Entries by Diarmuid McGuire

Panic and Carry On

We have been waiting for this moment since the 1st century AD, when the Book of Revelations hit the streets. The end-times battle is finally starting, not at Tel Megiddo in Israel as some have predicted but in Paradise, California. Pardon the hyperbole. The ultimate struggle for survival that we call Armageddon actually has been […]

Let’s Jump

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are standing on the lip of a cliff. Far below their feet, a river rushes through a canyon. A posse led by the relentless Joe Lefors is closing in for the kill. Butch suggests jumping. Sundance declines. Butch: “What’s the matter with you?” Sundance: “I can’t swim.” Butch: “Why […]

Think Different.

Apple Computer launched an ad campaign featuring this grammatically controversial slogan in 1997. Apparently Steve Jobs and his Apple confreres took their own rhetoric seriously. They launched the iPhone in 1997. Today, a mere decade later, a third of the humans on the planet Earth are equipped to read these words instantly. Will 2.67 billion […]

Just Imagine

Of course we feel helpless. The train of seasons has jumped its track and is hurtling into the unknown. Our parks, trails and plazas are cloaked in smoke. We huddle indoors, breathing filtered air. Where is our careening climate taking us? We don’t want to think about it. All we know for sure is that […]


Crrrrackkkkkkk! Nature’s firecracker shatters a Sunday afternoon. More detonations follow. Wheels of thunder rumble down the mountainsides and across the valley floor. Crrrrackkkkkkk! The gods of physics are flexing their muscles. “We are releasing more energy in a few microseconds than your filthy fossil fired power plants can produce in a year. Match this, puny […]

Protecting Mom

Beautiful. Fragile. Recovering slowly from years of abuse. Facing risk of further violation by powerful men. I’m talking about our mother, the original Mom that we call Mother Earth. Well, not actually all of Mother Earth; for the moment, let’s focus on the part we call the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. How do we give our […]

Join the Choir

Yes, I’m preaching to the choir. People who read these words tend to be believers, so most likely you are familiar with the hymns: “Our Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is a wonderful treasure, rich in ecosystems and biodiversity.” “We have damaged the natural world that sustains us and helped unbalance the climate. We must protect what […]

The Delusion of Separation

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us…Universe. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison… Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our … […]

It’s Personal

For me, this is personal. I hope you feel the same way. By “this,” I mean the struggle to protect our public lands and restore our damaged environment — starting with our Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. My family and I have operated a business and, for many years, lived within the boundaries of this Monument for […]

It’s On The Table

The road from the Green Springs back to civilization crosses a summit and swoops down, tracing a series of curves across the flowing drapery hung by Cascadian vulcanism. Each swoop reveals a new panorama of the valley and lake below, the forested mountainsides and bare peaks beyond, and the vast, busy sky. Sometimes there is […]

Double Down on Science

Google “Santa Rosa fire,” then click on “images.” Unthinkable, right? Now Google “Ashland, Oregon” and click on the map. Scroll along the neighborhoods at the western edge of town, where streets and homes border the forested mountainside. Do you live on Tolman Creek Road, Morninglight, Green Meadows, Crestview, Peachy or upper Morton? Can you see […]


As you read this missive, the planetary clock will have struck 18. Gifts will have been opened. Family will have come and gone. Perhaps you will have taken a moment to wonder: did anything good happen last year? As far as bad news is concerned, there has been plenty. I’m not talking about the dangerous […]

What Can You do to Head Off Extinction?

Yes, that’s a tall order. We are talking about 7.6 billion human beings and 8.7 million other species, give or take a million or so. Each of us is an infinitesimal speck on the web of terrestrial life. Individually, we don’t have much influence. Yet your consciousness makes a difference. It’s part of human consciousness […]

Doubling down on our Monument

Who ever thought that a president of the United States would bother to attack us? Who are we anyway? Southern Oregon is way out on the margins of wealth and power, much like Puerto Rico. I have a strong suspicion that, if a stray hurricane destroys our infrastructure, we will also be on our own. […]

Identity & Survival

Deer season is upon us. A guy sits down at our bar and orders a Coors Light. He is all decked out in Mossy Oak Breakup. As the manufacturer says, “It’s more than a camo pattern. It’s who you are.” So I’m expecting the usual camo package. He will hate government, unless the government gets […]

Addicts in Power

Like many Americans, I have an addict in my life. He has taught me a lot. I know that he will tell me anything that he thinks I want to hear. I know that almost nothing he says is true and that he will not admit to any lie, no matter what facts have come […]

Biosphere III

On September 26, 1991, eight humans marched into an extraterrestrial colony called Biosphere II and embarked on a voyage to the future. It didn’t work out. The idea was to test self-sustaining, closed ecological systems that would enable humans to live (and, presumably, reproduce) in hostile environments far from Earth. But the three-acre facility ran […]

Welcome to your national monument!

Cascade Siskiyou National Monument (CSNM) is located just 17 miles south and east of Ashland. Originally designated in June of 2000 for its unparalleled biodiversity, the monument has something for everyone — whether you like to hike, fish, horseback ride, hunt or take Sunday afternoon drives on historic Highway 66. At the beginning of this […]

The Hindenburg of Populism

On May 6, 1937, just after 7:00 PM local time, an airship the size of an ocean liner floated gently toward a mooring facility at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey, at the end of a three-day voyage from Frankfurt, Germany. Just after the first mooring line was secured, witnesses saw light blue flames […]

Why We March

Marching is not about Trump. It’s not about pandas. It’s not about groping or tax returns or even deporting the mother of four U.S. citizens because she used a fake id to get a job cleaning motel rooms 20 years ago. It’s about survival. I’m not talking just about you and me. I’m talking about […]

Burning the White House

The last time the British got really annoyed with us, they burned down the White House. At least the issues behind the unfortunate War of 1812 were real. Our government objected to British insults like the impressment, i.e. kidnapping, of American seamen. In the spring of 1814, U.S. forces burned Port Dover, a village in […]

Bullhorn Conversation

An early morning snowfall was melting along the roadside around mid-day one Saturday in February when a man with an orange bullhorn started talking through a bullhorn. He said something about a ‘land grab.’ To be honest, I did not pay much attention to his words. Phil, a neighbor and a gentle soul, said that […]

Democrats are from Venus, Republicans from Mars

Back in 1992, when all we had to worry about was our marriages, a writer and counselor named John Gray published a pop psychology best-seller entitled Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. Little did John Gray know that by 2016 Mars and Venus would have divided our country into warring political camps that […]

Wetting the Bed: a Wake-Up Call

The joy of travel: we stepped out of the tube station at South Kensington. A young man with a fistful of handbills spotted me and asked: “What do you think about that new president you’ve got?” Yes, it’s a global village and every villager knows that we Yanks just wet our bed, nationally speaking. It’s […]

Catastrophe: start small

Like you, I have just spent long hours watching and listening as a very strange man has told me that I live in hell. This character, a sort of Mr. Sweet Potato Head with marshmallow lips, piggy eyes and an orange toupée, claims that our nation is in free fall, we are all living in […]

Let Us Now Praise Wolves

Look up at Grizzly Peak. In June, a wolf killed at least two goats and a sheep just across that ridge. The perpetrator, OR33, a lone male, seems to have headed back to high country. Of course we regret loss of livestock. At the same time, we should honor the livestock owners who chose to […]

The Missing Story Line

Baton Rouge is under water. A huge swath of San Bernardino County is on fire. Your morning paper, the TV news, Google, Twitter et. al. relay the tragic details: homes destroyed, communities evacuated, lives turned upside down. But something is missing. Why are we seeing super storms that drop two feet of rain in a […]

Oh What A Beautiful Mornin’

Oh what a beautiful day on the Green Springs. Summer is half over and the forest floor is still carpeted in lush green. Balmy afternoons merge into cool evenings. The lakes are full and the fish are biting. This is paradise. Why am I uneasy? Is it the carbon dioxide that’s making me nervous? You […]

The Silver Lining in the Toxic Cloud

The party of Lincoln is smoldering wreckage, strewn across the political landscape. The casualties are not yet counted, but they will certainly include GOP candidates for U.S. Senate and other offices downstream to the state and local levels. The suicide bomber who perpetrated this disaster is currently a candidate for leader of the free world, […]

Spread the Word

Let’s say you want to change the world. We are talking about a world that is large, complicated, seemingly chaotic and notoriously difficult to manage. Just ask God. God has a long and successful history as an organizing principle but lately the power of that principle seems to be waning. Recently one of God’s spokesmen, […]

Greensprings Inn – Paradise & Climate Change

On the Green Springs, paradise is in season. Morels popped up in our woods two weeks ago. Our reservoirs are full. At Green Springs Inn, we are serving foam-capped pints of local microbrew on our sun-warmed deck. Yes, our balmy summer weather is two months early and the sunny days are punctuated by periods of […]

Decency matters. So does wine.

It’s the best of times and the worst of times. As usual. Among prominent contenders for the presidency of our beloved United States is a vicious buffoon—a real life version of Stephen King’s horror clown Pennywise. Apparently Pennywise and his ilk have sunk their fangs into our culture because some people are actually voting for […]

Local Man’s Head Explodes, Science Blamed

If my head exploded in front of a United States senator, would he notice? OK, there might be some hyperbole going on here, but not as much as you think. As far as exploding heads are concerned, it’s just a matter of paying attention. A few facts fly in through an open mental window and […]

Getting It Right In Paris

As we pulled our wheeled bags down Rue de Cardinal Lemoine toward the Metro station last Sunday, leaving Paris, I noticed a hand-lettered sign in a shop window: “Vivre sans crainte.” Live without fear. The Parisian shopkeeper who wrote this message knows the truth: terrorists can’t hurt us, but if we give in to fear, […]

Rocks and Twitter: Tools for the Times

A screaming Vietnamese child, her burned clothes torn away, runs along a rural highway toward a photographer. Flash forward: the body of a Syrian toddler, dressed in worn sneakers and a red tee shirt, washes up on a Greek beach. What do these children, separated by 43 years and half a world, have in common? […]

Greensprings Inn

Playing it safe: not a survival strategy Butch and Sundance stand at the top of a cliff. Far below, a narrow river rushes through a deep gorge. From behind, Pinkertons move in for the kill. Sundance refuses to jump. Butch Cassidy: What’s the matter with you? Sundance Kid: I can’t swim. Butch Cassidy: Are you […]

Climate Change, Survival and the Buzzkill Factor

One of our brilliant daughters, code-named M1, was surfing near Cannon Beach last week when she ran into a band of acquaintances, millennials like her, outdoors fun lovers, several with jobs at places like Nike and Intel. In other words, they were exactly the type of people we need to change the world. Sitting around […]

Things That Matter and Why They Don’t

Upstairs at Green Springs Inn is a room that guests in the restaurant below never see. One of our daughters slept there during her childhood years. Those ten years were, by modern childhood standards, magical. She lived in a forest, ran unfettered with a posse of buddies from our tiny Pinehurst School, owned a horse […]

Breakfast with David: biscuits, gas and 3470

I’m eating breakfast with David Koch at Green Springs Inn. The big (6’5”) plutocrat seems to be enjoying himself. “Julia won’t let me order biscuits and gravy,” he chuckles.  After the basketball conversation winds down, I pop the question. “I’m concerned about this gas pipeline that your Veresen friends want to run down Clover Creek […]