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Male Red-rumped parrot - not too often I get a good shot of that red rump.

Male Red-rumped parrot – not too often I get a good shot of that red rump.

The following comes from an interesting article by Dr David Suzuki, well-known Canadian academic & environmentalist.

The article discusses how being in nature is calming & healing to humans.  Living in an urban environment is actually not good for us & is causing raised stress levels & an increased risk of chronic disease.  The impact on our brain is an increased sensitivity to stress, resulting in a brain that is hyper-alert & has difficulty concentrating for long periods.  The impact on learning will be obvious.

People who live in cities have “a 21% greater risk for anxiety disorders & a 39% increased likelihood of mood disorders.”

The good news is that spending time in nature helps our brain slow down & rest.  Dr Suzuki has challenged Canadians to spend at least 30-minutes in nature every day for thirty days to allow their brains to slow down & recover.  This is something we can all do if we plan our time & are motivated.

Obviously this would be good for people who feel stressed &/or depressed, but it is also advantageous for all of us.  The trick is to go to the park & not only get busy with park activities designed to provide entertainment for us.  While these are good for us, what is more beneficial is going for a peaceful walk or bicycle ride & taking time to observe & connect with the nature around us.

I thought this a wonderful article by Dr David Suzuki & decided to share it.

An excerpt –

“You see, environmentalism isn’t a profession or discipline; it’s a way of seeing our place in the world.  It’s recognizing that we live on a planet where everything, including us, is exquisitely interconnected with & interdependent on everything else.

We tend to think of environmentalists as folks concerned about nature or an endangered species or threatened ecosystem. Environmentalists are accused of caring more for spotted owls or trees than people & jobs.  That’s absurd. In seeing a world of interconnections, we understand that people are at the heart of a global ecocrisis & that genuine sustainability means also dealing with issues of hunger & poverty, of inequity & lack of justice, of terrorism, genocide, & war, because so long as these issues confront humanity, sustainability will be a low priority.

In our interconnected world, all of these issues are a part of the unsustainable path we are on.  If we want to find solutions, we have to look at the big picture.”

To read the whole article click –

Cooks River at Marrickville

I find Dr David Suzuki to always be a fascinating speaker & have been lucky enough to listen to him live.   I found this 28-minute interview on YouTube about his book ‘Tree: A Life Story.’

As is usual for Dr Suzuki, he can speak about a range of interlacing topics without the need for notes.  During this interview he covers a wide range of topics relating to trees from truffles to male pig sex hormones, fungi, roots, surface area of soil, soil nutrients, growth of big trees, marine nitrogen, salmon fertilizing trees, nitrogen 15 & tree rings, benefits of trees, sustainable forestry practices, the economy & biodiversity, topsoil, the biosphere, old-growth rainforests, watersheds, climate change & lifestyle satisfaction.

Some points I include for interest –

  • The University of Vermont came up with a dollar value of 33 trillion US dollars for humans to take on the job of replicating nature.  At that time all the economies of the world were producing 18 trillion US dollars, half of what nature has been doing for free.
  • When asked how he felt about the world’s situation now, he said he felt “we were in a giant car heading towards a brick wall at 100 mph with everyone arguing.”
  • He said we were “Living in a fool’s paradise, not living sustainability & using up the rightful legacy of our children & grandchildren.”
  • 90% of the large fish in the oceans are gone.
  • We have put 32% more Co2 in the atmosphere than existed 150 years ago.
  • 5% of the world’s population is the USA & they produce 25% of the greenhouse gases of the world.

It’s a terrific interview if you are interested in these kinds of things.

PS. David Suzuki turns 75-years-old this month.  Happy Birthday.

Sydney Park lake - filled with waterbirds



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