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Ron Finley: How Urban Gardening Can Change Your Lifestyle

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Ron Finley, the Urban Gardener, isn’t your ordinary gangster, which is well and good for a chat with Marc Angelo. The two share a powerful discussion of the difference between promoting a cause and taking action on it, and there are few people in the world more qualified to have that talk.

Ron’s moniker, the Guerrilla Garden Gangster, sprang up as naturally as the food-bearing plants he started producing in his urban gardens. Green stretch between the sidewalk and the street? Ron turned it into a garden. Tall, fruitless tree? Ron grafted in fruit-bearing branches to take advantage of the growth.

He explains that “soil is everything… it’s where life comes from,” and identifies that as the focal point of a strong community. What he saw in his own life was wasted space, food deserts caused by industrialization and strange policies which failed to take advantage of the actual space in an environment and the many opportunities for urban gardens.

It’s that sort of action that Marc and Ron both promote — getting people out and active in their communities, demanding that corporations be held accountable by not purchasing their goods, and learning how to care for ourselves. Ron exclaims, “I had sixty people putting in an urban garden while you are all are marching. Which do you think is more effective?

The secret, the great trick that both of these men used to achieve their success, is easily underestimated and often ignored by even the most passionate people.

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That secret? Turn every goal into an immediate action.

That secret is only a small part of what makes this urban gardener a ‘new age gangsta,’ so if you want to find out more, tune in to the podcast and hear them discuss what it would take to solve California’s water crisis, design better systems, and inspire communities to grow and work together.

Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe this podcast to make sure that others can get in on the action as well!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

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[divider]Podcast Highlights[/divider]

Main Questions 

  • What made you decide to really reclaim this land and form your urban gardens? [4:00]
  • Where did you learn urban gardening, and from where did the inspiration come to do this? [6:30]
  • What should people do to fix all of our food supply problems? [39:30]

Key Points Made by Marc Angelo and Ron Finley

  • Ron Finley considers where he lives not just a food desert, but a food prison. His plan was to break those bars by planting urban gardens in place of the grass strips of the parkways. [3:00]
  • In light of the California drought crisis and everything else we’re seeing with climate change, how is it still illegal to enact such simple solutions to problems like this? [13:30]
  • Companies will only work for a greater change — in the health of consumers or the environment, etc. — when they’re blasted for their mishaps and demands are made that they be held accountable. [17:00]
  • So much of our food, including our wine, comes out of California. Thirty plus million people live in that state, so if they run out of water, what do we expect is going to happen? [18:30]
  • We need to begin working with companies to help them and encourage them to pursue better business practices. We can’t just expect them to change of their own volition. [22:30]
  • Revolution doesn’t come from marching and protesting alone, it comes from taking action. If you want to take away Monsanto’s power,  plant an urban garden. [25:00]
  • We don’t realize that fallen leaves, fallen trees — those are natural. Those are the system feeding itself. It’s essential to understand how the system works so we can cooperate with it, and stop fighting against it. [29:30]
  • The challenge for us is to make sustainability sexy. To remove the stigma of the dirty hippies and the crazy activists, and to begin to demonstrate that sustainability is essential to everybody — even gangster gardeners. [30:30]
  • We’re causing devastation on so many fronts at once, through our overuse of chemical antibacterials and antibiotics, that nobody is paying attention to how it all culminates together. [38:00]
  • Nobody is coming into our communities and throwing trash there — it’s us. What’s “gangster” to Ron Finley is coming together to create a better community and break free of that prison of big AG and turning the food deserts into abundant urban gardens. [40:45]
  • Don’t wait for somebody to tell you how to make a change, or to give you permission. Get out there and put your shovel in the ground. Ron Finley is not a saint, he’s just a guy, and so are you. [48:30]

Powerful Quotes

  • “There is no such thing as learning if you’re not doing it.” – Marc Angelo Coppola [13:20]
  • “I had sixty people putting in an urban garden while you all were marching. Now who do you think was more effective?” – Ron Finley [25:20]
  • “If we’re not talking about it, if we’re leaving it as some fringe topic for only the few to talk about, it’s going to start biting us in the ass, and it already is.” -Marc Angel Coppola [34:50]
  • “This shit to me is a form of slavery for everybody. We’re like slaves to big AG. They control our food, all of it.” – Ron Finley [37:20]
  • “Why don’t you churches get together instead of with your ‘my religion is better than yours’ bullshit, and get together and put in a healthy food market… isn’t that doing good business? If your people live longer, don’t you get more money?” – Ron Finley [43:50]

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Trump EPA OKs ‘Emergency’ Use of Bee-killing Pesticide On 13.9 Million Acres For The Next 4-6 Years

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced “emergency” approvals to spray sulfoxaflor — an insecticide considered “very highly toxic” to bees — on nearly 14 million acres of crops known to attract bees.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do corrupt federal regulatory agencies have the power to do what they please, regardless of how many people oppose it? Why do their actions not take into consideration all life on Earth and the environment when they are tasked to do so?

It’s no secret that pesticides have been killing bees in extreme numbers, especially in North America. Many other countries have imposed bans and restrictions on the pesticides that are sprayed in Canada and America. The idea that pesticides are killing bees in mass amounts isn’t really up for debate, and it’s something that we here at Collective Evolution have been creating awareness about for nearly 10 years.

Since 2006, when the term “Colony Collapse Disorder” or CCD was coined in the U.S., commercial beekeepers have reported extraordinary losses averaging 29 to 45 percent per year. Such losses are unprecedented — more than double what is considered normal. In the last several years, neonicotinoid pesticides — both alone and in combination with other pesticides — have emerged as a key catalyst behind this disturbing phenomenon, both because of their direct toxicity to bees and their indirect and cascading effects. If you’d like to learn more about this, there are countless examples and studies online.

The question that’s most important to ask is: Why and how are substances like these getting approved by our federal health regulatory agencies when they are clearly wreaking havoc on human, animal, and insect health? They are destroying nature.

We must acknowledge that our federal health regulatory agencies have been completely compromised. Big corporations have “captured them (our regulatory agencies) and turned them into sock puppets. They’ve compromised the press.” – Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (source)

This is evident thanks to so many examples, including testimonies from employees within these agencies. Known as the ‘Spider Papers,’ a group called the CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research, or CDC SPIDER, put a list of complaints in a letter to the CDC Chief of Staff and provided a copy of the letter to the public watchdog organization U.S. Right to Know (USRTK).

We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency.  It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviors.

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These rouge parties include pesticide manufacturing companies like Monsanto, which is now Bayer. This is also why we constantly see a ‘revolving door’ of employees that go to and from these corporations and our federal regulatory agencies. Merck’s Julie Gerberding is one of several great examples. 

This is why it wasn’t a big surprise when the Environmental Protection Agency recently announced their “emergency” approval of spray sulfoxaflor — an insecticide considered “very highly toxic” to bees — on nearly 14 million acres of crops known to attract bees. Crops of cotton and sorghum in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia are all included in the approval, and 10 of the 11 states have been granted approval for at least four consecutive years for the same “emergency.” Five have been given approval for at least six consecutive years.

5.8 million acres in Texas are implicated, which is home to more than 800 species of bees native to that area. This also includes Monarch butterflies and eight species of bumblebees.

According to the Center For Biological Diversity,

The EPA may approve temporary emergency uses of pesticides, including unapproved pesticides, if it determines they are needed to prevent the spread of an unexpected outbreak of insects.

But the agency has routinely abused this authority, as chronicled in the Center’s report, Poisonous Process: How the EPA’s Chronic Misuse of ‘Emergency’ Pesticide Exemptions Increases Risks to Wildlife. The report found that the alleged “emergencies” cited are foreseeable occurrences.

Last year the EPA’s Office of the Inspector General released a report finding that the agency’s practice of routinely granting “emergency” approval for pesticides across millions of acres does not effectively measure risks to human health or the environment.

In response to a lawsuit by beekeepers, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the EPA’s original registration of sulfoxaflor in 2015. The EPA’s 2016 registration for sulfoxaflor — purportedly designed to ensure essentially no exposure to bees — excluded crops like cotton and sorghum that are attractive to bees.

A study published last year in Nature found that sulfoxaflor exposure even at low doses had severe consequences for bumblebee reproduction. The authors cautioned against the EPA’s current trajectory of replacing older neonicotinoids with nearly identical insecticides like sulfoxaflor. A major study published earlier this year found that more than 41 percent of the world’s insect species are on the fast track to extinction, and that a “serious reduction in pesticide usage” is key to preventing their extinction.

This is politics for you. Presidents and politicians have always been frontmen for corporations and the global elite. These are people that clearly do not care about our planet, the environment, or the beings that live on it. All that seems to be of concern to them is major profit. Furthermore, the drastic and inhumane acts like the spraying of these pesticides, which not only contribute to a massive bee decline, but have harmful implications on human and animal health as well as the environment, makes one wonder what the heck is really going on?

Who in their right mind would approve such a thing? And how is it even justifiable? It’s confusing and heart-breaking to say the least.

The Takeaway

Jane Goodall once told the world that “there are people in government who truly agree when I talk with them, they agree that this mine shouldn’t go ahead, or that dam shouldn’t be built, or Monsanto shouldn’t be allowed to test its seeds here. It’s corruption really, the might of money, the corporations that hold governments in their hands because of lobbying power and so forth, it’s really frightening.”

So, what can we do about it? Well, we can keep using our voices and creating awareness, because that’s the only thing that’s ever lead to any type of change within this area. There are countless activists out there working on this issue, and that’s because we are awake, aware, and clearly see what the problem is.

Now more than ever people are well aware of how big business and money completely control politics. Not everything we see on the surface is accurate, and this awareness alone leads to a change in perception. No, the president and presidents before him are not who you think they are, they are simply puppets. Politics has never really served the people and the planet, it simply provides the illusion that it does.

You Can Help Stop The 5G Infrastructure

We plan to investigate the telecom industry, it’s ties to politics, and expose its efforts to push 5G while ignoring the dangers and without proper safety testing, but we can't do it without your support.

We've launched a funding campaign to fuel our efforts on this matter as we are confident we can make a difference and have a strong plan to get it done.

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Scotland Has Added 22 Million Trees Since Last Year!

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Scotland is leading the way for Europe when it comes to reforestation, having just announced that last year they planted more than 22 million trees.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are we constantly bombarded with fear, chaos and negativity from mainstream media? Why are we never provided with good news or solutions to the worlds issues?

Deforestation is such a huge problem on our planet, and it’s all for profit. It’s not needed at all, and if the Earth and its wellbeing were our top priorities, as they should be, it wouldn’t really be happening. That being said, human beings have tremendous potential to restore the Earth, and as the masses become more and more conscious about Earth and the environment, the closer we get to restoration.

A great example comes from Scotland, where the government announced that in 2018, they flew past their national tree planting goals by planting over 22 million trees. How incredible is that? This equates to approximately 43 square miles (11,200 hectares) of new forestry in 2018 alone.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “This is fantastic news that we’ve smashed the targets. It is testament to the Scottish Government making forestry a priority and investing and helping growing the industry.” He also said that “In Scotland alone, around 9.5 million tonnes of CO2 each year are removed from the atmosphere by our forests – this is a clear example of why an increase in tree planting is so important in the fight against climate change.”

Planting trees is great, and it’s extremely necessary in order to restore our planet, clean our air, and help regulate multiple greenhouse gases. It’s a huge necessity for so many reasons.

We here at Collective Evolution have always been huge advocates of cleaning up our water ways, the restoration of forests, clean energy, and much more. Obviously, we still have a long way to go. When it comes to the CO2 issue in particular, you can read more regarding our thoughts about that here.

This news from Scotland also comes off the heels of a recent data release from NASA, as they happily reported that the Earth is greener, with more trees than 20 years ago thanks to efforts from China and India.

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The Takeaway

Mainstream media sources portray a constant state of worry, fear, anxiety and hysteria on several different issues. When it comes to mainstream media, a lot of information is unfortunately false, made up and used to serve the agenda of various financial elite groups. We now know this for a fact, as multiple documents have surfaced outlining the close connections between mainstream media and government/intelligence agencies. We also have operation Mockingbird, a CIA program that used mainstream media to manipulate the perception of the masses on certain issues, like geopolitics for example. We’ve also had multiple award winning mainstream media journalists come out and state multiple times that mainstream media is nothing but a mouth piece for the government, the financial elite and various corporations.

It’s unfortunate, but it’s the truth.

For years, we’ve been fed nothing but propaganda and fear, our minds have been programmed and manipulated, and we rarely see any good news stories. Is our planet really as bad as it’s been presented to us? Sure, there are several issues that we need to take care of. We need to heal the planet and fix many things, but at the same time, we must remember that there are still a lot of good things happening, and there are good initiatives and efforts to be proud of.

Our world is a beautiful place, and there’s just as much turmoil as there is ‘good’ stuff, perhaps we just don’t know it because we are never shown it. All we are presented with is chaos, and that chaos is frequently used to justify certain actions by the global elite, which always seems to impose more restrictions on us and take more of our rights away.

You Can Help Stop The 5G Infrastructure

We plan to investigate the telecom industry, it’s ties to politics, and expose its efforts to push 5G while ignoring the dangers and without proper safety testing, but we can't do it without your support.

We've launched a funding campaign to fuel our efforts on this matter as we are confident we can make a difference and have a strong plan to get it done.

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The #Trashtag Challenge Is Inspiring People To Clean Up Beaches & Parks

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A viral 'Trashtag Challenge' is spreading across the internet and encouraging people to clean up litter, while at the same time taking a before and after picture to show the world.

  • Reflect On:

    Imagine what we could do as a collective if all 7 billion of us came together for one cause. We could literally change anything we wanted to. On a side note, why do we still use plastic when it's completely unnecessary?

Hashtags are obviously quite popular, and it’s great when one sparks efforts that lead to direct action and change. The latest example is the #trashtag challenge, which has inspired people to go to locations covered in garbage, pick up trash, and then post ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures. As of yesterday, more than 26,000 posts were tagged on Instagram, and as a result, more and more volunteers are picking up trash wherever they are and posting their own before and after pictures.

Initiatives like this make you wonder what would happen if several people on our planet all came together for one common purpose. Just imagine the change we could create. If you think about it, we could literally create anything we wanted, and solve anything we wanted to. Most of the issues we face in this world, if not all of them, are because of us, which means we have the power to solve these issues. Together we are co-creating the human experience, and anytime we want to change the game, ultimately, we can.

If you want to play devils advocate and argue against this point, you might say, “Yeah, but that will never happen.” But that’s not the point. The point is to recognize and acknowledge the fact that yes, if billions of people came together for a specific purpose it would, without a doubt, manifest.

While we are talking about trash, it’s odd that we still manufacture products using plastic. Obviously, it’s big business for many, but humanity has the potential to completely revolutionize and clean up our planet. This includes manufacturing all products with a biodegradable substance that causes no harm to the planet. Hemp is a great example of a substitute for plastic, concrete, paper, oil, and many other substances. It makes absolutely no sense to use plastic given that there are so many environmentally-friendly alternatives. This is one of many confusing things about humanity’s actions.

 

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It’s not quite clear on where it all started, but it might have been this post below.

Below is a posted on Reddit by u/idontknowjack69.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, change comes from within. Personally, I know if I was in a position of power to make billions of dollars by bottling water with plastic, or by using plastic in any mass manufacturing process with the intention of worldwide distribution, I wouldn’t do it. There are people who would, and people that do, and those are the people who need to experience a shift in consciousness and values. This shift is happening within many people all over the world, and the ripple will continue to spread and eventually touch those who control our planets resources.

Something’s gotta give.

You Can Help Stop The 5G Infrastructure

We plan to investigate the telecom industry, it’s ties to politics, and expose its efforts to push 5G while ignoring the dangers and without proper safety testing, but we can't do it without your support.

We've launched a funding campaign to fuel our efforts on this matter as we are confident we can make a difference and have a strong plan to get it done.

Check out our plan and join our campaign here.

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