Mother Nature’s REVENGE…

It has been a while since I have given my opinion, so I thought I should at least jump into our present situation with yet another of many. Not useless really, but mostly over looked by today’s pundits.

Since the virus hit, I have spent a number of weeks quarantining myself with my grand children imprisoned at their home,  and loving every minute! Then another two weeks on my boat preparing to install our orca watch network… my life’s work. I have watched a friend die, and have interfaced with an old folks home… a good one at that! So I’ve experienced the human side of this present disaster, BUT to stay the course of my life’s fight for the wilderness, I need to point out a few things. We humans tend to sometimes miss the forest for the trees… So here goes.

I realize we westerners have bought into the consumer culture where big pharma advertises drugs on TV that look so good, that I want them, and I’m not even sick… We have come to expect medical miracles, and expect extended life cycles through modern medicine.  Hell, my brother was on 23 different drugs after surgery. Half to counter-act the side effects of the other half. This has been good for some, and bad for others….  A moral issue playing out presently as our economy suffers due to the present health panic-demic.

We, as a species, are being attacked by a very contagious virus… new, and deadly for those already sick. I believe in California most deaths occurred in Nursing Homes; once havens  for grandma and grandpa where they could remain social, and somewhat active. They are now virtual prisons with inmates in solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is a cruel and debilitating punishment for criminals, but grandma?  Think about it?

We are all in solitary. We are all wearing masks, and hide out from human interaction.  If we continue to view others, friend and foe, as a direct threat to our lives, how long can we as a society and species stay sane? I personally hate the whole mask thing, but want to respect others… but for how long? I am sick of it already.

I have wondered in the past what all this anti-bacterial soap and disinfectant was doing to all the good bacteria which keep us alive. I now wonder what our panic and isolated anti-viral living will do to the health, both physical and mental, of future generations?

It is common knowledge that kids who grow up with dogs and all their germs seem to stay healthy. I always preach to eat a bit of dirt daily to keep your body strong. Our bodies are bacteria… billions and billions as Carl Sagan would say… can we afford whacking them all, good and bad? People who appear to stay healthy are those who eat healthy food, exercise, and have a mission. Will sticking us all into little bubbles help any of these? Well, to tell the truth it might help all of them, but that’s not the point. We are a social species. I personally thrive from hugs and human interaction. I think we all need it.

I am not a shrink. Let me repeat, I am not a shrink, but we need everyone to stay mentally healthy to survive as well. Just think of the kid who “only played video games” shooting up a school. Or the neighborhood recluse turning out to be the uni-bomber. It is time we all need to decide for ourselves, and take whatever precautions we individually deem necessary, but we also need to live and interact with the world around us.

Other societies around the world accept disease and death as part of living. We westerners have been lucky to date, but there will be more viruses down the road if we do not stop abusing our bodies, and abusing the highly intricate and complicated organism we call earth. For what it is worth, we need to get more in step with the earth… the natural earth, and less in step with health through chemicals which promise a long happy life. Watch the commercials… but where fancy drugs might help individuals, do they really help the species? Remember the promises of Roundup and how it would help solve global hunger… I guess for some it might mean we will eat well until cancer causes our early demise. Forgetting all the religious implications; for thousands of years we have lived as a part of nature. It is only the last couple hundred years or so that we as a species began destroying the very planet that had sustained us since we appeared standing erect. Viruses like famines and natural disasters are ways the earth sorts itself out. Not just us, but the populations of other animal species are controlled by disease. Nature is a tough task master, and we arrogant humans have never gained the upper hand for long. We kill and destroy with reckless abandon, and to hell with consequences… Civilizations such as those on Easter Island devoured their resources before perishing themselves. What happened to the Aztec civilization, and native Americans when European diseases ravaged their lives? We seldom learn from history.

Today science is king as huge corporations gear up to save us all. These are the same corporations who got us weaned from nature in the first place.  Does anyone else get the irony?

I am sure as all disasters, this too will pass. Individual lives will no doubt be affected badly, but what of society? How will this affect the young, and how will advance?

Oh we will be wearing masks for a while before we get sick of that, but will it change the way we progress as a society? Where will be in say 50 years? I am hoping that this wakes up the young to force us to change our destructive nature. Is CHAZ in Seattle the answer? I think not, but we need to change to survive so why not try the extremes? The path our forefathers chose was right for the time, although debatable, they did what they thought right. Our history has not been a straight shot toward nirvana as proven by slavery and today’s inherent discrimination. Let’s not forget all the mistakes we made toward becoming as Trump puts it; “the greatest country on earth”.   Imprisoning US citizens of Japanese descent during WW II was certainly not a noble venture… certainly not! Least not we forget the lives ruined by Senator Joe Mccarthy. We’ve bombed Iraq to the stone age on a false pretense, and been involved in numerous government coups. We’ve sprayed thousands of acres with poisons with little thought for the future. We’ve dammed rivers and destroyed our natural forests. More animals go extinct daily then since the asteroid hit. So on and so on… and we wonder why we get sick? Maybe it is time to change our focus? Maybe it is time for taking a long term look at health and the environment?

The earth is an extremely complicated eco-system that depends on its health through bio-diversity, interdependence, and finite resources. We are only a small part of that eco-system. Our health as a species depends on a healthy earth. We need wilderness and nature. I’m hoping if our present population learns anything from this pandemic, it will cause us all to focus on nature. We need nature as badly as we need one another.

Get out there in the dirt. Climb a mountain or raft a river. Modern science might help in the short run, but to really get healthy and make a positive future, we need to get back to nature. We need to relish the wilderness and preserve and protect it.  As my good friend Doug Thompson always said: “there is no humanity, good or bad… on a dead planet”. It is time we re-boot our relationship with the only solution which will succeed. It is imperative we concentrate on the big picture and leave our children and grandchildren a healthy planet.  A healthy planet means a healthy us.

There is no better time to start!


It is time to take care of our home… the earth.

As the world seems to be panicking over the corona virus, we at are moving forward on our path to help be part of the overall solution by helping to save the endangered Southern Resident Orcas from harassment. Many others have just recently stepped up to help, and we are getting our job done.

How can we move forward while the world is on the verge of a pandemic… you might ask? Well, I cannot help but hear the mantra in my brain: “ save the whale, save ourselves…”  it’s there ringing in my ears….  A mantra I have been preaching for 40 years. It is my hope that we will all take a deep breath, and look at the big picture. We really need to take note of the late Dr. Lynn Margulis, an American evolutionary theorist and biologist, science author, educator, and a leading proponent that we are all connected… closer than most humans want to believe.  After reading Lynn I always come away with the haunting feeling that we humans are just transportation and a portable food source for the bacteria that really runs this planet. Really creepy, I know , but unfortunately true.

We humans contain trillions of microorganisms — outnumbering humancells by 10 to 1. I know pretty yucky for those who carry around hand sanitizer. This is hard to accept now, but we need much of that bacteria to fight off the very viruses now threatening humanity… Did you ever wonder why soil, forests, the ocean, and streams feel so good to dip your bare feet into? Maybe it’s our bacteria “tribe” communing with their relatives, their source of life???  Breathe… I look at it as energizing the good guys. To stay healthy I believe we need to take care of the good bacteria. Bleach and alcohol kill it all; good and bad. This solution means present gain no doubt, but what of the future.

.Now I’m no doctor, and I don’t play one on TV but I have to think that the massive extinction we humans are inflicting on the very living eco system we are a part of, has to be recognized now more than ever. The scorched  earth approach to our tiny tenants is no real answer. Yes,  no matter how easy it is to bury your nose in your smart phone and lock yourself away in your hermetically sealed apartment, there are living bacteria and germs everywhere. Get over it.

Now back to the whales… creatures we all like, so maybe we can pay attention to them for a moment… we need to save them now. I know, lots of issues need to be addressed, but we can stop harassment. Federal Law sets out strict rules when regarding marine mammals in general, and the Southern Residents are endangered… double the distances.  They, the Southern Residents are a very specialized species. They deserve a break from us. “Free Willy” was the movie that made us love orcas. Many a reputation and business was built on their backs. Now can’t we  just do what we can to allow these beautiful creatures and our special neighbors a break? Who knows what “specialized” bacteria they carry that will save us all? Perhaps that is a stretch, but I’ve been known to stretch the truth a bit to make a point.  Think about it.

I have, and I’ll continue to fly the friendly skies and take my chance with whatever the earth throws at me. Like the common cold, sooner or later we’ll all get it. That horse is out of the barn, no matter what Mr. Pence believes. I’m old, but pretty resilient through my world travel and exposure to any number of exotic diseases during my time in Indonesia, Afghanistan, the Congo,  and an array of third world countries. Once I had to get 23 shots just to go! If you ever travelled below the swine line, you’d understand.

I have always believed that it is as important to our very species to save the wilderness as it is to save ourselves. In the end it is all one in the same. For my “thing”, I will do what I can to stop harassment of these orcas. I can only do so much…. Thanks to young entrepreneurs Tristan Strauss and Brian Casey  of Headwater who want to do something worthwhile with their good fortunes; Professor Joe Valencic, an old friend and genius who is donating valuable technical support… to old friends of my daughter, like Kristan Carlson. Another young person with kids stepping up. We are making great headway, and for those old farts who say the young people don’t care… go to hell

Locally we will have our NEIGHBORHOOD ORCA WATCH portal operating in April. I am finding people who have before stayed silent, stepping up to help. Why? Because people who look to the future know that changes are coming. We are not stupid. We humans, like the bacteria around us, will need to adapt. I, for one, like the world we live in today. I love wilderness and wild oceans. I am hoping others do also, and this corona virus should wake us all up. It came from our species mingling in unhealthy ways with neighbor species.  Next time you are scrubbing your hands with the toxin of your choice, instead of singing happy birthday two times, pause and think: … oh…, you can think about how blind we were to choose chemical processed food over real food… maybe, how stupid we were to allow Monsanto to play with nature.. Hell, we can blame Trump for gutting the EPA and being just plain being stupid about climate change… OR you can think about what little thing you can do today to bring us closer to the earth we live on.  Maybe go for a walk in nature? We need to be proactive. Each one of us in our own way.  The time for bitching is over.  We at are doing something to protect whales. Take your own action or join us. All of us can be an anti-viral unit for the living planet earth.

Now disinfect your computer keyboard and stick your feet in the dirt, or go swim in the ocean!



Let’s STOP messing with Mother Nature!

We have lost another orca, L41 from the Southern Resident pod. There are now 72 left. L41 was significant to the Southern Resident population because he and one other male, J1, fathered a majority of the whales born since 1990. J1 fathered 16 whales, and L41 fathered 20 whales, according to NOAA.

At the same moment in history, we humans are beginning to panic over the spread of a new corona virus. China has been shut down entire cities the size of Los Angeles, so the 900+ deaths we hear about need to be way under estimated. Something is scary when the imperial government that has, in the recent past, had no issue gunning down a 1000 dissenters at Tiananmen Square, now quarantines entire cities. Is this the pandemic some have warned us of? I certainly hope not.

As human population expands and wilderness contracts, nature suffers. The earth is a hugely complicated interdependent network that has for millions of years sustained itself. The earth is presently facing a mass extinction blamed not on a volcano or asteroids, but on us. Because we have chosen to dominate nature rather than live with it. Simple as that. There are fewer animals, bugs, bacteria, fugues, all that wonderful stuff that keeps nature in check. You know, like checking and controlling viruses… Think about it.

Would we pay more attention to our environment if 2% of all humans perished due to a disease run amuck in nature because of us?  It could happen, and obviously today’s governments are very worried about it. So what do we do? I say maybe pay attention to the whales…

The Sothern Resident Orcas have many issues. The first being: years ago when so many were captured and traumatized to load aquariums for our pleasure. Some say education…  I disagree. We  humans, at least some of us have learned that lesson and orca shows are now passé.  The toll human capture took in the 70s is now multiplied by other numerous issues. Lack of salmon needs to be addressed by dam removal ultimately, but I know it’s a difficult concept to grasp, but how about we stop taking so many? Do sport fishermen need to take thousands, or consumers eat so much? Maybe we start taking care of the rivers still left. Maybe even.. and I know this might be politically incorrect, but why not convince the Lummi to stop, or at least curtail their commercial takes. Hell, I have been told the Lummi believe they are related to orcas… as do I, so why is it a big stretch to stop starving grandma for a while? Mariners can drive their boats with the respect these waters deserve, and give these resident creatures at least the distances demanded by law. I have found the WSF people have been very interested their not being the problem. Let’s get them involved. Oh yeah, keep salmon farms out of the wild. Open pen salmon farming has no place in the wild oceans. I’m just saying….

We can all do these things, some of us might suffer financially, but local culture and island life will flourish. As much as we need to save the orcas, we need to save ourselves. The same way.

As those of us here in the San Juan Islands mourn yet another orca death, we must use this loss to motivate us all to start changing our ways. You know little steps do not hurt so much.

Remember, as the Southern Resident Orcas slip toward extinct, so go we.

No matter how cool your new pick up looks in the yard, or how well your IRA is doing take a minute and look around. We need a healthy environment with all kinds of plants and animals to survive. The three rules of nature are BIODIVERSITY, INTERDEPENDENCE, and FINITE RESOURCES. By wiping out one we wipe out the rest. We need to save what we still have and build from there.

To begin, we must save these damn whales and build from there. I know it is not a human trait, but we must really forget our petty differences and all do our part.  The one thing we can do right now, is stop boat harassment. The locals be they fishermen or whale watchers know the Southern Residents. Instead of zooming to bring hungry tourists close, go the other way. Show some respect and your concern for a future. What a concept?

Young people are speaking out like the young woman from Iceland. I believe we should listen. It is their future. My generation seems to have been ruled by interests alone… what happened to principles?

Young people deserve better and it is time for our voices to actually be heard. Conserve the earth, save the whales,  give us a chance survive and thrive. I personally don’t believe living on Mars is a solution.

The EARTH or Bust!

As the new year approaches, most of us will make New Year’s resolutions. Some won’t eat so much, and some will stop smoking or drinking… After spending the holidays with my grandchildren I cannot help but wondering why we all can’t ignore our petty differences and “resolve” to really buckle down and do something for the earth…  other than bitch and point fingers that is. There certainly is a lot to bitch about god knows, but is it not really time to get things done? Our oceans are dying, is there any hope? Well I believe there is hope if we can all get together and force change.

Maybe it is finally time for something to be accomplished with the 390 Billion dollars raised annually to “save the earth”, one way or the other. 390 Billion, with a “B”, is a lot of money. Where does it go? Most goes to huge salaries for those who beg our donations, or perks for those who pretend to care. For example, I spent a few years working to save baby harp seals. For anyone who was there it was abundantly clear that our efforts quickly became a huge “tailgate” type party for bleeding heart liberals.. All the best restaurants were full, hotels, rental cars, and helicopters booked by the well-heeled eco-warriors bent on showing the heathens the right way to live. Expensive wine flowed as the towns, once empty during March, filled up bringing millions of eco-dollars to the local economies decimated by government mismanagement of the cod stocks…once the cash cow for local fishermen. I know, I know, fishermen are heathens to the holier than thou intellectuals, but did the activists do anything but bitch? Locals played the eco-activists and eco groups like Sea Shepherd, Greenpeace, and IFAW. In the beginning things got done, but once the money flowed in, most “leaders” pocketed the cash and left the arrested kids to twist in the wind. Passion often wins out, but dirty money makes it tougher.

The sealers, although brutal, learned to play the public to keep their new cash cow thriving. “Whack” a seal for the camera, and the dollars would flow. Even today you see baby harp seals being used to gain public sympathy… all for cash. Baby Seals haven’t been killed in years….  Get over it.

Do those of you who donate ever ask or demand results? Oh, environmental organizations have great PR, and spend bundles on slick films and bragging rights to this or that, but do they have any real success? My 40+ years of experience in this department says no. Many of you know that Sea Shepherd Society spent thousands suing me, their longest and most active volunteer for 40 years because I dared disagree with where their money went. It cost me thousands of my own money to defend myself while they freely spent donation money harassing me to shut me up. Our legal system has its good points, but to shut people up through harassment is not one of them. This is all money donated to save the oceans. Tax deductible money at that! Was this a good use of donor money? If you check out NGO IRS tax returns you will see they have budgeted millions of dollars over the years to defend their indiscretions; be they legit or not… just keep that money coming became the mantra of the once pure of heart. It is not so clear in their financials but payouts were made to a number of individuals and, of course , Mr. Watson even tried to “spin” the 2.5 million dollars that was paid to the whalers so that Mr. Watson and others could run and hide instead of continuing to pursue the whalers. Are they in the southern oceans today? Hell no, the last I saw Mr. Watson he was travelling the world in a 3 million dollar yacht accepting awards and acclamations for what? Ego? The crew, while probably cleaning toilets and caring for a sea sick cat, still got to wear the once proud colors to show their dedication. These were kids who wanted to make a difference. Kids recruited for their passion,  co-opted to serve their mythical leader. Much like Captain Morgen the Caribbean pirate opting out of piracy to govern Porto Rico, Mr. Watson now finds himself head of a “cult-like” organization dedicated to his comfort.

Did Sea Shepherd save the vaquita dolphin in Mexico as they claim? This was the campaign I personally witnessed that finally brought home to me how hypocritical we have become. They made films about it, accepted awards, had a villa over looking the coast for R & R, but the dolphin still struggle. They made corporate and governmental alliances against the poor local fishermen… very lucrative for all concerned, except, of course the fishermen. Nothing really has changed … except those poor individuals caught in the middle. Poor fishermen villainized instead of co-opted to actually work on the problem. As a new year begins, it the time for a reassessment on all fronts. I say they accomplished little, except to polish the Mexican government’s image to look green. Why aren’t governments doing their job? After spending time with the opposition, I came to believe most eco groups are as corrupt as the governments they were set up to counter….so why bother?

We bother so future generations might have a real future. Many of my activist friends started during the time when the young people of the US banded together to stop the Viet Nam war. Of course, although we preached being against war in general, most were personally motivated so they would not have to fight. The war was wrong as history attests, and millions joined the fray against it despite their differences. For a time we all banded together, not for a noble ideal, but because we were individually threatened. That’s the truth. Be this as it may, millions rallied to the cause and change happened. Today we need the same dedication… no matter our differences the events of 2020 threaten us all. If individual motives are needed to get people to care, so be it. Today’s eco-war threatens us all, not just college students worried about their own hides. No matter the reason, it is time to take to the streets again; this time making the earth a priority. Change, even though motivated by the very selfish motives that drove us back then, is needed today.

Demand change that will secure a future for future generations no matter the sacrifice for us individually. There is no more room for our garbage. Our greed and consumption needs to end. It is not someone else’s problem… it is ours. Think generations down the road when we make our decisions. As we cart mountains of Amazon packing to the trash, and assess the millions of cheap plastic toys for our kids to break… think of the oceans. The world can come together to condemn Brazil for their exploitation of their natural resources… so why not think for a moment of how we destroyed our resources for our own greed, and try to clean up our act here and make a difference universally.

Have a happy and joyous New Year, and remember as my good friend Doug Thompson said: we are at a cliff. Do we, like lemmings, continue forward to our demise, or do we do a 180 degree turn and change. Change is not bad, and at this time for our civilization, it is necessary. Fear is our enemy, don’t be afraid to stand up and make a difference. Kick the ego driven eco-corporations to the curb, no one else will do it. It is up to each and every one of us to make a difference. As Nike says, just do it!

“so do we give up?”

Having just celebrated Thanksgiving, a holiday that at least gets family and friends together to celebrate our good fortunes through gluttony… you have to love it.  I was in Texas with my family, or part of it and felt privileged to be there. We are very lucky in America to enjoy the luxuries we do.  I realize that I have become more mystical in my old age and have chosen a more frugal existence, but I am still able to travel freely and visit those who I love.

I have been extremely lucky in my life to have a profession that allowed me extensive travel and experiences around the world. The TV profession allowed me time for my eco-hobbies, so I am very thankful for that. I am sure if we all reach deep inside, we all have things we are thankful for. I hope so!

While America appears in the middle of a great cultural divide, it is refreshing to see a young woman from Europe, Greta Thunberg is “human of the year”. Good on her!

Instead of us mature adults taking shots at her naivety, perhaps we should listen. Truth often comes from the mouths of youth. They are not stupid, and believe me, they pay attention. I learned recently from my grand-brats: watching Frozen 2… they are little girls… that I was deemed too ugly to be the handsome  prince. It was decide by all three and then confirmed later at school by friends, that I was in fact better suited as the silly snowman. Ouch! I’m just saying, from the mouths of children…

Anyhow, to date we… my generation, has not done too well when it comes to the environment. It is interesting that this seems to correspond with our “perceived happiness”. Instead of face it, we hide, or worse hope others will save us, and our children.  We have denied climate change by electing the present administration… oh it’s easy to say: ”don’t blame me”, but he won, get over it. No matter who is driving the bus, let’s come up with policies that work.

You know, policies like preserving the wilderness that we have left, rather than exploiting it. I know our economy is built on growth. More people, more consumers, and more consumption means more money, and the hungry snake eats it’s own tail. Although we hope we aren’t there, we are  We are doing it, how’s it taste? Maybe we need to listen to the kids.

I have been preaching public participation and the “hope” for years. I felt that it was happening; but as well-known philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said: “ Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.”

Think about it. Maybe it is the dashing of this hope that is driving the young people to shoot up schools, contemplate suicide, and maybe now they are “playing until the end”… like celebrating while the Titanic sank. Are we there? I do understand that there always appears to be no hope to some. The job is so big, no one can do it. Governments have failed and our schools still teach that we are a democracy… WE ARE A REPUBLIC, even Kenyan Taxi cab drivers know that. Sorry… my pet peeve.

Anyhow back to the subject… My suggestion for the New Year is: Let’s take a step or two from the cliff.

I am not that old, and I remember when everything wasn’t wrapped in plastic… sometimes double and triple wrapped! Did it kill us? I hear about more food issues now. Instead of hoping technology will save us, why not start saving ourselves? I know it is a revolutionary concept, but think about it for a minute.

Wrap meat in paper… take vegetables without plastic bags. Stop ingesting things you can’t pronounce… I mean, minor things really. Also more importantly as far as I’m concerned stop using all this anti-bacterial crap. Read a bit of Dr. Lynn Margulis and realize we are mostly bacteria. The earth is BACTERIA. Trillions of kinds, and all interdependent. We are attached to the earth and all her living things through bacteria. If you believe Dr. Margulis, and I do.

Bacterial DNA passes around like a “barroom slut… male , female, LGBTQ…  whatever. Let’s just say that bacterial DNA gets around. Maybe swapping of bacterial spit so to speak, has a purpose to our very existence?  Bacteria in our bodies outnumber human cells 10 to 1! We are in fact trillions of interconnected little bio-machines.  Why is it out of the question that through years of evolution, our bacteria doesn’t need what the earth gives? And visa versa? Maybe it recharges us?  Maybe it is why people feel recharged in the wilderness? To me it seems clear.

We need the wilderness. We, as humans , should get our tails out in nature, get in touch with it; rather than detaching from it. Wilderness is not something to be feared, but rejoiced. Maybe lie on the grass and check your phone?

Quit hoping others will fix things.  Like that young woman from Iceland, It is time to act not to hide. We are part of the earth. Do something every day to help preserve it, and bethankful it is there. Where wild things live.