Preventing Heart Attacks

Heart attacks occur suddenly, usually without warning, and could happen to nearly a million Americans this year. Conventional wisdom says a heart attack occurs when a blockage, in one of four major coronary arteries, prevents blood flow to the heart and it begins to die. But consider this, heart attacks are a lifestyle disease and they are preventable.

According to Thomas S. Cowan, MD, arteries that are more than 90 percent blocked are compensated by a collateral blood supply. Our bodies can produce their own natural “bypass”. Therefore, Dr. Cowan believes heart attacks occur without disruption to blood flow. He suggests heart attacks are a result of chronic stress and keeping stress under control is the key to heart attack prevention.

“A study from Brown University examined whether having something called “dispositional mindfulness”—which they define as being very aware and attentive to what you’re thinking and feeling at any given moment—is important for heart health.” They concluded that individuals, with high mindfulness scores, will be more in tune with their bodies and make the appropriate lifestyle changes.

Another arrow, in the prevention quiver, is mindful meditation (a powerful stress-management tool) which can be done in as little as 5 minutes by focusing on breath. This can also help reduce your heart attack risk.

Diets high in refined sugars and processed carbohydrates are another contributor as they create insulin spikes (i.e. drop the Twinkie). If these spikes happen frequently then they damage the arterial walls setting up a condition for inflammation, insulin resistance, and eventually obesity and diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk for heart disease. Eliminating corn-based sweeteners, highly processed foods, artificial sweeteners, allergenic foods like those containing gluten, and rebalancing our omega-6 to omega-3 ratio from a high of 50:1 down to 1:1 or 5:1 will reduce the risk for heart attack. Try wild salmon from Alaska as it is a great source of omega-3 fats.

As a society, we have become so sick, weak, and broken, that we accept the abnormal as normal

– Robb Wolf

Thirty-five percent of the population is now considered obese as compared to 13%, 50 years ago. We are spending more time sitting at a desk, in a car, watching TV, or in front of a computer. This sedentary lifestyle coupled with increased caloric intake creates a condition for more health issues. A University of Washington study “found that people gain an average of 16 pounds within eight months of working at a job that consists of mainly sitting at a desk. People who have jobs that require standing up a lot tend to burn 50 percent more calories while on the clock than those who sit.” It’s important to find ways to increase your time for movement. “Short bursts of intense activity are safer and more effective than conventional cardio – for your heart, general health, weight, and overall fitness.” “Excessive Sitting Raises Your Cardiac Risk – Even if You Go to the Gym”

Dr. Michael Holick, who has researched the relationship between sunlight and our bodies for more than three decades has this to say, “vitamin D deficiency can increase your risk of heart attack by 50 percent, and if you have a heart attack while you’re vitamin D deficient, your odds of dying from that heart attack creeps up toward 100 percent.” Your best source of vitamin D comes from exposing your skin to sunlight without burning so that your body can convert cholesterol into vitamin D. Sunscreens will prevent absorption of the sun’s rays and interfere with the conversion process so sun without the sunscreen but be careful not to burn. If you are planning to be outdoors for an extended stay, then do apply a nontoxic sunscreen. Recommendations can be found here on EWG’s website. A vitamin D3 supplement can be taken as well with a blood test recommended every three months.

The “Warfarin/Aspirin Study in Heart Failure” showed that fatal heart attacks were not reduced by taking aspirin daily. Several studies showed that gastric hemorrhaging and ulcers were produced by taking low doses of aspirin. In addition, hemorrhagic brain strokes, kidney and liver problems, pancreatic cancer, and blindness have also manifested with this prescription.

In 2011, two studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that “diets low in salt may actually increase the risk of fatal heart attack and stroke. And the lower the salt intake, the greater the risk.” “The findings showed the lowest risk for death was in those consuming between 4,000 and 6,000 mgs of salt per day.” Dr. Michael Alderman, from the Albert Einstein School of Medicine “has long noted that eating less salt increases insulin resistance that in turn can increase cardiovascular risk and the risk of other degenerative diseases.” Unrefined sea salt is the best form of salt for consumption and support of the body.

Individuals who take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Prilosec or Prevacid for acid reflux suffer a 20 percent increased risk of heart attacks. Lead researcher and heart attack surgeon Dr. Nicholas Leeper states, “This is potentially a big deal from a public health perspective.” The researchers recommend you speak with your doctor before stopping your PPI drug prescription.

Cardiologist Stephen T. Sinatra shares the benefits of grounding for heart health and vitality in the coauthored book entitled Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? “When you walk barefoot, free electrons are transferred from the earth into your body, and this grounding effect is one of the most potent antioxidants known.” “Grounding is a powerful way to reduce inflammation throughout your body.” Proper grounding occurs on surfaces such as bare dirt, sand, grass and untreated concrete or brick. Rubber-soled shoes disconnect you from the earth, but leather-soled shoes allows the electron transfer to occur.

By following these 8 recommendations, you will greatly reduce your risk of becoming one of the nearly one million victims of a preventable heart attack each year. If not for yourself, then consider the people you leave behind.

Click here to review post references.

Click here to watch a trailer for The Widowmaker – a film about a conspiracy of silence around that most vulnerable of human organs – the heart.

Click here to watch The Miracle on Venice Muscle Beach – an interview with a man who has survived two strokes and a heart attack.

Click here to watch a video preview clip for $TATIN NATION II.

Click here to watch The Blood Pressure Solution – The #1 lie about blood pressure medication.

For my next post, we will compare and contrast farm raised salmon to wild salmon.

If you would like to share your comments about this post, then please contact me at or leave a comment below.

Follow me on Twitter: Ken Pledger@KenPledger to view new information or participate in discussions that are relative to the topics on this website.

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Heart Attacks

man having a heart attack chest pains while doing yard work
man having a heart attack chest pains while doing yard work

I dedicate this post to my friend Joel Sarley who passed away at the young age of 59.

At more than 1 million people per year, heart attacks/disease is the number one killer of Americans. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,“a heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart suddenly becomes blocked and the heart can’t get oxygen. If not treated quickly, the heart muscle fails to pump and begins to die.” Recognizing the symptoms and seeking immediate treatment is critical for survival. Contrary to the Hollywood portrayal, a person does not typically clutch their chest and fall to the ground when having a heart attack. Most heart attacks start with subtle symptoms, and many women have heart attacks without the typical chest pain. A person may even brushoff the experience as either indigestion or anxiety. Symptoms can even come and go over several hours. Of those individuals who die from a heart attack, about half die within an hour of their first symptom. Here is a list of heart attack symptoms, but do not wait for all the symptoms to appear before seeking immediate medical attention:

Chest pain or discomfort usually occurring in center or left side of the chest. The discomfort can be light or excruciating pain. Women are more likely to delay seeking help because they may not have the classic chest pain.
Upper body pain that may spread to your teeth, jaw, neck, shoulders, back or arms.
Stomach pain that may feel like heartburn.
Shortness of breath which often occurs before developing chest discomfort. You may experience this symptom even while you are resting.
Anxiety or you are experiencing a sense of doom.
Lightheadedness or the feeling that you are about to faint.
Nausea, vomiting or feeling sick to your stomach.
Sweating suddenly. The skin becomes cold and clammy to the touch.
Tired for no apparent reason which can last for days.

If you think someone around you is having a heart attack, then call 9-1-1 immediately. If they are able to chew, then most doctors recommend one 325 mg aspirin tablet to help lower the heart’s workload. Keep the individual calm and have them sit down to rest. If the person is unresponsive, then give CPR.

Provides first aid woman in a man with a heart attack in the street
Woman is giving CPR to a man who’s having a heart attack.

The 9-1-1 dispatcher will talk you through the CPR procedures until help arrives.





Click here to review post references.

Click here to learn about “4 Ways to Prevent Heart Attack”

For my next post, we will look at why heart attacks are a preventable disease.

If you would like to share your comments about this post, then please contact me at or leave a comment below.

Follow me on Twitter: Ken Pledger@KenPledger to view new information or participate in discussions that are relative to the topics on this website.

If you found the information helpful, please share with your friends and family.

The Mason Bee: A Native Pollinator

“Mankind will not survive the honeybees’ disappearance for more than five years.”                          – Albert Einstein

Although the quote cannot be confirmed as one given by Albert Einstein, the reality is that beekeepers have seen a rapid die off of their honeybee, Apis mellifera, populations since 2006. Harsh winters in the Midwestern states and northern Plains, severe drought in California, increased use of insecticides like neonicotinoids, shrinking habitats, cell phone towers, the Varroa mites, the growing of a single cash crop (weakens their immune system), and feeding high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to industrialized US bee farms instead of honey during the winter months have all contributed to the disappearance of nearly a third of all U.S. bee colonies. At stake, the pollination of about 130 fruits and vegetables or an estimated 80% of all food crops in the United States.  So have we learned anything from taking some of these shortcuts? I came across this amusing quote if we haven’t learned:

“Been there – done that. Then, been there several more times, because apparently I never learn.”



Corrections are underway, as states such as Maine, Vermont, California and New Jersey are reevaluating the use of neonicotinoids. Eugene, Oregon is the first community in the nation to ban the use of insecticides, and encouraging plant diversity will also improve bee health and bee habitats as well. Another possible solution for helping to pollinate our fruits and vegetables is training amateur beekeepers to raise our native pollinators like the mason bee.

Mason bees belong to the genus Osmia which have a 140 species in North America. The blue orchard bee or Osmia lignaria is very good at pollinating fruit trees like apples, peaches, pears, and plums. They are especially important to the orchards of Adams County, PA. The county ranks fourth in the nation for apple production according to Wikipedia. Osmia ribifloris, the blueberry bee is responsible for pollinating its namesake, the blueberry bush.

The orchard mason bee, O. lignaria, emerges from hollow reeds when the fruit trees bloom and daytime temperatures remain around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The males appear first as they wait at the nest site to mate with emerging females. The males die off soon after mating and the females will live typically from mid-March to early June. The females will begin by looking for an appropriate nest site. If you are setting out a nesting box, then South-facing house, garden shed or garage walls are best. You can even drill multiple holes using a 5/16 inch bit into a dead tree to serve as a nesting site. Once a nest site is found, the female will gather nectar and pollen and place it in the nesting tube. She will then lay one egg with the nectar/pollen provision and seal off the chamber with mud. She will continue the process until the entire tube is filled in this manner. She will lay female eggs at the back of the tube with male eggs at the front. Once the tube is filled, she will seal off the entrance with mud and then look for another nesting site. The larva will consume all of the provisions by summer and then enter the pupal stage by spinning a cocoon. By winter, it will undergo metamorphosis and remain in the cocoon as an adult until mid-March to start the next generation.

As suggested in the previous post, Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser of Singing Frogs Farm surround their vegetable gardens with perennial borders to support bees and other inhabitants to create a rich ecological niche. Let’s all do our part by learning about and creating a sustainable environment for our native and imported bee pollinators.

Click here to review post references.

For a list of neonicotinoid brand names, click here.

Click here for a list of plants to grow in your bee garden.

Click here learn about 10 Expert Beekeeping Tips for Families.

Click here to view Paul Kaiser discuss the topic of “Farming for Pollinators”.

Click here to purchase a Bamboo Mason Bee Hive House from Amazon.

“Mapping The Scarily Sudden Disapperance Of Bees Across America” Click here.

For my next post, we will look at a preventable disease known as heart attacks.

If you would like to share your comments about this post, then please contact me at or leave a comment below.

If you found the information helpful, please share with your friends and family.

New Practices in Organic Farming

I recently heard an interview with the owners of Singing Frogs Farm, Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser. They are a testament to a new type of farming dubbed Sustainable Farming 2.0. They are a no-till farm (meaning really no-till), they use no organic pesticides or otherwise, and they are able to generate annual revenues of $100,000 per acre on three production acres. This revenue generation is on par with farms of twenty-five acres or more under cultivation. So how do they do it?

The key to their success seems to be the fact that they do not disturb the land, they use a lot of vegetable compost, and once one harvest is complete they’re on to the next. Here are the simple steps to their process: Once a plant has been harvested, they will cut the stalk at ground level leaving the root system intact to be decomposed by soil organisms, they will add a layer of compost, and then transfer new seedlings to the garden usually within hours of the previous harvest. In this way there is no long delay in getting a new crop started, they produce far more than the one to two crops per season (5 to 7 are typical), and they stay ahead of any weed issues.

Another method they employ is to encourage rich ecological environments around their gardens by providing perennial hedgerows. They want to attract and provide homes for birds, ground dwelling bees, frogs, snakes, and other animals. This way brings balance to their gardens and they do not experience crop damage due to pest issues. They even don’t worry about planting crops in the same place for fear that pest insects will find them.

Singing Frogs Farm is a CSA which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. That means that Paul and Elizabeth sell their produce directly to families. The price they receive for their produce is better than what other farmers receive on the wholesale market, but the families also win by receiving pricing that’s better than what they would pay at a retail market. This is a win-win for both farmer and family.

Click here to take a tour of Singing Frogs Farm.

Click here to listen to the interview with Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser.

“The Drought Fighter: Could a controversial farmer in California have found the most effective way to grow food in a warming world?” Click here to learn more.

Click here to view “Why Organic, Sustainable Farming Matters | Portrait of a Farmer

For my next post, we will look at the Mason Bee, a native pollinator.

If you would like to share your comments about this post, then please contact me at or leave a comment below.

Follow me on Twitter: Ken Pledger@KenPledger to view new information or participate in discussions that are relative to the topics on this website.

If you found the information helpful, please share with your friends and family.


Solar Power: An Alternative Energy Source

According to the Harris Poll of over 2,000 Americans, 78% felt that the solar energy benefit outweighed its risk, if any, with wind power running a close second place at 75%. Generationally speaking, Millennials want America to run on solar and wind, Generation X is looking for green leadership, while the “Baby Boomers” still believe coal and natural gas have a future. If the polls are truly indicative of how Americans feel, then our state and federal energy policies needs to quickly make the change.

Click here to understand some of the barriers with providing solar energy in Pennsylvania from Kirsi Jansa.

A new generation of international greentech leaders is emerging through a program called TechWomen. Seventy-eight women from the Middle East and Africa were selected to participate in the four-week long program. They were paired with professional female counterparts in the United States to work on various projects ranging from sustainable agriculture to solar. SolarCity and SunEdison were two solar companies among the 42 organizations and companies that had opened their doors to the program. One of the participants, Asal Ibrahim worked with Vista Solar a commercial solar installer. She learned first-hand the impact dust has on a solar panel’s capacity to generate electricity. After she completed the program, she returned home to work on her master’s degree in renewable energy and sustainable development at the University of Jordan.

Click here to learn about the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon.

BrightSource Energy designed the “largest solar thermal energy plant in the world” located in the Ivanpah Valley of the Mojave Desert in California. Steam turbines generate enough electricity (377 megawatts) to power more than 140,000 homes. To produce steam for the turbines, water is heated by more than 170,000 mirrors that focus sunlight directly onto the boilers. These boilers sit on top of three towers that reach nearly 500 feet in height.

A company, from Idaho called Solar Roadways, has developed hexagonal solar panels that can generate enough power to melt snow and ice, light the roadway, and supply excess electricity to perhaps charging stations at rest stops for electric cars. This energy sustainable road system can even support trucks weighing over 124 tons. Turning highways into giant solar farms is the focus of Solar Roadways.

In 2014, SolaRoad built the world’s first solar road in the Netherlands. The 70-meter test bike path produced enough electricity to power a small house for one year. The paths durability was tested by more than 150,000 cyclists, and the panels are strong enough to support a 12-tonne fire truck. “The researchers designed the panels to not only let in as much light as possible, but also to last at least 20 years – a similar lifespan to rooftop solar panels.”

Today’s residential rooftop solar panels can hold the sun’s energy for a few microseconds; however, UCLA chemists have expanded that capability by several weeks. By using their understanding of plant photosynthesis, they are able to mimic the process by pulling apart and keeping separate the negative and positive electrical charges. This is a first for modern synthetic organic photovoltaic materials. The next step for the researchers is to insert these inexpensive photovoltaic materials into an actual solar cell and produce a closed circuit.

If you would like to see what a solar farm looks like, then check out the campus of  Mount St. Mary’s University.  They are located at 16300 Old Emmitsburg Road, Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727.  On campus grounds, Constellation Energy has constructed a 100 acre solar farm that produces 17.4 megawatts of electricity.  Of that amount, 1.3 MW of power is available to the university’s sports complex and the remaining 16.1 MW is used by the state of Maryland.  First Solar Inc. supplied the solar panels, and for those investors out there the ticker symbol is FSLR for First Solar Inc. Click here if you would like to know more about this project.

There seems to be many who are working towards a clean and sustainable future as exemplified by the sampling of projects and programs listed above. Let’s keep the focus and investment dollars on the future so that we can build new technologies, and move away from costly extraction operations as previously discussed. This is a generational request.

Click here to view post references.

For my next post, we will look at new practices in organic farming.

Click here to view a video entitled Sustainability Pioneers: Becoming Energy Independent REVISED from Kirsi Jansa

Click here to test your solar IQ.

Click here to test drive solar power for your home before spending a single dollar.

Click here to learn about training and certification in solar energy.

“Stop burning fossil fuels now: there is no CO2 ‘technofix’, scientists warn”. Click here to learn more.


If you would like to share your comments about this post, then please contact me at or leave a comment below.

Follow me on Twitter: Ken Pledger@KenPledger to view new information or participate in discussions that are relative to the topics on this website.

If you found the information helpful, please share with your friends and family.

Wind Power: An Alternative Energy Source

In 1970, the Clean Air Act was passed into law to protect the health and welfare of the public from air pollution. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was tasked with establishing national air quality standards. Provisions were made to cover air pollutants that threaten public health or are toxic to the environment.
States were tasked with creating enforceable plans that achieve and maintain the national air quality standards. In addition, states must control emissions that could drift and possibly harm the air quality of states downwind.

How’s the air quality in your city? Click here to find out.

“Generating electricity from renewable energy rather than fossil fuels offers significant public health benefits. The air and water pollution emitted by coal plants is linked to breathing problems, neurological damage, heart attacks, and cancer. Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy has been found to reduce premature mortality and lost workdays, and it reduces overall healthcare cost.” The true cost of fossil fuel generated electricity is not transparent as the associated health care cost are hidden. Also, coal burning “produces over 70% of the power sector’s greenhouse gas emissions” which is a major contributor to global climate change.

As of 2012, there were 557 coal-fired power plants generating 310 gigawatts of electricity in the U.S.

As described in the previous post on hydraulic fracturing (the releasing of natural gas or oil from shale rock formations), residents who live near fracking operations are experiencing numerous health problems such as: abdominal pain, nausea, headaches, breathing difficulties, nose-bleeds, skin rashes, eye and throat irritations. There are over sixteen thousand individuals and families that have been harmed by fracking operations.

Arthur Berman, geologist and consultant with 34 years of experience in petroleum exploration and production, views shale drilling for oil as a “desperate measure” with a short-lived payout. Click here to listen to his explanation.

Once you have heard Arthur Berman’s interview, then ask yourself: Why as a nation are we harming our people, contaminating our aquifers (especially in drought stricken areas), and ruining our environments? And who will pay for this human suffering or to restore a toxic environment? Most of these fracking companies are not making a profit, are deep in debt, and are about to go out of business.

Environmental Benefits of Wind Power

“Harnessing power from the wind is one of the cleanest and most sustainable ways to generate electricity as it produces no toxic pollution or global warming emissions. Wind is also abundant, inexhaustible, and affordable, which makes it a viable and large-scale alternative to fossil fuels.”

There are 24 wind farms in Pennsylvania supplying enough electricity to power 330,000 homes. This clean energy source reduces CO2 emissions by over 3 million metric tons or the equivalent of burning approximately sixteen thousand railcars full of coal. One of PA’s 24 wind farms, the Green Mountain Wind Energy Center, is the oldest Pennsylvania wind farm with operations beginning in 2000. The farm is located in Somerset County, and can be seen along the hills from milepost 115 on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The wind farm sits on top of a former coal mine, it has eight wind turbines that produce 10.4 megawatts (MW) of electricity which is enough power for 3,300 homes.

“Most electric power plants require water to operate, and water use in drought-stricken areas like the western United States is a significant issue. Producing electricity from the wind does not require water. Achieving a 20% wind energy by 2030 scenario would reduce cumulative water use in the electric sector by 8%, or 4 trillion gallons.”

Environmental Concerns

“A wind turbine a quarter of a mile away is no noisier than a kitchen refrigerator.” Opinion surveys have shown a 4 to 1 margin in favor of wind energy. “A recent study showed that wind farm construction has no significant negative effect on property values, and sometimes even causes them to increase.”

“The impact of wind turbines on wildlife, most notably on birds and bats, has been widely document and studied. A recent National Wind Coordinating Committee (NWCC) review of peer-reviewed research found evidence of bird and bat deaths from collisions with wind turbines and due to changes in air pressure caused by the spinning turbines, as well as from habitat disruption. The NWCC concluded that these impacts are relatively low and do not pose a threat to species populations.” “With modern turbines, mounted on tubular towers and whose blades spin only about 15 times per minute, bird collisions are now rare. The Audubon Society and Sierra Club both support wind energy development, because the environmental advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.”

Economic Benefits

“Free Fuel: Unlike other forms of electrical generation where fuel is shipped to a processing plant, wind energy generates electricity at the source of fuel, which is free. Wind is a native fuel that does not need to be mined or transported, taking two expensive costs out of long-term energy expenses.” Technology advances have brought down the cost of wind energy ranging from 5 to 6 cents per kilowatt hour, which is competitive with new gas-fired power plants.

“Renewable energy is a technology. In the technology sector, costs always go down. Fossil fuels are extracted. In extractive industries, costs (almost) always go up. Renewable and fossil fuel cost per unit of energy are now roughly comparable in many places…but heading in opposite directions. New, superior technologies don’t split markets with old, inferior technologies.”

“Wind power could help stabilize energy prices and remove much of the United States’ dependence on foreign oil.” So instead of borrowing money to spend on extraction operations, let’s borrow trillions of dollars to invest and build out renewable energy infrastructures such as wind power. We can use these technologies for job creation and to rebuild our nation’s failing economy.

Click here to see a list of PA wind energy suppliers in your area!

My current energy provider, FirstEnergy, is one of the largest providers of renewable energy in the region with 500 megawatts of wind power under contract.

Click here to view post references.

Click here to learn about a growing movement away from fossil fuels by

D.C. to purchase wind energy from Pennsylvania. Click here to learn more.

Click here to learn how IBM’s cognitive computing systems will help improve China’s air quality.

“Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States” Click here.

Click here to learn “How to Make Wind Power More Reliable”

Vestas, a Colorado-based wind energy production facilities, has many job openings to fill. Click here for details.

Achieve your own energy independence with Skystream. Click here to watch a short video.

For my next post, we will look at solar power as an alternative energy source.

If you would like to share your comments about this post, then please contact me at or leave a comment below.

Follow me on Twitter: Ken Pledger@KenPledger to view new information or participate in discussions that are relative to the topics on this website.

If you found the information helpful, please share with your friends and family.

Issues with Fracking

What is hydraulic fracturing or fracking? It is the process of releasing natural gas or oil from shale rock formations by producing fractures within the formation. These fractures are created by using massive amounts of pressurized water, sand, and assorted chemicals to break-up the rock and bring gas to the surface.

For me, it was difficult to find positive articles about hydraulic fracturing on the internet. I know the industry is working hard to meet our country’s energy needs, and they provide much-needed jobs. But as the industry expands, so grows the list of issues.

For this post, I will present the issues regarding hydraulic fracturing so you might think about and discuss this topic in your conversations. Who knows, perhaps you may uncover some detail that could possibly help this industry. If not this industry, then perhaps some future source of energy. I will start with the lyrics below as I hope they course through your mind as you read this post. The lyrics are presented by one of my favorite singer/song writers from the Eagles Band, Don Henley.  In the third verse of his song Goodbye to a River, he sings these lyrics:

The dirty water washes down
Poisoning the common ground
Taking sins of farm and town
And bearing them away
And the captains of industry
And their tools on the hill
They’re killing everything divine
What will I tell this child of mine

The lyrics are just as relevant today as they were when published in 2000, and could describe any river or watershed that has been poisoned by human neglect. Unfortunately, here are some examples: the Mud River watershed poisoned by coal mining in West Virginia (suit filed April 6, 2015), the Fraser River from the tailings dam break at the Mount Polley Mine in British Columbia (August 4, 2014), the Yellowstone River poisoned by 63,000 gallons of oil from a ruptured ExxonMobil pipeline near Billings, Montana (July 1, 2011), the Big Blue River watershed in Nebraska poisoned by the pesticide atrazine (detected in May 2008), the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s analysis stating that “the majority of Ohio’s rivers, streams and lakes are considered “impaired” because of high concentrations of bacteria from raw sewage and heavy metals” (January, 2004), or the Fly River from the tailings dam break at the Ok Tedi Mine in Papua New Guinea (1984). Are these just mere exceptions? No!

Going back to an earlier post, Tom Collier or John Shively from the Pebble Mine Project (these “captains of industry”) will try to reassure the public that safeguards will be made to protect the environment surrounding Bristol Bay, Alaska. But how’s that possible, when “tools on the hill”, like Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia, Senator David Vitter from Louisiana, Congressman Nick Rahall from West Virginia, and Congressman Bob Gibbs from Ohio have introduced legislation to strip power away from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a regulatory body tasked with keeping our water safe to drink. How does this make sense, and who will keep us safe if not the EPA?

If you have not seen the movie “The Breach” by Mark Titus, then I would strongly urge you to do so. It’s best that we all are informed and begin doing something to bring about positive change.

Now for the real cost of hydraulic fracturing:
• Texas, Pennsylvania and West Virginia studies conclude that methane gas (a contributor to climate change) leaks uncontrollably from fracturing well pads. The natural gas reserves found in the Marcellus shale region is located under much of Pennsylvania.
• In September 2009, 8,000 gallons of fracturing fluid polluted a creek and local wetlands in Dimock Township, Pennsylvania.
• Additional studies conclude that private drinking water wells are at risk due to methane-migration. The cause? Faulty construction of fracturing wells.
• Earthquakes can be induced during the actual fracturing process as pointed out by Ohio and Oklahoma studies. In 2011, a 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck Oklahoma and a 5.3 magnitude earthquake hit Colorado. Scientists believe both are related to fracking operations.
• Water resources are strained as millions of gallons are used in a fracking operation.
• Pennsylvania reports that in counties where fracking occurs, there is a higher rate of automobile to truck traffic-related accidents. There are over 600 active natural gas wells in Washington County, Pennsylvania alone.
• Residents living near fracking operations are experiencing skin rashes, abdominal pain, nausea, breathing difficulties, nosebleeds, headaches, eye and throat irritations.
• “Oil and gas production have been linked to increased risk of cancer and birth defects in neighboring areas”.

• Federal investigators found that workers are exposed to crystalline silica emissions. “Occupational exposure to silica is a risk factor for lung cancer”.
• Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is analyzing wastewater recycling, treatment sludges, and radioactivity exposure to workers and the public.

As of February 2015, New York follows Vermont’s lead and bans hydraulic fracturing within the state. The state wants to fully evaluate environmental impacts that could lead to human exposures and their resulting health effects.

According to the Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air, 16,220 individuals and families have been harmed by fracking. Click here to view the website.

Let’s keep our nation strong, but not at the detriment of our people or our collective environments. Each of us can help bring about positive change through our conversations, our purchases, our votes, and in which companies we invest. Please help all of us by sharing this message with those you meet. Thank you!

Click here to view post references.


Additional Resources:

Click here to listen to Oklahoma’s rate of earthquakes by Michael Corey.

Click here to view the number of fracking wells in each state since 2005.

Click here to view the chemicals used in fracking fluids at perhaps a well near you.

Click here to learn why fracking is a breast cancer issue.

Click here to view a list of communities who have passed measures against fracking.

Click here to view “Gas Rush Stories: Life above Marcellus Shale 2011- 2012” from Kirsi Jansa.

Click here to read one man’s story of holdout to an energy company.

Click here to view Dr. Ingraffea’s Facts on Fracking.

Click here to watch“Faith Against Fracking”

G20 countries are still paying subsides on fossil fuel. Click here to learn more.

Oct. 3-5, 2015: Stop the Frack Attack National Summit. Location – Denver, CO. Contact:


For my next post, we will look at wind power as an alternative energy source.

If you would like to share your comments about this post, then please contact me at or leave a comment below.

Follow me on Twitter: Ken Pledger@KenPledger to view new information or participate in discussions that are relative to the topics on this website.

If you found the information helpful, please share with your friends and family.

Holistic Management and Climate Change

What does the term carrying capacity mean?

Here’s one way to describe it. Have you ever been at a party, you’re having a great time, you’re consuming a few alcoholic beverages, and you feel in control until you try to stand up? That’s a loose definition of you reaching your carrying capacity as you should get some help to arrive home safely.

In terms of biology, the carrying capacity is the number of individuals that an environment can support (food, water, shelter, and other resources) without significant harm to the individuals or their environment.

Have we changed our climate to the point of reaching the Earth’s carrying capacity for our species?

Have we disrupted the natural carbon cycle by burning fossil fuels?

Has burning these fuels increased the carbon dioxide (CO2) levels within our atmosphere giving rise to more greenhouse gases?

Greenhouses gases are important to us as they trap heat from the Sun which keeps our planet from becoming a sheet of ice. However, we know that burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas are responsible for the increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere. This increase of CO2 has been building over time as it remains in the atmosphere for 100 to 200 years. From this, greenhouse gases are increasing, world temperatures are on the rise, and weather patterns are changing. This weather shift is similar to the alcoholic beverage scenario above. We have grown used to the subtle changes and the extreme weather conditions have become just fodder for the Weather Channel as we watch events happening in some distant place.

In today’s news, folks on the West Coast are experiencing severe drought conditions, aquifers are becoming depleted, farmers are spending upwards of $350,000 for new deeper wells, and drillers are actually turning away business because they are overwhelmed. This is just the beginning of our problem’s severity as some aquifers were locked away during geological formations and they have no way of being restored once depleted.

The burning of fossil fuels is one example of how we have increased CO2 levels in our atmosphere. On a massive scale, we have been clearing 32 million acres of the world’s forest per year. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists we have released 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year through the process of tropical deforestation. To put into perspective, that is the equivalent of 13 million rail cars full of coal (a form of carbon) stretched half the distance to the moon or about 125,000 miles. This is a huge problem for us as trees lock up carbon dioxide through their process of photosynthesis. A single tree can absorb approximately 910 pounds of CO2 over its lifetime, but when the tree is cut, burned or degraded the carbon dioxide is released back into the atmosphere. So, instead of cutting trees down, we should be reforesting as many areas as possible to offset the carbon dioxide we have released.

Treat the Earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors; we borrow it from our Children. – Ancient Native American Proverb

At this time, I would like to introduce Allan Savory who offers hope through the use of Holistic Management and Planned Grazing. Click here to view his compelling presentation as a perfect storm is headed our way comprised of a rising population, land turning to desert, and climate change.

Click here to review post references.

Click here to view Robb Wolf’s presentation on “Holistic Management and Human Health”

Click here to learn how your finances may be impacted by climate change.

Click here to learn/join a global climate movement that  involves people from 188 countries.

World’s glaciers losing ice faster than ever recorded“. Click here to learn more.

Click here to learn “Why this record-breaking dive from a polar bear is actually tragic”.

Climate change crusade goes local”  Click here to learn more.

For my next post, we will look at the issues with fracking.

If you would like to share your comments about this post, then please contact me at or leave a comment below.

Follow me on Twitter: Ken Pledger@KenPledger to view new information or participate in discussions that are relative to the topics on this website.

If you found the information helpful, please share with your friends and family.

A Potential Threat to Our Wild Salmon

On March 24, 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck Bligh reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, gashing the tanker’s single hull and spilling more than 11 million gallons of oil into the environment. This is the equivalent of seventeen Olympic-sized swimming pools. The spill caused the death of billions of salmon and herring eggs, up to 22 killer whales, about 250 bald eagles, ~300 harbor seals, and ~2,800 sea otters; and an estimated 250,000 seabirds. At the time, oil could be found on 1,000 miles of coastline, the attempted clean-up took about four summers, and Exxon said they spent $2 billion on the clean-up project.

However, the clean-up was not completely effective as oil remains today on or beneath the surface of more than 50% of the beaches. Wildlife recovery has occurred for about 60% of the 27 animal species monitored. This does not include the herring fishery which hasn’t recovered, but once supported about half of a Cordova fishermen’s income. Restitution for the fishermen’s lost income would come years later through a U.S. Supreme Court ruling to make it happen. As it turned out, Exxon paid a mere ten cents on the dollar to the fishermen for their lost income. Not too shabby a deal for Exxon who reports billions in profits each fiscal quarter.

So, reminiscent of the Exxon Valdez accident, Alaskans are faced with the possibility of an even greater disaster. At stake, forty million sockeye salmon returning to Bristol Bay’s watershed each year. According to researchers at the University of Alaska Institute of Social and Economic Research, “the commercial salmon fishery is worth $1.5 billion a year, making it the most valuable wild-salmon fishery in the world.” Also, the salmon are an integral part of the natural ecosystem supplying valuable nutrients for brown bears, eagles and Brown bear and fishother species dependent upon their return. Bristol Bay has one of the world’s greatest concentrations of seabirds. Even you and I, here in the lower 48 states, are dependent on this yearly migration as an estimated 40% of our fish catch comes from Bristol Bay.

Where else could we get our heart healthy omega-3 fats if something were to happen to this wild salmon population? Farm raised? Doubtful, we already know what happens to animals raised on feedlots (more).

Close-up of Copper Mine Open Pit ExcavationPebble Mine as proposed by Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., would be an open-pit copper and gold mine that would cover an area about 7 square miles and come close to the depth of the Grand Canyon itself. Given its proposed size the mine could destroy up to 94 miles of streams and 5,350 acres of wetlands, lakes and ponds. Included would be two earthen dams to hold back waste rock and toxic effluent (tailings) from the mine. Depending on the mine’s size, the waste rock and toxic effluent could fill a professional football stadium 880 times for a small mine or 3,900 times for the largest mine. The size of the mine and the infrastructure needed to support the mine is already enough of an environmental impact, but what’s the concern for these earthen dams? These dams are to be built-in a seismically active area where earthquakes can reach up to 7 in magnitude on the Richter scale with 10 being the highest number for that scale.

How could any company effectively clean-up and compensate for the losses if the dams were to give way during an earthquake? And keep in mind, we are talking about years of mine operation and into perpetuity for these dams to exist unless somehow the land were miraculously restored.

Last summer, there was a tailings dam break at the Mount Polley Mine in British Columbia. Downstream residents were warned not to drink from the affected waterways. The cause of the break was attributed to heavy rainfall, production pressure, and regulatory oversight failure. The company that built the tailings dam at the Mount Polley Mine are expected to build the two dams for the Pebble Mine.

This begs the question, what expertise does this company or any company have for building dams in a seismically active area?

This is a contentious battle with strong opposition for building the mine. Senator Mark Begich from Alaska said the Pebble Mine is the “wrong mine in the wrong place”.

Abandoned house floodedby polluted water from a copper mine
Abandoned house flooded by polluted water from a copper mine

With 40% of the watersheds in the western United States contaminated by pollution from this type of mine, it’s not a wonder why many legislators from those states are opposed to the mine too. In addition, there are 50 jewelers who said they would not use the gold from this mine. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has 233,000 public comments for which 90% urge the agency to protect Bristol Bay. Many conservation groups like the National Wildlife Federation, the National Audubon Society, Trout Unlimited and the Wild Salmon Center are deeply concerned about the risk associated with this project.

So with all this opposition to building the mine, concern for the salmon fishery, the environment, and the livelihood of its native people, why is Thomas Collier, CEO of the Pebble Partnership, challenging the EPA on its veto power over the project? Could it be because of his experience at the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, which has an arm focused on mining and permitting? Are there mining loopholes in the Clean Water Act that allow hard rock mines to treat the nearest wetland or lake as a dump site?

There are two regulatory loopholes and with his experience at the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, Thomas Collier may be a strong adversary.

To the EPA’s credit, they have an independent peer-reviewed scientific study of a big mine’s impacts on the Bristol Bay watershed, so they want to use that information to help protect the watershed. My personal concern is that, even with substantial evidence the mine will go through because of big money and politics. As you read above, I’m not alone in the concern for Bristol Bay, and the National Wildlife Federation urges us to take action by going to their website at

Click here for post references.

Additional Resources:

Click here to listen to the TEDx Talk entitled Salmon Strongholds.

Click here to see the movie trailer for The Breach.

Click here to view Canada’s Worst Mining Disaster – Mount Polley

Click here to learn what happened when a tailings dam broke at the Ok Tedi mine.

Click here to learn more about the seafood we consume.

Make my salmon wild caught and here is why.

Click here to watch Xboundary: environmental onslaught in northern British Columbia

For my next post, we will look at the concept of holistic management and climate change.

If you would like to share your comments about this post, then please contact me at or leave a comment below.

Follow me on Twitter: Ken Pledger@KenPledger to view new information or participate in discussions that are relative to the topics on this website.

If you found the information helpful, please share with your friends and family.

Type 2 Diabetes

There are about 79 million U.S. adults who are obese. That same number quantifies Americans age 20 years or older that are pre-diabetic. There are 29 million people who actually have diabetes with another 1.7 million new cases added in 2012 and growing each year. Type 2 diabetes is on the rise in American children as there are a growing number of overweight youths. Type 2 diabetes is the most prevalent form of diabetes at 90 to 95% and it can be eliminated or reduced with lifestyle changes.

So what are these lifestyle changes? You know them as physical activity and a healthy diet.

Physical activity and a nutrient dense diet are critical to our health, advocated by many health professionals, and presented throughout this website. As we look back, we know that when aboriginal people convert from their traditional diets to modern foods they experience epidemic levels of obesity, diabetes, and face many other chronic diseases common throughout the developed world (more).

So what’s different between their traditional diets and our modern foods? Well I don’t believe it is fruits, vegetables or meat, so what’s left? You got it!

GRAINS, the very thing that you find in so many formats on our grocery shelves and lobbied so heavily by large agribusinesses. According to The Center for Responsive Politics, the agribusinesses spent $139,726,313 in 2012 on lobbying. If grains are so good for us, then why do they need to spend so much money? Who are the “healthy whole grains” truly good for and why are we encouraged to eat so much by the USDA?

In the last post, we looked at various proteins within grains that upset our digestive system. But what are grains? Grains are a form of sugar. When sugar enters our blood stream, our body with the help of insulin tries to regulate blood sugar by pushing sugar into our cells for energy use. When blood sugar levels exceed energy demand, then the sugar is stored in our fat cells for later use. When those fat stores aren’t used, and we continue to consume excess sugar over a lifetime, then we become obese. At some point (a cumulative effect), our fat cells reject further storage of sugar no matter how much insulin is created (this is known as insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes). The result is too much blood sugar and our bodies have a difficult time dealing with it. If elevated blood sugars persist, then complications can manifest and may even become life-threatening. These complications can include cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney damage, hearing impairment, dementia, nerve damage, blindness, skin conditions, amputations, dental disease, and pregnancy complications.

So what are our options for combating type 2 diabetes?

As a society, we can continue to spend $174 billion annually on medications to lower blood sugar or we can start making the necessary lifestyle changes. Those changes include reducing/eliminating breads, pasta, pastries, rolls, cereals, crackers, corn, rice, white potatoes, and other forms of “whole grains”. In addition, physical activity like walking will increase the body’s energy requirements and help to use those neglected energy stores. If you would enjoy the company of others, then checkout the American Volkssport Association as they are a national walking organization with many clubs throughout the states. Click here for the one nearest you.

Click here for post references.

Click here to learn about the new OneTouch Verio Meter.

Click here if you have gestational diabetes, you may find the link helpful.

This Is What Happens In Your Body One Hour After You Drink A Coke” Click here to learn more.

For my next post, we will look at a potential threat to our wild salmon.

If you would like to share your comments about this post, then please contact me at or leave a comment below.

Follow me on Twitter: Ken Pledger@KenPledger to view new information or participate in discussions that are relative to the topics on this website.

If you found the information helpful, please share with your friends and family.