Mankind’s Giant Puzzle

I have been reading news stories as well as watching the 3 main cable news channels, trying to piece together the puzzle of what is really happening on our planet. What would an alien race think of us if they were watching us invisibly, able to go everywhere and see everything?

They would see hypocrisy in the moralizing preachers and public figures who claim to stand for “family values” then are caught in adultery, prostitution, or pornography. And in particular, “Christians” whose life choices are so far from Christ’s –who welcomed foreigners rather than fearing them — that the term “Christian” seems like a travesty.

They would see the United States slipping in economic stability, infant mortality, civil rights (read the Patriot Act) and education while legislators play games of “musicalĀ  amendments” and “hot issue”. Childishly they guard their fortresses, the donkey and the elephant scarcely remembering that they are both animals.

They would see our impulsiveness and widespread inability to wait for anything. Perhaps they would wonder why we didn’t pay more attention to long term goals, and instead polluted the air, tore down the mountains, contaminated the water, and designed ever new and ready means to check out of life for awhile.

I doubt that they would consider us a threat to them, at least not at present. They would consider it much more likely that we would destroy ourselves.


The Ghost of Groceries Past

Did you know that, according to a study by the USDA in 1997, the average American wastes 26% of food purchased every year?

In 2004, the University of Arizona estimated this value to be even higher, around 40-50%.

What is the importance of this?

1. Even considering the fact that some of that food is inedible, the rest could serve to feed people in the U.S. or outside that do not have enough to eat, especially children in poverty.

2. A valuable resource is lost when the percentage of the discarded food that could be composted, isn’t.

3. Wasted food in landfills decomposes and negatively effects the atmosphere.

Eric Steinman on writes,

Once all of this decomposing food hits the landfill (whether it is contained in plastic bags or not) it continues breaking down and creating large amounts of methane gas, which is well known for contributing to the long dreaded greenhouse effect.

When food is wasted, the delicate balance of the food chain is disrupted. Earth’s ecology demands that every participant remain in the food chain through one means or another. In the case of food we do eat, this is done by processing sewage. But if uneaten food goes into a landfill — especially if it’s in a plastic bag — the food is less accessible to other organisms such as insects and bacteria that would normally return it to the food chain.

We’ve known for a long time that, like the Fellowship of the Ring, “the Quest (ecology) stands at the edge of a knife; stray but a little and it will fail, to the ruin of all.” We hope that it has not already failed.

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