Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught,

will we realize that we can’t eat money

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This project was life changing for me in that it changed how I view life. I am not an extremist and I don’t think extremism ever can illicit change. But I looked around me and these places I photographed were all near homes most within a mile of homes. Hiding in plain sight right under our noses. I think the answer lies in using our resources better not in abandoning their use altogether. Take logging for example. I once worked at a sawmill, I kept the equipment running, logging trucks and 18 wheelers to keep the boards moving and all supporting machinery. I believe logging done right is a great a way to use a renewable natural resource. But deforestation, that is not the right path. We need old growth forests, and heaven help the vandals who are messing with my Redwoods in California all for black market money. If I happen to catch them, well I might become an extremist. Those trees have become sacred to me as I stood among them. I want them to be here for my children and their children and so on. This year my project moved me so much I abandoned my tradition of cutting down a CHRISTmas tree or purchasing one at a lot. I thought why on earth would I spend good money to kill a tree? So instead I bought a living tree that will be planted when we are past the Holidays. I have a connection to that tree, my kids are connected to it, and it teaches us one step at a time to live a better life. I am not going to abandon fossil fuels and drive an electric car, but I do drive fuel efficient diesels. I do limit my driving now by running multiple errands instead of all the back and forth. I look around at the waste here in my country and the reality hits me. In our country alone there are people going hungry everyday. Homeless not because they are lazy, but perhaps disabled, or traumatized veterans, perhaps with mental illness. Perhaps through bad choices of others outside their control. We throw away more edible food in America each day as a family than some families elsewhere in the world see in a day. It makes me sad to see our waste, but more than that, our wasting without thinking.

The opulence of America makes me sad when I think of those that don’t have enough. Our grocery stores and fast food chains and other restaurants are forced to waste good food each day instead of sharing it with those who could use it. Heck you can’t even get day old donuts to feed to livestock anymore, it is now forbidden as well. Instead we ship it all to landfills and feed the seagulls with it and let it rot. We throw away so much here in this country that others would be grateful for.

The real cost of all of our waste however is bigger than that. The resources we wasted on the things now being discarded. Imagine a perfect world where we really all worked together for common good. Imagine if we supported those who were in need with even just the waste from our current lives? Sure it sounds impossible. Utopia here on Earth. I know another crazy lunatic wanting world peace and to end world hunger. Truthfully though, that is what I really want. I want to know how I can do more of my part. I want to encourage others to do their part.

Speaking to Violence directly here in the “first world” the latest problems between Police and civilians are unacceptable on every level. I am a second amendment supporter, and I love my guns. I love to hunt. I love to shoot for recreation. What I don’t love is feeling that my life is in danger each time I pass a Law Enforcement Officer. What I don’t love is that he must feel the same from me. I don’t want people to react with violence towards LEO’s and I don’t want LEO’s to be violent towards civilians. I want violence to be done with. I realize that it is a fantasy, ever since Cain raised his arm to slay Abel, men have wanted to hurt other men. That evil that persists is the problem. We need to do away with the evil in order to do away with the violence. I can’t see any other way around that problem. So where are our superheroes? Where are the cowboys wearing white hats? Where are the good guys that will vanquish the villains so we can sleep at night?

If you are interested in the project you can view it here: