Monday, April 20, 2015

Lori Toye – The Ever Present Now – Prophecies of Political and Social Ch...

Earthquake fault heightens California tsunami threat, experts say

[LA Times] The earthquake fault cuts through the heart of Ventura's quaint downtown, past the ornate hilltop City Hall and historic Spanish-era mission before heading into the Pacific Ocean.
For decades, some seismic experts believed the Ventura fault posed only a moderate threat and was incapable of producing a major temblor.
But research in recent years shows that the fault is extremely dangerous, capable of producing an earthquake as large as magnitude 8 as well as severe tsunamis that until now experts didn't believe were possible from a Southern California quake.
Such a big earthquake on the fault estimated to occur every 400 to 2,400 years, experts said. The last sizable quake on the Ventura area hit about 800 years ago. Large temblors occur on this fault less frequently than on the San Andreas fault, which has long been considered the state's most dangerous.
 The California Geological Survey is studying whether it needs to revise tsunami hazard maps because of the researchers' findings. One study found that the inundation would be "severe right along the coast" but didn't call for redrawing evacuation zones farther inland.
"We're not done looking at it," said Rick Wilson, a California Geological Survey senior engineering geologist. "If new information comes forward, we'll change the lines to make sure the communities are as safe as possible."
Scientists have long known the San Andreas fault was capable of producing an 8.0 quake. But because that fault is so far inland in Southern California, the San Andreas does not pose a tsunami risk. The worst tsunami risk comes from a mega-quake from Alaska, which would give Californians hours of time to evacuate.
A huge quake on the Ventura fault could create a tsunami that would begin "in the Santa Barbara Channel area, and would affect the coastline … of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, down through the Santa Monica area and further south," said Tom Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center and USC earth sciences professor, who was not involved in the research.
Scientists from Harvard University, USC, the U.S. Geological Survey and San Diego State used underground oil data, cutting-edge earth imaging and research on ancient beach mapping to form their conclusions, which were published last year in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.
One key finding is that the fault now appears to be connected to a network of others that stretch from the Santa Barbara coast and into eastern Ventura County.
A major earthquake on the Ventura fault could then cause shaking along nearby faults to the east, along the foothill suburbs of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Read More

The Most Important Thing We Can Do to Fight Climate Change Is Try

by Rebecca Solnit for The Nation - Most forecasts of the future presume that something in the present will continue to grow and increase its power or influence. It’s as simple as doing a math problem on compounding interest or multiplication tables.
Orwell did this intentionally in 1984, creating the vision of a postwar Stalinist Britain circa 1948 that was taken to its absurd and appalling conclusion. Less imaginative people, however, genuinely believe that history moves in a straight line. Alarm about the “population bomb” arose from the assumption that women would continue to have babies at the rate they were worldwide in the 1960s. But thanks to reproductive rights and other factors, birthrates have plummeted so dramatically that some nations, from Germany to Japan, are now worried about a steep population decline.
Likewise, people unhappy about the Bush administration seemed to imagine that its power would only increase until it became some petro-cowboy version of the Thousand-Year Reich. People happy with the administration’s policies also failed to anticipate how brief its ride atop the wheel of fortune would be. The Obama victory in 2008 was as out of sight in 2003 as same-sex marriage was in 1977, when Florida-orange-juice spokesmodel and bigot Anita Bryant was successfully fulminating against homosexuality.
There are monumental changes under way that seem as if they will only continue: the decline of homophobia, the widening of rights and privileges from white Christian men to the rest of us, nonwhite and nonmale. But there are backlashes against these things as well, and the other way to call it unpredictable is to say that we can’t foresee which tendency will hold sway a century or more hence. Mostly, what we can learn by looking backward is that who and what we are now—sexually, socially, technologically, ecologically—was not only unpredictable but unimaginable a century or even a half-century ago. So is who and what we will be in another 100 years.
History is rarely linear. The cast of characters is never announced in advance, and the storylines are full of left turns, plot twists, about-faces, surprising crossroads and unintended consequences. In a recent article for Politico, Elana Schor notes: “As Keystone’s problems imprint themselves on the nation’s political DNA, environmentalists and local advocacy groups are using the same template that has stalled it for six years to stoke resistance to fossil-fuel projects from coast to coast. Word is out in the oil and gas industry that NIMBY is the new normal.” As I write, almost no one knows how Obama will ultimately handle the Keystone XL pipeline, but we do know that the struggle to stop its construction has had many ancillary effects. For example, the climate activists fighting Keystone have made the Alberta tar sands, numerous pipeline projects, the oil-by-rail system, and the larger problem of carbon emissions and climate change far more visible.
The struggle against Keystone has also catalyzed remarkable coalitions—for example, the Cowboy and Indian Alliance of rural peoples from the Great Plains, who gathered in the nation’s capital last April, horses, chaps, war bonnets, alternative-energy policies and all. Under the linear theory of history, we’ll decide if this was a successful movement based on the veto (or approval) of the pipeline, but as Schor points out, the effects are not linear; they ripple outward, like a rock thrown into a pond. Or they snowball. Or they catalyze some new action.
The same is true of the younger divestment movement as it spreads even farther around the world. Hundreds of investment portfolios, from college endowments and pension funds to church holdings, have been divested of their fossil-fuel stocks—but that’s far from the only thing the divestment movement has done. Like the resistance to Keystone, the movement has called attention to the broader issue of climate; generated activism and networks, particularly around universities; and shed considerable light on the financial risk of investing in what is now called “the carbon bubble.” With this, it has become possible to see not only that we live in the Age of Fossil Fuel, but that this age is coming to an end. Read More

Monday, April 06, 2015

Interlude: You were born for such a time as this!

[I think you'll enjoy this piece by David Spangler that correlates to the language of time presented in the I AM America Teachings. Here are a few: "The New Times," "Time of Change," "Time Compaction," and "Now Time."  - Lori]

by David Spangler - A number of years ago I took part in a small conference that had the encouraging title “You Were Born for Such a Time as This!” The theme of this event was focused on the potentials for creative living and success that each of us have within us. Sitting on a panel waiting my turn to speak, my thoughts went in a different direction, though. What, I thought, was meant by “such a time as this?”
Clearly the conference organizers had a couple of things in mind. One was the economic crisis facing the United States and the world at large. Another was the general sense of transformation abroad in the land as old habits and ways of doing things confronted a rapidly changing world that demanded new approaches and solutions. But not everyone was experiencing “this time” in exactly that way.
For instance, my youngest son works in a store located in a local shopping mall. When I went to visit him one day recently, I discovered the mall was filled with shoppers for whom no economic recession seemed to be happening at all. The happy faces of people moving in and out of the shops purchasing things bore no relationship to the news of job layoffs, unemployment, and stores going bankrupt that I had just seen on the evening news before coming to the shopping center.
So what was “such a time as this?” For the people in that mall, it did not appear to be one of economic hardship. That got me thinking about time not as past, present and future but as the unique condition that each of us inhabits. For instance, as I go outside after a long winter and glory in the sunshine and spring flowers, a friend of mine in Australia is putting on warmer clothes and preparing for the growing cold of winter. His time, his season, is not the same as mine.
I had taken my place at the panel not knowing what I was going to say. But when my turn came, I knew I would begin by saying, “We do not live in one time. We live in four of them.” The subject of this essay then flowed from that thought.
We inhabit four times. The first of these is World Time. This is the time we all commonly share by virtue of being on earth at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This is the time the conference organizers had in mind when they came up with the phrase, “You were born for such a time as this!” This is the time as portrayed by national news broadcasts and other media; it is the collective history we are all living. This time is one of global climate change, threats to the ecology, economic recession and meltdown, wars and terrorism, and the possibilities of pandemics. It is also a time of space flights, globalization, cures for ancient diseases, and the development of a planetary mind electronically mediated through the Internet and planetary communication technology. It is a time when the challenges and the opportunities are world-size and humanity is truly experiencing itself as a planetary species.
World time is what humanity as a whole experiences, and the challenge is with its scale. Over and over again, I hear people asking me, “How can I make a difference? The problems are so vast and I am just one person. What can I do?” And the answer individually, at least at a physical level, would appear to be, “not much.” There is very little that my actions by themselves, however enlightened, will do to stop the loss of the arctic ice, restore millions of lost jobs, or halt terrorism around the world. Even the President of the United States, arguably the most powerful individual on earth, cannot by himself accomplish these things.
To inhabit world time is to feel overwhelmed and possibly disempowered for the world is so large and we are so small. If it is the only time to which we pay attention, we can risk going a little crazy. Everything can seem so out of control, rushing towards one catastrophe or another carrying us along with it.
And we cannot avoid it. We are part of the world, and world time impacts us in various ways irresistibly, unstoppably, and impersonally.
By contrast, the second time that we live in is very personal. It is your time and my time. It is Individual Time. It is what we are experiencing—the challenges and opportunities we are facing—in our own personal lives.
When my youngest daughter was born, my wife’s sister was with us to help. In advanced stages of liver cancer, she had only a couple of months yet to live. I will never forget Merrily holding Maryn, each in their own very different individual time, a life going out cradling a life coming in, love flowing between them both.
In any given neighborhood, there are those being born, those who are dying, those who are getting their first job, those who are retiring from their last one; there are some who are losing everything and others finding abundance; there are those experiencing despair and those knowing hope and promise.
Personal time takes the events of world time and translates them into the unique contours of our individuality. The result may move in directions very different from the world at large. Prosperity may be everywhere yet I may be facing bankruptcy; economies are failing, yet I may be generating wealth.
The key is that, unlike world time, individual time is lived at a human scale. I may not feel I can influence the world but I can definitely influence my own life. My decisions, my intentionality, my actions—or my lack of the same—can immediately and profoundly change what happens in the sphere of personal time. Although events can seem overwhelming in my life, I still know that potentially I can make a difference. I possess the ability to choose and to act. World time can seem to be the product of vast, impersonal forces but individual time is hand-made, so to speak.
Personal time is the time we are most concerned with. Events in the world at large may trouble or inspire us, but it’s the challenge of our jobs, of meeting the mortgage, of keeping healthy, of raising a family, and of putting food on the table that will consume most of our attention. This individual time is made up of ordinary tasks, most of them repeated in one way or another each day.
The third time we inhabit is less obvious than either of the other two. Personal, individual time is in our face daily and world time is all about us in the news of events transpiring on our globe. But there is a Deep Time or a New Time that is within us and within the world, and it is where the power of transformation lies. Read More