by Valériane Bernardsun-for-web

Many people in the world still refrain from disposing of cooking oil in the sink with the excuse that the governments are not doing anything concrete! They also rant about the value of saving water to protect the environment, if councils and leaders do not care? This defeatist thinking overlooks the power of the individual and surrenders all power to external agencies. Is this what we want?

1387462 park trees at springAnthony Strano, April 2012

This post will neither be about environmental policies, nor political/social issues regarding ecology. This not a watchdog post to monitor but it is just a post to say a great thank you, to express gratefulness to the green heroes of our planet, who silently and gallantly do their duty in the world's forests but more so in millions of cities, towns and their parks. The heroes who are the lungs of Humanity, whose existence facilitates our own.

FRANCIS3Anthony Strano, April 2012

It is early April, early morning and the curling mist fills the valley below Assisi. The only things I hear are the birds and the bells which chirrup and chime in turn. Otherwise a silence embraces the dawn lit city. A silence that has existed, I am sure, in Assisi during the time of Francis and Clare.

With inflation knocking on the door, and unemployment statistics rising, people are finding it increasingly difficult to ‘keep up with the Jones’s’!  And yet the urge to buy impulsively and compete with the latest consumer trends, despite not having the bank balance to match it, is ever increasing.  Whether it is the acquisition of mobile phones, cars, outfits, perfumes or the latest fashion fads, there is a strong yearning in the soul to ‘fit in’.  To be like others; to be seen to be affording everything!  But where do we draw the line and say it’s ‘enough’?

How much is enough?  If wage earners were questioned as to whether they found their salaries to be satisfactory, it would be interesting to know the answers.  Do most people not feel they should be earning more?  And if so, how much more is it going to take to gratify the soul?

How many pairs of shoes are enough?  How many clothes do we need in our wardrobe to dress us? How much food in our pantry is enough to feed us?  How do we gauge this balance between need and greed?  In fact everything can be enough when the heart is big and generous and when it’s not, then nothing is enough.

Nature is perceived romantically as a sort of utopia that contrasts with the distopia of the urban spreads and their frenzied materialism. The image of the ‘noble savage’ depicted by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, living harmoniously with nature, free of the ‘evils’ of selfishness, inspires environmental fundamentalists until today.

On the other hand, the anthropocentric and unfortunately still very much current view, is that man, being the main component of creation, has the right to exploit ad infinitum, the natural resources of the planet, that were predestined to him by some divine decree. However, we cannot deny that other species have their own place as well. There are more microbes in a cubic centimeter of soil than there have been human beings in all of history.
Only recently, we have started to question these


We cannot command Nature except by obeying her. Francis Bacon