10 October 2005 -- Issue #12 Editor: Michael J. Ross
In this month's issue of our newsletter, we are introducing a new section, entitled "Forum Question of the Month", which will feature a question or discussion topic from the PristinePlanet.com Forum. Readers will be invited to post responses to the question. If people have ideas for new columns that they would like to see added to this newsletter, please don't hesitate to let us know. Thank you!
While U.S. politicians and industry apologists claim that global warming is a myth, scientists are reporting that the northern hemisphere of the earth, especially the Arctic, is undergoing a melting of sea ice that has now passed the point of no return. Satellite imagery of the Arctic reveals that the sea ice fell in August 2005 to its lowest monthly level ever recorded, dropping over 18% below its long-term average. The extent of the reduction is believed to be greater than any other monthly loss during the past hundreds and perhaps thousands of years — indicating that the rate of melting is accelerating.
According to scientists studying the matter, the climatic warming of the region — and possibly the rest of the world — has apparently exceeded any level from which the region could recover. This is because the ice being lost tends to reflect much of the sun's rays, which are now heating up, for the first time, water that had previously been protected. Consequently, the warmer water furthers the melting of the ice above it, resulting in an inexorable cycle, with no quick end.
In favor of the environmental view, the process of Arctic melting is remarkably simple. Known as the "albedo effect", sea ice can reflect up to 80 percent of the sunlight that strikes it. But when that ice melts away, it exposes the seawater, which is darker and far more absorbent of the UV rays. The area involved is phenomenally large, covering an estimated 7 million square kilometers — approximately the size of Australia. If current trends continue, then there will be no summertime ice in the Arctic, by the year 2070, if not earlier.
Critics of these ecological warnings, may argue that the melting process has a natural limit: The warmer water will result in greater cloud cover, which reflects away sunlight before it even reaches the planet's surface, thus eventually cooling the planet back down and restoring the polar ice. Yet what they fail to appreciate is how few species could survive another ice age — especially the first one exacerbated by mankind's carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases. The global warning naysayers might be imagining or hoping that they will be able to merely relocate their suburbs and SUVs to the optimal climes, regardless of their location on the globe. But it's obviously not that simple. If we ever reach the point where the only Arctic ice left is to be found in our cocktail glasses, then we will have every reason to cry into our drinks, as the loss of habitat and species between then and now will have been apocalyptic.
Keeping one's skin healthy is not as easy as it once was, back when Mother Nature did not have to contend with pollutants and other skin irritants found in metropolitan air and municipal water. But Mother Nature has at least one ally on her side — von Natur, a company located in Portland that creates and sells "the ultimate in natural and organic skin and body care". The firm specializes in offering certified organic and vegan skin care products, all of which are made without any animal testing, using only natural, organic, and wild craft ingredients. These healing elements include vitamins, essential oils, exotic waxes, volcanic ash, charcoal, and fresh fruits and vegetables. These elements are combined with high-quality oils, waxes, and butters, to produce the company's unique products, all of which are manufactured at their facility in Clackamas, Oregon. No fillers, fragrance oils, or unnecessary chemicals are ever used. Recently they launched a new line of facial care items, employing anti-wrinkle ingredients such as alpha lipoic acid and Ester C.
Von Natur's adherence to using only the best ecologically responsible ingredients, is overseen by the company's chief formulator, Kayla Fioravanti. Readers may remember her from last month's issue of this newsletter, in which we featured another company with which she is involved, Essential Wholesale. Kayla utilizes her years of training and experience — reflected in her certification in aromatherapy — to carefully create von Natur's highly regarded line of skin care products, all made from the best botanicals from around the world. These products can be found in finer spas and beauty supply stores throughout the United States, and can also be ordered over the Internet from the company's Web site.
The name of the company has an interesting origin. In German, "von Natur" means "from Nature" or "of Nature", similar to how a leading family within a village would be named after the village, but with a prefix of "von", which was used to denote noble families. The Web site of von Natur notes that they use the nobility of "von" in everything that they do. The company itself and its products are also inspired by the city of origin, Portland, which they point out is an escape from typical urban environments, as seen in the cities gorgeous green parks, abundant rivers, beautiful floral arrangements seen on hillsides, picturesque mountains, and nearby Pacific Ocean.
Portland's residents and visitors can also experience von Natur's unique product lines in person, by visiting their Ultimate Bath & Body Store, which stocks all of the body, bath, home, and pet products that they offer. The store occupies what was once an old warehouse, and now looks refreshingly more exciting, with floors and stairs made of stained glass mosaic, as well as a stained glass waterfall. The facility also offers free weekly classes on a range of healthy topics, plus a Mini Day Spa, which naturally makes use of von Natur's outstanding skin care products.
We heartily welcome both enterprises, von Natur and Essential Wholesale, to the PristinePlanet.com community!
In an earlier newsletter, we mentioned that Kate's Caring Gifts ran an environmental poetry competition. (Even your fearless editor submitted a limerick!) The finalists for the limericks and the haiku have been announced, and voting is open to anyone until October 31.
Letters and guest articles posted in the Newsletter section of the Forum or sent to the publisher become the property of PristinePlanet.com, and may be edited for brevity or clarity prior to publication.
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