Saturday, January 24, 2009

What Human's Do

ok, this is a rant, sorry. Just skip it if you're not at all concerned with the plight of the planet.

We suck! As far as I can ascertain that's it, -humans suck-. We suck the life outta things. Sure that's a generalisation, there are small pockets of population/culture that do things in a sustainable way but on average the greed of humans; the goal to have more and compete to be better, look better, BUY bigger is costing us.

The Earth is a bountiful place to be sure, but in the face of the exploding population of the most powerful - dominant species on the globe it cannot compete. I don't doubt that it will survive in some form if we create an unhealthy, non human-life supporting environment, but the Eden we've grown accustomed to is facing imminent wipeout.

What's being done? Well we take away the vegetation that covers the globe. Yes here comes the tree hugger blurb but it's doubtless that with a massive sun beating down on this little ball of dirt we need all the sun protection that we can get. Face it - compared to the size of the globe the amount of fertile life supporting dirt is pretty small yet we do what we can to suck the nutrition out of it without a chance for it to replenish and we destabilise it so that what little is there can be washed or blown away.

Trees do an amazing job at air conditioning the climate. Providing cooling during the day, warmth during the night. They transpire moisture into the air which leads to the most necessary of things - fresh drinking water from rainfall.

On top of that most stupendous of sins we can then look at our social system that has us working in servitude most of our lives in order to simply BE. Well of course we don't seeit that way. At first it's a few simple items that have us wanting to work for cash. The desire to be independent by owning our own car. Then music, fashion etc expect us to shop for those things that declare 'who' we are in the scheme of things.

Then the need for houseing, rent or mortgages, demands that we provide a certain income level and this demand requires a 40hr+ working week from us which means we can spend less time being human - with our family and loved ones - less time connecting to the estranged environment that we are basically trading in for this 'human existance' in the cities.

So the voters in the cities that the politicians try to appease have very little concept of what country life is about, nor why it's actually where most of our heads should be focussed on. For it is the *country* that sustains our living, not the smog, oil and feaces belching cities that place such a huge demand on our economies because of their maintenance/cleanup costs.

Our obvious greed/demand for more is obvious in our *constant* warring across the planet. The moment a population is getting too big for its location (something most common since we left behind the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and took on an agriculture based one) we start looking to take someone else's land. Basing our decision on plain need if not fear that the other will do the same so first in best dressed. We also claim our 'Gods' tell us this is the right thing to do to the 'heathen others' for their own sake.

That in the name of bringing them the light we can justify dashing their babies against the rocks, enslaving, raping and/or killing them.

"A committee is a life form with 6 or more arms & legs." To me this is the human race in a nutshell. All windmilling of arms and running on a treadmill to where? To the death of an incredible planet full of health and spirit. But so many of us vote for the right to consume. To own and operate those things which will hasten the end of nature rather than ecourage its blooming.

The forest provides cover from the heat during the day, from the cool of the night. It brings/makes the rain. It helps the rivers flow all year round. It keeps the soil from eroding away. The leaf litter from them and the dung from wildlife in and amongst them adds to the soil fertility. But no. We take them ALL out and wonder why the paddocks can only provide for a short time. Where the 'goodness' in the soil has gone after we've harvested or gazed it repeatedly for years with no inputting of fertility.

We are now thirting for water because our rivers are drying up. No rain, no rivers - wow the trees are looking pretty good now but they take so long to grow to a point where they can do these functions for our planet. We want the quick fix for drought and salinity after spending 200 years doing our best to improve our 'productivity' at wiping out these systems.

Yet still the politicians appease the voters by allowing rampant clearing and development when it's these same processes that will result in a cry for funding to help them out later.

"Our farms have no water!" well who took it? And why? Surely the farmer had enough food for his family? No he wanted more.. the car, the bigger machinery to expand the operation, the extra family car(s). Supposedly to feed the world yet the financiers mess with the tariffs so that farmers get ripped off and the starving still do not get feed.

And what kind of world *can* sustain a population that can't survive on the acreage around it. How big will cities grow, before we are starving and rioting in the face of land unable to produce food for all the mouths in the little apartment boxes of our Brave New World. Is it then that we shall start to puree the dead and make protein smoothies out of them? Is it then that we will put the waste from our bodies and kitchens BACK onto the land so that it can use the fertility to create the food we expect of it?

Is it then that we will decide to educate the common man on, and enforce pracises of basic natural systems?

That animals shed skin, feathers, claws, teeth and feaces all over the face of the earth. That the process of composting and insect activity takes those deposits and makes new life from them. That rain water runs through these places, through the soil and becomes our [once] clean rivers. We drink that water without thinking what a wonderful *automatic* system is already there for keeping us alive, yet we disdain any thought of a compost toilet or recycled water from sewerage.

Without doubt the expense of sanitising water with machinery is worthy of disdain but the thought of water that was once side by side with feaces shouldn't worry any of us. It's been part of the process for millenia. What should worry us is that our stupidity has brought us here; where we waste water by defecating in it, where we are now having to do what nature did for free by then processing millions of litres of water so we have something to drink, where we do nature's work. For we have taken the rainfall away from her, taken the trees from her. Without the forest cover the soil is exposed to the power of the sun and this reduces its biodiversity. And it's this biodiversity that does so much work for free.

When will we stop mowing it all down to build "perfect suburbs" and start living amongst it again?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

OS X screenshots - format & location

Set location & format for OS X screen shots circa OS X 10.4

default shortcut keys are:

Save picture of screen to file: ⌘⇧3
Copy picture of screen to clipboard: ⌘⌃⇧3

Save picture of selected area to file: ⌘⇧4
Copy picture of selected area to clipboard: ⌘⌃⇧4

To modify the location open a terminal window and type:
defaults write location /Users/username/pictures/Screenshots/

I choose to put my screenshots in a folder called 'Screenshots' which is in my Pictures folder.

To modify the format you are using type:
defaults write type image_format

defaults write type jpg

Replace image_format with your preferred image format; PNG, JPG, TIFF, PICT and I think PDF maybe

You may then have to logout/login to make the change(s) take effect, or try this command in your Terminal window:
killall SystemUIServer

Although Leopard may have done away with this necessity.