A friend of mind, an avid hiker who gets out on Colorado's trails very often, recently shared with me a couple of photos he took at Lake of the Clouds in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. The photos are of the same scene, taken ten years apart. The first photo was taken in 2013, the second one in 2023. I was shocked when I first saw these photos. I'm still shocked whenever I look at them. I know these forests, as I've been hiking and backpacking the wilderness trails of the … [Read more...] about What a Hotter World Does to Forests
Dave Van Manen
My country is broken. It is supposed to be governed by a government that is “of the people, by the people, for the people,” as President Lincoln said at Gettysburg. The first three words of our country’s Constitution are “We the people.” Our elected officials are supposed to go to Washington DC to carry out the will of We the People. They don’t! Two issues plainly illustrate how our government does not act to carry out the will of the people. First, guns. Based on polling data conducted by … [Read more...] about My Country is Broken
Governor Polis’ efforts to bring free, full-day kindergarten to Colorado’s public schools have been in the news quite often the last several weeks. Currently, Colorado only pays for half-day kindergarten. Those districts that do offer full-day kindergarten pay for it with funds designated for other programs, with local property taxes, or by charging families. Polis recently stated, "It's time to make the state a full partner with our (school) districts. We simply need to ensure that kindergarten … [Read more...] about Putting the Garden Back in Kindergarten
I find it serendipitous that, a few short weeks before the 2018 elections, a dire warning has been issued by the International Panel on Climate Change, a warning that should be of major concern to every political candidate, be it for federal, state, or local office. While acknowledging that the negative impacts of a warming planet are already underway, the IPCC says that to avoid catastrophic changes to the Earth’s interconnected ecological and societal systems, we must limit global warming to … [Read more...] about A Couple of Questions on Climate Change for Political Candidates and Policy Makers
The clock is ticking. According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock, “a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe,” the clock is the closest it’s ever been to doomsday (https://thebulletin.org/timeline). This looming doomsday has me comparing today’s chaotic politics and other challenges to another tumultuous time in our history, the 1960s. I got my start in this world during the Eisenhower presidency, and started becoming aware of the larger … [Read more...] about Two Minutes to Doomsday!
A Utah Senator says that setting aside this land as part of the National Parks is “a hasty, impetuous action to lock up the area, a step that the people of Utah and the nation would regret for centuries.” A Deseret News article asserts there is “no other place in the state which [has] greater potential for mineral production.” A Moab Times Independent editorial states, “We wholeheartedly agree that Utahans cannot allow vast, potentially-rich tracts of land to be ‘locked’ into reserves that … [Read more...] about National Monuments: Land Grab or Legacy?
I’ve been writing about various facets of the natural world for the newsletter of the Nature education non-profit I started in the Mountain Park in Beulah, my small southern Colorado town, for a long time. The recent issue that was just published begins the eighteenth year of the Mountain Park News. I can recall writing articles on all sorts of birds and wildflowers, bears, trees, mountain lions, pronghorn, bobcat, pleasing fungus beetles, squirrels, owls, biological soil crusts…but, … [Read more...] about Vuja de
I’ve been reading about how we need to get behind president-elect Trump so he has a successful presidency. If a successful presidency would be defined as finding common ground to begin healing the divide that so defines our country right now, I’m all for it. I suspect, though, that the president-elect and the team he is gathering to run the country would define a successful presidency primarily as the successful implementation of his campaign promises. One of his defining promises has to do … [Read more...] about My views on Trump and Climate Change
Forty years is made up of a whole lot of individual days. It is what happens routinely in those days that add up to make a life, or a marriage. Sure, vacations are nice, breaks from the routine, opportunities to do some different things and see some different places. But vacations are just that - temporarily vacating the familiar. Then it is back to the familiar. One of our philosophies of creating a happy life, and marriage, is to make the familiar - the everyday days with the everyday tasks … [Read more...] about 40 Day Love Fest: Daily Marriage Practices for Easy Living
This song sums up what we strive for...in our day to day connection. ps Let us know if you love this song by David Wilcox as much as we do. Dave and Helene Van Manen celebrate living intentionally together for 40 years with honoring 40 days during the summer of 2016. They have joined forces to raise children, create music, build a community non-profit and more. Kindness is one of the secret ingredients in their recipe for loving. … [Read more...] about 40 Day Love Fest: Kindness Guides Our Days