Global Warming – Not our Biggest Problem

I believe in the human spirit.  If the planet warms up, ice caps melt, floods capture coastlines, the human race will find a way to survive.  Oh sure, many will be destroyed, but enough will survive to build floating cities, wherever our creativity takes us… That is, if another problem doesn’t kill us off first.

I’m talking about really bad habits that are ruining our reproductive capabilities.  We are neutralizing ourselves as-we-speak. Instead of using dominion over the world in a way that preserves our own habitat, we behave like a cancer, devouring energy resources willy nilly.

I’m talking about the burning of fossil fuel which pumps carcinogens into the air we breath, yes, and also xenoestrogens: estrogen-like compounds that attach themselves to hormone receptors, female AND male.

These estrogen-like compounds are the same compounds we were outraged to have found in plastics years ago – horrified that our babies were guzzling plastic leaching chemicals with their juice bottle.

Will we all turn into girls?  Uhm, maybe. I don’t know.  But it doesn’t sound good to me.

Have you wondered what happens when these estrogen-like compounds attach themselves to our very own hormone receptors? Some estrogen is good.  More estrogen is not better.

Estrogen dominance causes these symptoms in women: moods swings,  painful cycles, ovulation pain, infertility, no menstrual cycle or too many cycles and cystic breasts, breast cancer, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, cervical dysplasia.

Estrogen dominance in men: Prostate problems, low sperm production, low testicular weight, rise in testicular cancer, undescended testicles and malformed reproductive organs. Xenoestrogens are also responsible for gynecomastia (man boobs).

It appears to me that we are systematically neutralizing our species. The planet will be rid of us. Earth doesn’t care one way or the other.  If anything, we are heating up the planet like a fever, an ailment; behaving like a cancer that devours.

We fight wars over ownership of fossil fuels; it drives entire economies.  We now can claim that burning fossil fuels has expedited a global warming trend.  And while we may be able, as a species, to overcome rising sea levels and mega-storm weather, we may have lost the survival instinct to replace our consumption of fossil fuels with something that is, shall we say, less disruptive to our own endurance.

Of course, the industry of medicine seems to be stepping up.  Pharmaceuticals fix in us what oil hurts.  For example, in the United States, rates for new thyroid cancer cases have been rising on average 5.5% each year over the last 10 years. Deaths rates from this cancer have not increased but remain at a steady .5% of those who were diagnosed with the disease –  translation: more cures an/or management of the illness.

What happens if we clear the air of this menace?  Oil industry collapses, health care industry modified, pharmaceutical use decreases dramatically…. financials crash.  Oh-oh. I hit a nerve.  Money. “These things must be handled delicately,” quoth the Wicked Witch of the West. (I think it sucks that we are allowed to get sick from one industry and then cured or managed by another in order to keep the economy alive.)

Are we resourceful enough to find better ways to do this without disrupting our economy? Can we invest in new types of jobs, train existing laborers in new fields of energy, develop smart new energy resources, create healthier populations?  Are we smart enough, evolved enough, to do this?

Instead of denying climate change and lamenting lost mining or oil-related jobs, wouldn’t it be smarter to get the most brilliant economists, engineers, and scientists together in a think-tank of some sort to come up with a plan to transition energy use and production from fossil fuels to renewables?

So, I’m just asking the question: Why are we still burning this stuff? I’m dying here.

Sleeping

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Being Connected

It is an amazing study of human nature – our internet.

We build pseudo relationships all over the place.  We sit in our private spaces (bedrooms, basements, kitchens, whatever) and carry on conversations with the world and ourselves.  We feel secure in knowing that others are out there. 

We see what others are thinking.  That is the key.  We can be social without ever seeing another human being.  In this, we satisfy a need to be connected.

We are all familiar with John Dunne’s meditation written in 1623:

“All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated…As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness….No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee.

I feel like I belong to an ant colony.

For me, art is a reflection of this social connectedness.  My work has substance only when it is collaborative.  It becomes something essential of the commissioner and the space into which it is placed.  These are my inspirations.

Who Thinks Stimulus dollars to National Endowment for the Arts is Pork?

It has come to my attention that some of our fellow human beings believe that Art and the  Humanities are not worth stimulus dollars.  I would like to know what you think.

When an artist says something meaningful, the art becomes valuable.  Sometimes I think having less lets one see more.  It is liberating.    Those who make money buy art.  Those who make the art are rich in a realm the monetarily wealthy will never know.  So, I ask you, does it matter that the stimulus package excludes the Arts? 

Those who are educated in Fine Arts, Liberal Arts and Humanities must continue critical thinking and communication.  It cannot be about money.  It must be about putting our species in a place where we can survive our greedy selves.  Say it with meaning!

Bill Miller Warms the Soul

I am delighted to have come across the work of Bill Miller.  Bill Miller creates images made from recycled linoleum and vinyl flooring cut into pieces and thoughtfully put together into rich, warm, folksy, provocative and emotional works of art.   

His subject matter ranges from John and Yoko’s “bed-in” to the Cleveland Zoo, a portrait of Abe Lincoln and bucolic landscapes.   One can feel a soul in these images, a personal connection, some how.   The worn but colorful mosaic of flooring pieces seem to hold a sort of presence, a “je ne sais quoi”. 

There is something more.  I cannot help but to be reminded of  Paul Cezanne paintings.  I’ve put a few together for comparison.  See for yourself:  

Miller's Sweenyburg Farm 2006 & Cezanne's Monte Sainte Victoire 1900

Miller's Sweenyburg Farm 2006 & Cezanne's Monte Sainte Victoire 1900

  

Another example:
Miller's Abraham Lincoln 2008 & Cezanne's Portrait du Pere de l'Artiste 1866

Miller's Abraham Lincoln 2008 & Cezanne's Portrait du Pere de l'Artiste 1866

Visit Bill Miller’s site for more amazing pieces:  http://www.billmillerart.com/exhibitions.html
I have always believed that objects hold some of the energy of the owner long after the object is no longer in the owner’s possession.  I wonder if some of the essence of Bill Miller’s work comes from those who tread the worn out linoleum.  It could be that your footsteps have been immortalized in one of his pieces.  We’ll never know for sure, but I think we can sense it.