Tuesday, August 30, 2011

WHAT'S A WILLY?


Willy
Willy -- photo by Ruby W.

Didja ever hear the expression, "it gives me the willies?" Willies are scaring things:

A.K.A. Dust Devil: The Australian "willy-willy" or "whirly-whirly" is thought to derive from Yindjibarndi or a neighboring language. In Aboriginal myths, willy willies represent spirit forms. They are often quite scary spirits, and parents may warn their children that if they misbehave, a spirit will emerge from the spinning vortex of dirt and chastise them. There is a story of the origin of the Brolga where a bad spirit descends from the sky and captures the young being and abducts her by taking the form of a willy-willy.

More photos by Ruby W at Flickr.

Nation's Top Climate Scientist, 140 Others Arrested at White House


_MG_2210
Arrest of James Hansen -- Photo by Josh Lopez

America’s top climate scientist and a large group of religious leaders were arrested at the White House this morning with 140 other Americans to push President Obama to deny the permit for a massive new oil pipeline. 522 have now been arrested. You can find out how to help here.



THE DAILY VIEW: From a master today


The Hero N
Hero N -- photo by Risquilo

I've been looking at the work of a master. The photo above has actually been viewed more than 900,000 times.

Check out more of Risquillo's work over the jump.

EVOLUTION OF CIVILIZATION




Looks interesting but I can't say that I understand what's happening. Well, yes, civilization is like that.

I had to watch it full screen to get even a little of what's going on.

Monday, August 29, 2011

DILEMMAS OF DEVELOPMENT: The Magic Washing Machine



Hans Rosling makes the strongest case for modernization. Despite the flare, hyperbole and oversimplification of good performance, his drift is correct. Economic development brings benefits to peoples' lives.

Now consider the consequences:

AMAZON UPDATE: The battle marches toward Dilma


d4250dc8-d1a4-11e0-89c0-00144feab49a
Amazon Day demonstration in Sao Paulo Brazil 


Daily View: Locked Up


Locked Up
Locked Up -- photo by Lou Gold

Saturday, August 27, 2011

WARNING: This is highly addictive.

music_brazil


Click here at your own risk.

Brazil's Radio Senado is the public station from the Federal Senate. When the Congress is not debating, it includes a range of offerings but mostly music that is some of the best (of many genres) that can be found. When the music stops for the politicians, it like... well... like when the music stops.

Then, it's time to check out Acre's Radio Aldeia



AMAZING AMAZON - Rivers above and below it.


amazon_hamza

In a addition to the recent awareness of a river in the sky above the Amazon, scientists are now reporting that there is another river (the Hamza) flowing 14,000 feet below it.

AWESOME IRENE

Full Disk Image of Earth Captured August 26, 2011
Hurricane Irene in  whole earth view -- photo by NASA Goddard

Lots more photos from
NASA Goddard Photo and Video's photostream at Flickr.


And Jeff Masters has a ton of great charts and information tracking the storm at Wunderground and WunderBlog.




THE DAILY VIEW -- Face in the Forest


Face in the Forest
Face in the Forest -- photo by Lou Gold

With thanks to Marco Aurelio.

Friday, August 26, 2011

UNDER THE RADAR -- THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE RECEIVES GREEN LIGHT

LATE  BREAKING

With national attention now focused on Hurricane Irene, the Obama Administration has given a crucial green light to the Keystone XL pipeline that will carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to refineries in southern Texas.

THE DAILY VIEW: City Tree


City Tree
City Tree -- photo by Lou Gold

Thursday, August 25, 2011

DROUGHT REPORT: Good and Bad

On 24 August 2011 the Acre River running through Rio Branco AC Brazil looked like this:




Compared with this time in last year's severe drought there is both good and bad news. The good news is that there's been more rainfall and fewer fires; the bad news is that there's been more really hot days and the water levels are lower.

It got pretty cool for about a week and now we are back to hot. A good place to track what's happening is at Wunderground.

THE BIG DIRTY SECRET


alberta-tar-sands
Alberta tar sands. Previously, most of these areas were boreal forests.

Right now, before "crisis shock" hits and changes everything, it's not so much about saving the world as it is about where and when we take a stand -- in this case both we and Obama are being called on. Here's why:

THESE FOLKS MAKE ME PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN


In a building display of very civil civil disobedience Bill McKibben and his colleagues are triggering an "Enviro Spring" in front of the White House.





This is not only a line in the sand for Obama but an incredible opportunity for citizens to by-pass the stalemated Congress and appeal directly to the hearts and minds of the people. The movement builds each day. Please follow it at the official tars sands action website and choose one of the ways that you can help.

THE DAILY VIEW: Flight


Flight
Flight -- photo by Lou Gold

This is a little tiny piece of the mural wall I posted yesterday. I especially love the texture given by the concrete substrate.

AND CHRISTOPHER IS MARCHING TO MAPIA

Christopher marching to Mapia

An epic walk that began 3 years ago in Los Angeles is in it's final 300 km stretch.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

GLOBAL MARCHES FOR THE PEOPLES OF XINGU


Demonstrators hold sign
International Rivers demands Brazilian President Dilma Roussef halt the disastrous Belo Monte Dam outside the consulate in San Francisco.

INDIANS ON THE MARCH IN BOLIVIA


boliviantribe

As Brazil finances development in neighboring countries, Bolivia's "defender of Pachamama" is challenged by local Indians.

A PROGRESSIVE STEP IN PERU


2010_peru-protest-ashanika_
Ashanika protesting in 2010 in Peru -- photo by David Dudenhoefer

In the past Peru has been the scene of many clashes as development and extraction encroaches on indigenous lands. In 2009, it turned bloody and violent.

Thus, today's notice from Amazon Watch is most welcome: Peruvian Congress Passes Indigenous Peoples Consultation Law

THE DAILY VIEW: The Mystery Comes From Amazonia


The Mystery Comes From Amazonia
The Mystery Comes From Amazonia -- photo by Lou gold

Much of Rio Branco's wall art expresses the cultural ecology of ayahuasca, magical snuffs, indigenous cosmologies, and more -- all being gifts of the forest to humankind. The mural wall (which is much larger) is a collective enterprise of several artists including Claudeney, Clementino, Mahatma and TiagoTosh.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

THE DAILY VIEW: Connected


Connected
Connected -- photo by Lou Gold

Rio Branco wall art by Claudeney and Tiago Tosh.

Monday, August 22, 2011

RIO BRANCO'S CHANGING TIMES


holiday-inn-express

In a sign of changing times, a new 7-story Holiday Inn is scheduled to open in 2013 in Rio Branco

TIME


>


I'm not sure about this theoretical stuff but, at the concrete level, I sure can report that Brazilian time is something different.

THE DAILY VIEW: Remembering Wynn Bullock



Remebering Wynn Bullock
Remembering Wynn Bullock -- photo by Lou Gold


Among the 20th Century American masters of photography, Wynn Bullock was the one who inspired me the most.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - North America

Oil extraction from tar sands is the beast running amuck in northern Alberta, Canada and spreading southward to Texas, USA.


Tar Sands Action/ Josh Fox from JFOX on Vimeo.

Across the many years that I advocated for saving the forests of the US Pacific Northwest, I always reminded my audiences that in the past the North Americans were far more ruthless than Brazil is today in destroying their forests. Indeed, nothing has changed.

So this is a special plea to my North American friends:

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - Western Amazonia

Gold Mining is the beast that is running amuck in Peru.

Here are the latest aerial photos from Mongabay.




L.E. POMAR VISUAL BLOG


"The Grace of Mer" by Autumn Skye Morrison
"The Grace of Mer" -- painting by Autumn Skye Morrison

Our dear Brazilian friend Juba has been hanging out in the US Pacific Northwest gathering visionary images and stories about organic farming, alternative building construction, amazing art like the painting above, and the great hippie gatherings. For a real treat, take a look at his blog.


THE DAILY VIEW: Plantburst

Plantburst
Plantburst -- photo by Lou Gold

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I LIKE THIS GUY'S STORY



Philip-Leakey-web
Phillip Leakey

DAILY VIEW

Christopher Howe




Chris walked into our house in Rio Branco AC Brazil about 10 days ago, having come all the way from Los Angeles, California on foot.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

BLOWIN' IN THE BRAZILIAN WIND



windpower

Great News: Wind is becoming the cheapest source of energy in Brazil, beating natural gas and hydro-electric power.

OF FORESTS AND MEN






Yann Arthus-Bertrand was appointed by the United Nations to produce the official film for the International Year of Forests.

Versão em português é o próximo.
Leia mais.

THE DAILY VIEW

Leaf

Leaf
Leaf -- Photo by Lou Gold


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE FUTURE OF THE FOREST: A Journey to Ceu do Mapia

Mapia-Foster-misc 119

(Leia em português aqui)

At the end of July I had the pleasure of accompanying Foster Brown to the village of Ceu do Mapia, a 28 year-old Santo Daime spiritual community of nearly 1,000 people living in the Floresta Nacional do Purus in Amazonas State. Foster is a professor of Ecology at the Federal University of Acre and a scientist with the Woods Hole Research Center. His current specialty is satellite monitoring and remote sensing of the climate and the forest.

THE DAILY VIEW : Coming and Going



Coming and Going
Coming and Going -- photo by Lou Gold


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DAILY VIEW
Inside and Outside


Inside and Outside
Inside and Outside -- photo by Lou Gold



Monday, August 15, 2011

THE DAILY VIEW
Revealing the Colors

Wall Layers
Revealing the Colors -- photo by Lou Gold

Peeling patina on a weather-beaten wall, a new color with each layer

Sunday, August 14, 2011

THE DAILY VIEW
Putting On The Color

Putting on the Color
Putting on the Color -- photo by Lou Gold

It is said that "Color is the Acreano will to happiness." In Rio Branco they put a lot of energy into both color and happiness.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

THE DAILY VIEW
"Do you see it?"

Do you see it?
"Do you see it?" -- photo by Lou Gold


Friday, August 12, 2011

THE STORY NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR

Earth On Fire
Earth on Fire -- image by Barbara Doduk

Yesterday, Rio Branco (where I live) had the highest temperature in all of Brazil -- 105 degrees F or 41 degrees C. Today, it is already 95F as I sit at the computer composing this post and the forecast is for more of the same. The rivers are already lower than normal for this point in the dry season, the skies are cloudless but there's a haze and smell of smoke signalling that the "burning season" has begun. No one has to tell us that there is global warming but few are aware of exactly how we are creating the problem. And, there's an even scarier story that we really don't want to hear -- apparently another age of planetary mass extinctions is upon us.




THE DAILY VIEW
I'm a Witch

I'm a Witch
I'm a Witch -- photo by Lou Gold


Thursday, August 11, 2011

THE DAILY VIEW
Praying, Preying and Praising


Praying, Preying and Praising
Praying, Preying and Praising -- photo by Lou Gold

Interesting that all three words are used as descriptors in names for the mantis.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

BURNIN' AND LOOTIN'




The lack of respect. A pain beyond poverty. A pain that triggers reaction to many injustices.

THE DAILY VIEW
Graffiti Chapel

Graffiti Chapel #1
Graffiti Chapel #1 -- photo by Lou Gold

There's a little graffiti chapel in a remnant ruin in Rio Branco that gives me pause to stop, perhaps offer a prayer for our future, and snap some pics. When I check them out in the computer all kinds of images pop up. The wall paintings are by local artists babu and tiagotosh.

Here are a few more images:

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

MASSACRE OF AMAZON TRIBE BY DRUG TRAFFICKERS IS FEARED

invisibleindians

There's a long and ugly history of civilization's addiction to consumption and development (oil and logging have been major culprits) destroying indigenous cultures in Amazonia. Now, drug traffickers may be using assault weapons against bows and arrows.
"VALUE CHANGE FOR SURVIVAL"



Chief Oren Lyons is one of my guiding prophets. He makes things simple -- "Nature has no mercy; it has laws."
THE DAILY VIEW
"Oops!"

Rio Branco Bus Reflection #4 - "Oops!"
Rio Branco Bus Reflection #4 -- "Oops!" -- photo by Lou Gold

Some days you just keep walking into yourself.

Monday, August 08, 2011

FLIGHT OF THE FLOWER-KISSER



"Flower-kisser" (beija-flor) is the Portuguese word for the humming-bird. As usual, it's the more sensuous descriptor whereas the English is more "objective." Either way, this is a very sweet song. Her voice seems to reach from the interior of Brazil to a special place in my own interior. As usual, I know no way to describe it but maybe you can feel it. Enjoy!
THE DAILY VIEW
Upside Down World

Upside Down World
Upside Down World -- photo by Lou Gold

Might as well add a bit of humor to it. Our friend Sha-Nei-Hu Yananawa helped make the magic.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

THE DAILY VIEW
Winter Dress

Winter Dress
Winter Dress -- photo by Lou Gold

The car is dressed for winter -- Amazon winter -- which means that it is dry, clear and HOT. Daily temperatures in Rio Branco are now hovering around 100F (38C).

Saturday, August 06, 2011

THE DAILY VIEW
Tiles and Bars

Tiles and Bars
Tiles and Bars -- photo by Lou Gold

The geometry reminds me of the works of the cubist artist Piet Mondrian. He was widely criticized as cold and analytical and unnatural but somehow I keep seeing his essential vision arising in the cityscape of Rio Branco, except that here there is an added sensuality that retains nature. Photographically, I find the contradictory mix of abstract and organic as both mysterious and intriguing.

Friday, August 05, 2011

THE DAILY VIEW
Big Mirror

Big Mirror
Big Mirror -- photo by Lou Gold

From downtown Rio Branco with lots of added color.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

BRAZIL ON THE RISE



Roberto Mangabeira Unger took leave from his teaching position at Harvard Law School to become Brazil's Minister of Strategic Affairs for a few years during the term of President Lula. I never liked his views on nature or his strongly developmental bias toward Amazonia but he is obviously brilliant and offers a fascinating understanding of what makes Brazil so confusing and inspiring, especially when compared with the USA. Lula liked to call Unger his "minister of the future."



THE DAILY VIEW
City Plants #2

City Plants #2
City Plants #2 -- photo by Lou Gold

...with some added virtual color.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

WHO KILLED ECONOMIC GROWTH?



In economically developing Brazil, where growth is revving at record rates, this may seem like a strange question but it is surely being asked in North America, Western Europe and other ("advanced") economies where they have "been there and done that."

Joe Romm posted the video at the liberal advocacy site of Climate Progress and linked to his classic post about economic growth being a Ponzi scheme.

Money quote from Joe's NY Times interview:
“We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children,” said Joe Romm, a physicist and climate expert who writes the indispensable blog climateprogress.org. We have been getting rich by depleting all our natural stocks — water, hydrocarbons, forests, rivers, fish and arable land — and not by generating renewable flows.

“You can get this burst of wealth that we have created from this rapacious behavior,” added Romm. “But it has to collapse, unless adults stand up and say, ‘This is a Ponzi scheme. We have not generated real wealth, and we are destroying a livable climate …’ Real wealth is something you can pass on in a way that others can enjoy.”

And from the conservative writer Rod Dreher:

This is not just an economic crisis. At bottom, it is a moral and spiritual crisis. We Americans have been living as if the historically extraordinary bounty of material wealth and personal freedom are the natural state of mankind. We -- and in a democracy, the government is "we" -- have been living far beyond our fiscal means for far too long, and punishing any politician who failed to lie to us about the free lunch.

But our disastrous failure of prudence is not only financial. Take the indulgent stewardship of our natural resources.

While we are (rightly) consumed by the perils of climate change, for example, few people are paying attention to the growing topsoil crisis. The world is losing vast amounts of precious, hard-to-replace topsoil each year, much of it disappearing because of wasteful agricultural techniques. Have we become so accustomed to full supermarket shelves that we think they will continue to replenish themselves infinitely, no matter what we do, or fail to do?

All of this runaway growth has been based on "cheap energy." As sane voices from both Left and Right caution that the fossil fuel binge cannot continue, mainstream politics remains frozen in near-total denial with the reckless ventures into more dangerous and expensive forms of extraction. Under such stalemated and deadlocked politics, major US environment leaders are now calling for a campaign of civil disobedience focused this summer on Obama's coming critical decision of whether or not to license the controversial Keystone XL pipelinek from Alberta, Canada to the refineries of Texas.

THE DAILY VIEW
City Plants #1

City Plants #1
City Plants #1 -- photo by Lou Gold


Sidewalk plants and trees rising out of the concrete are separate and stark. With some color enhancement and editing they take on a new quality as they combine visually with the walls and shadows of the city.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

THE DAILY VIEW: Friends



Friends #1
Friends #1 -- photo by Lou Gold


The little cat and monkey seem to be great friends. I don't know them "personally" but there was time for a couple quick shots with the camera.

Monday, August 01, 2011

A Dança do Mariri



Dym Gomes celebrating the peoples of the forests of Acre.
THE DAILY VIEW
Boca da Acre Sunset

Boca da Acre sunset
Boca da Acre Sunset -- photo by Lou Gold

The remnant trees are beautifully silhouetted as the sun sets behind forest converted to pasture for cattle. With nearly 450,000 cows, the Boca da Acre district (county) is a major beef producer.