GLOBAL OIL CONSUMPTION and natural gas consumption are at record levels and continue to escalate as more countries strive to modernize their societies. In the United States alone, we consume 19 million barrels of oil every day. That is equivalent to nearly 800 million gallons of liquid energy a day or 291 billion gallons per year. Daily oil consumption on the global scale is currently 93 million barrels of oil or 3.9 billion gallons of liquid energy; 1.4 trillion gallons of energy are extracted from the Earth each year. Interestingly enough, the residents in the United States represent 4% of the global population but consume 20% of this global resource. Natural gas, the fuel we primarily use for heating and cooking, is another global resource that is being depleted at alarming rates. Overall, our energy consumption is simply unsustainable and as so-called less developed countries strive to modernize themselves to be like the West, environmental catastrophes continue to escalate.
Continue reading Fracking 101: The American Nightmare
Child coal miners in 1908
NESTLED AMONG THE APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS, West Virginia is a state remarkable for its natural beauty and is slow to change. The economy of the state has been reliant on coal for nearly two hundred years, but increasing restrictions coming from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) along with the development of other, more sustainable energy sources, has lead to a decline in coal usage for decades. This decline has residents of the state clamoring to hold on to what few jobs are left in the coal industry. From the coffee shops to the legislature, West Virginians talk a lot about how the state can hold onto coal and gripe about how Obama is “killing” it, despite the fact that the resource saw its peak use back in 1940. Since 1979, West Virginia has led the country in the number of residents who are either not working or looking for work, yet it seems that no one is investing their energies into coming up with a plan to survive the inevitable death of the coal business
Continue reading The Talking Drum: Coal Mining in WV
Woman turns the soil of a compost pile
DEEP WITHIN THE heart of every compost heap, a transformation from life to death to rebirth is taking place. Life is leaving the living plants of yesterday, but in their death these leaves, stalks and grass clippings are passing on their vitality to the coming generations of future seasons. Here in a dank and moldy pile, the wheel of life is turning.
Compost is more than a fertilizer or a healing agent for the soil’s wounds. It is a symbol of continuing life. Nature herself made compost before man first walked the Earth. Leaves, twigs, branches and fruit falling to the forest floor and slowly decomposing is composting. The birds, the insects and the animals all contribute their bodies to the vast and continuous soil rebuilding program of nature.
Continue reading Compost Nature’s Fertilizer
An apple shipped to the US from the other side of the Earth
IN A SOCIETY THAT places the highest value on the way a thing makes you feel, it is no wonder that many of the things we consume were never meant to nourish the body. Food has been defined as; “any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth.” There are a couple key components from the definition that are severely deficient in the food industry of the United States; nutrition & maintenance of life. Food consumption should be based on giving the body the correct amount of what it needs to function adequately. If we consume food for nutrition and to sustain our lives, what is the course of action when the available food sources fail to deliver, or worse; lead us towards the opposite?
Continue reading Alternative Health Notes: Experimental Foodstuffs