Awesome Stories 367

 This week Awesome Stories brings you trying, systemic changes, and remarkable elephants.


Yoda from Star Wars is famous for saying “Do or do not, there is no try” but Mandy Harvey wrote an original song that is all about trying and not giving up in the face of adversity. She lost her hearing due to an illness, and after a period of mourning, she decided she wasn’t going to give up on life or her music. This song is the result. I admire her grit and her talent. Well done Mandy. Wow!

Remarkable Elephants

elephants, Awesome StoriesI’ve always been fascinated by elephants, and this article only made me want to learn more. In fact, I’d love to go on an African Safari to see the elephants, lions, rhinos, and other amazing wildlife. The author calls elephants remarkable beings for their sensitivity, long-term bonding, and family orientation. They are also highly matriarchal, with the elders both very respected and passing their wisdom along to the next generation. Elanor Hanlon clearly has special feelings for elephants. “In their eyes was knowledge, borne through the generations of their ancestors, of how to live and walk in beauty and harmlessness on the Earth.”

Moral and Systemic Changes for the Planet

We have to change our collective and individual behavior and give up something … ~ Richard Heinberg

A fellow blogger recently forwarded an article about China’s First Verticle Forest. The idea sounded good until I looked at the net impact. Two brand new highrises, filled with 1100 trees and 2500 plants, would only reduce the CO2 by the equivalent of removing 5 cars from the streets! Our environmental efforts have failed because we haven’t changed our central organizing principle; capitalism with growth at all costs. As early as the 1970s, deep thinking ecologists warned that we were nearing or exceeding the carrying capacity of the planet and we needed systemic changes. But decades later, we’ve lost track of that big thinking, and are simply scrambling from one idea to the next for quick fixes and technological cures to climate change. We need to wake up and make hard, bold choices on individual and collective levels to reduce the population, dramatically reduce consumption, create new economic systems, and sustainable ways of living with net zero emissions for homes, travel, and agriculture. Otherwise, many people like Mayer Hillman predict dire consequences for human civilization. I know this isn’t my usual cheery story, but I feel it is time we stop living in denial about the environment and our wasteful ways of living.

 May we find the courage to make bold changes in ourselves and the way we live on this beautiful planet. 


27 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 367

  1. Beautiful stories – all of them. Those “Got Talent” videos always touch me, especially when the person faced so much adversity. I love, love, love elephants, too. They are special creatures and they have an intelligence beyond measure. And the last part: so true and so necessary to hear. I am child-free in part because of climate change. I live in a small house when I could get a bigger one. I’m not perfect and I don’t claim to be – there is more I can do. But…thinking critically about our capitalist system and our consumerism is going to be our turning point…

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  2. Great offering this week, Brad. I also am fascinated by elephants and their emotional lives. The insistence by many people that animals are not emotional beings needs to change. They clearly are. And hopefully, we will rise to the call to change when it comes to the health of our planet. We will be in trouble otherwise. Have a great weekend and thanks for the awesome stories. 😀

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  3. Again…all articles are great…very informative and create great food for thought. I enjoyed all three for three very different reasons. Love this post each week for the information and for the thinking it stimulates…well done!!

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  4. The last article is of particular interest, Brad. I believe overpopulation needs to be dealt with as poverty does not allow for empathy or care of things like the environment as they are not directly related to survival. Cheap labour leads to cheap goods and over consumption by the haves. The have-nots sell their labour cheaply as they are desperate – it is a terrible cycle.

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