Tag Archives: environment

WWMND? (What would Mother Nature do?): A fictional conversation begins

5 Jun

What’s real?

As the new normal emerges as packaged austerity and annual 100-year storms,  I’ll let you decide once you’ve ‘listened’ to these somewhat fictional conversations I’ve been writing between somewhat fictional characters: Mother Nature, Humankind, Greenback, and Credit Card.

Here it is:

“Meet me for coffee.”  Mother Nature’s  invitational text sent in frustration was born from

frustration and sadness.  She’d heard too many rumbles of despair, drowned out by the constant drone of cell phone chatter, overwhelmed by music seeping out of ear plugs.

Overheard messages:  “They did it to me; fool me once, shame on them, fool me twice, super-sized shame on them”.

“I didn’t know.  How could I have known? “

“What do you mean my job isn’t there anymore?”

“It’s not MY fault.  They made me do it:  it was the advertising, the celebrities, the catalogues, my friends, my parent”s.

“They knew I’d lose the bet:  you just can’t eat one – or buy just one”.

“Don’t tell us what do – but if you don’t – it will be your fault”.

“It’s their fault.  They came in, gave us jobs, then, spilled their oil.  Lost our jobs.  Ruined our environment.  We want our jobs back.”

And most of all she heard:  “Bamboozled.  We’ve been bamboozled”.

Meanwhile, Mother Nature listens and shakes her head again.  She has watched exploding globalization, make America’s number one export the American Dream.. She’s watched so much melt away.  Literally:   icecaps, savings, and even happiness have seemed to POOF!  evaporate into thin, or rather carbon-dioxide heavy air.

Staring at her text to meet for coffee, she looks for blame.  But where to start?  Is it Greenback’s fault for the greed he ignites in Humankind?  Or is Humankind’s irresponsible and insatiable hunger for Mother Nature’s rich resources to blame?

These bullies are culprits – and potential saviors.  Much as Mother Nature hates the idea, she knows she has to practice friendship with her enemies, or she will be the planet’s sole inhabitant.

Not that this would necessarily be a bad thing.  After all, she doesn’t need Humankind or anyone else to survive.  Yet, she is an optimist and collaborator.

And meeting for coffee doesn’t sound so bad.  In fact, it sounds pretty good.  And she wants to meet these ‘characters’.

So off she goes to the local java joint.

sustainable mug - party talk for environmentalists


At the cafe:  Greenback joins Mother Nature in ordering lattes.  Credit Card arrives in time to swipe.

Sipping, Mother Nature shakes her head as she looks around:  “Ha!  People say they’re green as they drown in their mounds of organic clothes, fair trade coffee and ‘save the planet’ coffee mugs.”

“I know what you mean.  I may be called Greenback;, but I’m seeing red these days on too many bottom lines.  I feel like I’m having an existential crisis.  Do I exist or have I been passed over for a shiny piece of plastic?”  Holding his head in his hands, Greenback glances at Credit Card who is snickering  while chomping on a scone.

Has she found an ally so quickly?  Mother Nature looks sympathetically and says, “Yup, now you’re as screwed as I’ve been for decades.”

“But he has me to help.  Together we are invincible thanks to Humankind,” Credit Card adds pointing to Greenback.  “Where IS Humankind?”

Hopes of camaraderie fade, as Mother Nature’s mood changes as quickly as the weather:  “Sure you’re invincible – at MY expense.  Sure your value has multiplied since you’ve devoured all I have to offer, from the depths of my oceans to the tops of my mountains.  Wake up:  you grow, but I’m dying.”

“Humph!”  Greenback chortles, patting Mother Nature condescendingly on the back.  “Quit whining Mommy Dearest.  I’m never down for long.  My comeback is inevitable.  What’s YOUR problem?”

“Actually, it’s YOU.”-

Stay tuned for Humankind’s entrance.  In the meantime:

What do you think a successful relationship between Mother Nature, Humankind, Credit Card, and, Greenback would look like ?

Who is to blame for the mess our world is in?

What do you think will happen when Humankind shows up?

Do you think it’s possible for Mother Nature to form a win-win relationship with Humankind, Credit Card, and Greenback?  Why or why not?


Wetlands: a sexy environmental elastic waistband

16 Nov

Do you own elastic waistband pants?

Perhaps your pants du jour for the upcoming Thanksgiving dinner?

Wearing loose, pliable and elastic-waisted pants provides safety when overindulgence threatens to overflow the muffin top after turkey, not to mention those


pre-dinner, mingle and football appetizers.

Personally, ( I) don’t want  my zipper parting like the Red Sea.

It’s more than portion control.  Party wardrobes require planning and preparation with an eye on safety.

I play it safe, careful with my pants selection and other aspects of my life.

Take my checking account.  Remember ‘back in the day’ when banks offered the equivalent of an elastic waistband known as overdraft protection with a savings account?  But that was before the surging debt known as the subprime mortgage crisis crashed the global American Dream, forcing us to toss our elastic waistband financial practices.

Now, checking overflow leads to a painful fine.

I hate that…

But overflow overindulgence:  is short-sighted.

Post-Sandy brings Katrina’ reminders of overindulgent building in  wetlands.  Result: overflowing surges from  Hurricane Sandy causing cars and waterfront property to drown.

In nature, Mother Nature creates safety to prevent overflow.  She originated an elastic waistband equivalent with marshes,  and wetlands to control flooding and preserve shorelines.

Didn’t Frank Sinatra sing:  If wetlands can make it here (NYC) they can make it anywhere?  If he didn’t, I’m sure he would have post-Sandy.

Wetlands, something you may not think about when you think NYC. WE got ’em – we need ’em even more now. Wetlands, though in prime waterfront property will save us from Sandy-like flooding and devastation. Of course it means letting wetlands recover and not building in them. pic: nyc.gov

Maybe you didn’t pay much attention to wetlands till Katrina hit.  Wetland’ loss was given credit for the expansiveness of that storm’s damage.

WEtlands New Orleans style! MRGO Must Go Coalition seeks to bring back these critical wetlands. Launched in 2006 in the wake of the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina, the 17-member coalition—coordinated by NWF—brought together scientists, environmentalists and local communities to raise awareness of the role the MRGO played in worsening Katrina’s damage

I’m thinking wetlands protect  NYC/NJ coastlines  like my checking account alerts prevent my spending ‘overflow’ and costly, painful fines.

Turning off my daily alerts would be short-sighted.

Building on wetlands is equally short-sighted.  It’s like wearing tight, tight pants to a holiday buffet and it’s done for the same reason:

It’s about offering a great view.  A sexy view.

But great views come with a great cost.

Farewell 2012.  Welcome 2013:

We have a new normal:  annual ‘100 year’ storms.

We need a new sexy:  healthy wetlands.

So flaunt your sexiness this holiday season by tightening your cash flow, donning your elastic waistbanded pants, and, proudly fa-la-la-ing about wetlands.

Impress your favorite tree-hugger:  Share your sexy conversation starter for making wetlands the center of conversation!