Don’t Buy This Shirt Unless You Need It
by Yvon Chouinard & Nora Gallagher
Late Summer 2004
Near the headquarters of Patagonia, on the central coast of California, the Chumash Nation enjoyed a good life for thousands of years. They lived in small villages and possessed fur blankets, intricate baskets and soapstone pots decorated with shells. They painted elaborate abstracts in mountain caves. In every village were game-playing fields and sacred buildings. Almost every day, most Chumash enjoyed a cleansing sweat in the village temescal. In each village was a granary for stockpiling food that would later be distributed to those in need.
Chumash traded exquisite olivella shells for black pigment, honeydew melons, pine nuts, wild tobacco and various herbs and salt. By the 16th century, theirs was a complex society of hunters and gatherers with a far-reaching, sophisticated trade network.
Other nations along the western coast shared this life. Gerald Amos, a member (and former chief) of the Haisla Nation in Kitamaat, northwest Canada, recalls a friend of his father who would leave home in the dark to paddle to his trapline four miles by water. He would spend the day walking the lines, checking and resetting the traps. “Along the way back to the boat, during the late fall and early winter, the coho salmon would be still in the creeks that they passed, so they would stop at one of these creeks and take a couple of coho, which they would clean and pack home in their backpack together with what-ever animals they had taken in their traps. The fish provided them with their supper later that night.”
Such lives are often called subsistence, which brings to mind the barest, hardscrabble survival. But there is another way to look at them. At Patagonia we choose to call them “economies of abundance.” In an economy of abundance, there is enough. Not too much. Not too little. Enough. Most important, there is enough time for the things that matter: relationships, delicious food, art, games and rest.
Many of us in the United States live in what is thought to be abundance, with plenty all around us, but it is only an illusion, not the real thing. The economy we live in is marked by “not enough.” We once asked the owner of a successful business if he had enough money and he replied, “Don’t you understand? There is never enough.”
We don’t have enough money, and we also don’t have enough time. We don’t have enough energy, solitude or peace. We are the world’s richest country, yet our quality of life ranks 14th in the world. As Eric Hoffer, a mid-20th century philosopher, put it, “You can never get enough of what you don’t really need to make you happy.”
And while we work harder and harder to get more of what we don’t need, we lay waste to the natural world. Dr. Peter Senge, author and MIT lecturer, says, “We are sleepwalking into disaster, going faster and faster to get to where no one wants to be.”
We might call this economy, the one we live in, the economy of scarcity.
Lest you think the economy of abundance is gone with the old Chumash, consider Europe. Europeans still buy only a few well-made clothes and keep them for many years. Their houses and apartments tend to be smaller than ours; they rely on public transportation, and small, efficient home appliances and cars. Europeans enjoy a 25 percent higher quality of life than Americans (while we consume 75 percent more than they do).
Or, look at the people of Bhutan, whose king insists on measuring “gross national happiness.”
Any person or nation can grow fatter and fatter, richer and richer, sleepwalking toward disaster. Or we can choose to remain lean and quick, wealthy in beauty and time and, that word that inspired our forefathers, wealthy in happiness.
In Patagonia’s environmental campaign this year, we looked at the plight of wild salmon and what it might take for us to become what Ecotrust calls “a Salmon Nation,” a nation of people who make choices that contribute to the health of whole watersheds and the economies of the people who live in them. A salmon nation is a nation of abundance, where people live in a way that fish can thrive. If you think this is an impossible dream, check out Seth Zuckerman’s essay “The Gift: Salmon Recovered” and learn how wild salmon rebounded in Alaska after the state employed sophisticated tools like sonar, stream bank counters and airborne spotters to ensure their salmon were not overfished. In the last two decades, commercial catches in Alaska have more than doubled.
At Patagonia, we are dedicated to abundance. We don’t want to grow larger, but want to remain lean and quick. We want to make the best clothes and make them so they will last a long, long time. Our idea is to make the best product so you can consume less and consume better. Every decision we make must include its impact on the environment. We make ski jackets that are the right jackets, with no compromises, yet they are elegant enough to wear over dress clothes in a storm in Paris. (Most ski jackets sit in the closet nine months out of the year.) We want to zero in on quality.
In the economy of abundance, wild salmon are given back rivers in which to run. Trees grow to their natural height. Water is clean. A sense of mystery and enchantment is restored to the world. We humans live within our means and, best of all, we have the time to enjoy what we have.
Raw Sewage Continues to Flow into Beacon Harbor
Raw Sewage Continues to Flow into Beacon Harbor
No More Dumping! Bill Protecting NYC Waterways Passes
Visitors from Japan Talk About Fukushima
The DRBC has scheduled a special meeting from 10:00 am to 12 pm on October 21, 2011 at the War Memorial in Trenton, NJ to “consider adoption of the regulations”, which would lift the current moratorium on gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin. This would allow fracking to begin in areas of the Basin where the state has given the go ahead (Pennsylvania currently allows fracking; New York will not allow fracking at least until the completion of its fracking environmental impact statement). The DRBC gas drilling regulations would pose a major threat to the New York City Watershed, as the Basin area currently provides 50 percent of the clean, unfiltered drinking water that nine million New Yorkers depend on daily.
Please join us at the steps of the War Memorial at 7:30 am to line up for the hearing. There will be more details on logistics of this event so please check our website for updates.
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is to meet Oct. 11-13 in Galloway, N.J. and is expected to advance new protections for river herring and American shad at sea that will contribute to the resurgence of their coastal populations.
The plan, Amendment 14, includes a range of options to monitor and control the unrestricted catch of river herring and shad by ocean fishing vessels targeting squid or mackerel. From 2005 to 2009, only 8 percent of mackerel and 4 percent of Loligo squid fishing trips were monitored by observers—much lower than similar U.S. fisheries.
Riverkeeper invites you to attend a conversation on Thursday, October 13, in New York City on our campaign to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Our guest speaker will be Hamilton Fish, publisher of the Washington Spectator, president of the Public Concern Foundation, and former publisher of the Nation magazine. We will discuss Riverkeeper’s work to prevent the relicensing of Indian Point to operate for another 20 years, as we head toward critically important federal and state hearings on the fate of the plant. All proceeds will support Riverkeeper’s Indian Point Campaign.
Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America’s first nationally certified organic grocer, will open the doors to its Yonkers store on Wednesday, October 19 at 9 am. The new location will open with a traditional bread breaking ceremony. Opening day will be celebrated with tastings, vendor sampling, special sale items, a limited number of signed copies of Robert F. Kennedy’s book, the Riverkeepers and more. Plus, 5 percent of the total sales from opening day will be donated to Riverkeeper! Join us on the 19th!
Architects’ Sailing Challenge Benefits Riverkeeper
Raw Sewage Continues to Flow into Beacon Harbor
No More Dumping! Bill Protecting NYC Waterways Passes
Visitors from Japan Share Stories from Fukushima
Fracking Call to Action!
Help Save River Herring and Shad
EcoSalon on Indian Point to be Held October 13
Whole Foods Market Opening in Yonkers Benefits RvK
Architects’ Sailing Challenge Benefits Riverkeeper
Water Quality Notification:
Ongoing Sewage Discharge at Beacon Harbor Poses Public Health Risk
Water flowing out of spillway and into the harbor.
Raw sewage is flowing into the Beacon Harbor from a pipe at the northeastern corner of the Harbor. Discovered by a member of the public on Saturday, September 17, the discharge has been flowing for at least 10 days. Riverkeeper sampled the discharge and strongly advises members of the public to avoid contact with the water in Beacon Harbor until the cause of the discharge has been determined and testing confirms that water quality has returned to acceptable levels.
Riverkeeper’s Patrol Boat was on its monthly water quality patrol when the report of the spill was called in to us on Sept. 17. Lipscomb reported the discharge to the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) through its 24-hour dispatch number on Sunday Sept. 18. Riverkeeper also notified the Beacon Harbormaster and Beacon Pool staff.
Boat Captain John Lipscomb returned to the harbor on Friday the 23rd to investigate the discharge, found the discharge was still flowing, and sampled for sewage contamination. The sample taken directly at the discharge pipe hit the limits of Riverkeeper’s on board lab system at >24,196 Enterococcus per 100/ml. That is more than 397 times greater than the EPA guideline for acceptable water quality – 61 Enterococcus per 100/ml.
The Public Has the Right to Know about Sewage in our Waterways
New York State and Dutchess County have no laws that require public notification of a sewage discharge into public waterways such as this, even when the discharge is in an area where the public is known to come into direct contact with the water. Riverkeeper is currently working with State Senator Adriano Espaillat to pass a Sewage Right to Know Law for New York State that will require public notification of all sewage discharges into our waterways. Eleven other states currently have sewage notification laws and some New York counties have one, or are in the process of adopting one.
Save the Date! Fracking Call to Action – October 21
View more images on our Flickr site
- October 21, 2011: 10:00AM to 12:00PM
- Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive Trenton, N.J. map
For over three years, environmental groups have been fighting to protect the Delaware River Watershed from pollution from toxic gas drilling; 69,800 people filed comments with the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) during the comment period on their draft natural gas development regulations, breaking all past records of public interest. In August, Riverkeeper filed a lawsuit along with other environmental groups seeking to stop the DRBC from moving ahead with these inadequate regulations without completing environmental studies required by federal law.
But now the DRBC has scheduled a special meeting from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm on October 21, 2011 at the War Memorial in Trenton, NJ to “consider adoption of the regulations”, which would lift the current moratorium on gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin. This would allow fracking to begin in areas of the Basin where the state has given the go ahead (Pennsylvania currently allows fracking; New York will not allow fracking at least until the completion of its fracking environmental impact statement). The DRBC gas drilling regulations would pose a major threat to the New York City Watershed, as the Basin area currently provides 50 percent of the clean, unfiltered drinking water that nine million New Yorkers depend on daily.
If you want to make a statement about gas drilling and fracking in the Delaware River Watershed, come stand with us on October 21 in Trenton. This is our chance to stand together and insist on protecting our water!
The members of the DRBC – the Governors of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware and the Army Corps of Engineers as the federal representative – will decide the future of this Basin, the Wild and Scenic Delaware River, and the water supply for over 15 million people regionally with their action on October 21. We need to tell them “Don’t Drill the Delaware!”
We will be sending more information on how to get to this hearing and other logistics in October. In the meantime, please mark your calendars and plan to make your voices heard on October 21!
October 21, 2011 is Don’t Drill the Delaware Day!
THE TRUTH ABOUT GAS DRILLING AND YOUR HEALTH
HEALTH RISKS FROM THE FRACKING OF GAS WELLS
Risks to human health are present at every step of the hydraulic fracturing gas extraction process. This includes the potential for contamination of drinking water sources through surface spills, well casing failures, blowouts, and other events, migration of drilling and fracking fluids during drilling or fracking or over time to ground water sources and aquifers through naturally occurring fissures, well blow-outs and well casing failures, noise and VAD (Vibro-Acoustic Disease), radioactive contamination and air contamination by emissions from venting, pipeline leaks, compressor stations and the intense truck traffic required over each well’s life-cycle.
Despite these known hazards, the oil and gas industry is exempt from important provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and other federal environmental laws. The absence of federal regulatory oversight has left it up to individual states to regulate this industry and adequately enforce those regulations.
THERE ARE TOXIC SUBSTANCES AT ALL LEVELS OF THE FRACKING PROCESS
Many of the chemicals used in the fracking process are proven toxins. These include benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene, naphthalene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, methanol, formaldehyde, ethylene glycol, glycol ethers, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, and others, which are hazardous if inhaled, ingested, or contacted by the skin and are considered caustic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic. Of the hundreds of chemicals tested by Endocrine Disruption Exchange, they report that 93% of them affect health and 43% are endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are man-made chemicals that, when absorbed into the body, mimic hormones or block hormones and disrupt the body’s normal function. They have been linked to infertility, ADHD, autism, diabetes, thyroid disorders. Even childhood and adult cancers have been found to be linked to fetal exposure to endocrine disruptors.
In addition to the chemicals used in fracking, the wastewater that is a byproduct of the drilling process picks up salts, naturally occurring radioactive material, barium, magnesium and various other volatile organic compounds, which are also carcinogenic. It has been definitively concluded that the wastewater contains radioactivity and other toxic materials at levels that are frequently geometrically higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for wastewater treatment plants to handle.
THE HARMFUL NEAR AND DISTANT EFFECTS OF THESE TOXIC SUBSTANCES
Exposure to any one or to combinations of this very long list of toxins carries adverse health effects that are also well known and include virtually every system of the body. Known adverse health effects include neurological, pulmonary, gastroenterological, dermatological, immunological, hematological, endocrinological, ophthalmological, reproductive, and genetic illnesses and abnormalities. Intense or chronic exposure to some of these toxins and combinations of toxins can result in death.
The time course for manifestation of illness related to the toxins associated with gas drilling may be months, years, or decades. Environment-related cancers can take 15 to 30 years to develop. In Louisiana, where the petroleum industry is well established, parts of the state are called “cancer alley” as a result of higher lung, liver and other cancers associated with the industry.
THE DENIAL OF THE EFFECTS OF FRACKING FOLLOWS A PATTERN OF DENIAL BY OTHER INDUSTRIES
Contrary to the hard evidence, the drilling industry loudly proclaims that toxic exposures to those living near drilling sites, downwind from drilling sites, and downstream from drilling sites do not take place. This follows a pattern by other industries, such as the cigarette industry, to deny very obvious health consequences of using their “product”. In the 1970s the inhabitants of Love Canal finally succeeded in attracting attention to their plight only when they invited state and federal officials to visit their homes and to expose themselves to the noxious smells and visible chemical vapors and fumes that choked their throats and burned their eyes.
EVIDENCE ABOUT THE WAY THAT GAS DRILLING IS HURTING PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES
Crystal Stroud was a woman in good health before drilling began. She then started to experience loss of hair, tremors, heart palpitations, stomach cramps, loss of balance and slurred speech – symptoms often described by people at other drilling sites around the country. After a thorough investigation it was found that she had barium poisoning, which is extremely rare except for people who work and live near industrial sites. Her well water was tested and found to be contaminated with levels of barium, chloride, strontium, manganese, lead, methane, radiological material, and radon. Her health improved somewhat when she stopped drinking her water.
In Dish, Texas, Mayor Calvin Tillman reports that air pollution from drilling has ruined the quality of life for residents. They report problems with nausea, headaches, breathing difficulties, chronic eye and throat irritation and brain disorders. Results from a study by an environmental firm hired by the town and the Texas Railroad Commission found high levels of multiple chemicals used in fracking fluid, including benzene, toluene and xylene arsenic, barium, chromium, lead and selenium in residential water wells. Given the absence of such symptoms prior to drilling and with no other reasonable source of contamination identified, these findings point to inadequate containment of drilling associated toxins, resulting in correlated adverse health effects.
A recent study from Duke University confirms one plausible mechanism for exposure and adverse health effects related to drilling by demonstrating a significant increase of methane levels in the water supplies of communities near drilling sites. It is incumbent on our elected officials not to ignore this and other strong and compelling evidence and instead to use it to protect us from the dire consequences of unsafe gas drilling using hydrofracking. We cannot proceed blindly, compromising the quality of our water, air, and soils and significantly and negatively impact the health of our citizens for decades.
- September 24: Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day.
Don’t miss the 40th National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHF Day)(http://www.nhfday.org/Page/Home.aspx) celebration on September 24. The NHF Day recognizes hunters, fisherman, and recreational shooters and their explicit role in conservation, while providing Americans a chance to experience, understand, and appreciate the tradition of outdoor sports. Get the family together for the fun and educational hands-on activities that everyone will enjoy at one of the several events located in New York(http://www.nhfday.org/Page/Events-New-York.html).
Photo courtesy Jay Simpson
The frackers are coming! And, they are intent on drilling and leaving behind a trail of destruction. In every state where high-volume fracking has been allowed, the result has been polluted water, dirty air and an industrialized, blighted landscape.
The fracking threat is real and imminent. Albany is gearing up to start permitting as early as April of next year despite the fact that the State admits it’s too short-staffed to handle fracking and that current, 40-year-old regulations must be substantially overhauled. If drilling is allowed to go forward under these conditions, we can kiss our world-class water supply goodbye and it will have grave repercussions for generations to come.
Riverkeeper is determined to stop this and will sue if state officials follow through with their plan to allow fracking before the necessary and proper safeguards are in place.
This is where we need you. With your financial support, Riverkeeper can take the steps to get Governor Cuomo’s attention and make sure he gets this critical issue right. Become a Riverkeeper member with a gift of $40 or more and you’ll make a direct and positive impact on your environment, the health of your drinking water, and the fight against fracking.
Thank you for supporting Riverkeeper’s efforts to protect our precious drinking water resources. With your help, we’ll make sure that nobody fracks with New York’s water!
President and Hudson Riverkeeper
Riverkeeper is a member-supported watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents. Contribute to this vital work, become a member today.
Misako Ishimura with a Japanese tenkara rod in Arkansas. She began fly fishing in the Catskills in 1989.
By JAMES CARD
Published: September 15, 2010
- CROOKED CREEK, Ark. — Misako Ishimura waded knee deep into the current, the water temperature perfect for both swimming and soothing relief from the afternoon sun. But Ishimura, 58, had other things in mind as she swept back her rod and flicked the line upstream in a controlled, gentle cast. The soft-hackle fly dropped into the surface film and drifted near a rock undercut.
Times Topic: Fishing, Sport
A shiver vibrated up the line, and Ishimura leaned back with her rod and brought in a scrappy longear sunfish. From a distance it appeared she was fly fishing in the usual style, but the long, supple rod that she cast had no reel, and the line did not run through guides. The line was knotted at the very tip of the rod and formed a direct connection between her and the fish.
That is the minimalist essence of tenkara, a form of traditional Japanese fly fishing that has begun to attract anglers in the United States.
Although the etymology is unclear, the name tenkara is thought to mean “from the sky” or “from heaven,” which may describe the situation from a trout’s point of view: a mayfly gently touches down on a coldwater stream, a free lunch from above. To the angler, the mayfly is an imitation on a hook and an effective and intimate way to connect with the fish.
Posted by: James Hathaway
We have received a lot of emails from readers concerned about trout populations in Vermont post-Irene. For the Battenkill, anyway, there is good news for anglers.
It is not often that Monday morning brings good news, so I was very pleased to get an email this morning from our local state representative here in Sunderland. She was forwarding me a report from Ken Cox, VT Fish & Wildlife Fisheries Biologist on the state of the Battenkill river post-Irene and the condition of habitat restoration Orvis funded a couple of years ago.
There is good news, indeed, and it’s a fascinating read. Here is his letter in its entirety:
Subject: Status of Batten Kill post Irene
This message concerns how the Batten Kill has fared with Irene with respect to stream damages, habitat impacts, effects on habitat restoration, and trout populations.
Yesterday, Dan MacKinley, Scott Wixsom (both with the U.S. Forest Service, Green Mountain National Forest) and I inspected the lower Batten Kill which I define here as the VT 313 bridge by the Arlington recreation field downstream to the NY state line. Even though the river overtopped its banks inundating numerous locations throughout its floodplain, the river came through remarkably unscathed. Very little new bank erosion has occurred, most of the large wood habitat structures installed into the river since 2006 remain in place, and the riparian woodlands are intact. Overall conditions remain pretty much as they were prior to the flood, and we were unanimous in our conclusion that it is extremely unlikely that the recovering trout population experienced any setback as a result of the flood. If there is anything good to be said for the timing of Irene with respect to trout populations is that it occurred before the spawning season and the river substrate is loose and not overburdened with sediments. So, the prognosis for spawning and egg incubation success looks good pending “normal” winter and spring river conditions.
Being that the majority of habitat structures weathered this record flood event, we do not see any need to change their design and placement. There is no evidence that any of the large wood placed in the river resulted or contributed to damage to private property, roads and bridges. No doubt Irene caused much debris flow but most of this material appears to have originated from the Roaring Branch and Kelly Road washout. The new concrete arch bridge that replaced two old undersized culverts on Benedict Hollow Brook and designed to provide trout access to spawning habitat came through the flood fine and conducted water and any debris downstream without incident.
Dan, Scott and I attribute the ability of the Kill to come through the flood event so well to so much of the flood plain continuing to be accessible river overflow which allows the river to lose power that can be destructive to transportation infrastructure, personal property and stream and riparian habitat. Furthermore, much of the upper river flows through wetlands that have the ability to dissipate hydraulic energy, store water and capture excessive debris and sediments. Where trees remain on the river banks (which is the case throughout much of the river’s length) banks are held in place minimizing erosion and large debris is retained within the river corridor.