Then take a moment - well several "moments" - to review this extra large, all-dressed, informational "pizza"... which mainly covers critically urgent environmental issues that require immediate global attention and action... unless we are comfortable with going over the cliff into the abyss of planetary ecocide.
And think about sharing what strikes/moves you the most with others...
Oh! and by the way, all that ails the world can be healed just... like... that!
It all starts within our own heart... where we can find the will to change and the road map to find our way ahead towards global greener pastures.
So let's surrender to the innate wisdom of Light, Life and Love and we will be fine... magnificently fine!
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"Since I came across your life, I feel the same and ever growing appreciation for your Light and Love... It amazes me how much comfort you can bring to my life with your work. Youre pouring so much Light into the world that thanks to beings like you Im already sure that "in spite of everything" we are going to make it!... And youre so blessed to live in such a gorgeous planetary area as the one you show in your photo compilations. Thanks a lot also for that."
"Good Morning Jean! It has been some while since connecting in this way, but your most recent compilation compels me! With time constraints being a big part of my life at present, I've been outside of the main media corruption and much of the internet "news" as well. I must say that it has been refreshing to take a break from mass reality. If one could do so, I would highly recommend this for everyone. It's not putting your head in the sand because most of those who are informed can easily intuit what is important and maintain a meditative focus on the needs and live accordingly. What is good about this step back is perspective gained from a less immersed view and the peace it brings to the soul leaving one truly refreshed, positive and more fully able to bring one's personal Light and Love to the world at this time. It's a temporary vacation, if you will, but a breather is good for many things! Much love to you and your continued work. I could not search for all you present and I look forward to each compilation that you prepare. I wish that I could be more supportive in tangible ways, but it's just not possible at this time. God Bless!"
- Suzanna Sjogren (firstname.lastname@example.org) United States - Message left on April 13, 2010 in the ERN guestbook
"War and violence are no longer viable solutions to any conflict. Because of nuclear weapons, all wars now contain the seeds of planetary destruction. Additionally, all significant global problems require global cooperation to reach satisfactory solutions. In line with such shifts in thinking, we must recognize that our very survival demands our cooperative efforts to end the truly apocalyptic threats posed by nuclear weapons. The question of how we change our ways of thinking is not easily answered. We need to think about how we think, and also use our imaginations to project possible futures, including no future at all, which are potential consequences of reliance on nuclear weapons for security by some states. The kernel of an answer lies in our correct understanding of the threat we face from such bankrupt policies. Also, we must recognize that our old ways of thinking focus on perceptions of narrowly defined patriotism and fatalistic acceptance that we are separate, war is part of human nature, power prevails, and the nuclear genie cannot be put back in the bottle, or nuclear weapons cannot be dis-invented. To change such thinking, we must come to understand that we are required to do what has perhaps never before been done. Faced with potential extinction, we must find ways to cooperate in creating a common future that is just and peaceful, beginning by eliminating nuclear weapons. In global climate negotiations, including at the December 2009 Climate Conference in Copenhagen, political leaders have so far failed to reach a legally binding agreement to control greenhouse gases that threaten major environmental damage to the planet. On many critical issues, political leaders remain prisoners of old ways of thinking that place greed and narrow self-interest ahead of cooperation. Since it is the massively destructive power of nuclear weapons that make new ways of thinking essential, it seems reasonable to explore the ways people think about these weapons."
"Those who defend this war, or war in general or the infinitesimal slice of war depicted in the WikiLeaks video have an endless supply of rationalizations that only make sense within a heavily fortified consciousness: a consciousness unable or afraid to cross the line demarking us and them, to ask, fleetingly, What if those dead bastards were my parents, my brothers, my children? Ask that and things start to change. Its called empathy. Embrace it and you can no longer tolerate war not this kind of war, modern, impersonal, fought from above as a way to advance the interests of business and empire, or to make a geopolitical statement. "
"People feel that they are helpless to solve problems facing the global environment; that the problems are too large to be dealt with on an individual basis. But every single day we all make an impact on the world through the choices we make. And we all have the responsibility to carefully consider our choices. Are we living beyond our real needs, what is our individual carbon footprint, was there unnecessary waste or cruelty (product testing with live animal subjects) involved in the production of the goods that we buy? There is so much access to information these days; we can all make educated choices. And with the wonders of modern communication, the positive little changes that people make will multiply, first by hundreds, then by thousands, then millions; by working together we can effect big global change! We must take stock of and accountability for our actions, and we must be better global stewards than we have been for the sake of future generations. And if people are still feeling helpless, I would ask that they have faith in the resilience of nature and the power and capacity of the human brain. We have an amazing brain; its taken us to the moon, discovered the wonders of modern medicine and built a global information super highway. We have the stuff, the problem-solving skills, the communication abilities, and a drive to progress that will allow us to work through today's environmental challenges. After 50 years, my job is now to give people hope."
SPECIAL FOCUS ON THE GLOBAL MULTIFACETED ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS
One Man, One Cow, One Planet - TRAILER http://www.foodmatters.tv/_webapp/One%20Man%20One%20Cow
Our existence on this planet is precarious. Modern industrial agriculture is destroying the earth:? Desertification, water scarcity, toxic cocktails of agricultural chemicals pervading our food chains, ocean ecosystem collapse, soil erosion and massive loss of soil fertility. Our ecosystems are overwhelmed. Humanity's increasing demands are exceeding the Earth's carrying capacity. A simple recipe to save the world? One old man and a bucket of cow-dung. This film offers an inspiring alternative to the abuse of modern agribusiness. One courageous gentleman, Peter Proctor, addresses this issue right at the heart of where people are hurting most. (...) Modern agriculture causes topsoil to be eroded at 3 million tons per hour (thats 26 billion tons a year!). Human mass (waste) is replacing biomass and other species. The carrying capacity of the earth is almost spent. To maintain our comfort zone lifestyles we will soon need five earths to sustain us in the style to which we have become accustomed. The mantra of free trade has failed the worlds poor. There is a better way. Biodynamic agriculture may be the only answer we have left. CLIP Watch a 9 minute excerpt HERE and visit http://www.onemanonecow.com/ - Check also Food, Inc. - Voir aussi Le sol agonise - constat révélateur d'un ingénieur de l'Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique qui a préféré démissionner au lieu se taire... Son discours laisse songeur...
Is Earth past the tipping point? (Mar 19, 2010) http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=is-earth-past-the-tipping-point-2010-03-18&sc=DD_20100319
Biodiversity loss. Land use. Freshwater use. Nitrogen and phosphorus cycles. Stratospheric ozone. Ocean acidification. Climate change. Chemical Pollution. Aerosol loading in the atmosphere. A team of 30 scientists across the globe have determined that the nine environmental processes named above must remain within specific limits, otherwise the "safe operating space" within which humankind can exist on Earth will be threatened. Amid some controversy, the group has set numeric limits for seven of the nine so far (chemical pollution and aerosol loading are still being pinned down). And the researchers have determined that the world has already crossed the boundary in three cases: biodiversity loss, the nitrogen cycle and climate change. Jon Foley, director of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, and a leader of the group, lays out the limits and their implications for human action in an article in Scientific American's April issue. He also discusses the issues in a podcast with our own Steve Mirsky. Foley's team was so moved by the research effort that it put together a compelling video (see below) dramatizing the situation, generated entirely with typography, graphics and energizing music. You can learn more about the team's work at its research site, too.
Are We Pushing Earth's Environmental Tipping Points? (March 19, 2010) Listen to this podcast http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=are-we-pushing-the-earths-environme-10-03-19
Jon Foley, director of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, talks with podcast host Steve Mirsky [pictured left] about his article in the April issue of Scientific American, "Boundaries for a Healthy Planet". Plus, we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this episode include snipurl.com/foleyplanet
Bill Gates donates £20m to kickstart fund for farmers (22 April 2010) http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/apr/22/bill-gates-farmers-aid
Microsoft billionaire disappointed that wealthiest nations have not given more aid. (...) The $30m brings the Gates Foundation contribution to agricultural development to $1.5b Much more has been spent by the foundation on health in the developing world. Gates said he hoped aid from the new fund will begin flowing before the end of the year to countries such as Rwanda and Ghana which had submitted plans for helping their farmers. In a comment piece in the Wall Street Journal written by Gates and Geithner, they said: "As the world's population increases in the coming years and as changes in the climate create water shortages that destroy crops, the number of people without adequate access to food is likely to increase. As that happens, small farmers and people living in poverty will need the most help." The fund will be used to help farmers gain access to better seeds, build roads and other infrastructure to link them to markets and to promote sustainable water use. CLIP
Climatologists cleared of any "scientific malpractice" (April 15, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0415-hance_climate.html
Two inquiries into the research of several climatologists at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) have now cleared the researchers of any wrong-doing. The second inquiry, which looked specifically at 11 representatives studies including global temperature findings and work with tree rings, announced yesterday that they found "no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit, and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it," according to the panel, which included experts from the United States, Switzerland, and the UK. The inquiries were instigated after the theft of private e-mails from researcher's correspondence last November at the RU, which started a media firestorm. After yesterday's announcement some science related media sites and liberal-leaning news sources are now dubbing the so-called 'Climategate' a 'fake scandal'. While 'climate skeptics' are declaring that the inquiry itself was flawed. But according to the past two inquiries, the e-mails have not revealed any scientific manipulation or attempt to deceive the public, which 'climate skeptics', media personalities, and a number of politicians claimed following the theft and release of the private e-mails. "We found absolutely no evidence of any impropriety whatsoever. That doesn't necessarily mean that we agree with all of their conclusions but that was not the point. We were absolutely satisfied that these people were doing their job fairly and honestly," Lord Oxburgh, the head of the inquiry, said yesterday as reported by The Independent. "As far as we could see all of the conclusions were honestly and sensibly arrived at. We had no reason to question the conclusions, we had no reason to believe that they were reached by dishonest means." By clearing the climatologists, the inquiries have also cleared decades of work on the science of climate change. However the panel did state that it would like to see better techniques used to analyze statistical data, though it added that such techniques would not have changed the researchers' overall findings. In the end, the inquiry's 7 page report states that instead of scientists manipulating data for a political agenda, it "found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention."
Why You Should Come to the Largest Climate Rally Ever on the DC Mall April 25 (April 19, 2010) http://www.alternet.org/environment/146517/why_you_should_come_to_the_largest_climate_rally_ever_on_the_dc_mall_april_25
Come hear everyone from James Hansen to James Cameron, from Sting to me. Let's show the Tea Partiers what a real crowd looks like. -- Earth Day Network is organizing a huge event on the Mall in Washington DC on April 25. The goal is to demand tough, effective climate legislation and a swift transition away from 19th century energy sources."So what?" you may be asking yourself. There have been a lot of climate rallies over the last 25 years and Congress still hasn't managed to pass a law. Why should I come to this one?Let me count the ways . That's the legendary Denis Hayes, national coordinator for the first Earth Day in 1970. Hayes was director of the federal Solar Energy Research Institute (1979 to 1981) and is now president of the Bullitt Foundation and international chair of Earth Day 2010.You can get all the information you want about the Sunday rally - as well as other actions you can take - by clicking on the Earth Day Network website. In general, I haven't been someone who pushes rallies. But the Tea Partiers have gotten an absurd amount of media attention for relatively tiny rallies. CLIP
Stars shine spotlight on the planet for Earth Day http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j_lIqGdNCwStjR7g11AQCA8UTraA
WASHINGTON Actress Sigourney Weaver warned of the dangers facing oceans, President Barack Obama threw a White House party, and UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged the world to kick the carbon habit -- all in honor of planet Earth. They were part of a galaxy of stars from the political, show business and sports worlds who shone the spotlight on Mother Nature as the United States marked the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on Thursday.At a White House reception, Obama called Earth Day "a bright moment in our nation's history and a milestone in the ongoing fight to protect our environment." CLIP
James Cameron interview: Why Avatar meets Earth Day (Apr 21 2010) http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/movies/article/798655--james-cameron-interview-why-avatar-meets-earth-day?bn=1
(...) When were building wind farms and building solar farms, we shouldnt be doing that because its working against global warming. We should be doing it because its good business and it creates jobs.I believe that the nation that embraces renewable energy first and strongest will be the nation whose economy will dominate in the 21st century. And right now, were not doing that. So I feel like Im doing something good for the economy.Hes been true to his word in recent weeks. Hes taken the goodwill and public interested sparked by Avatar and barnstormed the globe, visiting environmental hot spots in Brazil and India. Hes also met with political leaders in Washington, D.C. and New York. Cameron has always been interested in the environment, but the phenomenal success of Avatar now with $2.7 billion worldwide in box office and counting has brought out the crusader in him. It kicked it to a whole new level in terms of interest and access and social responsibility, if you will. So many groups responding to having seen Avatar have contacted me, saying, Hey, do you know about his situation happening in India or Peru or Ecuador?
24 hours to save the whales!! http://www.avaaz.org/en/whales_under_threat_7/?vl
On Thursday, a proposal will be unveiled that would legalize commercial whale hunting for the first time in 24 years. The fate of the proposal will be determined largely by the world's immediate reactions to it -- and according to insiders, many governments are planning to stand aside and allow commercial whaling to resume. An outcry is needed now to ensure they stand strong to save the whales.Avaaz has launched a last-moment petition to show our leaders their people want to protect whales, not hunt, kill, and sell them. The petition will be sent to the delegates to the International Whaling Commission every time we raise another 100,000 signatures -- sign here and forward this message. A strong international consensus has opposed whaling for decades -- but for just as long, Japan, Norway, and Iceland have continued to hunt whales, ignoring the global ban on whaling or exploiting a loophole by claiming their expeditions were "scientific research." Now they could be rewarded by a "compromise" proposal, in which their commercial whaling would be made legal. Worse still, a number of other countries are watching the process closely -- with rumored plans to start their own whaling programs if the proposal goes through. If Japan, Norway, and Iceland can hunt whales and sell their meat, others will ask "if them, why not us?" It's time to save the whales -- again. Forty years ago, whales were on the brink of extinction. But thanks to a global social movement, the world banned commercial whaling in 1986. The ban is one of the environmental movement's great triumphs.Today, whales still face many threats: not just the whalers' harpoons, but also climate change, destruction of ecosystems by overfishing and pollution, and nets intended for other fish. A renewed wave of commercial whaling could devastate these extraordinarily intelligent and social cousins of humanity. This is no time to move backwards.
Bearing Witness: Chris Jordan on Art, Grief, and Transformation (April 14, 2010) MOVING STORY! http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/bearing-witness-chris-jordan-on-art-grief-and-transformation
Photographer Chris Jordan's latest project left him feeling grief and hopelessness. Now he wants more people to discover how productive those emotions can be. -- Photographer Chris Jordan is used to working on the large scale. His most famous works try to capture the sheer scope of American consumer culture: discarded circuit boards spread out like a city, teetering stacks of crushed cars, two million plastic bottles (the number Americans use every five minutes) compiled in a single photograph. But with his most recent project, Jordan is narrowing his focus. Last fall, he led a team of artists to Midway Atoll, a tiny, remote island in the middle of the Pacific where throw-away culture is having a major impact: albatross chicks are dying by the thousands, choking or starving after trying to eat small chunks of plastic carried to the island by the North Pacific Gyre (also called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch). The result is a relentless series of photographs of decomposing birds with bright, colorful plastic where their stomachs used to be. For Jordan, opening himself up to the horror of whats happening on Midwayall the while recognizing that its just one of the tragedies thats happening in our worldwas painful and intensely demoralizing. But, together with the writer Terry Tempest Williams, hes now planning to return several more times to further immerse himself in the islands hard truthsand to discover whether transformation can be found on the other side of grief.
Buying carbon offsets may ease eco-guilt but not global warming (April 20, 2010) http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2010/0420/Buying-carbon-offsets-may-ease-eco-guilt-but-not-global-warming
Voluntary carbon offsets are a 'Wild West' market ripe for fraud, exaggeration, and poorly run projects that probably do little to ease global warming. -- A forest was supposed to be here, inhaling carbon dioxide. But the fields are as empty as the promises of the carbon offsets that promoters said would help negate global warming with thousands of new trees near this Hungarian village. An investigation by The Christian Science Monitor and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting has found that individuals and businesses who are feeding a $700 million global market in offsets are often buying vague promises instead of the reductions in greenhouse gases they expect. They are buying into projects that are never completed, or paying for ones that would have been done anyhow, the investigation found. Their purchases are feeding middlemen and promoters seeking profits from green schemes that range from selling protection for existing trees to the promise of planting new ones that never thrive. In some cases, the offsets have consequences that their purchasers never foresaw, such as erecting windmills that force poor people off their farms. Carbon offsets are the environmental equivalent of financial derivatives: complex, unregulated, unchecked and - in many cases - not worth their price. And often, those who get the "green credits" thinking their own carbon emissions have been offset, are fooled. The Vatican was among them. CLIP
Turning to the matrix: a more accurate way to predict extinction (April 14, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0414-hance_matrix.html
According to most conservationists the globe is striding into the midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction. Species populations worldwide are dropping and in many cases species are vanishing all together due to pollution, climate change, poaching and hunting, overconsumption, invasive species, and exotic diseases, but no threat proves more pervasive and devastating for the world's species than habitat loss. Discovering where species are most in trouble and where they are relatively secure has become a passion for many conservationists since such information allows attention and funds to be focused to the right places. Scientists have long employed the 'island biogeography theory' to decipher species' vulnerability, but a new model announced in a paper in Conservation Biology is more accurate than island biogeography at predicting trouble spots and extinctions. (...) If accepted by conservationists, the improved accuracy of the matrix model is likely to revolutionize where and how conservationists employ their resources. "The matrix-calibrated model can now be used to explore the consequences of changes in the entire landscape, including not just the amount of forest but also the quality of the resultant land uses that now comprise the matrix. Not only will conservationists be able to make more accurate predictions of biodiversity loss from land-use change, they could also use the matrix-calibrated model to predict potential biodiversity enhancements from improvements in the quality of the matrix," Koh says, adding that "to me this is a significant step forward because now we can potentially prescribe measures to increase biodiversity!" The model will also help in questions of tradeoffs between conservation and development (or different types of development), for example, conservationists can now "explore tradeoffs in biodiversity between the options of converting a large part of a forested landscape to extensive but wildlife-friendly agriculture versus converting only some parts of the forest to intensive production systems," explains Koh. "These very practical questions could not have been addressed with the conventional species-area model." Koh has already answered the question that led to the new model. According to the paper, "converting 1 acre of Borneos primary forest to oil palm is roughly as bad for biodiversity as selectively logging 2.5 acres of the forest". (...) To begin helping conservationists immediately, Koh has built a working matrix model on-line called the Species Extinction Calculator. The calculator measures up to three different matrices, as well as allowing conservationists to tinker with the number of forest fragments and the edge effect. An additional Species Extinction CalculatorMultiple Landscapes allows one to measure the extinction rates in various forests and compare them. As well as being surprisingly addictive, the Species Extinction Calculator is an incredibly useful tool for saving species. -- SO THAT'S WHAT IT IS NOW COMING DOWN TO! FIDDLING WITH EXTINCTION DATA!
Scientists: 60 million USD needed to gauge the global threat to biodiversity (April 08, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0408-hance_barometer.html
One of the greatest barriers to saving the world's biodiversity is simply a lack of knowledge: to date less than 50,000 species have been surveyed by the IUCN Red List regarding their threat level, while the vast majority of the world's species are left unanalyzed especially fungi, plants, fish, reptiles, and insects and other invertebrates. To address this problem, some of the world's top biologists have proposed a 60-million US dollar program they dub the 'barometer of biodiversity' to gather a representative sample of all taxons. "Our knowledge about species and extinction rates remains very poor, and this has negative consequences for our environment and economy," Simon Stuart, Chair of IUCNs Species Survival Commission, said in a press release. "By expanding the current IUCN Red List of Threatened Species to include up to approximately 160,000 well-chosen species, we will have a good barometer for informing decisions globally." CLIP - 60 million USD! A SMALL PITTANCE BY PENTAGON STANDARDS!
Jane Goodall renews her faith in nature and humanity during the "Gombe 50" anniversary, An interview with Dr. Jane Goodall (April 12, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0412-jane_goodall_mszotek-singh.html
(...) Mongabay: How has the field of environmentalism changed over the past 50 years?
Dr. Goodall: When I began in the early 1960s even the global scientific community wasn't talking aboutor really concerned withconservation and environmentalism. Rainforests stretched across Africa and across the global equatorial belt but now these areas have become ever-decreasing fragments of forest. In turn, wild animal populations have suffered. Wild chimps, for example, numbered an estimated one to two million in 1900 and now there are fewer than 300,000 spread across 21 nations. The numbers of wild elephants, tigers, gorillas, rhinos, etc. have all decreased by horrific percentages. For me, the big change in regard to my take on conservation began in the late 1980s when I realized that the problems of deforestation had come right to the borders of Gombe. I came to realize that all across Africa the chimpanzees and their forests were in real trouble. The need to reverse this catastrophic trend is what caused me to make the hard decision to leave the life that I loved out in the forest, working with the chimps in the field of primate research. Now I travel an average of 300 days a year with the mission to give people hope: 'We can pull through our shared environmental challenges if we work together.' The really good news is that over the past 50 years people have begun to see that the world is interconnected and that preserving the environment is a responsibility shared by all.
Mongabay: How do you feel about conservation in 2010? What is your outlook for global biodiversity?
Dr. Goodall: While it varies from place to place, there is a greater awareness of conservation and more people understand that there is a need to preserve wild places and biodiversity. But an awful lot of people across the globe cannot do much about it as they are trapped in a deep cycle of poverty. We are really at a crossroads at this point in time, and the outlook for the future depends on how we in the developed world respond to global environmental challenges and how we reach out to poor communities and help them and ourselves develop and progress along sustainable lines.
Mongabay: In your new book, Hope for Animals and Their World, you discuss multiple examples of species that have been saved 'at the 12th hour.' Are there species or areas that you feel are especially vulnerable, ones that may be 'falling through the cracks?'
Dr. Goodall: Well, the planet is facing what is being called the Sixth Great Extinction (comparable to mass extinction events like the disappearance of the dinosaurs). In places like Africa, Madagascar and the Amazon, forests are disappearing at a shocking rate. CLIP
Brazil suspends Amazon dam project targeted by Avatar director (April 15, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0415-belo_monte_suspension.html
A Brazilian judge on Wednesday suspended the preliminary license for the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, a controversial project in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, citing "danger of irreparable harm," reports the Amazon Watch, an NGO that has been campaigning on the issue. The move comes just days after a high-profile visit by James Cameron, director of the box office hit Avatar, and Sigourney Weaver, one of the stars of Avatar, to indigenous communities potentially affected by the dam. Judge Antonio Carlos de Almeida Campelo also cancelled the construction auction for the project scheduled for April 20 and ruled that IBAMA, Brazil's environmental agency, refrain from issuing a new license for the project. "It remains proven, unequivocally, that Belo Monte's plant will exploit the hydroelectric potential of areas occupied by Indigenous people who would be directly affected by the construction and development of the project," wrote the judge in the decision. The judge also warned that "while merits of this complaint have not been judged," companies involved in the project could be prosecuted for "environmental crime." Avatar Last week Cameron and Weaver traveled to Brazil for a visit indigenous communities that would be affected by the project, which could flood 500 square kilometers of pristine rainforest, force the relocation of some 12,000 people, and block migration of important fish species. When running a full capacity, the 11,000 megawatt dam could generate electricity for up 23 million homes in Brazil. The dam, which when completed would be the world's third-largest, would cost $12-17 billion.
16 percent of mangrove species threatened with extinction (April 11, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0411-hance_mangroves.html
The first ever assessment of mangrove species by the IUCN Red List found 11 out of 70 mangrove species threatened with extinction, including two which were listed as Critically Endangered. Threats include coastal development, logging, agriculture, and climate change. Species were evaluated by mangrove specialists and the Global Marine Species Assessment Unit (GMSA), a joint venture between the IUCN and Conservation International. "The potential loss of these species is a symptom of widespread destruction and exploitation of mangrove forests," says Beth Polidoro, Research Associate of the GMSA at Old Dominion University and lead author of the study appearing in PLoS ONE. "Mangroves form one of the most important tropical habitats that support many species, and their loss can affect marine and terrestrial biodiversity much more widely." Present in tropical and subtropical regions, mangroves grow where salt water meets the land. Although depleted in many parts of the world, mangrove forests provide vital ecosystem functions. The forests serve as nurseries for a variety of fish and other marine species and act as buffers against erosion. They also have the ability to store large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. Finally, recent studies have shown that mangroves save both property and lives in the face of fierce tropical storms. CLIP
Environmental Toxins (April 1, 2010) http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1976909_1976908_1976938,00.html
Chemicals in plastics and other products seem harmless, but mounting evidence links them to health problems and Washington lacks the power to protect us -- (...) Since World War II, production of industrial chemicals has risen rapidly, and the U.S. generates or imports some 42 billion lb. (19 billion kg) of them per day, leaving Americans awash in a sea of synthetics. These aren't the sorts of chemicals that come to mind when we picture pollution huge plants spilling contaminated wastewater into rivers. Rather, they're the molecules that make good on the old "better living through chemistry" promise, appearing in items like unbreakable baby bottles and big-screen TVs. Those chemicals have a habit of finding their way out of everyday products and into the environment and ultimately into living organisms. A recent biomonitoring survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found traces of 212 environmental chemicals in Americans including toxic metals like arsenic and cadmium, pesticides, flame retardants and even perchlorate, an ingredient in rocket fuel. "It's not the environment that's contaminated so much," says Dr. Bruce Lanphear, director of the Cincinnati Children's Environmental Health Center. "It's us." As scientists get better at detecting the chemicals in our bodies, they're discovering that even tiny quantities of toxins can have a potentially serious impact on our health and our children's future. Chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates key ingredients in modern plastics may disrupt the delicate endocrine system, leading to developmental problems. A host of modern ills that have been rising unchecked for a generation obesity, diabetes, autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder could have chemical connections. "We don't give environmental exposure the attention it deserves," says Dr. Philip Landrigan, director of the Children's Environmental Health Center at New York City's Mount Sinai Medical Center. "But there's an emerging understanding that kids are uniquely susceptible to environmental hazards." If scientists were slow to arrive at that conclusion, Washington has been even slower. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the 34-year-old vehicle for federal chemical regulation, has generally been a failure. The burden of proving chemicals dangerous falls almost entirely on the government, while industry confidentiality privileges built into the TSCA deny citizens and federal regulators critical information about how substances are made and what their effects are. In the years since the TSCA became law, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been able to issue restrictions on only a handful of chemicals and has lacked the power to ban even a dangerous carcinogen like asbestos.But change is coming. The Obama Administration is taking a closer look at chemicals, with the EPA late last month launching a new investigation into BPA. More important, Congress may finally be ready to act.
(...) The EPA can issue rules requiring testing, but that can take years and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars which helps explain why the agency has required testing for only about 200 of the 83,000 chemicals in the TSCA inventory and has issued restrictions on just five. (Companies have voluntarily agreed to provide the EPA with some data about the most common chemicals, but there's no guarantee that the data will be timely or complete.) The TSCA also gives the industry wide latitude to claim confidentiality on products, so nearly 17,000 of those chemicals are virtual trade secrets. It's no surprise that the Government Accountability Office has reported that the TSCA is in desperate need of reform. "The only fix is to change this law or modernize it," says EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. CLIP
Pharma in the Plumbing: Flushed Away (April 1, 2010) http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1976909_1976907_1976871,00.html
(...) The planet is also paying for your dad's hypertension, your aunt's high cholesterol and your colleague's throat infection, all of which were treated with drugs whose chemical residue then leaked into sewers or was leached into landfills and water tables. All told, there are about 3,000 prescription pharmaceuticals in use in the U.S. and thousands more over-the-counter drugs, not to mention creams and ointments we smear on and then shower off. "Between cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other sources," says John Spatz, commissioner of Chicago's department of water management, "there are 80,000 potential combinations of chemicals." It's impossible to keep our drinking supply safe from a gusher like that. Wastewater from homes gets treated at sewage plants, but it's never possible to remove every trace of drugs. What's more, sewage pipes break, septic tanks overflow, and in some parts of the U.S. "straight-piping" which sends untreated sewage flowing directly into surface water is still practiced. One way or another, the drugs find their way back to us. CLIP
'Toxic stew' of chemicals causing male fish to carry eggs in testes (21 April 2010) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/apr/21/toxic-stew-chemicals-fish-eggs
Intersex fish, found across the US, result from a mix of drugs that mimic natural hormones, say scientists -- More than 80% of the male bass fish in Washington's major river are now exhibiting female traits such as egg production because of a "toxic stew" of pollutants, scientists and campaigners reported yesterday.Intersex fish probably result from drugs, such as the contraceptive pill, and other chemicals being flushed into the water and have been found right across the US.(...) About 5 million people live in the greater Washington area, and 90% of them get their drinking water from the Potomac. There is evidence that the anomaly is not confined to the Potomac, one of the largest rivers on America's Atlantic coast. A report last year by the US geological survey found intersex fish in a third of 111 sites tested around the country. CLIP
RSPO: The impossible greening of the palm oil business http://www.wrm.org.uy/publications/briefings/RSPO.pdf
Over the past few decades, oil palm plantations have rapidly spread throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America, where millions of hectares have already been planted and millions more are planned for the next few years. These plantations are causing increasingly serious problems for local peoples and their environment, including social conflict and human rights violations. In spite of this, a number of actors national and international continue to actively promote this crop, against a background of growing opposition at the local level. It is within this context that a voluntary certification scheme has emerged the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil - with the aim of ensuring consumers that the palm oil they consume in foodstuffs, soap, cosmetics or fuel- has been produced in a sustainable manner. Given the importance of this issue, WRM has produced a new briefing. As the briefing states, the major flaw of the RSPO is that it tries to make sustainable what is inherently unsustainable: a product obtained from large scale monocultures of mostly alien palm trees, which have severe impacts on water, soil, wildlife, forests, livelihoods as well as on human health, provoking displacement and leading to human rights violations. CLIP
Global Sign-On Campaign against REDD http://www.durbanclimatejustice.org/press-releases/durban-statement-on-redd.html
(...) Criticism of the ineffective and unjust solutions to climate change which under carbon compensation and trading pretend to continue business as usual, are mounting amid global civil society. Affiliates from the Durban Group for Climate Justice - an international network of independent organisations, individuals and people's movements - draw attention to the dangers of REDD including land grabs and the inclusion of REDD in the carbon market and request urgent solidarity in a new statement rejecting Schemes for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) currently being formulated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and already piloted in schemes such as the World Banks Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and the United Nations REDD Programme. The new pollution licenses to be generated by REDD are designed in a way that obstructs the only workable solution to climate change: keeping oil, coal and gas in the ground. They urge to sign onto the REDD Statement ahead of the World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Bolivia, 19-22 April 2010, so that the voices of those opposing REDD can speak with global support. The statement can be signed at http://www.durbanclimatejustice.org/
Riz Khan - Is carbon trade a scam? - Part 1 - Part 2 HERE (March 30, 2010) REVEALING INTERVIEW! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNhBl3mK0VI
The Kyoto Protocols called upon 38 industrialised countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 to levels that are 5.2 per cent lower than those of 1990. This led to the rise of carbon trading markets, where carbon is given a value and traded like stocks. Polluting nations can buy credits from nations that do not pollute as much, allowing the richer companies and governments to continue polluting.On the other hand, companies and governments in industrial countries have a financial incentive to pollute less. So is carbon trading a win-win situation, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and helping poorer countries make money by selling their credits? Or is the system being exploited to the detriment of the environment? On Monday we speak with Daphne Wysham, a critic of the trading scheme and founder of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network in Washington, Joseph Romm, an advocate of the cap-and-trade system who runs the influential policy blog, Climate Progress, in Washington, and Patrick Birley, the chief executive of the European Climate Exchange. Source
Potentially deadly fungus spreading in US, Canada (April 22, 2010) http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N22129903.htm
*Fungus is unique genetic strain * Climate change may aid its spread -- WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - A potentially deadly strain of fungus is spreading among animals and people in the northwestern United States and the Canadian province of British Columbia, researchers reported on Thursday. The airborne fungus, called Cryptococcus gattii, usually only infects transplant and AIDS patients and people with otherwise compromised immune systems, but the new strain is genetically different, the researchers said."This novel fungus is worrisome because it appears to be a threat to otherwise healthy people," said Edmond Byrnes of Duke University in North Carolina, who led the study. "The findings presented here document that the outbreak of C. gattii in Western North America is continuing to expand throughout this temperate region," the researchers said in their report, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Pathogens at http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1000850 ."Our findings suggest further expansion into neighboring regions is likely to occur and aim to increase disease awareness in the region." The new strain appears to be unusually deadly, with a mortality rate of about 25 percent among the 21 U.S. cases analyzed, they said. CLIP - CHECK ALSO Deadly airborne fungus in Oregon set to spread
After Peak Oil, Are We Heading Toward Social Collapse? (16 April 2010) http://www.truthout.org/after-peak-oil-are-we-heading-toward-social-collapse58635
Recently, Glen Sweetnam, director of the International, Economic and Greenhouse Gas division of the Energy Information Administration at the Department of Energy (DOE), announced that worldwide oil availability had reached a "plateau." However, his statement was not made known through a major US mainstream media outlet.
(...) we collectively have to stop our delusions about perpetual economic growth and find another way to live from this point forward. We need to stop pretending that all is well because our myopic view of life shows no oil or other major shortfalls in the very near future. If we do not face up to the truth, the repercussions are clear. Instead of an "ignorance is bliss" outlook, it's markedly better to have long-range vision and see the coming monster so that meaningful preparations can be made.
(...) At the same time, our current standard of living clearly is provided by our ability to burn through unimaginable amounts of fossil fuels, including an estimated 30 billion barrels of oil a year, whilst roughly 40 percent of global energy consumption stems from petroleum. Conversely, people without access to such rich energy sources, whether in developed or developing nations, rightfully equate prosperity and access to material goods with fossil fuel use. After all, no "green" substitute can even come close to the energy density obtained by their derivatives. As such, Robert Bryce, managing editor of Energy Tribune and author of the newly released "Power Hungry: The Myths of 'Green' Energy," and the "Real Fuels of the Future," pointed out in "Let's Get Real About Renewable Energy" at online WSJ: "We can double the output of solar and wind, and double it again. We'll still depend on hydrocarbons."In his view, the reason is that we can never, in a reasonable amount of time, reach the colossal scale needed to supply sufficient energy by alternative means. Likewise, "[renewables] cannot provide the baseload power, i.e., the amount of electricity required to meet minimum demand, that Americans want." At the same time, access to fossil fuels will increasingly be a major driver of small and large conflicts around the world with the biggest contenders - most notably the USA, China and Russia - using ever more forceful means to gain advantage over rivals. As such, the current Middle East and African wars are diminutive in scale compared to the contention that lies ahead.In addition, the pending oil shortfall will cause products, services and food that rely on oil to skyrocket in cost. Moreover, petroleum derivatives serve as the foundation for fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, transportation of goods to markets, the majority of the grocery packaging operations (i.e., the manufacture of containers in addition to the bottling and canning processes, etc.) and, of course, operational farm machinery. All considered, imagine just farms alone being run without sufficient oil. Would they be capable to supply enough food for close to seven billion people without it? How will they provide for the nine billion to ten billion expected to be on the Earth in approximately 40 years?
(...) According to Thomas Wheeler in "It's the End of the World as We Know It," "The consensus is the suburbs will surely not survive the end of cheap oil and natural gas. In other words, the massive downscaling of America - voluntary or involuntary - will be the trend of the future. We are in for some profound changes in the 21st century. The imminent collapse of industrial civilization means we'll have to organize human communities in a much different fashion from the completely unsustainable, highly-centralized, earth-destroying, globalized system we have now. There will need to be a move to much smaller, human-scale, localized and decentralized systems that can sustain themselves within their own landbase. Industrial civilization and suburban living relies on cheap sources of energy to continue to grow and expand. That era is coming to an end. One of the most important tasks right now is to prepare for a very different way of life."Nonetheless, Obama and his cohorts have recklessly decided to try to extend our period of dependence on oil for "business as usual" instead of using a significant portion of it, along with a lavish amount of federal funds, to establish a firm foundation for alternative energy provision and the massive, societal changes that are on the way. In other words, they are still trapped in an all-out effort to support globalized industry (including its offshored job market and gargantuan transportation network) instead of their preparing the public for post-peak oil lifestyles, in which human welfare and regionalized community development are emphasized. CLIP
The Imminent Crash Of The Oil Supply: What Is Going To Happen And How It Came To Pass That We Werent Forewarned (APRIL 23, 2010) http://www.inteldaily.com/2010/04/oil-crash/
Look at this graph and be afraid. It does not come from Earth First. It does not come from the Sierra Club. It was not drawn by Socialists or Nazis or Osama Bin Laden or anyone from Goldman-Sachs. If you are a Republican Tea-Partier, rest assured it does not come from a progressive Democrat. And vice versa. It was drawn by the United States Department of Energy, and the United States militarys Joint Forces Command concurs with the overall picture.
Tackling oil rig disaster 'number one priority' - Obama (23 April 2010) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8638938.stm
US President Barack Obama has said that dealing with Tuesday's oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is a "number one priority". The government was providing "all assistance needed" in the rescue effort off Louisiana, and in mitigating any environmental impact, he said. The Deepwater Horizon sank after a blast, leaving 11 workers missing. There are fears of a major spill, with the coastguards saying the rig may be leaking 8,000 barrels of oil per day. The rig was carrying out exploratory drilling 84km (52 miles) south-east of the Louisiana port of Venice when the blast occurred. Seventeen workers were injured and more than 100 were evacuated. The rig had been burning for 36 hours when it sank on Thursday in 5,000 ft (1,500m) of water, despite efforts to control the flames. (...) Before the explosion, the rig carried 2.6m litres of diesel fuel and was pumping 8,000 barrels (1.27m litres) of crude oil a day - a volume which may still be leaking from the well into the Gulf of Mexico. Rear Adm Mary Landry said crews saw an area measuring one mile by five miles (1.5km by 8km) of what appeared to be oil on the surface of the water. Officials say the environmental damage would be worst if any spill reached the Louisiana shore, 50 miles away. CLIP
Simpol: The only way is together - 2010 UK General Election (19 April 2010) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3VpEXGDW9k
See why voters are linking up around the world by signing Simpol's Call to Work Together. Then go to http://www.simpol.org.uk and see how UK citizens are driving the politicians of all parties to solve global problems and how you, in your country, can do the same. AN EXCELLENT SUGGESTION from long-time ERN subscriber John Bunzl (email@example.com)
Michelangelo's David Is To Be Returned To Italy After a two year loan to the United States http://pictures.streakr.com/michelangelo.htm
STRIKING CONSEQUENCE OF ITS STAY THERE!
This Saturday's Guest on "A Fireside Chat with Zany Mystic": Dr. Jens Jerndal - "Cracking the Rainbow Code" http://www.bbsradio.com/bbc/a_fireside_chat.php
Dr. Jens is a holistic philosopher and world-renowned expert on the emerging super-paradigm which is already profoundly impacting in so many ways on our lives, forcing us to face and handle profound and rapid change.
Stand With The Students of Berkeley's campus http://www.standwithstudents.org/
Every so often, we get a moment when a remarkable future unfolds before our eyes. And when it happens, it's our responsibility to do everything within our power to help it along. One of those moments is happening right now on the University of California's Berkeley campus. Berkeley professors and students of every color, religion, and nationality are calling on the university to divest from companies that profit from the occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The student Senate already voted to divest but their vote was vetoed by the Senate president. On Wednesday, April 28, they will vote to overturn the veto. We must be there to support their stand for justice for all people in Palestine and Israel. I urge you to stand with them - please, add your name to the thousands of supporters - you'll be represented by a bright green statement and we intend to turn the room into a sea of green - a sea of hope and support. CHECK ALSO Hedy Epstein Speaks at UC Berkeley (4-14-10)
It's time to cement our solidarity with the people of Gaza! (April 22, 2010) http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/6207/t/6210/tellafriend.jsp
While conditions in Gaza have been steadily worsening (severe electricity cuts, lack of potable water, etc.), Palestinians have been bravely protesting the Israeli siege. Almost every day now there are marches to the border in protest of the Israeli declared buffer zones. Click here for some recent videos and the most recent reports. The IDF has been responding with live ammunition fire and a number of people have been wounded already. There is a ray of light, however. The Free Gaza Movement has purchased two passenger boats and has raised the money for a cargo ship. Ireland, Sweden, Greece, and Turkey are working in coalition with Free Gaza to join the flotilla with boats of their own. People in Gaza, according to our own Max Ajl who is there right now, are preparing a welcome such has never been seen for the flotilla which should arrive sometime in May. CLIP
First Light for the Solar Dynamics Observatory (April 21, 2010) MUST SEE! http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/21apr_firstlight/
Warning, the images you are about to see could take your breath away. At a press conference today in Washington DC, researchers unveiled "First Light" images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, a space telescope designed to study the sun."SDO is working beautifully," reports project scientist Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "This is even better than we could have dreamed." Launched on February 11th from Cape Canaveral, the observatory has spent the past two months moving into a geosynchronous orbit and activating its instruments. As soon as SDO's telescope doors opened, the spacecraft began beaming back scenes so beautiful and puzzlingly complex that even seasoned observers were stunned. CLIP
Space Weather: big solar prominence, blow to Earth's magnetic field tomorrow (April 14, 2010) http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/14/space-weather-big-so.html
Space Weather reports that one of the largest solar prominences in years erupted from the sun's northwestern limb yesterday, April 13. "The massive plasma-filled structure rose up and burst during a ~2 hour period around 0900 UT on April 13th." Observers in Europe had the best view, and this photo was shot by Jo Dahlmans of Ulestraten, Netherlands, using his Coronado Personal Solar Telescope. "The eruption hurled a bright coronal mass ejection into space. CLIP
The 12,000-Year Calm Before the Storm http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/america-the-remix/the-end-of-the-long-summer
A review of The End of the Long Summer: Why We Must Remake Our Civilization to Survive on a Volatile Earth. A new book by a leading science writer tells what we need to do to survive climate change. Its time for each of us to have a talk with our inner economist. If humanity is to survive the hardships that lie ahead due to climate change, weve got to abandon the now universal, but originally Western, ethos of economic growth. VIDEO: Author Dianne Dumanoski explains why climate change is ultimately not a crisis for the earth, but a crisis for humans, and why we must find our way through this thicket of uncertainty.
What Is A Common Good Bank? http://commongoodbank.com/
Common good banks are designed to be basis for a new economic system -- a democratic, community-based system that can spread quickly to give everyone a home, healthy food, and satisfying work. Common good banks will be different from ordinary banks in two ways: who benefits (everyone) and who gets a say in how the money is used (everyone). This is not just another bank with a social mission. This is A SOCIAL MISSION WITH A BANK! All profits go to schools and other nonprofits. Depositors decide what the bank should invest in. Free local credit card processing for local businesses. Micro-loans for new businesses and community projects. A full range of secure, FDIC-insured banking services. Committed to sustainability and economic justice. Once the first common good bank opens, any community ANYWHERE can start one in just a few days, with no need for a bank building. (How?) Wherever you are, SIGN UP. (It's free!) Together common good bank communities can make a better world for everyone.
Disgusting! Corrupted Infant Vaccine Contains Pig Virus (Part 1 of 6) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2tqttvy9ig
The FDA Shuts Down Common Infant Vaccine After Startling Discovery in the Rotavirus vaccine - namely the Rotaris Vaccine : "In March 2010 FDA officials urged pediatricians to temporarily stop using GlaxoSmithKline's Rotarix because they found it contaminated with fragments of genetic material broken pieces of DNA from what's called porcine circovirus-1. Even though it is believed to be benign, vaccines are supposed to be sterile, and because there is a competing vaccine against diarrhea-causing rotavirus that has tested clean Merck's RotaTeq the FDA decided to err on the side of caution."
Two Angels are taking away the soul of a dead child http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIp6U5dBYzI
This amazing video were sent by pastor Igor Shvedov. Amateur video has unexpectedly photographed angels. On the screen, visiting angels of one of the apartments of an apartment house is visible. Afterwards, we found out it appeared at the time in the house a child has died. Angels are behind the soul of the child.Video is taken in the city of Semipalatinsk (Kazakhstan)
Guardian 'Angel' Caught On Tape http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSJ-vMbqJ7g
A sick girl has a miraculous recovery after white light is seen around her, reports Debbye Turner-Bell. Edward Grinnan from Guideposts magazine talks about the common belief in angels.
Claim: Man Who Shot Polish Plane Crash Gunshots Footage Stabbed To Death (April 21, 2010) http://www.prisonplanet.com/claim-man-who-shot-polish-plane-crash-gunshots-footage-stabbed-to-death.html
The man who filmed a video that appeared to depict gunshots being fired in the immediate aftermath of the Polish plane crash has apparently been stabbed to death in what many are claiming was a deliberate assassination to silence the individual from making public whatever it was he saw. The following translation appears on numerous websites, with this Polish website being the original source. The translation is roughly as follows. Author of the video seen by everyone by now has been stabbed near Kijow on 4.15 and transported in critical condition to the hospital in Kijow. On 4.16 three unidentified individuals unplugged him from life support system and stabbed him 3 more times. Andrij was pronounced dead that afternoon. Russian government claims it was a coincidence. The video, which can be viewed below, as well as the apparent fate of the man who shot the footage, have not been reported on by any mainstream news outlet, and the story cannot be completely verified, although the footage in the clip is very similar to images and video seen after the crash. However, some people are of the belief that the entire story is a hoax, and is being used to falsely implicate Russia in the crash of the aircraft. Until any confirmation is forthcoming, its authenticity is still up in the air. MORE ON THIS HERE
The Kaczynski plane crash 'conspiracy' (APRIL 13, 2010) http://theweek.com/article/index/201810/The_Kaczynski_plane_crash_conspiracy
Is it irresponsible to suggest that Russia may have had a hand in the death of Poland's president and other dignitaries? -- Conspiracy theorists have eagerly dug their teeth into the plane crash that killed Polish president Lech Kaczynski and several of his cabinet ministers in Russia this past weekend. Though both Russia and Poland say the pilot's decision to attempt a landing in thick fog triggered the tragedy, doubters point out that Kaczynski had fiercely criticized Moscow's military activity in Chechnya and Georgia, and are asking if Russia may have strategized the crash. Wild speculation, or the seeds of truth? Suspicions of a conspiracy are spreading: It's not just crackpots who are raising questions, says Anthony G. Martin in Examiner.com. Former president and "freedom fighter" Lech Walesa issued a statement saying Poland's leaders had been "struck down," which might suggest he "suspects Russia is responsible for the crash." And why not? After all, Kaczynski had been "known to taunt" Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. CLIP
Hansen: Official 9/11 story is hooey, critic maintains (April 12, 2010) http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20100412144225552
David Ray Griffin comes to Drake University on April 23 to tell us why the official explanation for the 9/11 attack on the United States doesn't hold water.A theologian, philosopher of religion and professor emeritus at California's Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University, Griffin has been at it for about seven years now and says he won't stop until the government conducts a new, impartial, independent investigation. As opposed to the 9/11 Commission probe. He calls that exercise a charade.Griffin has written eight books on the subject with another on the way: "Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory." The appointee, a former Harvard professor named Cass Sunstein who now heads the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, co-wrote an academic paper saying government should undermine conspiracy theory groups by infiltrating their chat rooms, social networks and group meetings. Griffin believes "cognitive infiltration" is the wrong term. "It's more like fascism," he says. He also believes the real conspiracy theorists are people who believe the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks were hatched by Osama bin Laden and carried out by al-Qaida. In Griffin's mind, it's also an excuse for every extreme military action we've taken since. He can produce a long list of scientists and other scholars who endorse his views. Detractors like Matt Taibbi, author of "The Great Derangement," say he's "an idiot." CLIP
Invisible Empire - Full Version 2 hours 14 min. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTrJQpgf6sE
An absolutely amazing exposé of the power brokers of the world: No criminal tyrant left behind. A REAL EYE OPENER. MORE details HERE and HERE - NOTE from Jean: What most everyone would prefer to ignore - because it is so frightening and disgusting! - about the New World Order and the (now massively failing) plans hatched to force it down everyone's throat. VERY long on disclosing the elite's efforts to create their NWO but, unfortunately, excruciatingly short (less than 1 minute!) and vague on suggesting what people could actually do about this situation... And because of that critical flaw, the end effect of this material is likely to be yet more disempowering emotions of fear and powerlessness on the part of those new to this whole topic.
Live Video-Cast: Truth Emergency International Coming Up - April 22nd - 7:00 pm Pacific - 10:00 Eastern http://noliesradio.org/archives/14906
THE EMPIRE, POWER, AND PROPAGANDA LECTURE SERIES: An evening with Project Censored. Please join the co-editors of Censored 2010, Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff, for a public talk and discussion on the ongoing Truth Emergency and media censorship in the US.
End Forced Female Sterilization http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/982811175
Thousands of Uzbek women are forced to undergo hysterectomies, recommended to them by their doctors as an effective form of "contraception." The procedure is irreversible, and worse--it's ordered by the government. Under the decree, physicians must convince a certain number of women a month to have the procedure or else the physicians face fines and reprimands. Some physicians even sterilize women without their consent by secretly performing the hysterectomies when they are supposed to be doing other surgical procedures. As Central Asia's most populous country, President Islam Karimov is concerned that Uzbek women are having too many children. This, however, is not the way for the government to control the growth of their population and it violates the rights of Uzbek women. Take Action Today and tell President Islam Karimov that forced sterilizations are not a valid nor humane form of birth control!
Nonviolent Communication: Simple, Powerful Technique to Transform Your Relationships http://www.WantToKnow.info/inspiration/nonviolent_communication_summary_nvc
Nonviolent communication (NVC) is one of the most powerful tools available for transforming our lives and world. The below summary provides a concise explanation and easy-to-follow instructions for how to use these techniques to better manage interpersonal conflicts that come up in your life. I highly recommend before reading the summary below that you watch the inspiring 10-minute video of NVC founder Marshall Rosenberg available here. These principles have been incredibly helpful to me in dealing with challenging relationship situations in my life. - Recommended by Fred Burks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Made in America? John Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6 am. While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG). He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE) and tennis shoes (MADE IN KOREA). After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA), he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO) to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN) to the radio (MADE IN INDIA) he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY) filled it with GAS (from Saudi Arabia) and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB. At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day checking his Computer (made in MALAYSIA), John decided to relax for a while. He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL), poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE) and turned on his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA), and then wondered why he can't find a good paying job in AMERICA AND NOW HE'S HOPING HE CAN GET HELP FROM A PRESIDENT MADE IN KENYA... FORWARDED BY Larry Stell (email@example.com)
An Act Of War By Congressman Ron Paul http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25302.htm
Statement of Congressman Ron Paul - United States House of Representatives -- April 23, 2010 "United States House of Representatives" -- Mr. Speaker I rise in opposition to this motion to instruct House conferees on HR 2194, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act, and I rise in strong opposition again to the underlying bill and to its Senate version as well. I object to this entire push for war on Iran, however it is disguised. Listening to the debate on the Floor on this motion and the underlying bill it feels as if we are back in 2002 all over again: the same falsehoods and distortions used to push the United States into a disastrous and unnecessary one trillion dollar war on Iraq are being trotted out again to lead us to what will likely be an even more disastrous and costly war on Iran. The parallels are astonishing.We hear war advocates today on the Floor scare-mongering about reports that in one year Iran will have missiles that can hit the United States. Where have we heard this bombast before? (...) We need to see all this for what it is: Propaganda to speed us to war against Iran for the benefit of special interests.Let us remember a few important things. Iran, a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has never been found in violation of that treaty. Iran is not capable of enriching uranium to the necessary level to manufacture nuclear weapons. According to the entire US Intelligence Community, Iran is not currently working on a nuclear weapons program. These are facts, and to point them out does not make one a supporter or fan of the Iranian regime. Those pushing war on Iran will ignore or distort these facts to serve their agenda, though, so it is important and necessary to point them out.Some of my well-intentioned colleagues may be tempted to vote for sanctions on Iran because they view this as a way to avoid war on Iran. I will ask them whether the sanctions on Iraq satisfied those pushing for war at that time. Or whether the application of ever-stronger sanctions in fact helped war advocates make their case for war on Iraq: as each round of new sanctions failed to work to change the regime war became the only remaining regime-change option.This legislation, whether the House or Senate version, will lead us to war on Iran. The sanctions in this bill, and the blockade of Iran necessary to fully enforce them, are in themselves acts of war according to international law. A vote for sanctions on Iran is a vote for war against Iran. I urge my colleagues in the strongest terms to turn back from this unnecessary and counterproductive march to war.
House reaffirm support for crippling sanctions against Iran http://www.the-signal.com/news/article/27667/
"With each passing day, Iran gets one step closer to assembling the components necessary to make a nuclear weapon. Today's vote reaffirms our commitment to imposing crippling sanctions on Iran "
Biden: Israel won't attack Iran before sanctions allowed to work - Biden: "I am a Zionist" http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1164622.html
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday he expects new United Nations sanctions on Iran by late April or early May and dismissed the notion that Israel might attack the Islamic Republic before first allowing sanctions to take their course.
Israel Rejects Obama's Call for Building Halt in East Jerusalem (22 April 2010) http://www.truthout.org/israel-rejects-obamas-call-building-halt-east-jerusalem58779
Further complicating peace talks as White House envoy George Mitchell arrives in Israel today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Barack Obama's call for a building halt in East Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a call by US President Barack Obama to halt new construction in East Jerusalem, his aides confirmed Thursday. The rejection, which was delivered privately over the weekend, appeared likely to further complicate American efforts to broker a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. Both sides lay claim to the holy city, and Israel does not consider building there to be a settlement activity.The international community does not view East Jerusalem as legally Israel's.Israel's announcement last month of a plan to construct 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem which Israel seized from Jordan in the 1967 war ruffled visiting US Vice President Joe Biden and threw planned peace talks off track. Obamas Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, was set to touch down in Israel later today to try to reanimate them, The Associated Press reports. CLI
Kucinich on Assassinations and Upcoming War Funding Vote (April 19, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18716
Congressman Dennis Kucinich said on Friday that he is working with Congressman Jim McGovern, a member of the Rules Committee, who has drafted a letter asking that the upcoming war supplemental be a clean vote not muddied by the inclusion of unrelated measures, such as aid to Haiti. I asked Kucinich if that request for a clean vote included a commitment by McGovern not to propose his own amendments, and Kucinich clearly did not know or did not want to speak for his colleague, but he expressed his own support for McGovern's exit timetable proposal. Kucinich said he expected the vote on $33 billion to escalate the war in Afghanistan to come up in the next two weeks. Kucinich is, thus far, the only member of Congress who, to my knowledge, has publicly urged his colleagues to vote No. I asked him if he would urge them to join him in publicly committing to vote No ahead of time and in urging others to do the same. Kucinich said he was writing letters urging them to vote No, but did not reply on the matter of urging them to go public and whip. Kucinich shared with me two letters he sent in February, one to Attorney General Eric Holder (PDF), the other to Secretary of So-Called Defense Robert Gates (PDF), on the topic of extrajudicial killings, a.k.a. assassinations, a.k.a. murder. Kucinich writes that "killings of U.S. citizens by the U.S. government or its agents are by definition outside the law." In the current White House policy, he writes, "the government becomes policeman, prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner all in one. This suspension of basic constitutional protections for U.S. citizens puts in jeopardy our Constitution and the rule of law." CHECK ALSO I Won't Vote for You If You Vote to Escalate War AND Congressman Sestak, Vote No on Afghan War Escalation AND Your Tax Dollars at War: More Than 53% of Your Tax Bill Goes to the Military
Goldman Sachs Vampire Squid Gets Handcuffed (April 17, 2010) http://wallstreetpit.com/23650-goldman-sachs-vampire-squid-gets-handcuffed
In a startling turn of events, the SEC announced a civil fraud lawsuit against Goldman Sachs. (GS) I use the word startling because a) the SEC has done virtually nothing in the way of enforcement for years, managing to sleep through every bubble and bust in recent memory, and b) Government Sachs has been presumed to be above the law since it took over Washington during the Clinton years. Of course, there is nothing startling about bad behavior at Goldmanthat is its business model. The only thing that separates Goldman on that score from all other Wall Street financial institutions is its audacity to claim that it channels God as it screws its customers. But when the government is your handmaiden, why not be audacious?
(...) To determine whether Goldman and other firms engaged in fraud will require close examination of the books, internal documents, and emails. Perhaps the SEC has finally fired the first shot at the Wall Street firms that aided and abetted the creation of the conditions that led up to the financial collapse. More importantly, that first shot might have driven a bit of fear into the financial institutions that have been trying to carry-on with business as usual. And, finally, perhaps the SEC might induce the Obama administration to stand-up to Goldman. It is probably not too early for Goldman management and alumni to begin packing bags for extended stays in our nations finest penitentiaries. More than 1000 top management at thrifts served real jail time in the aftermath of the Savings and Loan fiasco. This current scandal is many orders of magnitude greaterprobably tens of thousands of managers and traders and government officials were involved in fraud. We may need dozens of new prisons to contain them. Meanwhile, the Obama administration should immediately revoke Goldmans bank charter. Even if the firm is completely cleared of illegal activities, it is not a bank. There is no justification for provision of deposit insurance for a firm that specializes in betting against its clients. Its business model is at best based on deception, if not outright fraud. It serves no useful purpose; it does not do Gods work. Government should also relieve itself of all Goldman alumnino administration that is full of Goldmans people can retain the trust of the American public. President Obama should start his house cleaning with the Treasury department. Yes, Rubin and his hired hand Summers and protégé Geithner (and his hired hand Mark Patterson, Goldmans lobbyist who became chief of staff of the Treasury) and Hank Paulson must be banned from Washington; and Rattner (former NYTimes reporter who tried to bribe pensions funds when he worked for the Quadrangle Groupwho served as Obamas car czar and is now likely to face lawsuits), and Lewis Sachs (senior advisor to Treasury, who helped Tricadia to make bets identical to those made by Magnetar and Goldman), and Stephen Friedman (Goldman senior partner who served as chairman of the NYFed), and NY Fed president Dudley (former chief US economist at Goldman) must all be sent home. Actually, anyone who ever worked for a financial institution must be banned from Washington until we can reform and downsize and drive a stake through the heart of Wall Streets vampires. And why not use the powers of eminent domain to take back Goldmans shiny new government-subsidized headquarters to serve as the offices for 6000 newly hired federal government white collar criminologists tasked with the mission to pursue Wall Streets fraud from the Manhattan citadel of the mighty vampire squid? If Obama is serious about reform, that would be a first step. CHECK ALSO Goldman Sachs: Master of the Universe
Six Banks Control 63% of Gross National Product - Bill Moyers' interview with Simon Johnson and James Kwak http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04162010/profile.html
The White House and Democrats in Congress have begun pushing in earnest for a package of financial reforms. But will it be enough to stop Wall Street from causing another meltdown? To find out what real financial reform needs to look like, Bill Moyers turns to Simon Johnson and James Kwak, the co-authors of 13 BANKERS: THE WALL STREET TAKEOVER AND THE NEXT FINANCIAL MELTDOWN. The problem, according to Kwak, is that the legislation currently doesn't address the central problem of the crisis, that America's banks have grown 'too big to fail.' In fact, the problem has gotten worse, with just six banks holding assets in excess of 63% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. Kwak explains that the crisis actually made the surviving banks more powerful, "I think what's remarkable is that it used to be maybe eight or nine banks. But what's happened over the last two years, as Simon is saying, is that these banks have gotten bigger, because they've bought each other. CLIP
Proving Election Fraud - Book Review by Michael Collins (21 April 2010) http://www.atlanticfreepress.com/news/1/13091-proving-election-fraud-book-review-by-michael-collins.html
Stock deals are rigged for insiders. Big money runs Congress. And we've gone to war based on a series of calculated lies. Are you willing to accept the fact that our elections are subject to the same type of corruption? If you are, then Proving Election Fraud by Richard Charnin pulls back the curtain and exposes the pattern of election fraud over the past four decades. It's not a mystery when your look at the numbers and check them against multiple public sources. The information is all there - if the experts care to look. Charnin is the widely known internet poster using the name TruthIsAll. He was the first to discover the glaring discrepancies in the 2004 election results shortly after the polls closed. His internet posts on the mathematical impossibility of a Bush victory were critical in fueling the doubts about that election and those that followed.His many posts are the basis for a consistent narrative and argument using a clearly outlined and heavily quantified analysis. The result is a wealth of information about how elections really work and a methodology (the True Vote Model) that allows the interested reader to check the official results of any national or state election. Charnin's straightforward style fits his subject matter. For example, early on he makes a powerful point, one of many that appear throughout the book: "Simple mathematics proves that the 1968, 1988, 2004 and 2008 elections were fraudulent. The returning voter mix required for the Final Exit Poll to match the recorded vote was not just implausible -- it was impossible. In each election, more voters from the prior election returned to vote than were alive. The fact that they were returning Nixon, Bush 1 and Bush 2 voters cannot just be a coincidence. The statistical anomaly has no rational explanation other than election fraud." (p.52) When the official victory margin includes dead voters and excludes uncounted votes, it's more than reasonable to assume election fraud. CLIP
Volcanic ash turns northern Europe into no-fly zone (April 15, 2010) http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63E1TM20100415
(Reuters) - A huge ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano turned northern Europe into a no-fly zone on Thursday, leaving hundreds of thousands of passengers stranded. CLIP
Iceland's disruptive volcano (April 15, 2010) SPECTACULAR PICTURES! http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/04/icelands_disruptive_volcano.html
Today, British civil aviation authorities ordered the country's airspace closed as of noon, due to a cloud of ash drifting from the erupting Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland. The volcano has erupted for the second time in less than a month, melting ice, shooting smoke and steam into the air and forcing hundreds of people to flee rising floodwaters. The volcanic ash has forced the cancellation of many flights and disrupted air traffic across northern Europe, stranding thousands of passengers. Collected here are photos of the most recent eruption, and of last month's eruptions, which were from the same volcano, just several miles further east. (18 photos total) CLIP Check also Ash and Lightning Above an Icelandic Volcano AND DON'T MISS THOSE EXTRAORDINARY STUNNING PICTURES
How Captain Eric Moody's brush with volcanic ash became aircraft lore (April 16, 2010) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/news/article7098307.ece
Captain Eric Moody's announcement to the passengers after losing power has become legendary. "We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped." "If you find yourself flying into a cloud of ash turn away and get out of there as soon as you can." The advice came today from the British airline captain whose epic brush with disaster in 1982 taught the aviation world the peril of volcanos. Eric Moody was in command of British Airways Flight 9, a Boeing 747 that turned into a jumbo glider over Indonesia when volcanic ash put all four engines out of action. After 14 minutes of silent flight and aiming to ditch in the ocean, Mr Moody and his two fellow officers managed to relight the engines in clear air and land their 260 passengers and cabin crew in Jakarta. CLIP
Ash may hover for days over uncertain Europe (April 17, 2010) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jh7lQ-qBxQMPzPd3Iap7_s3YDBfQD9F5073G0
PARIS - The Icelandic volcano that has kept much of Europe land-bound is far from finished spitting out its grit, and offered up new mini-eruptions Saturday that raise concerns about longer-term damage to world air travel and trade. Facing days to come under the volcano's unpredictable, ashy plume, Europeans are looking at temporary airport layoffs and getting creative with flight patterns to try to weather this extraordinary event. Modern Europe has never seen such a travel disruption. (...) The aviation industry, already reeling from a punishing period, is facing at least $200 million in losses every day, according to the International Air Transport Association. (...) Around the world, anxious passengers have told stories of missed weddings, business deals and holidays because of the ominous plume. Stranded passengers reported the delays were causing financial hardships. Some had to check out of hotels and sleep in airports. (...) Southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull (ay-yah-FYAH'-plah-yer-kuh-duhl) volcano began erupting for the second time in a month Wednesday, sending ash several miles (kilometers) into the air.In Iceland, torrents of water have carried away chunks of ice the size of small houses. More floods from melting waters are expected as long as the volcano keeps erupting - and in 1821, the same volcano managed to erupt for more than a year.
Air ban led by flawed computer models (April 19 2010) http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0821cc00-4bb5-11df-9db6-00144feab49a.html
Flawed computer models may have exaggerated the effects of an Icelandic volcano eruption that has grounded tens of thousands of flights, stranded hundreds of thousands of passengers and cost businesses hundreds of millions of euros. The computer models that guided decisions to impose a no-fly zone across most of Europe in recent days are based on incomplete science and limited data, according to European officials. As a result, they may have over-stated the risks to the public, needlessly grounding flights and damaging businesses. CLIP
UK AIRPORTS SUDDENLY RE-OPENED (20-Apr-2010) http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?read=171488
In an amazing change of the "rules", UK airspace is now open for business. Here is how the miraculous transformation occurred: "The CAA said it was a "situation without precedent" and that decisions had been made based on "thorough gathering of data and analysis"."The major barrier to resuming flight has been understanding tolerance levels of aircraft to ash," the CAA said."Manufacturers have now agreed increased tolerance levels in low ash density areas."That's a good story. It kind of begs the question, why were they not able to assess aircraft tolerance levels a week ago? Probably because there was never the slightest risk to aircraft in the first place, and I suppose they think this is a plausible sounding reason.Given the closeness of the General Election here, this is not going to do the Labour Government any favours, especially after the shambolic way getting tens of thousands of stranded Brits back home has been handled.Interestingly, the NATO exercise in the Baltic was apparently abandoned yesterday - I guess they have had the skies to themselves for nearly a week - enough to do whatever it was they didn't want anyone to see!
Scientists: No spike in quake activity (04.16.10) http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/16/1582148/scientists-no-spike-in-quake-activity.html
Despite five earthquakes of 7.0 magnitude or higher so far this year, scientists said the level of quake activity is normal. -- Is the world in for a bad earthquake season?It's a question some are asking after the powerful quake that struck a remote, mountainous region of southwestern China on Wednesday -- killing more than 600 people and injuring 10,000 as wooden homes perched on steep hillsides crumbled. So far this year, five quakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have struck in China, Haiti, Chile, Northern Sumatra and Baja California. Thousands have died -- including more than 222,000 in Haiti alone. Still, experts say it's only chance.``I see no statistical evidence that there have been more earthquakes than normal," says Dr. Tim Dixon, a geologist at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science on Key Biscayne. "We're all responding to this because the first earthquake this year, in Haiti, was so catastrophic." (...) Outside China, another concern is that, after so many disasters this year, the world's charities may trigger compassion fatigue -- from raising money and sending in aid workers.The American Red Cross, which already this year has raised $400 million for Haitian earthquake relief and $10 million for Chile, stands ready at all times, no matter the disaster, said spokesman David Meltzer. And the group is prepared to raise more for China if needed. "People are generous even in difficult times," Meltzer said. In trying to understand whether this year is bringing more quakes than usual, most people don't realize how many quakes rattle the earth every day, experts say. Well over a million quakes strike worldwide in a typical year, including 18 over magnitude 7.0, according to the United States Geological Survey. (...) Also, while 2010 may not set a records for the number of earthquakes, it will rank among the worst years in casualties. Since 1900, only two earthquakes and one tsunami have exceeded Haiti's estimated toll of 222,570 deaths, according to the USGS. They are the 1976 quake in China with 255,000 dead and the 2004 quake in Sumatra which left 227,000 dead.The Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 killed 230,000. CLIP
A rare Earthquake hits Australia. Does this place look familiar? Is a picture emerging? (April 20, 2010) http://colinandrews.net/2012-EarthChanges-QuakeWesternAustralia.html
(...) Again, so little is known about the cause of the radar interference signals or the now obvious dramatic increase in Earth changes that one can only make intelligent but informed speculations. We should look at all the data and not be afraid to think outside the box. Are these changes a result of Solar activity or is the sun itself being influenced by something greater in the Galaxy or even beyond? Could the source of the dramatic changes be created much closer to home? Many top level scientists, some of them whistle blowers and even high level politicians who got a sniff of the military industrial complex, believe these folks would do what ever it takes to create weapons to achieve their dark agenda's. My personal observations of recent years on this planet permits me to believe this might be true. They are prepared to lie us into conflicts we can see and touch are unnecessary and manufactured and I doubt very much they would stop at using nature herself if they could get it to work for them. Turning on a logistically placed Volcano or two or turning off a weather system or two could well be the new weapons of choice. That is a nightmare thought I know and not one that I wish to focus but we have to be real. Some folks among us are evil. The initiating radar symbol over Western Australia seemed to be the trigger for a whole series of them and in various forms. Perhaps co-incidentally todays quake comes ahead of a multitude of medium size quakes also in six countries. - There is very strange weather happening here - please check VERY STRANGE CLOUDS forming concentric circles.
Man-made volcanoes may cool Earth (August 30, 2009) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6814912.ece
THE Royal Society is backing research into simulated volcanic eruptions, spraying millions of tons of dust into the air, in an attempt to stave off climate change. The society will this week call for a global programme of studies into geo-engineering - the manipulation of the Earth's climate to counteract global warming - as the world struggles to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It will suggest in a report that pouring sulphur-based particles into the upper atmosphere could be one of the few options available to humanity to keep the world cool. The intervention by the Royal Society comes amid tension ahead of the United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Copenhagen in December to agree global cuts in carbon dioxide emissions. Preliminary discussions have gone so badly that many scientists believe geo-engineering will be needed as a "plan B". Ken Caldeira, an earth scientist at Stanford University, California, and a member of a Royal Society working group on geo-engineering, said dust sprayed into the stratosphere in volcanic eruptions was known to cool the Earth by reflecting light back into space. (...) Brian Launder, a professor at Manchester University, who is also on the working group, recently said that without CO2 reductions or geo-engineering "civilisation as we know it will end within our grandchildren's lifetime". "The only rational scheme is to reduce the sunlight reaching Earth and to reflect back more of it," he said. The world's population generates the equivalent of 50 billion tons of CO2 a year, a figure which is projected to reach 60-70 billion tons by 2030 on current trends. Scientists warn that the planet could warm by 5C by 2100 and say emissions must fall to 20 billion tons a year by 2050 if a disaster is to be averted. However, many researchers and policymakers regard this target as impossible. (...) Met Office research has suggested that if techniques such as sulphate aerosols were to be suddenly discontinued the Earth could experience a disastrous warming surge.
Flood of aid reaches China's remote quake zone (April 19, 2010) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gdspdDB0WaMv_An4A-NvHB_DwmCwD9F5Q4P80
JIEGU, China - Badly needed aid finally is arriving in a remote western China town shattered by an earthquake, including enough food and shelter for tens of thousands of suddenly homeless, though some complained it wasn't reaching everyone in need. The surge in aid coincided with the arrival Sunday of Chinese President Hu Jintao, who cut short an official trip to South America to deal with the disaster in this remote Tibetan region where residents have frequently chafed under Chinese rule. The quake Wednesday killed 1,706 people and injured 12,128.The president's carefully scripted trip included visits with displaced families living in tents and rescue teams as they dug through debris looking for the 256 still missing. He promised that the Communist Party and the government was doing everything they could. Tibetan anger over political and religious restrictions and perceived economic exploitation by the majority Han Chinese have sometimes erupted in violence. China Central Television showed Hu sitting with a Tibetan middle school student at a field hospital and comforting her as she wept. Her right arm was bandaged and supported by a sling."Rest assured, you will have a full recovery," he told the girl. "You will have a bright future. Grandpa will be thinking of you."Hu and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who visited Jiegu on Thursday, have both cultivated compassionate, grandfatherly images to portray the leadership as putting people first.From 1988 to 1992, Hu was the party boss of Tibet, which neighbors Qinghai province where the earthquake struck, and he has a mixed reputation among ethnic Tibetans. A hardline governor, he oversaw the imposition of martial law in Tibet in 1989 after anti-government violence erupted there. As the country's top leader, he has maintained a firm line on dissent while also championing policies that have funneled billions of dollars in aid and investment to Tibetan areas. On Sunday, after days of sleeping in makeshift shelters, with ice forming on blankets during the frigid nights, nearly all survivors finally had proper tents and enough food and clean water to last at least a few days. CLIP
Deep Earthquake In Spain Something of An Enigma (April 13, 2010) http://www.pamil-visions.net/spain-earthquake-inigma/214002/
In environmental news, something of a seismic anomaly occurred yesterday in Spain. A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck deep beneath Granada. While no damage or even significant ground shake were noted, the depth at 616 kilometers is a little enigmatic even according to the USGS. Deep quakes in this region have been recorded in the past, but this is 2010 - a time for anomalies. Seismologists in Spain, and at the USGS associate this very deep seismic activity with a powerful earthquake which struck Spain in 1954. Besides that magnitude 7.1 event, earthquakes at this depth, in this region, are not all that common. One Spanish geologist, Spanish Geologist Luis Eugenio Suarez, predicted a month ago that a quake like that which devastated Chile would strike this region of Spain. CLIP
An American Phenomenon: The Widespread Psychiatric Drugging of Infants and Toddlers (April 20, 2010) http://www.alternet.org/health/146551/an_american_phenomenon%3A_the_widespread_psychiatric_drugging_of_infants_and_toddlers_
The United States has become the psychiatric drugging capital of the world for kids with children being medicated at a younger and younger age. Medicaid records in some states show infants less than a year old on drugs for mental disorders.The use of powerful antipsychotics with privately insured children, aged 2 through 5 in the US, doubled between 1999 and 2007, according to a study of data on more than one million children with private health insurance in the January, 2010, "Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry." The number of children in this age group diagnosed with bipolar disorder also doubled over the last decade, Reuters reported. Of antipsychotic-treated children in the 2007 study sample, the most common diagnoses were pervasive developmental disorder or mental retardation (28.2%), ADHD (23.7%), and disruptive behavior disorder (12.9%). The study reported that fewer than half of drug treated children received a mental health assessment (40.8%), a psychotherapy visit (41.4%), or a visit with a psychiatrist (42.6%) during the year of antipsychotic use."Antipsychotics, which are being widely and irresponsibly prescribed for American children--mostly as chemical restraints--are shown to be causing irreparable harm," warned Vera Hassner Sharav, president of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, in a February 26, 2010 InfoMail. "These drugs have measurable severe hazardous effects on vital biological systems, including: cardiovascular adverse effects that result in shortening lives; metabolic adverse effects that induce diabetes and the metabolic syndrome," she wrote. "Long-term use of antipsychotics has been shown to result in metabolic syndrome in 40% to 50% of patients."The lead researcher on the study above, Columbia University psychiatry professor Mark Olfson, told Reuters that about 1.5% of all privately insured children between the ages of 2 and 5, or one in 70, received some type of psychiatric drug in 2007, be it an antipsychotic, a mood stabilizer, a stimulant or an antidepressant.Psychiatric drugs bathe the brains of growing children with agents that threaten the normal development of the brain, according to Dr Peter Breggin, founder of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (ICSPP), and author of about 20 books, including "Medication Madness."The drugs themselves are causing severe disorders in millions of children in the US, he warns. "Substances like antidepressants, stimulants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotic drugs cause severe, and potentially permanent, biochemical imbalances." CLIP
CLERICALLY INSTITUTIONALIZED PEDOPHILIA: ANOTHER NAIL IN CIVILIZATION'S COFFIN, By Carolyn Baker (8 April 2010) http://carolynbaker.net/site/content/view/1598/1/
Western civilization has taught us many things including how not to look at the larger picture of any issue and keep separate, myriad dots that beg to be connected. Mainstream and even alternative media is replete with myopic statements like "Should the pope resign? Should there be a formal investigation by the Vatican of the global epidemic of priest abuse of children? What did Benedict know and when did he know it?"A fundamental lack of historical perspective and an inability to place the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy in the context of the inexorable collapse of industrial civilization leaves us asking meaningless and absurd questions. Therefore, if we are going to make sense of this latest crime against humanity perpetrated by organized religion, it is crucial that we explore both these issues.
(...) Two thousand years of church history reveals a progression from a small group of diverse Jewish and pagan adherents of disparate spiritual paths to an increasingly standardized hierarchy which exists today as both a government and one of the major religious organizations on the planet.Enter the second perspective necessary for making sense of epidemic pedophilia in the institution: an understanding of large systems and their role in the collapse of industrial civilization. At every turn, organized religion throughout the world has supported corporate oligarchies and their pillaging of resources and people. "Infinite growth" has been the hallmark not only of industry but of proselytizing religious hierarchies-a model which is inherently unsustainable. Moreover, adherence to the model of infinite growth guarantees its ultimate dissolution. Add to this more than two millennia of suppression of women and nature, and you have a deadly recipe for implosion. Organized Religion's Monstrous Shadow -- Like rape, pedophilia is not about sex, but rather about power. For this reason, it would not matter if priests were married. In fact, most sexual abuse of children is committed by heterosexual males. Thus, attempting to treat symptoms of institutionalized pedophilia by allowing priests to marry or by accusing abusing priests of homosexuality is pointless because it does not address the systemic nature of these criminal acts against children which has little to do with marital status or sexual orientation. Incidentally, I have not failed to notice that millions of children are sexually abused in their homes in every country and that in some countries, the sexual abuse and mutilation of children is ubiquitous and virtually accepted as an integral part of the culture. In those places too, parents and pillars of the community often proclaim their impeccable morality and righteousness.
(...) The problem with the Catholic Church is not the pope or pedophile priests; the problem with the Catholic Church is the Catholic Church-one of the most toxic systems in human history which has unflinchingly colluded with corporate capitalism and the worst of humanity's repressive regimes for gargantuan profit and the standardization of power and domination as a way of life. CLIP
Bishops are branded 'narcissistic sociopaths' (January 17 2008) http://www.independent.ie/national-news/bishops-are-branded-narcissistic-sociopaths-1267713.html
A priest who suffered sexual abuse has branded bishops and priests who fail to reach out to abuse victims as "narcissistic sociopaths".Father Patrick McCafferty has launched a blistering attack on the institutional church, claiming it was inflicted with a deep sickness "from the top down".The outspoken priest, who is currently a doctoral student at Dublin's Milltown Institute, has also called on the Church to repent and make reparation for the sins of its members. Speaking yesterday, he revealed he had been sexually abused as a child between the ages of four and seven. He also claimed he was assaulted by a priest when he was a young seminarian."I know the particular devastation clerical sexual abuse has on victims," he said. CLIP
Belgian bishop quits over sex abuse (APRIL 23, 2010) http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2010/04/2010423111215420413.html
A Belgian bishop has resigned after admitting he sexually abused a young boy more than two decades ago. Roger Vangheluwe, 73, is the first bishop to have been directly implicated in a church since a string of abuse cases and subsequent cover-ups began to emerge last year. In a statement released on Friday the Bishop of Bruges said: "When I was still a simple priest and for a while when I began as a bishop, I sexually abused a young man in my close entourage." This has marked the victim forever. The wound does not heal. Neither in me nor the victim, he said, adding that had asked for forgiveness and was "enormously sorry". Pope Benedict XVI accepted Vangheluwe's resignation, under a canon law provision for "illness" or unspecified "other serious reasons", the Vatican said. 'Culture of secrecy' A number of other bishops have resigned since scandals involving catholic priests began sweeping Europe and the Americas last November. On Thursday, the pope also accepted the resignation of Irish Bishop James Moriarty, named in a damning report that found Catholic authorities in the Dublin archdiocese concealed abuse of children by priests for three decades. CLIP
First Europe, then the US now abuse claims sweep Latin America (22 April 2010) http://www.thenation.com/blogs/dreyfuss/553533/torture_prisons_in_iraq
The Los Angeles Times reports today that the government of Iraq held hundreds of Sunni men in a secret torture prison where they were suffocated with plastic bags, shocked with electricity, and sodomized.Back in the bad old days, circa 2005-2007, the Iraqi government -- particularly the interior ministry, run by Shiite religious extremists -- ran many such facilities. They're back. Or, maybe they never went away.In this case, the torture prison was run directly by the secret military unit that reports to Prime Minister Maliki.Reports the Times, in a piece by Ned Parker: "Hundreds of Sunni men disappeared for months into a secret Baghdad prison under the jurisdiction of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's military office, where many were routinely tortured until the country's Human Rights Ministry gained access to the facility, Iraqi officials say." More than 100 people were tortured, and one, a former colonel in the army, died. At least one prisoner was raped daily. Maliki is denying that he knew about the prison, which is absurd. The revelation about the prison will make it much more difficult for Maliki to create a government of national unity, bringing in Sunnis to his cabinet, or forming an alliance with former Prime Minister Allawi. That's true despite the glowing reports today that Maliki's forces killed two leaders of Al Qaeda in Iraq, in a raid that was apparently coordinated with U.S. intelligence and military forces.
When the Army Uses "Enhanced Interrogation" on an American Soldier (April 14, 2010) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joshua-kors/when-the-army-uses-enhanc_b_536727.html
I had been covering veterans' issues for several years and thought I'd developed a thick skin. But the pain on the other end of the telephone line was difficult to stomach. Sergeant Chuck Luther, now back from Iraq, was describing his journey to hell and back. The worst part, he said, wasn't battling insurgents or even the mortar blast that tossed him to the ground and slammed his head against the concrete it was the way he was treated by the U.S. Army when he went to the aid station and sought medical help. In gruesome detail, Luther described what happened to him at Camp Taji's aid station. He thought he would receive medical care. Instead he was confined to an isolation chamber and held there for over a month, under enforced sleep deprivation, until he agreed to sign papers saying that he was ill before coming to Iraq and thus not eligible for disability and medical benefits. "They wanted me to say I had a 'personality disorder,'" Luther told me. Luther's call did not come out of the blue. For two years I had been investigating this personality disorder scandal: how military doctors were purposely misdiagnosing soldiers, wounded in combat, as having this pre-existing mental illness. As in the civilian world, where people can be locked out of the insurance system if they have a pre-existing condition, soldiers whose wounds can be attributed to a pre-existing illness can be denied disability benefits and long-term medical care. My reporting began with the case of Specialist Jon Town, who was wounded in Iraq, won a Purple Heart and was then denied disability and medical benefits. Town's doctor had concluded that his headaches and hearing loss were not caused by the 107-millimeter rocket that knocked him unconscious but by a pre-existing personality disorder. The spotlight on Town prompted military doctors to step forward and talk about being pressured by their superiors to purposely misdiagnose wounded soldiers. One doctor spoke of a soldier who returned from Iraq with a massive chunk missing from his right leg. The doctor quit after he was pressured to diagnose that soldier as having personality disorder. Since 2001 more than 22,600 soldiers have been discharged with personality disorder (PD), saving the military billions in disability and medical benefits. CLIP
Orwellian Justice System: Spying on Americans Continues Despite Court Order (2010-04-11) http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/2010/04/court-rules-against-nsas-illegal-spying.html
The Securitization and Militarization of Daily Life - What could be a significant legal victory in the on-going battle against blanket surveillance transpired March 31 in district court in San Francisco, along with a stinging rebuke of the Obama administration. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that the government had violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and that the National Security Agency's warrantless spying program was illegal. (...) The judge rejected those arguments out of hand and characterized Obama administration assertions of a "state secrets privilege" as amounting to "unfettered executive-branch discretion" that had "obvious potential for governmental abuse and overreaching."Additionally, Walker ruled that the government arguments amounted to a demand that the Executive Branch ignore FISA, even though Congress had enacted the statute "specifically to rein in and create a judicial check for executive-branch abuses of surveillance authority."The constellation of programs now known as the President's Spying Program (PSP) and specifically NSA's Stellar Wind program, which monitored Americans' email messages and phone calls without court approval, as stipulated by FISA, was first revealed by The New York Times in 2005.Since those disclosures, the severity of the state's illegal activities against the American people have escalated and now pose a far-greater threat to a functioning democracy then at any time in our history. Why the Ruling Matters -- FISA is a 1978 law that was the result of earlier, illegal programs such as the FBI's COINTELPRO, the CIA's Operation CHAOS and the NSA's Operation SHAMROCK during the 1960s and 1970s. When those programs were exposed by investigative journalists and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (the Church Committee), the secret state was thrown into crisis. Similar to today's driftnet surveillance and infiltration operations that rely on informants and agents provocateurs to gin-up "national security" and "counterterrorism" cases against official enemies, those earlier programs targeted domestic political dissidents and "suspect" racial and ethnic groups, in full-on counterinsurgency-type "neutralization" actions that all but destroyed the vibrant social movements of the Johnson and Nixon years. A Justice Department spokeswoman, Tracy Schmaler, told the Times that the Obama administration had "overhauled" procedures for invoking the states secrets privilege and that it would be invoked only when "absolutely necessary to protect national security. "This is a rank mendacity. Under new guidelines in place since September 2009, as I reported last November, Justice Department officials are supposed to reject the request to deploy the state secrets privilege to quash lawsuits if the Executive Branch's motivation for doing so would "conceal violations of the law, inefficiency or administrative error" or to "prevent embarrassment." Despite strong legal grounds for allowing surveillance and torture cases to go forward, the Obama administration, like the discredited Bush regime before it, continues to stonewall, obfuscate and obstruct. CLIP
How can it be that you pay more to the IRS than General Electric? (April 1, 2010) http://www.forbes.com/2010/04/01/ge-exxon-walmart-business-washington-corporate-taxes.html
Some of the world's biggest, most profitable corporations enjoy a far lower tax rate than you do--that is, if they pay taxes at all. The most egregious example is General Electric. Last year the conglomerate generated $10.3 billion in pretax income, but ended up owing nothing to Uncle Sam. In fact, it recorded a tax benefit of $1.1 billion. How did this happen? CLIP
Obama insists new plan will spur deep space exploration (April 15, 2010) http://news.cnet.com/8301-19514_3-20002641-239.html
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.--President Barack Obama flew to the Kennedy Space Center Thursday to sell his new space policy, a radical change of course for NASA that would cancel the Constellation moon program and shift manned launches to private industry while NASA studies options for future deep space exploration.For the first time, the president laid out a rough timeline for expeditions beyond low-Earth orbit and even the moon, calling for manned missions to nearby asteroids by the mid-2020s, flights to orbit Mars by the mid-2030s, and manned landings shortly after. (...) Obama's timetable calls for crewed flights in the next decade to test the systems required to go beyond low-Earth orbit. He said he hopes to have crewed missions beyond the moon and into deep space by 2025--beginning with a first-ever trip to an asteroid."Critical to deep space exploration will be the development of breakthrough propulsion systems and other advanced technologies," he said. "So I'm challenging NASA to break through these barriers." (...) Former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, the chief architect of the Constellation program, said he did not understand how the plan is an improvement."We had an integrated architecture," he said in an e-mail. "They have hope. We had a 'public option' along with commercial alternatives, when and as they matured. They have a commercial option only, they are leaving the International Space Station a hostage to fortune, and they are spending money on technology in what might be termed a faith-based initiative. We knew how to replace (the) shuttle, get to the moon, and go on to Mars. They don't."But Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, said in a statement that the new policy "will enable NASA to return to its roots: developing innovative technologies aimed at enabling human exploration and tackling the truly challenging aspects of human spaceflight, enduring beyond Earth orbit, beyond the Earth-moon system, and into the solar system."Along with extending the life of the International Space Station, the new policy "articulates a strategy for human exploration that will excite and energize the next generation," Ride said. "It shifts our focus from the moon and frees us to chart a path for human exploration into the solar system."
Samsung warns of dangers of 3D television (16 Apr 2010) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/7596241/Samsung-warns-of-dangers-of-3D-television.html
Samsung has issued a warning about the health risks of watching 3D television -- The world's largest electronics firm has highlighted potential dangers the technology poses to pregnant women, the elderly, children and people with serious medical conditions. The Korean manufacturer, whose 3D sets will hit British stores in the coming days, warned of an array of side effects viewers could suffer.The devices could trigger epileptic fits or cause ailments ranging from altered vision and dizziness to nausea, cramps, convulsions and involuntary movements such as eye or muscle twitching, it said. Those who have been deprived of sleep or who have been drinking alcohol are also advised to avoid watching 3D television. The scale of the warning threatens to overshadow the launch of 3D, which has been billed as the future for television by manufacturers and broadcasters. The technology has been given a boost by 3D blockbuster films such as Avatar and Alice in Wonderland and is being pushed by Sky for enhancing its football coverage. To view television in 3D, users wear special glasses which bombard the eyes and brain with a succession of flashing images that appear for a fraction of a second.However, the technology puts unusual strain on the body, hence Samsung has advised viewers to take regular breaks to prevent suffering side effects. CLIP
Flouridation may not do much for cavities (April 15, 2010) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/ontario-fluoride-may-make-minor-difference/article1535873/
When it comes to fluoridating drinking water, Ontario and Quebec couldn't be further apart. Ontario has the country's highest rate of adding the tooth-enamel-strengthening chemical into municipal supplies, while Quebec has one of the lowest, with practically no one drinking fluoridated water. But surprisingly, the two provinces have very little difference in tooth-decay rates, a finding that is likely to intensify the ongoing controversy over the practice of adding fluoride to water as a public health measure.Quebeckers have more cavities than people in Ontario, but the difference is slight. Among children 6 to 19, considered the most decay-prone part of the population, the rate in Ontario was lower by less than half a cavity per child.In the 6-11 age group, Ontario kids have 3.5 per cent fewer cavities than those in Quebec: 1.7 cavities compared to 1.76 in Quebec. In the 12-19 age group, Ontario youths have 15.8 per cent fewer cavities than those in Quebec: 2.35 cavities compared to 2.79.
(...) Statscan said it couldn't compile meaningful data for British Columbia and Alberta, which are in a similar situation. British Columbia has practically no one drinking fluoridated water, while nearly three-quarters of Albertans rely on municipal supplies where the chemical is added. The paper sought the information to see what light it would shed on the effectiveness of fluoridation, which has been touted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the top 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century, and is endorsed by all dental associations in the country and by Health Canada. But the results showed that if fluoridation is the only major difference between the two provinces, the chemical is preventing fewer than half a cavity per child in Ontario.
(...) But fluoridation is one major and obvious difference between the provinces. More than three-quarters of Ontario residents live in areas where municipal water supplies contain the chemical. In Quebec, 94 per cent have water free of the additive, according to figures published by Health Canada in 2007. Since then, Quebec City has voted to stop fluoridating, indicating that the difference between the two provinces is currently even more pronounced. Some critics of fluoridation say the survey does raise questions about the practice. Fluoridation is no longer effective, contends Hardy Limeback, head of the preventive dentistry program at the University of Toronto, who says adding the chemical to water is more harmful than beneficial. Although fluoridation is touted as an unalloyed benefit by public health agencies, which estimate it cuts cavity rates by 20 per cent to 40 per cent, many community groups have sprung up across Canada lobbying to stop the practice, which is subject to repeal by local referendums. Some health professionals are worried fluoridation may have under-appreciated risks.
(...) The most worrisome study, by Harvard researchers, appeared in 2006 in the journal Cancer Causes and Control and found that boys aged 7 exposed to high levels of fluoridated water were about four times more likely to develop childhood osteosarcoma. It's a rare bone cancer that felled Canadian icon Terry Fox and almost always leads to amputations. There has also been a worldwide reduction in cavity rates, regardless of whether countries use the chemical, suggesting factors other than adding it to water supplies are at work. One theory is that most people are already getting adequate exposure to fluoride through toothpastes, so the amounts in water aren't making much difference in tooth decay rates. CLIP
EMF-Omega-News 17. April 2010 http://www.buergerwelle.de/cms/content/view/435/70/
Wi-Fi: Is it Safe? - Wi-Fi health, environmental concerns merit study - Cell Phone Sites and the Politics of Cancer - Microwave Auditory effect - Activist sounds alarm over Wi-Fi, cell phones - The situation in the UK is very worrying as it is in other countries - Reducing Cell Phone Risks - Restrictions on cell tower siting - Radioactive Phones - Verizons New Contracts - IDEA Meeting 17th April 2010 Dublin - Moreton phone mast plan is recommended for refusal - Crewe MP Meets With Mast Campaigners - Meteor request meeting with Council over Brownstown mast - Celebrations as residents block phone mast plan - Worthington Hills assembles troops for cell-tower fight - Parents fight phone tower near school - Parents Stop Palm Tree Cell Tower - Planners say no to Ad Astra phone mast
EMF-Omega-News 24. April 2010 http://www.buergerwelle.de/cms/content/view/440/70/
Mobile Phones: An Emerging Public Health Concern - Mobile Phones Cause Cancer - Mobile Phone Tumour Fears - I'm worried about living next to cell phone mast - Biologic effects and health hazards of microwave radiation - Warning about the serious health effects from exposure to microwave radiation - Forres man's health worries over 'radiation' - British Scientist: Mochudi Mascom Tower Was Dangerous - Safety is focus of cell tower debate - School Childrens Exposure to Cell Antennas in U.S. State Capitols and Washington, D.C. - Public Health Threatened by Cellphone Radiation - Lawmakers, public officials failed miserably on cell phone safety - Telecom Masts: One Angel, Many Goblins [analysis] - Residents living along route of power line 'fear for their health - Win for Bardon's mobile phone tower protest group - URA asked to revoke depot licences - Next-up News - News from Mast Sanity
Jean, this is false. There is no microchipping provision in the Health Care law -- which is good news for us Americans who still do not feel guided to leave this country... See my friend's email below.
Health reform became law last month. I've heard on the progressive radio shows that those who say they want to repeal the law are in fantasyland because even if the Repubs somehow could gain the majority in both houses of Congress the president would not sign such a repeal bill. According to Snopes the microchip article below as reported in Jean Hudon's newsletter is false. A microchip registry (not mandatory microchipping) was in an earlier version of the bill, but was removed. The forces of darkness seemed freaked, desperately attempting to instill fear and doubt through blatant falsehoods everywhere possible before they melt. On another note, I read that Ron Paul was the inspiration for the Tea Party movement and other aligned vigilante groups. Their protest today was riddled with misinformation offered by passionate speakers. The rhetoric reminded me of comfortable white kids singing rap songs as if they had a clue about underserved populations. My take is the 6th Ray fanaticism expressed by these groups, mixed with fear and blind manipulated hatred, seem to be moving them unconsciously toward a dangerous cliff of illusionary absolutism regarding good vs. evil. (In the mail we received a political flyer targeting that market. It spewed venom about the demonic government. Turns out the card was a marketing product of the gas & electric company who oppose government regulation. Wonder how many sheeple will see past the false hype and vote no?) The vigilantes are organizing nationwide and profess a willingness to take up arms against any who disagree with their beliefs, "to fight to the death." Armed resistance against the government is treason. The revolution we've been sensing may unfold very differently than the people wisely unifying to "depower" the corporate/military industrialists. In my wildest dreams I couldn't have imagined 2010 looking as it appears. I wonder if the ravine between consciousness levels has widened beyond the known engineering of bridge spanning.
Note from Jean: In a private email to an old friend I wrote the following comments which may be of interest to some of you. This comment was mainly in response to the following statement from my friend who was emphasizing the point that we need "to understand that the energy of disgust, discouragement, pessimism and opposition to what Obama has done and where folks think he's heading because that's what they're being told is all aiding the Illuminati's efforts."
So here was my reply:
"If you have read my intro to the last compilation, The Inconvenient Truths Series #3: Searching The Silver Lining, you have probably noticed the statement I made that partly reflected your take on this: "the many contradictory policies of Barack Obama that fly in the face of the hopes for real change invested in him while we forget to consider that no one of us would probably be able to do any better if we were in his shoes."
Of course, that does not change the fact that I'm still dissatisfied with the lack or slow progress on many issues since he took power and his apparent kowtowing to the AIPAC lobby and the military-industrial complex agenda. I know he was facing formidable challenges when he came in with the mess left by the Bush mob and that he has been subjected to a continuing smear campaign since day one on all fronts. Yet I do hope he will be able to move more forcefully soon towards implementing the change agenda that brought him where he is. Yet again, I also know of no one else who could do any better to navigate the mine-field he has to go through every day.
If he were to bring in more progressive-minded people in his team and just forget about bringing everyone on board - the Repugnants are a lost cause anyway and Fox Disinformation Inc will never do anything to support his agenda - he would probably be able to move faster in the few years that remain before the next presidential elections. I would so dearly love to see him slashing the Pentagon budget instead of inflating it... Getting out of Afghanistan and Iraq for real... Apologizing to the world for the war crimes the US have committed - like bombing Hiroshima and levelling Fallujah - and pledging to tame the US military beast for good... Reining in the fossil fuel lobby and shifting firmly the US towards a truly sustainable path and a green economy... And that's just for a starter!...
Anyway... The pent up expectations for real change after so many years of Bush mismanagement and evildoing is understandable and the pendulum will never swing back fast enough for me and many others towards a brighter direction...
I will nevertheless hold the vision that he and all those assisting him will succeed and thus leave a lasting positive legacy and impetus for others to follow in the US and abroad..."
(end of quote)
So that's the main point I wish to share with you. Precious few voices today, especially in the mainstream media, present a balanced perspective as to the level of rabid obstructionism the Obama administration is facing in its efforts to shift the US policies towards true peace, real sustainability and greater social justice. The deeply divisive and antagonistic atmosphere created by the onslaught of negative pr against him personally and against much of his political agenda is the worst possible environment in which to manifest the visionary, idealistic new benign government we believed he stood for during the electoral campaign.
If we could hold these thoughts in the back of our minds whenever reviewing information, especially strongly worded and clearly slanted one, so that we may better understand the context of his situation and the compromises he has to make in order to keep moving ahead towards his goals, we could then indeed contribute to nurture to good vibes of positive change instead of feeding the miasma of anti-Life, fear-driven forces that are slowing us all down right now.
True spiritual freedom from the tentacles of fear and hatred starts in our hearts and can only grown from there and from nowhere else. And only Love and compassion directed towards supporting all that is good and Love-driven in this world can make the vital difference towards firmly shifting our collective journey towards a new era of Light, Life and Love.
P.S. To get an idea of the kind of unrelenting efforts that went into achieving the health care reform and the equally unrelenting efforts - including sleazy, negative ad campaigns - by those who wanted to block this vital legislation, however imperfect it turned out to be because of the costly compromises that had to be made to get it through, watch the following PBS report:
Obama's Deal (April 14, 2010) http://video.pbs.org/video/1468710007/
It wasn't pretty, but it worked. Inside the backroom deals and hardball politics that finally got Obama his health care bill.
Date: 15 Apr 2010
From: "Nate Byer, Earth Day Network" (EDN@mail.democracyinaction.org)
Subject: Seize the Moment
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, when 20 million Americans took to the streets and earned environmental accountability from leaders in Washington.
We have made great progress over the last 40 years, but new challenges have arisen. Decades worth of scientific study tell us, undeniably, that we are cooking the planet. Climate change is real, it's a global threat, and because of inaction in Congress, the American people are left to face it alone.
Earth Day is our opportunity to demand bold solutions from our leaders. If we step up and become advocates, we can force legislation that will address the climate crisis, secure our energy independence, and create millions of green jobs.
">We must seize this moment: please add your name to our petition demanding a comprehensive climate bill.
On April 25, in the spirit of the first Earth Day, we will host a massive Climate Rally in Washington, DC. Energized citizens will join together on the National Mall and show Congress and the climate deniers that we've had enough of dirty power and that the time for strong climate legislation is now.
Your name has the power to drive this demonstration. Sign our petition and you will amplify our call for Congressional action. Together, our demand for a strong climate bill cannot be ignored.
During The Earth Day Climate Rally, all signers will be displayed to the crowd, and to Congress, in a visualization of the power behind America's call for a fair, ambitious and comprehensive climate solution.
Don't be left behind, please sign the petition today.
More must be done to support total nuclear disarmament, says Roche
By Cindy Chan -- April 14, 2010
While Canada made two commitments at this weeks nuclear summit and joined other countries in endorsing U.S. President Barack Obamas call to secure nuclear materials against terrorism, a prominent Canadian advocate for nuclear disarmament says Canada needs to do more.
We need to begin to try to implement President Obamas vision for a nuclear-weapons-free world. We need to get onboard what Obama is trying to do, said Douglas Roche.
He needs support, strong support from countries like Canada, and I think Canadas support for the Obama agenda so far is too weak, added Mr. Roche, who has served as an MP for Edmonton, United Nations Ambassador for Disarmament representing Canada, and a senator from 1998 to 2004.
The nuclear security summit on Monday and Tuesday convened by Mr. Obama in Washington, D.C., brought agreement from 47 world leaders on actions over the next four years toward stemming the threat of terrorists obtaining fissile materialplutonium or HEUto build nuclear weapons or devices.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada will return spent inventories of highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Ontarios Chalk River Laboratories to the U.S., where it will be made unusable for nuclear weapons.
Canada will also help fund the return of all HEU from Mexico to the U.S. and convert Mexicos single reactor to use non-weapons-grade low-enriched uranium fuel in a joint project with Mexico, the U.S., and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
This project further strengthens the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, launched in Canada in 2002.
Canada was among 25 countries at the summit that announced specific actions. In the closing summit communiqué, nations pledged to secure all nuclear materials and facilities they possess by 2014.
They committed to preventing non-state actors from obtaining information or technology required to build nuclear weapons.
They also stressed the need for laws, regulations and new technology to strengthen nuclear security and voiced support for better international cooperation to deal with illicit nuclear trafficking.
Summit only the beginning
The summit has only begun to scratch the surface of the problem, Mr. Roche said.
As a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), he said Canada should work with likeminded countries like Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, and Sweden that have formed a coalition calling for greater progress on nuclear disarmament as set out in the NPT.
But Canada has been reluctant to join, he noted, because it is a member of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) which subscribes to the doctrine that nuclear weapons are essential.
The position that Canada holds in supporting, on the one hand, the NPT which has called for an unequivocal undertaking, total elimination of nuclear weapons, and on the other hand, supporting NATO, which is nuclear weapons essentialits an incoherent position, said Mr. Roche.
At the same time, the NPT has its own challenges.
Mr. Roche said India, Pakistan, and Israel, which have nuclear weapons, arent members because they say the NPT is discriminatory in allowing major states to retain their nuclear weapons while proscribing acquisition by the other states. North Korea, another nuclear weapon state, dropped out of the NPT in 2003.
India, Pakistan, and Israel were invited to the summit, while North Korea, along with NPT members Iran and Syria, were not invited. The international community views Iran and North Korea as violators of the NPT, and, according to the Associated Press, the U.S. believes Syria also has nuclear ambitions.
The U.S. and Russia signed an arms reduction treaty on April 8 in Prague, but Mr. Roche said it still leaves them each with 1,500 strategic weapons deployed plus countless reserve weapons and tactical nuclear weapon, so there will still be roughly 22,000 nuclear weapons left in the world, 95 percent of them owned by the U.S. and Russia.
The NPT, while its very, very important, is subject to erosion right now, he said, attributing it to the major powers not fulfilling their Article VI obligations [on disarmament].
An NPT review conference is held every five years, and the next conference will take place in May in New York. Meanwhile, South Korea will host the next nuclear security summit in 2012.
Seeking a Nuclear Weapons Convention
Mr. Roche is calling for a Nuclear Weapons Convention that would prohibit the development and production of all nuclear weapons by all countries. Adherence would be verified and enforced by international law.
On behalf of over 500 Order of Canada recipients, last Friday Mr. Roche, Nobel laureate John Polanyi, and Pearson Peace Medal recipient Murray Thomson presented Mr. Harper with a cosigned statement in support of a Nuclear Weapons Convention.
Their petition joins a growing global movement working toward such an agreement.
Someday there will be such a treaty or there will be nuclear war. Its pretty easy to foresee one or the other would happen, Mr. Roche said.
He noted a warning last November from former IAEA director-general Mohamed ElBaradei, who said more than 200 incidents of illicit trafficking were reported to the agency over the past year and that this figure might well be only the tip of the iceberg.
Mr. Roche added that former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan has said the world is sleepwalking toward a nuclear disaster.
Sufficient political will already led to two global treaties banning chemical and biological weapons, Mr. Roche said.
Countries seemed to understand the damage that [those weapons] were doing, and theyve forgotten that nuclear weapons would have a global catastrophic effect.
2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference - May 3-28 at the United Nations in New York City http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/pdfs/2010_04_05_npt_action_plan.pdf
The 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference will have significant impacts on the future of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. After a failed Review Conference in 2005, there is much on the line to ensure the future of a viable Non-Proliferation Treaty and to make progress on nuclear disarmament. Because of the extreme importance of this conference, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation will take a number of steps toward influencing its outcome and educating our fellow citizens about the ongoing threats of nuclear weapons and the need for nuclear weapons abolition. Briefing Booklet - David Krieger has written a briefing booklet entitled Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament: Shifting the Mindset, which explores new ways of thinking in order to avoid the omnicidal capacities inherent in the possession of nuclear weapons. The booklet will be distributed in advance of the NPT Review Conference to all ambassadors in New York as well as key members of the US Congress and the Obama administration. We will also distribute copies at the Review Conference itself to NGO leaders and other influential individuals. CLIP - This booklet may downloaded from HERE
ALBEIT THE FOOTAGE FROM THE FOLLOWING VIDEOS IS EXCRUCIATINGLY HARD TO WATCH WITHOUT EXPERIENCING THE UNSPEAKABLE HORROR THE FEW REMAINING SURVIVORS OF THE HIROSHIMA ATOM BOMB WENT THROUGH 65 YEARS AGO, IT IS NEVERTHELESS A SOBERING REMINDER OF JUST WHY COMPLETE WORLDWIDE NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT MUST BE ACCOMPLISHED TO PREVENT THE UNTHINKABLE FROM HAPPENING EVER AGAIN...
July 9, 1962: Nuclear Weapons Test In Space http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmdBFoQtVvU
The Thor missile carried the test instrumentation and the W-49 warhead/Mk-4 RV payload to 248 miles. The electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from this test sent power line surges throughout Oahu, knocking out street lighting, blowing fuzes and circuit breakers, and triggering burglar alarms.
Obama says nuclear summit leaves US, world more secure (April 14, 2010) http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/comments_blog/2010/04/obama-says-nuclear-summit-leaves-us-world-more-secure.html
President Barack Obama told assembled leaders at the Nuclear Security Summit on Tuesday that the risk of nuclear attack, specifically from terrorists, was on the rise.In his opening address on the first full day of the summit, Obama described the new nuclear reality as a "cruel irony of history." "The risk of a nuclear attack has gone up," Obama said, as terrorist organizations like the al Qaeda network try to get their hands on nuclear materials. He said if any terrorist networks acquired materials necessary for a nuclear weapon, "they would surely use it.""Were they to do so, it would be a catastrophe for the world, causing extraordinary loss of life and striking a major blow at global peace and stability," Obama said. "It is increasingly clear that the danger of nuclear terrorism is one of the greatest threats to global security, to our collective security."World leaders at the summit endorsed Obama's call for securing all nuclear materials around the globe within four years, though few details were given for how they planned on achieving that goal. Obama declared "the American people will be safer and the world will be more secure" as a result. Read Times staff writer Christi Parsons' full story on the summit here.
Here is some of what our readers had to say:
JohnZavesky wrote: This is nothing more than smoke and mirrors and loads of hot wind by the Obama Administration. Israel refuses to join the IAEA, sign the NPT and allow inspections of their nuclear facilities. N. Korea is labeled a "non-compliant" nation for doing the same thing, but Israel gets a pass. If Obama is going for a nuke free world then ALL nations must sign the NPT, especially an ally that claims to have a "special relationship" with the U.S. - Check Israel not to sign NPT under pressure: defense minister and Obama: Israel should sign NPT
(...) Truthbuster wrote: It's a tribute to Obama's leadership that USA united 47 nations on locking up loose nukes & protecting the world from nuclear terrorism. Recent reports confirm Al Qaeda is on the hunt for nukes. So far, Russia has signed START, Russia-USA alliance strengthens, Russia & China agree to sanction Iran, Ukraine will close down its nukes & ship to US for safe keeping, as Chile has. Not since FDR has US convened 46 nations in DC. Not bad for starters. MSM won't cover in-depth, as the global significance deserves. Yet they headline ignorant Minority Party spin machine attack; obscure GOP Rep Fleming (LA) accusing Obama of treason, Palin (who couldn't point to 46 nations on a map) deriding Obama nuclear policy "like a kid saying punch me" and daddy's attack dog, Liz Cheney, calling it "naive and dangerous."Wake-up! USA's biggest existential nuclear threat, other than terrorist, is Russia's nuclear arsenal. Obama-Medvedev relationship & bi-lateral agreement is a HUGE step forward. Big-thinking GOP defense policy strategists, like Sec of State Henry Kissinger, Sec of State George Schultz heartily endorse Obama's nuclear policy & have worked with him on it -- why no coverage? Even conservative nuclear think-tank experts like Chris Ford agree Obama is on right direction.
Is the global nuclear summit all talk and no walk? (April 14 2010) http://world.globaltimes.cn/in-depth/2010-04/522168.html
(...) But one point stoked controversy among some experts: The US president said no new institutions were needed, but that the summit aimed to strengthen those that already exist, such as the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). "By primarily endorsing existing instruments ...the summit has missed the opportunity to affirm that protection of weapon-usable materials from theft is an international responsibility and is too important to be left up to the individual states to implement as they see fit," said Edwin Lyman, senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He added that while the summit achieved what he called a few important but minor objectives, it was a major disappointment."What is needed, and what the summit should have endorsed but didn't, is a new international regime with stringent mandatory standards, formal peer reviews and tough enforcement mechanisms," he said. The summit also failed to address the continued production and stockpiling of plutonium in certain countries, he added. "As stocks of vulnerable materials grow, they will be even harder to secure than they are today, making an already dangerous situation seem worse," he said.US regulations for protecting this material from theft when it is transferred to the civilian nuclear sector are completely inadequate, he said. Matthew Gertken, geopolitical analyst at Stratfor, a global intelligence company, said the summit did little to move toward securing nuclear materials."We don't think this summit amounted to much other than an attempt to emphasize Obama's commitment to the international process," he said. CLIP
Nuclear summit missed chance to tackle dangers of dirty bomb: expert (April 15, 2010) http://world.globaltimes.cn/in-depth/2010-04/522567.html
The Washington nuclear security summit missed an opportunity to adequately address the dangers posed by so-called dirty bombs which, while not as deadly as a homemade atomic weapon, are easier to obtain, an expert in nuclear non-proliferation law and policy told Xinhua in a telephone interview on Wednesday."In some senses, the greater danger is the use of radioactive materials that are used to create the dirty bomb, or the radiation dispersal device," said Carlton Stoiber, the chairman of the Working Group on Nuclear Security of the International Nuclear Law Association headquartered in Brussels, Belgium."If the terrorists were to use a radiation dispersal device it would be far less serious than a nuclear explosive, but it's so much more likely that I think the security summit should have given it more attention," said Soiber, who is now in Washington, D. C.. Radioactive material used in medicine, agriculture and other industries can be found in thousands of locations around the world, and are often poorly controlled and safeguarded.But by placing a higher priority on highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium, which are used for nuclear explosive devices, world leaders at the summit missed the chance to raise awareness on securing materials found in dirty bombs, said Stoiber. The Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, on April 12-13, was billed as the largest meeting of world leaders on US soil since the United Nations was established in San Francisco in 1945.Stoiber, who has over 30 years of experience negotiating numerous bilateral and multilateral legal instruments in the nuclear field, said he was pleased to finally see so many heads of state engaged in a discussion on securing fissile material. In the past, such dialogue has often been relegated to second and third- level officials, he said.In a non-binding communique issued at the closing of the summit on Tuesday, the 47 participating states reaffirmed "the essential role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in the international nuclear security framework" and pledged to "work to ensure that it continues to have the appropriate structure, resources and expertise needed to carry out its mandated nuclear security activities." The leaders also agreed to hold another nuclear security summit in the Republic of Korea in 2012, a meeting Stoiber hopes will tackle the question of unsecured radioactive materials.
US says Iran could build nuclear bomb in 3, 5 years (April 15 2010) http://world.globaltimes.cn/americas/2010-04/522400.html
US defense officials said Wednesday that Iran can produce enough highly enriched uranium (HEU) for a nuclear bomb in one year, but needs three to five years to assemble one. CLIP
Israel Weighs Merits of Solo Attack on Iran (April 21, 2010) http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=12568
The Israeli security establishment is divided over whether it needs Washington's blessing if Israel decides to attack Iran, Israeli officials say, as the U.S. campaign for sanctions drags on and Tehran steadily develops greater nuclear capability. Some senior Israeli officials say in interviews that they see signs Washington may be willing to live with a nuclear-armed Iran, an eventuality that Israel says it won't accept. Compounding Israeli concerns were U.S. statements this past weekend that underscored U.S. resistance to a military option. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Sunday discussed a memo to National Security Adviser James Jones warning that the U.S. needed new strategies, including how to contain a nuclear Iransuggesting that Iran could reach nuclear capability without any foreign military force trying to stop it. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reiterated Sunday the U.S. position that a military strike against Iran is a "last option." Israel says it supports the U.S.-led push for new economic sanctions against Iran. But Israeli officials have increasingly voiced frustration over the slow pace of diplomatic efforts to get sanctions in place. Relations between the two allies have soured in recent weeks, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government pushing back against Obama administration pressure to freeze building in Jewish areas of East Jerusalem, which Washington says is counterproductive to its Mideast peace efforts. In another sign of a split, Israeli officials say they believe Iranwhose president has called for the destruction of Israel (Not true, follow link. Ed.)could develop a warhead to strike the country within a year if it decides to, though outside experts say such capability is years away. Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful uses. Such divisions have played into fears in Israel that if Washington's sanctions effort fails, the Israeli and American positions on Iran could rapidly divergeand Israel, if it chooses to attack Iran, would have no choice but to do so on its own. CLIP
Obama Threatens Iran with Nuclear War (April 15, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18644
In his latest statements, President Obama has expressively warned Iran against an imminent nuclear strike. The surprising remarks by the politician who snatched the Nobel Peace Prize for his conciliatory stance in recent years, violated the UN Charter and astounded public opinion. "The continued presence of all options on the table"; this is the disappointing message which a Nobel Peace Prize laureate dispatches internationally. In his latest interview with CBS news, American President Barack Obama refused to rule out the possibility of a military strike against Iran by harking back to the famous catchphrase of former U.S. President George W. Bush who once devised, regarding Iran's nuclear program, the popular sentence of "all options are on the table". (...) As Robert Parry notes, the "bomb bomb Iran Parlor Game" has much to do with the regular psychological operations the U.S. government ruthlessly directs against its victims and it has been seen several times during the post-World War II era that the U.S. government has resorted to the most brutal methods of black propaganda to demonize and demoralize its opponents.
(...) Over the past three decades and especially following the eruption of nuclear dispute with Iran, U.S. has been carrying out media operations to incite anti-Iranian sentiments vigorously. Some recent efforts include the establishment of websites such as "United Against Nuclear Iran" and the production of Hollywood-sponsored movies "300" and "The Wrestler". The American psychological warfare, however, is not limited to mainstream media outlets, NY Times and Fox News-like stuff, campaign websites and TV shows. A number of bloggers also have been mobilized to take part in the cyber maneuver against Iran. It means that the wave of American psychological operation against Iran has become so extensive and far-reaching that even involves bloggers and independent commentators who run e-zines and online publications. Above all, carrying out psychological operations is one of the most sensitive and delicate responsibilities of the U.S. Army, CIA's Special Activities Division (SAD) and National Clandestine Service (NCS). SAD is in charge of providing the U.S. President with "special" options where diplomacy and military action is likely to fail. U.S. President has the authority to order the commencement of a new clandestine operation whenever necessary. Covert and intangible intervention in foreign elections is one of the main tasks of SAD. It also carries out missions to undermine or even overthrow a regime which does not comply with the interests of the U.S. administration. SAD has a long history of carrying out inconceivable and paralyzing missions of psychological propaganda against different countries including Bolivia, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran. In Iran, where people still remember the bitter memory of U.S.-backed coup d'etat of 1953 which brought down the democratic government of Dr. Mosaddeq and inaugurated the tyranny of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, SAD has accomplished numerous operations, several of which have been revealed by the investigative journalists. CLIP
Iran lashes out at U.S. during its own nuclear summit (April 17, 2010) http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/middleeast/la-fg-iran-nukes18-2010apr18,0,3590707.story
Iran's top political and religious authority lashed out at the United States on Saturday at a nuclear disarmament conference in Tehran meant to counter a nonproliferation summit in Washington earlier in the week. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, described the U.S. as the world's "only nuclear scofflaw." He labeled Washington hypocritical for advocating arms control while retaining a huge nuclear weapons stockpile, and for accepting the atomic arsenal of Israel, which is not a signatory to the international treaty requiring transparency for its nuclear program. "The deceptive policy by the only nuclear scofflaw, which falsely claims to be advocating the nonproliferation of nuclear arms while doing nothing substantive for this cause, will never succeed," Khamenei said in comments read aloud by one of his closest advisors, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati. Iran has faced international pressure over its nuclear technology and research program, which the West suspects is aimed at developing weapons of mass destruction. Iran insists its nuclear program is meant only for civilian ends. Iranians are incensed over the Obama administration's recent rewriting of the U.S. policy on nuclear weapons, which ruled out using such arms against non-nuclear countries that comply with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The U.S. says Iran has violated the treaty; Iran insists it is in compliance. "Threats to use weapons, especially nuclear weapons, are made by those who have no clear logic and human thinking," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech. Tehran also condemned the recent nonproliferation conference in Washington, which was partly a precursor to seeking new sanctions against Iran at the U.N. Security Council. Iran has striven hard to bolster its diplomatic position ahead of anticipated maneuvers at the Security Council and a conference next month in New York to reexamine the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.State-controlled Iranian media said ministers or deputy ministers of 24 nations attended Iran's first-ever International Conference on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, which continues Sunday. China and Russia, strategic allies of the Islamic Republic that have appeared to back away from Tehran under Western pressure, dispatched deputy foreign ministers. Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, Oman and Syria, Iran's main strategic ally, sent foreign ministers, while Pakistan's ambassador to Tehran attended.There was no sign of any Western delegates. Khamenei reiterated his long-standing stance that the use of nuclear weapons was religiously forbidden, a violation of humanitarian law and a war crime. In an echo of the message made by President Obama at his summit, he called for "sensible and practical ways and solutions to counter the threat of nuclear weapons." In the lounge outside the main hall where invitees delivered long speeches in favor nuclear disarmament, pictures of victims of the 1945 U.S. nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were on display.
Tehran: If Iran is attacked, nuclear devices will go off in American cities (April 13, 2010) See my comments below on this! http://www.debka.com/article/8713/
This warning, along with an announcement that Iran would join the world's nuclear club within a month, raised the pitch of Iranian anti-US rhetoric to a new high Tuesday, April 13, as 47 world leaders gathered in Washington for President Barack Obama's Nuclear Security Summit. The statement published by Kayhan said: "If the US strikes Iran with nuclear weapons, there are elements which will respond with nuclear blasts in the centers of America's main cities." For the first time, DEBKAfile's military sources report, Tehran indicated the possibility of passing nuclear devices to terrorists capable of striking inside the United States. Without specifying whether those elements would be Iranian or others, Tehran aimed at the heart of the Nuclear Security Summit by threatening US cities with nuclear terror. DEBKAfile's Iranians sources report that Tehran is playing brinkmanship to demonstrate that the Washington summit, from which Iran and North Korea were excluded, failed before it began, because terrorist elements capable of striking inside the US had already acquired nuclear devices for that purpose. Although Iran has yet to attain operational nuclear arms, our military sources believe it does possess the makings of primitive nuclear devices or "dirty bombs."In an interview ahead of the summit, President Obama warned: "If there was ever a detonation in New York City, or London, or Johannesburg, the ramifications... would be devastating." CLIP - NOTE from Jean: This pro-zionist news agency (DEBKAfile) looks like it's ramping up its disinformation either to trick the US into a pre-emptive attack against Iran's nuclear sites and command centers and/or to psychologically prepare the US public to a false flag dirty bomb attack on US soil that would immediately be blamed on Iran (the rationale for this being presented above) and thus trigger the pre-emptive attack Israel wishes for. Here is below another example of their disinformation strategy to soften up the public for acceptance of a nuclear strike, this time by Israeli forces...
US researchers postulate Israeli tactical nuclear strike on Iran (March 28, 2010) http://www.debka.com/article/8685/
Scenarios of a potential Israeli attack on Iran - usually without Washington's assent - abound in leading US media in the last 24 hours. They contrast sharply with the impression Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been trying to convey to the public that he and President Barack Obama were of one mind on the Iranian question when they talked at the White House last Tuesday, March 23, but the president wanted more Israeli concessions to get talks restarted with the Palestinians. DEBKAfile's military sources point in particular to the work of two eminent experts on Iran's nuclear program, Anthony Cordesman and American-Jordanian Abdullah Toqan for the Washington Institute for Strategic Affairs, who report the belief in some American military circles that " nuclear weapons are the only weapons that can destroy targets deep underground or in tunnels " The quote was embodied in a 208-page report published Friday, March 26 under the heading: Options in Dealing with Iran's Nuclear Program. They explain that because of the limited scale of its air and missile forces, Israel would resort to "using these [nuclear] warheads as a substitute for conventional weapons, given the difficulty its jets would face in reaching Iran for anything more than a one-off sortie." CLIP
Note from Jean: Perhaps it would be useful to also give a look at how the Iranian government perceives its unique situation. Here is a viewpoint expressed by Kayhan,"the most conservative Iranian newspaper" which is "directly under the supervision of the Office of the Supreme Leader." (akin to L'Osservatore Romano the "semi-official" newspaper of the Holy See)...
Barack Hussein Obama's recent outbursts speak of impatience and a volatile personality. Since Mr Obama is known to be a smoker, his behavior can be best described in Britain as throwing a "nici fit." The term describes the anxiety that smokers feel when levels of nicotine begin to drop in their bodies. Really, threatening Iran with nuclear attack is taking things a little too far; give the man a cigarette someone before he blows up Russia or China in the throes of a nici fit. (...) The world has watched the West beat on Iran for thirty years. Almost all accusations made against the country and its people have proved fabricated. The world has watched hundreds of thousands of Iranian children embrace death at the battlefronts of the Iraqi imposed war; a tragedy engineered by Tel Aviv, Washington and London.The world watched again as Iran's eastern borders with Afghanistan became another battlefield as Tehran's lonely efforts to stem the follow of narcotics to the West claimed more Iranian lives. The world stared in disbelief as terrorist groups backed by the West killed Iranians in their thousands and it still held its tongue. But now the band of international brothers and sisters, otherwise known as humanity are voting with their actions. Just why Iran should be maltreated so over three decades? What harm have any of the world countries come to due to Iranian actions? Has Iran not sought to shield all children from harm done by illicit drugs? Have we failed to offer shelter to the children dying in hails of bullets and bombs? Have we taken from any member of the international community what does not belong to us? Has Iran been bad for trade, peace, stability?The answer is no; the very same answer that President Obama has received in Washington on further sanctions. Iranian society and its democracy have some way to go. There are many rivers to cross yet before Iran realizes its revolutionary ideals and projects its revolutionary heritage into the future. And Iranians do not feel they ought to be perfect -each and every one, every time.But the cruel and uncaring nature of the Western world and its allies has been made visible purely through Iran's resistance to foreign interference. We are bad for the pipedream image that the West is trying to portray of itself. That happens to be Iran's fault; but we can hardly abandon our principles if our truths undermine a big lie. (...) Why threaten nuclear attack Mr Obama, when a gesture toward undoing thirty years worth of injustice against Iran could do the trick? Perhaps we have overlooked the US administration's need to feed the monster it has created: the military industrial complex; a phenomenon whose voracious appetite is satisfied only via scaremongering and war making.
NOTE from Jean: As for the allegation initially made by DEBKA and taken up by other pro-Israeli sites that Kayhan had published the following statement: "If the US strikes Iran with nuclear weapons, there are elements which will respond with nuclear blasts in the centers of America's main cities." ... I could not locate any such statement through a Google search specifically in the www.kayhanintl.com website - at least there is no such statement in the English version of this newspaper. The closest thing I found is the following statement in Obama and His Excessive Blunders! : "Although Iran does not seek to produce nuclear weapons, the use of such weapons cannot be unilateral. It is hard to foresee for certain that there might not be a similar nuclear attack on the American soil in retaliation since the US is not the only country that has these weapons. There are now hundreds of deployable nuclear warheads pointed at the US, since as stated by Imam Khomeini, the hegemonic powers live like a pack of wolves, each ready to attack the other for deterrence. Islamic Iran, therefore, reserves the right to use everything at its disposal to defend itself and the Islamic world against any American aggression in every corner of the globe. Obama should take Imam Khomeini's advice seriously and refrain from repeating his excessive blunders!" SO... Lots of saber rattling for sure, each side furthering its own storyline, each side perpetuating the claims that the other side is a threat, most likely because it is very convenient for each side to have an enemy towards which to deflect the populace's attention and to justify the endless arms race that plagues this world.
During a heated debate in a class I teach on social justice, several US Marines who had done tours in Iraq told me that they had "sacrificed" by "serving" in Iraq so that I could enjoy the freedom to teach in the USA. Parroting their master's slogan about "fighting over there so we dont have to fight over here", these students proudly proclaimed that they terrorized and killed defenseless Iraqis. They intimated that their Arab victims are nothing more to them than collateral damage, incidental to their receipt of some money and an education.
A room full of students listened as a US Marine told of the invasion of Baghdad and Falluja and how he killed innocent Iraqis at a check point. He called them "collateral damage" and said he had followed the "rules". A Muslim-American student in front of him said "I could slap you but then you would kill me". A young female Muslim student gasped "I am a freshman; I never thought to hear of this in a class. I feel sick, like I will pass out."
I knew in that moment that this was what the future of teaching about justice would include: teaching war criminals who sit glaring at me with hatred for daring to speak the truth of their atrocities and who, if paid to, would disappear, torture and kill me. I wondered that night how long I really have in this so called "free" country to teach my students and to be with my children and grandchildren.
The American military and mercenary soldiers who "sacrificed" their lives did not do so for the teacher's freedom to teach the truth about the so-called war on terror, or any of US history for that matter. They sacrificed their lives, limbs and sanity for money, some education and the thrills of the violence for which they are socially bred. Sacrificing for the "bling and booty" in Iraq or Afghanistan, The Philippines, Grenada, Central America, Mexico, Somalia, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, or any of the other numerous wars and invasions spanning US history as an entity and beginning with their foundational practice of killing the Indians and stealing their land.
Many of the classes that I teach now include students who "served" in the US military and security corporations. There are also many students who intend to join the US military upon completion of a degree because with the degree they get a bigger "sign on" bonus of ten to fifty thousand dollars. Their position is supported by many of the student body, who, vegetating according to the American Plan, believe they should "support their troops". The excuses that they give for joining or intending to join the US military terrorist training camps are first and foremost motivated by a desire for money. One student proudly said that he is willing to kill for money, a better standard of living and an education. Another student, who had done two tours of duty to the Empire in Iraq, justified killing and torture, citing the importance of staying on top as the world's number one super power so that his family could have the highest standard of living and unlimited access to the world's oil supplies.
Yet another soldier-student said that there would always be wars and someone had to do it. The"it" is killing, rape, and plunder for profit. Some of the soldier-students agreed that military terrorism was thrilling. Stopping and killing people at checkpoints in order to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in the USA was worth the risk of being killed or maimed. Little did they know that the very education they would kill for could include a course on social justice in which they would be compelled to examine their motives, beliefs and actions in an evil, illegal, immoral and unjust invasion and occupation of a people who never hurt or harmed them or any of their fellow citizens.
To be fair, in this week's discussion in class there was some mention that some of the student's intentions had been honorable at the time that they joined the military. They wanted to "help other people". A few woman students who want to join the military commented that they would be working to "free and defend" people here and abroad. However, for the most part and by their own admission, personal financial gain was their main focus in signing on. Their bottom line was getting the money and their thrills by joining and belonging to the biggest terrorist organization in the world, the USA.
What appears to trouble the soldier student is that the rhetoric of fighting for freedom and democracy is a lie that cannot blanket the horror and guilt of their terrorism. They do not want to hear that participation in invasion and occupation, murder and pillaging, is logically inconsistent with any legitimate concept of freedom or liberation. They know the greed and programmed lust for violence that motivates them. They expect that if they can make it out alive, they get some money, a comfortable lifestyle and an education. Their plan is to secure the oil, the diamonds, the gold, the water, the guns, the drugs, and the bling for their masters, who they hope will cut them in on the swag. They say that someone has to be on top and they want to be on the side of the strong, not the weak. Robbing Hoods, not Robin Hoods.
And now, here they sit in my course on social justice, terrorist war criminals, wanting high paying "criminal justice" jobs in a university Justice Studies program. They want approval, appreciation and honors for terrorism, torture, and murder. They want a university degree so they can get an even higher salary terrorizing more people around the world with security companies such as Blackwater or Halliburton. They want that appropriately named "sheepskin" so they can join the CIA, FBI, and other police and track down and terrorize US residents here.
These military and mercenary terrorist-students are trained in terrorist training camps all under the USA, funded by American taxpayers. In fact, people under the USA are "sacrificing" their health care and their children's educations while donating their tax dollars to these terrorist training camps. These terrorist camps train money hungry working class stiffs to murder, steal and plunder for the power hungry US corporate war lords.
There is a saying that "if you do the crime, you do the time". My response is that "If you do the war crimes, you will do time in hell, whether the hell of war trauma and shock, of diseases such as those caused by depleted uranium, the old-fashioned traditional hell, fire and brimstone assigned to malefactorsor the hell of sitting in a social justice class and discovering what the hell you are in hell for, or are about to be.
Ecological Internet (EI) today declares a planetary ecological emergency. On the basis of overwhelming new ecological science indicating key global ecosystems and life-support systems are failing EI calls for an immediate and escalating people's power Earth Revolution on behalf of Earth, all her life, and the human family. A recent highly significant scientific paper entitled "Planetary Boundaries: A Safe Operating Space for Humanity" highlights the numerous means by which the Earth System's life-support systems are failing. The natural right of all species to take all necessary actions to protect themselves, their habitat and do what is necessary to avoid ecocide is thus activated. This is not a drill.
The human family faces the imminent collapse of the biosphere the thin layer of life organized into ecosystems, upon an otherwise lifeless planet that makes Earth habitable. Marshes and rivers and forests and fish are far more than resources they and all natural ecosystems provide for humanity's habitat and existence upon Earth. A few centuries of unprecedented explosion in human numbers and surging inequitable consumption are needlessly destroying being for all living things. Environmental movement accommodation and compromise have not brought required policies necessary to avert widespread ecosystem collapse, or to lay the basis for achieving global ecological sustainability.
Ecological Internet believes biocentric, deep ecologists must carefully, quickly and thoroughly consider possibly using widespread leaderless resistance, sabotage and carefully targeted insurgency on behalf of our ecosystem habitats and shared survival. Revolutionary actions such as ending coal use, reforming industrial agriculture, and protecting and restoring old forests and other natural ecosystems, are a requirement for living within the biosphere and life-support systems carrying capacities. This declaration establishes "New Earth Rising"  as a political wing of an Earth Revolution to freely discuss and debate, though not directly incite or partake, in these matters.
There exist ways to live well within Earth's carrying capacity as we equitably and justly further human advancement with all Earth's plants and creatures at our side. Solutions exist: powering down, ecosystem protection, ecological restoration, reducing population, ending old forest logging and coal, and working for global equity, justice and peace. Earth and humanity's survival depend upon getting these items implemented quickly using protest, civil disobedience, and if rebuffed yet again; considering carefully targeted sabotage and insurgency of the growth machine which is eating our ecosystem habitats.
Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet's President, explains "I don't want to be doing any of this myself, and I am most assuredly not trying to incite any imminent illegal activities. As an academic 'Political Ecologist' I study and write about revolutionary strategies to achieve global ecological sustainability. We seek to discuss what revolutionary tactics could possibly be used to sustain Earth's biosphere and constituent ecosystems required to maintain habitability. This is free speech, and given the importance of the topic of Earth System global change, surely is appropriate."
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 In "Planetary Boundaries: A Safe Operating Space for Humanity," published this past fall in the journal Ecology and Society, and presented also in Scientific American magazine's April issue, twenty-eight luminaries from environmental and earth-systems science identified nine "planetary life-support systems" that are vital for human survival. It was found humanity had already overstepped three of nine planetary boundaries biodiversity loss, climate change and nitrogen cycle and is approaching boundaries for the use of fresh water and land, and ocean acidification.
 New Earth Rising http://www.newearthrising.org/ -- Ecological Internet's biocentric e-zine dedicated to knowing Earth's crises, and to pursuing social change and personal transformation sufficient to achieve global ecological sustainability. The next issue will begin serializing book of the same name by Dr. Barry considering the need and justification for Earth Revolution, as well as possible people power strategies and tactics.
Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity http://www.ecoearth.info/shared/docfeed/planetary_boundaries.pdf
ABSTRACT. Anthropogenic pressures on the Earth System have reached a scale where abrupt global environmental change can no longer be excluded. We propose a new approach to global sustainability in which we define planetary boundaries within which we expect that humanity can operate safely. Transgressing one or more planetary boundaries may be deleterious or even catastrophic due to the risk of crossing thresholds that will trigger non-linear, abrupt environmental change within continental- to planetary-scale systems. We have identified nine planetary boundaries and, drawing upon current scientific understanding, we propose quantifications for seven of them. These seven are climate change (CO2 concentration in the atmosphere 350 ppm and/or a maximum change of +1 W m-2 in radiative forcing); ocean acidification (mean surface seawater saturation state with respect to aragonite ³ 80% of pre-industrial levels); stratospheric ozone (5% reduction in O3 concentration from pre-industrial level of 290 Dobson Units); biogeochemical nitrogen (N) cycle (limit industrial and agricultural fixation of N2 to 35 Tg N yr-1) and phosphorus (P) cycle (annual P inflow to oceans not to exceed 10 times the natural background weathering of P); global freshwater use (4000 km3 yr-1 of consumptive use of runoff resources); land system change (15% of the ice-free land surface under cropland); and the rate at which biological diversity is lost (annual rate of 10 extinctions per million species). The two additional planetary boundaries for which we have not yet been able to determine a boundary level are chemical pollution and atmospheric aerosol loading. We estimate that humanity has already transgressed three planetary boundaries: for climate change, rate of biodiversity loss, and changes to the global nitrogen cycle. Planetary boundaries are interdependent, because transgressing one may both shift the position of other boundaries or cause them to be transgressed. The social impacts of transgressing boundaries will be a function of the socialecological resilience of the affected societies. Our proposed boundaries are rough, first estimates only, surrounded by large uncertainties and knowledge gaps. Filling these gaps will require major advancements in Earth System and resilience science. The proposed concept of planetary boundaries lays the groundwork for shifting our approach to governance and management, away from the essentially sectoral analyses of limits to growth aimed at minimizing negative externalities, toward the estimation of the safe space for human development. Planetary boundaries define, as it were, the boundaries of the planetary playing field for humanity if we want to be sure of avoiding major human-induced environmental change on a global scale.
World failing on every environmental issue: an op-ed for Earth Day
Jeremy Hance -- April 22, 2010
The biodiversity crisis, the climate crisis, the deforestation crisis: we are living in an age when environmental issues have moved from regional problems to global ones. A generation or two before ours and one might speak of saving the beauty of Northern California; conserving a single speciessay the white rhinofrom extinction; or preserving an ecological region like the Amazon. That was a different age.
Today we speak of preserving world biodiversity, of saving the 'lungs of the planet', of mitigating global climate change. No longer are humans over-reaching in just one region, but we are overreaching the whole planet, stretching ecological systems to a breaking point. While we are aware of the issues that threaten the well-being of life on this planet, including our own, how are we progressing on solutions?
Although not a scientist, I have a relatively unique perspective, having spent the last three years as an environmental journalist, writing on a wide-variety of issues from species-on-the-brink to indigenous rights to climate change politics. As much as I have written, I have read exponentially more. Sometimes a working day as an environmental reporter can feel like watching a slow succumbing, an endless cataloguing toward the end of the world as we know it. I don't mean that the Earth will keel over and diehardly. But the Earth may be very different in just a hundred years than the place we inherited: species are vanishing and ecosystems are being ravaged; humans are impacting everything from the deepest ocean to the most inaccessible mountain glaciers, from lion populations in East Africa to stringweed in the Galapagos, from the oceans' chemical make-up to the boreal forest's ability to sequester carbon.
Given the challenges, how are our political leaders, corporate kings, media moguls, and the public tackling so many environmental issues? Are we implementing solutions, simply standing by, or continuing the actions that caused the problems in the first place?
The answer is simple: wethe human speciesare failing on every major environmental problem, including those I highlight below: biodiversity, oceans, deforestation, food and water, population and consumption, and climate change. Our inability thus far to even being solving these problems is bankrupting our Earth and will leave our children a very differentI venture to say lonelier and more chaoticworld.
Still, if you make through this whole piece you'll find that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. For it is still up to us, every one of us, to determine our collective fate and that of generations to come.
On September 1, 1914, the last known Passenger Pigeon, named Martha, died in a zoo in Cincinnati. For a bird that only decades before numbered in the billions, the passenger pigeon proved just how rapidly human actionsin this case unsustainable hunting for cheap meatcan wipe out a once super-abundant and prolific species, let alone naturally rare ones.
Habitat loss, deforestation, poaching, pollution, desertification, overharvesting, invasive species, climate change: never before has one specieshumansthreatened the existence of so many others. Most biologists now agree that we have pushed life on earth into a mass extinction event: the sixth that has occurred. Mass extinction events wipe out a good percentageusually over 50 percentof species in a short amount of time, geologically speaking. Such losses forever re-write Earth's ecology and require millions of years for species diversity to begin recovery.
For many people biodiversity loss is not an important or visible problem. Yet, consider that life on Earth, i.e. biodiversity, underpins nature itself, and the multitude of good things we receive from itknown to researchers as 'ecosystem services'such as pollination, food production, clean water, pest control, soil fertility, flood control, erosion, and carbon sequestration.
Beyond simply practical services, the diversity of life on Earth has inspired our arts and poetry, our philosophy and our religions, our individual cultures and our global one. It's impossible to imagine Hinduism without its species-inspired deities; the first book of the Bible, Genesis, without its 'winged birds' and 'great creatures of the sea'; Shakespeare without his references to the diverse species of the English countryside; or Bambi without its cast of wide-eyed woodland creatures.
There is also the beliefpresent in nearly all moral, philosophical, or religious traditionsthat life is good in itself, and diverse life even better.
Yet despite our long and close relationship with other species, we are wiping out the Earth's biological richesmany of which took millions of years to evolvewith the ferocity of a global calamity. Extinction rates are currently estimated at 100 to 1000 times higher than the background extinction rate, i.e. the average rate of extinctions as determined by fossil-studies.
According to the world's authority on extinction, the IUCN Red List, 875 recorded species have vanished from Earth from 1500-2009. However this is likely a very tiny sampling of the actual number of species given that biologists' believe that the vast majority of species vanish entirely unknown to science. For example, nearly 2 million species have been described by science, yet many ecologists estimate that somewhere between 10 and 50 million species inhabit our planet. Yet, recent findings by the Census of Marine Life may change even these estimates: field expeditions have led researchers to estimate that ocean-dwelling microscopic animals (microbes) alone number in the hundreds-of-millions of species.
But it's not just species extinction that should be disconcerting: it's also the loss of abundance. While the roufus-necked hornbill is unlikely to go extinct anytime soon, its numbers have fallen dramatically due to large-scale deforestation, forest degradation, and hunting in Southeast Asia. As an important seed-disperser the loss of abundance of this species may have ecological ripples as big as its extinction: fewer roufus-necked hornbills means a diminished number of seeds dispersed by the species, which in turn threatens the plants it disperses and the species that depend on those specific plants. Such a 'trophic cascade' can even become a vicious circle: for example, the drop in salmon populations in the Northwestern United States means that the entire freshwater ecosystem receive less nutrients every year (researchers estimate a nutrient-drop of over 90 percent), but declining nutrients make it impossible for salmon to replenish to optimal populations, and so on and so forth. It's not just extinction that ripples through an ecosystem, but declines in abundance as well.
Despite this truly global problem, biodiversity has remained largely under the radar. Over a hundred pledges from the world's governments to stem global biodiversity loss by this year has ended in stark failure: another sign of governments' willingness to talk-the-talk but unwilling to take the necessary actions such pledges required. Big corporations still destroy forests, drain wetlands, and level mountains with impunity. In addition the mainstream media largely ignores the issue. Beyond some 'fluff' pieces on wildlife, the media has failed to educate the public about the loss and importance of biodiversity.
Even environmental organizations have long-focused on big, charismatic species, neglecting to use their unique position to educate the public on the importance not just of the 'cool' animals, but of every species from leafhoppers to fungi to the blue whale. Biodiversity and bio-abundance continues to decline and unless large-scale actions are taken quickly to halt these losses, it's impossible to know where they will stop.
For most of human history the idea that we could ever irrevocably change the vast and impenetrable oceans would have appeared ridiculous. Yet today, the possibility of depleting the ocean of its biological richness is not only conceivable: it is happening. That's not all: we are also altering the oceans' very chemical make-up with greenhouse gases, agricultural runoff, and pollution.
Humankind is, quite literally, eating the oceans. Targeted fish populations have collapsed impacting ecosystems all down the line. According to marine expert, Jeremy Jackson, large predatory fish, including tuna, salmon, cod, swordfish, and rays, have declined by 90 percent in 60 years. Sharks are faring no better. Caught as bycatch and heavily-targeted for shark-fin soup, shark populations have dropped even quicker than popular fish. In the Northwest Atlantic sharks populations declined 75 percent in just fifteen years. But its not just fish: oysters have suffered a global loss of 91 percent due to unsustainable exploitation. A 2006 paper in Science predicted that the oceans could be emptied of all target species by 2050 if business continued as usual. Despite this warning, little improvement has been made. The loss of these species also unfairly impacts the world's poor, who depend on fish and other edible marine life as an important protein and economic source.
It's not just the fish we fish. With every targeted marine species caught, others are killed as bycatch. Either drowned in nets or on hooked by lines, sea birds, marine turtles, sharks, seals, and even whales face grisly deaths due to fisheries. In fact, many species are as threatened as by-catch as those intentionally caught.
Despite the emptying of our oceans, global demand for seafood only increases. As well, it has become clear that international bodies and governments are so far unwilling to put regulations into place to require sustainability. The poster fish of overexploitation, the bluefin tuna, is a prime example of how stubbornly governments and industry choose short-term profit even in the face of extinction.
We are not only impacting the oceans by over-exploitation, but with our waste. In the Pacific Ocean there is an island: this island was not created by eons of geological processes, but from a few decades of throwaway plastic. More than twice the size of Texas, this floating island-dump is made up almost entirely of anthropogenic plastic waste. The invention of cheap, throwaway plastic has decimated the oceans in a way that is difficult to comprehend. I was once told by a diver how an autopsy of a marine turtle revealed that the animal had died from constipation: its intestines had been stopped up with a dozen plastic bags and hundreds of cigarette butts.
Not only do a number of species, such as marine turtles and birds, die from consumption of plastic, but new research shows that supposedly unbreakable plastic quickly breaks down in the ocean, spreading toxins far-and-wide.
Beyond threatening species, pollution has altered the chemical makeup of oceans, creating over 400 identified 'dead zones' and causing widespread bleaching of much of the world's coral reefs. Nutrient pollution from fertilizer, industrial runoff, livestock manure, and sewage leads every year to massive algal blooms in parts of the sea. These are broken down by bacteria, a process which starves the region of oxygen, leading to the so-called 'dead zone' where little survives but jellyfish and microbes. According to a study in Science the presence of dead zones have doubled every decade since 1960.
At the same time due to our greenhouse gas emissions the oceans have been forced to sequester more carbon. This causes the oceans' pH levels to decrease, i.e. become more acidic, and threatens the marine world's most biodiverse ecosystem: coral reefs. Weakening the coral's skeletal structure and sometimes leading to morality, scientists estimate that acidity due to carbon emissions may jump 100 times faster than anytime during the past 20 million years, likely crippling coral ecosystems worldwide. Species that produce shells and plates are also highly threatened by acidification due to depletions of calcium carbonate in the water needed to craft their shells. Yet, this is an issue directly related to carbon emissions that the public is largely unaware of, and the mainstream media rarely delves into.
Oceans may even receive less respect than global wildlife. Despite our love for dolphins and whalesand for eating seafoodwe are failing to secure a future both for the oceans' big and small species, and for global seafood consumption. Yet, governments mostly side with short-term economic concerns rather than sustainably management, allowing entire fisheries to collapse instead of simply reigning in overfishing. In addition, long-ignored problems such as plastic pollution, dead zones, and acidification have left future generations with a monstrous mess to clean-up if they ever want to see productive and beautiful oceans again.
The world's rainforests contain the majority of terrestrial life on Earth, store vast amounts of carbon, aid cloud production, protect against desertification, are home to myriad indigenous groups, provide humans with an array of life-saving medicines, and leave all who visit in awe, yet rainforests continue to vanish at staggering rates.
Although estimating deforestation is complex and difficult, it is thought that at least 32,300 hectares (80,000 acres) of rainforest are destroyed every day. If forest degradation is included in that estimate, the area doubles. Going back further: from 1950 to today approximately 668 million hectares of tropical forest have been lostover six times the size of Boliviadue largely to logging, fire, slash-and-burn, mining, dams, and clearcutting for plantation, pasture, or agriculture. In total just 41 percent of the world's tropical forest biome survives today.
Some regions have been harder hit than others. For example, the Atlantic Forest, which once stretched along the eastern coast of South America, has lost 93 percent of its area since Europeans arrived. The island of Borneo, once blanketed in rainforest, has lost over half of its forest, mostly since 1950. Today Brazil still loses the most forest every year, but the Amazonian country is taking steps to lower it deforestation, while Indonesianow number twois gaining ground.
The majority of tropical countries with some notable exceptions have failed to preserve their natural heritage: facing poverty, corruption, poor governance, and a desire to emulate the west, they have sold out much of the great forests that once graced the planet.
Yet rich northern countries cannot claim the high ground for two major reasons. Number one: much of the felling of tropical forests around the world is due to unsustainable material consumption by the wealthy north and, more recently, juggernauts like China and India. Rainforests have fallen for soy and cattle in Brazil, timber in the Congo, rosewood and ebony in Madagascar, paper and oil palm in Indonesia, lawn furniture and throw-away chopsticks (not kidding) in Borneo, all of which mostly ends up as exports to wealthier countries. If we are eating the world's oceans, we are consuming the world's rainforests for throwaway goods and fancy furniture.
Number two: industrialized nations are still cutting vast swaths of their own old-growth forests. The world's boreal forests are vanishing rapidly even in the world's wealthiest countries. A new study in Trends in Ecology and Evolution shows that 60 percent of the world's great northern foreststhe borealare fragmented and degraded: purposely-set fires, logging, mining, and pine beetles aided by warming temperatures are to blame. According to the study, Russia, which houses the most forest, is the worst steward of the boreal. The on-going destruction is thought to have turned the boreal from a carbon sink to a carbon source, as well as threatening hundreds of species with extinction.
Before exploiting tropical and boreal forests, humans destroyed most of the world's deciduous forests. In the United States and Europe, less than 1 percent of deciduous forest survives in an undisturbed state, mostly lost to agriculture and population expansion. While deciduous forests have begun to recover in some areas due to reforestation projects and abandonment of agriculture, it is not on the rise everywhere: a new study in Bioscience shows that America's Eastern foreststhought to be reboundinghave actually declined by 4.1 percent (3.7 million hectares) in less than 30 years due in part to logging and mountaintop mining, but mostly urban sprawl.
Despite the gloomy news, deforestation may be the one are of the environment where progress is being made, albeit slowly considering the continuing costs of destroying the world's tropical and temperate forests. Having established large park systems that protect small percentages of the world's forest, scientists and conservationists have now realized that a strict 'park-approach' will not save the world's habitats by itself or aid people who live off the forests.
New programs, such as Reducing Emission through Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), are working out ways to pay countries to preserve rather than clear-cut their rainforests in line with carbon financing. The quest to achieve such a global program is complicated and on-going, but is one of the more hopeful and pragmatic ideas to stem deforestation loss.
Of course, it will be hard to consider the fight against deforestation won until new forest growth (not including monoculture plantations, which are not forests) at least equals what is lost annually. Far more preferable would be forest growth making a global comeback after so much loss and old-growth forests protected or sustainably managed.
Food and water
While making food and clean water available for every human on the planet may not seem like an environmental issue, it certainly is. Food and water is intimately tied to the ecological systems we are impacting: climate, biodiversity, overpopulation, overconsumption, waste, and pollution.
The world hit a new record last year: one billion people estimated to be going hungry by the FAOmore than anytime in history. While the economic crisis hit industrialized nations hard in terms of jobs and GDP, it hit poor countries hard in terms of food shortages: the number of hungry during 2008-2009 jumped by 200 million people worldwide.
Kenya, Guatemala, Somalia are just some of the countries that have experience food crises during the past few years. At the height of the global food crisis 37 nations were said to be suffering. Today, the Sudan and Niger are both in the midst of devastating food shortages.
It is not that there isn't enough food in the world: in fact there is more than enough. The problem is not yet one of plenty, but of regional imbalances in food production as well as market inequalities. For example, Americans alone waste enough food every day to feed 200 million adults their daily caloric needs according to a recent study. In all approximately 30-40 percent of the world's food production ends up as waste. At the same time, many parts of the world do not make enough foodor farmers have been pushed to grow cash crops rather than staplesand so depend on the international market to feed them. But when these markets fail, there is no true safety net for food.
Food crises are often exacerbated or even launched by worse-than-usual droughts, and if hunger is already a massive issue, water shortages may become an even bigger one.
Eight hundred and eighty four million people currently lack access to safe water for drinking, while 2.5 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation. But these numbers are only expected to go up: by 2050 the UN predicts that 7 billion people will suffer from water scarcity. While we may live on a blue planet, only a tiny percentage of the world's water is actually suitable for human use: 0.007 percent of the total or less than one percent of the world's freshwater.
Yet, while freshwater is a very limited resource, most governments have yet to favor protection over pollution. China, lauded for its economic explosion, has paid a high price in environmental catastrophe: government officials have admitted to the nation dumping 30.3 million metric tons of pollutants in Chinese freshwater in 2007, over three times the amount that researchers say Chinese waters can safely absorb. According to official stats, 60 percent of China's waterways are now polluted. But it's not just China that has rubberstamped pollution of its freshwater: the most recent EPA study of the US's lakes and rivers found nearly half to be too polluted to safely fish or swim in.
At the same time climate change is shifting where and when rain falls. In general dry regions are seeing less rain, and wetter regions more. In the past few years East Africa, China, Guatemala, Mali, and Australia have all experienced worse-than-average droughts, while some of the world's most important rivers have decreased in waterflow due to climate change, for example the Ganges, the Niger, the Colorado, and the Yellow River.
Wars over water may seem like science-fiction alarmism, but according to many international observers, water shortages is one of the primary drivers behind the conflict in Darfur, which has claimed over 200,000 lives to violence, disease, and starvation.
Overpopulation and overconsumption
In 1804 we hit a milestone: for the first time1 billion people populated the Earth. Today, after adding 6 billion people in just over a hundred years, we are on the edge of a new record: 7 billion people. That's 7 billion people who require food, clean water, clothes, and shelter: seven times those who required the same in 1804.
Yet global needs, or rather global desires, are not divided equally as Jared Diamond pointed out in an op-ed in The New York Times: the industrialized world consumes 32 times more resources than the developing world. There are many ways to illustrate such discrepancies: from the McMansions of suburban America (imagine 4,000 to 10,000 square feet) to the slums of India and the shanties of Kenya, from 61 cars for every 100 Australians compared to 3 cars for every 100 Filipinos, or from 6 TVs for every 10 Germans to half of a TV for every 10 Nigerians to one-third of a TV for every hundred Afghanis.
Extravagant consumption by the one billion or so people in the US, Canada, EU, Japan, and Australia added to increased consumption by big developing countries, such as China and India, has led to an untenable situation where human beings actually consume more resources every year than the Earth produces. As of 2005 the ecological footprint of humanity was 1.4 planet Earths annually, in other words we are overshooting our planet's sustainability by 40 percent.
Very few politicians, corporations, or media outlets are brave enough to broach the subject of overconsumption. Yet overconsumptionperhaps even more than overpopulationis pushing the limits of the Earth's resources far beyond a point that is sustainable. While sustainability may have lost some of its meaning by becoming a catch-phrase for everything from big business advertisements to government rhetoric, 'sustainability' simply means the capacity for an enclosed system, in this case the Earth, to continue producing for the needs of its myriad inhabitants.
But if overconsumption is taboo, overpopulation is more so. Even most environmental groups avoid it altogether, yet there is no question that the nearly 7 billion people on the planet are overstraining the limits of every ecosystem. While it is, not surprisingly, an incredibly sensitive topicdue to legitimate religious, moral, and governmental concernsthere are many smart ways to reduce population growth without draconian measures that most everyone, myself included, strongly abhor. Providing easy access to birth control, education for women, awareness of the issue of overpopulation, and societal acceptance of childless families are just a few ways to begin lowering the population growth rate.
If left unchecked overconsumption combined with overpopulation will eventually turn on human societies, and the result will not be pretty. Unless we beginvery soonharvesting other planets for resources (see science fiction horror stories like Avatar and Moon), consumption simply cannot continue indefinitely, even though governments around the world from England to India to China act in the belief that it can and will. By beginning with stemming wastefulness and increasing efficiency, society can then explore how the modern economy of growth at all costs should and must be altered.
Though the majority are silent on it, its impossible to deny that behind every global environmental issue rests, at least in part, these two factors: overpopulation and overconsumption.
Despite some politicians and media sources announcing that climate change is a conspiracy and there is no evidence that the Earth is warming, the globe continues to warm. The past decade, 2000-2009, was the warmest on record, i.e. since 1880. Average global temperatures have risen 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) since the late nineteenth century. Warming has occurred far faster in the Arctic with temperatures rising in many places between 1.6-2.2 degrees Celsius (3-5 degrees Fahrenheit), which is why changes there are far more extreme.
Signs of our progressively warming world are everywhere and in some cases becoming iconic: melting glaciers, changes in animal migrations, earlier springs, exacerbated droughts, unusual flooding, longer melt season in the Arctic, global sea level rising, acidifying oceans, extinctions, desertification, longer growing seasons, and worsened water shortages. While one cannot simply subscribe a single weather-event to climate change, a long-term pattern of changes can and should be linked to climate change if backed up by scientific evidence. When I was a kid, climate change, though discussed, was a long-way offa hundred years maybebut it has come faster and fiercer than most researchers expected, and the on-the-ground changes are becoming increasingly visible even to non-scientists.
Something that mass-media largely ignoresor simply doesn't understandis the fact that climate change is a complicated, messy phenomenon, but that doesn't mean it isn't occurring and we are not to blame. Climate change, unlike many environmental issues, has not been regulated to the back pages and short segments by mainstream media. However, even the fact that climate change is heavily reported, has not pushed society or its leaders to actually implementing on-the ground solutions. In part because rather than a sobering analysis, the media has turned climate change into an exciting scandal-ridden roller coaster ride. One day the world is ending; the next it's all one big lie.
The truth, of course, is in neither of these, but climate changea warmer worldis impacting every ecosystem on Earth, and even our daily lives. It doesn't just threaten the way of life of polar bears, but the way of life of humans from the tropical Amazon to the deserts of Africa to mountains of Tibetand even to the suburbs of the UK.
There is no doubt that the failure last December of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen to adopt a legally-binding and strong agreement has dampened the spirits of many and placed into question the UN's capacity to deal with climate change. Time will tell whether or not the world can come together to mitigate greenhouse gases while helping the poorand least responsibleto adapt to a warmer world. However, it should be noted that if the past is any indication, the world's governments are stymied by in-fighting and blind selfishness when it comes to climate change. Rather than take the significant and rapid action necessary to mitigate risk, governments largely talk about doing what's right but refuse to move forward at the pace necessary.
So, what are we to do?
Despite the problems presented above, I am not of the doom-and-gloom stripe. I see no end to life on Earth or to subsequent evolutioncockroaches can survive anything and so can jellyfishbut we are changing our planet in fundamental ways that will impact our lives, our children's lives, and the lives of all foreseeable generations of humans. This, in fact, is an important side-note to the environmental movement: as much as many environmentalists love animals and the natural world for its own sake, they are actually trying to preserve the world for themselves and their children. Environmentalism, by its very nature, is a human endeavor.
People also know that not only does the natural world provide us with the means on which we survivefood, water, materials, stable climatebut also gives us the inspiration to do the very things that make us human. Art, literature, philosophy, and religion would all be bankrupt without the natural world to draw from. Recently researchers have begun making connections between mental illness and a lack of access toor time spent inthe natural world. I suspect these burgeoning studies to uncover a significant connection between our society's loss of nature and our growth in mental illness, loss of purpose, and unhappiness even as we own more stuff.
Here's the good news (yes, there is good news): we have hit this point in environmental degradation not for a lack of bright ideas and ambitious solutions, but due to a lack of will and courage.
Researchers and dedicated people worldwide have come up time-and-again with ways to stem the ecological harmlocally, regionally, globallyand begin repairing our environmental woes.
For example, everyone knows what needs to be done to combat climate change: it's not cryptic information. A clean energy revolutionsolar, wind, geothermalneeds rapid investment and deployment, creating in turn millions of green jobs. In addition, other greenhouse gases, such as methane, need to be quickly regulated. Forests and other carbon-important natural landscapes, from peatlands to seagrasses, should be rapidly persevered. Smart reforestation effortsjumpstarting natural forest growthshould begin worldwide in order to sequester carbon with a new generation of forests. Programs like REDD, if implemented faithfully, could kickoff this process. Of course, a good start in terms of combating climate change would be cutting out the billions in subsidies that fossil fuel companiesdrowning in profit alreadyreceive from governments and putting that money into green energy and conservation.
Preserving forests and beginning an 'age of reforestation' would also go a long way toward addressing the biodiversity crisis. Smart urban and suburban planning such as working to create a mix of environments from crops to pasture to forest to urban livingknown as a matrixin heavily populated or agricultural areas would help the world's tiny species and ensure migration routes in a warmer world. Finally, educating the public on the importance of global biodiversityof species big and small, known and unknowncould give governments and society the needed push to turn back mass extinction.
For the oceans, catch-share programs, which stop overexploitation of target fish without harming fishermen, should be implemented worldwide. In addition, quickly expanding Marine Protected Areas would give marine life regions to thrive. Phasing out throwaway plastics, implementing agricultural reforms, and improving waste management would also aid immensely in recovering those ecosystems that cover 70 percent of our planet.
A cultural shift is needed to focus less on shopping and empty materialism, and more on community and experience. Our obsessive consumerismwhere we see our self-worth in the product we buy and not, in fact, who we areis not only an illness of the industrial west, but has spread throughout much of the world. We must ask ourselves does endless consumerism make us better friends, partners, parentsdoes it make us better people? I imagine such a shift would also allow us to finally implement smart solutions to feeding the world's people and providing clean water to every individual. It's shockingly immoral that at a time when someone can open their iPhone and watch the latest episode of Lost on the subway, we still cannot feed the world.
Obviously, we have far to go. Today, individuals, leaders, media, and corporations still place short-term financial gain far above the very stability of our planet, i.e. the predictable climate, abundant life, and rich ecosystems that allowed us to go from hunter-gatherers to traveling to the moon. They see environmental issues as more of a nuisance than a chance to protect the beautiful world we have inherited. They see a conflict between the environment and economy, not understanding that ecological processes underlie any human-crafted economy. They do not comprehend that the world has changed drastically in just the past fifty years and without a sustainable environment, weas a speciesare headed into a world of trouble.
So the onus is on us. We can no longer simply complain about governments with their heads stuck in the sand and corporations who are perfectly willing to sell-out rainforests for a higher profit margin, all in the names of 'development'. We cannot wallow in despair, but need to get moving, get busy, and begin making changes, whether local, regional, or global. We need to begin talking about these issues more candidly and openly, support media and leaders who actually explore the complexity of environmental issues, and press our governments through democratic actions.
But we also need more than debate. We need to start walking the walk: no matter how much people may decry the destruction of the world's rainforests they still buy paper, wood, food stuffs, and meat grown on them, and they still support the large corporations doing the cutting and the governments turning a blind eye.
Although the cause may at times appear insurmountable, this isn't the time to lash out in anger or complain numbly about the state of the world. Those who waste their time in despair and hate have not heard of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Junior, or Nelson Mandella, nor have they understood that behind every great leader, millions stood hopeful for a cause. Revolutions of this kind are not easy, they are not quick, they are by their very nature fraught with difficulty and setback, but sometimes they are necessary. This is one of those times. While today we are still failing planet Earth's species, ecosystems, and people, we don't have to fail them tomorrow.
Close to a billion species: ocean exploration reveals shocking diversity of tiny marine life (April 19, 2010)
ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!! - With magnificent pictures! http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0419-hance_microbes.html
Biologists worldwide may have to start re-evaluating their estimates of the number of species on Earth, since expeditions documenting the oceans' tiniest species have revealed shocking diversity: in the tens of millions of species, at least, and according to one researcher "closer to a billion". Fourteen field projects sent out by the Census of Marine Life focused on the oceans' smallest inhabitants: microbes, zooplankton, and tiny burrowing species inhabiting the deep sea bed. What they found was astounding. Off the west coast of South America explorers discovered extensive mats of microbes: covering a surface the size of Greece, these microbe communities are one of the largest masses of life on Earth, and, according to researchers, resemble ecosystems from the Proterozoic period, between 2.5 billion and 650 million years ago. In all researchers estimate that marine microbes make-up 50 to 90 percent of the ocean's entire biomass, weighing the equivalent of 240 billion African elephants. It is thought that there may be a billion individual microbes in one liter of seawater. (...) But what ecological role do the diversity and abundance of microbes play? A big one, according to researchers: microbes are responsible for more than 95 percent of the oceans' respiration, where they turn atmospheric carbon dioxide back into carbon to be stored in ocean depths. For being incredibly small, marine microbes impact climate, recycle nutrients, decompose toxins, and help regulate the Earth's atmosphere.(...) A square meter of the sea floor can contain over half a million roundworms, known as nematodes, but only a few of these roundworm species have been described by science. Copepod diversity also surprised scientist: in two stops in the Atlantic Angola Basin, researchers discovered 700 unique copepod speciesnearly all of which were unknown to sciencein just 5.4 square meters. The new copepod species nearly doubles the number of copepod species known in the southern hemisphere. "Far from being a lifeless desert, the deep sea rivals such highly diverse ecosystems as tropical rainforests and coral reefs," says Census of the Diversity of Abyssal Marine Life leader Pedro Martinez Arbizu. CLIP
Nestle shareholder meeting interrupted by Greenpeace orangutans (April 15, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0415-hance_nestle.html
Nestle calls for global moratorium on rainforest destruction. -- Nestle's shareholder meeting turned raucous today, as Greenpeace protesters were arrested in full-orangutan outfits outside the meeting and inside Greenpeace activistsin a scene out of a spy moviepropelled down from the ceiling and dropped a giant banner and a shower of leaflets above the shareholders' heads. "Nestlé's chair, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, was explaining how well the company had performed over the last fiscal year when noises were heard up in the roof and leaflets began raining down, not at all unlike a shower of cash," describes a Greenpeace blog entry today. The protest also took on new life online today with Nestle's Facebook page still being bombarded by frustrated customers, while thousands of Twitter messages were sent to Nestle in a coordinated move by Greenpeace. The troubles for Nestle began last month when Greenpeace unleashed a campaign linking Nestle to rainforest destruction in Indonesia through one of their palm oil supplier's, the Indonesian-company Sinar Mas. After Nestle succeeded in taking down one of Greenpeace's videos from YouTube on the issue, the video spread virally all over the Internet. Online social media protests began on both Twitter and Facebook. A dismissive attitude from Nestle only threw fuel on the flames. According to Greenpeace, over 200,000 emails have been sent to Nestle regarding the issue while the banned video has been watched over 1.3 million times. (...) At the meeting Brabeck-Lemathe did call for a full moratorium on deforestation of the world's tropical forests. A position that was brought up in a letter to Greenpeace earlier this week where Nestle proposes "the creation of a global coalition to stop the destruction of rainforests, that includes not only palm oil growers and buyers, but all major interests that impact deforestation, including lumber, paper, biofuel, animal production, and financial interests as well as governments". "Help us bring about a moratorium when it comes to the destruction of rainforest," Brabeck-Lemathe said at the meeting. Yet the Chairman did not bend to Greenpeace's and activists' demands to drop Cargill as a palm oil supplier. In 2008 Greenpeace called for a moratorium on rainforest destruction in Indonesia, but there has been little movement from the government or industry on the issue. Nestle has pledged that it will source only sustainable palm oil by 2015. The Swiss company remains the world's largest food processor with a net profit of nearly 10 billion US dollars last year. Deforestation in Indonesia has led to the nation becoming the world's third highest emitter of greenhouse gases (after industrial-behemoths China and the United States). Between 1990 and 2005, Indonesia lost more than 28 million hectares of forest, including 21.7 hectares of virgin forest. The country has declined from 82 percent forest cover in the 1960s to less than half today. In addition, habitat loss has placed many of Indonesia iconic species, including orangutans, clouded leopards, tigers, and rhinos, on the endangered species list. Tens-of-thousands of lesser known speciesmany not even known to scienceare just as threatened.
Is deforestation rising or falling in the Amazon? (April 18, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0418-amazon_aug09-feb10.html
Last week Brazil's National Space Agency INPE reported a 51 percent drop in Amazon deforestation in the six months ended February 2010 compared with the year earlier period. But the seemingly happy news for environmentalists may be premature. Data from Imazon, an independent organization that aims to improve forest transparency through advanced analysis of satellite imagery and other tools, reveals a 23 percent increase during the period. Why does the data conflict? (...) Nevertheless deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon continues to trend downward since peaking in 2004. The decline is attributed to new interest among business leaders in reducing deforestation, new forestry policies and increased vigilance against illegal logging and agriculture, expansion of the country's protected area network, and a stronger real. Confident in Brazil's progress in controlling deforestation, in 2008 President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva announced a plan to reduce annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon 70 percent from a 1996-2005 baseline by 2018 as part of the country's climate change commitment.
Off and on again: Belo Monte dam goes forward, protests planned (April 20, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0419-hance_belomonte.html
An auction to build the Belo Monte dam, a massive hydroelectric project in Brazil, is going ahead despite two court-ordered suspensions, both of which have been overturned. The dam, which would be the world's third-largest, has been criticized by indigenous groups, environmental organizations, and most recently filmmaker James Cameron who created the wildly popular Avatar. Diverting the flow of Xingu Rivera tributary of the Amazon Riverthe dam will flood 500 square kilometers of pristine rainforest, relocate 12,000 people, and, according to critics, negatively impact 45,000 indigenous people who depend on the river. Judges have agreed. On Friday Judge Antonio Carlos de Almeida Campelo suspended the dam's preliminary license, writing in his decision that "it remains proven, unequivocally, that Belo Monte's plant will exploit the hydroelectric potential of areas occupied by Indigenous people who would be directly affected by the construction and development of the project." Yet the suspension was quickly overturned. "The Lula government is clearly pressuring the courts to approve Belo Monte against the rights and interests of indigenous people and the local populations of the Xingú, and it's our lives at stake. Even so, the people affected by this dam are united and determined to stop the project, we will not give up this fight," said Sheyla Yakarepi Juruna of the Juruna people in a press release. CLIP
China has surpassed the United States as the top investor in clean energy with the rising Asian power becoming a "powerhouse" in the emerging field, a study by environmentalists in late March said.
The report said that China has shown determination to be on the frontline of green technology, while US investors have been put off by uncertainties amid the legislative battle over climate change.
Chinese investment in clean energy soared by more than 50 percent in 2009 to reach $34.6 billion, far more than any other country in the Group of 20 major economies (G20), the study led by the Pew Charitable Trusts said.
Total US investment was about half that at $18.6 billion, the first time in five years that the world's largest economy lost the top spot in clean energy, the study said.
"China is emerging as the world's clean energy powerhouse," Phyllis Cuttino, global warming campaign director of the Pew Environment Group, told reporters in a conference call.
"This represents a dramatic growth when you consider just five years ago their investment totaled $2.5 billion," she said.
China has also overtaken the United States as the top emitter of carbon blamed for global warming and came under fire for its role in December's much-criticized UN climate summit in Copenhagen.
But the study found that China had made a strategic decision to invest in wind and solar technologies as it copes with sharply rising demand for energy - and has set some of the world's most ambitious targets on renewable energy.
The study also found strong investment by Britain, which ranked third with $11.2 billion for clean energy; Spain, which came in first in green investment when taken as percentage of gross domestic product, and Germany.
Nations seen as struggling in the clean energy competition include the United States, Australia and Japan, the study said. Cuttino said the three nations have "less consistent, clear and long-term policies in place."
US President Barack Obama, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama have all championed climate action but none of the countries have set in motion nationwide plans to curb emissions.
But the study noted that Australia had potential in wind energy and said Japan was "one of the G20's most promising growth markets" if the resource-poor nation carries out plans to ramp up solar and wind power.
The study found that even though the US dominates technological innovation, its investment in clean energy tumbled 42 percent last year from 2008 levels.
The researchers partly blamed the global economic slowdown but also said there was a lack of direction. Climate legislation has been stalled in the US Senate, although Obama allies have vowed to push it ahead now that Congress has completed the top priority of expanding health care.
John Woolard, chief executive officer of California-based solar plant builder BrightSource Energy Inc., said that the government needed to take action to create markets.
"We have never had certainty or predictability in the United States," Woolard said. "We have not had a thoughtful and coherent energy policy in this country for decades."
Obama and his congressional allies argue that curbing emissions will open up a new green economy, helping fuel the economic recovery.
Many Republican leaders are skeptical, saying that restrictions on carbon would only worsen a fragile economy.
Global Warming is bad enough. Over the last hundred years, average global temperatures have increased by 0.75°C, one third of that rise occurring in the last twenty years. The 2007 report by The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) forecast that, by 2090, temperatures will have risen between 2 and 6 degrees.
Even a two degree rise in temperature would be disastrous. Changes in climate will lead to more intense storms, longer periods of drought, crop failures in many developing countries, the destruction of nearly all the coral reefs, the melting of much of the polar ice, the flooding of many low-lying urban areas, the possible collapse of the Amazonian rain forest, and the extinction of 20-30% of the planet's species. The IPCC projects that this could happen by 2050.
If the temperature were to rise by six degrees, the prognosis is extremely bleak. At this temperature, the entire planet will be ice-free. Sea levels will rise by 70 meters. Many species of tiny plankton will cease to exist, and the problem would echo up the food chain, bringing the extinction of many fish, sea mammals, and the largest whales. Much of the land will now be desert. Hurricanes of unimaginable ferocity will bring widespread ecological devastation. If, as is possible, the ozone layer were destroyed, the burning ultraviolet light could make life on land impossible. Evolution would have been set back a billion years. It would be a planetary catastrophe.
The predominant response to the horrendous dangers of climate change focus on reducing carbon emissions-both through significant reductions in fossil fuel consumption, and the rapid development of alternative sources of energy. The hope is to keep the warming to the lower end of the range-between one and two degrees. This is absolutely essential. However, there is growing reason to believe that, however much we may reduce our CO2 output, other factors will keep pushing the temperatures higher, and we may still find ourselves approaching the 6 degree mark, with its disastrous consequences.
Runaway Climate Change
Most climate models look at the direct effect of carbon emissions on global temperatures. What they do not include is the effect any warming might have on promoting further warming-what are called positive feedback loops. One such loop arises when warmer temperatures lead to an increased evaporation of water from the oceans. Water vapour is itself a powerful greenhouse gas, and this adds to the warming. A second feedback loop concerns the dwindling sea ice and snow cover. Exposed sea and land are darker than snow and ice, and absorb more sunlight, leading to a further rise in temperature.
The most dangerous feedback loop involves methane release. Methane is also a greenhouse gas, and one that is 21-times more potent than CO2. Billions of tons of methane lie frozen in the permafrost of the Arctic tundra. To make matters worse, the Arctic regions are warming three times faster than the rest of the planet, and are already 2 degrees warmer than they were in the 1980s. Consequently, large areas of the Siberian tundra are now beginning to thaw. In 2005 it was discovered that a million square kilometers-the size of France and Germany combined-in western Siberia had turned from permanently frozen peat bog into a mass of shallow lakes. Moreover, as the tundra thaws, it too changes color from white to brown, absorbing more of the sun's heat, and thus thawing even faster.
Wake Up, Freak Out-then Get a Grip
Excellent animation on catastrophic dangers of runaway climate change.
If this continues-and there is no reason to suppose it will not-billions of tons of methane will be released into the atmosphere leading to further rises in global temperatures-and even faster rises in the Arctic. The tundra will then thaw even faster, releasing even more methane. Within a short time-probably just a decade or two-a global tipping point will be reached at which global warming becomes unstoppable. It will then only be a matter of time before the temperature rises the six or so degrees that would bring planetary catastrophe.
Can we avoid runaway climate change?
A recent panel study concluded that just another decade of business-as-usual carbon emissions will probably make it too late to prevent the triggering of runaway climate change. Even in the most hopeful of the IPCC scenarios, in which humanity moves away from material consumption towards service and information economies, and the introduction of clean, resource efficient technologies, temperatures are still set to rise by about 2°C by 2090. This would probably lead to a rise in Arctic temperatures by 4-6°C, and a runaway greenhouse effect would still be very likely.
Even if we were to stop all carbon emissions immediately, global temperatures would continue to rise by 0.1°C per decade, as we experience the full effects of the carbon already in the atmosphere. This is due environmental inertia-a mechanism by which the environment stores up part of the energy of generated by greenhouse gas emissions, only releasing it to the atmosphere later on. This will lead to a doubling of the current temperature increase by 2090, i.e. a rise of 1.5°C.
This is if we stopped all carbon emissions now. The likelihood of that is nill. On the contrary, carbon emissions are set to increase over the coming years. In China new coal-fired power stations are coming on-line at the rate of one-per-day. The USA and India are likewise turning to coal to compensate for reduced oil consumption. Governments are hampered by the need to maintain energy-consumptive economies. Consequently, their attempts to reduce carbon emissions fall far short of what is needed. The new EU guidelines on carbon emissions propose reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2040, by when (by their own admission) temperatures would have risen by 2°C, and the point of no-return may well have been passed. Add to this the reluctance of people in the developed world to give up their comforts, and the desire of the remaining 80% of the world's population to have similar comforts, and there seems little chance of avoiding disaster.
It would seem that whatever we may do in the way of reducing fossil carbon emissions and developing alternative sources of energy, we are still facing the very real possibility of runaway climate change and a planetary catastrophe.
There is, however, another approach, one that requires looking at the problem a little differently. The root of the problem is that carbon that was buried in the ground for millions of years has suddenly (in geologic terms) been released into the atmosphere. Most current approaches to the problem seek to slow down the rate at which this is occurring. But if we are to survive, we also need to get the carbon already released out of the atmosphere (carbon capture) and back into the ground (carbon sequestration).
Carbon Sequestration - The Too-Often Ignored (at Great Peril) Approach to Carbon Reduction http://www.peterrussell.com/Earth/CarbSequest.php
Reducing future carbon emissions is essential. However, the economic, political, and social challenges involved make it unlikely that this will be sufficient or in time to avoid catastrophe. We must also give equal attention to capturing the carbon already released and returning it safely to the ground.
(...) As critical as it is to reduce future carbon emissions, it is equally critical, perhaps even more critical, to get much of the CO2 that as already been released-and which is responsible for the current warming-out of the atmosphere and back into the ground where it belongs.This approach, known as carbon capture and sequestration, has until now been largely ignored, and for several reasons. The atmosphere is so huge, it would seem to be an impossible task. There are possible technologies, but they are not nearly so well-developed as alternative energy sources. Many are still only ideas on paper. Where technologies of carbon capture have been developed they are mostly for capturing CO2 from smokestacks. Valuable as this may be, it is still dealing with the problem of future carbon emissions. What we need are technologies that will remove from the atmosphere the carbon that we already emitted, and then sequestrate it (put it away) in a stable form.It is to this end that Sir Richard Branson announced his $25 million prize (Virgin Earth Challenge) for technologies that could capture a billion tons of carbon a year from the atmosphere (about one tenth of what we now release each year). Nor is it just Richard Branson who believes we must make this an equally important approach to the problem. His team includes Al Gore, James Lovelock, Sir Crispin Tickell (former UK ambassador to the UN), and James Hansen, the head climate scientist at NASA).A few prototype carbon capture technologies are showing promise. Some of the most interesting involve biochar (from bio-charcoal). In essence, these processes take vegetation, which has already captured CO2, reduce it to charcoal through a process that captures the gases released (which include hydrogen and other non-carbon fuel gases), and then turn the carbon into a natural fertilizer which is plowed into the ground. The net result is the carbon captured by the plants is now returned to the soil in a stable form.There are several positive aspects to this approach. It is strongly carbon negative, relatively low-tech, imitates nature, is local in application, and if applied on global scale could capture a significant proportion of our carbon dioxide emissions we release each year. Moreover, it would provide large quantities of fuel. So it has multiple positive effects.This is just one example. Other possible approaches involve capturing carbon in large kelp beds or land-based algae tanks, bio-engineering bacteria that would absorb large amounts of CO2, and even artificial trees. CLIP
BioChar (sometimes called AgriChar) is short for Bio-Charcoal and refers to processes that take the carbon that is captured by living plants and turns the biomass into the solid form of charcoal. Such processes appear to offer one of the most promising technologies for carbon capture and sequestration (storing it permanently away).Although plants are nature's primary way of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they only store the carbon temporarily. When the plant dies and decomposes, the carbon is released back into the atmosphere. Or if the plant is burnt, the carbon is immediately released. BioChar processes take the waste material from food crops, forest debris, and other plant material, and turn it into a stable form that can be buried away permanently as charcoal. In other words, they turn it back into coal.The processes involved also produce energy as a by-product, creating an alternative energy source, which reduces the need for further fossil fuel burning. Moreover, some of the processes under development use the carbon to create a fertilizer that is plowed back into the land, promoting the growth of further crops.
(...) Three big advantages of BioChar processes are: 1. They mimic the natural carbon cycle. 2. They are local. They work best on farms or forest areas where the waste plant material is gathered locally, the energy produced is used locally, and carbon fertilizer created can be returned to promote the growth of local crops. 3. The technologies involved are all old-tech, and would be familiar to any chemist or engineer in the early 1900s. They are tried and tested, small-scale, and cheap to manufacture.If (again that big "if") the process were used on all the world's agricultural waste, the total carbon absorbed and buried away safely as charcoal would equal our current global carbon emissions. More information: CLIP
Reducing Carbon Emissions - To Fly or Drive? (or not eat meat?) http://www.peterrussell.com/Earth/FlyDrive.php
There is growing concern about the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by airplanes and its contribution to global warming. I hear statements to the effect that one return flight from London to Los Angeles produces as much CO2 per passenger as driving a car for six months. As a result, some people are buying carbon offsets along with their plane tickets, others are reducing their air travel, or even stopping flying completely. All these are positive steps in the right direction. But I also hear of people who, concerned about global warming, decide to drive rather than fly. It turns out this is not necessarily any better.To see why, let's look at some figures: CLIP
Free Energy?-No Thanks! http://www.peterrussell.com/SP/FreeEnergy.php
There's much talk these days about tapping the unlimited sources of free energy that exist in the quantum vacuum field.Initially it would seem like a dream come true. It could relieve of us our dependence on fossil fuels, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and save us from some of the more dire consequences of global warming. No bad thing at all. Not to mention the fact that it would be cheap too. It would also be most welcome in developing countries where it could transform agriculture, housing, sanitation and provide many other much-needed services. But we in the developed world would not stop there. There are so many other things we could do with an infinite supply of energy. And that's when I shudder. Look at what we have done with the energy we have already. We've ploughed up prairies, razed forests, drained aquifers, polluted the oceans, atmosphere and soil, extinguished untold other species, and consumed more and more of the planet's finite resources in the process.What would we do with unlimited free energy? Suddenly recover from this self-centered, destructive behaviour? Most likely we would concrete over yet more of the planet (to make more roads for all those additional free-energy cars), manufacture more material goodies (and more factories to produce them), and consume even more of Gaia's dwindling resources.Look at what happened two hundred years with the energy breakthroughs that led to the Industrial Revolution. Until then, the primary source of energy had been muscle (mainly human muscle, but augmented by horses, oxen, donkeys, and other beasts of burden). New technologies meant people no longer needed to work their muscles so hard. A new comparatively "free" energy was being harnessed by steam engines, electricity and, later, internal combustion engines. This seemingly limitless supply of energy has benefited humanity in untold ways. Yet, at the same time, our unbridled use of that energy has resulted in the environmental crisis that now threatens our survival, if not the planet herself .Can we be sure that we would not make the same errors today? We seem as greedy, as self-centered, as hungry for things as ever. Until we change our thinking, until our minds are free from the attitudes and beliefs that lie at the root of our global crisis, these traits will continue to wreak their havoc. Free energy, rather than being our saving grace, could take us closer to disaster.Simply put, I do not believe we are ready for free energy. It has probably been good that energy has always had a cost. We needed some constraint to curb us. So, should we indeed discover an unlimited source of energy in the near future, my hope is that it's availability will be restricted, rationed, and not given away freely. Alternative sources of energy; Yes. Renewable energy; Yes. But free energy? No Thanks!
World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth: An Antidote to Copenhagen?
The world's governments were unable to find enough common ground in Copenhagen to hash out even a weak treaty. Now, a justice-focused alternative is kicking off.
April 20, 2010
In a central plaza of the Universidad del Valle in Cochabamba, Bolivia, a small group of men and women are presiding over a beauty competition, of sorts. They're looking after a half a dozen llamas tethered to the base of a nearby stage, and flashing smiles as people come up to have their pictures taken with the tall, wooly animals. Over the sound system, somebody is describing with loving detail the various ecologically important functions that the llama plays in local agriculture, not to mention providing wool for winter clothing.
Nearby an impressive solar panel display has been set up by a local NGO called Energética, which supplies electricity to some of the nearby food stands and feeds into the university's power grid. "Our goal is to bring clean energy to places in the country that have never before received electricity, rural places where they haven't even ever had light after sundown," staff engineer Mauricio Richter tells me, describing Energetica's work, which is funded by both private grants and the Bolivian government. "We're here to show that the technology is here, and it's available."
Welcome to the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth-a massive meeting organized by the Bolivian government in response to the resounding failure of the United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Copenhagen last year. The world's governments were unable to find enough common ground in Copenhagen to hash out even a weak treaty to control carbon emissions. News reports largely caricatured developing countries at the talks as pawns in China's chess match with the United States and Europe. But organizers of this week's meeting see it differently: Copenhagen entirely ignored the question of climate justice-and the debt wealthy nations owe the world for the resources they depleted during their own development.
"In Copenhagen, in the small meetings dominated by the elites, we witnessed an incredible lack of transparency and a lack of democracy-and a lack of willingness to really engage in the real problems," says Angelica Navarro, Bolivia's climate negotiator in Copenhagen. Navarro is Bolivia's ambassador to Switzerland, but she is back in Cochabamba this week for the World People's Conference.
Organizers expect 20,000 people from all over the world at the conference, which kicks off on Tuesday, including government representatives from up to 70 countries and a number of UN agencies. Thus far, the U.S. government hasn't announced whether it will send any high or even mid-level representatives or observers. A number of big-name U.S. intellectuals, writers, and entertainers are expected to participate (including the suddenly de rigeur James Cameron).
More notable, though, than the bold-face names are the thousands of indigenous Bolivians-decked out in their signature bowler hats and rainbow-colored dresses, jackets and sashes-who are queuing up to participate in sessions on things like climate migration, the pros and cons of the Kyoto Protocol and the wealth transfers from South to North that are hidden in the carbon-trading arrangements that dominate the North's climate change discussion.
Nicolas Colque, a soft-spoken farmer who lives outside of Cochabamba, is among the participants who have been locked out of meetings like the one in Copenhagen. Colque has watched with curiosity and dismay as local droughts have lengthened and rainstorms have intensified. At the conference, he'll participate in the workshops centered around "climate debt"-the idea that rich countries, whose fossil-fuel driven development paths have stressed the climate most, are morally, politically and perhaps one day legally bound to finance poorer countries' preparations for global warming's impact. Scientists predict the most destructive impacts of climate change will be felt in the developing world.
"People are not that well informed," says Colque. "We need people everywhere to know what is happening to the land, to our farms. Of course we want our country to move forward and be able to grow just like the rich countries did."
In the Copenhagen meetings last year, Colque's eyewitness accounts of climate change would warrant token mention, at best. They may have been used as a colorful anecdote in a presentation by a high-level NGO. Or perhaps he'd be given space to present them in person at the NGO ghetto, miles away from the main event, out of sight and out of mind at the heavily guarded diplomatic negotiations. This week's meeting in Cochabamba aims to instead bring experiences and observations like Colque's to the fore. Organizers say they have prioritized voices and perspectives from indigenous communities and of those who hail from countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
"We aren't demanding a loan or finance; we're demanding a repayment of a debt, climate debt," says Navarro. "Really, what we're demanding is a responsible way to organize our economies, our trade relationships and finance, that respects their environment, and that doesn't endanger the rest of the world just because of a greedy few."
On Monday, representatives from 17 large economies, including the U.S., met to discuss following through on an agreement at Copenhagen that they would provide $30 billion between 2010 and 2012 to help developing countries deal with the sort of floods and droughts Colque has seen. The agreement also outlined a plan for rich countries to invest $100 billion by 2020. The gathering was a precursor to the UN's annual climate change meeting, which will be held in Cancun, Mexico, later this year.
The "people's climate conference" in Bolivia kicks off with ambitious aims (April 20, 2010) http://pwccc.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/the-"people's-climate-conference"-in-bolivia-kicks-off-with-ambitious-aims/
TIQUIPAYA, Bolivia - This small town outside Cochabamba, Bolivia - where cows roam freely and campesinos grow fruit, vegetables, and flowers to sell at the local market - is a far cry from Copenhagen. But it's the latest gathering place in the ongoing effort to shape an effective global response to climate change.Here, Bolivian President Evo Morales is convening the People's World Conference on Climate Change this week, an alternative to the unwieldy and thus far unsuccessful U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. NGOs, scientists, activists, indigenous leaders, and representatives of 60 to 70 national governments are coming together for the event - in all, about 7,500 attendees from 110 countries.
The poor nations and poor people of the world were left out of dealings at Copenhagen, conference organizers argue. "The only way to get negotiations back on track not just for Bolivia or other countries, but for all of life, biodiversity, our Mother Earth, is to put civil society back into the process," said Pablo Solón, Bolivia's delegate to the U.N. That's exactly what this week's conference is intended to do.Speakers from all walks of life will talk about climate justice: NASA climate scientist James Hansen; actor, director, and activist Danny Glover; journalist and activist Naomi Klein; Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva; Egidio Brunetto, a leader of Brazil's Movement of Landless Rural Workers; Lumumba Di-Aping, who served as chief negotiator for the G77 group of developing nations at Copenhagen.
Plenary sessions and working groups - the usual stuff of conferences - will be accompanied by lively cultural events and dinners. The gathering is intended to be truly open and inclusive - in marked contrast to the behind-closed-doors negotiating that brought about the Copenhagen Accord. The hope is that the outcomes of this conference can influence the next U.N. climate conference in Mexico in December, making it more open and fair too.Morales will kick it all off with a speech on Tuesday morning; you might be able to catch it on a live stream.
What Evo Morales wants
Morales was one of five heads of state to formally oppose the Copenhagen Accord. In what many are interpreting as a direct response to that intransigence, the U.S. recently denied Bolivia climate aid.
To address climate change on a global level, Morales has put forward four suggestions:
1. Climate reparations from developed nations for developing nations
While developed or rich nations are historically responsible for causing climate change through their greenhouse-gas emissions, poorer nations are more likely to feel the effects and are less able to fund and undertake changes to adapt to climate change. The idea of reparations was widely discussed in Copenhagen and endorsed by well-known figures like Naomi Klein as well as organizations like Jubilee South and Focus on the Global South. Here in Bolivia, villagers are demanding compensation for their glaciers melting.
2. An international court to prosecute transgressions against the environment
The goal is to establish an International Climate Justice Tribunal or International Environmental Court within the U.N. framework, modeled on the International Court of Justice, that will seek to enforce nations' commitments to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
Last week, international environmental lawyer Polly Higgins put forward a related proposal to include "ecocide" in the list of crimes against peace, so that cases could be tried at the International Criminal Court.
3. A Universal Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth
On Earth Day 2009, Morales called on the U.N. General Assembly to develop such a declaration, modeled on the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. "One of the most important implications is that it would enable legal systems to maintain vital ecological balances by balancing human rights against the rights of other members of the Earth community," write Solón and environmental lawyer Cormac Cullinan.
4. Development and transfer of clean technology
The UNFCCC has been discussing technology transfer, and Morales wants to make sure it stays on the agenda, so that developed countries provide developing countries with the technology necessary to adapt to climate change and produce and use energy sustainably and efficiently.
Bolivian President Evo Morales on President Obama: I Cant Believe a Black President Can Hold So Much Vengeance Against an Indian President (April 23, 2010) http://www.democracynow.org/2010/4/23/bolivian_president_evo_morales_to_president
As the World Peoples Conference on Climate Change in Cochabamba closes, we speak to Bolivian President Evo Morales about the US decision to cut off climate aid to Bolivia; narcotrafficking; the tenth anniversary of the Water Wars in Cochabamba; the protest at the San Cristóbal silver mine; and the contradiction between promoting the environment and extractive industriesoil/natural gas exploration, mining.On Thursday organizers of the peoples summit released an Agreement of the Peoples based on working group meetings. Key proposals include the establishment of an international tribunal to prosecute polluters, passage of a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, protection for climate migrants, and the full recognition of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
U.S. seeks climate ideas after Copenhagen fell short (April 16, 2010) http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63F2Q520100416
(Reuters) - The United States is asking for ideas about how to tackle global warming without raising expectations of breakthroughs in 2010 ahead of climate talks among the world's top emitters in Washington on Sunday. (...) "What is the outcome we are all seeking in Cancun? A set of decisions; a legally binding agreement; something else?" according to the document, signed by Michael Froman, deputy White House national security advisor and U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern.The Major Economies Forum, set up by President Barack Obama last year, will have its first meeting since Copenhagen in Washington April 18-19. It groups top emitters led by China, the United States, the European Union, Russia and India.The U.N.'s top climate official, Yvo de Boer, said during 175-nation talks in Bonn, Germany, April 9-11 that he did not expect major breakthroughs in Cancun.RISING SEASMany other delegates said any strong deal to slow desertification, mudslides, floods, species extinctions and rising sea levels was likely to have to wait for 2012 after December's Copenhagen summit failed to agree a treaty. The document asks about what to do with the Copenhagen Accord, a non-binding deal from the summit that seeks to limit a rise in world temperatures to below 2 Celsius (3.6 F) above pre-industrial times. It also holds out the prospect of $100 billion a year in aid for developing nations from 2020. Washington strongly supports the Accord but many emerging economies do not want it to supplant the 1992 U.N. Climate Convention which more clearly spells out that rich nations have to take the lead in combating climate change. On aid, the document asks "where do we stand on fast-start funding and what is the plan going forward?" The Accord outlines $10 billion a year for developing nations from 2010-12. CLIP
Thousands of poor people of color face hunger, illness, death and homelessness due to welfare, housing and health care budget cuts across the nation.
How long does it take to kill the spirit of 7,000 people? How long does it take to forget about 7,000 people? Or 600 people, 10,000 or 22,000 people? There are 7,000 residents of Alameda County facing hunger, desperation and death in April when their general assistance (GA) (welfare) benefits are cut off; 10,500 people face homelessness in New York due to cuts to Section 8. In 2009, 600 people were cut off of GA in Salt Lake City, Utah, and 22,000 recipients of GA in Minnesota were denied access to even the most meager health benefits.
So, why does hardly anyone care?
Perhaps, because people believe the lies perpetuated about poor people barely surviving on welfare and housing subsidies everyday. The lie that we are all substance users; that we are "lazy"; that we are criminals "cheating the system"; that Section 8 is free housing as opposed to "affordable based on your income; that welfare is "free money" as opposed to a loan, which we are expected to repay; or that we don't work hard at below minimum wage jobs, like cleaning the streets or cleaning buses.
Actually, welfare, Medi-Cal and Section 8 recipients are low-waged and no-waged laborers, unemployed construction workers, domestic workers, secretaries, waiters, dry cleaners, day laborers, artists, musicians, gardeners, child care workers, mothers, fathers, daughters and sons - as a matter of fact, we are you.
My mother and I barely survived on the little bit of nothing called welfare for much of my life. As an adult caring for my mama, an African, Puerto Rican, survivor of abusive, racist foster homes and orphanages, who struggled for years to get an education by any means necessary while working as a domestic laborer, until she became disabled and unable to work. After living outside and in our car throughout my childhood, and later incarcerated for that crime of poverty (it's illegal to be houseless in the US), I paid a portion of our rent with the meager $341.00 the welfare system loaned me. It kept me and my disabled mama housed for over a year before we were gentrified out of our low rent apartment.
I was told several times by two of my more abusive caseworkers while on welfare that I was a drain on society and not worth the ground on which I was standing. When the welfare (de)reform bills were signed and all welfare recipients began being fast-tracked into a job, any job, I was being illogical to conceptualize of myself as a journalist or writer, and needed to get enrolled in a 30-day janitorial or secretarial training programs.
With every threat by my welfare worker, my mother and I tried to work harder at our unlicensed, street-based, art micro-business to apply for endless loans we were turned down for, to work 12- and 18-hour days trying to sell products whether the market would bear or not. In the end, the adage that it takes money to make money is sooo true, we could never get ahead, much less fed, and we always ended up back on some type of welfare, hated, misunderstood and criminalized.
My mama is an indigenous Taina, a tribe of the Caribbean, thought like many tribes across the globe to be completely destroyed and annihilated, taken down by countless colonizers and empires, lands stolen, natural resources raped, and robbed of her ancestors until all that was left were a destroyed people, and her an unwanted, poor child of color.
Many of the folks who are facing cuts to meager benefit crumbs are indigenous people, people of diasporas, colonizers destruction and oppressors domination, war, globalization, racism, violence and the violence of poverty. Long ago, taken from their lands of origin, their cultures, their deep structures, their power, they are brought eagerly into the arms of the inhuman systems of capitalism and consumerism, where if you don't have some capital or capitalist in your corner, you quickly become the product, either of the nonprofit industrial complex (a client) or the prison industrial complex (an inmate)
The Scarcity Model
The history of welfare and housing subsidies in the US is a racist, classist tale of the deserving versus undeserving poor scarcity model. From the beginning, welfare and subsidized housing were only meant for some people, "the deserving poor" white, married women whose husbands were killed in the war. If you were anything outside of that racist norm, you were considered pathological, broken, aberrant.
Why was it important to set up the system like this? So an institutionally racist US corporate media could create a web of lies, and a racist US society would believe them, and then could look away when one fell through the cracks and became hungry, houseless or sick. The scarcity model is already set up to be cut/pulled/rescinded as it's based on how few people we can support, rather than who needs support.
"It's going to cost the City so much more to have all the people sick, and not be able to get treatment," Johnny Longtree, an indigenous poverty scholar and Poor News Network (PNN) reporter from Minnesota said, speaking with me about Minnesota's proposed cuts last year.
In every US city and state fighting these inhumane cuts, tireless advocates, researchers and lawyers for the poor present their meticulously gathered statistics on why acts of budget genocide to housing, welfare and services should never happen, how they will cost the cities and states so much more in lost revenue, overwhelm existent strapped services and cause the illness and death of thousands of people. National studies like Without Housing (Western Regional Advocacy Project 2010) directly correlates the connection between the increase of homelessness, criminalization and hunger with the drastic cuts to housing and social services budgets across the nation. And, yet, the deadly lie of the scarcity model prevails.
I say lie, because, contrary to corporate media perpetuated lies, there is enough money for everyone. It is more myth making to act like there is only a little bit to go around. It is a myth promoted by corporate government and corporate media, which have already stolen our collective resources, consistently silenced our voices and want to keep all of the stolen resources in exactly the unjust place they now exist, a few people's pockets.
Hoarding and Cluttering Capital
A capitalistic system leads to the obsessive hoarding of cash and resources, and as all people afflicted with hoarding and cluttering illness will attest to, once you begin hoarding, it's very hard to stop. Once the corporations, corporate governments and legislators begin collecting corporate kick-downs, they can't stop.
This inhuman system that encourages the obsessive hoarding and cluttering of resources seems insane to indigenous cultures like the Malawi people who believe that if I have met you once, you are related to me and I am responsible for your well-being. A culture rooted in interdependence and care giving views people who hoard resources as having something wrong with them, as they understand that sharing is key to the survival of all people, rather than just some people.
The lies and greedy agendas of capitalism have led myself and many of my fellow indigenous and poor revolutionaries to launch, "I am not the lie," a series of testimonies and first-person narratives, which will demystify the lies told about poor folks on welfare, low-wage and no-wage workers, immigrants, subsidized-housing residents, and many other communities consistently misunderstood and disrespected. As well, many indigenous-people-led organizations have begun to look into the roots of budget lies and decades and generations of resource theft of people and cities. From these historical to present investigations, several of us have begun to implement the UN declaration on Indigenous people, a powerful, pro-active document that frames the reclaiming of stolen resources and land to the colonization of people and land.
Many of the nationwide Take Back The Land advocates and actions by many grassroots organizations also act as resistance to the lies of the budget cuts, corporate loan scams, billion dollar bailouts (corporate welfare) and rampant real estate speculation. In the Bay Area, a group has just formed called Revenue for All, which is promoting a taxation movement for all.
So, as over 17,000 people face starvation and homelessness in Northern California and New York, and countless others across the nation affected by these acts of budget genocide, I wonder what it would mean if we began challenging the scarcity models presented as fact by our legislators and began to re-envision another type of budget based on sharing with all rather than sharing with a few; and I wonder what it mean if no one had a lie to lean on about why I don't need to care about my fellow human. Perhaps then, we as a capitalized, consumerist, self-centered culture would have to look at ourselves and our own greed, so we could all resist this lie called the budget cut and realize there is enough for all of us to not only survive, but to thrive.
What I thought of, straight off, as I watched that 17-minute WikiLeaks video  of Iraqis including a Reuters photographer and his driver being strafed on a Baghdad street in 2007 by a U.S. helicopter, was a book of postcards published a decade ago.
The book, compiled by James Allen, is called Without Sanctuary . My guess is that you dont have it sitting on your coffee table. The postcards and various other stained, frayed photographs about a hundred of them depict mostly black men, a few women, a few white men, in the process or aftermath of being lynched in the United States, in the first half of the 20th century. The dangling or burned corpses are surrounded, in most of the pictures, by grim or smirking or benevolently smiling onlookers, some of them children. Its the most surreal and troubling historical document Ive ever seen in my life.
Its a stark testimony to the devaluation of human life, and this is its thread of commonality with the video, which justify it if you will in the name of war, rail as Defense Secretary Gates did that its out of context records helicopter crewmen chuckling in exaltation as they kill a dozen people (Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards), including the driver of a van who was trying to rescue one of the wounded.
When ground troops discover two wounded children in the van, which had been taken out with armor-piercing shells (Look at that, right through the windshield), one of the helicopter crewmen comments: Well, its their fault for bringing their kids to a battle.
This is where the frame freezes for me, and I remain stuck, churning in my own outrage and despair just as I have and so many millions of Americans have since the war on terror was launched amid all its lies and cowardly righteousness in 2001. For Gods sake, were killing people. Were doing so in large numbers, with high-tech savagery. We arent even defending ourselves. Weve invented an enemy out of whole cloth.
Were . . . killing . . . people.
But it didnt matter then and it doesnt matter now. Those who defend this war, or war in general or the infinitesimal slice of war depicted in the WikiLeaks video have an endless supply of rationalizations that only make sense within a heavily fortified consciousness: a consciousness unable or afraid to cross the line demarking us and them, to ask, fleetingly, What if those dead bastards were my parents, my brothers, my children?
Ask that and things start to change. Its called empathy. Embrace it and you can no longer tolerate war not this kind of war, modern, impersonal, fought from above as a way to advance the interests of business and empire, or to make a geopolitical statement. If too many people cross that line, its a big problem for the war economy. This is Vietnam syndrome redux. The original took a generation to expunge. The powers that be, who took a big hit with the Abu Ghraib torture photos, certainly dont want a leaked, decrypted video to undo all that meticulous planning.
The media that supported the war on terror at the outset continue, helpfully, to cover all matters related to it with their empathy meters set at zero. In so doing, they, and the dispassionate experts whose quotes they solicit, are able to coax many guilt-stricken and confused patriots back to psychological safety.
The New York Times, ever the leader in this effort, recently hauled out  some psychologists to explain the video: You dont want combat soldiers to be foolish or to jump the gun, but their job is to destroy the enemy, and one way theyre able to do that is to see it as a game, so that the people dont seem real, said Army psychologist Bret A. Moore.
And thus those viewers of the video who were shocked to discover just how real and unpretty war is can relax and recover from their empathy attack. War is a game, see? These guys were doing their jobs. All the way up the chain of command, theyre just doing their jobs. And mainstream journalists will continue to describe those jobs unquestioningly within the parameters of the game.
Thus Yochi J. Dreazen, writing in the Wall Street Journal , explains that Defense Secretary Robert Gates said civilian casualties in Afghanistan were posing a strategic challenge to U.S. battlefield success there. . . .
Dead Afghan civilians are a problem. They make other Afghans angry and then they join the enemy. One of the problems Dreazens story referenced was the American Special Forces operation  last February in Gardez, in which five civilians, including two pregnant women, were killed during a raid on what turned out to be a baby shower. The Americans, apparently realizing theyd screwed up, tried to give themselves deniability in the killings by digging their bullets out of some of the corpses, witnesses said. At least it wasnt caught on video.
While the war on terror, or whatever its called in the Obama era, will grind someday to a shameful halt, I despair that theres no stopping the next one. The occasional graphic video is no match for a media establishment with empathy meters set at zero.
Robert Koehler, an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist, is an editor at Tribune Media Services and nationally syndicated writer. You can respond to this column at firstname.lastname@example.org  or visit his Web site at commonwonders.com .
Editor's Note: Total Information Awareness was a scheme devised in the months after 9/11 that would have allowed the U.S. government to collect and analyze the electronic footprints left behind by everyone in their daily lives, supposedly to ascertain who might be a terrorist.
After TIA's ambitious plan was exposed, Democrats in Congress blocked its funding. However, as former FBI agent Coleen Rowley notes in this guest essay, TIA has simply morphed into different forms, continuing to hover over the United States as a specter of potential high-tech fascism:
Since we all tend to reflexively cringe whenever someone mentions the ideological "F" topic, I'm going to try and minimize some of the natural revulsion and denial by writing the full word that we usually fear to name only once: fascism.
The very easy answer to why and how "F" is presently developing was actually answered in 1795 by "the Father of the U.S. Constitution" and our fourth president, James Madison, who observed:
"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.
"In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force of the people.
"The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
In the ninth year of what's become the seemingly unending "war on terror" (comprising real wars on Afghanistan, Iraq and other Middle East countries), we American citizens have consequently given up numerous liberties in the vain pursuit of absolute security, validating the prediction of another founding father, Benjamin Franklin, that those who attempt to trade their liberty for greater security will have neither.
Hard-core repressive police state tactics involving domestic use of the military have only occasionally emerged, however - for instance, during certain National Security Special Events. F-grade repression is not close to being a fact of daily life (yet).
How, then, has the government been able to keep the momentum going for hugely expensive and unpopular wars that have pushed the country into a permanent war economy - where much of our only remaining manufacturing resides in military bombs/weaponry and a large segment of the decent-paying jobs exists in the "all-volunteer" military?
How has the growing disparity between the masses of ordinary people losing their jobs, pensions, health care and homes - and the clear ties to corruption of government by moneyed special and corporate interests - not yet led to serious social unrest?
To be sure, our large-scale system of prison warehousing always plays a role in tamping down social unrest. And a little official intimidation goes a long way. It's slowly being ramped up.
For instance, the small fines customarily imposed for minor offenses of improperly posting flyers about upcoming rallies have now become draconian penalties amounting to thousands of dollars.
Peace activists who simply lie down on the sidewalk in front of the White House are being thrown in the terrible "D. C. lockup" for a day or more. "Minnesota Patriot Act" law, passed after 9/11, now defines causing minor property damage as an act of "terrorism."
We experienced a form of police state intimidation firsthand in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul when vague threats of "anarchism" were leaked to the press months before the 2008 Republican National Convention.
A show of force by anonymous "robo-cops" ensued and, unsurprisingly, their threatened use of tasers, chemical weapons and mass arrests materialized.
Mass arrests of approximately 800 people at the RNC, including those of over 40 journalists (most of which were later dismissed due to lack of justification), took place, but the really bad result (which most citizens do not know) was the serious intimidation that had effectively reduced the number of participants marching that first day in St. Paul streets.
The "Total Information Awareness (TIA)" collection of private data on individuals was originally proposed after 9/11 by Admiral John Poindexter (convicted in the Iran-Contra affair) and falsely sold as a solution to prevent terrorism.
Despite the lack of any evidence that TIA type programs "work" and are capable of effectively identifying actual terrorists through the vacuuming up of more data, they have taken root in the 16 different "intelligence" agencies.
Just as Blackwater attempted to shed its bad image through a name change, so did TIA. Each newly minted acronym (which I do not have the space here to list) makes a false promise similar to the NIMD ("Novel Intelligence from Massive Data") one that allows billions more records to be collected, stored, and "data-mined."
The NSA, for example, is reportedly building a new computer system the size of the National Capitol Building which will require more electricity than what Salt Lake City uses for everything just for the NSA to store its records.
Much of the data probably emanate from the NSA's warrantless monitoring program that Congress recently legalized after the monitoring was illegally commenced by Bush.
Previous Attorney General Guidelines, which were enacted in the early 1980s after the Church Committee exposed abuses (such as J. Edgar Hoover's COINTELPRO), have largely been unceremoniously discarded to open the doors further.
Although it's well known that the task of finding a needle in a haystack or "connecting the dots" is not made easier, but instead much harder, by adding more hay to the haystack, it has not stopped the newly burgeoning "Security-Surveillance Industrial Complex," which is as privatized as the military-industrial complex.
In 2007, the FBI temporarily raised some eyebrows when it proposed quadrupling its Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database to ultimately collect 6 billion records, or 20 for each man, woman, and child in the U.S.
While a National Academies of Science study had refuted Total Information Awareness's ability to achieve its stated objective to "proactively" mine the data to find terrorists using "predictive" analysis, nothing seems to stop such collections from proceeding.
Private security and surveillance corporations have huge profit incentives to push to expand such programs, as they benefit from contracts with the government.
The average citizen does not suspect, however, that the government would waste such vast sums of his/her tax money on useless surveillance and data collection-mining systems to profit private companies.
So the U.S. government intelligence agencies' massive "intelligence" collection serves to fuel and reinforce people's fears of "terrorism," as well as intimidate and scare the average citizen away from such basic good citizenship activities as marching, writing letters to the editor, blogging, joining activist or social networking groups (such as Facebook), or otherwise exercising their First Amendment rights.
Airport screening that increasingly includes equipment that effectively removes passengers' clothing has another pernicious impact. Reducing someone to a naked state and removing all semblance of personal privacy is actually one of the permissible "harsh interrogation tactics" touted by Cheney and his ilk as effective in "breaking" a suspect.
Similarly, it is perhaps one of the most effective ways of demonstrating the absolute power of the state over an individual. Forcing individuals to remove their shoes is one thing, but forcing them to essentially become totally naked on a regular basis will not only destroy self-esteem but immediately create feelings of helplessness and powerlessness.
The current government intrusiveness in the name of the "war on terror" threatens much more than mere loss of individual privacy. Everyone should be able to learn from history - specifically, the five decade-long, Cold War-induced period in America when the zealot F.B.I. director, J. Edgar Hoover, conducted guilt-by-association spying and disrupted First Amendment activities with COINTELPRO.
Hoover's immense power over other government and nongovernment leaders (especially those he didn't like) was based on his collection of vast amounts of private information about them and his consequent ability to blackmail them by threatening to expose their information and secrets.
Think about the daily exposés one reads involving sexual scandals, for instance, of elected government politicians caught routinely in bathrooms and brothels, and you might grasp the dangerous potential of this intrusive spying to thwart our democratic processes.
Up to now, the five main buttons that propagandists push to control and manipulate larger masses of people have worked quite well. Those in power have not had to resort much to the harsher forms of official repression.
Pushing fear, hate, greed, false pride and blind loyalty, actually in that order and on an almost 24/7 basis, has worked very well thus far: not only has it brought out the worst in some people, but it has also tamped down displays of dissent and social unrest.
But yes, Virginia, I do believe our young corporatocracy boat is sailing right into the perfect category F storm unless we, as a country, can quickly change course.
Instead of allowing the propaganda tools to manipulate and bring out the worst in our citizens, we need to immediately encourage and strengthen the opposite traits: courage, love, generosity, humility and critical thinking.
We will need all of these to cut through the mass apathy, desensitization and political gaming that has currently put our country on the F course.
Coleen Rowley is a former FBI Agent. She holds a law degree, and served in Minneapolis as "Chief Division Counsel," a position which included oversight of Freedom of Information, as well as providing regular legal and ethics training to FBI Agents. In 2002, Coleen brought some of the pre 9/11 lapses to light and testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about some of the endemic problems facing the FBI and the intelligence community. Rowley's memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller in connection with the Joint Intelligence Committee's Inquiry led to a two-year-long Department of Justice Inspector General investigation. Today, as a private citizen, she is active in civil liberties, and peace and justice issues.
SUDDEN MASS AMERICAN ENLIGHTENMENT PUZZLES CONGRESS AND CAUSES NATIONAL SECURITY ALERT
By Ignatious O'Reilly -- April 1, 2010
WASHINGTON - President Obama, U.S. congressmen and their aides held an emergency four hour-long meeting Wednesday to decide what action to take to stem a sudden and unprecedented mass enlightenment of the US population that threatens to destabilize the Government and create a fiscal crisis.
Millions of citizens jubilantly celebrated their new awareness as they suddenly realized they have been lied to all their lives on just about everything by their psychopathic, conscienceless leaders of major corporations, government and security agencies.
Residents in all major cities across the United States awoke Wednesday morning complaining that they were experiencing an inexplicable mental clarity that was causing them to realize the way they were about to spend their day was utterly pointless, a potential health threat and would only add energy and finances to a powerful wealthy elite that had been ruling their lives since as long as they could remember.
Congress was thrown into chaos when a majority of staff decided to simply stop showing up for work until their bosses resign; in a move of solidarity, energy companies turned off the power to government buildings and military bases, while water companies shut down their water supply; repair people refused to carry out repairs for the politically well-connected and television network staff refused to report the lies they are routinely ordered to tell by their editors.
One Chicago resident's report was consistent with many similar accounts coming in from across the country. Joe, 42 told us how he had become aware of the diversionary, divide and conquer machinations of the psychopathic oligarchs, especially in relation to abortion, health care, immigration, global warming, peak oil, 9/11, fake terrorism, both current wars and past wars, 'necessary police actions', empire building and resource plundering, left vs right, evolution vs creationism, fundamentalists vs everybody else!
"Wow! I sort of felt things weren't right but to suddenly be able to see the true nature of all the lies we've been bombarded with by media and Big Government is just mind-boggling," Joe exclaimed.
"The public seems to have finally understood that they're so sick and going bankrupt because of the FDA/AMA medical mafia and Big Pharma's Gestapo death grip over absolutely everything! I've noticed how food companies, Monsanto and Big Pharma's share prices have exploded over the past few years," said Joe. "I can see it's because they have bought Congress and have a complete monopoly over our food supply, health and non-existent consideration for others' well-being."
Reports are flooding in of people deciding to buy or trade for goods with hand crafters in their own region instead of shopping at Wal-Mart. Rather than buying GMO foods at the supermarket chain stores, they've formed co-ops with their neighbors, bought fresh food in bulk and are getting together to can foods, smoke meats and pickle vegetables -- followed by a barbecue. Feeling so connected and enthused by that, ordinary people across the nation are organizing all kinds of meetings to learn all the old skills that their grandparents knew that made them independent.
People are leaving the cities in droves and, en masse, have established themselves on previously restricted government land. This resulted in a veritable frenzy of house-building and barn raising parties followed, once again, by barbecues where home-made pickles were enjoyed by all.
The reasons for the mass-awakening are as yet unclear. One possible explanation has been given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where officials have discovered that the normally high levels of fluoride added to the nation's drinking water were "accidentally omitted." It's suspected that workers at water plants are responsible. Government Health officials have advised all citizens to carry on working as normal, eat lots of fast-food and stay glued to their TV sets in the hope that any thoughts generated in people by seeing the reality of the situation will be pacified by toxins, apathy and a return to the steady atrophy of their brains.
Citizens have been urged by the Obama administration to report anyone they witness behaving in a non-consumer-capitalist manner to Homeland Security who, with the help of FEMA, will permanently detain anyone found more than 5 meters from a Television screen.
2012: Cataclysmic breakdown or Y2K makeover? ET/UFO contact? DNA/Consciousness transformation?
Alfred Lambremont Webre -- April 17, 2010
This article is part 1 of a series on 2012 and its impacts on our society.
As a designated year of interest, 2012 has been front-loaded with end of the world memes. Will 2012 be a year of cataclysmic breakdown as science, oracle-driven, governmental, and media-created memes suggest? Will 2012 be like Y2K an anti-climax in which humanity muddles through? Or will a new, golden age timeline begin for conscious humankind in 2012? How will consciousness transformation and extraterrestrial contact impact humanity, starting in 2012?
Key data addressing this Examiner.com examination of the possible future shape of 2012 include: (1) A NASA reports and updates on the 2012 perfect storm, solar flares and power grid systems collapse; (2) Opposite data that we may be headed toward a solar Maunder minimum and new ice age; (3) ALTA and Web Bot reports on a data gap found between early 2012 running through May 2013, possibly due to solar flare activity; (4) Reports supporting a hypothesis that large scale wild card event(s), involving mass extraterrestrial (UFO) sightings or landings in the period leading up to 2012 or beyond; (5) The Calleman-Clow time acceleration matrix of the Mayan calendar, which suggests that the alternating sign-wave universe core energy phenomenon ceases after Oct. 28, 2011, and Earth will be set on a gradual setting of a potential to reach advanced utopian planet status a virtual Garden of Eden.
This Examiner.com series examines objective, empirical evidence for cataclysm on Earth in 2012. The year 2012 may also manifest for individuals as breakdown, breakthrough, or business as usual, depending on an individuals perceptual modality and multi-dimensional identity.
Exopolitics: Solar cycle 24 & a golden age
An introduction to the multi-dimensional factors shaping 2012 entitled Exopolitics: Solar cycle 24 (2009 2020) & A Golden Age can be seen in the below video of a presentation by futurist Alfred Lambremont Webre at Project Camelots Awake and Aware conference. The transcript of the video can be accessed here.
2012: Solar flares & the cataclysm meme
Will 2012 bring the perfect storm and systems collapse? the solar flare Carrington event boogeyman
Let us examine the spectrum of science-based opinion on the possible impacts of solar storms during the coming solar maximum of solar cycle 24 (2009-2020), which NASA in its latest solar forecast expects in May 2013.
At one extreme, a January 2009 report by the National Academy of Sciences funded by NASA warned that solar flares during the solar maximum could cause up to $2 trillion (or more) in damage in the U.S., with millions of potential deaths. As Examiner.com reported, Mainstream scientific concern about 2012 has grown since a recent National Research Council report funded by NASA and issued by the National Academy of Sciences, entitled Severe Space Weather Events: Understanding Economic and Societal Impact which details the potential devastation of 2012 solar storms on the current planetary energy grid and because of the inter-linkages of a cybernetic society, on our entire human civilization.
According to New Scientist, sciences concern is a repetition of the 8-day 1859 Carrington event, a large solar flare accompanied by a coronal mass ejection (CME) that flung billions of tons of solar plasma onto the earths magnetosphere and disrupted Victorian-era magnetometers and the world telegraph system.
The New Scientist states, The report outlines the worst case scenario for the U.S. The perfect storm is most likely on a spring or autumn night in a year of heightened solar activity - something like 2012. Around the equinoxes, the orientation of the Earth's field to the sun makes us particularly vulnerable to a plasma strike.
The next solar maximum is expected to occur in . New Scientist reports that Mike Hapgood, head of the European Space Agency's space weather team states, We're in the equivalent of an idyllic summer's day. The sun is quiet and benign, the quietest it has been for 100 years, but it could turn the other way.
The modern electrical high-power grid magnifies the impact of solar flares. Since the grid is linked into major aspects of modern society, the effects of another Carrington event would be devastating. The National Academy of Sciences report states: A severe space weather event in the US could induce ground currents that would knock out 300 key transformers within about 90 seconds, cutting off the power for more than 130 million people. The New Scientist states: According to the NAS report, the impact of what it terms a "severe geomagnetic storm scenario could be as high as $2 trillion. And that's just the first year after the storm. The NAS puts the recovery time at four to 10 years. It is questionable whether the US would ever bounce back.
A more perfect storm? The hole in the earths magnetic field
According to a December 16, 2008 report, NASAs THEMIS spacecraft has discovered a hole in earths magnetic field that is 10 times as large as previously thought. The magnetosphere, which is designed to protect earth from the plasma of solar flares, now has a hole in it four times the size of the earth.
According to the NASA report, Northern IMF events don't actually trigger geomagnetic storms but they do set the stage for storms by loading the magnetosphere with plasma. A loaded magnetosphere is primed for auroras, power outages, and other disturbances that can result when, say, a CME (coronal mass ejection) hits.
The solar maximum is expected in 2012. University of New Hampshire scientist Jimmy Raeder states, "We're entering Solar Cycle 24. For reasons not fully understood, CMEs in even-numbered solar cycles (like 24) tend to hit Earth with a leading edge that is magnetized north. Such a CME should open a breach and load the magnetosphere with plasma just before the storm gets underway. It's the perfect sequence for a really big event."
2012: Fire or ice? The maunder minimum extremists
At the other extreme, some scientists are forecasting not solar storms, but the return of a new ice age for the 2012 year range.
As Examiner.com has reported, in an April 2, 2009 article, retired U.S. Navy physicist and engineer James A. Marusek writes: The sun has gone very quiet as it transitions to Solar Cycle 24 . We are now at a crossroad. Two paths lie before us. Both are marked with a signpost that reads Danger! Down one path lie monstrous solar storms. Down the other path lie several decades of crushing cold temperatures and global famine. A quiet sun will cause temperatures globally to take a nose-dive. We will experience temperatures that we have not seen in over 200 years, during the time of the early pioneers.
(2) The Sun slipping quietly towards a Dalton Minimum or even a Grand Minima such as a Maunder Minimum.
Excerpt from the video transcript mentioned above:
Dr. Alfred Webre Project Camelot LA Awake and Aware: Interview transcript (19 September 2009) http://projectcamelot.org/lang/en/alfred_webre_awake_and_aware_en.html
(...) So, we now have definite proof and whistleblowers a very high level of evidence that teleportation is being employed in the National Security State, and that could revolutionize our entire society and will revolutionize our society. I think I can share this because Andrew, my colleague, has now shared it... he was enrolled as a child participant in a DARPA time travel program by the U.S. which, the U.S. we know definitively now, has had the ability to time travel either by Chronovisor -- kind of a television or a three-dimensional hologram that looks at forward and past scenes; and via actual teleportation devices. Andrew has been to the year 2045 and it's a beautiful Earth. There's a lot of greenery and the cities are all kind of ecological and they're concentrated. So we have a peaceful future, say about 30 or 40 years from now, and it's just this transition that we're going through. So, there have been people who have been to the future on a physical basis for the United States government, bringing back information from the future to the past to help humanity plan for the future. And it's quite positive. So it's important to stay focused on the fact that we're going toward a positive future because that way we create it. Now, what we'll be seeing also is that our very DNA, as we speak, is being transformed by cosmic forces, by the Galactic Center black hole which is acting as sort of a gigantic laser beam [laughs] to transform our DNA to be able to handle a multi-dimensional future in which we are once again interacting with the rest of organized society in the universe, and to also bring us into an era of non-dualistic consciousness. These are some of the changes that will be occurring that we're living through now and will be occurring during Solar Cycle 24, on an intense basis, from 2009 to 2020. So, these can be the outcomes of Solar Cycle 24 a Transformation Vision rather than a Disintegration Vision, and it depends one where one wants to put one's energy and what sort of holistic vision one wants to maintain. CLIP
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