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El Matal (Manabi) Ecuador
Residents of El Matal and concerned citizens from nearby areas displayed a united front at the public meeting to discuss the critical status of the eroding beach. Engineer Daniel Santata, a coastal specialist, joined the Minister of Pescadores and the Director of Risk (Portoviejo), though the meeting began without the presence of Mayor/Alcade Alex Cevallos.
Because of difficulty in understanding sometimes rapid-fire Spanish, and straining to grasp what I heard through the outdoor acoustics, I apologize in advance for errors in translation. The essence of the meeting follows. Z Continue reading
As the most evolved species on the planet, we – as humans- oftentimes inflict the most damage and leave a swath of damage in our wakes! The more primitive indigenous cultures sometime seem to be the true evolved ones, as their simple lifestyles allow them to monitor Mother Nature’s pulse. When something is out of balance, they are often astute enough to connect it back to a particular event. (An easy example would be, “That flying machine soared over the fields, and days later the grasses turned yellow and died… later the people began getting sick with mystery illnesses we’ve never known…”)
Rarely do the Indians attempt to strong arm Mother Nature; they respect and live in harmony with her. In contrast, we – the ‘evolved’ – use our brains and technology and modern equipment to literally move mountains at times! Society progresses and sometimes later realize that we’ve upset Nature’s balance.
Growing up along the Mississippi River, I’ve witnessed firsthand the effects of trying to control the waterways via levee system; John Barry’s Rising Tide – The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 should be a must-read for anyone who works in flood control/water management industry! He tells the history of the the Mississippi River, the great floods, and how everything done to control that grand Father of Waters seemed to backfire. When one learns those lessons and then sees those same mistakes repeated elsewhere – oh, it’s like watching someone being sucked into a whirlpool.
When the local authorities strong armed the stretch of mangroves just downriver from my house, I chuckled when Mother Nature bit back and attempted to swallow the excavator. Had she waited until high tide, she might have been successful in destroying that big orange machine! Can we really blame her for biting the monster that ate those mangroves? Continue reading
The more educated our species becomes, the more we seem to distance ourselves from Mother Nature. We poke and prod her as we extract oil and gases from her bowels, and we grind away mountains in search of precious metals or coal or even rocks and boulders. We harvest her majestic timbers and desecrate vast acreages for crops and pastures. Pesticides taint the air that we breathe, the food that we eat and trickle into the ecosystem. Plastics pollute our waters and are belched back onto the no-longer pristine shoreline. Sand Mining destroys marine life and accelerates beach erosion.
Most of us are aware of the problems, but how many of us are speaking up or trying to find a way to make a positive difference? Living near the Pacific Ocean, I witness the destructive forces of the high tides, which seem to be gobbling more and more shoreline. I’ve witnessed illegal shrimp trawling and correctly predicted that dead sea turtles would soon wash ashore. I don’t blame Madre Tierra for trying to buck us off her back!
Take time out to stop and really look at our beautiful Earth. Savor the delicate beauty of a short-lived flower; admire the silhouette of a towering tree against the sky; inspect the precision of a brigade of ants or marvel at the aerial ballet of bird in flight.
The following images and quotes represent my love for this planet and my concern for its future as we approach Earth Day 2013. Z Continue reading