Remembering Purpose

Does this mean we should not eat meat? NO….well, maybe. Do I? Yes.

It’s so easy to lose focus. Maybe for you it’s not…but I get side-tracked just walking out the door.

Photo by change.org

I finally said,  “Wait a minute! Whoa Nelly!” or something like that. I have fretted over, and tried to support, too many issues:  Southern Resident Orcas; Saving Our Wild Salmon; plastic pollution and conservation; diminishing aquafers; orcas kept in stupid-ass swimming pools (whales belong in oceans, not swimming pools)! Oh, also those horrible trucks hauling sad-looking cows to slaughter. Even worse are the horrible slaughter yards…just sad sad sad. But worse yet, if that’s possible, are monkeys who share over 95% of people’s DNA being used for medical experiments. These animals have feelings exactly like we do.

Granted I have donated money to some organizations that are up and running in terms of finding solutions for nature. For example, the NRDC (Nature Resource Defense Council) is highly successful at stopping outlandish destruction of public lands, and the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition has a strong stance and support. Ecuador’s GARP project is progressing, and CELDF (Community Environmental Defense Fund) is doing well in helping citizens protect their environments. Basically, these groups are doing fine, with or without my donations. (By the way did you know that Ecuador has adopted the rights of nature into their constitution?)

Photo by John Boyd

As for The Southern Resident Pod of orcas? Depends on what you read…and who writes it. Overall, though, the prognosis is not good.

Ultimately, I finally remembered what all these interests boil down to: THE RIGHTS OF NATURE! I’ve read two books about the Rights of Nature – you’d think I wouldn’t forget about it.

So, my focus is back to square one: I want to defend the Rights of Nature…all nature…and try not to be tarred and feathered by the naysayers. Essentially all animals need to be treated respectfully. Scientists have proved that they feel pain and fear. Does this mean we should not eat meat? NO….well, maybe. Do I? ummm yes. Then there is land and forest destruction…too much.

 I’ve designed a sign to hangon the wall by my desk to keep me focused:   Becky, what are you doing today to promote the Rights of Nature?

This fall we will be publishing (ebook format only for now) a book titled: NO WATER – NO LIFE. That should help!

Publisher to Push for Rights of Nature/Environmental Issues

We don’t have to rely on other nations to fix our own backyard, unlike climate change and plastic pollution require.

After being stalled for two years with the “pandemic,” closures and a growing lack of public interest due to increasing political and social turmoil, Moonlight Mesa unexpectedly ended the JUST ONE THING ALLIANCE program earlier this month. Publisher Becky Coffield announced today the company will instead be spending much more energy on Rights of Nature issues.

JUST ONE THING was an attempt to entice people to give up just one single-use plastic item, thus contributing in a small way to less plastic pollution and waste in garbage dumps, the ocean, beaches, water sources, etc. Small things add up!

“For several years we’ve been somewhat engaged in environmental issues that can actually be ‘fixed’ given time and resources. However, we intend to greatly step up our involvement,” Coffield said.

Some problems are massive and will take time, which in many cases we don’t have (such as doing what we can to help the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition in restoring the wild salmon runs in the Pacific Northwest that the diminishing pod of Southern Resident Orcas rely on for survival). Other issues can be solved by the brilliant legal work of Nature Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). And there are issues that simply require public education and awareness. We don’t have to rely on other nations to fix our own backyard, unlike climate change and plastic pollution require.

I can tell you right now that we are excited about this decision. Everyone here has the energy to get actively involved in these issues.

So much to do…so little time. we’ll keep you posted!”

We’re Still Alive!

This lack of action has been going on for years despite Save Our Wild Salmon Alliance’s efforts to have the Lower Snake River Dams removed. The inability to make a tough decision is wasting time…and not helping to restore the salmon runs.

Although it’s been a long time since anyone here has blogged, it’s not because anyone  has had overwhelming misfortunes or the perennial Covid. Instead, we’ve had tax nightmares, knee replacement (my husband), and we are trying to have an orderly first quarter for 2022.

On the bright side,  another baby orca in the Southern Resident Pod has been spotted!

On a semi bright side, talks are still continuing about how to restore the salmon runs in the Pacific Northwest. But as most adults know, talk is just that. Action is what counts. Everybody involved talks the same talk, but not everyone is willing to walk the same walk. This lack of action has been going on for years despite Save Our Wild Salmon Alliance’s efforts to have the Lower Snake River Dams removed. It’s tiring…and shameful. I won’t point fingers at certain individuals since I’m not a resident of Washington State and don’t vote there even though I’m there for months at a time. The inability to make tough decisions is wasting time…and not helping to restore the salmon runs.

On a somewhat  brighter side, however, Washington State has removed some dams and has plans for more, increasing long absent salmon sightings…they just can’t seem to make a final decision about the Lower Snake River Dams. And there’s no doubt it’s a monumental one. Somewhere the buck needs to stop, however… Below is a photo from the Seattle Times of the removal of the Elwha Dam.

That’s all for politics…I don’t want to get started on Washington D.C.

NEW PROJECTS:

Moonlight Mesa will probably be converting Saving Our Oceans and A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule  to ebooks in 2022.

Despite getting off to a good start, it’s an early death

For whatever of the many reasons/excuses  we’ve come up with, Saving Our Oceans  has been a tragic, major flop despite getting off to a great start. First, the title is misleading. It should be Saving Our Water. Maybe I can talk our cover designer, Vin Libassi, into changing that. Second, it’s become obvious that not everyone cares about plastic pollution, water pollution and contaminants, whales, flesh and brain eating bacteria etc. Maybe it’s just too overwhelming and depressing.

A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule has been, hands down, our best-selling title in both 2020 and 2021. However, I had a critical knee jerk reaction when some buyer returned 99 copies of the book (out of an order of 156.) We’ve had a few books here and there returned, but 99 books cost us upward of $900 in return fees. Ingram charges $2.00 a book for returns plus we had to pay for the printing, etc. So, in my hysteria, I all but eliminated the discount and took the book off  the “return” category. Naturally sales have plummeted. I may try one more time to give it a higher discount and make it returnable. But that hurt…bad. And I’m now a bit leery. I also have 99 copies of the book to personally sell.

Now that “someone” has seen to it that fuel prices are skyrocketing, it appears that our summer plans are dead in the water. With fuel prices for diesel already hovering around $6 to $7 a gallon in Canada (and who knows what they’ll be come June) we need to reassess the plans and speaking engagements we’d been working on arranging in Canada and Alaska. We’d hoped to donate some 500 copies of Saving Our Oceans to libraries and schools – that plan is now on an indefinite hold. I’d also planned to chart all whale sitings while en route with photos and stats.

FINALLY: I’ll be posting a photo soon of  Tippy Canoe, my new “rowing canoe.” Because my skiff is so darn heavy, it’s almost impossible for us to set it on deck on our boat. But Tippy Canoe only weighs about 65 pounds (and that’s even with the carved, varnished row wings and shoe done by my husband.) The boat is quick to respond and super light so it FLYS. My skiff kind of crawled, but I loved it. Still do. Heavier than heck, though.

The Rights of Nature – A Global Movement We Can All Join

In the U.S., the Ridgway town council in Colorado has approved a resolution to recognize the rights of the Uncompahgre River.

The movement of the Rights of Nature is gaining momentum! The following information is from GARN’s recent newsletter (Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature). In addition to the victory of nature in Los Cedros in Ecuador, there is growing action around the world.

“On Antarctica Day, Dec 1st, a webinar was held to share a draft Declaration for the Rights of Antarctica, with plans to launch the final Declaration on Earth Day, 22 April 2022, for the adoption by States and International Organizations.”

And from Belgium comes this news:

Belgium, the first to demand recognition of the crime of ecocide
­The resolution was adopted in the plenary with the aim to recognize the crime of ecocide in international criminal law. The Belgian Parliament becomes the first in Europe to ask for such recognition.
Photo by NRDC.ORG

Both Ireland and the U.S. are on the bandwagon too:

Rights of Nature recognition in local councils in US and Ireland 
­In the US, the Ridgway town council in Colorado has approved a resolution to recognize the rights of the Uncompahgre River. Meanwhile, Donegal County Council is the first local authority in Ireland to consider a Rights of Nature motion.

And in Spain, young people are taking the lead:

Young people in Spain unite to recognize the rights of Mar Menor
­Young people from all over Spain are taking a petition to recognize the rights of Mar Menor to the Congress. More than 639,000 thousand signatures have been presented.

The Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition in Seattle, Washington, a favorite organization, is a “local” example of protecting the rights of nature, in this case the wild salmon of the Pacific Northwest. Led by Joseph Bogaard, this coalition has worked endlessly to preserve the wild salmon runs that are all but extinguished due to dams along the Lower Snake River and Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River in Oregon. (I need to add that Washington State has been taking dams down and seeing a great return of fish to the rivers.)

Over-fishing has contributed to the salmon depletion also. Remember that these salmon embark on a four-year journey around the Pacific Ocean when they leave the river of their birth. It is well-known that Asian fisheries using nets take everything they encounter. In addition, some people blame global warming with the resultant warming rivers as a contributing cause for their depletion. Few want to admit, however, that the proliferation of seals has taken its toll also. And without salmon, the treasured Southern Resident Pod of Orcas will likely die off.

Want to learn more? Go to youtube and see the 50 minute film:

The Rights of Nature: A Global Movement – Feature Documentary

Keep in mind that if nature dies, we all die. If we die, nature will flourish. So who needs who?

Whales, Dolphins, Salmon and Dams – Great News!

The best “feel good” item told about the successful response to the entanglement of an Arabian Sea humpback whale.

Just when I start becoming very discouraged about the total lack of interest regarding whales and ocean health in general since Covid has reared its ugly face, I seem to receive heart-warming communications. It’s always enough to enliven me for days if not weeks to come.

Just yesterday I received a truly nice, hand-written thank you note from Joseph Bogaard of the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition located in Washington State. I do my best to help support this and other northwest groups engaged in the fight to save wild salmon…and “wild whales”…and to restore the sad captive ones back to freedom. Receiving Joseph’s note when I did was a terrific boon to my flagging hopes of relocating once again to the Pacific Northwest where I lived for over 50 years. (Yes, I know. I can hardly believe I’m that old!) Joseph and the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition were early joiners of our JUST ONE THING Alliance. Then, like magic, a message from our realtor followed today suggesting an offer for our home might soon be in the works.

There’s more: to top things off, I received communication from the International Whaling Commission today with updates on whale related topics of interest.

Photo of Elwa Dam by Seattle Times

As for the wild salmon issue, since Washington State has torn  down a few dams (and have more dams on the drawing board for destruction) salmon miraculously seem to be showing up, navigating the now free-flowing rivers long blocked off. And in the not too distant future, Oregon and California have agreed to tear down some dams that will also help promote salmon restoration along with Native American rites.

Photo by John Boyd

As for the IWC, their work is so incredibly important. For example, in September (2020) the Conservation Committee met (virtually) to discuss the management plan for South American river dolphins as well as a plan to mitigate measures regarding bycatch of cetaceans. Many seabirds, turtles and sharks are subject to being caught in fishing nets and traps. There is now growing awareness and concern to protect marine mammals. “Measures for reducing bycatch include spatial closures, the use of acoustic deterrents or alerting devices, modifications to fishing gear, and changes in fishing operations” along with “awareness-raising.” I think sometimes devastation ecological things happen  because people are simply not aware that what they are doing is deadly for whales, fish, and other sea creatures..

Finally, the best “feel good” item told about the successful response to the entanglement of an Arabian Sea humpback whale. Many groups came together (the Oman Environmental Authority, Five Oceans Environmental Services, LLC and Future Seas Global SPC) to free a humpback whale from entanglement in a gill net. (IMO net fisheries absolutely must be abolished.) This particular humpback species is in extreme danger of extinction, largely due to ship strikes, fishing bycatch, and other threats.

So, I’ve had happy, inspiring news, and I’m also still covid-free. Who can ask for more nowadays?

Time for an About-Face for Shirking

The main interest I’ve (we’ve) maintained throughout all the covid stress and election drama has been a continual attention to the health of the ocean, nature, and especially whales. There are some bright spots here:

I declare I do think some people have minds like traps…something gets in it and it doesn’t go away. Once again I’ve been caught.

Here’s some facts I’ve been called on:

In September I declared I would row 500 miles before the end of the year. Didn’t quite get there – actually I was a long way from 500 miles. Try 189. Well, the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak! Besides, the north ramp at Lake Pleasant was closed and that is the BEST, most scenic area for rowing, kayaking, and swimming.

And I’ve been asked where JOT has disappeared to and what’s going on with it…It’s been so long since I’ve talked about JOT (Just One Thing) that I’m embarrassed to say I’ve done little to nothing in recent months. I think the pandemic wore me out. I was too busy reading Fox News and the New York Times email articles to pay attention to much else.

For those with short memories, JOT (Just One Thing) is a grassroots alliance encouraging people to forego one single-use plastic item to help with plastic pollution and wastage. There are a number of people who have signed up to participate in the JOT movement, however, but I’ve failed to do much communication since I failed to keep their email addresses. Again…likely a pandemic fault. However, JOT is alive and well and will be energized again…Care to join? Send me your name and I’ll add you to our list. No fees or dues or donations ever. Just a commitment on your part to yourself.

The main interest I’ve (we’ve) maintained throughout all the covid stress and election drama has been a continual attention to the health of the ocean, nature, and especially whales. There are some bright spots here:

A new pod of Blue Whales has been discovered in the Indian Ocean. In addition, Blue Whales are once again being detected in the Georgia Island area (north of Antarctica) after 50-years of absence. These whales were hunted almost to the very brink of extinction by money-driven cretins. (Please don’t tell the Japanese or the Norwegians since they have a penchant for slaughtering whales.)

And, there have been numerous sightings of the northwest’s Southern Resident pod of orcas this fall and winter…likely this is because there are far fewer boaters plowing through the waters disturbing them.

So…I’m seriously back to work even though I don’t plan to publish anything this year. Despite having become a bit of a hermit, I aim to live with gratitude and enthusiasm. No more shirking, procrastinating, and negativity. I’m tired of that.

 Besides promoting JOT and trying to sell books, I’ll  be blogging about the NRDC and their successes in sustaining the environment (like helping defeat the Pebble  mine in Bristol Bay), along with the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition and their efforts to revive wild salmon stocks (yes, more bridges are now being torn down), as well as other marine and nature organizations issues (like closing Marine World and getting those poor whales out of swimming pools!). I’ll be heading to Washington State in February for a month of resuscitation. I know I’ll come back fired up – and probably be yearning to move north…again. 

Check out Saving Our Oceans or any of our other scintillating titles!

Where Are the Whales? Where are the Salmon?

It’s painfully simple: between dams, climate change,  an over abundance of seals, and the fishing industry, there are basically no Chinook Salmon this year for the Southern Resident Pod of Orcas.

1d0cc-orca2bphoto   The highly-loved Southern Resident Pod of Orcas apparently may not be calling the Salish Sea (specifically the Puget Sound area) home anymore it seems. Their lack of prompt appearance last summer couldn’t be denied and caused some consternation. The whales showed up late and left quickly, spending most of their time on the outer coast of Vancouver Island. Instead, transient orcas from the northern reaches of the Inside Passage were more often seen. The transient pod dines more on seals which are plentiful in the area.

So what gives? It’s painfully simple: between dams, climate change,  an over abundance of seals, and the fishing industry, there are basically no Chinook Salmon this year, and Chinook are the Southern Resident Pod’s main, preferred, and greatly needed food.

If one wants to play the blame game, point first to the Lower Snake River dams  and Governor Inslee’s inability, and unwillingness, to take affirmative action in removing these dams despite that action being the most voted on as high priority by concerned citizens. The Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition, spearheaded by Joseph Bogaard, puts the removal of dams as an extremely high priority for saving wild salmon runs.

Indeed, even Oregon’s Bonneville Dam is a disaster for the salmon runs, which use to number in the thousands. Allowing a bit of extra water spill to “cool” the river doesn’t cut it.

Besides blaming the dams, there is no doubt that climate change has taken its toll on the Chinook, and no matter how one feels about it, climate change can no longer be denied. The Fraser River is very low (due to water withdrawal for agriculture) and it’s now too warm. The test fishery didn’t catch any Chinook in May, and only three in June. Hundreds used to be caught.

Finally, and not often considered, is the massive number of fish (including salmon) that seals and sea lions eat. Since these pinnipeds became “protected” some years ago, their numbers have exploded, and they all have healthy appetites.

3167e-SOOpc2B2Bjpeg

Of course there is the never-ending issue of plastic and chemical pollution and sewage spills that can sicken and kill all aquatic life, including whales.

Do not overlook the impact of sport and commercial fishing ventures. Ship strikes and a plethora of boaters may also be contributing factors to the whales’ demise.

The Southern Resident Pod has lived in the Puget Sound area for thousands of years. Their numbers diminished greatly decades ago, however, because of the rampant brutal  capture and sale of these magnificent creatures by uncaring, greedy, self-serving owners of  aquatic parks that tragically decimated their numbers. (Obviously, they did not believe in the Rights of Nature.) Few captured whales live beyond 30 years of age due to abuse and the stress of being held captive in a swimming pool. In their natural habitat these whales can live as long as 90 years.

One can only hope, and pray, that these much-loved whales, in their quest for food, will avoid the rapacious Japanese and Norwegian whale hunters.

dead whales copy
Wanton slaughter of whales

Great Year for Moonlight Mesa Nonfiction Titles & Superb Response to JOT

JUST1THING E2      The response to JUST ONE THING has been nothing short of encouraging, according to publisher and JUST ONE THING organizer, Becky Coffield. Although off to a slow start due to the home and business relocation of both Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc. and the publisher, the response to date has exceeded Coffield’s expectations.

For starters, the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition has enthusiastically endorsed the JUST ONE THING alliance. “The Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition has got to be one of my favorite organizations,” Coffield recently said. “Joseph Bogaard and his staff are so responsive, supportive and positive. They were quick to endorse our informational/inspirational publication last year, Saving Our Oceans, which has generated funds that we’ve in turn donated to the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition and to the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor.”

Coffield went on to add that “The Whale Museum is another organization that has been outstandingly supportive of not only our publication, Saving Our Oceans, but they also have wholeheartedly embraced the JUST ONE THING alliance. It’s a very rewarding feeling to have organizations like these support the alliance.”

Moonlight Mesa already has an alliance with the Ocean Foundation and the Plastic Pollution Coalition. “We’re hoping that we actually get a response from the Inland Ocean Coalition this time around,” Coffield said. “More than just coastal communities and organizations need to come on board for this to be really successful. What we are getting is terrific, but there’s plastic pollution everywhere…not just in coastal regions.”

In addition to organizations, so many individuals have praised the idea and let us know via email or personal encounters. “We’re very enthused and excited to get the ball rolling on this endeavor,” Coffield said. “Now that we’re mostly settled in our new location, we hope to send the message out and recruit more organizations and individuals to the cause.”

And, JUST ONE THING has its prototype t-shirt. “The funds from any shirts we sell will be donated. More than selling shirts, though, our goal is to just get the word out and encourage participation in the alliance.”

2019 PUBLICATION WRAP UP

9780977459391.MAIN. Once again nonfiction dominated Moonlight Mesa’s overall sales this past year. Although Casey Tibbs – Born to Ride and A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule  battled it out for best seller, the honor this year goes to Rusty Richards’ Casey Tibbs – Born to Ride by a small margin. “Richards’ book is going to sell forever, I think,” Coffield said. “It’s a classic in the true sense. Part of its exceptional staying-ability is that it’s available as a trade paperback and an ebook also.”

A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule came in second for sales which is very interesting rebaandbeckyconsidering the book is simply a guideline about buying and owning mules. “I’m a bit surprised at the interest in mules, I guess,” Coffield said. “They are fantastic animals, but not for everyone, that’s for sure. I have one and absolutely love her, but there are days… I’m very pleased to see the interest in mule-information.”

In third place for sales was C.L. “Lee” Anderson’s Developing the Art of Equine equine_comm2Communication. “I didn’t think Lee could possibly come up with another book as helpful and informative as this one, but he surely did,” Coffield said. “We released Lee’s second book, The View from My Old Saddle, in January this year.”

SGA Cover      Fourth place is J.R. Sanders’ riveting Some Gave All. “I know if we can get this book into ebook format without having to delete most of the artwork and photos it will really take off,” Coffield said. “This book is absolutely fabulous.”

 

Saving Our Oceans placed fifth for nonfiction. “I was more than disappointed in this result,” Coffield said, “but it’s probably to be expected considering the topic and the fact that many in Arizona seem to be a bit detached and indifferent to these issues. Our work is cut out for us.”

Desturnell Mexico.tif

Jere D. James, usually a top-selling fiction author, has seen a decline in sales. Jere stopped writing westerns and sales declined when no new titles were forthcoming. The author had a fairly large following who were always anxious to buy the next book in the series. (Cover photo of the 5th book in the Jake Silver Adventure Series.)

 

NO PUBLICATIONS IN 2020

Coffield announced there would be no new publications scheduled in 2020. “We have too much work to do with Saving Our Oceans and the JUST ONE THING alliance. We also have Lee’s new title to get established in the market place. Plus, we’re looking at a new cover for Sanders’ The Littlest Wrangler. And if time permits, we’d like to take a look at Some Gave All  and see how we can get it into an ebook. We’ll be busy.”