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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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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.

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NASA Happily Reports The Earth Is Greener, With More Trees Than 20 Years Ago Thanks To China & India

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Thanks to China and India, human-induced 'greening' has increased by 5% across the earth!

  • Reflect On:

    Why are we only getting the 'bad news' stories about the climate all the time? Is it politically convenient? Does it fit narratives? Is it always true? Are we only being told one side? Are we meant to remain in fear?

Amidst the climate alarmism that is sometimes misplaced, there are stories that paint a different picture.

Like the study published in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate showing that climate models exaggerate global warming from CO2 emissions by as much as 45%.

Or the study in the journal Nature Geoscience that found that climate models were faulty. As one of the authors put it, “We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models.”

How about the findings from the University of Alabama-Huntsville showing that the Earth’s atmosphere appears to be less sensitive to changing CO2 levels than previously assumed?

Or the fact that Polar Bear populations are increasing?

According to data collected by the federal government, polar bears along the entire west coast of Baffin Island are ‘stable.’ On the southeastern side of the island (around the Nunavut capital of Iqaluit) polar bears have even experienced a ‘likely increase.’ It’s only on the island’s northeastern corner — in a management area that meets Greenland — that polar bears are suspected to be in decline.”

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And here, the topic of this article, our world is literally a greener place than it was 20 years ago according to data from NASA satellites.  The cause of the greenery? Human-induced activity in China and India.

My point in all I wrote above is what we hear in the media is typically only one side of the picture, and it does not give us an accurate representation of what’s going on. For years now, we have been reporting on environmental issues from a grounded perspective here at CE. Looking at data, looking beyond the politics and simply at what’s happening. This approach shows you things are troubling in certain areas like pollution, air quality, EMF exposure and so forth, but the number one climate story we always hear about, C02 warming the atmosphere, simply does not hold water from the perspectives of many scientists and it hasn’t for the 10 years we have been reporting on it.

I recall a conversation I had with Gregg Braden where we were discussing research about the climate and what the data is TRULY showing. Amidst all the C02 alarmism I asked “Gregg… it appears to me that it’s more likely we’re headed into a global cooling period than a warming period.” He responded with “that’s precisely what the data shows, and it appears humanity is suffering from amnesia when it comes to the cycles of climate.”

The bottom line is, the majority don’t know the truth and the news is actually a lot better than what we’re being told. The challenge is, it’s more beneficial for power structures and business to keep us in fear.

Related CE Article: A “Little Ice Age” Is Where We Are Heading, According To Multiple Scientists

5 Facts About Climate Change Shared By An Actual Climate Scientist

Study – The Greening Is Human Induced

NASA’s study will come as a surprise to many as we have not been told a balanced perspective on what’s going on with our climate for some time. To reiterate, yes, there are challenges we need to address, mainly pollution of water, land, air and the issues of animal agriculture.

The countries with the world’s biggest populations, China and India, are leading the improvement of ‘greening’ Earth’s land. In 2017 alone, India broke its own world record for the most trees planted after volunteers gathered together to plant 66 million saplings in just 12 hours! This is how fast change can happen!

In the mid 1990s, satellite data began to paint a greener picture, leading to the question as to whether or not human activity was actually helping to green the planet.

After 20 years of data collection from a NASA instrument orbiting the Earth on two satellites called the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), we know that Earth’s green coverage has increased by 5% over the last two decades. This works out to an extra two million square miles.

“China and India account for one-third of the greening, but contain only 9% of the planet’s land area covered in vegetation – a surprising finding, considering the general notion of land degradation in populous countries from overexploitation,” said Chi Chen of the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University and lead author of the study.

MODIS has captured as many as four shots of every place on Earth, every day for the last 20 years.

“This long-term data lets us dig deeper,” said Rama Nemani, a research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center and a co-author of the new work. “When the greening of the Earth was first observed, we thought it was due to a warmer, wetter climate and fertilization from the added carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, leading to more leaf growth in northern forests, for instance. Now, with the MODIS data that lets us understand the phenomenon at really small scales, we see that humans are also contributing.”

Although all of the planting in China and India does not entirely make up for the damage we’re seeing through the clear cutting in Brazil and Indonesia, a good message still emerges here. When we recognize there is an issue, we tend to do something about it.

“Once people realize there’s a problem, they tend to fix it,” he said. “In the 70s and 80s in India and China, the situation around vegetation loss wasn’t good; in the 90s, people realized it; and today things have improved. Humans are incredibly resilient. That’s what we see in the satellite data.”

 The Takeaway

Yes, we are still clear-cutting in ways we should be reflecting on, but this is happening due to a state of global consciousness that puts profits first. From this state of consciousness, we also give power to the government, put responsibility on others, blindly trust government and don’t see ourselves as part of a global community.

When the reference above points to ‘not being totally out of the weeds yet’ this is in reference to the belief that C02 is having a detrimental warming effect, which as we discussed, remains unfounded.

Remaining in a balanced heart centred state of being, we are better equipped to navigate information from a non-emotional state. When we get caught up in alarmism and panic, we tend not to see things clearly. The CE Protocol, that we have been sharing for a while now, was designed to help people not only navigate information but shift their perspective and consciousness such that we can change our world and take action from a NEW state of consciousness instead of the old.

We highly recommend checking it out here.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Thanks To Yao Ming, The Slaughter Of Sharks For Their Fins Is Down 80%

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Thanks to the efforts of Yao Ming, the destructive history of shark fin soup is on the decline and so is the ivory trade in China.

  • Reflect On:

    What is your relationship like with plant and animal life? Do you view it as below you? As there simply to fulfill what you want?

The support for a shark fin soup ban has skyrocketed in China thanks to NBA Hall of Famer and GOAT of Chinese basketball, Yao Ming.

Back in 2011, Ming became the face of an awareness campaign on shark fin consumption that has been effective in raising awareness about an issue many thought was untouchable within Chinese tradition and cuisine. As a result of this campaign, most recent government surveys have shown that shark fin consumption in China has fallen by up to 80%!

Shark fin soup is considered a Chinese delicacy and has a deep history in traditional weddings, banquets and prestigious events. The soup, although considered a luxury item, has slight flavors and isn’t all that unique. Given the amount of suffering and death that goes into creating the soup, you’d imagine there would be something more to it other than light flavors and texture. Then again, our treatment of animals on this planet for even the slightest human benefit has been shocking for decades.

As many as 73 million sharks end up in the global shark fin trade every year according to Oceana.org. In many cases, when sharks are caught, their fins are removed and then they’re thrown back into the ocean to die as they’re unable to swim.

In 2006, as many as 75% of Chinese citizens were unaware that shark fins were actually used in shark fin soup. After awareness increased due to campaigns like the one Yao Ming participated in, public education has shifted the perception on shark fin soup.

Shark fin consumption in China has fallen by up to 80% in the last 10 years. And it just so happens that Yao Ming’s activism on the issue has been going for the exact same amount of time.

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Ming Moved Onto China’s Ivory Trade Next… And Won

With Ming being China’s most powerful celebrity for 5 consecutive years between 2004 and 2009, you can imagine that, in a country of over a billion people, that truly says something in terms of public power. Ming was moved to take on China’s ivory trade and once again used his image and platform to raise awareness about elephant poaching. He teamed up with WildAid to eventually find success in making it illegal to buy Ivory in China.

Chinese state media Xinhua described the run-up to the ban as “one of the largest ever public awareness campaigns” with support from other celebrities such as actress Li Bingbing.

“We all know that there is ‘on paper,’ and under the paper, there’s still a long way to go to save the animals — and then save ourselves,” Ming told CNBC.

Yes, there is more work to be done. The way we treat our environment and the animal kingdom on this planet truly needs to change, and that change will only come from awareness and connecting to self. Great genocide takes place on our planet every single year… and it is that of animals for needless human consumption.

The Takeaway

Even the largest of challenges we face can be changed with the efforts of people. Sure, in this case, it was a celebrity with great influence, but in many other cases, it is large groups of people coming together. The March Against Monsanto is a great example of that. I recall when that was first starting out and we were one of just a small handful of websites who actively raised awareness about Monsanto’s actions – even when other partnering companies wouldn’t work with us because of our efforts in that area of reporting.

Slowly but surely, our stories and articles became more and more viral over the years. The conversations eventually moved to the mainstream, and over time, it is now being turned into action across the planet against GMO foods and practices. Something that started out with just a few people has grown into a global movement thanks to their tireless efforts to do the right thing.

We have the power to do great things. Something that seems small can build to be impactful over time, but even if it doesn’t, doing what inspires you is an incredible energy to add to collective consciousness and inspire others.

Change truly starts within. That’s why I created The 5 Days of You Challenge and made it available for everyone. With this challenge, everyone can begin getting in touch with themselves and making a difference in our world. Check it out here.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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