The Charge to Protect


Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth. —Albert Schweitzer

I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of skeptically and dictatorially. —E. B. White

The Environmental Protection Agency was launched in the United States on December 2, 1970. The legislation came after over a decade of increasing alarm over environmental degradation, the most resounding of those alarms being Rachel Carson’s 1962 bestseller, Silent Spring. Carson’s specific focus was pesticide, but as evidenced by the quotations prefacing her book, above, her wider environmental goal was to emphasize the need for stewardship principles and the regulatory muscle to pursue them.

When he was appointed the first administrator of the EPA, William D. Ruckelshaus endorsed those stewardship principles by declaring that “the technology which has bulldozed its way across the environment must now be employed to remove impurities from the air, to restore vitality to our rivers and streams, to recycle the waste that is the ugly by-product of our prosperity.” Today, many environmentalists feel that Carson’s legacy and the mandate Ruckelshaus envisioned for the EPA are in peril. Shortly after Scott Pruitt took over at the EPA this spring, the Trump administration rescinded the Clean Air Plan and the Clean Power Plan — the CPP about-turn symbolically announced in the Rachel Carson Green Room at the EPA offices.

When recently announcing a decision not to ban the agricultural pesticide chlorpyrifos, Pruitt said that the EPA is “returning to using sound science in decision-making, rather than predetermined results.” In Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake, Kathryn Miles notes that many scientists and environmentalists regard such comments by Pruitt as the new guiding principle at the EPA, one that turns a deaf ear to scientific alarm bells. In her chapter on fracking, Miles notes how “energy companies continue to bank on the opportunities that a lack of specific correlation or scientific certainty affords,” and how many scientists — the passage below is based on comments by the geologist Todd Halihan, a fracking specialist — feel silenced and discredited:

He says a lack of total certainty never used to be a sticking point when it came to making safe choices based on the best science. We’re always going to have some inherent uncertainty when it comes to induced seismicity, he says: “That’s how this problem works. We have variabilities concerning wells, concerning pressure, concerning emerging science about faults.” That’s nothing all that novel, he says. Instead, what is new is what we do with that uncertainty. “We used to believe that a perspective of uncertainty would be a reason to slow down something. Now uncertainty is being used to avoid things.”

In Toxin Toxout, their sequel to Slow Death by Rubber Duck, Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith focus on the protectionism that individuals might practice to save both themselves and the environment from “the so-familiar, so surprisingly toxic icons of our global consumer culture.” The danger lies not with the individual products, many of which contain toxins at levels believed to be safe, but with the cumulative effect:

Significantly, an increasing number of studies are now indicating that the extent to which people can withstand the toxic chemical cocktail we are all exposed to is highly variable and at least partly based on their genetic makeup. But do you want to play that kind of Russian roulette?

In No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process, Colin Beavan offers a more radical approach to environmental health — not purging your toxins but, as described in his chapter “How a Schlub Like Me Gets Mixed Up in a Stunt Like This,” taking a scalpel to your entire lifestyle:

For one year, my wife, baby daughter, and I, while residing in the middle of New York City, attempted to live without making any net impact on the environment. Ultimately, this meant we did our best to create no trash (so no take-out food), cause no carbon dioxide emissions (so no driving or flying), pour no toxins in the water (so no laundry detergent), buy no produce from distant lands (so no New Zealand fruit). Not to mention: no elevators, no subway, no products in packaging, no plastics, no air conditioning, no TV, no buying anything new . . .

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Militants & Military: Pakistan’s Unholy Alliance

Admitting extremist Islamists into the electoral process—groups that have not reconciled with the state and do not subscribe to the constitution or to democracy itself—will pave the way for an even more deadly cycle of violence. If a small fringe group can force the resignation of the justice minister for not being religious enough, Pakistan’s future looks grim. A genuine opposition that could be a counterweight to these machinations—a strong middle class, modern democratic political parties, a vibrant civil society, robust human rights groups, and free media—barely exists.

Covering over 400,000 acres in southeast Georgia, Okefenokee…

Covering over 400,000 acres in southeast Georgia, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest intact freshwater ecosystems in the world. The swamp is home to over 600 plant species and provides habitat for an amazing variety of amphibians and birds. You can also see black bears and of course, American alligators. Here’s one swimming towards a rainbow. Photo by Sarah Wyatt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The 7 Side Effects of Overtraining Syndrome

The 21st century is the Golden Age of Exercise. Never before has there been such a keen fixation with being fit. People go crazy over yoga, spin class, the treadmill, the elliptical, and the good old jogging/running.

While the significance of exercise can’t be over-emphasized, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Research has shown that overtraining syndrome or engaging in too much exercise does indeed have significant side effects.


Too much exercise puts those who exercise for more than two hours at risk of getting Multiple Sclerosis (MS). According to the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics Sports Journal, too much stress on the body, such as engaging in strenuous exercises, can actually cause the Leaky Gut Syndrome.

It weakens the lining of the gut, leading to the entry of germs into the bloodstream. This poisoning is a major cause of MS and a host of other illnesses.

Multiple Sclerosis has been known to bind people to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives and it would be somehow ironic to lose your mobility because you couldn’t keep your legs off the treadmill.

Abnormal heart rhythm

Another side effect of overtraining syndrome is the occurrence of arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythms. Research suggests that excessive endurance exercises can cause changes in the heart muscles. These changes expose athletes to arrhythmia that increases the risk of cardiac death.

This is a sharp warning to those who self-righteously think that only smokers and drug addicts are at risk of arrhythmia. If your resting heart rate has increased by more than five beats per minute, you might want to pick the sofa over the treadmill. Your heart will thank you for it.

See Also: 10 Habits That Can Prevent Heart Disease

Weak immune system

It is a well-known fact that exercise makes one stronger. However, too much exercise does the opposite.

During exercise, a hormone called cortisone is produced. This hormone is essentially beneficial to athletes as it decreases swelling, stimulates gluconeogenesis, and increases the breakdown of protein in the liver. Unfortunately, it’s also immunosuppressive, which means that it can make athletes more prone to getting sick because of a weakened immune system

Weak bones

bone pain

Research suggests that overproduction of cortisol interferes with bone building.

When the hormone is in the bloodstream, there is more bone tissue being broken down than being deposited. This explains why people who are over-exerting themselves are more at risk of getting fractures. Moreover, as bone density decreases, conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis are more likely to happen.

Ill mental health

Exercising has been known to release the feel-good hormone dopamine. It’s one of the reasons why athletes keep going back to the gym.

Overtraining, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. It releases the same biochemical markers as those diagnosed with clinical depression. In addition to that, athletes who overtrain can also experience apathy, irritation, and hostility, which are similar symptoms of clinically depressed people.

Sleep disorders

sleep disorders

Too much exercise can also affect a person’s sleeping habits. People who overtrain experience insomnia at night. They may also find themselves extremely tired during the day and feel sleepy. This can definitely affect your productivity at work.

See Also: Importance Of Sleep: How It Can Put Your Health In Serious Jeopardy

Eating disorders

Less common but equally troubling is the effect of overtraining on people’s eating habits.

Most people exercise as a way to lose weight. And while normal exercise routines do deliver intended results, those that overtrain become prone to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. One good reason is the false belief of people that consuming food would only get in the way of them achieving the body they want.


While health and fitness remain key reasons why many choose to exercise, the biggest reason is still aesthetics. With images of toned arms, firm thighs, sculpted calves, and rock-hard abs continue to be in demand, who wouldn’t feel motivated to exercise?

For as long as the standards of beauty are this high, people will continue to get their sweat on. It is important, however, to keep track of how much pressure we are putting on our bodies so that we can avoid the side effects listed above.

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How To Avoid Burnout At Your Job

Stress that builds over time can lead to burn out. Once you have it, you’ll have a hard time doing your best at work and this can affect your productivity. Apart from that, burnout can also cause a lot of health problems.

Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to prevent and recover from burnout. We’ll get to that in a bit but first, let’s talk about the signs first.

What Are The Signs Of Burnout?

When you feel like your job doesn’t matter or when you are constantly feeling frustrated, you might be starting to get burned out. Job stress can build over time and if you don’t deal with it as it comes, you run the risk of ending up in a really bad place.

Some of the most common signs of burnout include:

  • Being overly cynical or critical
  • Forcing yourself to get back on task
  • Trying to find the motivation to go to work
  • Being short-tempered with your colleagues
  • Experiencing a drastic shift in your eating or drinking habits
  • Not being thankful for your job

Stress builds over time and can overwhelm you if you aren’t careful. Little things can seem like huge things if you let them build. This stress can creep into your personal life and start to affect your health over time.

Who Gets Burnout The Most?

job burnout

People working in high-stress jobs are more prone to experiencing burnout than other people. The list includes:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Teachers
  • Social workers
  • School leaders
  • Attorneys
  • Police officers and other law enforcers
  • Public accountant
  • People working in fast food

Anyone who deals with the public on a regular basis is prone to being abused for no good reason. Think of the people at your local burger restaurant getting yelled at for things that are completely out of their control. The same is true for teachers who have to deal with kids who are having problems at home and doctors and nurses who deal with sick and dying people on a regular basis.

All that stress can build up and lead to serious problems.

How Can Burnout Affect Your Life

heart attack

When you don’t deal with your stress, it will build and eventually boil over. It can also lead to serious long-term health consequences such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Diabetes
  • Anxiety

You know how sometimes you will have a bad day and a minor annoyance will set you over the edge? That’s what happens when you don’t deal with chronic burnout. Eventually, it will manifest itself in more serious ways.

See Also: 10 Habits That Can Prevent Heart Disease

How to Avoid Burnout

Taking time to take care of yourself is important when you are starting to get burned out. When you notice the signs, it’s time to act. Don’t wait until your health suffers from stress before you make changes in your habit.

Some of the most useful and effective ways to deal with building stress include:

  • Unplug and take a break from the digital world
  • Delegate tasks whenever possible
  • Get regular exercise
  • Make sure you are sleeping a full 7 to 8 hours a night
  • Meditate or do relaxation breathing

Taking time out to do a few little things to relieve your stress can make all the difference. Addressing your stressors head on can prevent them from building up and leading you to more serious problems.

See Also: 4 Ways To Reduce Stress Inside and Outside of Work

When you are ready to confront your burnout, you are ready to change your life for the better. Some people never learn how to deal with their stress and it often ends up costing them dearly. You have the power to prevent stress at work from taking over your life and ruining your health. Learn more about dealing with your stress before it burns you out completely from this infographic!

Burnout Recovery
Source: Best Medical Degrees

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4 Ways to Eliminate the Fear of Failure

You’re reading 4 Ways to Eliminate the Fear of Failure, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

The fear of failure is something that all of us encounter at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, that is just the way we are programmed as humans.

On the other hand there are many different ways that you can help eliminate the fear of failure today, tomorrow and beyond.

It starts with one thing. You!

That might seem like an easy thing to do, but it isn’t. What I’ve done is broken down 4 of the Most important things you can do Today, that will help you eliminate the fear of failure.

Clear Mindset toward Your Goals

Here is something that we might not think of as extremely important, but it is.

Think of it this way, the Fear of Failure is all psychology, we start thinking about the things that we want to achieve, then our minds start fighting back. That is just the way things work, and again how we are wired.

When you go into things thinking about one thing and one thing only, your Goals, then you are already taking a very crucial step into not being afraid to fail. Your goals must be very specific and most importantly attainable.

When you put these things together you are setting yourself up for success. Mindset is always the first step to anything big, especially when it comes to better yourself overall.

Having the Right Idea of Failure

Here is a tricky one.

You might be thinking,

Why would knowing what failure is help me not fear it?


Knowing what failure is to your helps create a better understanding to what you are dealing with. Failure is different to every individual person.

For example, my biggest idea of failure is letting people down. Whereas you might be afraid not to land a job, or finish school or get that big promotion. Failure is a HUGE thing in our lives, and we are burdened each and every day with it.

Knowing what failure is to you, will help you have the right approach when combating it.

Accepting that Failure is a part of the “Process”

Now if you are anything like me, you are always working ten steps ahead of everyone else. Which that is great and all, but you will encounter failure in one form or another.

The kicker here is that you don’t have to sit there and expect failure, but you have to simply understand it is a part of the process of life. Whether you are looking to start your own business, do better as a parent, find your own motivation  or whatever the case may be, you have to accept failure.

It is natural to fear something that is inevitable, which is one of the biggest reasons why we always are discouraged when failure does hit. However, if we are heading into Life’s ventures knowing that at some point we are going to face failure, then when that time comes its easier.

Having the Right Support System

Here is the most important of these 4 ways to Eliminate the Fear of Failure, having the right Support System.


This doesn’t always have to mean having 1 person to lean on when things get rough. First and foremost you have to be able to support yourself through everything that happens in life and success. Failure is again going to happen.

You might have that one person who is there and always has believed in you no matter what, or you may have yourself.

Whatever the case may be, you must be able to count on that one person to be there when failure hits. Knowing that someone has your back, will ease your mind and oftentimes you won’t even think about the failures anymore.


Support is the biggest deterrent in any sort of fear based system. Once again, this is all about psychology, and if our minds aren’t thinking about failure, or don’t have to worry if failure happens, then we live our lives in a much better light.

Dustin Meyer, Editor and Writer for The Evolutionary Mind. I have
a strict passion for expressing realistic ways to help as many people as I
can, and Pride myself in the writing that I do. I’m a new Father of a
beautiful little Girl, and 2 Step Sons. Along with writing, I’m extremely
passionate about my family and bettering our lifestyle along with others
through writing, video, and branding.

You’ve read 4 Ways to Eliminate the Fear of Failure, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


Bulldozing the Peace Process in Israel

When Netanyahu claims, as he did recently, that Israel’s situation has never been better, he means, in part, that in his own mind he has smashed the Palestinian national movement once and for all. I have no doubt that this has been his goal all along. Indeed, Palestinians in the occupied territories are worn out, demoralized, fenced into small discontinuous enclaves where they lack basic human rights, where their land and other property may be appropriated at any moment, and where they may be arrested and incarcerated at the army’s whim. They are, by now, largely paralyzed by despair. Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem may galvanize them back into action; we shall see.

Beethoven’s Eroica: The First Great Romantic Symphony

Beethoven was the first great Romantic composer, and if you listen closely you can hear the moment he launched a new era in music. It occurs about a minute into the third movement of his Symphony No. 3, Eroica. After ninety-two bars of indeterminate pianissimo throat clearing, the orchestra suddenly scales upward and erupts in a giddy, triumphant, onrushing scherzo: horns at full cry, timpani shaking the floor, strings bowing furiously. A wonderful video clip from 1978 shows an excited Leonard Bernstein making one of his famous “Lenny leaps” in anticipation of the momentous downbeat. This was not another conventional parlor entertainment of the Classical era — of harmless amusements and polite applause. This unprecedented scale and intensity was something new: music to make you laugh through tears, link arms with your brethren, and face the future with new hope. Beethoven the humanist had arrived.

The Eroica revolutionized music. It elevated symphonies to the prime medium for composers’ most important ideas. Orchestras became larger and symphonies longer and denser. (The first movement of the Eroica is longer than many Classical symphonies in their entirety.) Composers had the space to unspool an idea fully, facing the challenge of unifying a work’s longer movements with common themes. Symphonies also became weightier cultural milestones, imbued with lofty purpose. For example, the eminent scholar Lewis Lockwood writes that with the Eroica‘s second movement, “Beethoven introduces death and commemoration into the genre of the symphony for the first time.” The British writer James Hamilton-Paterson contends that the Eroica replaced the “civilized gaiety” of the Classical Viennese tradition with “a narrative of high ethical struggle that ended in triumph.”

Beethoven’s Eroica, by Hamilton-Paterson, is the latest in a fine trend of recent books giving biographical treatment to canonical musical works. Titles have appeared on Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s cello suites, Shostakovich’s string quartets, and Schubert’s song cycle Die Winterreise. Hamilton-Paterson, a British novelist known for his inventiveness and wit, offers an illuminating tour through the cultural, historical, and musical journey of Beethoven’s Third. The book is restrained in its enthusiasm and limited in scope, and Hamilton-Paterson necessarily lacks the expert perspective of scholars like Lockwood or Scott Burnham. Yet fans of this symphony will appreciate the book’s astute commentary and lavish illustrations.

Eroica translates to “hero,” and the original hero Beethoven had in mind was of course Napoleon Bonaparte. Beethoven composed the symphony mainly in 1803, but between then and its 1805 premiere, Napoleon cast off his egalitarian robes and named himself dictator. When Beethoven learned of this treachery he famously ripped the title page in half and scratched out the words “intitolata Bonaparte” so heavily that he tore holes in the paper. It is now generally accepted that, whatever his original intentions, Beethoven’s symphony ultimately embodied the spirit not of any individual hero but of the hero as an abstract ideal.

Or perhaps the hero was Beethoven himself? He composed the Eroica after the greatest personal and spiritual crisis of his life. In October 1802 he finally came to terms with being alone and losing his hearing, drafting the Heiligenstadt Testament, an anguished document combining elements of suicide note, last will, and artistic manifesto. In it he grappled with ending his life but vowed to carry on only in order to continue his work. Composed the following spring, the Eroica may represent his own personal triumph over unimaginable adversity. Its final movement presents variations on a theme Beethoven recycled from his ballet The Creatures of Prometheus. Hamilton-Paterson points out that “the Promethean myth of the eternally suffering hero” must have resonated with the much-put-upon composer.

Hamilton-Paterson writes that the Eroica was “the nineteenth century’s first major avant-garde work: one that severely challenged both performers and its audiences.” Yet his book never quite fleshes out this key point. It is often remarked that the Third was much longer than other contemporary symphonies. On its face this seems a superficial accomplishment. But length afforded greater space for development: the music was richer and more complex than what had come before. Audacious writing for various instruments filled the score; for instance, the cellos — rarely before that point a melodic instrument — carried the main theme from the opening bars. Rhythmic innovations, especially the use of syncopation, kept listeners off balance. Beethoven toyed with motifs and ideas, exploring them in various keys and with different instrumentations, forestalling their ultimate “true” announcement and thereby enriching that moment considerably. Boston University professor Jan Swafford explains in his biography Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph that in the Third, Beethoven

wants his exposition restless and searching, so its themes need to be fragmentary, incomplete, constantly in flux. From the first airing of the Hero theme forward, each idea will start decisively and then drift, avoiding a sense of closure or clear formal articulation. Everything points forward rather than feeling like an arrival.

The result is a work of unprecedented ambition, radical and bold yet marvelously clear. The world had never heard anything like it.

Some audiences were more prescient than others about the Eroica. One early listener whom Beethoven treated to a piano rendition predicted that “heaven and earth will tremble when it is performed.” Yet other critics derided it as “odd and harsh” and even “morally depraved.” They soon came around. The symphony heralded the beginning of Beethoven’s extraordinary middle period, which included the Emperor Piano Concerto, the Appassionata and Waldstein piano sonatas, and the incomparable Fifth Symphony. Each built on the Eroica. At a stroke, Beethoven had torn away the old conventions and brought music into a new century. His Third Symphony is now over 200 years old. It still sounds like the future.

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It’s International Mountain Day! Not only are mountains…

It’s International Mountain Day! Not only are mountains majestic, they’re also critical to the water cycle, food production and tourism. Denali, America’s tallest mountain, is often shrouded in clouds, but on clear days at Denali National Park & Preserve in Alaska, you can see why its name means “The High One.” Photo by Jacob W. Frank, National Park Service.

The Importance of Meeting The Boss Regularly

Everyone knows that effective communication is absolutely necessary to make a relationship successful. Marriages fail every day due to a breakdown in communication between spouses. Professional relationships in the workplace fail for the same reason.

Misunderstandings and differences of opinion can turn into distrust between an employee and the boss. Once that happens, the workflow gets disrupted and the success of the business gets compromised. To prevent any of those things from happening, both parties need to recognize the importance of meetings.

When Meeting Regularly with the Boss is Not an Option

For a lot of employees, having a one-on-one meeting with their boss may not always be possible. This can be due to their demanding schedules and other specific deadlines that they have to meet. For some employees who are located in another office or work site, meeting with their boss regularly isn’t a practical option.

Despite those conditions, meeting with the boss should still be a priority. It’s one of the most effective means for keeping the boss updated.

If you’re one of those employees who work far from the main office or your boss is frequently away, you can turn to technology. The internet provides a lot of means to have a meeting even if the parties are not physically together. You can use your computer or your mobile phone to communicate with your boss regularly.

Things to Communicate to Your Boss

one on one meetings

To keep the boss in the loop of how things are progressing in an organization, it is advisable to keep the lines of communication open on a regular basis. One way to accomplish this is to have a regular or weekly meeting with the boss.

Some of the things to be discussed at the meeting would be:

Status of projects

It is always important to keep the boss updated on the progress of his projects. Provide regular updates and be prepared to have a full report instead of waiting to be asked for it.

Goals and objectives

The boss will want to know how well you are keeping up with your team’s goals and objectives. Meeting with the boss on a regular basis will keep him/her updated on how things are progressing and what goals and objectives are yet to be met. While written reports outline the details of your progress, being able to discuss and explain the report is much more effective.

Personal goals

A good boss will want to keep employees motivated. Therefore, he/she will want to know more about the goals or personal ambitions of the employees. These things are best discussed in a one-on-one meeting.

Ongoing issues

Most bosses prefer hearing about issues as they happen and what is being done to address them. A regular meeting with the boss can provide the necessary updates regarding those issues.

Projection of possible issues down the road

Since no boss likes being caught off-guard with bad news, your boss will want to know any potential challenges that could pop up in the near future. So, regularly communicate any negative issues concerning his employees and what things can be done to address them.

Responses to last meetings

It sounds like common sense, but employees often get so wrapped up in their day-to-day issues that they forget to address issues that were discussed at their last meeting with the boss.

Read your notes and review them from time to time. This way, you’ll have an answer to your boss in case he asks related questions on your next meeting.

Wants and needs

The boss will not know what tools, resources or training you need to be successful unless you tell him. He’ll likely assume that all is well unless he hears otherwise. If you have any request or demand, don’t hesitate to communicate it during the meeting.

Updates on schedule for upcoming vacations

It is prudent to always compare schedules with the boss to know when the boss will be going on vacation and when an employee will be out of the office as well.

Input for strategic plan of the organization

Meeting with the boss can be a great opportunity to share thoughts and ideas about what’s happening in the workplace. It’s also a good chance to alert the boss about the things that can hinder the business’ success. Honest, frank discussions where ideas can be exchanged between the boss and the employees can help in the achievement of the organization’s goals.

Building Trust

meeting importance

Regular meetings establish trust, mutual respect, and care. And the more often these meetings occur, the less anxiety employees will have when sharing honest information concerning the boss and the business. The boss, on the other hand, will find it easier to rely on his employees, knowing that they are doing their best in their job.

See Also: How To Make Meetings More Effective

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