David King, MSc, PhD
Writer, Teacher, and Health Psychologist


       davidking2311@gmail.com

"We need not to be let alone. We need to be
really bothered once in a while. How long
is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something
real?" (Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)
Home Services Blog Curriculum Vitae Teaching Dossier Contact

Conservation, Nature, & the Environment

Without a doubt, nothing gets me bothered more than issues related to environmental conservation. I’ve been an environmentalist for as long as I can remember, really, writing about global warming and other end-of-life scenarios during much of my early adolescence. I’ve always felt a strong connection to animals of all sorts and sizes, and have a natural tendency to recognize the interdependence of all life, including humans. I can get pretty worked up about this stuff, and frustrated, and saddened, but there’s always room for at least a little hope. Whether or not we have time to fix the damage that’s been done, we can still affect change of some kind, and the long-term impact of our existence can still be mitigated.

This world is a beautiful place, and while I’m certain that it’s one of many in the universe, its living byproducts – its conscious conduits, if you will – are pretty amazing, and they’re worth preserving, no matter your spiritual beliefs or lack thereof. Our own success as a species depends on it. I hope the following articles help to cultivate the conservationist in you, and leave you feeling quite bothered…

In This and Every Fall From Grace

by David King on November 4, 2013

nature

You can try to hold on if you want to, but your grip is sure to loosen over time.

Grace is a virtue often defined in religious terms, but it need not be so. I have made the suggestion that many expressions of religion and spirituality are the mere products of our desire to reconnect with nature. In its purest form, nature is grace; grace is nature – effortless beauty, simplicity in elegant design, rounded, smoothed, and charming, even when it’s not at all.

It’s right there. It’s all around us, in every drop of water, in every moment of the hydrologic cycle. It’s in the bonds between atoms, in the synapses between nerves, and in the air between each breath. It’s both photosynthesis and decomposition; both mitosis and meiosis; stalagmite, leaf, and root. It’s the ice and the snow; … Keep Reading Here

Like a Cool Breeze through the Bars

by David King on August 25, 2013

social cage

Some days, I get a little closer to that feeling.

Most days, however, I’m not convinced. Most days, I wonder how everything got like this; how we let everything get like this. And I speak both personally and collectively; as individuals, as families, as a species, how did things get so out of control? Perhaps it’s a vicious cycle, a feedback loop of sorts – once the ball is dropped, it just keeps rolling, increasing exponentially in speed with every turn. Maybe it falls, maybe it stops. Maybe, someday, this all ends, and the loop closes.

Lately, I’ve gained a new perspective on the feelings of my youth; in particular, the feelings of unrest and discontent with the way things are. In my relentless tendency to view all things as connected, and to advocate for the connections among all … Keep Reading Here

Hope Elusive: Getting Bothered over Bees & Bags

by David King on May 29, 2013

honeybee

Since this blog’s conception, I have tried to focus on topics and issues of the less obvious sort. My goal was (and remains) to get people thinking about things like time and space and what it means to be human – what it means to live in this world. I wanted to tackle big issues, engage people on an existential level, and really challenge everyday thinking. To this end, I have decidedly ignored many issues that have seeped into mainstream media, no matter how bothersome. But my motivation for this has really been two-fold. In addition to avoiding redundancy and offering something new, I also made the assumption that my readers were already bothered by all of those things. I presumed the thoughts and feelings of an unseen audience, and implicit in this was the belief that intelligence was relatively … Keep Reading Here

Confronting Concrete: The Catch-7 of City Living

by David King on May 26, 2013

concrete

I’m tired of the city. Really, really tired of it.

I suppose it’s not the city itself that I’m tired of. It’s what the city has removed that I find myself longing for. I’m tired of the absence of nature; of perfectly aligned trees and genetically enhanced flowerbeds. I’m tired of manufactured landscapes and concrete views. I miss the connection. I miss life – the kind that isn’t constantly motivated by coffee breaks and cocktails on patios.

Such feelings may come as a surprise, given my current location. And sure, Vancouver is a city with more natural beauty than most. But it is nonetheless still a city. Trees have been replaced by towers of glass and cement. Pristine bays once frequented by orcas now function as parking spaces for freighters and shipping vessels. The nature that remains has been quarantined, … Keep Reading Here

Living is Easy with Eyes Closed

by David King on November 5, 2012

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. So today, I’m keeping the words to a minimum.

Images can move us, but we mustn’t avoid images that make us feel uncomfortable.  We live in a complex world, full of both good and bad; positive and negative; gain and loss. And while nature necessitates balance, such a concept has been misconstrued by our species. We are forever doomed to tilt. In our relentless quest for progress, we continuously find ourselves falling backward, ever the error-prone stewards – hardly stewards at all, hardly human by our own standards.

Living is easy with eyes closed (so the Beatles song says), but I don’t want easy. I won’t have anything to do with it. Eyes wide open, all the way…

Look at these images. Let them anger you. Let them sadden … Keep Reading Here

The Horseshoe Crab: A Case for Conservation

by David King on August 29, 2012

horseshoe-crab

When I was kid and travelled to Florida every winter, I inevitably collected a number of shells and other remains of marine life (including hermit crab shells, starfish, silver dollars, dried seahorses, and a small shark in a bottle, among others). I collected a lot of strange things when I was younger, rocks and stamps included (see: nerd).

One of the items I was particularly fond of was the exoskeleton of a horseshoe crab. I actually had a few exoskeletons of varying sizes. I was intrigued by them. There’s a reason they call these arthropods living fossils – in addition to having gone unchanged for an impressive 450 million years, they resemble something out of Jurassic Park. And their wisdom isn’t just in their age – there’s something about their appearance that speaks of deep history.

And while this … Keep Reading Here

The Prioritization of Canis lupus familiaris

by David King on May 7, 2012

A few months ago, I came across an article about Republican Candidate Mitt Romney’s “animal abuse” scandal. Apparently, he had put his dog in a kennel and strapped the kennel to the roof of his car. This had animal lovers up in arms.

My response was one of confusion: Really?

Here’s the deal – I’m a huge animal lover, and always have been. But there’s a growing problem in Western culture (and developed nations more broadly) – people are just downright obsessed with dogs.

Here’s my perspective on life – all life. I believe that consciousness is indeed a miraculous product of the evolution of the universe. For now, let’s put aside quantum physics and the notion that consciousness flows through everything, and just focus on what biologists refer to broadly as ‘life.’ This stuff, life, is pretty amazing, and … Keep Reading Here

2-Month Long Oil Leak?!?!

by David King on October 24, 2009

So in case you’ve missed it, an oil rig in the Timor Sea (off the Northern coast of Australia) has been leaking for two months. Tomorrow will be the Thai-based company’s FOURTH (yes, not 1st, not 2nd, not 3rd, but 4th!) attempt at repairing the leak, which began in late August and has resulted in a slick covering an area of several thousand square kilometers. Leaking at a rate of 400 barrels of oil PER DAY, 1200 tonnes of oil had been dumped by Sept. 14th alone (and yup, it’s continued leaking for 6 weeks since then).

So what’s going on in terms of conservation and clean-up? Not enough it seems…other than dropping chemicals to disperse the oil, as seen in the picture above, and attempting to monitor things. And why hasn’t the Australian government done more? Apparently there’s been … Keep Reading Here

Science vs. Religion vs. Our Fate

by David King on June 5, 2009

Mendel

So I return to the issue of fate, but with an entirely different frame of reference: Our fate as a species (as well as that of the planet, with which ours is completely entwined). In recent years we have witnessed an explosion of scientific evidence that climate change is real and nearing a tipping point. We also know that we are currently in the midst of the Sixth Great Extinction, the causes of which are irrefutably and undeniably linked to human behaviour. And there are a number of other related issues being brought to the forefront: privatization of fresh water, predicted increases in environmental refugees, rising sea levels, changing weather patterns, lack of commitment to green technology by major industries, oil dependency, overfishing, overplowing, genetic modification, soil erosion, etc. (and that’s a BIG etc.). It is only natural, then, to … Keep Reading Here

Happy Earth Day!

by David King on April 22, 2009

earth

So here’s a question: Why is Earth Day not a statutory holiday? Stat holidays typically recognize days of historical or religious significance, and as such, reflect some of our most deeply held values (or so an alien race would assume). As our only 100% verifiable creator, mother, father, and “giver of life”, one would think that the Earth’s formation might represent immense historical and spiritual significance to the human race.

Instead, we have multiple days (e.g., Christmas, Easter) to celebrate a time which, let’s face it, really doesn’t cut it anymore…to the extent that we’ve created additional layers (e.g., Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny) to make things more appealing to the masses. Religious or not, one body has direct relevance to our past, present, and future existence: Earth.

Let’s give this 4.6 billion-year-old rock of life the credit it deserves. … Keep Reading Here