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Angry Gods

THE WATERFALL              

Are the Gods Angry?

People in many cultures and places in the world ascribe natural disasters to the anger of the gods. It's our impression that at least some people in most cultures think this way. My barber said she thinks that is what is happening now, based on her bible study. We certainly did read many comments like this when the Asian Tsunami wrecked havoc in countries on the Indian Ocean. The earthquake off the coast of Sumatra resulted in one of the deadliest natural disaters known to humankind.  We read of one person who expressed the view of many - that the damage being done without thought to the natural world was angering the gods and they are punishing us.

                                           Cosmic cloud

Hindu philosophy is filled with a pantheon of Gods. These Gods are various expressions of one underlying dynamic source and the three vibrations of creation, preservation and destruction - represented by Brahma, Vishun, and Shiva. Dhumavati is the Divine Mother at the time of the duluge, when the earth is under water. As with most religions, Hinduism recognizes that destruction comes with creation. We don't think this means that we should destroy our own world.

                                                    Hindu Goddess Dhumavati                                            

Some folks don't believe in any God and see that kind of thinking as nothing but superstition.  Some suggest that with our understanding of science it is time to put such primitive beliefs behind us and recognize that there are scientific explanations for these occurances and no reason to blame our behavior - or the gods response - for natural events. It can be argued that there always have been shifting plates on the earth, and enormous pressures from deep within the earth that sometimes cause earthquakes and volcanoes.

                                                      Bright Night Sky

Still other people believe in God or a higher power - but don't think that because there is a God that means he or she is punishing us through natural disasters. 

We think that these views are actually only different ways of describing the same realities. Religion and science understand that everything is connected. We are a part of one system. Everything that we do plays a part in the greater picture. We don't think that there are many thoughtful people who don't accept that now. Whether you come to that understanding through science, religion or common sense - the implications are the same.

We humans need to pay more attention to the consequences of our actions on this earth.

                                                         City Canal

When we heavily use toxic chemicals to grow our food crops and animals more quickly, then those chemicals end up in our food and in the waste materials that run into our soils and waterways at rates far beyond earth's ability to break them down. Some do not break down in water at all.  Hormones are flowing in our rivers. They enter our fish so that many wild fish now contain dangerous levels of chemicals. The gender balance of many types of fish has been altered. Our children are getting too many hormones through milk and food with the result they reach puberty too soon. No, that isn't proven to the satisfaction of all. But we need to be smarter than we've been. Science and religion teach us it's all connected. Why then does every individual issue have to be proven beyond a doubt before we address it?  25 years ago if a doctor found a 9 year old girl developing breasts it would be taken very seriously.  Now it happens so frequently it no big deal!  Why do you think this is happening? Global warming has been denied by many for years despite the obvious. Now because we have waited, it is harder to correct.

                                                       New England Church Steeple                                                   

Many spiritual beliefs around the world, like those of most Native American  groups, are based in the recognition that we are part of the natural world. Many from several world religions are now teaching that earth stewardship is a religious responsibility. They say that the Talmud, Koran and Bible teach us to respect and protect God's creation.

There are also many who are active in the outdoors who may or may not be members of formal church groups. Many find God in Nature. The Christian understanding that man should have dominion over earth shouldn't be interpreted to mean that humankind should rob the earth blind. We think it means that we are the dominant species which makes us responsible. Any way you get there, this is a little globe spinning through space. We have to care for it if we want future generations to have a life here.

                                              Quigley Dried River Bed

However we view the situation - isn't the result the same? We are part of one system and if we don't accept the consequences of our actions far more seriously, we will destroy what supports our life. Religious, not religious, spirtually-oriented or not, nature-lover or couch potato - if you don't pay attention to your impact on the place we live - it will not continue to live and support life.

The chemicals many use on their lawns and gardens are damaging the earth and water. Carbon combustion and deforestation have resulted in global warming and it's getting worse fast. The ecology of our oceans is being seriously damaged by net trawling in many parts of the world. Examples abound.

It's time to stop falling for the 'economy vs. ecology', 'lumbermen vs. environmentalist', 'fisherman vs. governments' or 'manufacturing vs. the EPA' arguments made to separate us and distract us from the realities we all share. The Nature Conservancy is working with loggers and ranchers. The AFL-CIO is working with EarthFirst! We need to admit what we already know and change our behavior. This is our air. This is our water. Let's make it clean air and water for future generations too.

There seem to be many things beyond our control. But there are many that are fully within our reach if we can work together.

Maybe the Gods are angry. Or maybe we're just facing the results of our not being thoughtful about what we are doing to our earth home. It's our world. Save water. Save Earth.  It is our responsibility.

                                               Grateful Hands

Thank you for reading.

 

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Water Stories

A recent Christian Science Monitor had three fascinating water-related stories. (The Monitor is an excellent 5-days-a-week newspaper with world coverage. You don't need to be Christian Scientist, Christian or a scientist to enjoy it!) 

Gulf Coast: The bays in Texas and Louisiana have been expanding and contracting, and moving inland and back out, for millennia. This suggests that coastal communities are likely to face more flooding as a result of the rise of the ocean-level and a relative dearth of silt coming down the rivers. Without silt replenishing the bays they expand. Expect lots of flooding over the next 100 years.

Reverse River Flow: Studies have shown that the Amazon used to flow east to west out of mountains formed when South America and Africa scraped past each other between 145 and 65 million years ago. The erosion of the eastern mountains and the rise of the Andes turned the river around.

Did you know that the Chicago River also runs opposite the way it once did? That was human-engineered around 1900 in order to carry the waste of the city away from Lake Michigan.

Consistent Fish: The lampry, one of only two vertebrates without a jaw, has changed little in 360 million years! The recent discovery of a preserved ancestor shows the lampry is indeed one of the most primitive forms of vertebrates and has survived four major extinction events.


       Celebrate Water, Filter Water, Save Water


                                   drygulch high desert

Bottom-Trawling

An international effort to curb bottom-trawling recently got a boost. The US has unambiguously supported the call for a halt until conservation measures are adopted. In this practice, weighted nets up to 200 feet across are dragged across the ocean bottom destroying deep-sea coral reefs, sponge colonies and other structure-forming bottom dwellers. Destroying the bottom negatively impacts the biological productivity of an entire column of water above. It's been called comparable to clear-cutting a forest to capture squirrels. It can take centuries to recover.

Water Action in NC

A coalition of conservation groups and government agencies has unveiled a plan to acquire land in North Carolina to protect drinking water for much of the Research Triangle region. The plan seeks to protect 24,000 acres along tributaries that run into reservoirs in six counties. The 770 square-mile basin drains into Falls Lake, the drinking water source for Raleigh, and into other area reservoirs that provide drinking water for more than 500,000 people.

Australian Proposal to Charge More for Water

A South Australian MP says the best way to conserve water is to raise its price. He is calling for higher charges to be imposed on those who excessively use water, such as irrigators and heavy industry. A new pricing structure is needed to penalize those who are extravagant with water, because the new restrictions do not go far enough to curb household use indoors he says. I'm not just talking about irrigators and householders, I'm talking about industry as well because industry uses about 10 per cent of South Australia's water supply each year [and] are virtually left untouched by these Government water restrictions."

A Free Water Tank for Every Home

If re-elected, the Labor government in Australia has promised rebates of Au $1000 for a large tank delivering rainwater to a home's toilet and laundry. $1000 is the cost of a large water tank. That will leave only the connection costs of about $500.

   American Indian Canoe

Water for Health:

               Lose Weight

Replacing sugary drinks with water can help dieters lose an extra five pounds a year, and people who drink a couple of more cups of water a day can lose even more weight a US study says.   

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   canoe

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Catching the Rain

We've found a wonderful new design for gathering rain water as it falls.  This is not yet in production, but is so cool we want to share it with you. The idea was inspired by the need in places of the world including Africa where rain falls heavily and then there is a dry spell - so that drinking water is available after the water has run off. While particularly useful in place with rain patterns like this, the Water Catch can be used anywhere.

We do have Rain Barrels and other Systems to harvest the rain in the store.
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Pakistan and India Working on Water

Pakistan and India have agreed to cooperate on water and power issues and to establish a joint investment company to reach their shared objectives..

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Tough Decisions for Arizona

City and town officials are going to have to make some tough decisions if Arizona is going to keep growing says the Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Herb Guenther. Key recommendations, based on the Statewide Water Advisory Group's (SWAG) Straw Proposal included that: 

* new developments be required to provide a report showing a 100-year physical, legal and continuous supply of water before. Without 100-year supply, no subdivision can be built.

* a water development fund be established and administered by the Water Infrastructure and Finance Authority of Arizona to provide long-term loans and grants for water supply projects, water quality and watershed enhancements that protect the water supply.

Additionally, Guenther said that in some areas: "You're living on borrowed time. The era of cheap water is over. You have to find a renewable, continuous supply -- I don't know where to find that without bringing it in."

friendsofwater.com doubts that "bringing water in" is sustainable.

  

 

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