Congratulations and thank you, Ireland!

“Ireland passes law to become world’s first country to fully divest from fossil fuels-

Bill will drop coal, oil and gas investments from Ireland Strategic Investment Fund”

“In 2015, Norway’s sovereign pension fund divested from some fossil fuel companies, but not all.”

For the original article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ireland-votes-divest-fossil-fuels-climate-change-world-first-country-parliament-renewable-energy-a7549121.html

Reblog: Green Sea Turtle Refuge~

There is a folk story about a sea turtle in Japan.
A fisherman, Taro, one day saved a Sea Turtle from a group of naughty children and released it back to the sea.
Some time after, a turtle appeared before Taro, thanked him for saving its life, and wished to invite him to visit an underwater paradise. Turtle took Taro on its back, and it turns into a beautiful woman as they arrived at the paradise. Taro spent some time at the paradise, which was all about pleasure and luxury, however he eventually asked the woman if she would take him back to the shore; that he needed to go home. She gave Taro a box of gift, and made Taro promise never to open the box.

Upon return, Taro realises that he had been gone for hundreds of years and he no longer knew a person in his old fishing village. He desperately looked for any familiarity, and finally, could not resist opening the box . When he opened to look inside the box, all it came out was smoke. And the smoke turned Taro into a very old man.

It feels as though the story is filled with messages. What is it about the paradise, the home, the gift, the good deed, you, the reward, and life?

I remember having to answer a question – what should Taro have done? I do not know if there is one correct answer to this question.  But it certainly gives a lot to think about.

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San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge has a residential group of approximately 60 protected Eastern Pacific Green Sea Turtles. No one knows how they got here, but it is assumed they were caught many decades ago in Mexico, brought to the bay alive, and escaped from fishing pens, prior to being slaughtered. They settled successfully in the bay due to waters that are artificially warmed by nearby industry.

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This is the only area on the west coast of the US where green sea turtles are known to congregate and thrive.
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These turtles are an endangered species due to habitat destruction, illegal poaching, inadvertent fish netting, boat strikes, and plastic ingestion.
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San Diego Bay Wildlife Refuge is one of the few safe sanctuaries for these peaceful and VERY large turtles. The largest turtle ever measured here weighed 530 lbs, which is the largest known green turtle in the Eastern Pacific.
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There…

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Eating mindfully

 

 

When I was very little, I did not know where noodles came from. I always found them in a bowl, cooked, I liked them, and that was all I was aware of.

When I was in primary school, we visited a family owned noodle factory. They were noodle makers who inherited noodle making business generation after generation. They educated us how they traditionally made noodles, and how they recently implemented machineries to make their tasks easier. They said that it was less strenuous to their body, and more productive; which meant that they were able to afford their life easier.

That day, I was inspired by the idea of factory-made-noodles. What if we occupied a huge warehouse with noodle making machines? Line the whole building with production line, and let the machines do the job; people won’t have to work hard, but they can make a lot of money. I thought if a wealthy person decided to invest in this project, life could be made a whole lot ‘easier’ for the artisans. I presented this idea to my teacher, who paused a question, “Do you think the ‘wealthy man’ will then share the profit?”

What I did not know was how ‘my innovative idea’ was already out there and flourishing. I also could not comprehend how the ‘wealthy man’ never seemed to share the profit equally. I begun noticing packaged noodles in the supermarket. I used them for convenience. Artisans were going out of work. And the art of noodle making was struggling to find its inheritance. Noodle became just another food, which you buy without much notice; cheaper the better.

When I came across a video on Facebook, I thought of conscious living. When we eat food from people who made those with their hands, food taste different. We know that it took time and effort. We know that they had to negotiate the weather to ensure the whole process would complete as planned. We know that there is a secret recipe behind it, and it involved the magic touch by the experienced. I remember making noodles as a part of a school project, and I recall how impossible it was to make them look like noodles. The noodle maker would then sell his noodle in exchange for money, and then he would buy his daily needs.

I now know why my grandmother used to thank the food she was eating, and how my grandfather used to appreciate the quality of its making. First, there was food on the plate so we could eat. But mostly, the food was there because somebody made it using their hands. Good things go around. And I somehow think that world would be a kinder place if we all had so much to be thankful for.

Weipa

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Weipa was very far away.

It was a mining town on red soil. They did surface mining, and I noticed the land around the airport was almost unnaturally flat. Also, there was no McDonald in this little town but they had a Woolworth super market.

On arrival, I was told not to go near water. My work/ accommodation was on a private beach, so it was obviously tempting to spend some time by the water. There was also a fresh water stream meeting the sea nearby. And so the warning: “The water is great around here. But you cannot go in,” because the crocodiles owned the water. And the stream, protected by the crocodiles, was pristine.

Within the first 2 weeks of my arrival, I heard of 2 ‘croc attacks’. Both victims were injured but their lives saved. Everyone knew what was guarding the water, but people still went to the stream and spent time fishing. Rangers came and captured the 6-metre-crocodile after the second incident – and none of that made the mainstream news. The crocodile was sent to a sanctuary, in Brisbane, for a memory. I saw him being lifted onto the back of a track; thankful for not having to hear the news of killing the creature, just because they tried to eat those two legged mammal while on their territory.

It was hot in Weipa. You could feel the humidity build up in the air and then it bucketed down with rain. There was no use using umbrella in such rain, as mother nature reminded us warmly. And there were many frogs. 2 little green frogs occupied my shower, and I always made sure that they were above my eye hight before I took shower, making sure that I did not flick detergents on their sensitive skin. One night, this palm-sized green fellow landed on my window in my sleep, and I woke up with a jolt, thinking that there was a drunk person outside. The frog was only chasing a bug for food. But I did not appreciate being woken up in the middle of the night like that. Sad was about those cane toads. Those brown toads were pest to Australia, as they were introduced species grown invasive; human introduced them hoping that they would eat the grey-backed cane beetles and reduce the damage to their sugar cane crops, but nobody prepared an exit plan for them. I hated how people would go out to the field after a few drinks at night and swing golf clubs at those toads. It seemed wrong to me.

Life there was different. People would throw a line from the beach and catch a kingfish in an hour or so; a reasonable size to feed a number of people, and people used that as an excuse for them to be late for work. Time wound slowly there. Local dogs visited our accommodation, and I sat there and picked ticks off them. They were loaded. We were told not to feed them, but dogs still came for a visit.

People were kind. There was a mix of profiles and nationalities. Indigenous people in the area was friendly. There was a number of Immigration / boarder security people in Weipa. Pilots of airlines came around of food. Locals coming for a drink. People were from all over Australia; young people travelling, some working away from Brisbane, couple of guys from Germany. And I recall, come to think of it, I might have been the only one asian I saw in the period I spent in Weipa. Nobody reminded me of what I looked like. No deep conversations; that kind of explains how people were not suspicious of one another. Nobody was competing. We just kind of went along. I liked Weipa. It was a kind place to be.