I hope you will choose to join me and in doing so, together, you and I will get through this thing – and hopefully, I will still be here to rewrite this yet again next year on this day.

Whatever all the facts and reasons may be, I am very glad to still be here on this incredible and sometimes bumpy but always interesting wild ride through the cosmos with all of you other crazy wonderful and beautiful mixed up mosh pit of humans and always wonderful animals.

I’m not sure where we are going or when, where, and why we exist – but wherever, whatever, whenever, and whyever – at least we are making good time and it has been and will continue to be one heck of a wild ride through the cosmos on this one strange rock we all call home.

Thank you all for being here and for riding along on this roller coaster called life with me 🙂 Now let’s all take another spin around the sun together on spaceship Earth!

Improvise, adapt, overcome, evolve, survive, thrive.
Live long and prosper.
Bring the change.
Be the change.
Do good things.

Happy Independence Day

It is July 4th.

As I write this post it sounds like my neighbors across the cove to the south and down the mountain to the north are are launching an all-out war on everything and I am caught in the crossfire – and fireworks are supposedly illegal in my state…

About 5 years ago those same neighbors launched fireworks that dropped on my rooftop. I had to climb up on the roof around midnight to be se sure the rocket remains were not smoldering – and it was in the middle of a drought!

I’m all about celebrating Independence Day but I have never understood how blowing things up is anything more than intentional littering/air/noise pollution, a waste of resources, creates a huge fire hazard, and puts unreasonable unneeded stresses on wildlife, pets, and people/veterans with PTSD/sensitivities to sound.

Here are a few ideas for a meaningful, lasting, celebration of independence that can improve our neighborhood relations, our communities, our country, and our connections with each other and with nature:

Plant some trees that will provide oxygen, shade, and sequester carbon. You could make it an annual tradition and call them “Freedom Trees” and over time you would have a “Freedom Forest.” If you and your kids planted fruit trees you could produce some of your own “Freedom Fruit” and before long you would have a “Freedom Orchard” – you get the idea 🙂

Plant a vegetable garden to produce some of your own food. You could call it the “Freedom Garden” or as they did in WW2 a “Victory Garden” – whatever you called it, it would be a great way to grow some of your own food and teach your kids where their food comes from and how to be more self-sufficient and therefore, truly free.

You could add some solar panels to your roof/property to lessen your reliance on dirty energy (fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas) and in doing so you would become more energy secure and self-sufficient by farming the sun and producing your own “Freedom Electrons” to power your personal energy needs.

You could trade in that old gas guzzler for a new or used electric vehicle (EV). Even if you only used it to go to work/town and back as a daily driver for even just a few times per week – it will save you loads of money on fuel, oil, maintenance – oh and you can charge it up with those solar panels I mentioned earlier and have zero fuel costs.

True freedom and self-reliance come when you are not tied to the grocery stores and fuel pumps – which are tied to corporate farms and oil fields of the Gulf of Mexico and the Middle East by several hundred to thousands of miles long supply chains and dirty politics. Operating and protecting these supply chains – especially the petroleum “umbilical cord” without which all gas/diesel vehicles would be useless – costs billions of our hard-earned tax dollars, the lives of our loved ones in the military who work hard and give their lives to protect it, and what about the toxic, health, earth, life and future-destroying pollution that comes with every single step of the process?

For a moment why not just try and forget all your preconceived notions about this idea and imagine never paying for gas/oil/tune-ups and all those random bits that legacy automobiles often need repair or replacement – ever again.

Wow. What a grand concept. What would you do with all that money?

Imagine quietly making your own clean fuel/energy at home and being able to unplug from the subscription to dependency at the gas pump and the local monopolistic power plant and not needing to feed off of the oily teat of the twisted, toxic, corrupt, destructive energy system we have created over the last ~200 years…all while accepting/believing without question that it is the only option…

There is a better way to source our energy and get from point A to point B and it leads to true energy independence – I know how good it feels because I have done it.

My 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV – the “Mighty Bolt”

I have been driving a fully electric car for almost 8 years – my first EV was a 2012 Nissan LEAF – and I charge it with “homegrown” solar-produced electricity so my fuel costs are only around 1 cent per mile! I never stop at gas stations, never worry about tune-ups, exhaust pipes, mufflers, catalytic converters, belts, hoses, fluids, filters, transmissions, etc…driving electric is free from all these things and it is an amazing feeling of freedom and it is a great feeling in every way. If I can do it, so can you.

Here are a few fun freedom facts:

Yesterday my wife and I took a close to 300-mile road trip. We needed to stop for fuel and were happy to discover that the Electrify America fueling stations we chose to use – were all offering free fuel to all patrons in honor of Independence Day!

Charging costs for the entire journey – $0.00!

During our sojourn, we met many other holiday travelers who were stopping for fuel as well.

They were voyaging in many different makes of vehicle but they all shared two things in common: they were all powered by electricity and none of their owners had to pay for fuel for this entire holiday weekend!

We also passed by a Tesla Supercharger station where several Teslas were charging up. I heard through the EV grapevine that some Tesla Supercharger stations were also offering free charging in honor of Independence Day.

So cool.

Thank you Electrify America, Tesla, and the USA for making all this possible.
This is energy freedom and energy security.

On the road in the Bolt EV

High above the solar array my students, volunteers, supporters and I built at my science and nature center classroom.

July 4th is my classroom’s “Energy Independence Day” – it is the anniversary of that wonderful day in 2019 when we energized our classroom solar array and achieved Energy Independence from fossil fuel-produced electricity!

Here is another good idea – what about eating less meat even if only for one day a week.
Aside from the obvious health benefits, eating less meat means less land/water/energy resources will be used up for industrial animal farming – “Factory Farms” – and all the problems they create. If you just cannot fathom that move then maybe you can just raise or ethically hunt and fish for your own meat instead of supporting dirty, unhealthy, industrial animal farms. Like gardening, it teaches the next generation where their energy and food comes from, respect for other life forms, and self-reliance – aka freedom.

Besides all of the obvious benefits I have suggested above – getting outside in nature, be it for farming, gardening, hunting, fishing, planting trees, installing solar, driving your solar-charged EV, or taking a hike in the forest with your kids, family, or dog – is just so good for you and your loved ones and it is a great way to celebrate our country’s and maybe your own independence day 🙂

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