September 25, 2010

Energy rebate program ends after only 2 hours

The State of Illinois had 3 million dollars of stimulus money for appliance rebates. A 15% instant rebate was offered on energy saving appliances starting Friday morning, and came to a grinding halt at about 10:30 am. This is quite a bit different than reslts in the other 49 states...(read more)

September 23, 2010

Hopi Reject Carbon Capture Pilot Project

Reversing a decision made in July, the Hopi Council narrowly rejected a project that would test the viability of carbon capture on Hopi land.

In August, The Navajo Nation’s Resources Committee unanimously expressed their disapproval of the project.

The test would involve drilling near the Navajo Aquifer, which has already been threatened with depletion by the mining operations of Peabody Energy. Peabody would likely be involved if the project was considered viable.

The full story has been moved to DOGSPOT

September 22, 2010

The Vision of Black Elk

"... It was a happy summer and nothing was afraid, because in the Moon When the Ponies Shed (May) word came from the Wasichus [the White Men] that there would be peace and that they would not use the road any more and that all the soldiers would go away. The soldiers did go away and their towns were torn down; and in the Moon of Falling Leaves (November), they made a treaty with Red Cloud that said our country would be ours as long as grass should grow and water flow. You can see that it is not the grass and the water that have forgotten.

Maybe it was not this summer when I first heard the voices, but I think it was, because I know it was before I played with bows and arrows or rode a horse, and I was out playing alone when I heard them. It was like somebody calling me, and I thought it was my mother, but there was nobody there. This happened more than once, and always made me afraid, so that I ran home.

It was when I was five years old that my Grandfather made me a bow and some arrows. The grass was young and I was on horseback. A thunder storm was coming from where the sun goes down, and just as I was riding into the woods along a creek, there was a kingbird sitting on a limb. This was not a dream, it happened. And I was going to shoot at the kingbird with the bow my Grandfather made, when the bird spoke and said: "The clouds all over are one-sided." Perhaps it meant that all the clouds were looking at me. And then it said: "Listen! A voice is calling you!" Then I looked up at the clouds, and two men were coming there, headfirst like arrows slanting down; and as they came, they sang a sacred song and the thunder was like drumming. I will sing it for you. The song and the drumming were like this:

Behold, a sacred voice is calling you;

All over the sky a sacred voice is calling.

I sat there gazing at them, and they were coming from the place where the giant lives (north). But when they were very close to me, they wheeled about toward where the sun goes down, and suddenly they were geese. Then they were gone, and the rain came with a big wind and a roaring..."

excerpted from: Black Elk Speaks, by John G. Neihardt

September 21, 2010

geese at sunset

Geese watch the sun set in Lincoln Park, Galesburg Illinois
This photo was taken before I became a friend of the flock.

September 16, 2010

The Ecology of Education, reuniting Love and Learning

"Teaching at the Edge" by John Elder is something new to me. I wandered into it by following links from visitors at my other sites, and I am drinking it up! Here's a short quote that resonates with my deepest feelings about education, some of my oldest beliefs:
"Love is the deepest science, but it is not quantifiable. Loving attentiveness to one's bioregional community is a discipline, in the sense of being a life's study. It does not, however, depend upon the sort of exclusive vocabulary which those academic categories we call "disciplines" use to define and defend themselves. It has already become a temptation, given the rapid growth of interest in environmental issues, to develop environmental studies or environmental education into separate new departments or programs of their own. But we should resist this impulse. The essence of environmental education is a certain energetic waywardness with regard to compartmentalization and boundaries of all kinds.

One revelation of Stories in the Land and the Watershed Partnerships for me has been that often, the most whole-hearted and integrated teaching occurs in the lower elementary grades. Instead of always having schools and colleges looking up the line to the specialized and professionalistic standards of graduate schools, I would recommend that they also try to emulate the best first grade classes, where music, art, and literature flow directly into the studies of science and mathematics."