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Photo by Josh Spires on Unsplash

Welcome to the era of climate change. All over the world, planet Earth is transforming. I am speaking about the effects of climate change. To be specific, coastal changes as felt through residents of coastal Louisiana. People understand how important coastal systems and processes are to the longevity of people and industries in the south. Multiple perspectives about coastlines make it difficult to assess the problem. Hard-earned dollars are pumped into these restoration projects, and people do want to save the coast, but how far are we willing to go. …


Once and for all, you have seeds.

From the beginning, the world stopped. I saw the environment change course. Carbon dioxide decreased, transportation was suspended, animals roamed the empty streets humans once preoccupied. For almost three months, nature was taking a different direction. There is hope for a better future if we commit to a cleaner future for the earth. Now, more than ever is a time to seek better soil for us and our loved ones.

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Muir Woods

Composting is the means to produce healthier soil by increasing microbial life. A diversity of good bacteria is the foundation for growth. Microbes are harbored in humans and outnumber human cells 10 to 1. (NIH Human Microbe Project) Over time, compost will start to diversify with fungi, microbes, and bacteria to create the start of all vegetation. …


Environmental Justice for All and Leadership through Uncertainty

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Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash

In our society today, there is a need for conscious thoughts and actions aligning with the future of our planet and all humankind. Solutions involve sustainability and renewable resources for future generations of all races. A 2020 global pandemic is another reason why the future of our planet remains uncertain and we are here to change the narrative to accomplish environmental justice for all people.

Environmental justice for people of all races, backgrounds, and religious affiliations is essential. Climate change happens to all things, and how are we going to respond when resources are dispersed only to select groups of people? I am speaking of environmental racism present in our society as we battle the issues of our world in the year 2020. Natural disasters in history have caused health and economic hardships for people of color. Dwelling in lower economic areas or locations where human health is compromised reveals a clear picture of who is suffering and who is not. The belief of climate change and solutions to best fight climate change is coming from people fighting for their economic well being, living conditions, and livelihood. How do we see justice as the realm of climate and social issues? Among the disturbing events present, people of color have had to go through the year 2020 in protest amid climate change and social despair. Protests regarding climate change for everyone is justice that should not go unnoticed and is in correlation with equality. The world is changing and we have seen it change through sea-level rise, the intensity of storms, ocean acidification, and many more. We need to equip people of all races and creeds to combat these global changes. …


In the morning, birds need time to sing. Due to climate change and new priorities, humans are getting up earlier. Birds compete with the noises of humans. The Northern Mockingbird, Cardinal, and Blue Jay are ones to get up earlier to get that morning feed. Beauty that encompasses these animals in flight begins with noticing how beautiful they truly are.

A house finch perched on a branch gazes into the abyss
A house finch perched on a branch gazes into the abyss
A house finch on a branch gazes into the abyss

I wouldn’t say I am a naturalist, but I have come to appreciate birds and how they interact in nature. Birds are roaming the Earth in unimaginable ways by migrating from one end of the Earth to the other. Migrations are amazing to see from south Louisiana. The brightest and most numerous species of birds come in the spring where food is plentiful in the deep south. As soon as I walk outside, I can always hear the occasional high pitch Carolina Chickadee whizzing by trees looking for the next spot to perch or a cardinal showing its bright plumage on a nearby tree. …


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What is the first thought that emerges when you think about marriage? Let’s define this. Marriage involves two people trying to navigate life together. Communicating each other’s needs above their own, giving comfort after family issues that arise, preparing meals for each other, taking long walks, raising children, taking ballroom dance classes, and the list goes on. Marriage may seem like dating to some. There are no rules for a perfect or nearly perfect marriage.

The moment you grab each other’s hands — starting from the pulpit to the deathbed — you are wed. I choose the description of “navigating marriage” because we don’t have a clue where you end up through the marriage journey. You may have an idea of goals and passions you want to bring into marriage relative to your spouse, as a result, you end up supporting each other in their endeavors. Support may look different to some, but overall seeking the interests of your spouse and choosing to make his or her goal a reality. Communicating these passions helps to fulfill the richness of marriage just like a good friend supports his or her friend athletically, emotionally, or artistically across all spectrums. Our taste in marriage changes shape as we walk through it. …


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Photo by Bruno Figueiredo on Unsplash

In our society, antidepressants have become an addiction to save us from the present emotional moment such as depression. We have exceeded our capacity for drugs that we perceive to make us happier. Distractions and anxious feelings plague our thoughts and minds daily based on how society is structured with limited time outdoors to experience nature and no emphasis on purposeful living.

I recently read the book Lost Connections, with this message of disconnection to meaningful values, social interaction, and nature. If I were to break these down, I would say each claim presents itself differently. VALUES are formed when we feel we have distinguished what our purpose is. Careers we have or time commitments we tether are spaces to inject our values and beliefs of what is. We are not here to push our opinions in these spaces, they are just an outlet for us to discuss how we see life with other people. How we perceive life is basically how we live it. Once situations like a running race are perceived, plans are made to put into action how we are going to run the race. Asking big questions such as how we incorporate our values into how we eat food or how we cater to our relationships is a great way to improve our mental well being. SOCIAL INTERACTION is confusing in how we live our lives since people seek out perfection in relationships. As perfection becomes a habitual perception of people, our inner circle of dependable life-giving relationships dwindles. Social media is an influencer in our society. We struggle with this platform because we cling to it to solve our loneliness. Social media is an addiction, it is a blessing and a curse. Lastly, NATURE contributes to our mental state because we as humans are born from nature. …


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Photo by Yuichi Kageyama on Unsplash

The sound of buzzing is everywhere. From the time I wake up the buzz of cicadas storming through the Mississippi River swamp acts as my alarm clock to start the day. Not to mention these bugs can vary in size. Microscopic insects penetrate the smallest of cracks and crannies usually buzzing within the walls of your home. Sounds of insects are like the sound of birds, you can appreciate them or not. Buzzing is not primary to insect culture, it is how we see them.

I recently came across an article published in National Geographic entitled Where Have All The Insects Gone. It begs the questions, as a concerned citizen of this planet, am I aware of a dwindling insect population? Insects, to some people, are a nuisance. Insects may require a fly swatter or bites to the skin especially in south Louisiana. Feelings toward insects may change after reading this article. Animal populations have resisted decline, but insects have pressures such as climate change, habitat loss, and pesticide use. …


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Photo by Jakub Dziubak on Unsplash

Today, I just would like some good coffee to drink.

During this global pandemic, I have strongly encouraged myself to lower my expectations of productivity throughout my days. For this Tuesday, all I desire is to breathe, drink good coffee, hear what the birds sing, and feel how I should feel during a day without structure.

How much media should I consume during the day? Various opinions, information, and data tend to drown my thoughts out to living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I hope stillness is the answer because the world demands a stay at home order. …


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Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash

ESSENTIAL

What does water do for us and how can we advance this precious resource?

I am a contributor to this organization Charity Water. This organization has many technologies for water to be free of harmful particulates in the most remote regions of the world. Access to water is vital to our existence and Charity Water is making clean water accessible for those in poverty. Especially within the COVID-19 quarantine, these countries are vulnerable to the pressures of water shortages. …


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Photo by Gabriel Jimenez on Unsplash

Are you concerned about carbon sequestration, land use, pesticides, herbicides, and soil degradation? All these concerns are based on scaling back the natural environment we are living in. A new perspective is this….we can all be farmers. Recently I came across an NPR life kit around compost. After, I got to work pulling out an old recycling bin from the shed and filling it with brown matter: dead leaves, straw, sticks, and twigs. I kept food scraps in the back of the refrigerator, then was dumped into the recycling bin in the backyard. Insects and flies were feasting just after a few days of the bin gaining new food scraps. I was inspired by how easy this can be. Organic compounds such as nitrogen and carbon can reshape a waste pile from your kitchen or around your home. In my backyard, presently, there is a regeneration of carbon and nitrogen decomposing and renewing this compost matter. …

About

Joseph Kieffer

Exploring the possibilities of the scientific method are needed to bring about change. As an environmental scientist, I explore nature in depth.

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