Plant Trees SF Events 2011 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Event

 
1.   LED streetlight demonstration in SF tonight 8 pm
2.   Save the date:  May 11 - Golden Gate Park under siege
3.   Killing of female mountain lion in Redwood City March 29 leads to convocation on subject tomorrow, April 13
4.   Going Native Garden Tour Sunday April 17 - Peninsula and Sta Clara County
5.   Vote for Alemany Farm - EVERYDAY
6.   Wildflower/butterfly field trip Saturday April 16 on San Bruno Mtn Ridge Trail
7.   San Francisco Planning Dept Public Open House to view the Revised Draft of the Recreation and Open Space Element, April 19
8.   Heron's Head EcoCenter available for rental/upcoming events
9.   Acterra:  Carbon Nation film Apr 13 in Palo Alto/"21 and up" habitat restoration day Apr 16
9a. Join San Bruno Mountain Watch on the Bog Trail for Earth Day, April 16
10. The Story of Presidio Habitats
11. 4th Annual Ferment Change
12. Save the date:  Save the Frogs Day Rally in Washington DC Apr 29
13. 'Bee Road' plans to save key pollinators
14. Wales set to be first country to DNA barcode all its native flowering plants
15. Starr King Open Space Spring Wildflower Walks Apr 17 and May 15
16. Feedback:  parrots, population
17. No sex, please, we're busy.  
18. We may not be pessimistic enough
19. Capitalism's waning popularity.  Global poll shows an ideology in apparent decline
20. Poetry celebration in Glen Park Apr 25, May 2
21. "Why Do We Love Trees" at Getty Center Apr 21
22.  Notes & Queries:  What did the original actress say to the original bishop?  Has anybody killed two birds with one stone?
23. Saturn now at opposition - in eastern sky
24. Sun's doldrums likely to last.  (Giving climate-deniers temporary joy?)


1.  LED streetlights for San Francisco - demonstration TONIGHT, April 12 - possibly your only chance to express yourself on this subject

“Later this year, the SFPUC will begin converting all city-owned, high pressure sodium street lights to LED street lights. To provide a visual demonstration of the proposed color temperature of the LED street light conversion program (4,100K), the SFPUC has installed three LED fixtures of assorted color temperatures, 4,100K, 4,300K and 6000K, on Fulton Ave between Larkin and Hyde Streets. The SFPUC would like to invite interested members of the public to a discussion about LED color temperature on April 12th – 8 PM at the northwest corner of Fulton Ave at Hyde.”

Will a single lamp of each color give a sufficient demonstration?  I would think you'd want a whole block of one color to get an idea of the atmosphere it creates. I get nervous when I think of the whole city being covered by a color that was demonstrated by by a single bulb, and extrapolating that to whole blocks.   

I hope this doesn't sound like an unreasonable request. 
Hi Jake, Your request is not unreasonable, but I won’t be able to supply a street’s worth of fixtures by 4/12. Let’s proceed with the meeting, and if the visual display seems inconclusive, we can think about a larger installation

(I have a direct conflict--going to a concert at the nearby Herbst Theater.  I plan to miss the first number in the performance in order to see the light, but wonder if the sky will be dark enough at 8 pm--and from a single light--to give an accurate demonstration.  JS)

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(Thank you, Surfrider Foundation, for this light-hearted and excellent film on a vital subject.)

Surfrider, a 20-minute animated film, "The Cycle of Insanity - The Real Story of Water", at  http://www.knowyourh2o.org/

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2.  SAVE THE DATE - MAY 11
Golden Gate Park Under Siege
 
Join park supporters, preservationists, neighbors and environmentalists to learn about current construction plans for Golden Gate Park and what can be done to protect our open space today and for future generations.
 
Moderator:
Jim Chappell, Interim Director, San Francisco Beautiful; past Executive Director, SPUR; 
Panel:
Anthea Hartig, PhD.     President, Western Office National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Katherine Howard, ASLA.    Landscape Architect; Golden Gate Park Preservation Alliance.
Mike Lynes.     Conservation Director/General Counsel, Golden Gate Audubon Society.
George Wooding.     President, West of Twin Peaks Central Council; columnist, Westside Observer.
 
Location:  Commonwealth Club of California, 595 Market Street, SF.
Date:  May 11, 2011, 6 pm


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3.  From Lennie Roberts:   Hi everyone,  If you were as saddened/angered as I was over the killing of the female mountain lion in Redwood City on March 29, here is a great opportunity to learn more and speak up for a better way to address the conflicts between these naturally secretive animals and humans who are continuing to encroach into their habitat.

If you don't know about the  Felidae Conservation Fund, they are partnering with UC Santa Cruz, and CA Fish and Game on an exciting 10 year research project called Bay Area Puma Project (BAPP) to study the Bay Area's mountain lion population, using GPS tracking.  Visit their website at:  www.felidaefund.org.

Please pass this on to others who might be interested.

A Peninsula community meeting on living with mountain lions will take place this coming Wednesday evening, April 13th, starting promptly at 7:30 PM.  The panel will be held at Sequoia High School's beautiful Carrington Performing Arts Center in Redwood City.  This community discussion will involve both a wildlife presentation and a policy conversation.

Confirmed panelists:
Linda Netsch (moderator), Lecturer in Stanford Law School's mediation program and Founder, Align Consulting, Redwood City
Marc Kenyon, California Department of Fish & Game Statewide Coordinator for Mountain Lions and Bears
Zara McDonald, Executive Director, Felidae Conservation Fund (Sausalito)
"Doc" Hale, consulting biologist to UC Berkeley and East Bay Regional Parks District
Dan Mulholland, Captain of the Redwood City Police Department
San Mateo County Sheriff's Office
District Staff of Assemblyman Rich Gordon
Parking for this community meeting is in the lot at 1201 Brewster Avenue, or on nearby side streets.  Carrington Hall is located several buildings due north from the lot.
The mountain lion incident in Redwood City two weeks ago was clearly sad news to people looking at it from every side of the issue, but it offers our Peninsula communities a further opportunity to move the conversation in a constructive direction.  We are also especially grateful to Principal Bonnie Hansen and Vice-Principal Don Milhaupt for their donation of both staff time and space to meet at this wonderful Spanish colonial revival theater at Sequoia High School.

	
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4.  Bay Area’s 9th annual Going Native Garden Tour
Sunday, April 17, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Are you interested in gardens that are water-wise and low maintenance, attractive to humans as well as birds and butterflies? Visit them on the Bay Area’s 9th annual Going Native Garden Tour on Sunday, April 17, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is a free, self-guided tour of home gardens landscaped with California native plants.
This year's tour offers 70 gardens for viewing - from townhome lots to 1-acre plots, from newly planted gardens to established ones. You won’t have to go far to see one: the gardens are located throughout the Santa Clara Valley and the Peninsula. Visit as many gardens as you like - for inspiration and ideas and for pictures (with owner’s permission). Native plants will be available for purchase at select gardens. Many gardens will feature talks on native plant gardening.

What’s special about California native plants? They are adapted to our soil and climate, and are easy to care for. Many of our native plants are naturally water-wise and drought tolerant. They support a wide variety of wildlife that has co-evolved with them, and their distinctive look and elegant beauty gives your garden a sense of place that is uniquely Californian.

The self-guided tour is open to all. Admission is free; registration is required at www.gngt.org before April 17, 3pm, or until the tour reaches capacity. Space is limited; register early to ensure a place. For more information, email info@gngt.org.

The tour is organized entirely by volunteers. Volunteers receive a t-shirt with original art and invitations to visit native gardens throughout the year. To volunteer, visit www.gngt.org and click on “Volunteer Registration”. Knowledge of native plant gardening is a plus but not required to volunteer.


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I have been asked to post this in every newsletter:
Re Item 5:  Vote for Alemany Farm --  I hope you've been asked to keep posting this in every issue of Nature News until Aug. 1.  Each person can vote EVERY DAY between now and then.  People should be told to bookmark the page, and then to make voting the first thing they do every day when turning on their computer.

5.  Vote for Alemany Farm
Alemany Farm has the opportunity to win $4000 in a nation-wide contest. Click here and give Alemany Farm your vote!  They will use the money for plants, tools, and programming at the site.

For more info on the farm, and volunteer workdays visit alemanyfarm.org  - 3rd Sundays, 1:00-4:00 is the native plant area workday, next one April 17th!

(JS:  I found it difficult to figure out how to vote on this site.  I was told to click on the individual pictures.  You're on your own.)

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16.  Field trip:  San Bruno Mountain: Ridge Trail (San Mateo County)
APRIL 16, Saturday, 10am to 3pm 
Leaders: Doug Allshouse & Liam O'Brien
Cosponsored by CNPS Yerba Buena and Santa Clara Valley Chapters
The Ridge Trail offers a long and interesting menu of plant species including the endemic San Bruno Mountain manzanita (Arctostaphylos imbricata) plus fantastic views. on a very clear day, the vistas easily extend out to 35 miles. The trail is an undulating fire road that follows the ridge line and has one arduous dip. It begins in coastal scrub and transitions to grassland as we travel southeast. 
The wildflower show, while varied and spectacular, is just part of the allure. Quite often on past trips we have encountered the mountain’s endangered mission blue and callippe silverspot butterflies along with other spectacular species such as anise and pipevine swallowtails. 
On hand to help us enjoy and learn more about these beauties will be noted lepidopterist/illustrator Liam O. Brien, who is no stranger to our local butterflies. Besides helping to relocate female mission blue butterflies to Twin Peaks, he created the Green Hairstreak Corridor restoration project and a butterfly field guide for Nature in the City. The Ridge Trail is best enjoyed at leisure so bring a lunch and liquids.
Meet at the summit parking area: turn right just past the ranger kiosk and follow the road under the parkway, then drive through the open gate and take Radio Road all the way to the end. There is a self-administering $5 park admission fee. Weather on the ridge is subject to the whims of the Pacific so bring layers. Heavy rain moves the trip to April 23.
For further information including directions or weather reports, contact Doug Allshouse  at 415- 584-5114 or dougsr228@comcast.net.

(JS:  Regardless of weather reports, always dress in layers and have a windbreak.  Winds are sometimes fierce on top the mountain.)

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7.  San Francisco Planning Dept Public Open House to view the Revised Draft of the Recreation and Open Space Element

PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE - April 19, 2011, 5-7:30 pm
Planning Department, 1650 Mission St., Room 431(ADA accessible)

In May 2009, we released the first Draft of the Recreation and Open Space Element.  We have since received numerous public and agency comments and have incorporated the appropriate changes in this Revised Draft.  Please join us in celebrating the release of this important document!
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Planning Commission Hearings on the Revised Draft are proposed for May 12th and June 23rd. Please make sure you’re on our email list, and we will confirm these meetings.

Contact: Susan.Exline@sfgov.org, phone: 415.558.6332

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8.  Literacy for Environmental Justice - EcoCenter Available For Rental!
Come experience San Francisco's first 100% off the grid building. Host a community event, have a meeting, or teach a group of your most curious fellow peers about the sustainable design implemented at the EcoCenter. This building is now available for rent: check out the rental package with rates on our website. For more questions, contact the EcoCenter Program Manager, Tracy Zhu

UPCOMING EVENTS 
Welcome to the NeighborHOOD: yourth art reception
EcoCenter, April 9th from 12-2pm
LEJ is hosting the first art gallery opening, Welcome To The Neighborhood. This is the long awaited opening at the EcoCenter featuring works by community youth artists exhibiting the environmental and social justice issues of the Bayview Hunter's Point neighborhood.  Art pieces will rotate bi-monthly until September.

People's Earth Day 2011
Heron's Head Park & India Basin Open Space
This year we celebrate People's Earth Day with service with local students! LEJ is inviting several SFUSD school groups on Friday, April 22, to Heron's Head Park and India Basin Open Space to do a day of hands-on the land service and environmental education activities with several partnering organizations. If you are a teacher or youth worker and would like to participate, please email the Heron's Head Park Assistant, Jasmine Dow.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS
 
Sustainable Plant Adaptations: How Plants Adapt to Sustain Themselves
Saturday, April 16, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
The EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park
This workshop is open to all teachers and is a part of the Science of Sustainability series—a collaboration between the Exploratorium Teacher Institute and Literacy for Environmental Justice. Get more information and register here.
 
Incorporating Science and Environment into Youth Work
Wednesday, May 4, 10am - 1pm
This workshop is open to any youth worker, parent liaison, or educator in Bayview Hunters Point and is a collaboration with the BMAGIC collective. For more info, contact Tracy Zhu.
 
Bioregional Ecology Workshops
Saturdays, May 7 and June 4, 9am - 4pm
The EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park
This workshop is open to the general public and is hosted by the Planet Drum Foundation featuring LEJ guest speakers. Sliding scale $35-50 with full scholarships for SFUSD teachers, limited work exchanges available. Get more information and register here.

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9.  From Acterra 

Carbon Nation
Cubberley Community Center Theater 
April 13, 7:00 p.m.
4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto [map]
 
Join us for a climate change solutions movie that doesn't even care if you believe in climate change! Co-sponsored by Acterra. 
For more information, please view the Carbon Nation event flyer.
 

"21 and Up" Habitat Restoration Day
April 16, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Pearson-Arastradero Preserve [map]

Do you love the outdoors, spending time with your friends and meeting new people? Then this is the perfect opportunity for you! "21 and Up" is a workday for the 21 and older crowd who want to make a difference and enjoy nature with adult friends and peers.

For more information and to register, please visit the Stewardship Events webpage.
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9a.  From San Bruno Mtn Watch

Join us Saturday April 16th for Earth Day Weed Pulling at the Bog Trail


We will be joining with other County Parks Volunteers for a work day on the Saddle.  The Park Department will supply lunch if you let me know you are coming.
 
This workday starts earlier --  at 9:00 AM and goes to Noon. We will have our usual break and snack, and then lunch will be served at noon.      
  
WHAT TO WEAR to the Saturday workday:
Rain gear, warm layered clothing 
Sturdy shoes or hiking boots
 
WHAT TO BRING: A liter of water 
Gloves will be provided. 
 
QUESTIONS?   415-467-6631 or email: sanbruno@mountainwatch.org
THANKS and see you out on San Bruno Mountain.

 
WHERE:   Colma Creek/bog trail area: San Bruno Mountain State and County Park

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10.  THE LOG CABIN SERIES
The Story of Presidio Habitats
Thursday, April 14, 7 pm
The Log Cabin
1299 Storey Avenue

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Presidio Habitats exhibition from concept through completion. Presented by Cheryl Haines of the FOR-SITE Foundation.

GUIDED WALKS OF THE ART AND PARK
  April 16, Saturday, 11 am
  April 20, Wednesday, 5 pm
  April 30, Saturday, 11 pm

Presidio Trust and FOR-SITE Foundation staff and friends lead guided hikes exploring the Presidio Habitats art installations and the park. Walks are moderate in difficulty and about two miles in length.
Meet at the Exhibition Pavilion. RSVP required to (415) 561-5418 or email presidio@presidiotrust.gov.

FAMILY PROGRAM:  “QUEST” ADVENTURE
Saturdays, April 16 and 30, 10 am to Noon

Staff will orient your family to the colorful Presidio Habitats Quest adventure booklet. Then, enjoy a self-guided exploration to experience the wildlife habitats along the route of the artwork. Best suited for kids ages 5 to 12. Meet at the Exhibition Pavilion. RSVP to (415) 561-4449 or email  draffa@presidiotrust.gov.

FAMILY PROGRAM:  CREATE WITH NATURE
Saturday, April 23, 10 am to 2 pm

Get creative with wood, leaves, pine cones, branches, water, and imagination in a splendid outdoor setting.  Bring a snack. RSVP required to (415) 561-4449 or email draffa@presidiotrust.gov.

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11.  4th Annual Ferment Change
fermentation festival & food justice fundraiser
 
Ferment Change is a series of events celebrating the culture of fermentation, all in support of food justice programming, right here in the Bay Area. In it's fourth year, Ferment Change is featuring special guest Sandor Katz, celebrated author of The Wild Fermentation Book and the Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved.  All events are open to the public.
 
Friday April 15th – Ferment Change Skill Share
Ecology Center, 2530 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley
7-9PM ● A free skill share to make large batches of fermented items such as sauerkraut, pickled veggies, and others to share at our Potluck and Culture Swap on May 15th.  Bring a knife, cutting board, wooden spoon, large jars or crocks, whole spices, and some veggies to share.  
 
Saturday May 14th – Sauerkraut Workshop with Sandor Katz
12-2PM ● North Oakland Farmers Market, 5715 Market St, Oakland (behind the Arlington Medical Center)
Free
 
Sunday May 15th – Ferment Change
Humanist Hall, 390 27th St, Oakland
6-7:30PM ● Join Sandor Katz and Tila Dhakal from East Oakland's Bhutanese-Nepali community for a cross-cultural fermentation presentation.  Homebrewed/cultured drinks and fermented treats will be served.  Proceeds to benefit the East Bay Refugee Garden Program. 
Tickets: $75 plus admission to the main event

7-10PM ● Ferment Change Pot-Luck & Culture Swap – fermented foods, live music, workshops, and more.  Show-off your fermentation creations and sample others.  Contact info@fermentchange.org to coordinate space for your ferments.
Tickets: $10-$30 requested donation, no one turned away for lack of funds (be sure to arrive early, the event usually sells out)
 
Sunday May 22nd – Tour de Ferment
Starting location: Alcatraz and Telegraph Ave
11AM-7PM ● East Bay Homebrewer and Ferment Bicycle Tour and Tasting– with guest Sandor Katz
Cost: $15-$40 sliding scale, 2 work trades available
 
About Ferment Change:
Ferment Change supports local food justice organizations through fun and educational community events and celebrations.  Ferment Change organizes a series of fermentation, urban agricultural, and food justice focused skill-shares, dinners, bicycle tours, and workshops.  We encourage partners and participants to share the fermentation fervor, by carrying the skills learned into their own lives, kitchens, and communities. The proceeds from this year’s Ferment Change events will benefit the following programs:
	•	City Slicker Farms - Backyard Garden Program
	•	People’s Grocery - California Hotel Urban Farm
	•	Community Health for Asian Americans - East Bay Refugee Gardening Program
 
About Sandor Katz:
Sandor Ellix Katz (aka Sandorkraut), author of Wild Fermentation and The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved, is a cultural revivalist committed to the spread of fermentation fervor.

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12.  Save the date:  Save The Frogs Day Rally in Washington DC - April 29!

If you would like to volunteer at the DC Rally, please fill out the volunteer application form at http://savethefrogs.com/volunteers -- we could use your assistance! We seek general assistance as well as an experienced photographer at the event.

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13.  From Jeff Caldwell:
Received a link from a friend to an article from England,

'Bee road' plans to save key pollinators

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/apr/12/bee-road-pollinators/print

a sort of project that could be helpful here in California.

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14.  Wales is set to be the first country to DNA barcode all of its native flowering plants, scientists claim. 

View article...

(Wales is a Principality, not a country, but that's irrelevant in this context.  JS)

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15.  Starr King Open Space Spring Wildflower Walks – JOIN US!



Starr King Open Space, a community-owned open space on the south side of Potrero Hill is hosting spring wildflower walks. More than thirty California wildflowers grow in this special hilltop serpentine grassland. Come join us for some fun exploration and discovery of what makes this land special. All ages welcome.
 
Sunday, April 17
Sunday, May 15
 
Walks will begin at 11am and last approximately 1 hour. Meet on Carolina at Coral loop across from Starr King Elementary.

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16.  Feedback

John Anderson:
Hi Jake, Thanks again for your newsletter. After reading the series of discussions about crows and ravens in SF, I was wondering about parrots. I think I’ve seen flocks (or maybe a flock, seen multiple times) of parrots in my neighborhood near Geary and Masonic, well away from Telegraph Hill and the Embarcadero.  I also think I’ve heard them in the Presidio, although I couldn’t actually see any. I’m not an experienced birder, so I’d be interested if anyone else has seen this. Are the parrot’s numbers and territory really growing?
John:  On occasion I have seen them flying over the Inner Sunset, where I live.  A flock of them even stopped momentarily in my oak tree, then busily went on their way.

Linda Shaffer:
In response to your repeated complaint that no one (except you and CAPS, of course) seems to take overpopulation seriously:  Overpopulation is a perfect example of a political and economic problem that is incredibly challenging to address because individual (or local) interests and global interests do not coincide.

Why do I say that?  For the sake of argument, let's assume we all agree it is in the interest of the world as a whole that population growth be curtailed.  But here's the problem:   any one individual is unlikely to see his/her decision to bring one additional human being into the world as having any effect on global population.  Even those who agree with the global proposition that fewer children should be born in the world seem to think "but they don't mean MY wonderful children!"   It's someone else's children who should not be born.

And we haven't even introduced international political considerations.  Can you imagine any nation/tribe/ethnic group voluntarily agreeing to enact population control measures if a traditional enemy does not?

I submit that people in general are perfectly aware of overpopulation and how it affects their lives.  It's finding a politically and economically viable strategy for dealing with the problem that is the major sticking point.

You will likely disagree.
Linda:  These are mostly valid points, but if I took that as the whole thing I would take it as a counsel of despair.  Fortunately, there are holes in your argument.

1.  There are many poor areas of the world where women and/or husbands do not want too many children, but they don't have the education or the wherewithal to plan families.  The United Nations Family Planning Assistance was created for this purpose.  However, when Republicans are in power they prevent the U.S. from contributing to this fund.  Why they do this is a mystery, as it seems an obvious way to reduce human misery and to give people choice in their lives.

2.  In the 1960s it was considered not cool to have more than two children per family.  That was changed, and I suspect, deliberately.

Above all, we need to take action while we still have the choice, the flexibility to make those choices.  China felt it had no choice but to create that horror--the one-child policy.  I am very familiar with the severe pain that has inflicted on the people; it is tragic.  There has been pressure on its leadership to relent on the policy, and the reason it hasn't changed is because it sees the problems of relenting are worse than the problems of sticking to it.  Let's not get to the point where we no longer have that choice.  The earth is finite and we are bumping against its limits right now.  Climate warming is only one of its effects.

Immigration.  We have been the refuge for troubled people seeking asylum or to improve their lives.  I hope we never change on that, although I fear that economic conditions may force us to change.  If you have been following my views you note that my primary concern with our policy and actions is based on numbers:  I want to stabilize our population, eventually reduce it to a sustainable level.  Presently birth/death ratios would stabilize our numbers; the increase is accountable to immigration.  How we stabilize--whether reducing our birth rate or reducing immigration--is not as much of a concern to me as that stabilization takes place.  

As to your tribal/nation argument:  That used to have more validity than it does now, although you still find traces among an occasional national ruler--usually madmen such as Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe--but fortunately people just do what they want to do, which is often to not have more babies.  At least until recently, and possibly ongoing, is an attitude illustrated by Israel/Palestine of attempting to outbreed the other.  But the days of, eg, Charles de Gaulle--who wanted to double France's population ("France Gloire!") to increase its clout--fortunately are pretty much gone, and more and more governments are seeing it in their interests to restrict population, including immigration.  And you noted the French people just ignored de Gaulle, including his tax breaks for additional babies.  In that regard you have to give China high marks for trying to come to grips with the issue, even if you recoil in horror at how it's doing it.  India?  Seemingly still asleep, and it will pay a horrible price.  Its population is now nearing China's, which is about 1.4 billion.  The monsoons have been showing up reliably on schedule and the Green Revolution forestalled the hunger that would otherwise have happened, but don't expect any more Green Revolutions, and sooner or later monsoons won't show up; the suffering will be hideous.  Groundwater is nearing depletion, so monsoon failure will cause excruciating suffering.

(I ridicule people who make predictions about the future, because nature loves to make fools of us--or generously allows us to make fools of ourselves.  However, some predictions can be based on observation of nature, and it then becomes just a matter of mathematics.   Some other time I will treat you to the apocalyptic nightmare that I can't drive from my mind--and its realization is creeping closer every day.)  
Despite all these words (telling me things, by the way, that I already know and in which you repeat yourself), you haven't addressed my main points:  (1) people who understand very clearly that it is a bad thing for all of us collectively to have too many children born will still decide to have children; and (2) this behavior is quite understandable, since each individual acts under the assumption that it is someone ELSE who should refrain from reproducing.  THAT is the intriguing and challenging problem that needs to be addressed. 

In no way do I mean to suggest the situation is hopeless.  As you well know, parents the world over have had large numbers of children in the past because children were their social security system.  There was a need to make sure enough children survived to adulthood to provide care for the older generation(s).  As societies provide an alternative social safety net for elders, and as infant mortality rates decrease, the need to produce children decreases.   As you also know, increasing income levels are associated with decreases in family size.  I don't have time to search for some facts and figures, but in general, successive generations of former immigrant families in the US exhibit decreased birth rates.

All I'm suggesting is that people might be more aware of the problem the world faces than you think.  Can we please move on to discussing possible solutions to world over-population, and stop spending so much time imitating Chicken Little?  :-)
I don't dispute most of the points in these paragraphs.  But I also stick to my points.  In the interests of bringing this to a close, I'll stop here.

Ilene Oba:
Dear Jake:  Thank you for taking the time to respond and I apologize for taking so long to let you know.
 
As a third generation Japanese American (whose parents were in camp and father was in the 442), there is probably no way I can be convinced that "immigrants do the work no American wants to do", is a myth.  Chinese immigrants were so successful that the Chinese Exclusion Act was crafted, Japanese farmers took desert in Southern California and turned it into agricultural gold, only to have it stolen from them when they were put into camps.  Immigrants have an incredible work ethic. 
 
Thanks for being willing to hear my opinion and I appreciate hearing yours in your newsletter and in your response below.
 
Warmly,
Ilene 
Oh, but Ilene, we are on the same page.  That is precisely one of the points I try to make:  The exploitation of people for our monetary advantage.  

I can certainly understand why you are sensitive on this point.  The 1942 internment of Japanese U.S. citizens was a cruel and deeply shameful act that forever stains our history.  Ditto the exploitation of the Chinese in the 19th century and beyond.  

I don't see how our views differ.
Jake

P.S.  And I appreciate your understanding and forgiving tone, considering the subject is so painful.

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17.  No sex, please, we're busy

The ancient art of conception is becoming increasingly medicalised.  One might well assume that this corresponds with the way that giving birth is growing ever more surgicalised--caesareans are so much less mucky, aren't they? Or because our consumerist fug prevents us from believing one can get a baby entirely for free and that it can still be just as valuable as a baby acquired after spending vast sums of cash.

But no, according to reports last month, the problem is that modern couples are “too busy” for sex.  At fault, it seems are those busy professionals who apparently have to schedule sex somewhere between breakfast PowerPoint presentations at the office and squash games with the MD. Consequently couples are turning to IVF to conceive when they should simply be birding and bee-ing with a little more tenacity.

But this raises the question: what exactly do they mean when they say they don't have time for sex?  It may interest you to know that beavers spend three minutes copulating, while for mosquitoes sex lasts two to three seconds. But how long does sex take for humans?

(Omitted here is research on frequency of copulation, on time for foreplay, for erection, for orgasm, the differences between men, women, the British, Dutch, & c.)

In total, therefore, we can conclude that couples wishing to conceive au naturel should, two or three times a week, set aside a bare minimum of 12 min 50 sec for shagging (factoring in time for erection, male orgasm and sperm ETA); 35 min 20 sec if we're going to shilly-shally about with foreplay; and 56 min 20 sec if they're doing it lady-style.

If they can make time for all those trappings of modern professional life--treadmills, queing in coffee houses, choosing briefcases--one can't help feel that they can carve out a couple of hours a week in their busy schedules for a bit of how's your father.

Excerpted from Guardian Weekly 7 October 05

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Propaganda is the art of persuading others of what you don’t believe yourself.  Abba Eban

18.  We may not be pessimistic enough

…Financial capitalism sails on with its crew of bonus-grabbers and speculators; the economy shows little sign of being “rebalanced” from consumption towards useful production; socialism hasn‘t fallen like a bomb from the sky.
 
We expected different.  After Lehman Brothers went down, the conventional belief was that an era had ended.  But the social and economic system born in the 1980s stubbornly persists. 
 
…We may be the first generation since the Black Death to predict that our children will live poorer lives than ourselves:  “It’s the kids I feel sorry for” is one of the conversational clichés of our times.  This seems reasonable.  Even supposing the extremes of climate change can be avoided, population growth and the gobbling up of the earth’s resources lie waiting in hoods with their scythes.
 
…An audience of architects and planners, facing cuts to their budgets, heard (Simon Schama) praise the small over the big -  “Every civil servant should have a T-shirt with the slogan No More Grand Projects – in the context of a meeting that featured social pessimism as a professional enemy, as well as a problem that decent architecture might moderate.
 
I feel that pessimism has its uses.  It isn’t the same as apathy or fatalism.  It fears the worst; it doesn’t quite say that nothing can be done.  According to a recent poll, only 4% of the British population feels that it can do anything to affect the course of climate change.  Many of the rest don’t know about it.  Many still disbelieve it.  Many who know don’t care.  Far from being too pessimistic, we may in general not be nearly pessimistic enough.
 
Excerpted from Ian Jack’s column in Guardian Weekly 25.09.09

Do you think you've hit bottom?  Oh no, there's a bottom below.
	old song

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19.  Capitalism's waning popularity
Market of ideas
A global poll shows an ideology in apparent decline
Apr 7th 2011 | from The Economist print edition
 
RISING debt and lost output are the common measures of the cost of the financial crisis. But a new global opinion poll shows another, perhaps more serious form of damage: falling public support for capitalism. This is most marked in the country that used to epitomise free enterprise. In 2002, 80% of Americans agreed that the world’s best bet was the free-market system. By 2010 that support had fallen to 59%, only a little above the 54% average for the 25 countries polled. Nominally Communist China is now one of the world’s strongest supporters of capitalism, at 68%, up from 66% in 2002. Brazil scores 68% too. Germany squeaks into top place with 69%.

France, one of the world’s strongest economies, continues as an anti-capitalist outlier. Only 6% of French “strongly” support the free market, down from an already puny 8% in 2002. Add those who “somewhat agree” with capitalism’s superiority and the figure is 30%, down from 42% in 2002. Turkey (another free-market success story) had the same level of support then, but it has dropped even lower, to a mere 27%. In Europe only Spain seems to buck the trend, rising from 37% in 2002 to 51% . Indians, on paper big winners from free-market reforms, appear unimpressed: support has dropped to 58% from 73%.

Capitalism’s waning fortunes are starkly visible among Americans earning below $20,000. Their support for the free market has dropped from 76% to 44% in just one year. The research was conducted by GlobeScan, a polling firm. Its chairman Doug Miller says American business is “close to losing its social contract” with average families.

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20.  Location: Bird and Beckett Books and Records in SF's Glen Park, see birdbeckett.com for address/directions

MONDAY, APRIL 25 – 7:00 PM:  BASEBALL VERSE! VIVA LOS GIGANTES!
A poetic celebration of the young season, featuring 
Dan Liberthson, David Frankel, Al Averbach, and Jeff DeMark
Plus Open Mic 

MONDAY, MAY 2 – 7:00 PM
Dan Liberthson and Joan Gelfand, Featured Poets
Plus Open Mic


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21.  Barton Mayhew:
Jake, Read description of program for "Why Do We Love Trees" scheduled April 21. 

Why Do We Love Trees?
Thursday, April 21, 7:00 p.m.
Make reservations »

Bart:  That's only for people in L.A. who can see the exhibit.
I think you have readers in L.A., and some do visit friends, relatives, cultural events, etc. Getty Center is an incredible location, setting, exceptional architecture, good display space design and interesting landscaping concept, with broad view of ocean atop a hill.  I don't know about this particular lecture and presentation, but the operation of Getty museums (including Villa) are truly first class, generally inspiring and a bit uplifting for the weary.  Bart

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22.  Notes & Queries, Guardian Weekly

Playing a very naughty part on the world stage
What did the original actress say to the original bishop?

The original actress and the original bishop must have been Eve and Adam.  All the world was their stage and they were the only players.  As to her lines:  "Original sin!  Let's do it!"

In fact the original sin was incest--and since Eve had a parthenogenetic origin this seems appropriate.  The evidence for this comes from the human chromosome number.  Humans have 46 chromosomes whereas higher primates have 48.  Human chromosome number two is a fusion of two ancestral primate chromosomes.  The only way that 46 chromosomes could have become fixed into the proto-human population would have been by incestuous relationships between one original individual with the intermediate number of 47 chromosomes and his viable 47 chromosome offspring.

David Turner
Adelaide, South Australia

Has anybody killed two birds with one stone?

When I was a youngster I borrowed a friend's air rifle and took aim at the centre bird of three sitting in a row on a telegraph wire.  The end one to the right fell dead.  I have never shot any sort of gun since.  Intentions are never enough with a gun in your hands.

John Graham
Denver, Colorado, US

(JS:  I had a parallel experience when a boy with a new air rifle (aka BB gun).  I shot from a distance at an oriole perched on a branch; to my surprise it fell dead.  I felt rotten, and have never shot at another creature.  Well, pigeons have tempted me, admittedly.)

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23.  Saturn

The most beautiful planet is now at opposition, meaning that it is directly on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun, and it rises just as the Sun sets.  By 10 pm it is high enough in the eastern sky for a good view, and it reaches its zenith (ie, its highest point above the southern horizon) at midnight.  It is in the constellation Virgo, whose brightest star is Spica, and Spica is the bright star beneath (lower to the horizon) than brighter Saturn.  Saturn is now tipping its rings toward us, which means it reflects more light.  Needless to say, light pollution dims both objects, aided and abetted by the coastal atmospheric moisture.

Saturn is the only planet in the evening sky now, but morning brings brilliant Venus, which you won't confuse with any other object.  Later this month a closer look will reveal Mercury and Jupiter not far from Venus.  Mars joins in later, but too near the horizon to be seen by casual viewers.

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24.  Sun's doldrums likely to last
Despite a recent flare, solar physicists project low activity for up to a decade

View the video

A powerful explosion that erupted on the solar surface on February 14 was the most powerful flare in more than four years, and heralds an approaching peak in the sun’s 11-year activity cycle. But as the sun pulls out of an exceptionally quiet period of low activity, researchers predict the coming solar maximum won’t be very exciting either.

“This cycle continues to fall below expectations. And those expectations were pretty low two years ago,” says David Hathaway of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.  The number of sunspots — dark, highly magnetized regions on the solar surface — is one indicator of solar activity, and scientists now predict this will be the weakest sunspot cycle in 200 years. “We are off to a good start for a below-average cycle peaking in late 2013 or early 2014,” says Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.  Understanding how present activity affects future cycles is important to gauging both the sun’s influence on climate and its likelihood of producing powerful and destructive solar storms.

Solar physicists say they are homing in on the complex internal interactions that could explain why the sun has been hibernating for more than four years now and may not fully awaken for another decade. 

...A weaker solar cycle is accompanied by a slightly dimmer sun, which changes the average temperature on Earth, says Judith Lean of the Naval Research Laboratory. She notes, however, that the sun’s brightness did not hit an all-time low during the past solar minimum, even though the sun was unusually quiet.  Nonetheless, the decline in solar brightness from 2002 to 2008 as solar activity dwindled probably countered the warming on Earth that would otherwise have occurred due to greenhouse gases over that period. “As solar activity now increases,” she says, “we can expect this mitigating effect to stop.”

Science News 26 March 2011
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/70468/title/Suns_doldrums_likely_to_last

(JS:  I have a Sunspotter "telescope" that allows me to see the sunspots, and it's interesting to watch them change throughout the day as well as throughout the cycles.  The last few years have been boring, and in fact I seldom check because of the lack of activity.  The bad news here is embodied in the last paragraph, above, which has given the climate-change deniers less incentive to acknowledge reality, as the warming has not been as dramatic as if the Sun were having a more normal cycle--but then, I've long known that God is a Republican.)
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.