Sunday, 30 August 2020

What's the Missing Link in Emotional Intelligence to Reduce Nature's Climate Change?

 

What’s the Missing Link in Emotional Intelligence to Reduce Nature’s Climate Change?


How is it possible that the most intellectual creature to ever walk the planet Earth is destroying its only home? – Jane Goodall


As a teacher, student of nature, and new eco-fiction writer let me try and make a case that emotional intelligence may be a missing link to help bring attention to nature’s climate change. There is no disagreement that climate change is impacting the environment and human communities in many ways and only our action can reverse its acceleration and maintain some normalcy within our biosphere. The main question is how many ways can we react to this crisis to retrain our behavior and focus on long term results with simple things we can today.

To keep things simple, I will make my case with 2 contenders:

1. Intelligence Quotient (IQ) or how to learn thoughts to understand self-awareness, logic, reasoning, creative and critical thinking and problem solving.

2. Emotional Quotient (EQ)  or how to use emotions to guide thinking, adjust and manage environments to achieve one’s goals.

There are so many reports where high degrees of intelligence are needed with backgrounds in biological and engineering sciences that would be helpful. The few scientific literate get it, but as a lay person how do I begin to understand these various topics of greenhouse effects, permafrost methane, advent of green economy, sequestration and carbon sinks, a personal carbon footprint calculator, and ecosystem integrity? What does it mean to limit global warming to less than 2ÂșC by reducing or capping greenhouse gas emissions?

A recent suggestion noted that the term climate change night be a marketing problem because people don’t have the long-term psychology to relate to the big picture over many years of incremental changes. They can deal concretely with personal daily changes and react within reason but how can you worry and make plans for decades from now?

The dilemma asked recently is how can we surpass intellect and appeal more to values to showcase imminent climate change.  My suggestion is to embrace emotional experiences to form long term memories but how can we do that?  Think about this: who easily forgets a story that touches your soul or a powerful movie?

Teachers know that many concepts (cognitive development) are formed based on our perceptions (visual input), our language and psychology of what is right or wrong and all the inferences in between.  The brain is uniquely organized where the emotional relay center (the amygdala) is in the middle which manages all emotions between signals from the back sensory visual cortex to the associative frontal cortex for reasoning and planning.

So, the question needs to be pondered: How can we stimulate the emotional amygdala to relate to climate changes for long term memory retention?

Quickly, here is how I changed my emotional IQ to nature versus cognitive awareness. Nature means the world to me as a living process. Seeing a bumblebee in early spring brings  feelings of joy and belonging. Nature is my friend, I will seek to respect its cycles and challenge any threats of climate change.    

In the beginning  there was a natural affinity raised on a farm within a woods by a creek and marsh where my childhood was filled with sights and sounds of Nature’s incessant activity.

Then I grew up and moved to the city to work where the practicalities of career overtook other different busy directions.  Even then, I read articles as many people do, but who had time to worry about species becoming extinct or warmer temperatures as long as our lifestyles remained normal.  

Then I retired and returned to my roots in the country to the splendor of my mountain valley when I started my pursuit of writing about nature. A deeper emotion started to develop with more research even at a basic level of understanding.  There were so many ecosystems, alive and  functioning well at four levels of interaction, each particular to its species and surroundings all encompassed by the subject called ecology. The ecological principles were the most profound too important not to share. If Nature could have all living things work together, without ego, with adaptations, in great diversity, even democracy, why couldn’t human societies learn some principles to also survive in balance?

This was not a lesson plan but a job for imagination to personify Nature as a living thing with feelings, connections, fears and hopes.  Nature’s first-person narrative could foster more emotions, to correlate the unexpected with the science and personalize new experiences with the reader. The emotions would undoubtedly beget friendships with fascinating ecological characters each with an important role to play.

Perhaps  good storytelling with imagination based on science would help children and others to become more curious about the significance of the Big Picture of Nature working its splendid synergy. Even better yet, a movie with sights, sounds and music would stimulate the amygdala for many years of  thoughtful recollection. 

What if you could share the emotions of a water sprite on his water cycle journey as he discovers other cycles to maintain live on Earth?

What if a tree could talk about his spirit, families, communities, future and sad interaction with humans and his succession long after he falls?

In conclusion, how do you develop emotional intelligence for cognitive bonding … I believe the missing link may be found in one's vibrant imagination discovering the wonders of the ecosystem. Even Albert Einstein once said: 

 "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."

Do you have any emotional encounters with Nature that you think about again and again that give you peace of mind and reflection? 

Comments are always appreciated. Please leave a convenient time to chat 833 471 4661 

Annemarie

amarie10@gmail.com

https://helpfulmindstreamforchanges.com


PS: In the spirit of believing that the Universe receives what is put into it, please note this blog: In Praise of Walt Disney’s Nature Advocacy and What May Be Missing with 4 Questions




Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Could It Be This Simple … Choose the Right Toilet Paper to Save the Forests … a World Challenge!

 

Could It Be This Simple … Choose the Right Toilet Paper to Save the Forests … a World Challenge!


Who recalls the panicked run on toilet paper a few months ago when a virus became a psychological thriller to ensure your private indoor plumbing was never empty of toilet paper?

As an eco-fiction writer and keen researcher about all ecological matters, once in a while I come across an article that changed my mindset with a new implication that HEMP could save the world because toilet paper is an area that can be improved.  Read the article yourself. 

Here is what I learned that I didn’t know before which made me appreciate even more the wonder of nature itself and worry about human development of business models misaligned with Nature’s ecology’s long term consequences.  

Why Hemp makes an excellent toilet paper...

The fibers are softer than trees, naturally odorless, resistant to mold and several other fungi, have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties which ensure healthy skin. It is both durable and absorbent, absorbing four times its weight!

It is more biodegradable than any other toilet paper.

Why Hemp is better than toilet paper from a trees...

Hemp toilet paper is cheaper to make using less energy and chemicals in the process. To create paper, you only need the cellulose part of the plant. The trees contain 30% cellulose and harsh chemicals are needed to break down the plant to recover the 30%. Hemp contains up to 85% cellulose, almost three times more than trees.

Hemp produces four times more material (cellulose fibers) per acre than trees. Ten tons of hemp can be grown on an acre, making it the best biomass in the world.

Trees need 50 to 100 years before they can be harvested and turned into toilet paper. Hemp production is ready in 70 days

Hemp pulp paper can be made without any chemicals. 

Why is Hemp Better for Earth’s environment?

It can reduce landfill where a quarter of all solid waste comes from pulp and paper mills. One ton of paper pollutes 76 liters of water. (I know, I live near to a town that produces pulp and paper.)

It can also reduce recycled paper waste in landfills or incinerators … even in a digital environment, offices continue to use vast amounts of paper where paper consumption has increased by 400% in 40 years.

It can reduce toxic air waste ... if the average person uses an average of 22 kilos of toilet paper a year, then the production of pulp and paper is responsible for 20% of all toxic air waste. 

It can reduce massive deforestation to make paper, including toilet paper where 35% of trees felled are used for paper making 

Always remember that trees absorb carbon dioxide thus help to mitigate greenhouse gases produced by human activity. They play an important role in carbon sequestration, or the capture and storage of excess carbon dioxide including the soil. It is estimated that a mature tree can consume 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and releases enough oxygen to breathe for two years!

Sometimes a historical perspective can show the intersection between nature and business marketplace development. Before mass production, the story of toilet paper began with a variety of plants that sufficed…often dependent on status … hemp, leaves, hay, or the nearby stream.

In 1857 the first invented commercial toilet paper in the US was made from Manila hemp leaves moistened with aloe and sold as medicated toilet paper versus tearing pages from the catalog.

In 1867, the Scott brothers started making dry toilet paper from wood chips pulp that was chemically bleached with chlorine dioxide. This relatively cheap convenience soon dominated the world market and the brand Scott Paper Company remains the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of sanitary tissue products with operations in 22 countries.

Try and imagine the vast tracts of trees that were cut down for both lumber for commerce and to make toilet paper for a few cents.

Today farmers and business know that an acre of hemp can make four times as much paper as a single acre of forest in 70 days versus 50 years. 

Could it be this simple … choose the right toilet paper to save the forests

 … a world challenge!

Surely, everybody can see the logic along with environmentalists why to use hemp products as an alternative. Facts prove the logic that hemp toilet paper would save millions of trees, move towards a greener future  and help save our planet!

In fact, toilet paper, made from the industrial hemp plant, has been sold in other countries for some time. Consumers have always been the best regulators of marketplaces. Perhaps it is our turn to take the toilet paper challenge and check out hemp products’ suppliers on the internet. A small step can be as simple as replacing your regular toilet paper with hemp-based toilet paper.  

I certainly have done my due diligence and will try some Hempies!

In conclusion, the question to ask yourself is: 

If you could help save a third of the world's forests and their ecological benefits to the 

Earth, would you consider changing your sanitation habits to hemp toilet paper?

I look forward to your answers and comments. Please leave a convenient time to chat:       833 471 4661

Sincerely,

Annemarie

amarie10@gmail.com

https://helpfulmindstreamforchanges.com 

PS: Another interesting side note about the roles of business and government in using our natural environment for their personal justifications:

Who will ever know the quirk of nature that allows hemp to contain the compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which can produces psychoactive effects in humans?  However, hemp has a variety of cannabis that has only small amounts of THC relative to that grown for the production of marijuana. 

In the 1930’s hemp was poised to be a billion-dollar crop with Henry Ford a big supporter, and marijuana was a common ingredient in medical products until the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 killed the growth of the industry. In 1970, President Nixon classified hemp with no current medical use and high potential for abuse in Schedules of the Controlled Substances Act and hemp  became illegal along with drugs like cocaine, heroin, and marijuana (cannabis).

In 1998, the Canadian government made marijuana legal, both in terms of recreational use and medical applications. I believe it is so important to pursue scientific studies for medical cannabis use and learn all we can about this miracle plant from Nature. 

In the meantime, long live Hempies!


 

Saturday, 22 August 2020

How Do We Live in an Anti-Ecological Environment … Four Differences and One Answer

 

How Do We Live in an Anti-Ecological Environment … Four Differences and One Answer  


Sooner or later, wittingly or unwittingly, we must pay for every intrusion on the natural environment.  Barry Commoner

 

If Ecology rules in a certain environment, where does Anti-Ecology rule? 

On one hand, the broad rule of Ecology oversees the integration of variable ecosystems to exist and survive together by maintaining discourse among all of them including human interactions. The guiding ecological principles are manifested to help every organism at whatever level to function better through diversity, make connections, manage feedback loops to improve, adapt to changes and promote co-operation and self-governance, without ego.

The general laws of Ecology imply that everything is connected to everything else, everything has a place and purpose, there is no final waste, where matter and energy are preserved and there is no free lunch…what goes up must come down...what goes round, keeps cycling.   

On the other hand, what does it mean to be in a place that can be called anti-ecological with counter-ecological behavior. 

The most obvious and critical difference would be found in a capitalist environment.

Capitalism can be defined as an “ economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit (rather than state). Private property and the recognition of property rights, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system and competitive markets are all features. Wikipedia

In other words, MONEY becomes the most meaningful connection between things whether social relationships and/or nature. It’s all about the marketplace and consumer communications that know best and want more not less. 


There are four basic differences between commercial capitalism 

and ecological partnerships.  

One:  All Nature’s integrated processes are disconnected and reduced to one common denominator … 

...a revenue process to make profits on the kind of products the marketplace demands via culture and media. Do we want organic coffee, farm-raised mink furs, genetically modified wheat, more plastic doo-dads or finding more finite sources of fossil fuels?

For example,  "In today’s parlance we call this new kind of agroecosystem a monoculture, meaning a part of nature that has been reconstituted to the point that it yields a single species, which is growing on the land only because somewhere there is a strong market demand for it.” Donald Worster

Two: Nature’s encoded programs run on circular systems or cycles 

...but economic production runs on  a linear assembly line where waste is common as long as capital is the main key to protect. Utilize a resource with “no deposit and no return.”

In fact, if pollution happens, treat it as an external side effect that is not part of the production quota. Just consider air pollution caused by a factory is not an internal cost of production but rather an external cost to be borne by nature and society. Its OK if other people or communities or nature itself bear the cost.

To try and recycle can become difficult because of the degree of division of nature.  For example, animals raised in feedlots have natural waste that becomes a serious form of pollution rather than normal fertilizer. Think about plastics that have replaced wood, steel and other products but are not biodegradable for centuries.  

Three: Nature organizes every community for each other’s benefits 

...food, shelter and protection. Businesses are only concerned about manipulating market shares for themselves rather than equity or quality for everyone.  

For example, food becomes more valuable if it  can earn more profits through bulk production with increased nitrogen fertilizers. It doesn’t matter if the mineral compositions of the soil are unbalanced which in turn affects the mineral content of the vegetable grown on it.  Why not use more pesticides to protect the appearance of the produce? Why not use GMO seeds that work in the laboratory composition but may have unknown long-term human side effects? 

In the end, the quality of food is debased, birds and other species are killed, and food chains even for humans are contaminated. What affects one, affects us all.

 Four: the real value of natural wealth is grounded on generating profits 

....with high energy technologies and less labor inputs if possible. Larger corporations, ever-merging, seem to make the major decisions about the technology based on their profitability with the inherent drive to continue to grow on an ever-increasing scale.  Motive is about “mini-cars make mini-profits… we make more money on big cars.”  Non-renewable resources are more quickly depleted, and more wastes dumped into the environment.

My ANSWER

Do we need to continue to believe these statements?

"Nature only exists  because there is a market?

               “Nature’s bounty is a free gift to the property owner to use to make money.”

Part of the answer, I believe, is making an individual choice to adapt to a radically different environment. Commercial capitalism is a closed loop between business and consumer. Only the consumer can manage some of those links, modify social media hype, and adapt to a simpler lifestyle and economy. 

When human contact can become infectious in a global community of 7.5 billion people because of an organic element that may be from nature, then we must become more environmentally conscious citizens and respect ecology’s principles and succession.  

 "We can’t have healthy people on an unhealthy planet. The COVID crisis has shown us that nature, health, inequality and the economy are all interrelated and people are at the center."

 Nature’s bounty and conservation are everyone’s business and we must stand side by side with Nature that it cannot be bought or abused. There must be a bigger call for collective action to reverse nature loss and prevent an array of ecological problems. There must be greater awareness that ecology connects us all as a Big Picture that tries to unify and  broaden participation for everyone and everything. 

Perhaps, in the manner of Nature's ecological succession, we can also learn more about facilitating our own social succession in such changing unprecedented times.

What is your favorite part of nature that has no commercial value?

Comments are always appreciated: 833 471 4661 (leave the best time to chat). 

Annemarie

amarie10@gmail.com

https://helpfulmindstreamforchanges.com


..my pussy willows at the creek on the farm

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Nature's World Cries Out for More Eco-Fiction Writers to Save Our Planet

 

Nature's World Cries Out for More Eco-Fiction Writers to Save Our Planet


"To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known…On a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam." Carl Sagan


Ecology entered a broader cultural attitude in the 1960's and 1970's when people became more interested in natural environmental issues and species within human connections.

A variety of eco-fiction literature developed many branches and styles to be found in many genres such as mainstream, westerns, mystery, romance, realism, science fiction and fantasy.

This collaborative genre could be any fictional landscape that was based on ecological principles which became the setting, the plot and the theme of the story. The nebulae of Nature from the smallest cells to the largest lifeforms became alive as talking, feeling characters with human attributes and emotions. Their message was to set the right standards of respecting natural order, conservation and sustainability.

So what kind of ecological principles can be embedded into eco-fiction story? 

You can talk about Nature in terms of redundancy without ego, diversity with connections, and adaptations for survival. You can express amazement at nature’s master plan of organization from the nematodes to the nimbus clouds. Without this two-hydrogen-one-oxygen molecule, any Earth life process wouldn’t exist.  You can talk about responsibility to common goals, a democratic pattern of individualism and cooperation played out in ecological terms. What about the human factors of intervention, exploration or exploitation?   

In fact, you can become more specific and talk about the reality of 4 levels in an ecosystem with plants and animals you see; but you must also involve nonliving elements (air and water) and microorganisms. Microorganisms include the bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa that are usually seen only with a microscope, but they must not be ignored because of their vital roles in decomposition, oxygen production and symbiotic relationships with plants so they can grow to serve as food for animals and humans.

For example, nitrogen gas (N2) makes up 80% of the Earth’s atmosphere and is one of the primary nutrients critical for the survival of all living organisms. It is required for DNA, proteins and chlorophyll. But nitrogen gas is largely inaccessible to most organisms, and must be converted into ammonia (NH3) and nitrates (NH4) before it can be used by plants as food.

Enter the nitrifying bacteria which transform nitrogen into an oxidative state for plant roots  to absorb...the essential nitrification cycle.

Now, on one hand, you can read a complex scientific treatise about this transformation or you can meet a nitrifying bacteria who explains his actions and his roles in the ecosystem. Fiction, yes, but science based as well with far reaching implications.

Or, you can read a scientific volume or two about the carbon cycle and how carbon compounds can make a series of conversions in the environment, from incorporating carbon dioxide gas into living plant cells by photosynthesis, and returning as a gas through respiration, or decaying dead organisms, and the burning of fossil fuels

Or, your story line can introduce a hydrocarbon molecule composed from the elements carbon and hydrogen who can explain his role from coal and crude oil to making natural gas, plastics, pesticides, even cosmetics and medicines.  His experience shows how the burning of hydrocarbons produces greenhouse gases which in turn depletes the ozone layer and cause climate change. Fictional character simplified, yes, but with a huge convoluted impact on the environment and ecosystems.

In summary, we need more eco-fiction stories that can talk about the relationship between natural settings and human communities.

 Their characters need to inhabit an ecosystem based on ecological principles that call attention to act responsibly to be good ethical stewards of the Earth. 

They need to share the reality of microorganisms, photosynthesis, food webs, carbon dominance, pollution, and changing weather patterns as first-person experiences. 

We must hear their joys, fears and hopes. We must pay heed to their warnings of dangers and not ignore their messages.

Also, most importantly, we need stories that show what happens when anti-ecological principles are followed; such as, believing the only bond to nature is based on cash exchanges or using nature’s bounty as individual gifts, not for common purpose. There are ecological threats everywhere from tropical forest to coral reefs to extinction of animals, once gone, forever.

People need more first-hand stories about global warming, culture diaspora, survival of the weakest links, advocacy to protect our unique natural world and create a mythology we are all connected…what happens to one of us, happens to all of us.

It’s strange to say that the term eco-fiction has never been a media sensation and therefore has not become “com-modified or capitalizable, lending to its wildness.” 

Maybe its time to change that to help save our planet.

What kind of nature story would you like to hear or write? What are your fears about our planet?

Comments and questions are always appreciated. Please leave a message for a time to chat...1 833 471 4661

Annemarie

amarie10@gmail.com

https://helpfulmindstreamforchanges.com


PS: Interested in writing a paper about eco-fiction, or even teaching it? Check resources here. 

Note this blog about Disney making a movie based on an eco-fiction character and story line ... in fact, the most important superhero essential to our planet's survival.

 

 

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Understanding Ecosystems for Kids: Producers, Consumers, Decomposers - F...

What Is An Ecosystem

In Praise of Walt Disney’s Nature Advocacy and What May Be Missing with 4 Questions

 

In Praise of Walt Disney’s Nature Advocacy ... What May Be Missing with 4 Questions


“How could this Earth of ours, which is only a speck in the heavens, have so much variety of life, so many curious and exciting creatures.” Walt Disney


There is no doubt that Walt Disney was an advocate of nature and conservation. Even at the beginning, he brought live deer into the studio so Bambi could be characterized correctly. He brought to life animals, birds and fish photographed in living color to capture every move and emotion. He helped us to walk with elephants, hunt with jungle cats, swarm with dolphins and wait patiently as penguins survived another blizzard. There is no doubt through his nature documentaries and feature films, we were educated, affiliated, bonded and even protective of our wildlife neighbors.

Perhaps more than anyone he highlighted the meaning of Anthropomorphism which attributes human characteristics, emotions, and behaviors to animals or other non-human things including objects, plants, and supernatural beings.  Who hasn’t watched the Lion King and shared the emotions of youthful exuberance and curiosity,  angry and jealous family tensions, unknown overwhelming dangers, and the redemption of the circle of life? My 5-year-old niece cried inconsolably, but so did I share a few tears of joy. The spark of sublimity was lit for lions for all time.

No doubt his cartoons of Mickey Mouse brought to life a walking talking mouse with his family, friends, adversaries, a nice home with everyday problems. He was cute with big round eyes, button nose, normal  tail, an outlined plump body dressed in red shorts and wearing large yellow gumboots. As onlookers we could relate to everyday people problems but may not look as kindly at a real mouse occupying our own house.

But a mouse is not a human character who worries about shopping, driving or partying. The cartoon did not help to explain how a mouse lives and struggles in the real field … his burrows, food supply and food web, his numerous offspring, his lifespan and purpose in the environment. Only a basic understanding of ecology could validate his existence and worth to his true community.

Perhaps, too many Disney fairy tale characters are flawlessly pictured that may imply to children that a perfect face and body can live happily ever after.  Perhaps, too many of the fire-bolting, muscular exaggerations of mighty superheroes may imply that supernatural powers are needed for success...the bigger the better.

The timeless power of nature in its collective multidimensional forms is the strongest of all forces that dominate our Earth’s life support without which we couldn’t survive.

The more you learn, the more you understand the good news that Nature follows ecological principles which means that its real power is not about might, disorganization or destruction,  but about managing connections and restoring balance and unity.

Only interactions with humans disrupt these cycles. Could it be because they just don’t know enough synchronicity from the soil up to the clouds? Or how the missing link of a small honeybee could seriously limit the world’s food supply?

We need to hear this message loudly and clearly because ecological emergencies must be reduced all around the planet before natural cycles can’t redeem the imbalances or mediate the suffering of all living beings. Only a diversified communication mass media conglomerate like Disney can share the information creatively with facts and fantasy … combining science with creative art.   

What may be missing is a character from an eco-fiction source. Imagine if water could talk about its survival or a tree celebrate its partnerships and succession?  

Eco-fiction is a story that talks about the relationship between natural settings and human communities. The characters inhabit an ecosystem based on ecological principles that call attention to act responsibly to be good ethical stewards of the Earth. They share the reality of microorganisms, photosynthesis, food webs, carbon dominance, pollution, and changing weather patterns as first-person experiences. They share their joys, fears and hopes. They give warnings of dangers to ignore their messages.

A good eco-fiction asks 4 key questions:

  1. Can storytelling help to change societal norms and feelings about conservation and sustainability?
  2. Why is biological diversity so important to environmental sustainability?
  3. Why are cycles the language of nature from nitrogen to carbon to nutrients to pollutants to greenhouse gases and more?
  4. Why look at the environment as a work in process … not a given constant or photograph?

So, here is an eco-fiction idea for consideration called The Incredible Journey of a Water Sprite with Roots.

In a culture where fantastical superheroes and Mickey Mouse abound, maybe it’s time to meet a real superhero whose live is essential to sustain all life on Earth.  His mission is to discover Earth’s Cyclical Truths with natural affinity as both a water element and plant that makes him a primary consumer in the ecosystem.  He narrates his personal journey as he walks and talks through his  many experiences with lifeforms essential to ecology and shares his amazement at several natural cycles. He falls in love twice ... the impossible and the probable. It is only when he encounters humankind that he feels a loss of self; and learns consciously, and sometimes painfully, the truth for the need for preservation of balance in nature. 

What is more important to Earth’s survival than fresh clean water?

What is more important than a fresh, clean water cycle?

Disney is a natural fit to produce a movie like this but there may be other production companies who may be interested in an eco-fiction movie to help educate the masses and preserve our fresh water supply?

"No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced."  Sir David Attenborough

Please comment about your favorite Disney movie or documentary. 

Questions and comments are always welcome.

Annemarie

amarie10@gmail.com

833 4471 4661 (please leave your best time to talk)


Excerpt... the water sprite returns to the pond now polluted...

Then I stop, unblinking and unthinking in shock. What I see is more frightening than the strangest invasion of any alien beings, I'm sure.

A new colony has appeared on the bottom sludge. A series of finger-like tubes are projecting out of the mud with long bluish grey worms twisting and turning their way to the top. Moving through and around the tube worms are other blood red worms, wriggling and waving back and forth with lapping tongues clearly seen in their open mouths picking up any food particles on the currents. Is that saliva dribbles I see floating by?

.

 

...these are actual biological changes in polluted water with less oxygen

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Personal Discovery of Eco-Fiction, an Author’s Genre that Celebrates Our Relationships with Nature

 

Personal Discovery of Eco-Fiction, an Author’s Genre                   that Celebrates Nature's Relationships 

 

“As environmental crisis grows ever clearer, the best eco-fiction can help 

                           realign our conception of nature…”

It was a special discovery that finally answered my question what kind of e-books talk about water and trees as real characters with plots, problems and resolutions.

Eco-fiction is defined as nature literature based on the relationship between natural settings and human communities. It is a voice drawn from ecological principles that calls attention to act responsibly to be good ethical stewards of the Earth. There may be warnings of dangers to ignore it.

This special author's genre can help answer two questions:

  1. Can scientific facts be understood better through an imaginative creative license as an emotional, interactive first-person experience?
  2. Can the unique power in figurative language known as personification give human characteristics to non-living things or ideas to make better associations to better relate with a sense of empathy that it matters?

I can now proudly say that I wrote 2 e-books that can be classified as eco-fiction by combining 2 parts: the science of ecology with the art of story writing.

Part 1: Ecology is the scientific study of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how the distribution and abundance are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment including both nonliving and living factors

Part 2:  A story composition includes basic elements of believable memorable characters, immersive settings, suspenseful plot lines, goals and challenges with resolutions at the end.

The Incredible Journey of a Water Sprite with Roots has the scientific basis of  the water cycle that describes the continuous movement of water as it makes a circuit from the oceans to the atmosphere to the Earth and back again.

The main character is a water sprite with roots who has natural affinity as a water resource and as a plant at the primary level in the ecosystem. He is a complex character existing in three states with a range of abilities, but the mystery is his mission to discover other Cyclical Truths as he returns to the ocean. Indeed, along the way, the suspense and amazement grow as to how many he will find and how they fit into interdependent ecosystems.

Indeed, he develops affection for a micro-organism, shares her pond’s education and experiences pollution at the micro level where it begins. A sub plot develops when he discovers a hydrocarbon molecule and is surprised at their mutual organic bonds for affecting climate change because they share carbon as well as hydrogen molecules. At the end, floating over the ocean he finds peace with his internal conflict  that in order to survive people need to balance and protect their ecosystems.  

Ecological Succession of Birchum Birch introduces a sensitive birch tree who undervalues his existence until a tree dryad inhabits him and her wisdom explains his functions and connections to his community. He lives through the value of seasons, why nature doesn’t produce garbage through the humus cycle, the interdependent food web, the variation of adaptations and seeds, and how a spider web can help to explain morality versus consumerism. He sees the ecological succession that happens after a forest fire and plays his own integral part in supporting his community as his legacy.

Ecological principles were the basis of both stories with a common theme that flourished about diversity and cooperation. The hostile antagonists were people who in short-sighted selfishness attacked or abused these principles. They didn’t understand that DNA starts in the nucleus of the smallest life-form and cycles through natural bio-systems, including the Earth's biosphere.    


In the end, the main question or challenge is how an eco-fiction story can help to change societal norms and beliefs about ecology, environment, and sustainability?


There are lessons to be learned from Nature's elements as real personalities. They can show  how to make the less visible more visible because the greatest law of Nature is we are all connected…if one part is missing, we all suffer.

How else can the water cycle come alive with surprise and mystery by a unique personality that deeply cares about his survival committed to common goals?

How else can a birch tree come alive with his curiosities, fears, flaws, strengths and affinity for his family home and community?

What’s more important than fresh water and a clean water cycle?

What’s more important than a tree to clean the air and combat climate change?

What amazing friends and true superheroes for children to know!


In fact, perhaps, the more we can understand the natural world from real participants, the more we can apply common experiences relative to both nature’s and people’s communities. In fact, don't we all need to adapt to changes in the environment and face common issues of how to manage connections, maintain diversity, broaden participation, and foster adaptive thinking…all ecological principles that require tolerance and patience?

 In the end, science and imagination synchronize and weave fascinating stories that only a water sprite with roots and a living tree can tell; that in order to survive, we need to balance our Earth’s ‘Cyclical Truths’  and protect its ecological ecosystems. 

Most importantly, the hope is for children of all ages to accompany and respect them in our natural environment even more around every chapter and care deeply for Nature's manners, fears and hopes.

Check out the e-books here.

Have you read this unique genre called eco-fiction? The question has been asked why more books aren't written to help explain Nature's point of view when in crisis. 

Comments are always appreciated.

Please note the series of podcast questions in these blogs... 


Annemarie

amarie10@gmail.com

833 471 4661 (leave a time to talk)

Who can better describe the microscopic food chain than a microorganism called Stentor as part of the Great Ecological Cycle?  He teaches the Water Sprite and his class, 

Excerpt: “This is one of the great Cyclical Truths … if one part lives, then the other part lives; if one part is destroyed then the other part will be destroyed in time? Isn't co-operation wonderful, a true democracy through diversity?"

PS:  Much more information about the evolution of Eco-fiction and examples of literary works can be found on dragonfly.org


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