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September 10, 2010

Turning Tide of History #33: Time to Move to the Next Level

Hello everysoul!

To introduce this new compilation, I'd like to share with you something I just wrote to ERN subscriber Barbara Rudman ( in response to the following email from her:

Hi Jean,

There is nothing I would love more than our shift into one planetary consciousness and everything else that this entails. But I have a big concern that this is merely a pipe dream and that life will go on the way it's been for another thousand years or so. 

There are those that say this is the end of the line for Mother Earth and that she can't survive a continuation of our abuse. There are others who say that WWIII will be at hand if we don't start waking up and learning to love our fellow man. But there are those too that say, life will just continue as we muddle along as best we can.

I realize I need to do my part in healing my own self by recreating my internal "programming" that tells me I'm not powerful enough. But changing one's deep unconsciousness is a job for only the ultra-determined. I don't know if I have that level of determination and I don't know if mankind itself is made up of enough people who can succeed at altering what is.

What is your view on this?

With gratitude for your response,



Thanks for sharing your thoughts and concern with me on this.

However daunting and apparently impossible such a massive change of heart may appear to be – and looking at the current inflammatory debate over the place of Islam in America and the growing atmosphere of intolerance fostered for political expediency by dumb extreme-right petty politicians and individuals, I can understand just how improbable it may look, not to mention the accelerating slide into ecoblivion thanks to the unrelenting march of "progress" – I would compare our global situation to any of the evolutionary leaps that occurred in the past, such as when some fishes started coming out of the water to feed on the shore. To the awareness of other fishes, it probably seemed impossible to live outside of the water and breathe air. Yet, somehow, the barrier was overcome, and we are here to prove it, as they say.

So can we overcome the barrier of "separation consciousness" to reach a higher "oneness consciousness" from which understanding the need to protect the Web of Life, be wise stewards of our most precious commons on this living planet and loving each other and all living beings will be as natural as breathing?

I'm sure we can and I don't doubt for a second we will. And THAT - nurturing the inner knowing of the absolute inevitability of this new evolutionary leap - is precisely the Key! Allowing the fear-mongers among us – who, because they don't know better yet, paint the darkest apocalyptic pictures and would like us to believe wholeheartedly that our last hour is at hand – to continue unchallenged to spew their toxic mind-dwarfing venom wouldn't be doing anyone any good for sure.

Which is why, despite my constant reporting of what we need to be aware so we may better "know what's wrong and needs to change so that we can contribute towards making that change happen", as it says on the Earth Rainbow Network homepage, I'm also continuing to uphold the vision of a bright, enLightened future for all of us and all Life on Earth, and I trust deep within that, as more and more of us shift gear from being passive observers to becoming active agents of change, we shall overcome and victoriously celebrate within the next few years our breakthrough into higher consciousness and our planetary coming of age into a new space-faring, love-driven era of unimaginable beauty and grace, of exhilarating discoveries and collective soul communions.

And as more and more of us shift into this new spiritual groove, it will become increasingly easy for the other members of our global human tribe to do likewise, because we are all connected and all One at soul level, which is ultimately the only Reality that truly matters.

Hoping this clarifies where I stand on this matter and inviting others to likewise share with us all their own insights.

With Love and blessings to you... all as One ;-)

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

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"Since I was a kid I've always had mental images of what things would look like in the future. After awhile, I would notice most of them had a strange brown/orange tinge to them. Everything was dried out, massive desertification, there was hardly any people, etc. There would also be the occasional alternate where everything had a glowing blue tinge that soaked through everything and lush plant life, lots of rain. In the past few years, the images never show up with the desertified nasty scenario, just the glowing blue ones. When I found out about orgone, I realized that was DOR (brown/orange) and orgone (blue). And in the past 3 years, there are occasions when I feel like I am in the future with the blue glow. It's like the funny feeling you get when you realize you're dreaming but in real life. I've seen the fog glow blue here, coming in off the ocean."

- Becca (August 7, 2010) - Taken from HERE

"I can do no other than be reverent before everything that is called life. I can do no other than to have compassion for all that is called life. That is the beginning and the foundation of all ethics."

- Albert Schweitzer -- Taken from HERE

"Not too many years from now, a new generation will look back at us in this hour of choosing and ask one of two questions. Either they will ask, What were you thinking? Didn't you see the entire North Polar ice cap melting before your eyes? Did you not care? Or they will ask instead, How did you find the moral courage to rise up and solve a crisis so many said was impossible to solve? We must choose which of these questions we want to answer, and we must give our answer now — not in words but in actions. The answer to the first question — what were you thinking? — is almost too painful to write: We argued among ourselves. We didn't want to believe that it really was happening. We waited too long. We had so many other problems crying out for attention. I know this is of little comfort, but we did try. I'm sorry. The second question — how did you solve it? — is the one I much prefer that we answer, and here is the answer I hope we can give: (...) All over the world, as awareness of the climate crisis grew, people concerned about you found ways to put pressure on their leaders. Hundreds of thousands, then millions of grassroots networks emerged. Although leadership came from many countries, once the United States finally awakened to its responsibilities, it reestablished the moral authority the world had come to expect from the U.S. The most important change that made this transformation possible is something that is hard to describe in words. Our way of thinking changed. The earth itself began to occupy our thoughts. Somehow, it became no longer acceptable to participate in activities that harmed the integrity of the global environment. I know that we waited too long. I wish we had acted sooner. But the outlook for your future is now bright. The wounds we inflicted on the atmosphere and the earth's ecological system are healing. It seems ironic now that our commitment during the Great Transformation to a low-carbon economy was what restored economic prosperity. Once the world embarked on the journey to heal our world and save your future, tens of millions of new jobs — including whole new professions — began to emerge. I ask only one thing of you in return for what we have done on your behalf: pass on to your children the courage and resolve to act boldly and wisely whenever the future is at risk. You will be challenged, as we were. But I know that you will not fail those who come after you, as we did not fail you. The choice is awesome and potentially eternal. It is in the hands of the present generation: a decision we cannot escape, and a choice to be mourned or celebrated through all the generations that follow."

- Al Gore -- Taken from 'Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis' - Make sure to also read Could This Be A Crime? U.S. Climate Bill Is Dead While So Much Life On Our Earth Continues To Perish below for a sad counterpoint to Al Gore's bold vision of a better future (from his perspective, of course)





SYMBOL FOR PEACE AND UNITY (This Unity Is We. You, Me, He, We Three is We)




- Taken from THE UNIVERSAL FLAG Theme Song for Brian McClure's Universal Flag Foundation - Music & Lyrics bySharon Benson & Michael Zephro


1. Could This Be A Crime? U.S. Climate Bill Is Dead While So Much Life On Our Earth Continues To Perish
2. Google Earth animation shows Brazilian plans to turn Amazon into 'series of stagnant reservoirs'
3. A Lesson from "Inception": How the Right-Wing and Corporate Media Brainwash Americans
4. Middle East Loses Trillions As U.S. Strikes Record Arms Deals
5. Eve Ensler Reads "Congo Cancer: My Cancer Is Arbitrary. Congo's Atrocities Are Very Deliberate"
6. Israelis Risk Jail to Smuggle Palestinians - 600 sign up for campaign of disobedience
7. Canada: Stop "Fox News North"
8. Jon Stewart asks Jesus about Mosque Ground Zero
9. Sun storm to hit with 'force of 100m bombs
10. Protect your children from cell phone and WiFi radiation before it's too late
11. Vaccine Deaths And Injuries Skyrocket As Cover-Up Implodes
12. Australia bans flu vaccines in children after vomiting, fevers, seizures
13. Making Sense of It All… Creatively Speaking
14. Symptoms of Inner Change and Personal Transformation
15. The Zeitgeist Movement: Envisioning A Sustainable Future


Nic Marks: The Happy Planet Index (August 30, 2010) TED talks - MUST WATCH! This guy is GOOD!!
Note from Jean: After watching this amazing - and short (less than 16 min) conference, you may want to find out more about him, perhaps move to Costa Rica and visit his site at where you'll read on how he prepared himself for that life-defining event... Statistician Nic Marks asks why we measure a nation's success by its productivity -- instead of by the happiness and well-being of its people. He introduces the Happy Planet Index, which tracks national well-being against resource use (because a happy life doesn't have to cost the Earth). Which countries rank highest in the HPI? You might be surprised. - Recommended by long-time ERN subscriber Doreen Agostino ( who also recommended her latest article: "I discovered new science, which explains the capacity of humans to be good and evil, captured in my Blog entitled: Soul Repair 2010 - psychological rehabilitation of our race " - and wrote" "Jean, do you feel time is fast approaching to create structure around humanity’s continued global transformation? Based on magnitude alone, I see conscious bringers of new knowing disconnected, when in fact each is an integral part, for transformation of the whole. I perceive the master key to full conscious awakening, [World Age Shift] is unity consciousness. I suggest it’s time to blend conscious parts of leading edge physics, science, indigenous and other knowledge, new knowing, deep spiritual truth and conscious experience into a uni-voice. This includes liberating money to inform and inspire the masses, to help all awaken consciously. Did you know that 40 US billionaires pledged half their wealth to charity? - A uni-voice could channel some of this money into education now and the future. I see the future of education, exploring the power of presence [live full conscious awareness moment to moment, rather than dis-InPower now, by feeding energy into a burdened past or worry about the future]; the deeper meaning and full potential of being human, limitless power of unconditional love in unity consciousness, nature, marine life, consciousness and willful harmony, instead of studying a burdened past [religion, history]. The fruit of your ongoing contributions and of other conscious bringers or Light Cells, are in blossom. Our generation is going where no humans have gone before. So grateful to be here and to share!" - More from Doreen through

Global work party: Let's get to work to stop global warming
We're teaming up with, 10:10, and a global coalition of folks doing something about climate change to create a global day of action: the 10/10/10 Work Party. Help us make October 10th the biggest single day of action against global warming that the world has ever seen.1000+ Work Parties already planned (As of Seopt 8, there are already over 1,700 events in 140+ countries planned). 10/10/10 will be a day of work parties all over the world. Will you join us?In every corner of the globe, we will implement solutions to the climate crisis: from solar panels to community gardens, wind turbines to bike workshops. We'll tell leaders: “We're getting to work--what about you?” To read more about our plans for 2010, click HERE. Make sure also to watch this UPLIFTING audio slideshow.

It’s been a tough year: in North America, oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico; in Asia some of the highest temperatures ever recorded; in the Arctic, the fastest melting of sea ice ever seen; in Latin America, record rainfalls washing away whole mountainsides. So we’re having a party. Circle 10/10/10 on your calendar. That’s the date. The place is wherever you live. And the point is to do something that will help deal with global warming in your city or community.We’re calling it a Global Work Party, with emphasis on both 'work' and 'party'. In Auckland, New Zealand, they’re having a giant bike fix-up day, to get every bicycle in the city back on the road. In the Maldives, they’re putting up solar panels on the President’s office. In Kampala, Uganda, they're going to plant thousands of trees, and in Bolivia they’re installing solar stoves for a massive carbon neutral picnic. Since we've already worked hard to call, email, petition, and protest to get politicians to move, and they haven't moved fast enough, now it's time to show that we really do have the tools we need to get serious about the climate crisis. On 10/10/10 we'll show that we the people can do this--but we need bold energy policies from our political leaders to do it on a scale that truly matters. The goal of the day is not to solve the climate crisis one project at a time, but to send a pointed political message: if we can get to work, you can get to work too--on the legislation and the treaties that will make all our work easier in the long run. You can sign up to host a local event at Or search for an event to join at - And don’t worry about being alone at this party: there are already 1077 groups in 109 countries around the world scheduled to do something great that day. We'll knit all these groups together with a powerful mosaic of photos, videos, and stories from around the world. You wouldn’t want to miss it.It’s been a tough year—but it can be a beautiful day on the 10th Of October if we work together, and party together. And if we do it right, then we’ll take a big step towards the kind of political solutions we desperately need. Onwards!

Interview with Eden Sky re: Natural Time, 2012, and Calendar Change! She speaks VERY convincingly!
Eden Sky ( - Brian McClure on his radio show A Call to Consciousness. I got to share about my journey of finding this life-path, and we had a great discussion about Time: some history of calendars, the distinction between natural time and mechanical time, the affects calendars have on our consciousness, the basics of the 13-moon calendar system, and last but not least - my perspective on the Prophecy of 2012. This interview offers a lot of insight and explanation for those who may be new to these concepts. (...) In these auspicious times, may we all continue to learn how to put our trust in Love. May we keep awakening to our potential. May we keep growing in our abilities to hear, follow, and emanate the wisdom of our hearts. May we keep unfolding as the Flower of Life that we are, One with All - each of us a sacred reflection of the Whole. In Lak'ech - I am Another Yourself." Click HERE to access the 49 previous radio interviews by Brian McClure

David Icke-The Greatest Speech for Humanity-V for Vendetta-Directors cut

Tibetan Monks Have Remote-Viewed 2012 (December 26, 2004)
Remote viewing is nothing new in Tibetan monasteries. For thousands of years, remote viewing (in the middle of other spiritual activities) has dominated Tibetan culture. In a report that appeared in the India Daily newspaper a few years ago, several monks decided to report on important “visions” they had received. A summary of their statement looks like this: A) The world will not be destroyed in 2012. B) Between now and 2012 the world’s super powers will continue to engage in regional wars. C) Terrorism and covert war will be the main problem. D) In world politics, something will happen in and around 2010. At that time, the powers-that-be will threaten to destroy each other via thermonuclear war. E) Between 2010 and 2012, the whole world will become polarized and actively prepare for the ultimate doomsday scenario. F) Then, sometime in 2012, something remarkable will happen; ETs will intervene. The monks’ statements make it clear that they believe Extra-Terrestrial Beings are watching us (the human race) intently. Ultimately, they (the ETs) will intervene in 2012 and save the world from self-destruction. The Tibetan monks also emphasized that beyond 2012, the world’s scientists will come to understand that the fundamentals of science and technology are intrinsically tied to other areas of study, especially the realms of spirituality and consciousness. Beyond 2012, industry and technology will also take a markedly different direction, they say. The monks believe that after the 2012 event, the essence of spirituality, the relationship between the body and the soul, and the fact we are connected to something greater will be widely accepted. We’re linked, they say, not only to each other but to everything that exists. The idea that we are all “living aspects of God” will be affirmed throughout the world within a few short years. When asked how Extra-Terrestrials will make their presence known in 2012, the monks promised that the presentation will be done in a non-frightening way. And, the ETs will reveal themselves only if they have to. As our science and technology progresses, we are destined to interact with them anyway; so, perhaps sooner is better than later. According to the remote viewing monks, Earth is blessed; our precious little planet is being helped continuously by unseen forces . . . this includes safeguarding us from dire hazards most of us are not even aware of. Also from the India Daily newspaper: The UFO base in Aksai Chin (July 25, 2010) - - They also have MANY other UFO related articles (314!) ... Hard to know to which extent their info is reliable though since they don't seem to ever mention their sources...

RICHARD C. HOAGLAND to Speak at CSETI Contact Conference in Rio Rico, Arizona - October 3, 2010
"There is a Secret Space program that the public doesn't know about." This program employs technologies based on hyperdimensional physics and torsion field physics. We are engaged in a war in space that is also being kept secret. It involves players on this planet who are obsessed with supremacy. The ETs are taking a hands-off posture, but are watching to see what happens. Most of the UFO community has no idea that this is going on, and some in the UFO field are part of the problem. This is a global situation, not limited to the USA.Richard C. Hoagland will show hard data and political insider information exposing these secrets.Richard C. Hoagland's and Dr. Steven Greer's independent investigations over the past 20 years have unearthed similar information- and are converging. Find out the truth about the Norway Spiral seen last December. It was a "shot across the bow," a demonstration of a hyperdimensional weapon while President Obama was in Norway to receive the Nobel Prize. This was not a coincidence. It was part of the secret space war- and the messages have continued. The trend over the past year has been to leak messages out to the public that these hyperdimensional weapons exist, and the physics of consciousness is the same physics that these weapons are based on. The participants in the secret space war want to keep us all in the dark- but their cover-up is crumbling. There are real changes going on that are getting away from the "controllers." The tide is turning. Mr. Hoagland will present hard official evidence of a behind-the-scenes plan for our transition from the hydrocarbon-based world we live in now to a world that runs on hyperdimensional physics - in the not too distant future. Once the public are informed of these changes, we can move forward with a positive outlook on the future and facilitate the changes. CLIP - Listen also to Dr. Steven Greer Interview on Truth Frequency Radio: The Physics of Consciousness w/ guest: Dr. Steven Greer (08/30/10) and check also his latest book and DVD: CONTACT: COUNTDOWN TO TRANSFORMATION - Recommandation aux francophones: Jetez un oeil aux fort intéressantes livres disponibles aux Éditions Terre Nouvelle dont notamment les tomes 1 et 2 de Révélation de Steven Greer (y cliquer sur les liens "Lire la quatrième de couverture" pour en savoir plus!).

'Extraterrestrial hypothesis' is now public operative explanation for UFOs in France, U.K. and China
Expert panels, military-intelligence agencies, and/or scientists, respectively, in France, U.K., and China now independently confirm that the ‘extraterrestrial hypothesis’ is now their public operative explanation for specific empirical UFO encounters. According to one source, “The extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH) is the hypothesis that some unidentified flying objects (UFOs) are best explained as being extraterrestrial life or space aliens from other planets occupying physical spacecraft visiting Earth.” In France, on May 31, 2010, The Progress Report of the Sigma/3AF Commission, a semi-official report, adopted the extraterrestrial hypothesis for specific UFO sightings. (...) On August 23, 2010 in China, a planetary astronomer formally announced the extraterrestrial hypothesis as applicable to specific UFO encounters he had studied in notable sightings at the Purple Hills Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr. Michael E. Salla notes, “In a speech at a science forum held in the city of Guangzhou on August 23, a veteran Chinese astronomer with almost 40 years experience claimed that some UFOs are extraterrestrial spacecraft. Professor Wang Sichao is a planetary astronomer at the Purple Hills Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Based on scientific observations of UFOs over his 39-year career, he has concluded that some are powered by antigravity devices. “He claimed some extraterrestrials are visiting Earth in a Research and Development capacity, and are therefore friendly enough to begin cooperation and mutual exchanges. A summary of Wang’s speech was reported by a number of China newspapers including the influential People’s Daily Online. CLIP

UFO Crash Reported Live from California (August 27, 2010) - WITH VIDEO of the triangular man-made TR-3B
UFO reports have been taking a dramatic turn lately with more witnesses describing events related to a sort of conflict between military forces and large black triangular craft. Such craft were seen in Canada earlier this week allegedly being fired upon by helicopters and another was spotted near Fresno California crashed into the side of a mountain with military vehicles quickly surrounding it. What uncertainty does this bear for the future? (...) If there is a conflict ongoing between military forces and these mysterious triangular aircraft several questions need to be addressed. First, what is the nature of the conflict? Is it a serious assault or could they possibly be part of some sort of clandestine training program or war game scenario? CLIP

UFO videos shock England, real ufo - Watch it leave almost instantaneously

Fishermen capture military jets chasing UFO into Sea in Spain
Freakish encounter! Watch the key part of this footage in slow motion - astounding!!!

UFO Over Ottawa Ontario 2010

This is a video for the song "Peace" by the conscious hip hop band Luminaries who have dedicated themselves to service through music.

Car Runs On Air
This five-seater car runs on compressed air, has zero pollution, very low running costs and will cost about $15,000. - Check also the Air Pod and the other air-propelled cars featured there.

Key News: Court Allows Government GPS Tracking, BP-Federal Government Collusion, LA Police Heat-Ray Gun, More

9/11: Eye-opening Major Media Articles Raise Serious Questions - A good compilation of old articles
Did you know that literally hundreds of respected government officials, professors, and 9/11 survivors and family members have stated there was a major cover-up around 9/11? Did you know that over 1,000 architects and engineers have signed a petition calling for a new investigation into the collapse of the buildings on 9/11? And did you know about the media articles? The following excerpts from eye-opening news articles published on highly respected major media websites raise serious questions about what those in key positions in the U.S. government really knew about 9/11 and who was behind the attacks. CLIP

Criticism of Wal-Mart

2010 with Shaman, Kiesha Crowther (1 of 2 - March 4, 2010)
Around the world, wisdom keepers are saying that 2010 is the year we need to "get it". The time has come for us to wake up to who we really are. Recommended by Jamara Gruber ( who wrote: "Things are changing so rapidly these days and the tide is turning!! I wanted to send you a link to a video I very much enjoyed. Little grandmother Kiesha is so young and refreshing with her transmission as a wisdom keeper." Worth listening to her! Check the comments too!

Lynne Twist Presents FOUR YEARS. GO.

The Prophecy - "The Awakening Trilogy" Pt. 3

Where did the Invocation Come from? When was it given out and Why?
In case you'd like to find out how the Great Invocation came to be and about the first 2 stanzas that were issued in 1936 and 1940.


The Universal Flag
The Universal Flag was created as a symbol of our Interconnection and Oneness with All. It is a signpost to help us remember the Truth of who we are. By consciously remembering this truth, we can begin to eliminate the fear and violence that exists, and make our world a more peaceful and harmonious place for our children and future generations.

Jackie Evancho America's Got Talents 2nd Semi Finals Jackie Evancho Aug 31, 2010
Check also her many other videos - her September 7 performance for the Top Ten was also stellar!

Reportages TV sur les plus beaux villages du Québec - dont L'Anse-Saint-Jean


Note from Jean: The following addresses only the situation in Canada and is in no way a complete review of the situation and of the alternative solutions that exists or that could become available in the near future. I take advantage for Greenpeace Canada's issuance of its excellent new report today (Sept 9, 2020) on this matter to bring this to your attention. The following other article in this compilation is also related to this:
Could This Be A Crime? U.S. Climate Bill Is Dead While So Much Life On Our Earth Continues To Perish


Greenpeace report challenges Canada’s need for dirty, risky fossil fuels

September 9, 2010

(Toronto) — Greenpeace today released a comprehensive analysis of Canada’s energy potential that challenges the need for dirty oil from the tar sands and shows that Canada can create tens of thousands of green jobs, while providing over 90 per cent of the country’s electricity and heating needs from renewable sources by 2050.

“Greenpeace worked with energy experts to show how Canada can break its addiction to dirty tar sands oil, coal and gas and save consumers $5.3 billion a year by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency,” said Keith Stewart, Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner. “We challenge the oil industry and governments to lay out their plan for protecting Canadians from climate change and rising costs for fossil fuels. It’s past time for this debate.”

The new research is in a report, Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable Energy Outlook for Canada, prepared by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) in conjunction with dozens of experts around the world Download the report (PDF). It shows that:

• Low-impact renewable energy can supply 96 per cent of electricity and 92 per cent of our total heating needs by 2050;

• Renewable sources of energy would rise from 15 per cent of Canada’s primary energy demand today, to 25 per cent by 2020 and 74 per cent by 2050;

• Primary energy demand would drop by 50 per cent through aggressive energy efficiency measures and reliance on wind, sun and other cost-free fuels;

• Canadians would save about $135 per person a year or $5.3 billion on average on their energy bills over the next 40 years, as we use less energy and switch away from increasingly costly fossil fuels;

• The market for the dirty oil of the tar sands could be eliminated through a global scenario of investments in public transit, more efficient vehicles and a rapid shift to electric vehicles that would reduce the world’s demand for oil by 25 per cent by 2030 and 66 per cent by 2050;

• About 77,000 jobs would be created in Canada in the renewables sector alone by 2030, as part of a global expansion of 12 million jobs;

• Energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in Canada would drop by 21 per cent by 2020, and by 95 per cent by 2050;
• Canada would cut its greenhouse gas emissions to the levels international scientists say would protect people from the catastrophic climate change now threatening millions;

• Canada could make a fair contribution to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries, in line with our historic responsibility for creating the problem and capacity to pay.

"Unlike other energy scenarios that promote energy futures at the cost of the climate, our energy revolution scenario shows how to save money and create good, green jobs without fueling catastrophic climate change," said Sven Teske, Greenpeace energy expert and co-author of the report.

“Canada has vast renewable energy potential that can replace expensive and unsustainable fossil fuels and nuclear,” said Christine Lins, Secretary-General of the European Renewable Energy Council, the world’s largest industry association for renewable energy. “The renewable industry is ready and able to deliver the needed capacity to make the energy revolution a reality. There is no technical impediment, only political barriers to rebuilding the global energy sector."

At present Canada’s continued reliance on fossil fuels is part of a global problem that makes massive climate change almost certain to occur, leading to irreparable damage to the planet. This dire future can be avoided through the Energy [R]evolution with major investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
“There is no future for the tar sands in a world that is taking action on global warming," said Dave Martin, Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner. "The good news for Canada, with its wealth of renewable energy resources, is that there are a lot more jobs in stopping global warming than in fueling it."

More information at

- backgrounder
- executive summary
- full Energy [R]evolution report (9 megabytes)



WILL ENVIRONMENT CANADA FOLLOW EPA'S LEAD (see EPA to issue more rules in climate fight) AND TAKE A MUCH TOUGHER STANCE ON CO2 EMISSIONS ESPECIALLY THE SUPER-HYPER POLLUTING TAR SAND OIL EXPLOITATION - see the related articles below about the growing boycott movement to force Canada to stop the rapid expansion of oilsand/related wholesale destruction of the environment in Alberta.

US retailers target Alberta oilsands (AUGUST 31, 2010)
A campaign to boycott Alberta-sourced gasoline has gained momentum after trendy clothing manufactures and a major U.S. drugstore chain announced it would be avoiding oilsands-related fuels.Clothiers The Gap, Timberland and Levi Strauss, as well as Walgreens have joined a growing list of corporations choosing to to avoid using gasoline refined from Canadian bitumen, according to reports Friday.The move to less carbon-intensive fuels was sparked by an ongoing campaign by San Fransisco-based environmental group Forest Ethics, said Walgreen spokeswoman Tiffani Washington."We have had very little exposure to tarsands fuels to start with, so it was a simple process,"Washington told the Herald. "We reviewed this issue of tarsands fuel as part of an overall effort toward reducing our carbon footprint."The drugstore chain, which runs more than 700 trucks in its 7,500-store network, surveyed its fuel providers to avoid any sources of oil sands-sourced gasoline, she said. The list of U.S.-based refiners processing Canadian bitumen include major producers such as BP, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil, as well as Sunoco, Murphy Oil and Marathon Oil.The news more retailers were shunning Canadian crude as having a heavy impact on the environment raised the ire of Albertans, from politicians to business associations which called for reverse boycotts of U.S. products. CLIP

Think twice about visiting Canada until it abandons tar sands destruction (18 August 2010)
The Alberta tar sands are an inefficient way of producing oil and leave permanent scars on hundreds of miles of landscape -- If you're still planning your summer holiday, don't be fooled by Canada's green image and Alberta's famed Rocky Mountains. Canada is the surprising home to the most destructive project on Earth, the Alberta tar sands. Today, Corporate Ethics International is launching an advertising campaign to encourage the British people to scrutinise what's going on in Alberta. Tar sands are a mixture of sand, water, clay and bitumen, which can be processed into synthetic crude oil at great cost to the environment. It takes up to four barrels of water to produce just one barrel of tar sands crude. Producing a barrel of tar sands oil releases three times more carbon than conventional oil. Up to 11m litres of contaminated water are discharged every day from toxic tailing ponds so large they can be seen from space. In the process of recklessly expanding the tar sands industry over the last decade, the rights of First Nation peoples have been trampled and their health threatened. An area the size of England is at risk, and the fight against climate change is doomed if the tar sands are fully developed. If industry gets its way, the expansion of the tar sands will continue, and petrol and diesel derived from bitumen will flood into Europe. If we don't stop them, you will be putting oil from tar sands in your tank within a year or two. CLIP

Alberta premier calls for investigation into river toxins (SEPTEMBER 2, 2010)
EDMONTON - While Alberta's premier is calling for a meeting of scientific minds in coming weeks to discuss differences in data about toxins in the Athabasca River, one of the key scientists in the debate isn't convinced such a meeting will achieve anything."We'll have the scientists sit down and compare the data," Premier Ed Stelmach said Wednesday, in his first comments about the University of Alberta study, released Monday, which found high levels of toxins near oilsands sites while an industry-led monitoring program hasn't found the same. (...) Schindler said his data are unimpeachable, that there were highly qualified experts taking samples in standardized methods, and that samples were tested at accredited labs."I gather Minister (Ron) Liepert yesterday implied that I cooked the data, though I'm sure he's smart enough these days not to really say that," Schindler said, laughing off the implication from the minister that there were preconceived results involved."I'm sure if we had found nothing it would be Greenpeace all over my case claiming that I was in the government's back pocket. But if you look at the amount of science that's been involved in this debate, it's almost non-existent."Schindler is even more angry with the Alberta government, which he says has cut the science program, but "they always have more money for propaganda." (...) Ultimately, Schindler wants Albertans to fully understand the true impact the oilsands industry is having on the environment."I guess what really rankles me is we have this foolish propaganda going on to make people think everything is OK and therefore support the tarsands," he said."If people know what's really going on and they still support the tarsands, well, I can grit my teeth, but that's democracy. What's going on now is not democracy."

'Constant Denial': Liberal Report on Tar Sands Is Scathing (19 Aug 2010)
A dissenting Liberal report on the highly contentious findings of a two-year long parliamentary study on the impact of the tar sands on Canada's freshwater supplies has accused both industry and government of being in a state of denial about "the potential negative consequences the industry might be having on a vital Canadian resource."Calling for sweeping reforms and strong federal leadership on water science, the referenced 49-page report concluded that the Canadian government clearly lacks "proper knowledge on the state and dynamics of the regions water resources and how they will react to years of oil sands mining, both surface and in situ."Based on 300 pages of expert public testimony to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development from water scientists, Aboriginal chiefs and industry experts, the Liberal report found that industry developments are indeed contaminating the Athabasca River; that the framework for protecting the river is based on "bureaucratic compromise" as opposed to rigorous science-based policy; that there is inadequate baseline data and studies on the project's impact on groundwater; that the U.S. government regulates naphthenic acids, a key tar sands pollutant, but Canada doesn't; and finally that the federal government "has devolved and diluted" its water monitoring responsibilities. CLIP - RELATED DOCUMENT: The Hidden Dimension: Water and the Oil Sands

What Those Who Killed the Tar Sands Report Don't Want You to Know (15 Jul 2010)
Why did a parliamentary committee suddenly destroy drafts of a final report on tar sands pollution? Here's what they knew. -- Just two weeks ago the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development abruptly cancelled a big report on the tar sands and the project's extreme water impacts. The parliamentarians even destroyed draft copies of their final report. After listening to testimony from scores of scientists, bureaucrats, lobbyists, aboriginal chiefs and environmental groups, the committee dropped the whole affair like a bucket of tar. (For the record, the Alberta government, a petro-state with Saudi visions of grandeur, refused to show up and testify.) Killing reports paid for by Canadian taxpayers on a $200-billion backyard development is not the sort of behavior one associates with a "responsible energy producer," but there you have it. While federal panjandrums argue that the tar sands may be key to our economic prosperity, our politicians couldn't put aside their partisan views long enough to complete a national report on the project's formidable water liabilities. Fortunately, civilians can do what politicians can't. In the interests of accountability and transparency, I read through 300 pages of evidence and pulled out the sort of uncomfortable revelations that Ottawa doesn't want U.S. oil customers, industry investors or Canadian taxpayers to know. The evidence, of course, all points to one embarrassing conclusion: Ottawa has managed its mandate in the tar sands as irresponsibly as the U.S. Mineral Management Services oversaw the safety of deep sea drilling in the Gulf.
(...) Contrary to Environment Canada's fairy tale presentations, David Schindler, one of world's most respected water ecologists, told the committee that the project was directly polluting the Athabasca River. In particular, industry emissions were now depositing substantial volumes of bitumen, heavy metals and fish-killing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the landscape which then run-off into the river. (After his appearance, Schindler published a peer-reviewed paper in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that air pollution alone created the equivalent of an annual 5,000-barrel oil spill on the Athabasca River.) Schindler also told the committee that once upon a time the federal government did good monitoring on the river but then turned it over to Alberta which "turned a lot of it over to industry itself. As a result we have a database that's not available to independent scientists to use."
(...) Although industry claims that in situ projects, which steam bitumen out of the ground, will be more water friendly than mining, that's not what the committee heard. Expert after expert all warned that the steam plants could impact a region the size of Florida by withdrawing almost as much water from the ground as the mines were now taking from the Athabasca River. Some unmapped underground aquifers in the region may even extend as far away as the Northwest Territories and Manitoba.
(...) So there you have it: some of the dismal evidence that the federal government didn't want to share with the world. The facts show that Canadian regulators have not behaved responsibly, honorably or prudently.Ottawa has squandered surface and groundwater resources in the region. It has failed to collect baseline data making the project both unsafe and insecure. The ponds are leaking and the project is polluting the river. The federal government has failed to issue national standards for regulating tar-sands pollutants such as naphthenic acids. It, too, has neglected to transparently monitor water quality and quantity in the world's third largest watershed. This evidence partly explains why the committee destroyed its final report. Tory MPs that behave like wannabe bitumen salesmen explain the rest. CLIP - THIS IS ONE OF THE WORST MAN-MADE ONGOING ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER IN THE WORLD. MEANWHILE, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS SHOWING ITS TRUE COLORS AND MASSIVELY BETRAYING ITS PLEDGE TO REDUCE ITS CO2 EMISSIONS, THROUGH ALLOWING THE DIRTIEST OF ALL ENERGY SOURCES TO FLOW EVER MORE ACROSS THE CANADIAN BORDER INTO THE USA... THERE MUST BE A HUGE, DEAFENING PUBLIC OUTCRY AGAINST THIS ENVIRONMENTAL GENOCIDE THAT WILL HAVE GIGANTIC REPERCUSSIONS ON GLOBAL WARMING AS IT FAST ACCELERATES - TO THE TUNE OF $400 BILLIONS IN PLANNED INVESTMENTS - THE EXPANSION OF OIL CONSUMPTION TO THE DETRIMENT OF ALTERNATIVE CLEAN ENERGY SOURCE...

EPA and State Department Square Off on Tar Sands Pipeline (August 16, 2010)
Water use and greenhouse gas emissions are major concerns with developing "unconventional" hydrocarbon reserves. -- Before July 16, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued its 18-page letter directing the State Department to more carefully assess the considerable risks of the $7 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was expected to issue a presidential permit approving construction in the fall. The EPA's penetrating critique of the State Department's permit review of the 1,702-mile pipeline, which the environmental agency called "inadequate," puts that fall schedule on indefinite hold. The question for the oil industry, the governments of Canada and the activists in both countries desperate to tame oil sands development, is what other effects the EPA's action could have. The federal environmental agency has good reason to be vigilant. It has been busy since July 26 cleaning up a million-barrel tar sands oil spill from a ruptured pipeline in southern Michigan's Kalamazoo River.The proposed Keystone XL pipeline, to be built by TransCanada Corp., is the latest of three big oil pipeline construction projects that are at the vanguard of a new era in hydrocarbon development. Instead of drilling deep underground for pools of oil that are getting harder to find and more dangerous to punch open, energy developers are becoming miners, tapping what the energy industry calls "unconventional" reserves contained in oil-saturated sands and oil shales.Near the northern end of the Keystone XL pipeline lies Alberta's bitumen-saturated tar sands, a forested region as large as North Carolina that conservatively contains 175 billion barrels of recoverable oil: enough to satisfy U.S. demand at current rates of consumption until 2035. American, Canadian, Chinese, Korean and European oil companies are spending $15 billion a year to manage and expand immense open pit mines, processing plants, as well as toxic tailing ponds in order to boost production from 1.3 million barrels a day to more than three million barrels per day by 2025.The investment in Alberta is the sharp tip of a long spear of unconventional oil development that reaches into the United States, the primary market. Energy and pipeline companies are spending $31 billion to ship oil in new pipelines from Alberta to U.S. refiners in the heartland, the Great Lakes and the Gulf coast. Refiners are spending more than $20 billion to expand refineries to produce fuels from tar sands oil. In all, the energy industry has said it wants to invest nearly $400 billion on tar sands oil production over the next 15 years. Contrast that with annual investment in wind and solar energy, which reached $30 billion last year, according to the Department of Energy. Exxon Mobil Corp. paid more than that earlier this year-$41 billion-to purchase XTO Energy, which has big reserves in unconventional tar sands, oil shales, and deep shale natural gas reserves in the United States.The bottom line is that the race between clean energy alternatives and much dirtier unconventional reserves is an economic mismatch. Last year total investment globally in clean energy was $140 billion, according to solar and wind producers. The fossil fuel industry is spending an estimated three times that amount on developing unconventional oil reserves, according to the International Energy Agency. [Alberta's longest river and one of North America's longest undammed rivers, the Athabasca originates in the Wood Buffalo National Park. Water withdrawals for tar sands surface mining operations - 184.3 million cubic meters of water or 48.7 billion gallons - threaten the sustainability of fish populations in the Athabasca River and the sustainability of the Delta itself.] The United States appears completely ready to buy every drop. According to Cambridge Energy Research Associates, the country imports 1.1 million barrels of tar sands oil a day. Alberta's tar sands have quietly become the largest source of American oil imports and one of the largest new sources of greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change. CLIP - READ ALSO Low-Carbon Fuel Rules in US Spurs Oil Sands PR Blitz - Pumping in Dirty Oil From Canada's Tar Sands "For every barrel of oil produced from the tar sands, another two of toxic waste are left behind. (...) Squeezing oil from tar sands emits 151 percent more greenhouse gases than the production of conventional oil (including 80 percent more CO2)." - Scenes From the Tar Wars

Canadians' complacency lets Harper government off the hook - One of the inexplicable stories (or non-stories) of the summer is the disappearance of climate change from the political agenda. While many Canadians were sweltering, swatting super-sized mosquitoes, fighting fires, or up to their axles in flood water, there was nothing but radio silence on the nation's political channel. Instead of green action, we got static over the census, the gun registry, the prime minister's imperial ways, the imaginary opposition "coalition" and deadlocked polls that look like the previous deadlocked polls. This is busy work, not the serious business of salvaging a warming planet.But politicians are keenly attuned to public concern. Maybe their complacency reflects ours. Maybe we secretly like global warming. It has been a splendid summer for those lucky enough to live near a cool, relatively clean body of water. (...) Across the world, so-called extreme weather events proliferate, from floods in Pakistan covering an area the size of England, to forest fires in Portugal, to unusually heavy rains in China. In Canada, forest fires have become more common and destructive in recent years, and Prairie farmers were inundated with unprecedented rainfalls in June that drove some from their homes and left fields sodden.While scientists traditionally agree that individual weather events cannot be blamed on climate change alone, "nowadays there is an element of both (climate change and weather) at play," Dr. Kevin Trenberth, of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, recently concluded. In fact, the impact of climate change is most vivid and dramatic in Canada's North. Yet Prime Minister Stephen Harper barely mentioned climate on his recent northern tour (during which a chunk of ice the size of Bermuda broke from an ice shelf on Ellesmere Island). His interest in the North seems primarily driven by the oil, gas and other mineral wealth that lies under the surface and in insuring that Canada claims, and benefits, from these potential riches. It is a policy that accepts oil will be a desirable commodity for generations.And while lip service is grudgingly paid to environmental concerns (and new parks are created), the government continues to fail to meet its solemn emissions-reduction targets, only to weaken those targets and fail again. Climate-change campaigner Matthew Bramley of the Pembina Institute argues the "performance of the Harper government is so awful" on climate change that "it's not news anymore." Journalists have stopped writing about it and "people have become desensitized." At the same time, he says, many opposition politicians lack the courage to press the issue, because any serious effort to cut greenhouse-gas emissions will require sacrifice and change. The danger, says Bramley, is if people "give up on government. Because government can fix climate change. The solutions are there; they're just not being implemented." The economic clout of the oil industry and the Alberta tarsands is part of the explanation. The other is staring back at us in the mirror.


Gaz de schiste au Québec - Urgence!

Un débat chaud a lieu en ce moment au Québec concernant le projet de développement de la filière du gaz de schiste qui, tel que démontré dans le documentaire Gasland et le reportage "Gasland" PBS Report, pollue énormément la nappe phréatique (il y a plus de 596 produits chimiques toxiques ajoutés dans l'eau injectée sous pression à grande profondeur pour libérer le gaz emprisonné dans le schiste - voir la nouvelle version du trailer de Gasland - quelqu'un devrait produire une version avec sous-titres français de ce court vidéo!) et rend ainsi l'eau impropre à la consommation partout où ces dépôts ont été exploités aux États-Unis. Le Québec peut certainement se passer de cette nouvelle catastrophe écologique et le gouvernement de Jean Charest, qui se targue de vouloir faire du Québec un leader des énergies vertes mais qui donne toutes les apparences d'être à la solde du lobby gazier et pétrolier, ferait bien de respecter les demandes répétées des citoyens pour un moratoire complet - et permanent à mon avis - (au lieu de la passoire actuelle) sur toute exploration et exploitation du gaz de schiste. Idem pour l'exploration pétrolière dans le fleuve et le Golfe du St-Laurent. Voici quelques articles recommendés à ce sujet tirés du site de l'Association Québécois de Lutte contre la Pollution Atmosphérique (AQLPA): : Extraction du gaz de schiste dans la vallée du Saint - Laurent (complet avec de nombreux liens vers de récents articles dans les médias à ce sujet) - Québécoises et Québécois, dormons-nous au gaz... de schiste? - Le gaz de schiste au Québec - Marketing social ou intelligence citoyenne? À noter que l'AQLPA conjointement avec plusieurs organismes organise ce vendredi 10 septembre à l'UQAM un Forum Urgence Énergie qui sera suivi, dimanche, d’une manifestation sur le thème « Pétrole et Gaz au Québec, ça suffit! », devant le Palais des Congrès de Montréal. À noter aussi: le Mouvement Vigilance Énergie (, un nouveau regroupement écologiste, a vu le jour le 7 septembre 2010 au Québec afin de surveiller les choix énergétiques du Québec. L'EPA aux États-Unis commence enfin à se "réveiller" à la suite des innombrables protestations de citoyens dont l'eau et la vie ont été pollués par cette industrie dégueulassement destructrice.... Si vous voulez signifier votre opposition à l'exploitation du gaz de schiste au Québec, faites comme moi et signez cette PÉTITION [Exigez un Québec VRAIMENT indépendant des énergies sales... N’êtes-vous pas scandalisé par la marée noire dans le Golfe du Mexique? N’en avez-vous pas assez des incohérences du gouvernement Charest qui veut aller de l’avant avec l’exploitation du pétrole et du gaz au Québec, alors qu’il faudrait, au contraire, préparer dès maintenant l’après pétrole? Si vous ne voulez pas de marée noire au Québec, dites-le aux députés de l’Assemblée nationale! Prenez quelques minutes pour envoyer un courriel à tous les députés pour que le Québec n’aille pas dans la voie des énergies sales. Merci!] et celle-ci également... Pétition : Exploration et exploitation pétrolière dans le golfe du Saint-Laurent (Plus de détails sur ce dossier ICI)

EPA wants companies to reveal chemicals used in controversial gas extraction method (September 9, 2010)
The federal Environmental Protection Agency has asked eight companies to voluntarily reveal the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing, a method used to extract natural gas by injecting fluids into rock formations deep underground. The practice has drawn a lot of attention after documented cases of drinking-water wells becoming contaminated near sites where the practice, developed by oil-services company Halliburton, was employed. Industry and federal studies have shown that 20% to 40% of the fluids used in "fracking" remain in the formation. Those chemicals include diesel fuel, which contains benzene ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene, naphthalene and other chemicals; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; methanol; formaldehyde; ethylene glycol; glycol ethers; hydrochloric acid; and sodium hydroxide. Congress has granted a wide loophole to companies such as Halliburton, which justify not disclosing the ingredients because of "trade secrets." CLIP


Inside Top Secret America (August 28, 2010)
A major investigation reveals the extent of America's vast and heavily privatized military-corporate-intelligence establishment. -- In July, the Washington Post published the Top Secret America project -- a sweeping portrait of America's heavily privatized military-corporate-intelligence establishment. Lead reporter Dana Priest calls it the "vast and hidden apparatus of the war on terror."Priest, who has won two Pulitzer Prizes, described the project as the most challenging investigation of her career. She teamed up with national security journalist William Arkin and a team of about 20 Post staffers to create an "alternative geography" of a hidden world that has exploded since the attacks of 9/11. At last count, the official U.S. intelligence budget stood at $75 billion -- more than two and a half times what it was on September 10, 2001. The remarkable three-part series (One, Two, Three) and its intricate multimedia Web site attracted some initial praise, but just as quickly seemed to drop off the map. This article is an attempt to revisit some of the Priest and Arkin's most shocking discoveries.
(...) To give a sense of the physical layout of Top Secret America, Priest and Arkin plotted government and corporate secret locations on a map. The reporters also compiled their data in the searchable Top Secret America database (TSA). They found 1,931 intelligence contracting firms doing work classified as "top secret," for 1,271 government organizations at over 10,000 sites around the country. 533 of the contracting firms were founded after the 9/11 attacks. About 110 contractors do about 90 percent of the top-secret work.
(...) Contractors make up nearly 30 percent of the workforce of America's intelligence agencies. At the Department of Homeland Security the ratio of contractors to staffers is 50-50. The Post estimates that of the 854,000 people with top-secret clearances, 265,000 are contractors. The U.S. has become utterly dependent on contractors for basic national security and intelligence functions. The National Reconnaissance Office literally couldn't launch satellites without contractors. Contractors do everything from recruiting spies to interrogating detainees to processing civil forfeitures in the war on drugs. CIA director Leon Panetta admitted to the Post that dependence on contractors is a liability because the main duty of corporations "is to their shareholders, and that does present an inherent conflict." As Jeremy Scahill pointed out in the Nation, these reservations didn't stop Panetta from approving a new $100 million contract with the scandal-plagued private security contractor formerly known as Blackwater.
(...) Contractors have permeated every sphere of intelligence from aircraft and satellite operations to human intelligence to information technology. Contractors do things you'd assume would be the exclusive preserve of government agents. The TSA database lists 18 government organizations contracting with 37 private companies to conduct psychological operations; 16 government organizations using 50 companies for "special military operations" (e.g., SWAT teams and unconventional warfare); and 14 government organizations contracting with 50 companies for top-secret conventional military operations.
(...) There's too much information coming in and not enough experienced people to interpret it and synthesize it. The NSA intercepts 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications every day and divides some percentage of these between 70 different databases. The same problem repeats itself in every intelligence-gathering organization.

Global Collapse of the Fiat Money System: Too Big To Fail Global Banks Will Collapse Between Now and First Quarter 2011 When Quantitative Easing Has Run Its Course and Fails (August 31, 2010)
Readers of my articles will recall that I have warned as far back as December 2006, that the global banks will collapse when the Financial Tsunami hits the global economy in 2007. And as they say, the rest is history. Quantitative Easing (QE I) spearheaded by the Chairman of Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke delayed the inevitable demise of the fiat shadow money banking system slightly over 18 months.That is why in November of 2009, I was so confident to warn my readers that by the end of the first quarter of 2010 at the earliest or by the second quarter of 2010 at the latest, the global economy will go into a tailspin. The recent alarm that the US economy has slowed down and in the words of Bernanke "the recent pace of growth is less vigorous than we expected" has all but vindicated my analysis. He warned that the outlook is uncertain and the economy "remains vulnerable to unexpected developments". Obviously, Bernanke's words do not reveal the full extent of the fear that has gripped central bankers and the financial elites that assembled at the annual gathering at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. But, you can take it from me that they are very afraid. Why? Let me be plain and blunt. The "unexpected developments" Bernanke referred to is the collapse of the global banks. This is FED speak and to those in the loop, this is the dire warning. So many renowned economists have misdiagnosed the objective and consequences of quantitative easing. Central bankers‚ scribes and the global mass media hoodwinked the people by saying that QE will enable the banks to lend monies to cash-starved companies and jump start the economy. The low interest rate regime would encourage all and sundry to borrow, consume and invest. This was the fairy tale. Then, there were some economists who were worried that as a result of the FED's printing press (electronic or otherwise) working overtime, hyper-inflation would set in soon after. But nothing happened. The multiplier effect of fractional reserve banking did not take off. Bank lending in fact stalled. Why? What happened? Let me explain in simple terms step by step.
(...) When the ball hits the ceiling fan, sometime early 2011 at the earliest, there will be massive bank runs.I expect that the FED and other central banks will pre-empt such a run and will do the following:1) Disallow cash withdrawals from banks beyond a certain amount, say US$1,000 per day; 2) Disallow cash transactions up to a certain amount, say US$10,000 for certain transactions; 3) Transactions (investments) for metals (gold and silver) will be restricted; 4) Worst-case scenario - the confiscation of gold AS HAPPENED IN WORLD WAR II. 5) Imposition of capital controls etc.; 6) Legislations that will compel most daily commercial transactions to be conducted through Debit and or Credit Cards; 7) Legislations to make it a criminal offence for any contraventions of the above. Solution:Maintain a bank balance sufficient to enable you to comply with the above potential impositions. Start diversifying your assets away from dollar assets. Have foreign currencies in sufficient quantities in those jurisdictions where the above anticipated impositions are least likely to be implemented. CONCLUSIONThere will be a financial tsunami (round two) the likes of which the world has never seen. Global banks will collapse! Be ready.

The true cost of the Iraq war: $3 trillion and beyond
Writing in these pages in early 2008, we put the total cost to the United States of the Iraq war at $3 trillion. This price tag dwarfed previous estimates, including the Bush administration's 2003 projections of a $50 billion to $60 billion war. But today, as the United States ends combat in Iraq, it appears that our $3 trillion estimate (which accounted for both government expenses and the war's broader impact on the U.S. economy) was, if anything, too low. For example, the cost of diagnosing, treating and compensating disabled veterans has proved higher than we expected. Moreover, two years on, it has become clear to us that our estimate did not capture what may have been the conflict's most sobering expenses: those in the category of "might have beens," or what economists call opportunity costs. For instance, many have wondered aloud whether, absent the Iraq invasion, we would still be stuck in Afghanistan. And this is not the only "what if" worth contemplating. We might also ask: If not for the war in Iraq, would oil prices have risen so rapidly? Would the federal debt be so high? Would the economic crisis have been so severe? The answer to all four of these questions is probably no. The central lesson of economics is that resources -- including both money and attention -- are scarce. What was devoted to one theater, Iraq, was not available elsewhere.
(...) The Iraq war didn't just contribute to the severity of the financial crisis, though; it also kept us from responding to it effectively. Increased indebtedness meant that the government had far less room to maneuver than it otherwise would have had. More specifically, worries about the (war-inflated) debt and deficit constrained the size of the stimulus, and they continue to hamper our ability to respond to the recession. With the unemployment rate remaining stubbornly high, the country needs a second stimulus. But mounting government debt means support for this is low. The result is that the recession will be longer, output lower, unemployment higher and deficits larger than they would have been absent the war.

GORDON DUFF: VIDEO: WHY REAL AMERICANS SHOULD BE ANGRY (September 3, 2010) Reviewing the Bush era lies that led to the Iraqi pogrom... and the "untouchable" liars and mass killers are still free...
How’s your blood pressure? Meds doing OK? Have you already forgotten the lies that got us into Iraq? Americans have certainly forgotten the wounded soldiers and the disabled vets. What we had really done is allow ourselves to put our sanity on the shelf for 8 years, not all of us, mind you but too many. If you are one of those few who stood up from 9/11 onward saying that something was terribly wrong, that the nation was being hijacked by a pack of thieving bastards, go ahead and watch.

Obama could kill fossil fuels overnight with a nuclear dash for thorium (29 August 2010) WILL VESTED INTERESTS STAND IN THE WAY OF THIS APPEALING TECHNOLOGY?
If Barack Obama were to marshal America’s vast scientific and strategic resources behind a new Manhattan Project, he might reasonably hope to reinvent the global energy landscape and sketch an end to our dependence on fossil fuels within three to five years. -- We could then stop arguing about wind mills, deepwater drilling, IPCC hockey sticks, or strategic reliance on the Kremlin. History will move on fast.Muddling on with the status quo is not a grown-up policy. The International Energy Agency says the world must invest $26 trillion (£16.7 trillion) over the next 20 years to avert an energy shock. The scramble for scarce fuel is already leading to friction between China, India, and the West. (...) Dr Rubbia says a tonne of the silvery metal – named after the Norse god of thunder, who also gave us Thor’s day or Thursday - produces as much energy as 200 tonnes of uranium, or 3,500,000 tonnes of coal. A mere fistful would light London for a week. Thorium eats its own hazardous waste. It can even scavenge the plutonium left by uranium reactors, acting as an eco-cleaner. "It’s the Big One," said Kirk Sorensen, a former NASA rocket engineer and now chief nuclear technologist at Teledyne Brown Engineering."Once you start looking more closely, it blows your mind away. You can run civilisation on thorium for hundreds of thousands of years, and it’s essentially free. You don’t have to deal with uranium cartels," he said. Thorium is so common that miners treat it as a nuisance, a radioactive by-product if they try to dig up rare earth metals. The US and Australia are full of the stuff. So are the granite rocks of Cornwall. You do not need much: all is potentially usable as fuel, compared to just 0.7pc for uranium.After the Manhattan Project, US physicists in the late 1940s were tempted by thorium for use in civil reactors. It has a higher neutron yield per neutron absorbed. It does not require isotope separation, a big cost saving. But by then America needed the plutonium residue from uranium to build bombs. (...) The Norwegian group Aker Solutions has bought Dr Rubbia’s patent for the thorium fuel-cycle, and is working on his design for a proton accelerator at its UK operation.Victoria Ashley, the project manager, said it could lead to a network of pint-sized 600MW reactors that are lodged underground, can supply small grids, and do not require a safety citadel. (...) Thorium-fluoride reactors can operate at atmospheric temperature. "The plants would be much smaller and less expensive. You wouldn’t need those huge containment domes because there’s no pressurized water in the reactor. It’s close-fitting," he said. CLIP

No reconstruction despite siege "easing" (27 August 2010)
(...) These Gaza families are among thousands whose houses were either partially or completely destroyed during the Israeli bombardment and invasion. Hamas, which runs the Gaza wing of the Palestinian Authority, reacted to the takeover of the building by saying it would consider that the vast majority of affected people have been unable to repair or rebuild damaged homes due to the lack of building materials. There has been a chronic shortage of building materials since Israel imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip more than three years ago. In June of this year Israel announced a partial "easing" of the blockade, under international pressure following its massacre of peace activists aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Larger shipments of goods and commodities have entered the territory since Israel has announced relaxing the closure of Gaza. While more consumer goods and foodstuffs are more abundant in Gaza's markets, building materials are still scarce. Even existing construction projects are stalled due to the persistent Israeli blockade on building supplies. Among them are a major housing project being built by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis, and more than 100 UNRWA schools."At this moment, there is nothing happening on the ground regarding construction materials for the UN projects," said Basil Nasir, director of the United Nations Development Program in Gaza. When announcing its "easing," Israel had said it would allow supplies in for UN-sponsored projects. According to Maxwell Gaylard, United Nations Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, vital UN projects such as water and sanitation infrastructure and clinics are also on hold.
(...) Omar Shaban, an economist in Gaza, contends that disallowing construction materials into the coastal territory has nothing to do with logistical factors. He blamed Israel for what he termed collective punishment against of the population in Gaza, a violation of international law. Israel was forced to announce the easing of the siege following outrage over its attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Shaban said, "but the siege is not yet lifted significantly as there are also widespread restrictions on movement of people in and out of the Gaza Strip."According to Shaban, Israel's continued refusal to allow construction supplies into to Gaza is because "If they allow more materials, they think that Hamas will benefit. So they prefer the easiest way of punishing the whole community and by so doing they have failed to separate between Hamas and the rest of the Gaza community." CLIP

Seafood Safety and Politics Don't Mix: Opening of Gulf Fisheries at Odds With Evidence of Harm (August 11, 2010)
Eight days after returning home from his Gulf oil-spill response job, Jason Brashears has flashbacks of a scene that he witnessed one day in Lake Ponchartrain, Louisiana: Thousands of fish gasping at the surface in a sea of foamy oil and dispersant. Brashears spent 65 days spotting oil in Lake Ponchartrain; Mobile Bay; and along the coast off Destin, Florida; Ocean Springs, Alabama; and Cat Island, Mississippi. His team reported oil sightings during the day. At night, planes sprayed dispersant to break up the oil.The fish are not the only thing that haunts him from his Gulf work. His lungs feel "leaden," he has trouble concentrating on his graphic designs that used to give him so much pleasure, his moods swing unpredictably, he is dizzy, and the fragrance in ordinary household products makes his eyes water and sinuses stuffy. "You would think," Brashears said over the phone, "that they [his subcontractor] would not send us out the next day if they knew the dispersants would make us sick. You would think they would warn us or give us a day off."But Brashears received no such warning. Nor did other people across the Gulf as BP applied at least 1.8 million gallons of dispersants to the oil it spilled there. Even though the number of gallons reported by BP is widely questioned as conservative, this is still by far the longest and heaviest application of dispersant in world history. Yet neither workers nor the public were, or are, being adequately informed of the risk of exposure to oil and dispersants.I have been in the Gulf since May 3 and have witnessed the outbreak of a public-health epidemic as the oil and dispersant came ashore. Every day now, former workers, Gulf coast residents, and visitors share similar stories with me of respiratory problems, central nervous system problems, chemical sensitivities, or bad skin rashes after exposure to air or water in the Gulf -- predictable illnesses from chemical exposure, all of which were avoidable given adequate warning and protection.Stories of illnesses persist despite assurances from four federal agencies -- the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the U.S. Coast Guard -- that no levels of oil or dispersant measured in Gulf water or air were found to be unsafe. But government officials have no credibility in communities across the Gulf because the official story does not match the reality of what people are seeing and smelling. The community stories that string together across the Gulf coast paint a picture quite different from what BP, its contractors, and our government report.
(...) The Food and Drug Administration only tests for oil in "edible" tissue of seafood. So if oil has contaminated a fish's organs or other body parts, it would still be deemed safe for consumption if the flesh tested fine. If a steer had cancer in its kidney and blood, would you eat its "edible" tissue? To make matters worse, though, there is no test for dispersants -- yet. The new Coalition of Commercial Fishing Families across the Gulf is urging the federal government to use precaution rather than 30-year old standards. The coalition has asked NOAA to close all Gulf fisheries until updated protocol and standards are available to test seafood product. Fishermen are also concerned about losing consumer confidence. Kathy Birren, a commercial fisherman from Hernando Beach, Florida, stated at a Gulf of Mexico Alliance conference last week in Gulfport, "We believe that Gulf and Inland waters have been prematurely re-opened to fishing. Fishermen do not want to lose our credibility or deliver contaminated seafood to market. We have lost enough already." BP has already stated that it is "not responsible" for any long-term effects from its dispersant experiment. Unless American seafood consumers want to be part of the Gulf experiment, I suggest we all support our fishermen -- and not trust the federal government to warn us about seafood safety.

The Gulf BLUE PLAGUE is Evolving (10 Aug 2010)
(...) CYANOSIS: OXYGEN STARVATION - Along with the symptoms that mimic flu-like viruses, there are increasing cases of severe symptomatic cyanosis. These rapidly increasing symptoms range from bluish lip color to numbness in fingers and toes. There is also a fast growing increase of pneumonia cases which are being diagnosed as chemical induced pneumonia. Those working on boats and those living directly on the coast are the most effected. Cyanosis is simply oxygen starvation in the blood. With a moderate case involving such a lack of oxygen, the skin appears to have a blueish colour. Hands and fingers especially show these signs as will other extremities such as toes and lips. A lack of oxygen in the blood can also have a purplish appearance where the skin surface is red from sun exposure but the blood beneath the skin is blue. Red and blue make purple.If all these BLUE FLU symptoms were temporary, most everyone suffering from them would eventually recover as the blood becomes increasingly oxygenated once removed from the oxygen depletion source. Short term exposure and biological complications to gases and chemicals that starve the air and lungs from oxygen, creating cyanosis, are usually reversible. However, long term exposure is not fully reversible. Long term exposure depends on how depleted the air is of oxygen and how much time a person has been exposed to that condition.
OXYGEN DEPLETED WATER AND AIR - The same goes for oxygen levels in water. Fish, turtles, and crustaceans (shrimp and lobsters) die quickly when oxygen levels have been depleted. Dolphins and whales are mammals and they depend on surface water air to breathe their oxygen. Since May 2010, there has been an epidemic of dead fish, turtles, dolphins, sharks and whales in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The mainstream media has failed to report this truth. As someone who works closely with other animal rescue and wildlife rehabilitation services throughout the southeast, I have been told there are very few turtles or marine animals being rescued because the majority are already dead when found.It's more than obvious that the water in the northern Gulf of Mexico is severely depleted of oxygen. This also applies to the surface air that dolphins and whales - as well as people - depend on to breathe. In May 2010, tests done by various research vessels in the northern Gulf of Mexico showed a 30-60% decrease in oxygen levels. This was three long months ago. This surely accounts for the vast fish kills. But when you combine lethal chemicals - such as Corexit - along with oil and gas by-products from large plumes of oil hidden deep in the Gulf, the problem is yet in its initial stages. As the algae naturally attacks these chemicals, oil and gases, a further oxygen depletion occurs. It's nature's way of attempting to correct the problem. The result of that natural process is severe oxygen depletion.
STAGE TWO: THE BLUE PLAGUE While the Blue Flu symptoms are increasing for more and more people, those who have had 30+ days of direct exposure to the toxic and oxygen depleted Gulf air and water are in immediate danger of permanent and irreversible biological damage... if not death. CLIP

No Safe Harbor on Gulf Coast; Human Blood Tests Show Dangerous Levels of Toxic Exposure (Sept 2, 2010)
Even as BP and US government officials continue to declare the oil spill over at Mississippi Canyon 252 and the cleanup operation an unqualified success, for the first time blood tests on sickened humans have shown signs of exposure to high levels of toxic chemicals related to crude oil and dispersants. Some of the individuals tested have not been on the beaches, were not involved in any cleanup operations or in the Gulf water -- they simply live along the Gulf Coast. Several of them are now leaving the area due to a combination of illness and economic hardship. As the media's attention has moved on and the public interest wanes, the suffering and hardship for people along the entire Gulf Coast of the United States from Louisiana to Florida continues to worsen. While BP and the government are scaling back cleanup operations and distancing themselves from legal liability for the environmental destruction, economic hardship, sickness and death resulting from the largest environmental disaster in our nation's history, the situation continues to deteriorate.The use of the Corexit dispersant 9500 and the highly toxic 9527 by BP, with the approval and assistance of the US Coast Guard and EPA, has been the subject of intense scrutiny and criticism. Never before has such a huge quantity of the toxic compound been used anywhere on the planet. Most countries including NATO allies ban it's use and will only grant approval as a last resort after other methods have failed. Britain has banned its use altogether. The NOAA provided extensive information summarizing other nation's policies in regards to Corexit after Senator Barbara Mikulski demanded the information from EPA administrator Lisa Jackson during congressional hearings in July. While the dispersant serves to break down crude oil on the surface and thus makes the oil invisible from the air, it is highly toxic and bioaccumulates in the marine food chain. In humans it is a known carcinogen and its use was widely condemned after Exxon/Valdez and the horrifying health effects on the populations exposed to it there. As it evaporates and becomes airborne, the toxic compounds have moved on shore, creating health impacts that, although apparently large from the numbers of people affected, the full extent is unknown. BP and the US government have effectively been performing the largest chemical experiment in history on a civilian population without their knowledge or consent. CLIP

Canada bans BPA. Why haven't we? (27 AUG 2010)
Environment Canada -- our northern neighbor's version of the EPA -- has officially declared bisphenol A (BPA) toxic. The ubiquitous chemical, found in the lining of nearly all cans used by the food and beverage industry, will have to be phased out in Canada. BPA is vile stuff. Here's how Scientific American recently described it: "In recent years dozens of scientists around the globe have linked BPA to myriad health effects in rodents: mammary and prostate cancer, genital defects in males, early onset of puberty in females, obesity, and even behavior problems such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder." The North American chemical industry is furious with Environment Canada's decision. The American Chemistry Council has vigorously defended BPA during Environment Canada's toxic review, declaring that the agency had "pandered to emotional zealots" by even considering the toxic designation, the Toronto Star reports. The industry group demanded that Environment Canada halt the review process; Environment Canada held firm.In our political system, the chemical industry has had better luck pushing its agenda. In January, the FDA took a singularly maddening position on the stuff, as Tom Laskawy reported for Grist. On the one hand, after years of denying mounting evidence that BPA posed serious health risks, the agency declared it had "some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children."On the other, the agency has essentially claimed it is unable to ban it from use. (...) In other words, the poison has been distilled into so many forms that it would take a lot of work to keep it out of food processing. And rather than initiate that process, FDA chose to sit on its hands -- meaning that the food industry still knowingly exposes millions of people every day to a chemical the FDA acknowledges is harmful. CLIP

Huge China Traffic Jam (Sept 3, 2010) 11 pictures AND THAT'S JUST THE BEGINNING OF THEIR PROBLEMS!
Vehicles grind through Beijing's central business district. A huge traffic jam stretching at least 120 kilometres (75 miles) has reappeared in northern China, with thousands of cargo trucks stuck in a bottleneck, state media said.

New study weighs in on organic vs. conventional debate (Sept 2, 2010)
Does growing food organically really matter? Supporters of conventional agriculture say that organic farming is little more than a fad -- and that organic produce lightens consumers' wallets for no tangible benefits. And unfortunately, since agro-ecosystems are so complex, scientists have had a hard time cutting through the haze of claims and counter-claims.Until now: "Fruit and Soil Quality of Organic and Conventional Strawberry Agroecosystems," a study led by Washington State University Regents professor of soil science John Reganold, is one of the most comprehensive, persuasive studies yet to show the nutritional and environmental benefits of organic farming.
(...) Then there's the issue of soil quality. While consumers may be solely interested in the end result, farming leaders such as Will Allen and Wendell Berry have stressed that high-quality soil is the basis for healthy agro-ecosystems. California farmers have relied on methyl bromide (an ozone-depleting toxic fumigant) to sterilize their soil for decades, and as a result have reduced soil from a habitat for microorganisms into a growing medium devoid of nutrients. Despite the conventional practice of spraying soils with synthetic fertilizers, the study found that organic fields contained significantly higher amounts of nutrients. Organic and conventional soils contained similar levels of most extractable nutrients, but organic soil had higher levels of zinc, boron, sodium, and iron. Organic soils also performed better through a number of biological properties, such as enzyme activities, micronutrient levels, and carbon sequestration.
(...) Strawberry fumigants are a hot-button issue in California right now, making this study especially timely. While the negative effects of methyl bromide have been established, and it was technically banned under an international treaty back in the 1980s, the fumigant is still being used until a substitute can be found. However, the proposed methyl iodide, approved under the Bush administration in 2008, is possibly even more toxic than methyl bromide, as Tom Laskawy has covered for Grist. In light of the study, this controversy is bordering on the absurd -- why even look for a new fumigant when organic production clearly produces better soil quality, increased nutrient density, and doesn't rely on chemicals that make farm workers sick? For any naysayers out there who are clinging to the Monsanto line that conventional agriculture is the only way to feed the world, while this study doesn't delve into crop yields itself, a 2009 report put out by the Union of Concerned Scientists may put that claim to rest. Despite the fact that in some instances conventional methods may marginally raise the yield of food crops (while genetically modified crops were shown to produce no increase in yield), this study notes it comes at a high cost to the environment and our health. The chemical inputs used in conventional farming are directly contributing to unpredictable climate changes, which will affect our long-term ability to consistently grow food. CLIP

Health Checkup: Who Needs Organic Food? (Aug. 18, 2010)
(Slanted towards meat eating but with many good elements... worth a read),28804,2011756_2011730,00.html
Organic food comes with real health benefits and significant costs. TIME looks at both sides of the debate
(...) Keeping the food flowing — and the prices low enough for people to continue buying it — requires a lot of industrial-engineering tricks, and those have knock-on effects of their own. Up to 10 million tons of chemical fertilizer per year are poured onto fields to cultivate corn alone, for example, which has increased yields 23% from 1990 to 2009 but has led to toxic runoffs that are poisoning the beleaguered Gulf of Mexico. Beef raised in industrial conditions are dosed with antibiotics and growth-boosting hormones, leaving chemical residues in meat and milk. A multicenter study released just two days after the obesity report showed that American girls as young as 7 are entering puberty at double the rate they were in the late 1990s, perhaps as a result of the obesity epidemic but perhaps too as a result of the hormones in their environment — including their food. And for out-of-season foods to be available in all seasons as they now are, crops must be grown in one place and flown or trucked thousands of miles to market. That leaves an awfully big carbon footprint for the privilege of eating a plum in December. CLIP

Reasons Why Everyone Should Avoid Bottled Water (August 15, 2010)
Many Americans buy bottled water across the United States every day; this practice stems from the belief that drinking more water is good for a person. Yes, water is truly the best thing a person could ever drink, but bottled water is not the best way to do it. In fact, drinking bottled water is a bad idea. There are several reasons why people should stop drinking bottled water now. Bottled Water is Usually Just Tap Water - That's right. Bottled water, most of the time, is simply tap water from whatever municipality the bottling company is located in. Sometimes it's purified and filtered; sometimes it's not.Why would a person want to spend a dollar or two on water that comes straight out of the faucet? At the very least, when a person pours water out of his own tap, he usually knows what's in his city's water, and he can filter it before drinking it. But there are no labels on bottled water that report to consumers what is in the city water poured into a bottle.Bottled Water Harms the Environment - Here's a frightening fact: 2.5 million plastic bottles are thrown away every hour in the United States. Yes, 2.5 million an hour. Imagine how that amount contributes to swelling landfills as well as the ever-growing plastic vortex in the Pacific Ocean. Drinking water in one's kitchen from a cup produces little waste in regard to the environment. But if a person consumed all her daily water from bottles, imagine how quickly that would add up. Bottled water is bad for the planet. Drinking Bottled Water Exposes Consumers to Harmful Chemical - No, that chemical doesn't come from the water; it comes from the plastic. Many plastic bottles contain the chemical bisphenol A, also known as BPA, which can leach into the water in the bottle.Why is this a problem? Studies indicate that BPA exposure is toxic and exposure can cause myriad health problems and can wreak havoc on hormone levels. The FDA is, in typical fashion, moving slowly on the issue, so it is up to consumers to keep themselves safe. Buying Bottled Water Puts More Money into the Pockets of Big Business - Do people really want to hand over their primary drinking source to big business? It's one thing when a company supplies a product and then tries to convince consumers they have a need for it; it's another thing when they take a real need out of people's hands. According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Americans spend approximately 4 billion dollars a year on bottled water. That money goes into the pockets of the very companies that also try to hook people on soft drinks containing caffeine, sugar, and other potentially harmful additives. But What About Healthful Bottled Water? Forget "healthy" bottled water. It's a fallacy. John Robbins reports that many of these so-called healthful bottled waters, ones that are marketed as containing vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements, are nothing more than "sugar-water." As with any product, a consumer would do best to read the labels of these kinds of products. When a water product contains sugar, how healthy can it be for a person? It's not, no mattered how it's hyped. Bottled Water is Bad! It doesn't matter what companies claim; bottled water is a bad idea. People will be healthier and the environment will be better cared for if people don't spend their money on bottled water. LOTS more health news through

Full-Body Scan Technology Deployed In Street-Roving Vans (Aug. 24 2010)
As the privacy controversy around full-body security scans begins to simmer, it's worth noting that courthouses and airport security checkpoints aren't the only places where backscatter x-ray vision is being deployed. The same technology, capable of seeing through clothes and walls, has also been rolling out on U.S. streets. American Science & Engineering, a company based in Billerica, Massachusetts, has sold U.S. and foreign government agencies more than 500 backscatter x-ray scanners mounted in vans that can be driven past neighboring vehicles to see their contents, Joe Reiss, a vice president of marketing at the company told me in an interview. While the biggest buyer of AS&E's machines over the last seven years has been the Department of Defense operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Reiss says law enforcement agencies have also deployed the vans to search for vehicle-based bombs in the U.S."This product is now the largest selling cargo and vehicle inspection system ever," says Reiss. Here's a video of the vans in action [NOTE: Check there the 350+ graphic comments posted about this new orwellian technology!) . The Z Backscatter Vans, or ZBVs, as the company calls them, bounce a narrow stream of x-rays off and through nearby objects, and read which ones come back. Absorbed rays indicate dense material such as steel. Scattered rays indicate less-dense objects that can include explosives, drugs, or human bodies. That capability makes them powerful tools for security, law enforcement, and border control.It would also seem to make the vans mobile versions of the same scanning technique that's riled privacy advocates as it's been deployed in airports around the country. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is currently suing the DHS to stop airport deployments of the backscatter scanners, which can reveal detailed images of human bodies. (Just how much detail became clear last May, when TSA employee Rolando Negrin was charged with assaulting a coworker who made jokes about the size of Negrin's genitalia after Negrin received a full-body scan.)"It's no surprise that governments and vendors are very enthusiastic about [the vans]," says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC. "But from a privacy perspective, it's one of the most intrusive technologies conceivable." CLIP

If Ultrasound Destroys Sperm, Why is it Safe for a Fetus? (May 23, 2010)
Ultrasound is extremely damaging to the health of any unborn child (fetus). The natural health community has been warning about ultrasound for years, but mainstream medicine, which consistently fails to recognize the harm it causes, insists ultrasound is perfectly safe and can't possibly harm the health of a fetus.Now, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding a project that aims to temporarily sterilize men by blasting their scrotums with ultrasound. The burst of ultrasound energy, it turns out, disrupts the normal biological function of the testes, making the man infertile for six months. Ultrasound, in other words, contains enough energy to temporarily deaden the testes and basically destroy sperm function for half a year. So why is it considered "safe" to blast an unborn baby with the same frequencies? Ultrasound is loud. It no doubt causes tissue disruption and damage in a fetus, and it certainly creates stress and shock for the baby. And yet conceited yuppie parents just can't get enough of it! They want to SEE a picture of their little baby before it's even born, so they subject it to tissue damage and ultrasound trauma in order to get a snapshot they can show off to their yuppie friends. It's so American, isn't it? Damage the baby so we can get a snapshot to post on Facebook. What a way to welcome a baby into the world: Blast it with piercing high-frequency energy. Sound is very easily transmitted through fluids, by the way, and the fetus is floating in a sac of amniotic fluid that transmits the ultrasound energy right at them. Ultrasound harms the fetus Here's what some other website have to say about how ultrasound harms the health of the fetus: From The Independent: Frequent ultrasound scans during pregnancy may result in growth restriction in the womb and the birth of smaller babies, according to a study of almost 3,000 Australian women, writes Liz Hunt.The findings, reported in the Lancet, have led to calls for more research into the effects of ultrasound, and a leading obstetrician warns that 'prenatal ultrasound by itself can no longer be assumed to be entirely harmless'. CLIP

Help regulate dangerous cell tower microwaves
In the late 1990s, President Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act which contained a clause saying that no one in America can stop the erection of a cell tower based on health reasons. Today, mounting evidence shows that cell tower microwaves are a major threat to the health of those near to them. I just signed a petition with CLOUT to give local governments the power to say 'no' to the unchecked proliferation of cell towers, cellular antenna base stations, and other wireless facilities. In communities across the country, these types of facilities are raising concerns about reduction in property values, destruction of views, and adverse impacts on human health and the environment. You can read the petition and sign it here: - You can also watch a new award winning documentary, called "Full signal," to see the mounting evidence that cell towers are a threat to our health: - Recommended by Lisa Rene Anderson (

Some Ontario parents are concerned that Wi-Fi in schools is making their children sick, the CBC's Ioanna Roumeliotis reports
Recommandé par François Therrien (, porte-parole du Collectif québécois Sauvons nos Enfants des Micro-Ondes qui a écrit: « Hier, les nouvelles nationales de Radio-Canada (CBC) ont dénoncé la norme de Santé Canada qui est censée protéger la population contre les micro-ondes. Ce reportage montre des enfants canadiens souffrant suite à l’installation des systèmes Wi-Fi dans leurs écoles. Le ministère Santé Canada continue tout de même à nier l’évidence tout comme il l’a fait à l’endroit du député Serge Cardin qui a déclaré son électrosensibilité lors des auditions sur l’impact des micro-ondes à Ottawa en avril dernier. »

Microwaved America, by ERN subscriber Jane Odin ( (August 18, 2010)
As a microwave grid is being constructed across America it’s interesting to recall a Morpheus quote from The Matrix: “What is real? How do you define real? If you’re talking about what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by the brain.” Wonder how the brain will interpret microwave (MW) frequency at 40GHz and beyond? Wi-Fi has been operating in the 2.4 MW band but now the 4G Network will up the frequency possibilities to 60GHz.We are electrical creatures communicating via frequencies and wavelengths (alpha, beta, theta etc). Electrical phenomena of various frequencies are inseparably connected with all living cells. Changes in activity are always associated with electrical changes. It’s a reversible relationship: living matter generates electrical current and can be affected by electrical current, in particular microwave frequencies which are not compatible with life as we know it.
(...) The 4G Network is coming to Santa Fe in the guise of Smart Grid to power automated gas/electric/water meters. In June hundreds of demonstrators rallied before the Santa Fe City Council in protest of this system. Only one person was in favor but the majority lost, a telecom ordinance was passed.
(...) There is much detailed info on the web regarding Smart Grids. They require a “secure control system of tremendous scale.” The system will use point to point microwave and satellite for substation connectivity using 1000’s of “unlicensed private RF mesh nodes in the distribution network within a single utility.” www.prlog.orgThe systems covered in the Santa Fe telecom ordinance are Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) which place MW antenna every quarter mile (and closer) throughout an area. When possible they are placed atop already existing utility poles and throughout building structures (called spatial multiplexing) set to power everything from Ipads to RF tagged inventory systems and microwave weapons. Regarding the weapons arena consider the possibilities of a union between HAARP and DAS. Very scary indeed.
(...) Santa Fe is not the only city protesting the 4G assault. Cities and communities across California, Maryland and New York are protesting Smart Meter installations. Sprint and Version are leaders in the conversion to super hi-speed MW transmission and say the systems in large cities will be operational soon. For maps of current 4G Systems see: . In Taos a long term employee with Kit Carson Electric told me the Board of Directors is considering installing Smart Meters which will demand the 4G system. Why the rush by utility companies to have this system? “Traditional electrical meters only measure total consumption and as such, provide no information of when the energy was consumed. Smart meters provide an economical way of measuring this information, allowing price setting agencies to introduce different prices for consumption based on the time of day and the season.” It will take outrage to stop the marketplace realities behind this cross-country grid.
(...) And for those who will ask why the government would allow such a nightmare to unfold I am reminded of a favorite childhood story. Remember the scorpion who asked for a ride across the river on the turtle’s back? Initially the turtle refused saying the nasty insect would kill him with a deadly sting. But the scorpion said “Oh no because I too would drown.” “Hummm, that makes sense, climb aboard.” Half way across the river the scorpion stings the turtle and they both drown with the Scorpion’s deepest apology – “Sorry, but that’s what I do.” Today’s breed of Scorpion might add “because I love money better than life itself.”
Note from Jean: Much more on this spreading smart meters nightmare through these Google search results - People are resisting peacefully in many places and they are successful at stopping this additional violation of the most basic human right - The human right to a safe and healthy environment - If more and more people finally snap out of their self-destructive complacency and stand up to these unconscionable radiation invasions of our living space everywhere, the crazy money-making and corruption machine that is behind all of this will be successfully stopped. Resist and survive or desist and die... Jane Odin also mentioned that a new related article "Hooked and Cooked On Wireless" will be available tomorrow through

For the third straight morning, outraged Santa Cruz County residents gathered at the gates of Wellington Energy at 38th and Portola in Capitola, successfully blocking what they say is a forced installation of radiating ‘smart’ meters against the will of residents and nearly two dozen local governments throughout the Greater Bay Area. This morning, about two dozen protesters gathered at the gates of Wellington Energy, peacefully blocking the driveway as trucks started to drive out to install the ‘smart’ meters. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff showed up and asked the protesters to step aside. Once it was clear that protesters were willing to risk arrest, PG&E backed down in order to avoid any additional negative publicity that is increasingly plaguing their ‘smart’ meter program. Despite the fact that the $2.2 billion program is being funded by ratepayers, and the new meters installed on people’s homes, there has been virtually no public consultation in advance of what PG&E itself admits is one of the largest rollouts of technology in history. PG&E’s smart meter troubles mounted significantly last week. Last Tuesday, the City of Novato demanded a halt to the program, and Watsonville unanimously passed the most stringent law in the state banning ‘smart’ meters within city limits, following the lead of Fairfax in Marin County. Santa Cruz County, Capitola and numerous other local governments throughout the state are planning to follow their lead, responding to inaction by PG&E and the CA Public Utilities Commission in the face of peer-reviewed scientific studies that suggest the meters may have serious unintended health consequences, similar to cell phones which have been linked with brain tumors in many recent studies. Heidi Bazzano, one of the protesters at 38th and Portola this morning, said, “there are so many problems with ‘smart’ meters. PG&E, the government, and any hacker worth his salt will know when you wake up, what appliances you use, when you go on vacation. The meters overcharge people, increase carbon emissions, expose us to EMF which is a confirmed carcinogen, and worst of all, we’re paying for them through hikes in our electric rates!” Those who are electrically sensitive have reported that the intense bursts of radiation from ‘smart’ meters are amongst the worst they have ever experienced. People throughout the state have been reporting headaches, nausea, dizziness, sleep disruption and other health impacts after smart meters are installed. PG&E has declined to remove the new meters even though they are causing adverse health impacts. Residents vow to continue their protests at the Wellington site at 38th and Portola in Capitola until the County of Santa Cruz passes an emergency ordinance banning smart meters in the County. CLIP More information at

Cell Phones and Brain Cancer: The Real Story (May 22, 2010)
The long awaited World Health Organization Interphone study of more than 5,000 brain tumors that occurred between 2000-2004 and cell phone use failed to deliver a knock-out punch. This thirteen country report found what every study that has ever examined people who have used phones for a decades or more has determined-- top users of cell phones had a doubled risk of malignant tumors of the brain. When looking at all those in their study who had used cell phones to make one call a week for six months or more, compared to those who used cell phones less no such risk was evident. This is unsurprising.The story behind the story needs to be told. First of all, although the news reports so far do not acknowledge this fact, Interphone is not the only study to find an increased risk in brain tumors with prolonged cell phone use. All studies that have been able to examine people a decade after heavy use began have found increased risk of brain tumors. Second the Interphone study completely ignored the fact that there is a growing experimental literature showing that pulsed microwave-like radiation from modern cell phones disrupts living cells and causes our DNA to become unstable -- signs of cancer and other chronic disease. Third, the Interphone study was delayed close to six years, while authors debated how to present their results. Completed in 2004 and promised by 2005, publication was delayed til now.
(...) Studies by physician-researcher Lennart Hardell of Sweden -- regarded as some of the best efforts in the world on this challenging topic -- concur with the Interphone and Moskowitz results -- those who have used phones heavily for a decade have a doubled risk of brain tumors and teenagers who begin heavy cell phone use have between four to five times more brain tumors by their late twenties. In fact, the French are not waiting for further research on this matter, and are taking steps based on the notion that it is better to be safe than sorry--codifying advice from the European Environment Agency, the Finnish Nuclear Regulatory Safety Authority and the Israeli Health Ministry among others . Both chambers of the French legislature have recently passed legislation requiring a host of simple actions to reduce direct exposures to the brains from cell phones. For starters, all cell phones must be sold with an earpiece or headset to limit direct brain exposure to radiofrequency signals. Advertising to children below age fourteen is banned, as is giving cell phones to children under the age of six. In schools, the use of cell phones is forbidden during all teaching activities. Finally, phones must be sold with labels indicating potential risks from excessive use and the reported exposure in terms of the SAR (specific absorption rate). CLIP

EMF-Omega-News 28. August 2010
Effects of mobile phone radiation on serum testosterone in Wistar albino rats - Hazards of Microwave Radiations - Effect of extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic field exposure on morphological and biophysical properties of human lymphoid cell line - Motorola: Cancer related to Cell Phones - By adding low-frequency electronic “white noise” over the top of the cell phone signal, most of the biological effects of the radiation could be reversed - FERTILITY CRISIS IN THE UK - Weapons expert warns Wi-Fi in schools could cause birth defects - Cancer Cluster near mobile phone mast in Taiwan - There are legitimate concerns over cellphones - Protect your children from cell phone and WiFi radiation before it's too late - Cell tower opponents will meet - The community wants the GSM company to discontinue the erection of mast in their area - MP backs residents in mobile mast row - Phone mast plan angers local residents - Wi-Fi: Are you worried about possible health risks? - Book on electromagnetic hypersensitivity - SmartMeter Protest Shuts Down Capitola Business - Broadband over Power Lines (Wireless) wipes out CB Radio channels in UK - Full-Body Scan Technology Deployed In Street-Roving Vans - If Ultrasound Destroys Sperm, Why is it Safe for a Fetus? - Next-up News - News from Mast Sanity

EMF-Omega-News 4. September 2010
RISKS OF CARCINOGENESIS FROM ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION OF MOBILE TELEPHONY DEVICES - Motor and psychological functions of school children living in the area of the Skrunda Radio Location Station in Latvia - Know what is harming you and your children - David Hook another brain cancer victim - Personal Testimonial: Electrosensitivity - Panel to study tower effect on birds and bees - Cell antennas, phones and Wi-Fi: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Family - FAILED ATTEMPT TO REDUCE SAFETY CODE 6 GUIDELINES IN 1977 - Wi-Fi Illness in the Home - An Education on Electromagnetic Radiation - Victoria researcher teaching others to combat wireless radiation - Radiation fears stymie SmartMeter installation - Brock University staff get Wi-Fi warning - BC health researcher warns about wireless radiation - Solana Beach physician to present findings on environmental hazards - Cell Tower Q&A: Rina Baraz Nehdar - Mast retention application rejected - Plans for a mobile phone mast near Harrodian School, Barnes, rejected



Could This Be A Crime? U.S. Climate Bill Is Dead While So Much Life On Our Earth Continues To Perish

By Subhankar Banerjee - August 26, 2010

Imagine you live in New York City, and one fine morning you awake to the realization that 90 percent of all the buildings that were more than five stories tall have been destroyed. You will hardly have the words to talk about this devastation, but I’m sure you will walk around the rubble to make sense of it all.

Something similar has happened in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I currently live. Between 2001 and 2005, aerial surveys were conducted over 6.4 million acres of the state. Some 816,000 affected acres were mapped and it was found that during this short period Ips confusus, a tiny bark beetle, had killed 54.5 million of New Mexico’s state tree, the piñon. In many areas of northern New Mexico, including Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Española, and Taos, 90 percent of mature piñons are now dead.

Under normal climate conditions, bark beetles live in harmony with their environment, laying their eggs in dead or weakened trees. However, when healthy trees become stressed from severe and sustained drought, they become objects of attack: the beetles drill into their bark, laying eggs along the way, and killing their host. Milder winter temperatures have ensured more of them survive the winter, and warmer summer temperatures have reduced the life cycle duration of the beetles from two to one year, and subsequently their numbers have exploded in recent years.

CLIP - Please go at to read the missing part.

If we lose our remaining piñons in the coming decades due to global warming, how would we then talk about the tree that has been ecoculturally most significant for New Mexico and its Native American communities for thousands of years?

Forests Are Dying Across the American West and All Over the World

In 2004, Michelle Nijhuis reported in High Country News that several species of bark beetles were ravaging forests all across the American West. The black spruce, white spruce, ponderosa pine, lodglepole pine, whitebark pine, and piñon have all been devastated by recent bark beetles epidemic. Scientists now suspect that by killing our forests, these beetles are also altering the local weather patterns and air quality.

Earlier this year, the U.S. senate had scheduled a hearing on the bark beetle epidemic, but, angered by the passage of the healthcare bill, Senate Republicans canceled the hearing on March 23. The hearing was finally held on April 21. Senator Mark Udall (Democrat-Colorado), co–sponsor of the National Forest Insect and Disease Emergency Act, wrote in his senate blog, “The infestation is a critical public health and safety issue for the people of Colorado and has been called the worst natural disaster our region has seen.” The bill names twelve states affected by the epidemic: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. This list should also include Alaska, where spruce bark beetles have destroyed very large areas of spruce forests, some of which I saw during my time there.

The hearing mainly focused on offering tens of millions of dollars of federal assistance to remove dead trees from affected areas to avoid potential forest fire damage. Ecologist Dominik Kulakowski, who testified, thought it was an unproductive approach and said that if the government focuses on trying “to make a wholesale modification of forest structure over large landscapes,” it could be ecologically damaging.

Was the hearing a case of destroy and then clean up – a common practice in our now global consumerist culture?

In March, Jim Robbins reported in Yale Environment 360 that global warming is killing forests across the American West as well as in many parts of the world. So I asked my colleagues for local observations.

In 2006, I spent time in Old Crow, a Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Arctic community in northern Yukon, Canada. At that time I knew nothing about the forest death that was happening in the southern Yukon. In a recent email to me, Roger Brown, the Forestry and Environmental Manager of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, wrote, “Canada’s largest ever documented spruce bark beetle outbreak began 18 years ago and is continuing to affect our forests in the southwestern Yukon. Approximately 380,000 hectares of our white spruce dominated forests have been affected, with almost 100 percent mortality of the forest canopy in some areas. Our oral history research has suggested there is no traditional knowledge that speaks about such extensive tree deaths in the past.”

In early June, as United Nations climate negotiators were wrapping up their unsuccessful meeting in Bonn, Germany, Anne-Marie Melster, founder and co-director of ARTPORT, wrote from Valencia, “Here in Spain, at the Mediterranean coast, the picudo rojo (red palm weevil) is attacking and killing tens of thousands of palm trees.”

About the same time, Ananda Banerjee, a conservation journalist from New Delhi, emailed me. “The sal forest in north-central India is home to the endangered tiger,” he said. “In the last few years there has been wide spread destruction and felling of infected sal trees, from the attack of a pest beetle called the sal borer. We have around 1,10,000 sq. km area of sal forest in India, but the green cover is gradually depleting due to this pest and due to illegal harvest of sal as timber.”

If you are interested in a broad scientific understanding of forest deaths from global warming, you can read an article published earlier this year in Forest Ecology and Management. It is worth noting the names of countries listed in the article with forest mortality data that have been recorded since 1970.

Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Uganda, USA, and Zimbabwe

Global warming skeptics would point to the fact that trees have died in the past from insect outbreaks and droughts, and so this is part of a natural climate cycle. But this time around something is very different: Forests are dying simultaneously in many places around the world in all forest types, and the intensity and rapidity with which they are dying in some places is of epic proportions.

As I started thinking about our dead forests, I wondered: Do we really need another story of global warming devastation? Haven’t we heard enough about melting glaciers and icebergs, retreating sea ice and disappearing polar bears? Then something tugged on my shoulder: Are we not to mourn the deaths of so many trees? But we mourn that which we knew and cared for. We did not know these trees. My hope has been to introduce to you the trees as ecological beings beyond their usual association as board–feet–for–lumber.

Hundreds of millions of trees have recently died and many more hundreds of millions will soon be dying. Now think of all the other lives, including birds and animals, that depended on those trees. The number of these must be in the tens of billions. What happened to them and how do we talk about that which we can’t see and will never know? This massive loss must be considered a catastrophic global warming event.

Our “Carbon Sinks” Are Becoming “Carbon Sources”

Consider for a moment the top two carbon sinks of our planet. Oceans absorb more than 25 percent of the CO2 humans put in the air, and forests absorb almost the same amount. By doing so, our forests and oceans together make living possible on this earth for life as we know it now. All of that is changing rapidly and for the worse.

Didn’t we learn as kids in school that CO2 in the atmosphere is good for trees because it acts as a fertilizer and helps them grow? Increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere from industrialization indeed may have aided more trees to grow in the past century. But such short–term gain has already faded away and turned into disaster. All three of the largest forests of the world are rapidly losing their carbon sink capacities.

The Siberian taiga is the largest continuous stretch of forested land on earth. It extends from the Urals in the west to the Kamchatka peninsula in the Russian Far East. Ernst–Detlef Schulze of the Max–Planck–Institute for Biogeochemistry has studied this taiga for 30 years. He calls it “Europe’s green lungs,” as these trees soak up much of the CO2 emitted by European smokestacks and automobiles farther west. Long stretches of extreme droughts have resulted in unprecedented forest fires that destroyed vast swathes of the taiga. Major deforestation is also happening there to fuel the need of (now) emerged economies such as China. And the fir sawyer beetle, larch bark beetle, and Siberian moth have also damaged large areas of the taiga.

This year Russia is experiencing the hottest summer ever, which has resulted in deadly forest fires with smokes over Moscow that made international headlines. Boreal forests of eastern Siberia are also ablaze with intense fires. Scientists have recently detected a poisonous ring around the planet created by an enormous cloud of pollutants that are being released by raging forest fires in central Russia, Siberia, and Canada.

In November 2007, I went to the Sakha Republic of Siberia with Inupiat hunter and conservationist Robert Thompson from Arctic Alaska. While camping with the Even reindeer herders in the Verkhoyansk Range, the coldest inhabited place on earth, we experienced temperatures of minus 65oF (without wind–chill) and were told that January temperature dip to minus 90oF. We also spent time with the Yukaghir community at Nelemnoye along the Kolyma River, made infamous by Stalin’s Gulag camps. We learned that even in such a cold place, the Siberian permafrost is melting rapidly during the summer months due to warming.

In Siberia, with the destruction of taiga and thawing of permafrost, the ghosts–of–gulags are ready to strike back at us with a deadly carbon bomb that we know little about.

The North American boreal forest stretches across U.S. and Canada from Alaska in the west to Newfoundland in the east, making it the second largest continuous forested ecosystem on earth. It is now confirmed that a lodgepole pine forest in British Columbia, Canada, that died from bark beetles outbreak has transformed from being a small net carbon sink to being a large net carbon source. We can probably say the same for all the other bark beetles infecting dying forests across the west.

The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical forest on earth and stretches across nine countries – Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. I’ve never been to the Amazon, but I’m learning that forest fires, droughts, and deforestation have already destroyed very large areas of this forest. The Amazon is in great trouble: Scientists are predicting that a 4oC temperature rise would kill 85 percent of the Amazon. With climate inaction so far, we are heading rapidly toward such a reality.

The news is equally bad for our oceans, which are now struggling to keep up with the rising CO2 emissions from human activities. By absorbing all that CO2 the oceans are becoming horrendously acidic, threatening the survival of marine life. To make matters worse, methane that is 20 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas is being released in enormous quantities from some of our oceans, including the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, due to thawing of subsea permafrost there, and the Gulf of Mexico, due to BP’s unforgiveable spill. Two studies have shown methane concentrations in some areas of the gulf reached 100,000 times higher than normal with few hot spots close to a million times higher. And recently we learned that 40 percent of the world’s phytoplankton died in the last 60 years due to global warming, raising the question, “Are Our Oceans Dying?”

Our natural carbon sinks are losing the battle with global warming, increasing human CO2 emissions, and extreme oil–and–gas drilling. Every citizen of our planet should be asking the question: Who or what will capture the carbon that we continue to emit? And every government ought to address this question as the most urgent priority if we are to ensure life on Earth.

Our New Climate Movement

Last month the U.S. Senate finally put an end to the climate bill. Since then several opinion pieces have been published, including articles in Yale Environment 360, Grist, TomDispatch, The Nation, and The Hill (Too many Senators are more concerned about short-term oil and coal profits). Some of these point out why the U.S. climate movement failed, while others call for a new movement.

Global warming is a crisis: for all lands, for all oceans, for all rivers, for all forests, for all humans, for all birds, for all mammals, for all little creatures that we don’t see... for all life. We need stories and actions from every part of our earth. So far, global warming communications have primarily focused on scientific information. I strongly believe that to engage the public, we need all fields of the humanities. It is to this end that I founded ClimateStoryTellers.

And there is much action: globally, and Climate Justice Movement; nationally, organizations such as Center for Biological Diversity; and state-based initiatives such as New Energy Economy in New Mexico. These groups give us hope that a bold – not weak – climate movement will continue to move forward with renewed energy.

Our task is to make the collective global voice louder and louder until ignoring such loud cacophony will not be an option by our governments. Global warming is not something we can solve with good behavior and healthy lifestyles. It will require major government action to control pollution–and–polluters and to start a low–carbon–society.

I’ll end with two simple questions:

Will the economic–and–comfort–needs of our species always trump the survival–needs of all other species that also inhabit this Earth?


By not taking serious action on global warming, is humanity committing a colossal crime against all other lives on Earth?


Related articles:

EPA to issue more rules in climate fight (Sept 2, 2010)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will roll out more regulations on greenhouse gases and other pollution to help fight climate change, but they will not be as strong as action by Congress, a senior administration official said. The agency "has a huge role to play in continuing the work to move from where we are now to lower carbon emissions", said the official, who did not want to be identified as the EPA policies are still being formed.President Barack Obama, looking to take the lead in global talks on greenhouse gas emissions, has long warned that the EPA would take steps to regulate emissions if Congress failed to pass a climate bill. The Senate has all but ruled out moving on greenhouse gases this year, even though the House of Representatives passed a bill last year. In late July, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stripped climate provisions out of an energy bill, saying he could not get one Republican vote for them. The senior official stopped short of saying the EPA alone would achieve Obama's goal of about 17 percent reductions in greenhouse gases by 2020 from 2005 levels. "With legislation you almost certainly get more emissions reductions than you get with existing authorities" that the EPA can use under the Clean Air Act, the official said. And analysts say the EPA will not be able to achieve the far deeper cuts needed to help prevent the worst effects of climate change such as floods, droughts and heatwaves. Though Congress will not likely move in 2010, the EPA expects it will do so in coming years, the official said. EPA plans on smokestack emissions face obstacles in Congress and in the courts. Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, and other lawmakers hope to stop the EPA from regulating the emissions for two years.
(...) In addition, the EPA is working on rules to cut emissions of mercury from coal-burning power plants and cement plants and on toughening rules on coal ash. In combination, the rules could help force inefficient coal plants into early retirement. That could hit shares in big coal burners such as American Electric Power and Southern Co.. A recent Bernstein Research report said upcoming EPA rules could push 15 percent of current coal-fired power plant capacity into early retirement by 2015. The EPA will soon roll out more regulations on greenhouse gases and traditional pollutants like mercury emissions that will help cut planet-warming pollution and emissions that more directly hurt human health, the official said.EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson plans to attend a meeting in Mexico in October aimed at reducing emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas about 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, the official said. The meeting will come a month before representatives from rich and developing countries convene for annual U.N. climate talks in Cancun, Mexico.

A global overview of drought and heat-induced tree mortality reveals emerging climate change risks for forests
Greenhouse gas emissions have significantly altered global climate, and will continue to do so in the future. Increases in the frequency, duration, and/or severity of drought and heat stress associated with climate change could fundamentally alter the composition, structure, and biogeography of forests in many regions. Of particular concern are potential increases in tree mortality associated with climate-induced physiological stress and interactions with other climate-mediated processes such as insect outbreaks and wildfire. Despite this risk, existing projections of tree mortality are based on models that lack functionally realistic mortality mechanisms, and there has been no attempt to track observations of climate-driven tree mortality globally. Here we present the first global assessment of recent tree mortality attributed to drought and heat stress. Although episodic mortality occurs in the absence of climate change, studies compiled here suggest that at least some of the world's forested ecosystems already may be responding to climate change and raise concern that forests may become increasingly vulnerable to higher background tree mortality rates and die-off in response to future warming and drought, even in environments that are not normally considered water-limited. This further suggests risks to ecosystem services, including the loss of sequestered forest carbon and associated atmospheric feedbacks. Our review also identifies key information gaps and scientific uncertainties that currently hinder our ability to predict tree mortality in response to climate change and emphasizes the need for a globally coordinated observation system. Overall, our review reveals the potential for amplified tree mortality due to drought and heat in forests worldwide.

Wildfires in Russia, Canada create poisonous ring around planet (Aug 12, 2010)
MOSCOW: Raging forest fires in central Russia, Siberia and western Canada have created an enormous cloud of pollutants covering the northern hemisphere, according to NASA. Carbon monoxide, one of the most poisonous gases released into the atmosphere from forest fires, has been detected well outside the territories of Russia and Canada. NASA's Aqua satellite, equipped with an atmospheric infrared sounder (AIRS), has noted a change in the concentrations carbon monoxide at an altitude of 5.5 km. Scientists working with the AIRS said earlier that carbon monoxide concentration over European Russia alone, where thousands of hectares of wildfires are raging, increases by some 700,000 tonnes every day. Pollutants from Russia and Canada have now formed a ring around the planet and are moving north. CLIP

Are Our Oceans Dying? Phytoplankton has Declined Terrifying 40% in 60 Years (July 29, 2010)
Microscopic marine algae which form the basis of the ocean food chain are dying at a terrifying rate, scientists said today. Phytoplankton, described as the 'fuel' on which marine ecosystems run, are experiencing declines of about 1 per cent of the average total a year. According to the researchers from Dalhousie University in Canada the annual falls translate to a 40 per cent drop in phytoplankton since 1950. The research into phytoplankton comes as a separate report today offered evidence that the world has been warming for the past 30 years. The reduction in the amount of algae in the seas could have an impact on a wide range of species, from tiny zooplankton to marine mammals, seabirds, fish and humans.If confirmed, the decline of the phytoplankton would be a more dramatic change change to nature's delicate balance than the loss of the tropical rainforests, scientist said. The research, published in the journal Nature, said the declines were linked to rising sea-surface temperatures and changes in the conditions of the ocean, particularly close to the equator. Most of the declines were seen in polar and tropical regions and in the open ocean, where most phytoplankton are produced. CLIP

Lake Michigan's ecosystem facing collapse (September 8, 2010)
An invasive mussel is devouring Lake Michigan's phytoplankton, the basis for the lake's food chain. -- An invasive species of mussel called quagga has recently begun eating its way through the phytoplankton population of Lake Michigan, which could have dire effects on the lake's ecosystem, scientists now warn. A giant ring of phytoplankton (microscopic plants such as algae) was discovered in Lake Michigan in 1998 by Michigan Technological University biologist W. Charles Kerfoot and his research team. The "phytoplankton doughnut" is formed when winter storms kick up nutrient-rich sediment along the southeastern shore of the lake. The disturbed sediments begin circulating in a slow-moving circle with the lake's currents, which provides a massive supply of food for phytoplankton. "We saw that with each storm, you get a ring, and it can persist for weeks or even months," Kerfoot said. This doughnut, in turn, feeds the entire lake. Zooplankton, tiny animals that feed on phytoplankton, thrive there. The seasonal bloom helps them survive winter. The zooplankton are then eaten by small fish, which are eaten by large fish, and so on — thus the doughnut helps maintain the entire food web. But almost as soon as it was discovered, the doughnut — recognized by the signature of the plants' chlorophyll pigment that captures sunlight — started to disappear. "Since 2001, the chlorophyll has been nibbled away on the edges, right where the quaggas are," Kerfoot said.The quagga is found in all of the Great Lakes; the invasive species was introduced by ocean-going vessels dumping ballast water. Their favorite food is phytoplankton. Hank Vanderploeg, a colleague of Kerfoot's, calculated that they consume phytoplankton at a rate that's five to seven times greater than the plants are being produced. All the energy in the phytoplankton, which once fed fish, is now being sucked down to the bottom of the lake by quaggas. Their waste can stimulate the growth of Cladophora algae, which die, decompose and remove all the oxygen from the surrounding water. Under such conditions, populations of zooplankton will decline, as will the alewives, chubs, Atlantic salmon, muskies, smelt, walleyes, perch and the rest of the hundred or so species of fish that inhabit Lake Michigan. "A high percent of the fish biomass could be lost in the next couple years," Kerfoot said. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists have already documented declines in several species. "We have a system that's crashing," Kerfoot said.

We’re Hot as Hell and We’re Not Going to Take It Any More - Three Steps to Establish a Politics of Global Warming (August 4, 2010),_a_wilted_senate_on_a_heating_planet
* According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the planet has just come through the warmest decade, the warmest 12 months, the warmest six months, and the warmest April, May, and June on record.* A “staggering” new study from Canadian researchers has shown that warmer seawater has reduced phytoplankton, the base of the marine food chain, by 40% since 1950.* Nine nations have so far set their all-time temperature records in 2010, including Russia (111 degrees), Niger (118), Sudan (121), Saudi Arabia and Iraq (126 apiece), and Pakistan, which also set the new all-time Asia record in May: a hair under 130 degrees. I can turn my oven to 130 degrees.* And then, in late July, the U.S. Senate decided to do exactly nothing about climate change. They didn’t do less than they could have -- they did nothing, preserving a perfect two-decade bipartisan record of no action. Senate majority leader Harry Reid decided not even to schedule a vote on legislation that would have capped carbon emissions. (...) If we’re going to slow global warming in the very short time available to us, then we don’t actually need an incredibly complicated legislative scheme that gives door prizes to every interested industry and turns the whole operation over to Goldman Sachs to run. We need a stiff price on carbon, set by the scientific understanding that we can’t still be burning black rocks a couple of decades hence. That undoubtedly means upending the future business plans of Exxon and BP, Peabody Coal and Duke Energy, not to speak of everyone else who’s made a fortune by treating the atmosphere as an open sewer for the byproducts of their main business.Instead they should pay through the nose for that sewer, and here’s the crucial thing: most of the money raised in the process should be returned directly to American pockets. The monthly check sent to Americans would help fortify us against the rise in energy costs, and we’d still be getting the price signal at the pump to stop driving that SUV and start insulating the house. We also need to make real federal investments in energy research and development, to help drive down the price of alternatives -- the Breakthrough Institute points out, quite rightly, that we’re crazy to spend more of our tax dollars on research into new drone aircraft and Mars orbiters than we do on photovoltaics.
(...) As Tom Friedman put it in a strong column the day after the Senate punt, the problem was that the public “never got mobilized.” Is it possible to get people out in the streets demanding action about climate change? Last year, with almost no money, our scruffy little outfit,, managed to organize what Foreign Policy called the “largest ever coordinated global rally of any kind” on any issue -- 5,200 demonstrations in 181 countries, 2,000 of them in the U.S.A.People were rallying not just about climate change, but around a remarkably wonky scientific data point, 350 parts per million carbon dioxide, which NASA’s James Hansen and his colleagues have demonstrated is the most we can have in the atmosphere if we want a planet “similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.” Which, come to think of it, we do. And the “we,” in this case, was not rich white folks. If you look at the 25,000 pictures in our Flickr account, you’ll see that most of them were poor, black, brown, Asian, and young -- because that’s what most of the world is. No need for vice-presidents of big conservation groups to patronize them: shrimpers in Louisiana and women in burqas and priests in Orthodox churches and slumdwellers in Mombasa turned out to be completely capable of understanding the threat to the future.Those demonstrations were just a start (one we should have made long ago). We’re following up in October -- on 10-10-10 -- with a Global Work Party. All around the country and the world people will be putting up solar panels and digging community gardens and laying out bike paths. Not because we can stop climate change one bike path at a time, but because we need to make a sharp political point to our leaders: we’re getting to work, what about you? We need to shame them, starting now. And we need everyone working together. This movement is starting to emerge on many fronts. In September, for instance, opponents of mountaintop removal are converging on DC to demand an end to the coal trade. That same month, Tim DeChristopher goes on trial in Salt Lake City for monkey-wrenching oil and gas auctions by submitting phony bids. (Naomi Klein and Terry Tempest Williams have called for folks to gather at the courthouse.) The big environmental groups are starting to wake up, too. The Sierra Club has a dynamic new leader, Mike Brune, who’s working hard with stalwarts like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. (Note to enviro groups: working together is fun and useful). Churches are getting involved, as well as mosques and synagogues. Kids are leading the fight, all over the world -- they have to live on this planet for another 70 years or so, and they have every right to be pissed off.But no one will come out to fight for watered down and weak legislation. That’s not how it works. You don’t get a movement unless you take the other two steps I’ve described. CLIP

Appalachia Rising - Mobilize to End Mountaintop Removal!
Appalachia Rising is a mass mobilization in Washington, DC, September 25-27, 2010, calling for an end to the devastating practice of mountaintop removal mining. Mountaintop removal has already destroyed over 500 of the world's oldest mountains and more than 2,000 miles of streams, and has contaminated our nation's waters. Together, we will bring Appalachia's cry to our nation's capital: We must end mountaintop removal and transform the economies of Appalachia away from destructive mining practices and toward clean-energy jobs and a sustainable and healthy future. CLIP

Study of coal ash sites finds extensive water contamination (August 26, 2010)
WASHINGTON — A study released on Thursday finds that 39 sites in 21 states where coal-fired power plants dump their coal ash are contaminating water with toxic metals such as arsenic and other pollutants, and that the problem is more extensive than previously estimated. The analysis of state pollution data by the Environmental Integrity Project, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice comes as the Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether to impose federally enforceable regulations for the first time. An alternative option would leave regulation of coal ash disposal up to the states, as it is now. The EPA will hold the first of seven nationwide hearings about the proposed regulation Monday in Arlington, Va. A public comment period ends Nov. 19. The electric power industry is lobbying to keep regulation up to individual states. Environmental groups say the states have failed to protect the public and that the EPA should set a national standard and enforce it."This is a huge and very real public health issue for Americans," said the director of the study, Jeff Stant of the Environmental Integrity Project. "Coal ash is putting drinking water around these sites at risk."
(...) The U.S. burns more than 1 billion tons of coal a year to generate about half of the nation's electricity. It ends up with at least 125 million tons of coal waste, including ash and the sludge left from scrubbers that remove air pollutants. Federal enforcement of coal-ash disposal rules would mean classifying the waste as hazardous. Opponents have argued that this would add costs and make it harder to recycle some of the waste to help hold down disposal costs.The report from the environmental groups said that more than a third of the reused coal ash is for structural fill or to fill up empty mines. The report said those uses could result in water contamination.

Why did the climate bill die? Because we still don’t have a real climate movement (5 AUG 2010)
We now know the U.S. Senate will not pass climate-change legislation this year. Postmortems have pointed to a number of challenges: the lack of leadership from the White House, unified GOP opposition to the Senate cap-and-trade bill, the structure and rules of the Senate, and the complicated nature of cap-and-trade legislation. There has been one major omission in much of this analysis: the absence of pressure from Americans across the country demanding that serious action be taken to address climate change. Few Americans are currently engaged in this great societal challenge in a way that would generate the necessary political will to act. It is the absence of this public pressure, above all else, that has resulted in the current state of political inaction. CLIP

In Wreckage of Climate Bill, Some Clues for Moving Forward (29 JULY 2010)
Ample blame exists for the demise of climate legislation in the U.S. Senate, from President Obama’s lack of political courage, to the environmental community’s overly ambitious strategy, to Republican intransigence. A way forward exists, however, to build on the rubble of the Senate’s failure to cap carbon emissions. (...) Some will argue that this latest setback is proof that the U.S. will never cap carbon. I reject that view. All we can say for sure is that the U.S. will never cap or price carbon until the politics of the issue change — so the first order of business must be to begin improving the political atmosphere. During the three years I worked on The Climate War, a narrative of the campaign to pass a carbon cap, I came to realize I was writing a political thriller, a whodunit with multiple culprits. Let’s look for lessons by considering some of the culprits, starting with the most obvious. 1. The Professional Deniers. Gore and environmental leaders made a tactical error several years ago when they declared the science “settled” and refused to engage the forces of denial and delay. The basic science was indeed settled, but the resulting message vacuum was the perfect medium for those who sow doubt and confusion about global climate change. It shouldn’t be surprising that so many Americans remain skeptical about global warming. For 20 years, this loose network of PR pros, working for industry associations and anti-tax think tanks, has spread doubt about climate science and fear about climate economics, claiming that any attempt to cap CO2 would wreck the American economy. Their disinformation, amplified via the Internet, helped poison the debate. To counter the deniers’ campaign, President Obama needs to speak out forcefully, and champions of the clean energy economy must point to the new jobs that are already being created by the renewable energy economy and show Americans precisely where they fit into it. 2. Senate Republicans. Most climate campaigners understand the folly of trying to remake the American energy system without bipartisan support. But it’s hard to forge centrist solutions when an entire party is denying there’s a problem and vilifying the solutions. A scaled-back approach, one that can be sold as a modest, incremental step and not a new industrial revolution, might fare better. CLIP



Google Earth animation shows Brazilian plans to turn Amazon into 'series of stagnant reservoirs'

Rhett A. Butler - August 30, 2010

The decision last week by the Brazilian government to move forward on the $17 billion Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu river will set in motion a plan to build more than 100 dams across the Amazon basin, potentially turning tributaries of the world's largest river into 'an endless series of stagnant reservoirs', says a new short film released by Amazon Watch and International Rivers.

The film, narrated by Sigourney Weaver, uses a Google Earth 3-D tour to illustrate the potential impact of the dam. Belo Monte's reservoirs will flood 668 square kilometers, including parts of the city of Altamira, displacing more than 20,000 people. It will reduce the flow of the mighty Xingu to a trickle during parts of the year, reducing water supplies for downstream indigenous populations, blocking fish migration thereby disrupting local fisheries, and likely condemning several aquatic species to extinction. Flooding of forest areas will generate massive amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent that CO2, and increase the risk of malaria in surrounding areas. Furthermore, if earlier dam projects in the Amazon are any model, Belo Monte will contribute to large-scale deforestation by local people who can no longer earn income from fishing or traditional livelihoods. Electricity grids, transmission lines, and access roads will put further pressure on the rainforest.

The Belo Monte Dam would be "a disaster for the Xingu River, for the rainforest, and certainly for all the indigenous people and families living along the river," said Weaver, an actress who starred in last year's blockbuster Avatar. "Their way of life will disappear."

Belo Monte has faced fierce opposition from indigenous people, activists, and even celebrities like Weaver and James Cameron, the director of Avatar, Titanic, and the Terminator series of movies. But the project is backed by powerful interests, including the mining sector: Belo Monte is being built to supply electricity for new mines in the Amazon. The video includes a "flyover" via Google Earth showing the nearby Carajas mine, one of the largest iron ore mines on the planet.

The 10-minute video, created by Amazon Watch and International Rivers with technical assistance from Google Earth Outreach, comes as part of the Altamira-based Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre (Xingu River Forever Alive Movement) campaign against the dam.

Antonia Melo, a leader and spokesperson of the Xingu River Forever Alive Movement, said the video will help people better understand the impacts of the project.

"Even for people who live along the Xingu River itself, the impacts of damming the river are difficult to understand. This animation can help the local population visualize the potential damage caused by Belo Monte, and can encourage them to take action," Melo said in a statement.

Rebecca Moore of Google Earth Outreach said she hoped the video would lead to more engagement on the issue.

"Because Google Earth provides such a realistic model of the real earth, it can allow both ordinary people and decision makers to visualize and understand complex environmental and social issues more easily and deeply," she said in a statement. "Ideally, this can lead to a more informed and constructive dialogue, especially for controversial issues such as the Belo Monte Dam."

A Google Earth version of the video can be downloaded at Belo Monte Tour.

Belo Monte is among the most controversial of some 146 major dams planned in the Amazon basin over the next two to three decades. Earlier this month International Rivers launched a new website, Dams in Amazonia, outlining the sites and impacts of these dams with an interactive map.


2 comments were posted:

When are we going to learn not to repeat the same mistakes over and over again? This makes me truly sad.

If people would just try to leave the World a better place rather than ruining it out of greed and selfishness for the few years that they are alive... I really don't know how these people sleep at night in good consciousness.

Petitions to sign:

Stop Belo Monte Dam!

Stop the Belo Monte Monster Dam

Contact the Brazilian Embassy to Stop Belo Monte Dam!

Pétition contre la construction du barrage de Belo Monte au Brésil


Related articles:

146 dams threaten Amazon basin(08/19/2010)
Although developers and government often tout dams as environmentally-friendly energy sources, this is not always the case. Dams impact river flows, changing ecosystems indefinitely; they may flood large areas forcing people and wildlife to move; and in the tropics they can also become massive source of greenhouse gases due to emissions of methane. Despite these concerns, the Amazon basin-the world's largest tropical rainforest-is being seen as prime development for hydropower projects. Currently five nations-Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru-are planning over 146 big dams in the Amazon Basin. Some of these dams would flood pristine rainforests, others threaten indigenous people, and all would change the Amazonian ecosystem. Now a new website, Dams in Amazonia, outlines the sites and impacts of these dams with an interactive map.

You Are Being Lied to About Dams
"It's a go. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva just signed an agreement to build the Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River. It will be large: 3.75 miles of hulking concrete and 11,000 megawatts of power, enough energy to power 23 million homes. It will be the third-largest dam in the world, and is the very clear Brazilian answer to the question: Where will the 21st century's energy come from? (...) The surprising upshot is that even after deploying such relentlessly pragmatic measuring tools, dam construction may not be much good. Scientists working in Brazil have found that dams with wide, shallow reservoirs - particularly those in tropical biomes - may submerge so much forested or vegetation-covered territory that they may be net greenhouse gas emitters." CLIP

Ecuador's tallest waterfall to be destroyed by Chinese dam (September 07, 2010)
San Rafael Falls, Ecuador's tallest waterfall, is threatened by a Chinese-funded hydroelectric project, reports Save America's Forests, an environmental group. The 1,500 megawatt Coca-Codo Sinclair Hydroelectric Project will divert water flow away from the 480-foot San Rafael Falls, leaving it "high and dry." Worse, the project, which is scheduled for completion in 2016, will be pressure on Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, an area so renowned for its biodiversity that "even the oil companies spared this area during prospection and development of pipeline corridors in the Ecuadorian Amazon," according to Save America's Forests, which says the falls have become the principal attraction of Sumaco. "It is located in the mega-diverse transition zone between the Andes Mountains and the Amazon," stated the environmental group in a press release. "The falls have become one of the more prominent images and icons for promoting ecotourism in Ecuador, a country that made headlines in 2008 for being the first nation to grant constitutional rights to nature itself." Matt Finer of Save America's Forests says the dam goes against the spirit of Ecuador's constitution as well as its recent proposal to protect Yasuni National Park in the Amazon from oil development. "So basically you have the first country in the world that legally respects nature, and they are about to destroy their greatest waterfall. While we applaud and support Ecuador's revolutionary initiative to leave oil reserves under the Amazon, this hydroelectric project is just a step back to business as usual."

80% of tropical agricultural expansion between 1980-2000 came at expense of forests (09/02/2010)
More than 80 percent of agricultural expansion in the tropics between 1980 and 2000 came at the expense of forests, reports research published last week in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The study, based on analysis satellite images collected by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and led by Holly Gibbs of Stanford University, found that 55 percent of new agricultural land came at the expense of intact forests, while 28 percent came from disturbed forests. Another six percent came from shrub lands.
(...) Total agricultural land increased by 629 million hectares (ha) in developing countries the 1980s and 1990s, including a net rise of than 100 million ha in tropical regions. Much of the expansion occurred in Brazil, Indonesia, and Malaysia, countries that now produce 40 percent of the world's of sugarcane, soybeans, and palm oil, but have experienced high rates of forest loss. Conversion of these forests generated substantial greenhouse gas emissions. "This has huge implications for global warming, if we continue to expand our farmland into tropical forests at that rate," said Gibbs in a statement. "Every million acres of forest that is cut releases the same amount of carbon into the atmosphere as 40 million cars do in a year." Gibbs and colleagues found "cropland expansion was faster in the 1980s than in the 1990s" but "pasture showed the opposite trend" with the largest increases occurring in South America. CLIP

Peru's rainforest highway triggers surge in deforestation, according to new 3D forest mapping (09/06/2010)
Scientists using a combination of satellite imagery, airborne-laser technology, and ground-based plot surveys to create three-dimensional high resolution carbon maps of the Amazon rainforest have documented a surge in emissions from deforestation and selective logging following the paving of the Trans-Oceanic Highway in Peru. The study, published this week in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals that selective logging and other forms of forest degradation in Peru account for nearly a third of emissions compared to deforestation alone.
(...) The work shows that some 4.5 million metric tons of aboveground carbon were committed to the atmosphere due to deforestation and forest degradation from 1999 to 2009. Degradation emissions averaged 47% of deforestation emissions over the period, but were offset by forest regrowth, which accounted for 812 million tons of carbon sequestration. Net emissions over the period were thus 3.7 million tons, or roughly the annual emissions of the country of Jamaica. The research reveals a spike in emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in the Peruvian Amazon in 2009. The increase appears to be associated with the paving of the Trans-Oceanic Highway, which connects the Amazon to Pacific coast ports, facilitating the transport of soy, timber, cattle, and other commodities. The project, which has been partially funded by China, has led to a proliferation in logging, clearing for agriculture, gold mining, and exploration for oil and gas in southeastern Peru. Environmentalists fear the highway will exacerbate forest exploitation in a region where trees lock up massive amounts carbon. CLIP

Despite pledge to crack down, illegal logging continues in Madagascar's rainforest parks (September 06, 2010)
Despite government assurances that it would crack down on the rosewood trade, illegal logging continues in Madagascar's rainforest parks, according to new information provided by sources on the ground. The sources report logging in three parks: Mananara, Makira, and Masoala. All three are known for their high levels of biodiversity, including endangered lemurs. Rosewood logs are being transported to Tamatave (Toamasina), Madagascar's main port, despite a national moratorium on logging and export of precious hardwoods. Most rosewood ends up going to China, where it is in high demand for furniture.
(...) Illegal logging exploded last year in the aftermath of a military coup that displaced the democratically-elected, but increasingly autocratic president, Marc Ravalomanana. National parks, especially in the Northeast of the country, were ransacked by loggers employed by timber barons who traditionally capitalize on political instability or natural disasters to replenish timber stocks and traffic ill-gotten wood. Madagascar is now ruled by a "transition authority" that has so far shown little inclination to hold free and fair elections and has been be slow to address the logging crisis despite pressure from the international community.

21% of Africa's freshwater plants and animals threatened (September 02, 2010)
21 percent of African freshwater plant and animal species are threatened with extinction, according to a five year assessment of 5,167 freshwater species by 200 scientists. The IUCN study cites pollution, invasive species, increased water diversion for agriculture, and dams as the chief threats to aquatic biodiversity. "Freshwaters provide a home for a disproportionate level of the world's biodiversity. Although they cover just one per cent of the planet's surface, freshwater ecosystems are actually home to around seven per cent of all species,” said Jean-Christophe Vié, Deputy Head of IUCN’s Species Program, in a statement. “This latest IUCN Red List assessment clearly shows that lakes, rivers and wetlands haven’t escaped the grasp of the current extinction crisis.” The assessment includes all known freshwater fish, mollusks, crabs, dragonflies and damselflies, and selected families of aquatic plants. Lake Victoria, Africa's biggest lake, was one of the most endangered with 45 percent of its 191 native fish species threatened or thought to be extinct. The report is available in sub-sections here.



A Lesson from "Inception": How the Right-Wing and Corporate Media Brainwash Americans

The illusions spread by both the right-wing and corporate media are deftly presented as fact; can we ever wake up?

By David Sirota - August 1, 2010

For all of its "Matrix"-like convolutions and "Alice in Wonderland" allusions, the new film "Inception" adds something significant to the ancient ruminations about reality's authenticity -- something profoundly relevant to this epoch of confusion. In the movie's tale of corporate espionage, we are asked to ponder this moment's most disturbing epistemological questions: Namely, how are ideas deposited in people's minds, and how incurable are those ideas when they are wrong? 

Many old sci-fi stories, like politics and advertising of the past, subscribed to the "Clockwork Orange" theory that says blatantly propagandistic repetition is the best way to pound concepts into the human brain. But as "Inception's" main character, Cobb, posits, the "most resilient parasite" of all is an idea that individuals are subtly led to think they discovered on their own. 

This argument's real-world application was previously outlined by Cal State Fullerton's Nancy Snow, who wrote in 2004 that today's most pervasive and effective propaganda is the kind that is "least noticeable" and consequently "convinces people they are not being manipulated." The flip side is also true: When an idea is obviously propaganda, it loses credibility. Indeed, in the same way the subconscious of "Inception's" characters eviscerate known invaders, we are reflexively hostile to ideas when we know they come from agenda-wielding intruders.

These laws of cognition, of course, are brilliantly exploited by a 24-7 information culture that has succeeded in making "your mind the scene of the crime," as "Inception's" trailer warns. Because we are now so completely immersed in various multimedia dreamscapes, many of the prefabricated -- and often inaccurate -- ideas in those phantasmagorias can seem wholly self-realized and, hence, totally logical.

The conservative media dreamland, for instance, ensconces its audience in an impregnable bubble -- you eat breakfast with the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, you drive to the office with right-wing radio, you flit between Breitbart and Drudge at work, you come home to Fox News. The ideas bouncing around in this world -- say, ideas about the Obama administration allegedly favoring blacks -- don't seem like propaganda to those inside the bubble. With heavily edited videos of screaming pastors and prejudice-sounding USDA officials, these ideas are cloaked in the veneer of unchallenged fact, leaving the audience to assume its bigoted conclusions are completely self-directed and incontrovertible.

Same thing for those living in the closed-loop of the "traditional" media. Replace conservative news outlets with The New York Times, NPR, and network newscasts, and it's just another dreamscape promulgating certain synthetic ideas (for instance, militarism and market fundamentalism), excluding other ideas (say, antiwar opinions and critiques of the free market) and bringing audiences to seemingly self-conceived and rational judgments -- judgments that are tragically misguided.

Taken together, our society has achieved the goal of "Inception's" idea-implanting protagonists -- only without all the technological subterfuge. And just like they arose with Cobb's wife, problems are emerging in our democracy as the dreams sow demonstrable fallacies.

As writer Joe Keohane noted in a recent Boston Globe report about new scientific findings, contravening facts no longer "have the power to change our minds" when we are wrong.

"When misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds," he wrote. "In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs."

What is the circuit breaker in this delusive cycle? It's hard to know if one exists, just as it is difficult to know whether Cobb's totem ever stops spinning. For so many, meticulously constructed fantasies seem like indisputable reality. And because those fantasies' artificial inception is now so deftly obscured, we can no longer wake up, even if facts tell us we're in a dream -- and even when the dream becomes a nightmare.


"These guys have been refining their techniques of population control for over 100 years, and they've got it down pretty much to an art. Examples are various, from the pretend-democracies that most people seem to believe are 'real' democracies, to the obvious controlled demolitions of the Twin Towers, about which people seem to be unable to think for themselves and question the obvious fantasies of the official conspiracy theory, through the great economic scam that has been stealing them blind for decades ( ). One of the greatest feats of the rulers has been to convince obviously indoctrinated people that they are not indoctrinated. It's going to take some kind of real shock to get through to most people, and as long as most people look to the mainstream media for the allowable things to think and talk about, the odds of such a shock getting widespread dissemination even if it does occur are pretty minimal. Maybe it's time to head for the lifeboats and leave them to their fate."




Middle East Loses Trillions As U.S. Strikes Record Arms Deals

Rick Rozoff - 2 September, 2010

The Internet has provided the world with, if nothing else, instantaneous access to news and in-depth information previously available only to governments and think tanks. It has also allowed for the exchange of data and analyses between groups and individuals around the globe, in part by making one tongue, English, the language of the World Wide Web. It remains to be seen whether the keystroke is mightier than the sword.

An illustrative case in point is an August 29 report from China’s Xinhua News Agency on a news article by Egypt’s Middle East News Agency regarding a study conducted by the Strategic Foresight Group in India. The latter, a report published in a book entitled The Cost of Conflict in the Middle East, calculates that conflict in the area over the last 20 years has cost the nations and people of the region 12 trillion U.S. dollars.

The Indian report adds that the Middle East has recorded “a high record of military expenses in the past 20 years and is considered the most armed region in the world.” [1]

The study was originally released in January of 2009 and was recently translated into Arabic by the Institute for Peace Studies of Egypt. It estimates that in a peaceful environment the nations of the Middle East could have achieved an average annual growth in gross domestic product of 8 percent.

Sundeep Waslekar, president of the Strategic Foresight Group and one of the report’s authors, was quoted in January of last year saying of the region’s nations, “The choice they have to make is the choice between the danger of devastation and the promise of peace.” [2]

An account of the presentation of the report last year added that the cost of conflict in the region is estimated at 2 percent of growth in gross domestic product.

In regards to specific cases, it stated:

“One conclusion is that individuals in most countries are half as rich as they would have been if peace had taken off in 1991.

“Incomes per head in Israel next year would be $44,241 with peace against a likely $23,304. In the West Bank and Gaza Strip they would be $2,427 instead of $1,220.

“For Iraq, income per head next year is projected at $2,375, one quarter of the $9,681 that would have been possible without the conflicts of the past two decades.” [3]

Other sources estimate the overall rate of unemployment in the Middle East at 20-25 percent, with joblessness in nations like Lebanon and Yemen at 30 percent or more. This despite the fact that the region has achieved one of the more impressive successes in improving educational opportunities, measured by the amount of years students spend in school, in the world.

The Middle East requires comprehensive regional development, but instead is receiving billions of dollars worth of arms. The area’s nations could be spending that sum on rural and urban infrastructure, dams and reservoirs, desalination and irrigation, forestation and fisheries, industry and agriculture, medicine and public health, housing and information technology, equitable integration of cities and villages, and repairing the ravages of past wars rather than on U.S. warplanes, attack helicopters and interceptor missiles.

An American news report of a year ago revealed that, according to a U.S.-based consultancy firm, several Middle Eastern nations are slated to spend over $100 billion on weapons in the upcoming five years. Most of those arms purchases – “unprecedented packages” – will be by Iraq, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and the “core of this arms-buying spree will undoubtedly be the $20 billion U.S. package of weapons systems over 10 years for the six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council – Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain.” The expansion of American arms sales and military presence in the Persian Gulf targets Iran in the first place.

The same feature documented plans for the U.S. to supply Egypt with a $13 billion arms package and Israel with $30 billion in weaponry over ten years, the latter “a 25 percent increase over previous levels.” [4]

A year later it was disclosed that Washington will sell $13 billion worth of arms and military equipment to Iraq, “a huge order of tanks, ships and hardware that U.S. officials say shows Iraqi-U.S. military ties will be tight for years to come.” A $3 billion deal for 18 F-16 Fighting Falcon multirole jet fighters is also in the works. Iraq will become one of the largest purchasers of U.S. weapons in the world.

According to the U.S. Army’s Lieutenant General Michael Barbero, ranking American officer in charge of training and advising Iraqi troops, such military agreements help “build their capabilities, first and foremost; and second, it builds our strategic relationship for the future.” [5]

With 4.7 million Iraqis displaced since 2003, 2.2 million as refugees in Jordan, Syria and other nations, and a near collapse of the nation’s civilian infrastructure since the U.S. invasion, surely there are better ways of spending $16 billion that on American arms.

To Iraq’s south, last month the U.S. announced one of the largest weapons sales in its history: A $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The Pentagon notified Congress of the colossal transaction which the U.S. legislative body will approve later this month.

Over the next decade Washington will supply Saudi Arabia with F-15SA Strike Eagle jet fighters (SA is for Saudi Advanced), 72 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, 60 AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters, helicopter-carrying offshore patrol vessels and upgrades for the 96 Patriot Advanced Capability-2 interceptor missiles already stationed in the kingdom.

Last month Kuwait announced that it planned to purchase more than 200 U.S. Patriot anti-ballistic missiles in a $900 million deal. The U.S. Defense Department also advised Congress of that transaction, stating “Kuwait needs these missiles to meet current and future threats of enemy air-to-ground weapons.”

The news agency which reported the above, Agence France-Presse, also provided the following information:

“The U.S. has several military bases in Kuwait, including Camp Arifjan, one of the biggest U.S. military facilities in the region. There are between 15,000 and 20,000 U.S. troops stationed in Kuwait.” [6] The American Fifth Fleet is headquartered in neighbouring Bahrain.

The U.S. is also providing Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates with Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile interception batteries.

Last year Washington approved the transfer of a Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) missile shield system to the United Arab Emirates. The deal, estimated to cost $7 billion, is the first transfer of the advanced interceptor missiles outside the U.S.

In May the Barack Obama administration requested $205 million from Congress for the Israeli Iron Dome layered interceptor missile shield, in the words of a Pentagon spokesman “the first direct U.S. investment in the Iron Dome system.” [7]

In the autumn of 2008 the U.S. opened an interceptor missile radar base in Israel’s Negev Desert centered on a Forward-Based X-Band Radar with a range of 2,900 miles.

This 15 August Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced his country is to receive – one can’t say buy – 20 U.S. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters worth $96 million apiece along with spare parts, maintenance and simulators. “The $2.7 billion deal will be paid for using U. S. military assistance.” [8] The fifth generation stealth warplanes are the world’s most advanced. According to Israeli government sources in reference to the prospect of eventual deployment of Russian air defenses to Iran and Syria, “the purchase of F-35 fighters would effectively eliminate the threat from Russian-made S-300 air defense systems because a series of computer simulations had clearly demonstrated that new U.S. stealth fighters outperform the Russian missiles.”

This year the State Department confirmed that $2.55 billion in U.S. military assistance was given to Israel in 2009 and that the figure will “increase to $3 billion in 2012, and will total $3.15 billion a year from 2013 to 2018.” [9] That is, will grow by almost 25 percent.

Since the administration of Jimmy Carter and his National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski bought off Anwar Sadat and through him Egypt in 1978 at the expense of Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and other Arab states, Washington has provided Cairo with $1.3 billion a year in military aid, adding up to $50 billion by 2008.

In January of this year General David Petraeus, then head of U.S. Central Command and now in charge of 150,000 American and NATO troops in Afghanistan, visited Yemen and called for more than doubling military aid to the strife-torn nation from $70 to $150 million annually. He was later forced to retract his comments, but the Wall Street Journal reported on 2 September that “The U.S. military’s Central Command has proposed pumping as much as $1.2 billion over five years into building up Yemen’s security forces.” The United Nations Statistics Division estimated Yemeni gross national income per capita for 2008 at $1,260.

The U.S. has launched several missile strikes inside Yemen over the past nine months and “U.S. Special Operations teams…play an expansive role in the country.” [10] Funding for what the Pentagon describes as a counterterrorism program in the country has grown from $5 million a year in fiscal year 2006 to over $155 million four years later.

Washington is planning to add unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) equipped with lethal missiles operated by the Central Intelligence Agency to its operations in Yemen, replicating the same arrangement in Pakistan.

After the so-called Cedar Revolution in Lebanon in 2005 – modeled after comparable “colour revolutions” in the former Soviet states of Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan in 2003, 2004 and 2005 respectively – led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops from the country and the installation of pro-Western Fouad Siniora as prime minister, the U.S. reestablished military contacts with Lebanon, which had been broken off after 1983. A dozen U.S. military officials travelled to Beirut at the end of the year, inspecting bases as part of a “comprehensive assessment of the condition of U.S.-made equipment in the Lebanon armed forces.” [11]

After the Israeli invasion of the country the following summer, Washington started military aid to the nation of four million people which two years later had exceeded $410 million. According to an Associated Press account in 2008, “The [George W. Bush] administration has spent about $1.3 billion in the past two years trying to prop up Siniora’s Western-allied government, including about $400 million in military aid.” [12]

On 6 October, 2008 the U.S. established a joint military commission with Lebanon “to bolster military cooperation.”

The, by Lebanese standards, unprecedented donations of arms and military equipment by the Pentagon were explicitly for internal use – against Hezbollah – and for deployment at the Syrian border. Not for defending the nation against the country that had invaded it in 1978, 1983 and 2006 – Israel.

On 2 August of this year, a day before two Lebanese soldiers were killed in a firefight with Israeli troops on Lebanese territory, Congressman Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, blocked a $100 million security assistance package to the Lebanese military. There should be no misunderstanding: The Pentagon has not built up the armed forces of post-”Cedar” Lebanon to defend the nation, its people or even the army itself.

The sum blocked by Berman, added to that already provided by the Pentagon, well exceeds half a billion dollars. That amount of money would go a long way in alleviating the suffering of 900,000 Lebanese displaced and in rebuilding some of the 30,000 housing units destroyed by the Israeli military in 2006.

Weapons are the most expensive of manufactured goods and the least productive, generating no value and designed only to destroy and kill. They are not produced solely or primarily to be displayed in parades or at air shows.

The Middle East is that part of the world that has known the least peace in the past 60 years and that is in most need of it. Regional disputes – over land and borders, over water and other resources – need to be resolved in a non-antagonistic manner.

The foreign and national security policies of the region’s states need to be demilitarized. Conventional and nuclear disarmament is imperative.

Washington pouring over $100 billion in news arms into the Middle East will not contribute to the safety and security of its inhabitants. It will not benefit the nations of the region. In truth not a single one of them.




Eve Ensler Reads "Congo Cancer: My Cancer Is Arbitrary. Congo's Atrocities Are Very Deliberate"

Earlier this year, award-winning playwright and bestselling author Eve Ensler was diagnosed with uterine cancer. In a widely read article in The Guardian newspaper of London titled "Congo Cancer," Ensler writes about her illness and relates it to the widespread violence against women in Congo. "The atrocities committed against the people of Congo are not arbitrary, like my cancer. They are systematic, strategic and intentional," she writes. [includes rush transcript]

Guest: Eve Ensler, award-winning playwright and creator of The Vagina Monologues and V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. She is the director of Swimming Upstream: A Testimony, a Prayer, a Hallelujah, an Incantation. Her latest book is called I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World.

AMY GOODMAN: Our guest for the hour is Eve Ensler, the founder of V-Day, the author of The Vagina Monologues, the playwright who has directed Swimming Upstream that will be performed in Harlem and New Orleans on September 10th and September 13th. We've talked about New Orleans. We started talking about the Congo. And we're also going to talk about Eve's own personal battle with cancer.

But before we do that, Eve, or I guess as a way to do that, you wrote a remarkable piece for The Guardian in London that has been traveling around the world. It's called "Congo Cancer." And I was wondering if you could just share it with everyone right now.


"Some people may think that being diagnosed with uterine cancer, followed by extensive surgery that led to a month of debilitating infections, rounded off by months of chemotherapy, might get a girl down. But, in truth, this has not been my poison. This has not been what pulses through me late at night and keeps me pacing and awake. This has not been what throws me into moments of unbearable darkness and depression.

"Cancer is scary, of course, and painful. It tends to interrupt one's entire life, throw everything into question and push one up against that ultimate dimension and possibility of dying. One can rail at the gods and goddesses: 'Why? Why now? Why me?' But, in the end, we know those questions ring absurd and empty. Cancer is an epidemic. It has been here for ever. It isn't personal. Its choice of the vulnerable host is often arbitrary. It's life.

"For months, doctors and nurses have cut me, stitched me, jabbed me, drained me, cat-scanned me, X-rayed me, IV-ed me, flushed me and hydrated me, trying to identify the source of my anxiety and alleviate my pain. While they have been able to remove the cancer from my body, treat an abscess here, a fever there, they have not been able to even come close to the core of my malady.

"Three years ago, the Democratic Republic of Congo seized my being. V-Day, a movement to stop violence against women and girls, was invited to see firsthand the experience of women survivors of sexual violence there. After three weeks at Panzi hospital in Bukavu, where there were more than 200 women patients, many of whom shared their stories of being gang-raped and tortured with me, I was shattered. They told me about the resulting loss of their reproductive organs and the fistulae they got-the hole between their vagina and anus or vagina and bladder that no longer allowed them to hold their urine or faeces. I heard about nine-month-old babies, eight-year-old girls, 80-year-old women who had been humiliated and publicly raped.

"In response, taking the lead from women on the ground, we created a massive campaign, - Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource: Power to Women and Girls of DRC - which has broken taboos, organised speak-outs and marches, educated and trained activists and religious leaders, and spurred performances of The Vagina Monologues across the country, culminating this [year] with a performance in the Congolese parliament. V-Day activists have spread the campaign across the planet, raising money and consciousness. In several months, with the women of Congo, we will be opening the City of Joy, a community for survivors, a revolutionary community, where women will be healed in order to turn their pain to power. We have also sat and pleaded our case at Downing Street, the White House, and the office of the UN secretary general. We have shouted (loudly) at the Canadian parliament, the US Senate, and the UN security council. Tears were shed; promises were made with great enthusiasm.

"As I have lain in my hospital bed or attempted to rest at home over these months, it is the phone calls and the reports that come in daily from the DRC that make me ill. The stories of continued rapes, machete killings, grotesque mutilations, outright murdering of human rights activists-these images and events create nausea and weakness much worse than chemo or antibiotics or pain meds ever could. But even harder to deal with, in the weakened state that I have been in, is knowing that despite the ongoing horrific atrocities that have taken the lives of more than 6 million people and left more than 500,000 women raped and tortured, the international power elite appear to be doing nothing. They have essentially written off the DRC and its people, even after continued visits and promises.

"The day is late. It is almost 13 years into this war. The Obama administration, as in most situations these days, refuses to take a real stand. Several months ago I visited the White House to meet a high official to engage the first lady in our efforts to end sexual violence in the Congo, believing that her solidarity would galvanise attention and action. I was told, essentially, that femicide was not her 'brand'. Mrs Obama, I was told, was focusing on childhood obesity.

"It surprised me that a woman with her capabilities lacked ambidextrous skills (or was it simply interest and will that was absent?). Then we have Secretary Clinton, who at least after much pressure visited the DRC almost a year ago, and made promises that actually meant a huge deal to the people. They were excited that the US government might finally prioritise building the political will in the Great Lakes region to end the war. But, of course, they are still waiting. And then there is the UN. The anaemic and glacial pace and the death-like bureaucracy continue to allow and, in the case of Monuc and the security council, even help facilitate a deathly regional war.

"Two weeks ago, in Kinshasa, one of Congo's great human rights activists, Floribert Chebeya Bahizire, was brutally murdered. In the same week, at Panzi hospital the family of a staff member were executed. A 10-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl were gunned down in their car on their way home. Murdering and raping of the women in the villages continues. The war rages on. Who is demanding the protection of the people of Congo? Who is protecting the activists who are speaking truth to power? At a memorial service last week in Bukavu, a pastor cried out: 'They are killing our mammas. Now they are killing our children. What have we done to deserve this? Where is the world?'

"The atrocities committed against the people of Congo are not arbitrary, like my cancer. They are systematic, strategic and intentional. At the root is a madly greedy world economy, desperate for more minerals robbed from the indigenous Congolese. Sourcing this insatiable hunger are multinational corporations who benefit from these minerals and are willing to turn their backs on the players committing femicide and genocide, as long as their needs are met.

"I am lucky. I have been blessed with a positive prognosis that has made me hyper-aware of what keeps a person alive. How does one survive cancer? Of course-good doctors, good insurance, good luck. But the real healing comes from not being forgotten. From attention, from care, from love, from being surrounded by a community of those who demand information on your behalf, who advocate and stand up for you when you are in a weakened state, who sleep by your side, who refuse to let you give up, who bring you meals, who see you not as a patient or victim but as a precious human being, who create metaphors where you can imagine your survival. This is my medicine, and nothing less will suffice for the people, for the women, for the children of Congo."

AMY GOODMAN: "Congo Cancer," Eve Ensler. Thank you so much for sharing that, Eve.


Related articles and videos:

500 Rapes In DR Congo As The United Nations Watches (September 8, 2010)

Outrage Grows Over Failure to Protect DRC Civilians (Aug 28, 2010)
UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - As details emerged this week of the U.N.'s knowledge of rebel activity in the villages where nearly 200 women were systematically gang raped by armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) late last month, human rights groups are demanding an investigation into the U.N.'s failure to prevent the raid from occurring."These scandalous, outrageous atrocities should serve as a wake up call for the international community," Marcel Stoessel, Oxfam International's country director in the DRC, told IPS in a phone interview. Amnesty International echoed Oxfam's sentiments, calling for a critical investigation of the U.N.'s inaction. "The DRC government and the United Nations must urgently review the failures to protect civilians to prevent such horrors from being inflicted again," Amnesty International said in a statement. Amnesty also urged the immediate gathering and preservation of evidence in order to bring the perpetrators to justice. Legally, the responsibility to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of the mass rapes lies with the weak and often ineffective Congolese government, which has been under mounting pressure to capture and try the individuals responsible. A spokesperson for the U.N. said that a team has been deployed to investigate the incident, and is expected to finish its work by the beginning of September. The Congolese government, however, is not involved. Another official of a human rights group admitted that the rebels were not likely to be apprehended, much less prosecuted. He cited a leaked U.N. report, revealed by Le Monde on Wednesday, which accuses the government of Rwanda of war crimes, including possibly genocide, in the DRC as reflecting the history of violence in the region since 1993. "The report shows that impunity has been the norm," he told IPS. "In this particular case," he said, referring to the mass rapes, "it's not, unfortunately, going to be the exception." The conflict-ridden DRC has been ranked the number five failed state by Foreign Policy for the last two years, worsening two spots since 2007. Rape is systematically used as a tool of war, with about one case of rape reported every hour - the perpetrators of which are usually armed men from rebel groups or the regular Congolese army, according to Amnesty. "The government doesn't have a presence, indeed authority, over the entire territory, which makes it possible for armed groups to commit these atrocities," Stoessel told IPS. "And even when the Congolese army is present, they are often themselves not a protective force and are perpetrators." Given the DRC's instability, in 1999 the U.N. sent a peacekeeping force to the country, now called MONUSCO, which is charged with the protection of civilians. This week, it was revealed that MONUSCO failed to act despite knowledge of the rebels' presence in the villages, and failed to respond timely after eventually receiving information of the mass rapes. The Security Council held an emergency meeting about the mass rapes Thursday, after which Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin and U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice expressed indignation at the number of questions that remain outstanding regarding the U.N.'s response to the incident on the ground. "We're horrified and we're outraged," Rice said. "It was a disturbing briefing both for what we learned and what we don't know still." Between July 30 and August 3, 200 to 400 armed men allegedly from the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) and the Mai Mai Cheka rebel groups ravaged a cluster of villages in the DRC's North Kivu province. One of the villages was just 20 kilometres away from a MONUSCO forward operating base. CLIP
(...) What's remarkable about the Top Secret America project is not so much the conclusions -- it should come as no surprise that the U.S. spends billions of dollars on a bureaucratic under-supervised intelligence apparatus that enriches private contractors without necessarily making the country safer. What's remarkable is the thoroughness with which these claims are documented. CLIP




Israelis Risk Jail to Smuggle Palestinians - 600 sign up for campaign of disobedience

By Jonathan Cook - August 24, 2010

Nearly 600 Israelis have signed up for a campaign of civil disobedience, vowing to risk jail to smuggle Palestinian women and children into Israel for a brief taste of life outside the occupied West Bank.

The Israelis say they have been inspired by the example of Ilana Hammerman, a writer who is threatened with prosecution after publishing an article in which she admitted breaking the law to bring three Palestinian teenagers into Israel for a day out.

Ms Hammerman said she wanted to give the young women, who had never left the West Bank, "some fun" and a chance to see the Mediterranean for the first time.

Her story has shocked many Israelis and led to a police investigation after right-wing groups called for her to be tried for security offences.

It is illegal to transport Palestinians through checkpoints into Israel without a permit, which few can obtain. If tried and found guilty, Ms Hammerman could be fined and face up to two years in jail.

But Israelis joining the campaign say they will not be put off by threats of imprisonment.

Last month, a group of 11 Israeli women joined Ms Hammerman in repeating her act of civil disobedience, driving a dozen Palestinian women and four children, including a baby, through a checkpoint into Israel.

The Israeli women say they are planning mass "smugglings" of Palestinians into Israel over the coming weeks.

"The Palestinians who join us are mainly looking to have a good time after years of confinement under the occupation, but for us what is most important is our act of defiance," said Ofra Lyth, who helped establish an online forum of supporters after attending a speech by Ms Hammerman.

"We want to overturn this immoral law that gives rights to Jews to move freely around while keeping Palestinians imprisoned in their towns and villages," she said, referring to regulations that bar most Palestinians in the occupied territories from entering Israel, and Israelis from assisting them. Exceptions are made for Palestinians with permits, sometimes issued for a medical emergency or to some labourers with security clearance.

For the Palestinian women, though, it is not about making a statement or defying an unjust law, said Ms Lyth.

"The Palestinian women tell us: ŒGo ahead and make your political point, but for us we‚re breaking the law so that we can enjoy ourselves and remember how life was before the checkpoints and the wall.‚ One woman told me: ŒI just want to be able to breathe again‚."

For Palestinians in the West Bank, it is not often easy to breathe. The territory is home to a growing population of 300,000 Jews in more than 100 settlements. The settlers are able to drive into Israel on roads that the army oversees with checkpoints.

It was through one such settler crossing, near Beitar Ilit, south of Jerusalem, that Ms Hammerman took the three Palestinian teenagers this year.

For their protection, she has not identifed the young women or the West Bank village where they live. She refers to the women as Aya, Lin and Yasmin. They, too, could face jail for breaking the law.

In Ms Hammerman's article, published in the Haaretz newspaper in May, she admitted that she was aware her actions were illegal.

She told the women, who were 18 and 19, to take off their hijabs for the day and dress in western-style clothes to avoid attracting attention from soldiers at the checkpoint. She also taught them an easy Hebrew phrase -- Hakull beseder, or "Everything is okay" -- in case a soldier spoke to them.

She then took them on a tour of Tel Aviv, visiting the city's university, a museum, a shopping mall and the beach, which she noted none of them had ever seen even though it is only about 40km from their village.

Gisha, an Israeli human rights group, said Israel introduced a permit system to limit Palestinian movement out of the West Bank in the early 1990s – about the time the young women were born.

Ms Hammerman wrote that the only dangerous moment during the trip was when a plain-clothes policeman stopped them and asked for the women's identity cards. Ms Hammerman lied to the officer, telling him that the women were Palestinians from East Jerusalem and therefore entitled to enter Israel.

In June, Yehuda Weinstein, the attorney general, was reported to have approved a police investigation of Ms Hammerman after a settler organisation, the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, complained.

The ranks of Ms Hammerman's supporters have swollen since the group placed an advertisement, titled "We refuse to obey", in Haaretz this month. The ad said the group was "acting in the spirit of Martin Luther King", the US civil rights leader, and demanded that Palestinians be treated as "human beings, not terrorists".

Over the past week, the online forum has attracted more than 590 Israelis signing up to repeat Ms Hammerman's act of civil disobedience.

"That has really surprised and encouraged me," she said. "I did not realise there were so many other Israelis who have had enough of this outrageous law."

Still, the coverage of Ms Hammerman and her supporters in the Israeli media has been largely hostile. During a television interview last week, she was accused of endangering Israelis with her trips. The show's host, Yaron London, asked whether she had inspected the Palestinian women's underclothes for explosives before allowing them into her car.

She will will not be deterred, though. She said the group had discussed future trips for Palestinians, including taking them to pray at al-Aqsa, the mosque in Jerusalem that has been inaccessible to most Palestinians for at least a decade, and visits to Palestinian relatives they cannot see in Jerusalem and Israel.

"We need to get Israelis meeting Palestinians again, having fun with them and seeing that they are human beings with the same rights as us."

She said her immediate goal was to kick-start a discussion among Israelis about the legality and morality of Israel's laws and challenge the public's "blind obedience" to authority.

Ms Lyth added that the Palestinian women "who have gone on our trips are the heroes of their village. They and their families know they are taking a big risk in breaking the law, but harassment is part of their daily lives anyway".

Till now the trips have been restricted to smuggling Palestinian women and children only, said Ms Hammerman. "It is harder to bring men in without being discovered and the authorities would be likely to treat Palestinian men much more harshly if they were caught."

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). His website is <.



Date: 31 Aug 2010
From: "Ricken Patel -" (
Subject: Canada: Stop "Fox News North"

Dear friends,

Prime Minister Harper is trying to push American-style hate media onto our airwaves, and make us all pay for it.

His plan is to create a "Fox News North" to mimic the kind of hate-filled propaganda with which Fox News has poisoned U.S. politics. The channel will be run by Harper’s former top aide and will be funded with money from our cable TV fees!

One man stands in the way of this nightmare -- the Chairman of Canada's Radio and Telecommunications Commission Konrad von Finckenstein. He's rejected the plan as a violation of CRTC policies, so now Harper is trying to get him out of the job. Let's urgently send a massive wave of public support to von Finckenstein, with 100,000 Canadians encouraging him to keep standing up for Canada, and standing firm against Harper's pressure. Sign the petition below and forward this email to everyone -- we'll publish full page ads in Canadian papers when we reach 100,000:

Harper hatched his scheme in a secret lunch last year with media-mogul Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News. Harper's top aide Kory Teneycke also came to the lunch, and then left the government to head up Suncor Newspapers and the new "Fox News North".

Fox News fuels hate. While constantly claiming to be “fair” and “balanced”, it allows hysterical anchors like Glenn Beck to compare Obama to "Lucifer" and "Hitler". Bill O’Reilly, another anchor, has threatened to boycott Canada, and Anne Coulter says Canada is “lucky the US allows it to exist on the same continent.” The network has calculatingly spawned the tea party movement in the US, a mobilisation of the fringe right which threatens violence upon its opponents and wears guns to political rallies.

This is a fight for the soul of Canadian democracy. Our media is not perfect, but a ‘news’ network that slavishly serves a political agenda through mass manipulation and fear threatens the fabric of our democratic society.

The CRTC is part of our democracy -- it was made an independent commission precisely in order to protect against this kind of government manipulation of the media. Harper knows that he must bully his way through this institution in order to create "Fox News North". And there are dark rumours in Ottawa that if von Finckenstein will not leave his job, Harper will simply force him to give in. Konrad von Finckenstein is upholding the best tradition of Canadian democracy and civil service in the face of a full scale attack on that tradition. Let's show him, and Harper, that Canada stands with him.

"Fox News North" is Harper's long term strategy to make radical conservatism the political centre in Canada, tearing down the country we love to make us look like the U.S. Thankfully, Konrad von Finckenstein and the CRTC are standing in his way -- let's stand with them.

With hope,

Ricken, Emma, Iain, Laryn and the rest of the Avaaz team


Globe and Mail, “Is Harper set to move against the CRTC?”:

CBC, “The absolute last thing this country needs”:

Globe and Mail, CRTC refuses Sun TV's bid for preferred status on dial:

The Star, “Harper’s foxy luncheon”:

Mediaite, “Canada and Ann Coulter: a volatile relationship”:

Media Matters, “Glenn Beck compares Obama to Lucifer”:

Media Matters, “Glenn Beck smears Obama’s 11 year old daughter”:

The Examiner: “Bill O’Reilly again confuses facts about Canadian health care system”:



Date: 09 Sep 2010
From: "Ricken Patel -" (
Subject: Urgent: 'Fox News North' attacks Avaaz!

Dear amazing Avaaz community across Canada,

Our campaign to keep "Fox News North" from getting special access to our cable fees is working! The media giant behind the project has launched a massive assault on Avaaz in response, including smear pieces and intimidation tactics -- threatening a lawsuit with a 24 hour deadline. Let's give them our answer by raising a large campaign fund to win the fight for Canadian media and democracy:

In just 6 days, our petition to stop "Fox News North" from getting special access to our cable fees has exploded to over 75,000 signatures!

Together, we can stop Harper and his crony-media -- which is why "Fox News North" has launched a full scale attack on Avaaz: with smear pieces attacking us in their own newspapers. They've also admitted suspicious insider knowledge of a criminal sabotage of our petition -- fraudulently signing up key journalists to discredit us in the press as spammers. And we've received a letter from their lawyers threatening to sue us if we don't change our petition within 24 hours!

This is how big corporate power and their friends work to silence people's voices, using loads of cash, dirty tricks, expensive lawyers, and a media empire to smear their enemies and sue them into submission. But Avaaz is an online community of hundreds of thousands Canadians -- together, we're far stronger than any crony-corporation. They've given us a 24-hour ultimatum: Let's show them their intimidation tactics will backfire, and send a clear message back by raising a massive campaign fund by their own deadline. The more money we donate, the stronger message we send. Click below to stand up to "Fox News North" in the press and the courts:

The Stop "Fox News North" campaign fund will be used for:

a) Investigating the fraudulent attack on Avaaz - potentially leading to a criminal investigation of "Fox News North" (aka Sun TV)
b) Pressing our message in Canada's legitimate media, through compelling ads, op-eds and statements
c) Hiring lawyers, both to fend off Sun TV's attacks and to represent the views of Canadians to the CRTC as it considers Sun TV's request for the government to force cable companies to offer them.
d) Expanding our tiny team to be able to coordinate this campaign and scale it up to a new level, meeting the massive demand we're hearing from across Canada for a bigger campaign.

This is a fight for our democracy. Sun TV is part of the Quebecor empire, owned by Pierre Karl Peladeau, a radical conservative and the largest media mogul in Canada. After a secret lunch with the president and owner of Fox News, Harper's top spin doctor, Kory Teneycke, moved to Quebecor to head up Sun TV. So our country's largest media empire is now spearheaded by the Prime Minister's former spin doctor, and he wants a government commission (the CRTC) to go against all its policies and force all cable companies to offer his channel. What this means for us is that if we want to watch a range of channels or get the news package of channels, we'll likely be forced to pay for Harper's crony-media mouthpiece too. Click below to donate to stop "Fox News North" being added to our cable bills:

Quebecor's smear pieces on Avaaz spread a string of desperate falsehoods to try to discredit the voices of tens of thousands of concerned Canadians. Their pieces claimed for example that our petition was a fake, signed mainly by Americans. When we offered to have any reputable audit firm like KPMG audit our petition for authenticity, they didn't respond. This kind of sleazy exploitation of their media power is just a taste of the kind of Fox News-like subversion that Sun TV is seeking to bring to our democracy.

Even worse, in a criminal attack on democratic expression online, an individual connected to Kory Teneycke tried to discredit our petition by adding people falsely (including journalists), committing identity theft and fraud. In a live debate on CBC between Teneycke and Avaaz's Executive Director Ricken Patel, it emerged that Teneycke must have known about the fraud virtually as it was happening! The press is asking whether Teneycke himself or SunTV was behind the attack.

This is not the kind of democracy we want to live in, and it's certainly not the kind we're going to be forced to pay for. Harper's thuggish politics has shocked most of us nicer Canadians. But he's about to find out that we can only be pushed so far. Let's make the defeat of "Fox News North" the beginning of the end of Harper's assault on our democracy.

With hope,
Ricken, Emma, Laryn and the rest of the Avaaz team.

PS - some links to more information on this are below.

Ricken debates Kory Teneycke LIVE on CBC:

Rabble, "Ezra levant vs Reality"


LOTS of people forwarded this to me. Please note that this is a piece of fiction. As Jan Phillips wrote: "Lots of you emailed asking for the youtube link to the Jon Stewart interview with Jesus. It's not on youtube because the show never happened. It only happened in my imagination and I reported it just as it occurred. Transcribed it right out of my journal. Glad you liked it (most of you anyway.)"


Jon Stewart asks Jesus about Mosque Ground Zero

by Jan Phillips - artist, author, workshop facilitator - September 3, 2010

I woke up last night to the sound of laughing and realized I'd fallen asleep with the TV on. It was 3 AM and I knew it was Jon Stewart but I had to fumble around for my glasses to see who his guest was. Unbelievable! It was Jesus, in his robe and all. His nose was bigger than I thought, his skin a lot darker, but his eyes were more piercing than I'd ever imagined. It was like light came out instead of going into them.

John was making some joke about both of them being Jews and Jesus, after laughing harder than I thought he would, said quite seriously to Jon, "Yeah, that's one of the weirdest things, isn't it? How could they forget that?"

Jon was all over him with questions from the daily news. What was his take on the whole Mosque/Ground Zero fiasco? Jesus said he'd seen some newscasts on the story and couldn't believe the drama and fear it was bringing up. "They want to build a public building for prayer, education and community gathering. That's a good thing. A better thing perhaps, would be the construction of an interfaith building, There's room for everyone, and it's these distinctions between religions that's causing all the problems in the first place."

Jon looked incredulous. "An interfaith building??"

"Yes, a multi-tasking mosque, with a synagogue, chapel and meditation hall in it. A building where people of different faiths come together to make a better world together. That's the point of religion right? It's not about doctrine. It's a plan for action, an opportunity to be a bigger force for good. Religion is just the map. Faith is the real adventure."

"I don't know...." said Stewart, making one of those funny mouth movements he does after hearing a strange idea.

Jesus pipes in, "What could be better in that spot than a building that represents, by its very structure, a coming together, a new vision that goes beyond religious borders? It's like taking a good idea and making it great. The real prophets of the day know this. Where are their voices? Why aren't you interviewing them?"

"Hmm, I thought I was," says Stewart, tapping his pencil on the desk.

"You know why you have border issues here? Because you believe the borders are real, like they MEAN something. Muslin against Christian, Mexican against American, Republican against Democrat-all those borders are made up. You put up walls to defend your ideas-and not even your OWN, but ideas passed down to you from someone else-and then you make other people look like demons. It's no wonder this country is in a state of collapse. You don't even get it how connected you are. You're like five fingers on a hand who think they're separate and make up reasons why not to get along."

Jon sat there with his mouth open.

"You're like children playing war games. You spend all your time, all your energy attacking the "other side" instead of realizing you need to bridge the two sides in order to get across to a higher level of thinking. Even news shows are at war. Look at how you make fun of FOX. What light does that add to the world? All the time you could be giving to real visionaries, all the ways you could be role-modeling good behavior, showing the audience how it really WORKS to bring great and opposing minds together, and you sit there poking fun at another station. That's really enlightened, isn't it?"

This was the first time I'd ever seen Jon Stewart speechless. He looked like an embarrassed 6th grader. No pencil tapping now. More like a puppy with his tail between his legs.

"What in the world are you people doing? The ones who call themselves "religious" are often the most immature, the most judgmental and intolerant. What is THAT about? That's exactly the opposite of what every religion teaches. And I mean EVERY religion,"

Jesus said, as he looked away from Stewart and spoke right to the camera.

"All the religions say two basic things," he said, holding up his fingers in a peace sign.

"First, there is no distance between you and this one you call God. God is the creative force behind all things. It's invisible, but you are the manifestation of it. I'm telling you, the Sistine Chapel should have been a mirror."

The audience laughs, but Stewart stares into those deep eyes of the Nazarene.

He goes on, "You are the eyes, the hands, the feet of that creative force. That energy is in you. It's called your breath." He holds up his index finger and taps on it a few times. "That's the first thing. Don't think there's some man out there pulling strings. Grow up. This civilization—if you can call it that—is YOUR creation. This Earth, it is not a bunch of resources to be exploited. It is not to be owned. It is your mother, the womb that you sprang from. You are its consciousness, its neural cells. The whole Earth is the organism that you belong to. You did not come down to earth, you came up from earth, as I did. Its well-being is in your hands. Can you be proud of what you're doing? Are you going to be the ones who kill it off, after all that talk about pro-life?"

Jesus was getting a little worked up, like that day he stormed through the temple turning over the merchants' tables. Jon cut to a commercial, "And we'll be right back to hear the 2nd basic thing from our guest tonight, ladies and gentlemen, the Jewish prophet Jesus of Nazareth. Stay tuned..."

They were laughing about something when they returned from the commercial, Jesus stretched out in his chair with his long lanky legs covered by his tunic, his sandaled feet hidden under the desk.

"OK," Jon says, "You were saying there were two things. Let me see if I got this right. There's no bearded guy up there on a cloud. That God we talk about and fight over is the creative force inside us and around us? It's invisible and we're like... (a long pause) its shadow?"

"Not exactly," says Jesus. We're like the physical form of the same energy. The ice cube version of water or steam. Same elements, different form. The sea and the iceberg. You're all icebergs in the Sea of God," he said, half-laughing at his own quaint metaphor. "But the problem is you don't realize that underneath it all, you're all connected. There's just one big iceberg with a lot of tips. The truth is, you're Creation continuing the co-creation of Itself."

"Oh my," says Stewart. "Let's leave that discussion to Bill Moyers, What about number two? What's the number two thing we're supposed to know?"

Jesus holds up his two fingers again, tapping the tip of his middle finger. The camera zoomed in so closely on him I could see a scar on his forehead. "It's not so much what you need to know-that's part of the problem, all these peoples' belief systems. That's what gets you in trouble. No one has to believe in me to get to heaven. A...there is no heaven to get to and B, it's not what you believe but how you act that matters. If anyone learned anything from reading that Bible they should have picked up that one. There's 3000 references to helping the poor in there. But let me get back..."

"Yes," says Stewart. "The second thing.."

"The second thing is this: forget everything you ever learned in any holy book and just treat everyone like a brother and a sister. I mean that literally. If it were your brother coming across the border...your sister with cancer and no health care....your child unable to get an education....your mother with no food in her house. And even further, your brother who was gay or hated gays, your sister who was a corrupt politician, your brother who bombed an abortion clinic, your sister who got an abortion. What does it look like to love unconditionally? To bridge differences, to come together over what we can agree on? Can you get through one day without thinking you're better or less than another? That's the thing to strive for. That is living faithfully."

"But...but..." says Stewart. "What about the Tea Partyers, the terrorists, what about Fox News and hate crimes?"

"If you think they are so different from you, be the opposite of what you think they are and enact that powerfully in the world. Don't focus on who's wrong. Just be a greater force for good."

"Not focus on who's wrong? How could I do my show?"

"Exactly. Remember what Gandhi said? Be the change you want to see in the world?"

"Sure. I have that quotation on my refrigerator."

"Well, it's time to take it further. You're evolving as a people. You've come through the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the wrongly named Period of Enlightenment. You're now in the Information Age. You are growing your consciousness. In the physical world, you have Olympic marathon trainers who run 10 miles or more a day. They spend every waking hour in training, eating the right foods, researching the right clothing and equipment, working out, following a discipline. And in the metaphysical world, the spiritual world, you have people doing the same-they are your mystics and prophets-engaging in spiritual practice, accelerating their wisdom, expanding their consciousness, transcending judgment and radiating love into the world. You might be in that category.,."

Stewart does one of his choking, ahem things, putting his hand over his mouth. "Out of the question," he says frankly. "I thrive on judgment."

"Good to know yourself. You're all evolving at different rates. In the fall, when you look at a maple tree, you see leaves that are green, yellow, orange and red. They don't all change at the same time. And that's what makes life exciting. You all know different things. That's why you need each other. Like that guy Ken Wilbur said, "You're all right, only partly so."

Stewart nods his head in agreement, tapping his pencil on the table again.

"But back to Gandhi. I agree with what he said, but I'll say it a different way, just to shake things up a bit, which I love to do. By the way, it'd make a great bumper sticker:

Be the God you want to see in the world."

"Oh-oh, sounds blasphemous to me," says Stewart.

"You know as well as I do, every good idea starts out as a blasphemy."

"OK, great, we're out of time," says Stewart, as the camera swings over for a shot of the audience. They're all standing, some crying and laughing at the same time, the most incredible look of collective awe I've ever seen. And Jesus walks over like Jay Leno and starts shaking hands with them. What a night!"

Follow Jan Phillips on Twitter:



Sun storm to hit with 'force of 100m bombs'

By Peter Farquhar - August 25, 2010

AFTER 10 years of comparative slumber, the sun is waking up - and it's got astronomers on full alert.

This week several US media outlets reported that NASA was warning the massive flare that caused spectacular light shows on Earth earlier this month was just a precursor to a massive solar storm building that had the potential to wipe out the entire planet's power grid.

NASA has since rebutted those reports, saying it could come "100 years away or just 100 days", but an Australian astronomer says the space community is betting on the sooner scenario rather than the latter.

Despite its rebuttal, NASA's been watching out for this storm since 2006 and reports from the US this week claim the storms could hit on that most Hollywood of disaster dates - 2012.

Similar storms back in 1859 and 1921 caused worldwide chaos, wiping out telegraph wires on a massive scale.

The 2012 storm has the potential to be even more disruptive.

"The general consensus among general astronomers (and certainly solar astronomers) is that this coming Solar maximum (2012 but possibly later into 2013) will be the most violent in 100 years," astronomy lecturer and columnist Dave Reneke said.

"A bold statement and one taken seriously by those it will affect most, namely airline companies, communications companies and anyone working with modern GPS systems.

"They can even trip circuit breakers and knock out orbiting satellites, as has already been done this year."

Regardless, the point astronomers are making is it doesn't matter if the next Solar Max isn't the worst in history, or even as bad as the 1859 storms.

It's the fact that there hasn't been one since the mid-80s. Commodore had just launched the Amiga and the only digital storm making the news was Tetris.

No one really knows what effect the 2012-2013 Solar Max will have on today's digital-reliant society.

Dr Richard Fisher, director of NASA's Heliophysics division, told Mr Reneke the super storm would hit like "a bolt of lightning", causing catastrophic consequences for the world's health, emergency services and national security unless precautions are taken.

US government officials earlier this year took part in a "tabletop exercise" in Boulder, Colorado, to map out what might happen if the Earth was hit with a storm as intense as the 1859 and 1921 storms.

The 1859 storm was of a similar size to that predicted by NASA to hit within the next three years - one of decreased activity, but more powerful eruptions.

NASA said that a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a similar storm occurred today, it could cause "$1 to 2 trillion in damages to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to 10 years for complete recovery".

Staff at the Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado, which hosted the exercise, said with our reliance on satellite technology, such an event could hit the Earth with the magnitude of a global hurricane or earthquake.

The reason for the concern comes as the sun enters a phase known as Solar Cycle 24.

All the alarming news building around the event is being fuelled by two things.

The first is a book by disaster expert Lawrence E. Joseph, Guilty of Apocalypse: The Case Against 2012, in which he claims the "Hurricane Katrina for the Earth" may cause unprecedented planetwide upheaval.

The second is a theory that claims sunspots travel through the sun on a "conveyor belt" similar to the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt which controls weather on Earth.

The belt carries magnetic fields through the sun. When they hit the surface, they explode as sunspots.

Weakened, they then travel back through the sun's core to recharge.

It all happens on a rough 40-50-year cycle, according to solar physicist David Hathaway of the National Space Science and Technology Center in the US.

He says when the belt speeds up, lots of magnetic fields are collected, which points to more intense future activity.

"The belt was turning fast in 1986-1996," Prof Hathaway said.

"Old magnetic fields swept up then should reappear as big sunspots in 2010-2011."

Most experts agree, although those who put the date of Solar Max in 2012 are getting the most press.

They claim satellites will be aged by 50 years, rendering GPS even more useless than ever, and the blast will have the equivalent energy of 100 million hydrogen bombs.

"We know it is coming but we don't know how bad it is going to be," Dr Fisher told Mr Reneke in the most recent issue of Australasian Science.

"Systems will just not work. The flares change the magnetic field on the Earth and it's rapid, just like a lightning bolt.

"That's the solar effect."



Protect your children from cell phone and WiFi radiation before it's too late

August 25, 2010

Barrie Trower, a physicist and former British Secret Service Microwave Weapons Specialist, said he came out of retirement because microwave technology that was used for weapons is now being used in schools.

Speaking at the University of Toronto recently, Mr. Trower said he refuses all gifts and all money; consequently he tells it “exactly as it is.”

He said there is a lot of proof that microwave radiation – used for cell phones and WiFi - is harmful and governments have known this for many years.

“Your government (Canadian) is one of the world leaders in microwave radiation research. The U.S. joined Canada in conducting research ... The first symptoms of microwave sickness were documented in 1932.”

He added that there are 13 secret code names of microwave radiation research used by Canada, the U.S. and Britain.

Research results show that lung damage, destroyed brain cells and damage to the blood brain barrier are among a litany of ill-effects of prolonged exposure to low levels of microwave radiation; and children are the most susceptible because their cells are close to the size of the microwaves. Mr. Trower said this means children act as antennae for the microwaves.

“Children are not small adults. Their systems have not yet formed. It takes a few years for the blood brain barrier to form. It's like a fish net that surrounds the brain and keeps toxins out (of the brain). Microwave radiation makes the wholes (in the blood brain barrier) bigger so toxins leak into the brain. This can cause psychiatric problems.”

Auditory hallucinations that make people think they're hearing sounds, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, sleeplessness and irritability are among the symptoms of blood brain barrier damage researchers have documented.

Damage to the immune system, which takes 18 years to develop in children, is another effect of exposure to microwave radiation Mr. Trower cites.

He also said we have electric cables in our bodies, formed by mile-long, inch-thick sheets of layers of proteins, that take 22 years to develop in children; and microwave radiation affects the protein synthesis.

Mr. Trower said there isn't a school in the world that hasn't seen an increase in aggression and other bad behavior when WiFi was introduced.

He cites paranoia, hallucinations, suicidal tendencies and inability to make decisions, among the deleterious effects of exposure to low levels of microwave radiation.

Then he gave an explanation for why little is being done about this issue.

“By 1971 we knew everything that needed to be known. This document (a 1976 summary of U.S. Defense intelligence agencies' research) is the saddest most despicable document ever published in history. Lack of concentration, menstrual disorders, headaches and irritability are some of the effects of exposure to microwaves, listed in this document,” Mr. Trower said, followed by this statement: 'This should be kept secret to preserve industrial profit.' “

He added that as far back as the 1950's profit was deemed what needed protection, not people's health.

“In the 1950's researchers conducted experiments on the effects of microwave radiation. Their report contained this statement: 'If this paper becomes known around the world, it will threaten military and commercial investments.'”

Remarkably, the European Parliament has decided that it can't even trust the World Health Organization's (WHO) guidelines for acceptable levels of microwave radiation.

Mr. Trower said the European Parliament wrote to its 27 countries urging them to ignore WHO guidelines and set exposure limits at lower levels. And what was the WHO's response?

“The WHO said they will not comment on microwave radiation effects on people until 2015, when it will be able to establish effects on human beings. They are watching people to see how many will become sick. We're being experimented upon.”

He added that the WHO only began studying microwave radiation effects on children in 2009 and it said it won't be able to comment until 2020.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trower said Russia is banning any children under 18 from microwave exposure, when possible, and Britain said children under 12 should have no microwave radiation exposure at all.

This is in the wake of reports made to the British parliament detailing the cases of 11 children under 11 years old who have leukemia. Mr. Trower said this is how the government responded:

“The minister said we're within international guidelines and sat down. This happened four times.”

However, as a result of research that documents the harmful effects of microwave radiation on fetuses, the British government said that pregnant women must not be exposed to microwave radiation.

“The head of the fetus has multiple connections going on in the brain of the fetus. Microwave radiation gives the fetus an innumerable amount of electrical shocks. This can cause brain blood barrier damage that can result in severe psychiatric disorders later in life.”

And this is but one of a number of risks to fetus development microwave radiation causes.

“It's a serious thing, even low levels of microwave radiation,” Mr. Trower said. “It affects ovarian follicles and eggs. It can damage genes and eggs and the damage is irreparable. Generations will carry genetic defects. It's threatening the health of future generations, so it must never be put in schools.”

He said there is no known safe level of microwave radiation for a child. “No scientist in the world has published a safe level for a child.”


Related articles, radio interview and video:

Wi-Fi could cause birth defects, British scientist warns (AUGUST 25, 2010)
OTTAWA — A British scientist and former naval weapons expert has waded into the debate over the safety of wireless networks in Canadian schools, warning generations could face genetic disorders because of prolonged exposure to low-level microwaves. Barrie Trower, who specialized in microwave "stealth" warfare during the Cold War, was to lecture at the University of Toronto Tuesday night. His topic: safety concerns surrounding use of Wi-Fi systems in public schools. While Health Canada maintains it is safe, Trower said there are no scientific studies that categorically state there is no harm from prolonged exposure. He also warns we could be threatening the health of future generations of Canadians who can be affected by microwaves at the DNA level. "When I realized these same frequencies and powers (as weapons during the Cold War) were being used as Wi-Fi in schools, I decided to come out of retirement and travel around the world free of charge and explain exactly what the problem is going to be in the future," Trower told Postmedia News in an interview Tuesday. "Children are not small adults, they are underdeveloped adults, so there are different symptoms. "What you are doing in schools is transmitting at low levels," said Trower, who teaches at Britain's Dartmoor College and holds a degree in physics. Trower said he's concerned about Wi-Fi in schools because "low level microwaves can damage the ovaries in girls." "That girl could have a genetically deformed child, and that could be carried through generations. You are not just risking the current health of your children, you are risking the future generations of your children in your country with genetic disorders." CLIP - Listen also to CBC Radio 'The Current' interview with Barrie Trower - More on this story HERE

Egg and sperm donors may get thousands of pounds in fertility plan. Significant shift in policy aims to stop more childless couples seeking treatment abroad. The real question that needs to be asked about the above problem is, Why are these people infertile? This video may help to explain why (electromagnetic radiation) Wireless Networks - Genetic Mutations -- Watch also WiFi In Schools Causes Cancer and WiFi Is Not Safe For Kids - You may also want to check biological effect in blood from pulsed electromagnetic fields after 5, 17 and 29 minutes




Vaccine Deaths And Injuries Skyrocket As Cover-Up Implodes

Global revolt against deadly vaccines spreads as cases of debilitating illnesses, soft-kill side-effects and even instant deaths become widespread

Paul Joseph Watson - August 30, 2010

Cases of debilitating illnesses, soft-kill side-effects and even instant deaths as a result of vaccinations across the world are skyrocketing as the cover-up of deadly inoculations implodes and more people than ever become suspicious about what they are being injected with by health authorities who have proven they cannot be trusted.

The implosion of the vaccine cover-up is sure to discourage more parents from vaccinating their children in the coming months, with the swine flu shot now being combined with the regular seasonal flu jab. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 52 per cent of Americans were concerned about the safety of vaccines as we approach the start of school and college terms, where many children and teenagers will be “required” to take shots before they can attend.

A global revolt against dangerous vaccines is brewing following a series of cases where children have been killed as a direct result of inoculations.

A measles vaccination program in India was halted after four children died almost immediately after receiving the shot. “Four children died within minutes of receiving a vaccine for measles followed by drops of Vitamin A solution on Saturday,” reports MedGuru.

Indian newspaper reports carried eyewitness accounts of what happened. “The four children were reported to have fainted soon after they were vaccinated and witnesses reported seeing the children’s eyes roll back as they began to have seizures,” reports Blitz.

Furious villagers reacted to the tragedy by going on a rampage, attacking health workers and holding government doctors hostage.

Health professionals and doctors with government ties were also blamed in Finland and Sweden after a H1N1 vaccination program was halted following a 300 per cent increase in cases of the neurological disorder narcolepsy amongst children and young people who had received the shot over the last six months.

According to Kari Lankinen, head physician of the Finnish Medicines Agency, doctors were complicit in hiding the link between the swine flu shot and narcolepsy and did so to advance their careers.

Meanwhile, concerned mothers whose daughters have been injured or killed by the Gardasil vaccine have put together a website that documents the truth about how the vaccine has killed and injured thousands of young girls since it was introduced in 2006. Thousands of teenagers have suffered adverse reactions and at least 71 have died from the vaccine since the HPV program was launched four years ago.

The global vaccine cover-up took a massive blow after it was confirmed that the 2009 swine flu outbreak was, as we predicted from the start, a contrived scam centered around making vast profits for pharmaceutical companies while endangering the health of the public.

As we reported earlier this year, Chair of the Council of Europe’s Sub-committee on Health Wolfgang Wodarg’s investigation into the 2009 swine flu outbreak found that the pandemic was a fake hoax manufactured by pharmaceutical companies in league with the WHO.

Wodarg said that governments were “threatened” by special interest groups within the pharmaceutical industry as well as the WHO to buy the vaccines and inject their populations without any reasonable scientific reason for doing so, and yet in countries like Germany and France only around 6 per cent took the vaccine despite enough being available to cover 90 per cent of the population.

Wodarg said there was “no other explanation” for what happened than the fact that the WHO worked in cahoots with the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture the panic in order to generate vast profits, agreeing with host Alex Jones that the entire farce was a hoax.

He also explained how health authorities were “already waiting for something to happen” before the pandemic started and then exploited the virus for their own purposes.

Professor Ulrich Keil, director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Centre for Epidemiology, also slammed the swine flu epidemic as an overblown “angst campaign”, devised in conjunction with major drug companies to boost profits for vaccine manufacturers.

As Natural News’ Mike Adams reported, several members of the Emergency Committee expert panel that advised the World Health Organization (WHO) during the swine flu scare were receiving financial support from pharmaceutical manufacturers either during or prior to the epidemic.

Both H1N1 and seasonal flu shots have been linked with a number of different side-effects across the globe, including Guillain-Barré Syndrome as well as dystonia, a paralyzing neurological disorder.

The seasonal flu vaccine has also been linked with convulsions and fits in under-5’s.

Many batches of the swine flu vaccine included squalene and mercury amongst their ingredients, two substances that have been directly connected with the explosion of autism amongst children as well as other diseases. Individuals within government and the military were privileged to receive additive free shots that did not include these substances. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and government ministers, as well as German soldiers, were amongst those who received access to the so-called “friendly” version of the vaccine.

In order to head off legal claims for side-effects caused by the swine flu vaccination program, the U.S. government provided vaccine makers with blanket legal immunity before the shots began to be dispersed.

Citing concerns over safety, Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Health Minister Ewa Kopacz, with the broad support of the public, ensured that Poland was the only country in the world to completely reject the H1N1 vaccine.

“We are making this decision only in the interest of the Polish patient and the taxpayer,” Tusk said. “We will not take part because it’s not honest and it’s not safe for the patient.”

In a 2008 trial for a bird flu vaccine, three Polish doctors and six nurses faced criminal charges after the vaccine killed 21 homeless people who were participating in the test.

The Czech Republic rejected a swine flu vaccine produced by pharmaceutical manufacturer Baxter after the company was caught shipping vaccines contaminated with deadly live H5N1 avian flu virus to 18 countries by a lab at an Austrian branch of Baxter.

Given the routinely stated goal on behalf of mega-rich foundations that fund vaccination programs around the world, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, to use vaccines as a way of sterilizing the planet’s population as part of the global eugenics soft-kill assault on humanity, it’s unsurprising that as more people become aware of this agenda, take-up rates of new as well as seasonal vaccines continue to decline.

As Jurriaan Maessen recently documented in his Infowars exclusive, in its 1968 yearly report, the Rockefeller Foundation acknowledged funding the development of so-called “anti-fertility vaccines” and their implementation on a mass-scale.

This program was then launched by a group that was created under auspices of the World Health Organization, World Bank and UN Population Fund entitled “Task Force on Vaccines for Fertility Regulation”. In the 1990’s, the WHO was mired in controversy after it distributed a “tetanus vaccine” to poor girls and women in the third world that was contaminated with human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), a hormone that induces involuntary abortion.

During a TED conference earlier this year, Bill Gates openly stated that vaccines would be used to lower the earth’s population in the name of combating climate change. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the major funders of vaccine research and production in the third world.

Warning that the global population was heading towards 9 billion, Gates said, “If we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services (abortion), we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 per cent.”

Quite how an improvement in health care and vaccines that supposedly save lives would lead to a lowering in global population is an oxymoron, unless Gates was referring to vaccines that sterilize people, which is precisely the same method advocated in White House science advisor John P. Holdren’s 1977 textbook Ecoscience, which calls for a dictatorial “planetary regime” to enforce draconian measures of population reduction via all manner of oppressive techniques, including sterilization.

With people globally becoming increasingly aware of the role of vaccines in the agenda to reduce world population, the cover-up of debilitating diseases, soft kill side-effects, and instant fatalities as a result of vaccinations will continue to implode, until authorities are forced by law to implement vastly more stringent screening procedures and remove the toxic additives from vaccines that are causing these deaths and diseases.


For much more information, visit JANE BURGERMEISTER's new blog at

Check also Jane Burgermeister distances herself from theflucase website and check also an excerpt from her forthcoming new book FALSE PANDEMIC - A failed attempt at depopulation and One World Government



Australia bans flu vaccines in children after vomiting, fevers, seizures

by Mike Adams - August 27, 2010

(NaturalNews) Although it's still summer in North America, it is of course winter in Australia, and the flu season is well under way there. As usual, Australian health authorities have been urging parents there to vaccinate their children against the flu, propagating the mythology that flu vaccines are both safe and effective. But this time around, many Australian parents found out the hard way that they were being lied to.

It didn't take long to realize the truth after their children start going into convulsions following the flu vaccine injections. Other children began vomiting or exhibiting dangerously high levels of fever. One child has gone into a coma and may never recover.

As reported in WA Today...

"Perth mother of two Bea Flint said her 11-month-old boy Avery had a seizure after receiving the first dose of the two-dose flu vaccination on Saturday. Mrs Flint said that after the 9am vaccination she noticed Avery had a minor temperature about 2pm. At 7.45pm, Avery started whimpering and moaning. When Mrs Flint got to his cot the baby had vomited and was lying on his side having a seizure. 'He couldn't cry - his head was hanging down in the car seat and he couldn't move. I was petrified - it was one of the worst experiences of my life."

The story goes on to say, "The doctor who treated Avery told Mrs Flint her baby was the fifth child with similar symptoms admitted to the hospital that day."

In other words, this was no rare event. Vaccinated children suffering severe convulsions were piling up in hospital emergency rooms across the country.

The real kicker, though, is that children started having convulsions two weeks ago but Australian health authorities ignored them, insisting that the vaccine was safe and causing it to be injected in yet more babies. Two weeks later, with dozens more children experiencing convulsions (and who knows how many thousands actually being harmed in less obvious ways), Commonwealth chief health officer Professor Jim Bishop finally announced the vaccination ban.

Remember: Health authorities in Australia, UK, the United States and everywhere else have relentlessly insisted that flu vaccines are perfectly safe and can't possibly harm anyone. In the U.S., the FDA has given its approval to the very same flu vaccine that's harming children in Australia, and the CDC has insisted that all children in the USA -- regardless of age -- should now be injected with this very same flu vaccine.

So now we've got a vaccine that Australia has banned but the USA somehow says is safe enough to inject into a six-month-old infant. How many convulsing babies will it take in the U.S. before American parents realize the truth about flu vaccines?

Chemically induced convulsions

As you're reading this, you may find yourself wonder, "Well, what could cause such convulsions in children?"

The answer is more terrifying than you might think, because it's not "weakened flu viruses" that vaccine manufacturer claim they put into the vaccines. A weakened flu virus doesn't send children into convulsions. Only a chemical can do that.

The chemical in question is one that's routinely added to most vaccines as a way to aggravate the immune system to respond to the presence of the weakened virus. It's called an "adjuvant" and consists of a highly inflammatory chemical that we now know may damage brain tissues and the nervous system. It is this adjuvant that most likely caused the convulsions in children.

Even in children who don't experience convulsions, there is speculation that this adjuvant may lead to future Alzheimer's disease or other neurological disorders. Vaccine manufacturers always attempt to downplay their use of adjuvant chemicals, and few media outlets focus on this important point, but it is the adjuvant that is most likely responsible for sending these Australian children into hospitals with convulsions.

Health authorities defend dangerous vaccine
One thing I've noticed about vaccine pushers is that they behave like irrational zealots. No matter how much evidence surfaces about the dangers of vaccines, they continue to mindlessly push them while ignoring the evidence.

A pediatric professor in Australia, Dr Peter Richmond, admitted that researchers were trying to figure out if the entire vaccine was dangerous, or if there was just a bad batch. But even before getting the answer to this question, he goes on to say that everybody over the age of five should go ahead and get injected with this same vaccine!

In other words, he's so convinced the vaccine is safe -- even after dozens of children were obviously harmed by it -- that he's still pushing the same dangerous vaccine onto everybody else!

This is precisely the kind of attitude reflected across the vaccine industry. Reports of children being harmed, or paralyzed, or hospitalized by vaccines are always written off as "coincidence." The mounting evidence is simply thrown out the window because it conflicts with the pro-vaccine agenda.

Can you imagine the outrage if an herbal product sent fifty kids to the hospital suffering from convulsions? Health authorities across the world would be quick to condemn the product, and they'd confiscate it right off the shelves while shutting down the operations of its manufacturer. But somehow when a vaccine does the same thing, these same health authorities urge people to keep on injecting their children with it!

It makes no sense. But then again, the vaccine industry was never based on rational thinking in the first place. If health authorities were truly rational, they'd be handing out vitamin D supplements to children instead of injecting them with vaccines, because vitamin D has been scientifically proven to provide better protection against the flu than vaccines.

Of course, to ask health authorities to make rational decisions is sort of like asking politicians to start telling the truth. In the complicated world of profits and politics, rational, honest thinking just doesn't get any traction. It's far more profitable to keep lying to the world and raking in billions of dollars each year off dangerous vaccines, even as they continue to harm innocent children.

I often wonder... How many dead children will it take before parents wake up and realize that flu vaccines are dangerous? The answer may surprise you: Even a million dead children won't change the minds of most parents because they just do whatever they're told by health authorities, even if it makes no rational sense.

Most parents are so brainwashed by the medical system that they would gladly line up to have their babies injected with chemotherapy if they were told it was somehow necessary.

At some point, the parents whose babies are being harmed or potentially even killed by these vaccines can only blame themselves. They were the ones who brought their babies to be injected with a chemical adjuvant and viral fragments, and they should know better than to trust the government when it comes to health advice. The government, after all, still says that pharmaceutical chemicals are good for you while vitamins, herbs and natural remedies are dangerous. And it's the government that approved the very vaccines that are right now sending these children to the hospital.

Any parent that trusts the government with the health of their child is setting themselves up for catastrophe. And that catastrophe could very well cost them the life of their child.


Related articles:

Swine flu vaccine safety probed over link to rare sleep disorder (27 August 2010)
The safety of a swine flu vaccine is to be investigated by European drugs regulators after it was linked to a rare condition that causes people to fall asleep suddenly. -- The investigation has been prompted after health officials in Finland announced they were suspending the vaccination programme there following reports of narcolepsy in people who had received the jab.So far there have been 27 reports of suspected narcolepsy in people across Europe who had previously been vaccinated with Pandemrix, the H1N1 swine flu vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline. No cases have been reported in Britain.In total more than 30m people in the European Union have been vaccinated with Pandemrix.Narcolepsy is a rare condition and its causes are unknown. It can be dangerous if sufferers fall asleep while driving or operating machinery. It is thought there are 25,000 people with the condition in Britain but experts have estimated that 80 per cent of sufferers have not been diagnosed. Once diagnosed with the condition, which is long-term and has no cure, people are not allowed to drive. The investigation will examine if Pandemrix was the likely trigger for the condition or whether it was a coincidence. Finland suspended its national vaccination programme on Tuesday after eight suspected cases of narcolepsy following administration of the jab. A further ten cases have been reported in Sweden, six in France, and one each in Germany and Norway. CLIP

Sweden opens investigation into neurological damage caused by Pandemrix
(AFP) - Aug 18, 2010 STOCKHOLM - Sweden's Medical Products Agency opened an inquiry Wednesday into vaccinations for swine flu made by British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, suspected of provoking narcolepsy. "The MPA has received six reports from health care professionals regarding narcolepsy as suspected adverse drug reaction following Pandemrix flu vaccination," it said in a statement. "The agency will, in consultation with external experts, assess the possible relationship between the vaccination and the reported reactions."The reports concern children aged between 12-16 years who developed symptoms compatible with narcolepsy, a chronic sleeping disorder, that occurred one to two months after vaccination against the H1N1 pandemic. CLIP

Side effects of flu vaccine warned of (2010-08-27)
A lawmaker Friday warned of the side effects of the swine flu vaccine, saying more than 2,000 suspected cases have been reported to health authorities. According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 2,593 side-effect cases were reported here, Rep. Shim Jae-cheol of the ruling Grand National Party said. The cases included light symptoms such as fevers, headaches and allergic responses as well as 10 deaths, he said. The KCDC reviewed some 180 cases seeking compensation and covered the treatment costs for 88 cases, nearly half of the total. However, no compensation was offered to those who died, as the disease control agency could not find any medical correlation to the flu shots. CLIP

Flu vaccination ban goes national after fever, convulsions in children (April 23, 2010)
Seasonal flu vaccinations across Australia for children under five have been suspended after 23 children in Western Australia were admitted to hospital with convulsions following their injections. One child, aged 1, remains in a coma in a Perth hospital. Commonwealth chief health officer Professor Jim Bishop yesterday announced the suspension while authorities urgently review data from around the country. More than 60 children around the state may have had adverse reactions to the vaccine, including fevers, vomiting and febrile convulsions - a type of fit brought on by a high fever. One child remains in a critical condition in hospital after being given the vaccine. Dr Weeramanthri said he had few details on the child's condition but they were "seriously ill". CLIP

Flu Plan Scandal Ahead - An Urgent Warning
Barbara Loe Fisher, founder of the National Vaccine Information Center, discusses the outcome of last year's swine flu debacle, and the potentially harmful changes that are being made to this season's flu vaccine as a result. (...) WARNING: This Year's Flu PlanThe news for this year is that the flu vaccine you'll get this fall will be a combination vaccine that contains both the regular flu- and the swine flu vaccines - you will not be given the choice to take them individually. Barbara Loe Fisher explains:"In February of 2009, the CDC announced that every single American from the age of 6 months through the year of death should get an annual flu shot - every single one of us, whether we're healthy or we're sick.In March of 2009, this mysterious H1N1 bird-pig-human hybrid influenza virus was discovered. So here we are… Everyone is supposed to get a flu shot every year. We're going into the flu season of 2010-2011…. [But] they have decided that in the annual influenza shot for this year, there will be three type A or type B viruses, and one will be H1N1."This is the same type of vaccine that Australia recently suspended for use in children under the age of five because it caused a surprisingly high number of reports of children suffering high fevers, vomiting and febrile convulsions. But children aren't the only group that seem to react more violently to the trivalent vaccine that contains the H1N1 component.
(...) Flu Vaccine Doesn't Work for Seniors, So Their Dose is Quadrupled!For seniors, the news may be even more dire.When H1N1 first hit last year, the CDC explained that seniors weren't included in the first round of shots because studies indicated the risk of infection in this age group was less than for younger groups.But now that H1N1 is part of the seasonal shot, the CDC and WHO have some hefty plans for the same seniors who, last year, they said were less likely to get H1N1.In the ACIP Provisional Recommendations for the Use of Influenza Vaccines, dated February 24, it states:"A higher dose formulation of an inactivated seasonal influenza vaccine (Fluzone High-Dose, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, licensed by FDA on December 23, 2009) for use in people age 65 years and older will be available in the 2010-11 influenza season."Fluzone High-Dose contains four times the amount of influenza antigen compared to other inactivated seasonal influenza vaccines. …Studies are underway to assess the relative effectiveness of Fluzone High-Dose compared to standard dose inactivated influenza vaccine, but results from those studies will not be available before the 2010-11 influenza season." Yes, you read that right: if you're age 65 or older, the CDC wants you to take a flu vaccine this fall that not only contains an antigen they previously said you probably already have antibodies to (H1N1), but that is also four times as potent, with no safety evaluation whatsoever until AFTER the season is underway! Again, the CDC is asking you to be a part of a large public health experiment.This is why we're warning you early, because for the most part, none of this is really known. It's not been announced. It certainly has not received widespread publicity. Another mind-bending irony is that unused or expired flu vaccines that contain the mercury preservative thimerosal can by law not be disposed of in regular garbage because it's considered hazardous waste. Yet it's deemed to be safe to inject into your body - in the case of the flu vaccine, once a year, each and every year of your life! CLIP

India stops vaccine programmes after four children die within minutes of vaccination (August 27, 2010)
Vaccine programmes grind to a halt in India once more, when four children died after they received the measles vaccination in Lucknow. The four children were reported to have fainted soon after they were vaccinated and witnesses reported seeing the children's eyes roll back as they began to have seizures. All of the children were under the age of two years of age, with the youngest being just six months. Sadly the children died before medical aid workers could reach them. As news of the deaths spread, immunization drives in 41 villages have been halted until further investigations have taken place. CLIP

Nouvelle polémique autour du vaccin contre la grippe H1n1 (27 août 2010)
Les autorités européennes ont ouvert une enquête pour déterminer s'il existe un lien entre le vaccin Pandemrix, fabriqué par le laboratoire britannique GlaxoSmithkline, et les récents cas de narcolepsie diagnostiqués dans plusieurs pays européens. 22 cas ont été détectés à ce jour en Finlande, en Suéde mais aussi en France.L'agence française de sécurité sanitaire des produits de santé a recencé 5 cas de narcolepsie chez des personnes vaccinées au Pandemrix et un autre au Panenza, un vaccin de Sanofi-Pasteur (...) La narcolepsie avec cataplexie est une maladie rare caractérisée par des accès de sommeil dans la journée associés à de brusques relâchements du tonus musculaire, déclenchés par une forte émotion." Je peux m'endormir à tout moment, un peu partout", explique cet enfant suédois qui souffre de narcolepsie. " Je peux même m'endormir en voiture quand le trajet dure moins de deux minutes". Plus de 30 millions d'européens ont été vaccinés au Pandemrix dans le cadre des campagnes de prévention contre la grippe H1n1. La Finlande a recommandé cette semaine la suspension de l'usage de ce vaccin.

Gardasil Primer - 9 Min
More videos produced by Jim Grapek at the bottom of this webpage



Making Sense of It All… Creatively Speaking

By Jim Grapek - 2005

What an exciting time to be alive, especially if you're a “creative soul” - so much opportunity! 

I want to be optimistic, but not only are we witnessing the mass destabilization of our atmosphere and ecosystems, but we're also witnessing a decline in our quality of life and well being, not to mention the loss of our civil liberties and a general feeling of helplessness. Did I miss anything? Some things haven't changed, though; we're still free to shop like it's nobody's business. And China Mar…sorry, Wal Marts seem to be opening up like there's no tomorrow.

In my mind, things have gotten so weird that I can barely find words to describe it. The last I remember it was the early seventies… we were marching for peace, brotherly love and civil rights. I was sure it had worked. The Vietnam War ended, the Cold War ended…even the Berlin Wall came down. But the next thing I know, poof! The World Trade Center is attacked, surveillance cameras are popping up everywhere, Iraq is invaded, and on top of it all, I along with every other upstanding American, had become a suspect. 

It wasn't long before I started feeling that this whole war on terror thing was spiraling out of control. In 2004 President Bush signed the Bioshield Act into law, giving the government the authority to bypass legal protections in place for decades and direct the use of experimental drugs (vaccinations) for both military and civilian populations during times of emergency or “potential” emergency, whether that emergency has its basis in reality or not. Does this scare me? Hell yes, it terrorizes me!

It's weird, but these days I feel like the Al Qaeda is the least of my problems. The more I read the newspapers and watch TV, (and perhaps it's time to stop?), the worse I feel. Life has become a big “what if”. What if China destroys our economy? What if the market collapses? What if I catch that new “killer” strain of West Nile Virus? What if we run out of oil? What if my kids get kidnapped? Meanwhile, billions of dollars in contracts are being doled out to Haliburton and other political campaign contributors.
Meanwhile, where are the “real” news stories? What about all of the positive stuff happening… the progress being made? Am I forced to get all of the good news from the Internet? 

If you read the papers or listen to the news from any of the mainstream outlets, it's like they WANT people to live in fear and feel anxiety ridden and powerless. I bet much of what they are printing would be called 'propaganda' anywhere else. Legendary newscaster and journalist Eric Sevareid wrote, “The biggest big business in America is not steel, automobiles, or television. It is the manufacture, refinement and distribution of anxiety.” Is this really the only way that the news-entertainment industry can make money? It doesn't make sense.

And we're getting the same rubbish from all of the mainstream media outlets, even the White House Press Secretary. If it's not sensationalized faux news, it's news that's been “spun” to twist the truth, or it's plain dribble. “Lose 25 Pounds with new fill-in-the-diet-of-the-year-here”, “50 Great Recipes for fill-in-your-holiday-here”, “Ten Best (or worst) Dressed People”, “Shopping for the Man (probably not woman) Who Has Everything,” “How to Please Your Man” and finally, “Finding His (or her) G-spot”. Did I hit them all? It's always the same, month after month, year after year.

Neil Postman, a brilliant professor at NYU, wrote several books about the media and television. One of my favorites is Amusing Ourselves to Death. What's key to understand, though, is that the media -and whoever controls it - shapes our culture and our thinking. If people are fearful and disoriented, if they are shown only problems and not solutions, if real issues are continually buried and replaced with fabricated distractions…people will become divided, unfocused, and easy to control. Is that what's going on here?

Well, not ready to accept that I was actually living in a country of propaganda and tabloid truth, I went searching for some answers. Were things always like this? Was America always the sickest, most obese, and most poorly educated nation? Apparently not. In the beginning of the 1900's, we Americans were the healthiest people in the world and among the best educated.

Fast forward to today. In addition to our poor health ranking, our children rank right alongside those of the 'third world' nations in terms of education, substance abuse and teenage pregnancy. Holy Bat Babies! What about all of the money we've been spending on education and health? What about all these “Run for the Cure” fundraisers we support? I don't get it.

In his 2005 State of the Union address, perhaps we were given a sign. The President called our healthcare system 'the envy of the world'.  

Huh? Statistically speaking, that couldn't be farther from the truth - unless you are talking about those who profit from disease. Do you think? I can see those overseas hospital administrators and drug company executives now - - marveling at the profits being made in America. “Boris, vee need to do more beezniss in Amerika.” And doing some more digging, I found a lot of truth here. Next to war, sickness and disease (disease control) was indeed about the largest, most profitable business on the planet. The profits of the ten largest Fortune 500 pharmaceutical companies are greater than the combined profits of the other 490 companies.

Hmmm. Maybe this 'profit' thing was a part of the reason for our slide. Or was it a push? As I scoured through books and articles, it became clear to me that one of the underlying causes behind our sad state of affairs was an economic system that no longer met our needs. Editorialist Bob Kuttner, in Business Week (5-20-2000) summed it up well:

“[Our economic system] puts profit before value, and short term gain before long term stability. Ethical values, sadly, are often lost between the cracks.

…The free market is without equal when it comes to generating growth, material prosperity and consumer choice. But what happens when the same market forces relentlessly promote images of violence - because violence sells? …When the imperative of “shop til you drop” pushes two breadwinners into the work force leaving no one at home with the kids? When child care gets shortchanged because subsidizing it would raise taxes or depress profits?” 

Author David Korten, in his bestseller When Corporations Rule the World, takes it a step further.

“If we are to save ourselves and our planet from wholesale financial collapse, environmental destruction, and social chaos, we must eradicate the myth that consumerism is the path to happiness, and work instead for the creation of a society that nurtures cultural and biological diversity.

More directly, he says that global financial markets and global corporations are programmed to destroy life - the lives of working people, the life of community, and the living wealth of the planet - to make money for the already wealthy. And they do it with extraordinary efficiency.

[…] The system is brilliantly designed to strip away any human sensibility from decisions that have profound human consequences. Even if the top manager of a corporation has a deep social and environmental commitment, he (it's usually a “he”) is legally bound to act on this commitment only to the extent that it is consistent with maximizing returns to shareholders.”

Are these the people then - for there ARE real people at the top who sit on the boards of directors -responsible for the 'Great Slide'? What if we eliminated or restructured these limited liability, public corporations and required them to be more responsible? What if we put a better system of checks and balances in place - diverse committees like they have in Denmark that consider the human, societal and environmental costs of doing business?

Disconnected: The Age of Missing Information

But as I read through Korten's book I was disturbed by something. Why, I wondered, weren't more people in government and big business making better, less destructive decisions? Duress, perhaps…or has something gone awry in their decision making process? Author Bill McKibben has an interesting take on things:

“While in a certain narrow sense this is the case [that we are in the midst of an information revolution], in many important ways just the opposite is true. We also live in a moment of deep ignorance, when vital knowledge that humans have always possessed about who we are and where we live seems beyond our reach. An un-enlightenment. An age of missing information.

“My children”, a man once told Marshall McLuhan, “have lived several lifetimes compared to their grandparents when they began Grade 1.” Which basically is nonsense, because these same youth have much less access to precisely the kinds of fundamental information we most sorely lack.

For instance, even the dullest farmer quickly learns a deep sense of limits. You can't harvest crops successfully without understanding how much can be grown without exhausting the soil, how much rest the land requires, which fields can be safely plowed and so on. This sense of limits of one particular place grants you some sense that the world as a whole has limits, a piece of information we've largely forgotten. Certainly, today's business people have forgotten it, in part, because being a successful businessperson means constantly breaking through limits… [Good in some ways…bad when the mandate is to maximize profit and stock prices above all else. JG]

CLIP - To read the rest please go HERE



Symptoms of Inner Change and Personal Transformation

You sense that something big is happening on planet Earth these days. Your inner voice tells you that change is coming. You feel a restlessness stirring deep within. You find yourself searching for a deeper meaning and purpose to life.

Struggling for survival and happiness in the material world just doesn't satisfy you anymore. More and more you are becoming bored and frustrated with the routines of everyday life. You no longer feel connected or attached to things, places, or even people you once felt close to. Your career or personal relationships with other people don't feel the same anymore. Your hunger for the material comforts and pleasures of life leaves you feeling empty and incomplete. You are beginning to realize that lasting peace and happiness is an inner thing. You find yourself breaking ties with all things physical. You find yourself looking into the spiritual or mystical realms for a greater sense of purpose, direction and meaning to life.

Tests of personal, financial or physical hardship have found their way into your life. Perhaps you suffer through periods of profound doubt, depression, dissociation, loss of orientation, rootlessness, and a profound sense of loss.

Heavy foods such as beef, rich deserts, and the like no longer feel right and lower your vibrations. You often find yourself wondering... who am I, what am I really doing here, or what is my real purpose on this planet?

Perhaps your feelings are becoming more intense, that you cry or become overly emotional for no good reason. You feel that time is speeding up. Sometimes you question your own sanity, but there is a knowingness deep within that says you are on the right path. You find yourself going through a personal cleansing process where old belief systems are being weeded out from your inner being. At times you feel exhausted for no apparent reason. Other times you find it difficult to focus on your job or other types of work.

Your traditional belief system is showing signs of upheaval, and you find yourself detaching from it. You find yourself in career crisis, and are perhaps seeking employment and professional fulfillment in an entirely new area or a series of unfocused projects that have little substance to them. You feel a sense of separation from family and friends.

Material things no longer are a source of security for you. For some, it seems that your entire world is falling apart. You begin to look at things in a much different way. Some days everything seems to go right... other days everything seemingly goes wrong. You no longer seem concerned with financial security. You trust in the knowingness of your Higher Self, and in the notion that the spiritual journey is one's true path.

Your old life is dying, while at the same time a new life is emerging. You find yourself very uncomfortable in the presence of negative energy. Religious dogmas that have motivated you through fear and guilt no longer feel right.

You find yourself waiting for signs. More and more you feel out of touch, out of sync, with the rest of the world. You no longer find meaning in your work. Your life has recently gone through upheaval, perhaps in the form of a health crisis, financial loss, career failure, divorce, a broken relationship.

You feel that your vibration is increasing, and that things such as traffic, noisy malls, busy highways, bustling airports, violent movies, and other kinds of negative energies lower your vibrations.

You now find that attachments to any and all things put limitations on you... that your sense of freedom is diminished.

You find yourself detaching from the rat race, material possessions, negative relationships, and old belief systems that don't serve you well anymore. You no longer feel connected to consensus reality. You find yourself seeking ways to achieve inner peace and simplicity of life. You feel that you live in and sense two different realities simultaneously: The 3-dimensional material reality your old self used to occupy, and a new reality of higher vibration and spirituality that you find yourself shifting into.

Feel good if you can relate to the symptoms of personal transformation! There are profound changes taking place on our planet these days. Mother Earth's vibrations grow stronger everyday, and they are reaching higher and higher elevations. As that happens, you will experience profound changes within yourself. Inner change is happening for many of us. And a greater sense of the spiritual is awakening in the mass consciousness of humanity.




The Zeitgeist Movement: Envisioning A Sustainable Future

Travis Walter Donovan - March 16, 2010

"It takes a different value system if you wish to change the world," Jacque Fresco said to a sold out crowd of over 800 in New York City's Upper West Side. Though he may not need to convince these people, many his ardent followers, it will indeed take a restructuring of the mind for those unfamiliar with Fresco's work to realistically accept the ideas he proposes of a new global society that has given up money and property in favor of a shared, sustainable, technology-driven community. The caustic skepticism can already be heard, critics crying out with pointed fingers, decreeing communism, socialism, insanity! But as Fresco himself will tell you, communism is still just another system with banks and social stratification. The kind of world he imagines for the future is much different. To ease the transition, The Zeitgeist Movement provides a wealth of dizzying information detailing why a new global system is not only preferred, but necessary, and just how we can get there.

March 13th, 2010 was the second annual celebration of ZDay. Coordinated by The Zeitgeist Movement, ZDay is an educational event geared toward raising awareness of the movement. While 337 sympathetic events occurred in over 70 countries worldwide, NYC was home to the main event, a 6-hour live web cast presentation with lectures from the movement's key figures, and 30 different countries represented in the audience.

So what exactly is The Zeitgeist Movement? Not even two years old, the movement declares itself as the activist arm of The Venus Project, an organization started in the 1970s by Fresco and his partner, Roxanne Meadows. The Venus Project distributes resources promoting Fresco's vision of an improved society, with the main component being a resource-based economy, rather than a monetary-based one. In Fresco's resource-based economy, the world's resources would be considered as the equal inheritance of all the world's peoples, and would be managed as efficiently and carefully as possible through focusing on the technological potential of sustainable development. It is toward this idea that The Zeitgeist Movement works to educate and inform people.

The movement's founder, Peter Joseph, came to notoriety with his 2007 internet film sensation, Zeitgeist, and it's 2008 successor, Zeitgeist: Addendum. While many people may find it hard to digest the idea of a world without currency, Joseph's argument that our economic system is the source of our greatest social problems was supported with valuable evidence.

Describing how the margin between upper and lower classes is growing larger every day, Joseph cited that 20% of the American population controls 85% of the money. Also mentioning that the Walton family (of Wal-Mart) owns $90 billion while the lower 40% of America own $95 billion. The most startling revelations he divulged, however, were found when he graphed the amount of specific social issues in the world's richest countries against those countries' level of income inequality. The results were astounding, showing that America, a wealthy country but with a vast gap between its rich and poor, is plagued with higher homicide rates, drug use, obesity, mental illness, teenage pregnancy, infant mortality, and imprisonment. On the other hand, countries with much more equal income levels, such as Japan, have better educational scores, longer life expectancies, and higher levels of trust among their populations. The strong correlation is difficult to ignore: the higher a country's income inequality, the more social problems that degrade it, regardless of its GDP.

Joseph seemed well prepared for all the naysayers. For those who argue that the free market is an open system where anyone can achieve wealth, he displayed figures showing that America is one of the most socially immobile countries in the world, meaning that those born poor are likely to stay poor, and those born rich are likely to stay rich. For the argument that the competitive nature of capitalism produces more innovation, Joseph showed statistics that the countries with higher income equality filed more patents per million people each year than the United States and similar countries of larger income gaps.
This is aside from the obvious impact on the climate that a capitalist system creates. In a monetary society, Joseph points out, obsolescence is encouraged, as the shorter lifespan a product has, the more profit it generates in the long-term. Excess waste is built into the system, which flourishes from disposability and inefficiency. In a monetary system, Joseph says, change, abundance, sustainability, and efficiency are the enemies of profit. He goes on to add, "Corporations are not in competition with other corporations but with progress itself."

The plights of today are plainly evident, but how do we solve them? Getting rid of money, ownership and even government might sound like a ludicrous fantasy, but to the over 386,000 registered members of the fast-growing Zeitgeist Movement, it is not an option, but the only chance we have at creating a peaceful society, in harmony with nature, that provides a high-standard of living for everyone. Joseph made the focus clear in his presentation: resource preservation is equal to human survival, and all the social ideologies that currently exist are inadequate because they don't address resources as a part of their fundamental principals.

Joseph emphasized that the solution begins with a remodeling of our social values, starting with education based on sustainability. The ideal society, proposed by the project, would have a worldwide automated computer system actively monitoring the levels of the world's surveyed resources and ranking them according to factors such as their potential, renewability, and pollution. This computer would intelligently make objective decisions as to the uses of these resources based on empirical fact, not biased legislation. Automated labor would be perfected on a mass scale, something frowned upon in capitalism because it is equated with job loss and unemployment. Fresco insists eliminating all mundane jobs that insult human capacity when they can instead be relegated to machines that will act more precisely and productively.
From the maximization of resources and efficiency of automated labor, Fresco imagines a world of abundance, where everything is available to everyone. As idealistic as this may sound, keep in mind that there is currently enough food to feed everyone in the world, but not enough money to pay for it. One billion people (one-sixth of the world) are starving, yet American's throw out approximately 40% of their purchased food. Fresco says that in a world where everything is supplied, the majority of today's crimes would be non-existent, as they are primarily related to obtaining money and property, or born of social inequality. The crimes that still exist would be considered symptomatic of mental aberration, and these people would be given treatment and help, not punished, as no prisons would exist. People would be rewarded with an incentive system for contributions based on social relevance.

Celebrating his 94th birthday, Fresco was lively and animated as he guided the audience through a visual presentation of his conceptual ideas and models for sustainable technology. Wowing the crowd with images that seemed of science fiction, the audience was assured that nothing was unrealistic about his designs, and if science and technology were focused on progress instead of consumption, they would all be easily realized.

The members of The Zeitgeist Movement seem to face an intimidating wall of those who decree their goals as unattainable. But with 250 international chapters forming in just one year and the membership count rapidly growing, it's undeniable that many easily identify with the message. The evidence shows that our current system is leading us on a collision course; our present model of society cannot sustain itself. While some deny this, others ignore it, and there are those who still try to profit off of it. The Zeitgeist Movement highlights that there are individuals who believe in a sustainable future where humanity is not united by religious or political ideology, but by the scientific method, venerated as the savior that can develop a system of human equality, thriving from the cooperation and balance of technology and nature.

Among he NUMEROUS comments posted THERE...

Zi Spa on 4/10/2010

Just FYI, The Zeitgeist Movie is not really a summation of the movement's principles. It was a personal work of Joseph's. After that, he came into contact with The Venus Project and their influence resulted in Zeitgeist: Addendum.

People who are skeptical would do better to read a critical analysis of ZA. The original film admittedly had some errors that are unrelated to the movement. I think that Joseph retained the Zeitgeist name to ride the wave of popularity from the original film in order to reach more people.

Steven Fox on 3/28/2010

The "Addendum" video at gives a very good description of the function of the Federal Reserve. That's

Hanel Acevedo on 3/24/2010

If you want to walk away with a very clear understanding of what a Resource Based Economy is, which is what the zeitgeist movement and the venus project are all about, read the zeitgeist orientation guide...

...or watch the video orientation presentation at...
All other zeitgeist media really just supports the logical reasoning for moving towards this direction.
Great post Travis!

ziex on 3/21/2010

The article gave an overview of TZM, yet there were some key aspects of considering such an effort that were lacking or left out. The first concern is that TZM should not be thought of in either or terms. Nor should there be any doubt that the future will happen. Fresco does not say that this is the only way to do things or that his designs are the only ones that could be used.

The whole fear-mongering or fear scenario of "you have to give up money and property" is unnecessary and inaccurate. Fresco and Meadows advocate full capitalization on and implementation of the technology (and real human talents) that we have already... we could achieve EVERYTHING that they propose today IF we were organized for efficiency, high production and performance -- using scientific methods. Advanced technology exists: why not use it to create and sustain our planet as a whole.

IF we were thinking is this way, we would emphasize resource management over capital. By definition, (natural) resources exist in finite quantities... we do not have a clear picture of what and where. Distribution is the primary problem with food and water shortages, technology could effectively address those concerns and others such as affordable housing, etc.

Cool-headed on 3/19/2010

What a refreshing, uplifting article. I want to learn more about Zeitgeist. Its principles sound totally correct to me, but it ignores the forces of selfishness that are active in human beings as in all animals. I think these ideas could and should be put in practice first, in an experimental stage, in a small scale, say in a commune, county, or region, rather than waiting for the whole world to be ready for such an advanced concept.

econosophy on 3/20/2010

Hi cool-headed,

yes there are selfish impulses, but there are also cooperative. Social animals display them. Humans are social and therefore cooperative. Society, language, nations etc. prove this, as war and struggles prove that we are also competitive. If you look at the etymology of compete, you'll find its latin roots are com+petere, which means "to strive or seek together." Kind of a similar meaning to cooperate, when you think about it. A very interesting book, published I think around 1900, is "Mutual Aid" by Peter Kropotkin. Last time I looked it was available online. Its central thesis is that cooperation is a more effective survival strategy than competition, and it produces plenty of evidence, even from Darwin, to support the idea. Also interesting here is the work of Marshall Sahlins, particularly "The Original Affluent Society", and "The Spirit Level" by Wilkinson and Pickett, a book bursting at the seams with data supporting the idea that humans are mainly cooperative and need fairness, trust, friendship and strong community to function healthily. When you look around you, this makes a lot of sense. Recent brain research is producing data to support this idea too.

Your second point is right on the money, so to speak. If you look into The Venus Project you'll see they propose experimental cities for the testing of their ideas. Check out their website.



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