Archive for August, 2013

Staying Healthy in the Face of Climate Change

Friday, August 30th, 2013

I believe we are all suffering trauma as a result of our deteriorating climate and environment.  Whether we are conscious of it or not, I believe we are suffering physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually from the rapidly diminishing health of the biosphere.  And since the declining health of the natural world is likely to continue, our suffering  will grow.   That’s why I was glad to see the following wise words by a Washington, DC psychiatrist and environmental activist.–April Moore

       by Dr. Lisa Van Susteren


  • Take care of yourself physically and spiritually, through healthy living and maintaining a balance in your professional and personal life.
  • Physical exercise is essential — endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers, are secreted in response to exercise. Endorphins help fight psychic pain, too. Exercise also boots your immune system. If you are stressed out and getting sick a lot — you need regular exercise. Swimming can be very soothing.
  • Get out of doors as much as possible — connect with the forces that drive you and give yourself up to the beauty of nature in the present.
  • Remember that you are not alone. There are lots of other people who may be just as traumatized as you are — they just aren’t talking about it.
  • Your fears are realistic. But what you can do, or what you expect you can do, may not be.
  • Personal therapy can help. You wouldn’t be the first person to conflate some personal problems with what is happening to the planet. Although “we” are working on it, many professionals may not yet “get” the problem with climate.


  • Overwork
  • Having trouble sleeping? … Make sure to cut off the computer at least 2 hours before bedtime. The blue light emitted by computers suppresses a hormone that triggers sleep more than light from other parts of the spectrum. Additionally, turning out lights is not only good for the planet — the resulting incremental darkness sets the body up to sleep. Also, did you know that it can take as many as 9 hours for your body to completely break down caffeine?
  • Believe that you are invulnerable. In fact, admitting what you are going through makes you more resilient.
  • Lose focus on the essential tasks.
  • Don’t give up! Despite the forecast — we are working together like never before.



Where I’m Coming From

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

I am posting here a link to a 9-minute interview that aired recently on our local NPR station, WMRA in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  Interviewer Martha Woodroof asked me to talk about my life as a lover of nature and an environmental activist.  

I hope you will listen because I feel that who I really am comes through.–April Moore


The Return of the American Chestnut Tree

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

I am happy to post here a short, hopeful piece, written by my sister Tanya Bohlke.

The once-mighty chestnut tree. Diligent efforts are helping make a comeback possible

There is cause for cautious optimism in the saga of the chestnut tree.  Once one of the dominant trees of the forest, the chestnut grew in a swath from Maine to Florida, numbering at one time 4 billion trees.  The nuts from this desirable tree were a main food source for the animals of the woods, from birds to rodents to bears, as well as providing a cash crop for the people.  The wood was in demand as well, as it is straight-grained and easily worked as a source of construction projects.

The chestnut was wiped out by the lethal fungus known as the chestnut blight, which kills trees by entering through a wound in the tree and eventually killing the tree.  The fungus was introduced from Chinese chestnut trees which were carriers of the blight although they were immune.

In 1983 the American Chestnut Tree Foundation was started, with the mission of reintroducing this magnificent tree to the landscape.  Through a long process of cross pollination, an American chestnut was crossed with a Chinese chestnut, to produce a tree which was 50% American, 50% Chinese.  Then that tree was crossed with an American, producing a tree which was 75% American.  This process continues until they find a tree with no Chinese characteristics except blight resistance.  Currently there are 30,000 trees at various stages of breeding on 160 acres of research farms .

Through the painstaking work of the foundation, we have cause to hope that someday our grandchildren, if not our children, will live in an environment in which the American Chestnut is a thriving part of our forests.–Tanya Bohlke

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