Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

For God and Ocean: A National Prerogative.

Thursday, June 14th, 2012
A Natural Perspective

A Natural Perspective

In watching the Platform Horizon Wellhead Blowout event, and our Organizational response to it, I was at once impressed and appalled by the dual scopes illustrated. At the time, and to this day, I see the event as a diatribe against an innate inefficiency and possibly abject failure of our Philosophy of Regulatory Control, where we politicize and adversarilize items of great National and Environmental interest, and thereby ask and answer the wrong questions.

In effect, we are endeavoring to solve problems using the same line of reasoning and thought, which created those problems. I could illustrate it in great detail in the following paragraphs, but most people’s eyes would glaze over. So I won’t. Suffice it to say, we need to change how we look at things.

In the past year I have gotten to attend some fairly high level, think tank  type events, where people who care more about the world, and the Oceans than themselves, have come together to examine our systems, which regulate the direction of man and his involvement in the natural order of our existence here, on this blue ball.

Blue Marble

Blue Marble

It has been informative, educational, inspiring. But all that being said, I have to posit something. “So what? Will that make us better?”

It might. That depends.

Clear Reasoning

Clear Reasoning

Lately, I have been involved a bit in helping on a project to resolve the radiation issues evolving from the ongoing Fukushima Nuclear disaster. A group of Scientists on their own, have actually innovated a solution that removes radiation from sea water. One of them was at my home the other night, and brought a paper written when they were 15 years old and a Parochial school student. They read it to me, and at the end, this well know research Scientist, one of the foremost in their field in the World, said this:

“I should have stopped right here. At the age of 15, I got it. I had the answer.” I have to agree.

What the paper, which was entitled “The Environmental Obligation” said in essence, was this. That we ought to approach our involvement in the natural world as stewards, and do it as unto God. That we were given a sacred trust, and have a larger moral obligation to ourselves, to approach all involvement as if we were answering directly to the grand Architect personally, because we really do, eventually.

She absolutely understood the value of higher accountability at 15 years of age.

But we do not engage in that fashion today. It is about money, it is about National Security, it is all done as a short term psycho-socio fix (as in drug fix) designed to make us feel better. But that does not creating a healthy economic nor environmental future. In fact, it is killing us all.

Those think tank events? Well they make me feel better. They give me hope. There are solutions. But we will NEVER see them implemented with any great positive effect anywhere, with current lines of reasoning and regulatory control firmly in place, because those control systems are out of step with both Natural Order and God. They serve money. They need to serve efficiency, not entropy,  if there is to be any real level of  public safety and sustainable progress implemented.  That is a common sense. No huge mystery or complex formula is needed.

Here is a newsy fluff piece from the Huffington Post. Many have probably missed it. But it is a teensy telltale regarding what we did on the Gulf Coast and which was both facilitated and exacerbated by the EPA, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, formerly known as the Minerals Management service. (Yea, the acronym really does sound sorta like “bummer”)

Read it carefully. This little story many will miss, is a grain of sand type telltale, an understatement possibly akin to the tip of an iceberg regarding what we did in the Planning, Mining, Regulation, and Disaster Reparation process.

The disaster reparation process was the largest endeavor of it’s kind in the History of the Oil industry. It was massive in scope, bigger than I can explain here in a few paragraphs. But here is the deal, really. What we did was akin to holding a beach cleanup party. In reality those are pretty stupid in the grand scheme of things, because the waste should never be there in the first place. And for every piece of waste you see? Well, there is a grand effect that you do not see.

Then there was the Corexit. Now, today, there is broad spreading death. There is a lot of money to be made in all of this for some entities. But not much efficiency. So the net large investment is really just massive capital loss for the Nation and the World. Corps just tack expense onto the cost of goods sold, increase the price (easy to do on an inflexible type commodity) and maintain their ROI levels. In effect, YOU pay for what they, and Regulatory control  do, or in this case DON’T do: Protect the Environment and National Interests. Because in reality, that is not what they are designed to do.

We really need to change this, if we want our Nation’s interest to be served. If we really give a rat’s ass about our children, our heritage and above all, our service to God. There is something very pertinent and important in the concept of “duty”.  This must begin with us.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts on point essay on the importance of Biodiversity is one of the best reads I have encountered in awhile. “Biodiversity and the Environment: Silent Spring for Us?” It describes the regulatory process’ role in our Socio-Economic system quite well.

About a  year ago, my friend George Orbelian, sat me down in his home at Ocean Beach in SF. “David, what are we going to do about Fukushima?” I laughed. I mean all things considered, it was a ridiculous question. Until we all began to really look at things in a different fashion.

A little over a  month ago an editor of mine got a hold of me. He was deeply concerned about Fukushima. He had actually been up there, and had seen people surfing near the disaster location and was appalled. “What can we do? What is really going on? This is being down played.”

What I had to tell him was this.

“You are fucked. You have killed the land, you have killed the Sea, and now your people are in deep trouble and this problem? It is a matter of National Security.” Then I put him in touch with all of the informational sources on the disaster and told him to seriously consider what he writes and reports on, as it would possibly not help things. I mean, where do you put a country full of people when a City like Tokyo has Rad levels in it’s soil, roughly akin to being classified as nuclear waste?

We can fix this. But what we have in place is not working. We should kill it off and start over with a  system that is collaborative rather than adversarial. You can get mad at a donkey for being one, but really that never gets anything done. Either shoot it, or give it carrot.

If we do not change what is in place, we have failed our children, we have disgraced ourselves, we have not honored what God has given us, and we helped destroy our Nation in process.

That is why I always produce and post so much beauty from the Ocean and Nature in my work. To make people fall in love. If we do that, really love and cherish what we have, then we will protect it. Really protect it, and not be mislead by the morally corrupt and bankrupt entities of the world.

Take a good look at this wave image below. In it is every color of the rainbow. That is important to recognize. Here is why. Colors represent energy signatures, frequencies of sound. So what this image is saying is that all creation is contained within the signature of the sea. If we fail to recognize that, then we lose much. But the sea? It will do what it always has, just without humanity as it exists, as we know it.

House of Mirrors

House of Mirrors

That is how we make a difference.

That is how we will matter.

We can do this.

Let’s start over while we can.

Seth Godin (again) says something very smart about Fear. “I don’t even know what I am afraid of”

Below are some incredibly beautiful images of a pretty darned healthy Ocean, shot off the California Coast near my home in Ventura California, and in San Francisco. Could it be better? Of course. Will it ever? Only if we change what we serve.

Everything to gain if we do. Everything to lose if we do not.

You can take THAT to the bank.

 

A California Opus

Saturday, July 9th, 2011
Napa Orange Gold

Napa Orange Gold

Chapter 5 in the California Series.

I have not always lived in California. My Dad was going to college on the GI Bill in Milwaukee Wisconsin, at Marquette University. I had never asked him why, being from Hawaii, he chose the Mid West. He met my Mother there. That was where my two Brothers and I were born.

We were sick a lot as infants. The family pediatrician had told my parents that our Hawaiian genetics may have been to blame, as we did not tolerate the cold of  hard, Midwestern Winter very well. In fact, I ended up in the hospital. I remember the experience vividly. It was a bleak time of laying in an oxygen tent in a ward, and staring out a third floor hospital window, looking at the City, watching.

Eventually, the family moved to California where my Father explored his career as an Engineer. My parents bought a home in Whittier California.  The design of the first computer, as well as launch of the Space program, became a regular part of our household, via my Dad’s work.

In some ways, we were healthier in the warmer climate of California. However, a problem arose. I developed allergies. Those caused a lack of energy, and attendant respiratory problems. I began getting injections twice a month (one in each arm), which helped alleviate the symptoms. I still get a phantom muscle ache, when I think about those shots.

I recall days where one could not see the nearby foothills, which created the basin in which Whittier is located, such was the density of the smog prevalent in California in the 1960’s. It had been around this time that the massive citrus groves disappeared from the area, being replaced by housing tracts and strip malls. Part of a methodical, concreting over of the Los Angeles area.

I was already a swimmer at this point, having learned to bodysurf, ride foamies, and inflatable mats, at the beaches in and around Newport, Huntington, Palos Verdes and South Bay. I swam for a local AAU team. But those allergies were a persistent problem. The only time I had true respite, was when we were at the beach.

Due to my diminutive size, and sort of sickly nature, my parents decided that I needed to wait to get a surfboard. By this point, it had been a topic of discussion for a couple years. But my water activities, which included fishing and diving, kept me pretty busy.

I craved those idyllic long days at the beach. I have fond memories of ten hour days in the water,  a piece of chicken, or a few rice balls, snatched on the run, from the picnic lunch my Mom would have made, very early that morning, as she loaded up the white 1955 Chevy wagon, for the long (to me) drive to the beach. I had fallen for California.

Timeline

Timeline

(more…)

Golden

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
Golden

Golden

It is always the scarcity of a thing which imparts value in the perception of a viewing public, so artists tend to withold showing too much of their hand at once.

I remember a photographer with whom I worked years ago, who would hoard his work, and release it one image at a time over the period of his career. His fame and fortune wound up being centered on approximately 9 great images.

I do not think he saw the time we are in coming, where with new tech, and refined approaches, a higher bar for acquisition and communication than ever before would be attained. He set limits on himself and the world of photography.

As I dove into the same field I annihilated those limits. Many have.

Seth Godin has something very succinct to say about limits in his Blog.

The following images are what I would consider to qualify as Golden images. Most were shot on one morning. The rest just happened to be on my desktop today.

Unlimited.

Why settle?

Flaming Arrow

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
Social Consciousness

Social Consciousness

In my travels and also in my work here in the US, I often have projects and events thrown at me, or that I simply stumble across. Some I embrace, some I do not. Behind each of these somewhere is a person holding a bow. They have started a fire. They do this with a flaming arrow.

I have a friend here who works for the Ventura Visitors Bureau. Her name is Kathleen Fitzgerald. Her bedroom name (the name we all use for her in private) is Firestarter. What she does is identify the need, come up with a potential idea, launch a flaming arrow. That arrow lands in front of the group which could be the potential solution if they take some of the flame, and simply run with it. Of course they could choose not to. The fire will either take hold and generate it’s own momentum, or die. There are no other alternatives.

Our children are sort of like that. We started a fire when we birthed, educated and mentored them. They are our contribution to a world that does what it will, when that arrow lands.

Seth Godin has this to say about the concept.

I was placing nails in the wall of a restaurant in Santa Barbara one day, hanging a show of my work, curated by a friend. Her husband and I were having a chat as we whacked nails. He had recently graduated from film school and is a brilliant cinematographer. My query: “So what are you going to do, now that you are done with school?” His response: “Oh I think that I am going to try this music thing. “  My response was “Really? That is a tough one, but you never know. What are you gonna do for songs?” ” Oh I have these songs which I wrote for Kim. (his wife) I think that I am gonna start there.” My response was “Wow cool, be interesting to see where that goes” One of his sweet songs and evidence of his flaming arrow is right here.

Bullseye. Jack is like that a lot, one of those people whose aim is generally better than many of us.

A vital firestarter is right here. Drew Kampion.

One of my editors and friends Dina Pielaet sends this very poignant message.

The world needs flaming arrows.

Firestarter Shawn Alladio

Firestarter Shawn Alladio

Scuba Steve and Firestarter Brian Nevins

Scuba Steve and Firestarter Brian Nevins

Firestarter Swain

Firestarter Swain

Firestarters Jen and Dafoe

Firestarters Jen and Dafoe

Mary, the Partridge Twins, Jeanette Ortiz: Firestarters

Mary, the Partridge Twins, Jeanette Ortiz: Firestarters

Firestarter Shinny

Firestarter Shinny

Firestarter Jon

Firestarter Jon

Life is a wave

Life is a wave

Click on any of the images in the gallery to read it’s back story. Launch your arrow. Fan a fire. Do something, it will be the most fun you have ever had.

Flame Out

Flame Out

Why

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
Donnas jumping off point. Port of San Francisco.

Donnas jumping off point. Port of San Francisco.

I just finished building a little video for my girlfriend Donna, and her eco themed company, Betty Belts- Betty B. The video is a requirement for grant payment in a competition created by US business software company Intuit. We just finalized the piece and Donna managed to get out the door, a bit teary eyed, without actually having to pry my hands off her neck. Yes, we did this together.

I knew going in, that this project, which was to be a summary of her story that won the grant and you can read here, would be difficult.  The parameters would be much more narrow than if I were producing a film. To make it fair we would shoot on one camera, use no sound guy and rely on ourselves and friends to assemble a life’s story into ummm, here is the tricky part: four minutes. Oh, and zero budget. (Yea I know all you Indy film makers are laughing right now, going: “What ELSE is new?”.  Well F off, I am already IN your club. LOL) The piece needed to follow the storyline on the website, while being creative, educational, inspiring. (Yeaaaaa, riiggghhhht.)

From day one I had called the collaborative effort, my “Four Minutes of Hell ” project. Shot it all in a day. Added some of my stills, scans from her family album, then posted it in Final Cut Pro in the timeline and checked the run time.  Ah yes, twelve minutes. (Which needed to become four.)  Time to reduct, a process whereby you boil off the liquid and what remains at the end is a semi solid grist of  emotion, color, and sound that comprises a screen story. I knew that it would be a difficult thing for Donna to tolerate. As with most business owners, she likes to control all aspects related to her company. Yet she IS her company and the story being about her, well, it passes very close to the heart. Tricky.

Here is part of Donna’s Intuit story in a youtube link. Yes it is meant to make you laugh, and that is Donna in the music video which was filmed in Tenerif. Her music is a two edged aspect which we wanted to communicate in that grant video which Intuit will post in a bit.  And yes, we did manage to showcase her musical talents. The song soundtrack in the grant video is from a piece she wrote and performed while in Berlin. It gave the film a fantastic level of subtle personalization. It is the polar opposite of the song in the youtube link, but it hooks you almost as strongly.

By today at project finalization, I figure that there is more time than I care to admit to in this, and zero pay for me. Yet I persisted, having committed.

Writer, blogger, cultural marketing sage, Seth Godin explains why we do things,  in an incredible TED Talk HERE. If you have never heard of TED or Seth, do yourself a favor. WATCH it.

The upshot of the Donna video, which is titled Passages, after the story title,  is that it has motivated me to do a longer, more detailed version of her life, where I can better and more fully communicate how one person truly can make a positive difference in this world, and how that seed which we plant, will forever bear fruit.

Now you know the answer to the blog title: Why.  It is both question and answer in one three letter word.

The stills below are some from the video. Snapshots of Donna’s  life and a few of the talented women she collaborates with and supports through her company. She is very brave to bare her life and world in the process of working with me. I do not know that I could do the same were positions reversed.  Click on any of the images for a larger view and a back story.

 Below the surface of perception

Below the surface of perception

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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