Reflections

Why is the infrastructure crumbling at an unprecedented rate? Climate change!

It is indeed amazing that a week after our President pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord and denied that climate change is real and solutions to it create jobs, he tries to turn his attention to “our crumbling infrastructure of bridges and roads.”  Why is the infrastructure crumbling at an unprecedented rate? Climate change!

Not long ago, 98 percent of urban leaders ...

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We have under-invested in field conservation of the very plant diversity that keeps us alive and healthy.

Last week, Nature magazine finally gave global attention to the wild crop relatives and heirloom food varieties that will be needed to make “a genetic makeover” of agriculture if it is to become resilient enough to withstand accelerating climate change.

But what is most important is to keep those plants alive and evolving — not static — in the ...

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Mark Winne was uninvited to the Arizona Food Summit by the ADA. They must reinvite and apologize to him!

After inviting the great New Mexican food activist Mark Winne to speak at an Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA) Summit this week, Mark was “uninvited” because the Farm Bureau and Cattleman’s Association thought he was “too controversial.” WHAAT?

Mark has voluntarily served on the boards of Southwest Grassfed Alliance, Community Food Security Coalition and other ...

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Four Vows for Food Justice: An Earth Day Prayer

Although the many beings lost or wounded in our foodshed,
somehow seem nameless & numberless,
we vow to remember their names,
to hear their needs & to never forget their faces.

For the many children who are hungry daily,
while perfectly useable food is thrown away,
inundating landfills & making methane,
we vow to curb our consumption & end of our waste.

For the many immigrant farmworkers
who harvest the bounty with their sweat & blood.
but are seldom offered a place ...

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Howard Scott Gentry memory recognized the week of April 28th to May 7th

Let us now praise famous mezcaleros! It was 75 years ago that my mentor, the great plant explorer Howard Scott Gentry, published his Rio Mayo Plants, and 35 years ago that he published Agaves of Continental North America.

As a kid, I worked one summer at the Desert Botanical Garden in Metro Phoenix helping Dr. Gentry check herbarium specimens for localities of the ...

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Sanctuary cities, campuses and homes maintain safe places for individuals and families in transition.

Yesterday in Nogales just a few miles from where I was meeting on food issues with other county citizens, Attorney General Sessions did his “drive by” of the border region, disparaging Sanctuary Cities and pledging a crackdown on undocumented (Mexican-American) citizens. If he ate at any place in Nogales, and if he ate this last week in any restaurant in the entire ...

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Through habitat recovery and population reintroductions, many have joined to bring back animals!

Awakening to the goobling cries of the once rare Gould’s turkey in the twilight, I realized how grateful I am that so many wildlife biologists and land owners have joined together to bring back (through habitat recovery and population reintroductions) so many of the animals that I know have weekly if not daily contact with: turkeys, pronghorn antelope, Gila top-minnow, desert pupfish, ...

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Let’s collectively plan a vision for the border that bridges us rather than one that further divides us.

Let’s collectively plan a vision for the border that bridges us rather than one that further divides us. To that end, I’m bringing in Homero Aridjis, James Ramey and Vasilis Fthenakis to the University of Arizona campus May 20th at noon for a forum on green, culture-and-wildlife friendly alternatives to Trump’s proposed wall.

For my part, I see the possibility of resolving the ...

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It is remarkable that governments are now debating their ethical role in wasting carbon, that we once took for granted.

It is remarkable that entire governments are now debating their ethical role in sequestering or wasting carbon, a resource so common and expendable when many of us were growing up that we took it for granted.

We know now that we need to cultivate allies in sequestering carbon, and among those most prone to do the job are mycorrhizae and the three quarters ...

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Michael Phillips wins this year’s There’s Fungus Among Us Award in his new book Mycorrhizal Planet

OK, ok, Michael Phillips wins this year’s There’s Fungus Among Us Award for this well-crafted sentence in his new book Mycorrhizal Planet:

“Beneath the imprint of one’s foot, extending down into the soil but mostly meandering nearer the surface, are 300 miles of fungal hyphae. Inconceivable. I could walk from our farm in the White Mountains of Connecticut to Montreal & back along ...

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This week a year ago, my friend Jim Harrison left life here in Patagonia to ingest in the Fourth World.

This week a year ago, my hilarious friend, ultra-curious mentor & Coyote-like trickster Jim Harrison left life here in Patagonia AZ to see red wine, chicken thighs & snakes to ingest in the Fourth World.

I miss his wife Linda as much as I miss him… he only gave her “five months alone of rest” before he joined her again. Fortunately, his post-humorous ...

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We need to make America grateful again, and safe for all neighbors, to the needs of all the generations yet to come.

“in the desert, every thing
sticks, stinks or stings.”
we used to say, but nothing
sticks, stinks & stings as much
as the political divisiveness,
ideological chasm & ethical perils
that this country
has hunkered down into.

i would take the deceptive bareness
& downright humbling austerity
of a real desert any day over
the impoverishment of good will
among otherwise caring human beings
that we have been hearing
day after day since november’s election.

we need to make america grateful again
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We need more bridges & equitable, fruitful collaborations, not more walls above us & pipelines below our feet.

It is becoming the rallying cry of an entire generation: “We need more bridges & equitable, fruitful collaborations, not more walls above us & pipelines below our feet.”

That’s why I am so supportive of the solar wall proposal for the border advanced by poet Homero Aridjis, scholar James Stamey and scientist Vasilis Fthenakis: Homero and James’ initial Solar Wall Proposal; but ...

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We need to design our own behaviors and constructed places, as if nature’s many graces matter.

While visiting Biosphere 2 today to see the agrivoltaics pilot project that Greg Barron-Gafford & others have implemented on our seed grant, I felt the presence of Rafe Sagarin, the brilliant tide pool ecologist and national security science advisor who was killed while bicycling at B2 a couple years ago.

If Rafe were living through this particular moment in history, he would likely be ...

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Take the risk to restore your capacity for creativity to your daily activities.

Amigos, it can be said that business as usual will not be enough for us to restore our home to its highest productive and creative capacity. That’s why I have asked creativity and innovation thought leaders Larry Robertson and Damian Valles to offer 50 of us a 6 hour workshop tomorrow (Monday) that reminds us that creativity is ALREADY the common language ...

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What exactly is the highest calling, that each of us can engage, to the current state of the world?

What exactly is the highest calling that each of us can engage in with respect to the current state of the world?

For me, it is to collaboratively engage in jump-starting the regenerative capacity of landscapes & communities to heal the wounds of the past & to foster an abundant future for all species and all peoples.

But to ensure that such regenerative capacity ...

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