Global warming N climate change

“Climate change is variation in either the mean state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It encompasses temperature increase (global warming), sea-level rise, changes in precipitation patterns and increased frequencies of extreme events. Each of these phenomena can impact on biological diversity. In fact climate change is one of the major threats to biodiversity.” The Convention on Biological Diversity

whether you believe it or not global warming is happening.  Find out what the causes are and how to do your bit. Just for future generations we should be more careful to walk more gently on the planet, taking only what we must, take responsibility to get the facts and if we care enough, do what we can to undo our mistakes so far.

– scientist all agree on the Basic Facts of Global Warming

– Science community confirms global warming is happening – and people are the cause.

– The only real debate is about how fast warming will occur, and how much damage will be done, as a result of human activities that produce heat-trapping CO2 and other greenhouse-gas emissions

– Make no mistake: Science has given us unequivocal warning that global warming is real. The time to start working on solutions is now.

– chemist Svante Arrhenius first proposed the idea of global warming in 1896.

– Carbon dioxide, he knew, traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. He also knew that burning coal and oil releases carbon dioxide (CO2).

– Arrhenius speculated that continued burning of coal and oil would increase concentrations of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, making the planet warmer. It’s called the “greenhouse effect.”

– What warms the Earth? There are essentially three factors that could be responsible for recent rapid global warming.  
The sun
Earth’s reflectivity
Greenhouse gases

– Which of these is causing our current global warming? All the evidence points to greenhouse gases,   Source: NASA Earth Observatory

– Historic CO2 Levels: The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in measurable history, and predicted to increase dramatically this century.

– An increase of 25% more CO2 than the highest natural levels over the past 800,000 years.  GlobalChange.gov

– Additional CO2 in the atmosphere comes mainly from coal and oil, because the chemical composition of the CO2 contains a unique “fingerprint.” 

– case closed: human activity is causing the Earth to get warmer,  through the burning of fossil fuels, with a smaller contribution from clearing forests. All other scientific answers for why the Earth is getting warmer have been knocked out.

– World View of Human Impact on Temperature Since 1900
Continental and global temperatures modeled with and without human influence show the impact of human activity on global warming

– Glaciers are Melting and Contributing to Sea Level Rise

– Between 1961 and 1997 the world’s glaciers lost 890 cubic miles of ice. ( even though some get bigger, its not enough)

– melting ice caps and glaciers accounted for about 25% of sea level rise from 1993 to 2003. Over the 20th century sea level worldwide rose by 6.7 inches, and the 2007 IPCC report concludes it is now rising faster.

– Greenland’s massive ice sheet could soon reach a tipping point that would trigger an irreversible meltdown and an eventual sea-level rise of over 20 feet.

– Melting sea ice can accelerate warming

– Since 1979, Arctic sea ice has declined by 11.2 percent per decade

– Scientists believe the polar ocean, including the geographic North Pole, could be entirely ice-free in the near future. Their predictions range from as early as 2013 to as late as 2100.

– Global Warming and Increased CO2 will Harm

– CO2, warming in just the middle range of scientific projections would have devastating impacts

– Rising seas would inundate coastal communities, contaminate water supplies with salt and increase the risk of flooding by storm surge, affecting tens of millions of people globally. Plus, extreme weather events, including heat waves, droughts and floods, are predicted to increase in frequency and intensity, causing loss of lives and property and throwing agriculture into turmoil.

– Even though higher levels of CO2 can act as a plant fertilizer under some conditions, scientists now think that the “CO2 fertilization” effect on crops has been overstated

– We live in a global community. The idea that there will be regional “winners” and “losers” in global warming is based on a world-view from the 1950’s.

– Many Communities Won’t be Able to Adapt to Rapid Climate Change

– Dramatic coastal erosion is forcing residents of Shishmaref, Alaska to relocate.

– The current warming of our climate will bring major hardships and economic dislocations — untold human suffering, especially for our children and grandchildren

– Climate has changed in the past and human societies have survived, but today six billion people depend on the earths systems.

-there is much greater risk to today’s larger population and infrastructure.

– unless we limit the amount of heat-trapping gases we are putting into the atmosphere now, we face continued warming and even larger climate changes than we already see today.

– If action isn’t taken, 100 million people worldwide could be flooded by the sea each year in the 2080s.

– In what appears to be the first forced move resulting from climate change, 100 residents of Tegua island in the Pacific Ocean were relocated by the government in 2005 because rising sea levels were flooding their island.
Some 2,000 other islanders plan a similar move to escape rising waters.

– In the United States, the village of Shishmaref in Alaska, which has been inhabited for thousands of years, is collapsing from melting permafrost. Relocation plans are in the works. On the Torres Strait Islands a high tide during wet season can mean disaster for the towns electri and waste systems.  Main streets can be seen under water at king tides.  See www.koorimail.com n search tides Torres Strait Islands.

– Even if people find a way to adapt, the wildlife and plants on which we depend may be unable to adapt to rapid climate change. While the world itself will not end, the world as we know it may disappear.

Referances: http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagid=54136
http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=54099&template=1359&archive=5563
http://www.edf.org/article.cfm?contentID=11026 http://www.edf.org/article.cfm?contentid=11029

In closing, hopefully i have shown that from the latest information available, global warming is really happening and is a real threat to humanity and wildlife.  I believe it important to do everything we can to find out how we can do our part to reduce the rate and effect of this global problem.  To find out what we can do, you can start by logging onto: stopglobalwarming.org, http://www.wikihow.com/Take-Action-to-Reduce-Global-Warming or watch the video the inconvenient truth at http://www.climatecrisis.net

“Aborigines from across the country will fight nuclear dumping”

This is serious business, THIS IS OUR BUSINESS!!!

LETS SHOW OUR SUPPORT

______________________________________
Yours in UNITY
Sharralyn Robinson

Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council

CEO

Ph: 42 26 3338

Fax: 42 26 3360

M: 0410 125463

I acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land I work on as the first people of this country.

Subject: “Aborigines from across the country will fight nuclear dumping”

“Aborigines from across the country will fight nuclear dumping”

Media Release

Goodooga, northwest NSW, 24 February 10 – Aboriginal people will be called from all over Australia to protest in the Northern Territory against any movement of nuclear waste across their traditional lands, an Aboriginal activist says.

Michael Anderson, chairman of an Aboriginal Summit Task Force recently elected in Canberra (pictured at right), says in a media release: “Nothing will move down the former American Vice-President Dick Cheney’s Halliburton railway line from Darwin to Alice Springs.”

Mr. Anderson was responding on behalf of a majority of traditional land owners to an announcement by Resources and Energy Minister, Martin Ferguson, that the Federal Government will pursue the first Australian radioactive waste repository at Muckaty Station, about 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek.

Mr. Anderson condemned the Bureau of Northern Land Council for “ignoring the majority of the traditional land owners who do not want their country, Muckaty Station, used for nuclear waste dumping”.

He said the general Australian public fails to understand how much influence the federal government has over organisations such as the Northern Land Council, whose CEO is appointed by government. 

“Aboriginal people are under siege from the tyranny of a Labor government who have no consideration whatsoever for our rights,” Mr. Anderson charges.

“What we have here is a repeat of the Ranger uranium mine agreement fiasco. The arrangements that are being made are illegal and the government and the Northern Land Council know full well that the traditional owners have little to no chance of fighting against this dictatorship.

“But don’t underestimate our resolve as a resistance group. It is time the Australian government woke up and understands that they are pushing us into a corner and we will come out fighting with all that we have.

“Our communications thus far with the traditional owners suggest that a fight is looming, and maybe then the Australian public will get the picture.”

Mr Anderson, the last survivor of the four Black Power activists who set up the Aboriginal Embassy in Canberra in 1972, says he is pleased that the unions are offering support.

“The New Way Summit Task Force has been asked for their support to bring this matter to the attention of the public. The Task Force puts the Australian government on notice that like Noonkanber in Western Australia in 1979, we will call upon Aboriginal people to come from every part of this country and protest any movement of nuclear waste across our people’s traditional lands.”

“If the Europeans, Americans and China along with the rest of the world want to use nuclear power, then dump your rubbish on your own soil. You take it from us against our will and you now want to return it against our wishes.”

Muckaty Station is the country of the mother of Barbara Shaw (pictured left), Alice Springs camps activist and a member of the Summit Task Force. Ms Shaw commented on uranium mining in the Northern Territory at the Canberra summit from 30 January to 1 February.

She said only some people agreed to the dump “because they saw the dollar sign”. Although Elders had long warned that the radiation is dangerous, a lot more awareness needed to be created in the area. Listen to the extract at http://www.4shared.com/file/228500371/e1144837/Barbara_Shaw_MINING.html.

The Taskforce can be contacted through Michael Anderson at 02 68296355 landline, 04272 92 492 mobile, 02 68296375 fax, ngurampaa@…

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

Mr Anderson’s release in full:

As Chairman of the recently elected Aboriginal Summit Task Force, I condemn the Bureau of Northern Land Council for ignoring the majority of the traditional land owners who do not want their country, Muckaty Station, used for nuclear waste dumping.

What the general Australian public fails to understand is how much influence the Federal Government has over organizations such as the Northern Land Council. In the first instance the CEO of the Northern Land Council is a Government-appointed person as per the Federal Northern Territory Land Rights Act. This does not fare very well for its perceived independence. Aboriginal people are under siege from the tyranny of a Labor Government who have no consideration whatsoever for our rights.

What we have here is a repeat of the Ranger uranium mine agreement fiasco. The arrangements that are being made are illegal and the Government and the Northern Land Council know full well that the traditional owners have little to no chance of fighting against this dictatorship. But don’t underestimate our resolve as a resistance group.

The public must now realize what this Labor Government are doing to Aboriginal people, blackmailing them to sign over their lands for infra-structure development and housing, but the real issues are now coming to a head and this is just one example of what is coming.

We do have rights and freedoms and it is time the Australian Government woke up and understands that they are pushing us into a corner and we will come out fighting with all that we have.

It is pleasing to see that the unions are offering support and our communications thus far with the traditional owners suggest that a fight is looming and maybe then the Australian public will get the picture.

The New Way Summit Task Force has been asked for their support to bring this matter to the attention of the public. The task force puts the Australian Government on notice that like Noonkanber in Western Australia in 1979, we will call upon Aboriginal people to come from every part of this country and protest any movement of nuclear waste across our people’s traditional lands. Nothing will move down the former American Vice-President Dick Cheney’s Halliburton railway line from Darwin to Alice Springs.

“If the Europeans, Americans and China along with the rest of the world want to use nuclear power, then dump your rubbish on your own soil. You take it from us against our will and you now want to return it against our wishes. No, the energy-hungry consumers need to look to a better way of doing business, and in this case bury your own nuclear waste in your own back yards; if you believe what you are told by your leaders that it is safe then you have no fears.

Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:05 am

The Barunga Statement

Attachment A – The Barunga Statement
We, the Indigenous owners and occupiers of Australia, call on the Australian Government and people to recognise our rights:
to self-determination and self-management, including the freedom to pursue our own economic, social, religious and cultural development;
to permanent control and enjoyment of our ancestral lands;
to compensation for the loss of use of our lands, there having been no extinction of original title;
to protection of and control of access to our sacred sites, sacred objects, artefacts, designs, knowledge and works of art;
to the return of the remains of our ancestors for burial in accordance with our traditions;
to respect for and promotion of our Aboriginal identity, including the cultural, linguistic, religious and historical aspects, and including the right to be educated in our own languages and in our own culture and history;
in accordance with the universal declaration of human rights, the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, the international covenant on civil and political rights, and the international convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, rights to life, liberty, security of person, food, clothing, housing, medical care, education and employment opportunities, necessary social services and other basic rights.
We call on the Commonwealth to pass laws providing:
A national elected Aboriginal and Islander organisation to oversee Aboriginal and Islander affairs;
A national system of land rights;
A police and justice system which recognises our customary laws and frees us from discrimination and any activity which may threaten our identity or security, interfere with our freedom of expression or association, or otherwise prevent our full enjoyment and exercise of universally recognised human rights and fundamental freedoms.
We call on the Australian Government to support Aborigines in the development of an international declaration of principles for indigenous rights, leading to an international covenant.
And we call on the Commonwealth Parliament to negotiate with us a Treaty recognising our prior ownership, continued occupation and sovereignty and affirming our human rights and freedom.

Attachment B – Statement of Reconciliation
Learning from the Past As Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians seek to move forward together in a process of renewal, it is essential that we deal with the legacies of the past affecting the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, including the First Nations, Inuit and MÚtis. Our purpose is not to rewrite history but, rather, to learn from our past and to find ways to deal with the negative impacts that certain historical decisions continue to have in our society today.
The ancestors of the First Nations, Inuit and MÚtis peoples lived on this continent long before explorers from other continents first came to North America. For thousands of years before this country was founded, they enjoyed their own forms of government. Diverse, vibrant Aboriginal nations had ways of life rooted in fundamental values concerning their relationship to the Creator, the environment, and each other, in the role of Elders as the living memory of their ancestors, and in their responsibilities as custodians of the lands, waters and resources of their homelands.
The assistance and spiritual values of the Aboriginal peoples who welcomed the newcomers to this continent too often have been forgotten. The contributions made by all Aboriginal peoples to Canada’s development, and the contributions they continue to make to our society today, have not been properly acknowledged. The Government of Canada today, on behalf of all Canadians, acknowledges those contributions.
Sadly, our history with respect to the treatment of Aboriginal people is not something in which we can take pride. Attitudes of racial and cultural superiority led to a suppression of Aboriginal culture and values. As a country we are burdened by past actions that resulted in weakening the identity of Aboriginal peoples, suppressing their languages and cultures and outlawing spiritual practices. We must recognise the impact of these actions on the once self-sustaining nations that were disaggregated, disrupted, limited or even destroyed by the dispossession of traditional territory, by the relocation of self-sustaining nations that were desegregated, disrupted, limited or even destroyed by the dispossession of traditional territory, by the relocation of Aboriginal people, and by some provisions f the Indian Act. We must acknowledge that the result of these actions was the erosion of the political, economic and social systems of Aboriginal people and nations.
Against the backdrop of these historical legacies, it is a remarkable tribute to the strength and endurance of Aboriginal people that they have maintained their historic diversity and identity. The Government of Canada today formally expresses to all Aboriginal people in Canada our profound regret for past actions of the federal government which have contributed to these difficult pages in the history of our relationship together.
One aspect of our relationship with Aboriginal people over this period that required particular attention is the Residential School system. This system separated many children from their families and communities and prevented them from speaking their own languages and from learning about their heritage and cultures. In the worst cases, it left legacies of personal pain and distress that continue to reverberate in Aboriginal communities to this day. Tragically, some children were the victims of physical and sexual abuse.
The Government of Canada acknowledges the role it played in the development and administration of these schools. Particularly to those individuals who experienced the tragedy of sexual and physical abuse at residential schools, and who have carried this burden believing that in some way they must be responsible, we wish to emphasize that what you experienced was not your fault and should never have happened. To those of you who suffered this tragedy at residential schools, we are deeply sorry.
In dealing with the legacies of the Residential School system, the Government of Canada proposes to work with First Nations, Inuit and MÚtis people, the Churches and other interested parties to resolve the outstanding issues that must be addressed. We need to work together on a healing strategy to assist individuals and communities in dealing with the consequences of this sad era in our history.
No attempt at reconciliation with Aboriginal people can be complete without reference to the sad events culminating in the death of MÚtis leader Louis Riel. These events cannot be undone: however, we can and will continue to look for ways of affirming the contributions of MÚtis people in Canada and of reflecting Louis Riel’s proper place in Canada’s history.
Reconciliation is an ongoing process. In renewing our partnership, we must ensure that the mistakes which marked our past relationship are not repeated. The Government of Canada recognizes that policies that sought to assimilate Aboriginal people, women and men, were not the way to build a strong country.
We must instead continue to find ways in which Aboriginal people can participate fully in the economic, political, cultural and social life of Canada in a manner which preserves and enhances the collective identities of Aboriginal communities, and allows them to evolve and flourish in the future. Working together to achieve our shared goals will benefit all Canadians, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike.
On behalf of the Government of Canada
The Honourable Jane Stewart, P.C, M.P. Minister for Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, P.C., M.P. Federal Interlocutor for MÚtis and Non-Status Indians.

Attachment C – Preamble to the Constitution of South Africa
We, the people of South Africa,Recognise the injustices of our past; Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to – Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law;Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person;and Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations. May God protect our people. Nkosi Sikelel’iAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso. God seen Suid Afrika. God bless South Africa. Mudzimu fhatutshedza Afurika. Hosi Katekisa Afrika.

Useful Quotes from Walkabouts

The key to living a full and healthy life is meaning what you say, saying what you mean, and doing it.
Talk is cheap. Cons are easy. Action requires a commitment.
Anne Wilson Shaef.

Over the years I saw many of my friends and family turn to alcohol as an escape from the pain of their existence and, at the age of 15, I made the decision never to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes-both major agents of genocide-a golden rule I have followed throughout my life.
Burnum Burnum, Aboriginal Writer.

The Creator designed us to learn by trial and error. The path of life we walk is very wide. Everything on the path is sacred-what we do right is sacred-but our mistakes are also sacred. This is the Creators way of teaching spiritual people. To criticize ourselves when we make mistakes is not the Indian way. To learn from our mistakes is the Indian way. The definition of a spiritual person is someone who makes 30-50 mistakes each day and talks to the Creator after each one to see what to do next time. This is the way of the warrior.
Don Coyhis, Mohican Writer.

She learnt from her elders that everything in the universe is perfect. People and anything else only become less than perfect when compared to someone or something else, or when influenced by negative forces.
Rangimarie Turuki Pere, Maori Writer.

Wait below for he who is above. (He will fall.)
Swahili Proverb

There are Indigenous belief systems. In areas where sorcery is strong, it is women who hold spiritual power. Christianity has arrived with all it’s variations. But the spirit world has been part of Indigenous culture for generations.
Margaret Taylor, Papua New Guinea Writer.

The senses are contradictory and deceiving. We never look at anything with our senses. We look with our feelings. Only our feelings can be trusted.
Alex Pua, Hawaiian Kupuna.

Let us give thanks for this beautiful day. Let us give thanks for this life. Let us give thanks for the water without which life would not be possible. Let us give thanks for grandmother earth who protects and nourishes us.
Daily Prayer of the Lakota American Indian.

Crystals are very important to the planet. There are various concentrations of crystals around that keep the planet in balance. When these concentrations of crystals are broken up and carried off, the planet is no longer in balance.
Aboriginal Elder.

Land is not just real estate… is part of the essence of who Indigenous people are. It needs to be understood within the context of their spirituality and their holistic sense of creation and humanity… A landless Indigenous person is a person at real risk.
The Reverend Paul Reeves, Maori Elder.

Technologically advanced cultures dismiss the contribution of the Aboriginal peoples. I believe our contribution can dramatically change everyone’s life on this planet. It is imperative that people understand the separate reality of native peoples and the rest of society.
Douglas Cardinal, Canadian Indian Writer, Artist and Architect.

We must respect our Mother, the Earth, or we can never grow as human beings, her children.
Phil Lane Sr, Yankton Lakota Elder, American Indian.

Old people are highly respected, honoured and loved. They are regarded as the living links with the ancestors.
Feleti E Ngan-Woo, Samoan Writer.

The wisest mans sees the least, says the least but prayers the most.
Irish Proverb.

We want to save that which is written on the people’s tongues.
Peter Kalifornsky, Dena’ina Elder, Alaska.

Words have great power and should be used carefully. Aloha, for example, should not be seen as just a frivolous tourist greeting. Alo means the bosom of the center of the universe, and ha, the breath of God, so to say this word is to appreciate another person’s divinty.
Nana Veary, Hawaiian Kupuna.

We cannot depend on governments to heal our wounds. We have to help each other.
Hene, Maori Woman Elder.

Other people can rape and damage my body. Only I can damage my soul.
American Indian Woman Elder.

Whenever we pray we always pray ‘’mitakuye oyasin’’, for all our relations.
We pray for all of the black people, all the yellow people, all the white people, and all the red people. We pray for all our relations.
Lakota Elder, American Indian.

What God has established, man cannot annul.
Swahili Proverb.

Our white relatives say the Indian is stoic. This is not necessarily true. We just wait to see the true person. Given time he will show his true self, so we wait and time will provide the proof.
Phil Lane Sr, Yankton Lakota Elder, American Indian.

Perhaps only when people can enjoy their differences as a resource of cultural enrichment do they become truly civilized.
Herb Kawainui Kane, Hawaiian Kupuna and Artist.

Childhood among the Australian Aborigines is the happiest time of their lives. No one who has lived with a group of nomadic hunters, or has spent any time in a camp of Aborigines who are still living under tribal conditions, can have failed to notice the indulgence and solicitude that is lavished upon the children during their early years.
Donald Thompson, Writer observing Australian Aborigines.

If spirit becomes off balance in the white man’s world, they call it sin. Traditional medicine is with the whole being. Most of the sickness today is of the spirit.
George Goodstriker, Kainai (Blackfoot) Elder, Canada.

When you are ready, come to me. I will take you into nature. In nature you will learn everything that you need to know.
Rolling Thunder, Cherokee Medicine Man, American Indian.

A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.
Irish Saying.

Long time ago people live by these things because that’s the only way people can get along. By looking at things the right way. We live close together. The way I was brought up has nothing to do with no whiteman way. Absolutely. What I learned is the Indian way.
Peter John, Athabaskan Elder and Chief, Minto, Alaska.

A balance does not exist at this time as there is no input by Native people into this world.
Douglas Cardinal, Canadian Indian Writer, Artist and Architect.

My greatness comes not from me alone. It derives from a multitude, from my ancestors; The authority, the awe, the divine, and the artistry,
I inherited these gifts, from my ancestors.
Te Maori Exhibit.

Don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t be lazy. Let’s just respect each other.
Peruvian Woman Speaker.

The results of these crude attempts to engineer the demise of the Aborigines have been disastrous. The anger and the pain they feel at their treatment and their distrust of the law is justified by their experiences. Even so, what emerges is not bitterness but wisdom, not hatred but patience, not retreat but a desire to share their culture.
Derek Fowell, Australian Writer.

She always said, when someone be mean or say bad things about us, to let it go, never fight back or defend our self. We were to be kind to them instead and only see the good things on others.
Clara Honea, Athabaskan Elder, Ruby, Alaska.

A bad thing usually costs a lot.
Mario Proverb.

A thoroughly trained mind, and a broadly cultivated heart are luminous in the soul of nations.
The Reverend Akaiko Akana, Hawaiian Kupuna.

The power lies in the wisdom and understanding of one’s role in the great mystery, and in honoring every living thing as a teacher.
Jamie Sams and David Carson, American Indian Writers.

The dreaming is ongoing. The ancestors created the rocks, waterholes, plants and people and are a continuing presence today. We continue to be one with our ancestors and that oneness gives us the confidence to know the land and the waterholes created in the dreamtime.
Aboriginal Elder.

The release that my family is finding from alcoholism is going back to the spiritual ways.
Nez Perce’ Elder, American Indian.

O Great Spirit who made all races, look kindly upon the whole human family, and take away the arrogance and hatred which separates us from our brothers.
Cherokee Prayer, American Indian.

The rise of mana (the power of) Maori is a positive and liberating experience which is part of the international struggle by Indigenous populations such as the Maori from self-determination, cultural survival, and escape from domination.
Sydney Moko Mead, Maori Writer.

I teach my children to hunt the old way. Where they make the first kill on the hunt they leave all the insides, including the heart and the liver, for our relatives, the winged, the four-legged and the crawling, and we thank the deer or whatever animal we kill for laying its life down for us so we can live and eat their meat. We say our prayers in unspoken language and respect whatever we kill or dig or pick.
Jeanette Timentwa, Colville Lake Tribe Elder, American Indian.

Try to understand water, minerals, vegetation, animal behavior, and then it is easy to understand human behavior.
George Goodstriker, Kainai (Blackfoot) Elder, Canada.

Look behind you. See your sons and your daughters. They are your future. Look further and see your sons’ and daughters’ children and their children’s children even unto the seventh generation. That’s the way we were taught. Think about it- you yourself are a seventh generation.
Leon Shenandoah, Onondagan Elder, American Indian.

The elders teach us that the Creator is a loving and forgiving God. He loves us during our good days and he loves us during our bad days. He doesn’t know how to do anything but love. If I really want to find out about the true God, I only need to ask in prayer. There is one thing that God cannot do and that is refuse help to one of his children who ask.
Don Coyhis, Mohican Writer.

Begin to care for nature and nature cares for you, in unsuspected ways.
Bill Neidjie, Australian Aboriginal.

Nature is the storehouse of potential life of future generations and is sacred.
Audrey Shenandoah, Onondagan Writer.

Disease starts in the mind and ends up in the guts. That’s why everyone needs to clean out the guts. Then the mind clears.
Angeline Locey, Hawaiian Kupuna and Healer.

How can people say one skin is colored when each has it’s own coloration? What should it matter that one bowl is dark and the other pale, if each is of good design and serves its purpose well? We who are clay blended by the master potter come from the kiln of creation in many hues.
Polingaysi Qoyawayma, Potter and Hopi Elder, American Indian.

Our greatest wealth is in the number of elders and children.
Alex Pua, Hawaiian Kupuna.

The best thing for your body is making love with a righteous partner every day.
Auntie Margaret, Hawaiian Kuhuna.

The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.
Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux, American Indian.

When you work for the Creator, you go back in nature, You work in ‘’his’’ time.
George Goodstriker, Kainai (Blackfoot) Elder, Canada.

We do not judge the mutants. We pray for them and release them as we pray and release ourselves. We pray they will look closely at their actions, at their values and learn before it is too late that all life is one. We pray they will stop the destruction of the earth and of each other.
Aboriginal Elder.

If what the teachers taught is true-that it is possible for an ancestral spirit for two generations (like one’s deceased parent or grandparent) to guard and inspire a beloved relative on earth-I shall watch over you from above and guide you righteously. I do not know at the present time how this is done but I shall find out from the guild of ancestral spirits when I join them after I awaken from nature’s trance-sleep of death.
Mary Julia Glennie Bush, Hawaiian Kupuna.

A good thing sells itself. A bad thing is advertised.
Swahili Proverb.

Being a warrior… It is a willingness to sacrifice everything except your truth, your way of being, your commitment. The ultimate stand is to your commitment to do something with your life that will make a difference.
Douglas Cardinal, Canadian Indian Writer, Artist and Architect.

We Indians have a more human philosophy of life. We Indians will show this country how to act human. Someday this country will revise its constitutions, its laws, in terms of human beings instead of property. If red power is to be a power in this country it is because it is ideological… What is the ultimate value of a man’s life? That is the question.
Vine Deloria Jr, Sioux Writer, American Indian.

To hold onto one’s anger for a long time is only to prolong one’s unhappiness.
Asesela Ravuvu, Fijian Writer.

Youth talks-Age teaches.
Maori Proverb.

We grow up knowing that the land is our Mother. We know that there can be no monetary value for our Mother.
Maori Elder.

The bonds with the mythical Beings of the Dreamtime are such that they believe in a united world of body and spirit for every form of life in the land, both living and non-living. This then means that the rocks, rivers and waterholes are more than just a reminder or a symbol of the Dreamtime; they represent reality and eternal truth.
David Gulplil, Australian Aboriginal.

Centuries ago you white people chose the path of science and technology. That path will destroy the planet. Our role is to protect the planet. We are hoping that you discover this before it’s too late.
Reuben Kelly, Aborignal Elder.

Take care of our children.
Take care of what they hear.
Take care of what they see.
Take care of what they feel.
For how the children grow so will be the shape of Aotearoa.
Dame Whina Cooper, Maori Elder.

Europeans and their perception of land is based on the materialistic. They look upon land as ‘’my land, I own this land’’. It is a commodity. Whereas Aborigines look at something as a part of the whole, a part of themselves, and they are part of that-the land. The land and they are one.
Aborignal Elder, Musgrave Park.

When you lie to a person you hurt his soul.
Phil Lane Sr, Yankton Lakota Elder, American Indian.

Aboriginal peoples live in the dream state of vision. As native people we are trained to bring dreams up into reality, into the real world. As a native person I am trained to bring out peoples visions. I am a dream maker trained to make peoples dreams a reality. I am totally involved in a dream in the making.
Douglas Cardinal, Canadian Indian Writer, Artist and Architect.

No time for your health today; no health for your time tomorrow.
Irish Proverb.

And he said you get rid of that anger and resentment towards whites for what they have done, everything you ask in his name will come to you-no difficulty, because you have built a compassion inside of you to the human race of the world.
Eddie Box, Ute Elder and Medicine Man, American Indian.

Nature is God’s greatest teacher. Man must learn to attune his higher spiritual consciousness to the harmonious flow of nature and feel the throbbing heartbeat of the man in heaven who created it for lasting duration in order to realize his oneness with nature and with God.
Old Native Hawaiian Fisherman.

In Europe, as people developed their civilization from the caves to the cathedrals, they left clear evidence of their achievements for future generations to admire. In Australia, the land itself is the cathedral and worship is not confined to any four walls. Each step is a prayer and every form in the landscape-and everything that moves in it-were put there specifically for the people to use and manage. And the mythic beings made clear the responsibility of the people of preserving and nurturing the environment. Their success in managing their world so successfully, and sustaining their culture for so long, is now attracting the worldwide respect it deserves.
Burnum Burnum, Aboriginal Writer.

Their was always harmony and balance between the land and the animals. The land needed the animals and the animals need the land. But this balance was broken when man arrived. Human beings needed the land and were not living in that balance. Aboriginal people developed Back burning to help rejuvenate the mothers fertility and in doing this they became needed to provide the heat to germinate the next generation of greenery. They became part of that balance, native wildlife need native grasses – fire is a must for renewel.

Indian Chief.

-Albert Einstein-
“The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the power of all true science.”

spiritual strength in numbers is the key to overcome!.
Aboriginal76 youtube

The Right Reverend Jesse Jackson

“Today’s students can put dope in their veins or hope in their brains. If they can conceive it and believe it, they can achieve it. They must know it is not their aptitude but their attitude that will determine their attitude”

If there be righteousness in the heart

There will be beauty in the character

If there is beauty in the character

There will be harmony in the home

If there is harmony in the home

There will be order in the nation

When there is order in each nation

There will be peace in the world.

Very old Chinese Proverb.

As Jim Rohn said -“Formal education will make you a living; self-
education will make you a fortune.”

information, in the hands of the right person
who actually puts it to use, is worth 100 times
– 1,000 times – more than it’s actual cost.

Be who you are
say what you feel
because those who mind
don’t matter
and those who matter
don’t mind.
~ Dr. Seuss ~
Labels: quotes

A Call from The Wild: How today’s children need nature and how the future depends on it By Ian Cleary

A Call from The Wild: How today’s children need nature and how the future depends on it

I received Richard Louv’s new book the day I received the news that I was to become a father for the first time. The book, Last Child in the Woods, Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, is a timely reminder of the challenges that lie before all parents, but an equally powerful recognition that my work as an environment educator has more purpose than ever!

Louv’s fascinating book highlights the broken relationship we have with our environment which stems from spending less time physically in nature. He links this separation from the natural world to many problems facing children today, including, diminished use of the senses, attention problems, and increased emotional and physical diseases including higher levels of childhood obesity and depression. Through a combination of compelling anecdotes and research, Louv argues a strong case for more focused studies, pointing out that no other generation in human history has had such levels of disconnection with nature. He suggests causes in the current crisis include a reduction of easily available open spaces, parental fear of injury or abuse, and, of course, the modern lures of being indoors.

Any adult who has experienced the delights of natural experiences knows the benefit. But sadly, Louv believes we may have ‘scared children straight out of the woods and fields’ and given in to a litigious culture that promotes organised sports as outdoor activities over unsupervised play in nature. In addition, he believes our fear of violent crime is based on a perceived risk exaggerated by biased media coverage.

Turning our attention to indoor technologies such as TV, computer games, home computers and the Internet, we find that these have had a double impact on child development. First, they take from available time that previous generations spent outdoors and, secondly, they only allow partial development of the senses and impede physical development. A line from Richard Louv’s book really drives home the challenge ahead, when he quotes a small boy saying. ‘I like to play indoors cause that’s where all the [power] outlets are.’

The book stresses the need to see play in nature not as leisure time but as something that is as crucial for our children’s development as a balanced diet or a good night’s sleep. He uses the term ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ not to describe a medical condition but to describe the symptoms experienced when children are cut off from direct nature experiences. Louv’s examples tend to have an American focus, but in my ten years as an environmental educator I have come to believe it also exists in Australia and the UK and probably in most developed countries. It’s a symptom of a larger social problem that has children (and adults) spending less time in nature than in the past and developing more of a ‘virtual’ relationship with it.

So why is building cubby houses and catching tadpoles more important than computer skills and soccer? Studies into the effects of reduced nature experiences are limited, partly because no one took note of how much time children of the past spent outside. It was probably assumed that it would always be that way, and that it was only natural for kids to want to play outdoors. It would appear that for many this is no longer the case.

So what IS the impact of a less nature-based childhood?

The Biophilia Theory, championed by Harvard Professor E.O.Wilson, suggests that we actually have a biological need to be outdoors. We develop and thrive through the sensory input from the natural world and its absence can cause all manner of problems. A branch of psychology known as eco-psychology also supports this. Of particular interest is the work done on the apparent links between outdoor play and ADHD. Studies at Illinois University have shown that time spent outdoors in ‘green spaces’ can actually reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Louv wonders whether a lack of nature might also be a cause of such attention problems.

Nature seems to operate on a more relaxed timetable than our own. Something as simple as a walk on the beach or through a rainforest tends to have a calming effect on most people. Louv would argue that this calming effect is crucial in healthy childhood development.

Inspiring the environmentalists of the future

Of the many points Louv raises in his book, I would like to focus on one aspect that particularly concerns my profession. How do we as teachers and parents, teach about ‘the environment’ and what priority should we place on experiencing the real thing?

I believe environmental education in primary schools today should concentrate on physically getting into local forests and mangroves — learning to listen for and identify the calls of local birds, or to wander local bush land smelling, touching, tasting, listening to, and generally feeling an intimate connection with what sustains us.

Try this. Think of the term ‘environmental education’ and feel what comes to mind or what should be taught under this field. For many it gives rise to ideas of global warming, protecting rainforests and oceans, animal extinction, stopping whaling, conserving water and other catastrophes. All of that is certainly critical information for society to take on. But it’s just that — information. To change people’s actions they first have to associate the environment with something worth saving — something seen in terms of awe, wonder, beauty, vastness, inter-relationships, precious moments, complexity beyond knowing and love. With this firmly anchored in their hearts through direct experience, only then should we teach about the broader issues facing the environment. The problem is that without such direct experience of nature our kids get an imbalance of information; we risk focusing on the negatives before children develop an appreciation of the positives. It’s a little like learning about the deadly snakes before learning that most snakes are harmless and all have a crucial part to play in our environment.

How then do we relate to snakes? Are we motivated to protect them?

I often get asked the question, ‘At what age is it best to start teaching about major environmental issues?’ The answer is always the same — not until the child has had plenty of years experiencing, exploring and developing a fascination for what’s around them; not dinosaurs or Madagascan lemurs, but ‘their’ environment — real experiences. I believe the love of skinks in the backyard — not the panda bear in Asia — is more likely to drive children to live responsible environmental lives as adults.

Studies of the great environmentalists of the last hundred years show two things they have in common. First, they had a childhood rich in contact with nature, and secondly, a close relationship with an adult who was enthusiastic about the environment. These two options are becoming less available, at a time when the world actually needs more committed environmentalists. The role of teachers and parents in this equation is obvious.

A virtual relationship with nature

Ironically we live in a world where children know more about the earth, but less about their own backyard. The huge increase in information available online or through nature documentaries has almost taken the place of direct nature experiences for some. Kids will excitedly tell you of last night’s Discovery Channel documentary on monkeys, alligators, emperor penguins or lions of the Serengeti. But ask what bird just called and there are blank faces.

These amazing nature shows can perhaps do more harm than good by giving people an unreal expectation of nature. I often think back to a night walk I once led. We had been out for about an hour and in that time we had seen an echidna, a platypus, heard two types of owls calling, seen several species of frogs, a small snake and to top it off, we watched a yellow-bellied glider (a possum-like animal the size of a small cat) leap from a tall tree and, spreading flaps of skin between its legs, soar over our heads and land in a tree over 50 metres away!! At the end of the night when I asked what people thought, to my surprise several of the group, adults and children alike, were disappointed. On further questioning, they admitted they didn’t quite know what to expect, but thought they would see more ‘stuff’.

I often question younger children about animals they know. Invariably it is the tigers, lions, giraffes and elephants that first come to mind, demonstrating that their knowledge is primarily virtual, not built on experiences with their local fruit bats, frogs, gliders, possums, kangaroos, snakes and lizards. I would encourage parents to choose from the great range of children’s books available today that have an ‘Australiana’ focus.

Schools are doing an amazing job but maybe the environmental education that’s really needed goes beyond the remit of schools. In the past it has taken place on weekends and after school, in the backyard, down at the local creek or forest. It was spontaneous and unsupervised. Anecdotally, this time nowadays seems to have been taken up by other activities. Many of these nature experiences seem to be beyond formal schooling but not beyond family activities. I see huge potential here for parents to both generate environmental awareness and spend valuable time with their kids. Parents are in the best place to be that enthusiastic adult who can stimulate an interest in nature. Ultimately it will have a far greater impact on the planet than any household recycling or compost scheme.

A few years ago I worked as an Education Officer for the Oxford University’s Botanic Garden and I was asked to run kids activities once a month. It may surprise you, but I cringed at the thought of it. Not that I don’t love working with children, but I had done the ‘Kids Club’ gig at so many nature resorts and national parks, spanning a decade of school holidays and long weekends. They tended to turn into baby-sitting sessions, while the parent took a break or went off to explore on their own. It seemed like such a wasted opportunity for families to explore together. I felt for the kids and the parents as well. And so I modified the weekends from kids activities to family learning days.

The new activities I developed drew from the fascination that comes from exploring nature and from an observation that it’s often the parents who are unsure of how to ‘play’ in nature. It was a huge success and amazing to watch. Families shared the experience of learning and exploring, and parents eagerly took on the role of ‘Tour Guide’ for the day with the information I had primed them with. The activities challenged the adults to relax and enjoy their surrounds and they were often also inspired by their own child’s sense of awe. The adults soon had a ‘childlike’ fascination for what was before them. These creative and simple activities helped bring about a wonderful connection between parent, child and nature.

Over the years I have seen how many adults and children struggle being in nature. This disconnection creates a feeling of discomfort and sometimes even fear. But it never occurred to me that they may physically struggle too. The role that nature can play in the physical development of children hit me one spring morning in England. I took a school group of nine-year-olds walking through a beautiful wildflower meadow. These were kids from a rough estate who had had very few ‘outdoor’ experiences. As I watched them walk, I noticed that amongst all the laughter, they were struggling to walk over the uneven ground. Their teacher said that for many it was the first time that they had experienced uneven grass. Their brains were actually telling them, from past experience on the ovals and sidewalks, that grass is flat.

After these experiences, and now back in Australia I decided to write a book compiling all the years of activities that I have used to reconnect families with nature and with each other. I want to share beautiful ways to generate the awe and inspiration that nature provides, as well as the benefits that seem to follow.

From these activities comes a fascination for nature, confidence in being outdoors, the valuing of all life forms, improved self-esteem, imagination and creativity and a general honing of all the senses.

The activities also draw on another lesson that being in nature gives us and is particularly vital nowadays — the ability to slow down and ‘be’ at a more natural pace. Being in nature also gives us the gift of experiencing a place where there is no judgement. It is a place that eases our stresses while increasing our creativity. It has been beautiful to watch these activities heal what Richard Louv calls the ‘broken relationship with the earth’, while strengthening the bonds within the family.

Can we ever reconnect with nature?

I’ve thought a lot about whether an activity can ever actually ‘reconnect’ us with nature. It seems to me that we are never really disconnected. We breathe, we eat, we drink and in turn feed the earth with our waste and eventually our bodies. We are always connected as we ARE nature. We just live and behave as if we are not. So these so-called ‘reconnecting with nature’ activities actually help us to change our awareness of our place in nature; helping us to realise how deeply connected we always are.

It’s an exciting time to be alive and raise kids. I’m inspired by the incredible environmental movement, its dedicated teachers and rich spiritual traditions that are reawakening our awareness of our earthly origins. I want my children to live in a world rich in biodiversity and have a deep respect for others and nature, and see the role I played in helping them achieve it. It does take a commitment of time and energy, and often it feels like a movement against the tide. But I have a quotation on my office wall that I often look to for encouragement.

‘Some people know what they do. Others know why they do what they do. But nobody knows what they do, DOES.’

Hopefully through the work of enthusiastic parents and teachers, enough kids will develop an intimate love of their nature so that they will help drive us in a new direction — towards a life-sustaining society instead of our industrial growth society that is failing our children and our environment.

And so my thoughts turn from environmental educator to parent. How best to raise my child? I know the adult I am today is a result of my childhood. I cherish my memories of the outdoors, of camping, fishing, swimming, walking and, best of all, exploring. As a father-to-be, I know that I will be guided by that nostalgic view of a carefree childhood, and will make it a priority to give my child those opportunities. I also realise I will be challenged by the clash of past and present. I am not immune to the media messages about unsupervised play. The question is ‘Will I let my children explore on their own?’ I recognise the importance of nature and the harm caused by its absence, so the answer is ‘absolutely’. Not that I intend to disregard the potential dangers, it’s just that I will assess them against the risk to my child’s mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing of not having a nature-based upbringing.

Advice from me as an environmental educator is to be cautious about what we are teaching about the environment; push for school outings; fight to save the local bushland; meet your ‘neighbours’ (the birds, reptiles and frogs); read Louv’s book and most importantly, get out there. Merely being in nature will benefit you and your kids and … their kids. 

Published in Kindred issue 22, June 07

Ian Cleary is a passionate educator and speaker, whose environmental vision has taken him around Australia and the world. Now, as co-founder of True Nature Guides, he inspires people to experience and celebrate their profound connection with their inner and outer nature, their True Nature. To receive regular fun family activities, or updates on future workshops or publications, email Ian.

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