How Many Trees Can We Plant in 12 Years?

I am very glad to hear Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and Rashida  Tlaib, and some of the other new firebrands in the U.S. House of Representatives, talking about a Green New Deal, because that’s exactly what’s needed.  Not just in the U.S., but around the world, if we are to beat that 12 year deadline and save the world.
Fortunately, the U.S. is not the whole world and there are other countries who are showing the way.  Also fortunately, many of the things we need to do will cost very little money.  For  instance, planting trees.
New Zealand has announced plans to plant 100 million trees per year.  I’m not sure how many years they plan to keep it up for, but if it’s more than one or two, that’s a hell of a lot of trees for a small country with two islands.  China is planning to plant a forest the size of Ireland on previously treeless land, and India can bring out tens  of thousands of volunteers to plant 100,000 trees in a day.  These are magnificent efforts and if the rest of the world follows suit, a lot of the carbon particles will  be scrubbed from the air, which will be cooler and shadier.
Trees have lots of side benefits as well.  Fruit,  nuts, sap, wood (although we’d be wise to use less of that until we’ve reforested the world properly), and homes for birds.  If the birds survive, humanity will survive.
Every city needs more trees, because a quiet, tree lined street is such a much more pleasant place to live than a stark, barren, concrete or trimmed grass strip between the buildings and the speeding cars.
Once upon a time, before the advent of agriculture, civilization, and races of men determined to bring the planet to heel, pretty much all of Europe north of the Alps was dense forest, and almost all of North America east of  the Mississippi and south of Hudson Bay as well.  Admittedly, there are now cities and farms, we may never again be a purely  wild planet, but we should try to recreate that native state as closely as possible.

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It’s the Leaves

Donald Trump has blamed the recent California fires on people not raking up their leaves, and he sort of has a point.  Although some people may have raked up the leaves in their own back  yard, there were definitely not enough people volunteering to rake up the leaves in  the million and a half acres of mostly national forest that have burned this year.  It’s the tragedy of the commons thing.  That big patch of plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is embarrassing, but getting a boat out there and spending all day scooping up plastic with a net is more effort than people want to make when they can sit at home and watch TV.  We all complain about street crime, but how many people are donning super hero costumes and leaping out at the criminals from the windows of tall buildings?  Not very many.  People are just slackers.
And leaves burn, they really  do.  So do  wooden houses.  I think all  houses in future should be built out of concrete, brick or stone, and built underground so they are safe from the threat of nuclear war as well.  But, are people willing to go so far?  Noooo, they all want houses that ‘look nice’ and ‘have a beautiful view.’  Selfish bastards.
Leaves burn, and wooden houses burn, and you know what else burns?  Trees.   That’s right, trees.  We apparently have far too many trees in our national forests.  If  we chopped  them all down, we would have lots of lumber, which is money, and the forests would be a much safer place.

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Nocturnal Ruminations

Last night I went to bed without writing a blog and I hate myself a little bit when I do that because the ‘blog a day’ concept is important to me, it means I get a lot of words out there and that produces ideas for more writing and I now have a lot of books out there (available on  Amazon and Kindle) and that is some contribution to the human race, or at least an offering, like the millions of words  written on bathroom walls in now abandoned buildings.
So, this is a morning make-up blog and I’ll write about my dream last night.  Two things were happening.  Kind of in the background, I had written a poem (don’t remember the poem, about a four liner about some town in Australia, and I’ve never been to Australia) which had become very popular, everybody (in the High School class) was talking about it, but I had signed somebody else’s name, and she was very confused.
But the main event, the sharp and clear focus of the dream, I was in a cafe in an airport and I went to buy cigarettes (haven’t smoked the nasty things for 30 years now) but there were technical problems.  It was a computer order, like they have at all the McDonald’s now and I hate it, although there was an attendant working the board, it didn’t accept my dollars, but wouldn’t void the transaction and let me purchase in crowns, and I had a wallet that was totally stuffed with them.
Meaning?  I don’t know, but I got a filler blog out of it.  Tonight I’ll probably write about the totally fraudulent election in Georgia, or the “Green New Deal,” or something important.

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Public Position, Cyber Position

Just had a rather heated exchange on Facebook and it was among people I really like -well, only a couple of whom I actually know, but the others all seemed like nice, but misguided, folks.

The original post, from a person I know in real life and admire greatly, was “I just don’t understand all the vitriol directed against Hillary Clinton.”
When I hear that, I feel duty bound to explain the reasons for the vitriol.  It ranges from her voting record, to her sense of political entitlement, which we saw on full display in 2008, and then again in 2016, to her irritating voice (didn’t mention that because it would have led to charges of misogyny), to her corruption, to the murders.
It wound up with most of the people thinking I was a bit of a crackpot, I think, but that’s O.K.  I prefer the term ‘independent thinker,’ but it’s kind of the same thing.
To tell the truth, I’m a much nicer person in real life than on Facebook; an easy going, non-confrontational type.

But, that’s what social media is for, I reckon.  To let us be a little bit more direct than we might face to face, because if we talked to each other like that face to face, somebody would get punched in the nose pretty darned quick.  And directness is good.  At this point in human history, I feel it’s even necessary.
Let’s get everything out on the table, and then we can sort through it.

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A Green New Deal

I’m no scientist, so I’ve got more questions than answers, and any speculation on my part re the current spate of fires in California is just speculation, but damn, they just seemed to come out of nowhere and spread like …what could  you possibly say a wildfire spreads like to make it more dramatic than a wildfire?  And they were out of season.  I suppose due to global warming California might be in the middle of a more extended drought than usual, but my own personal theory is that due to all the carbon particles in the air, the air has actually become more flammable.  Just throwing that out there.

In any event, I’m glad that AOC and her buddies in the incoming crowd of shit-stirrers have chosen ‘a Green New Deal’ as one of  their main issues.  By phrasing it like that it becomes a jobs program and I’ve got no problem with that.  You could employ every unemployed person in the country planting trees at $15 an hour.  It would cost some money but the benefits would be huge.  You’d eliminate unemployment.  You’d eliminate homelessness.  You’d clean up the air, provide a lot of shade, plenty of fruit and nuts, and make the world a more beautiful and pleasant place.  How to pay for it?  Well, New York state could pass on giving Amazon $2 billion dollars, that would help.  The U.S. could not give any military aid to Israel or Saudi Arabia for a year.  That’s like $20 or 30 billion.  They could legalize marijuana at the federal level.  I’m  not even talking about the money raised by taxing it and stuff.  Just the money saved because you don’t need to prosecute and imprison so many people, which costs a lot.
This ‘how are you going to pay for it?’ argument is bullshit.  It’s necessary.   We need to save the world and if we jump in with a full scale, all  hands on deck effort, it will  be a transformative thing and the world economy will come out the other end stronger than ever, rather like it did with WWII.

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AOC and Rashida Tlaib

There was a moment, a brief moment, when I saw that Alexandria Ocasio Cortez was participating in a protest in Nancy Pelosi’s office, that I thought “mmm, that might be a bit of over-reach.  She’s in congress now, she’s going to need to work with Pelosi, perhaps this is not the most dignified, etc…” and then I quickly got over it because of course this is exactly the kind of thing the world needs and this is exactly the reason she was elected.
It got some publicity and it put the Democratic Party on notice that if they shoehorn Pelosi into the speaker’s position again, it will be mighty rough sailing ahead.
Also, I love the cause that the protest was about.  Climate change.  Citing the U.N. ’12 year’ study, they demanded that the Democrats form a committee to come up with a plan to completely transition to green energy.  This is a great platform.  Who can actually stand up and say they are against the environment?  Not only is it the most important issue of our times, it is a winning issue.
Then I saw Michigan’s new congresswoman elect, Rashida Tlaib, addressing a crowd outdoors in D.C., but a lot of people had the same signs as the people in Pelosi’s office, and it very much seemed to be part of the same protest.  All I’ve got to say is she’s just as cool and inspiring as Ocasio-Cortez, she just hasn’t got as much publicity.
o, though that’s only 2 people out of 435, I sense that there will be a change in tone in this upcoming congress.  And I am totally looking forward to it.

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Poetry and Trolls

I belong to a few Facebook poetry pages, but I’m only active in one.  I suppose I could post my poems in all of them, but I kind of feel that would be cheating. I’m not sure exactly how it works, but I don’t want to write a poem and then have it appear on my Facebook page like 4 or 5 times, because that would annoy people.  It annoys me when I see it although, as I said earlier, I’m not sure how that works, it could be I’m the only one seeing them at all and people are doing something extra to make them appear.
Anyway, it means I see  a lot of bad poetry, that I generally skim right past.  I only post in the one because it’s a site which encourages criticism, although there is an ingrained problem with that:  criticism isn’t something that anybody likes much.
So, today I caught the tail end of a bit of a kerfuffle on one of the sites I belong to but am not active in.  Everybody seemed to be jumping on one guy, because he was leaving comments about how all of them suck.  At first I was of mixed opinions, maybe they were just being an oversensitive bunch of whiny little crybabies and then I saw a few of his posts.  Could be they were still being an oversensitive bunch of whiny little crybabies wanting nothing but participation ribbons for their mediocre meditations, but it’s 100% certain that he was being an asshole.
Anyway, amid  the comments about how people were leaving the site because of all the negativity (which, I suspect, is a lot like how millions of Americans leave the country forever after every election), I started thinking maybe I should get active over there, post a few poems, and see what happens.
Next one I write, that’s what I’m going to do.

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