Sunday, November 27, 2011

Demand change: an open letter to Japan's rising generations

By STEPHEN HESSE from the Japan Times Online

If you're like my 17-year-old, then you probably already know just about everything there is to know, and reading this column you'll likely just say: "Yeah, right, whatever," or "So?"
But if you have a few minutes, younger readers especially, please bear with me.
As a father, professor and environment journalist, I am seriously concerned about our use and abuse of our planet Earth, soon to be your planet Earth.
With the human population growing, marine resources dwindling and every inch of our planet touched by human-made chemicals and waste, I'm less than optimistic about the state of the world you will soon inherit.
From a different perspective, however, we can say that your generation is facing the most exciting challenges of any generation in history. We are on the cusp of dramatic changes environmentally, politically, socially and economically, with the effects of climate change multiplying, the Arab Spring phenomenon and Occupy Wall Street protests gaining traction, and developing nations rushing headlong forward while developed countries grind to a crawl.
In your lifetime, you have a chance to recalibrate the way we do things on this planet: to create a society that prioritizes justice, human rights and the quality of human life; to harness safe energy for all; and to introduce global, sustainable resource use.
Of course, there is a distinct possibility that we will fail to deal with such pressing issues as shrinking fresh-water supplies, loss of critical biological diversity and the effects of climate change feeding back upon itself. Then all hell will break loose.
To help you visualize how quickly things are changing, take a look at the website Worldometers (http://www.worldometers.info/).
Seeing the numbers click over faster than a high-speed gasoline pump, births and deaths, expenditure on military, CO2 emissions in tons, and energy use from non-renewable sources — to name a few — helps make stunningly clear how much and how fast your world is transforming, and in many ways not for the better. Humans have never faced so many challenges and the stakes have never been higher: Human society and our planet as we know them are on the line. The good news is that solutions are as endless as human creativity. The bad news is that the problems are global and they are entrenched in our systems of governance and business. And the clock is ticking. So, on a recent splendid day of blue skies and fiery foliage, I asked fellow educators in Japan who share some of my optimism regarding this country's university students for words of encouragement to share with the next generation of planet-keepers. No doubt you will disagree with some of my and their thoughts, but don't dismiss us completely. We have decades of experience teaching in Japan and perhaps even taught your parents — though we don't take responsibility for how they turned out!
One of my colleagues, a professor from the Chuo University Law School, offers advice for students who are job-hunting or trying to decide what to do with their lives. "The first step is not the last step. Setting goals is worthwhile, but ambitious goals are rarely achieved all at once. This applies to careers as well as social movements. What's important is to keep at it, to scan the surroundings for opportune moments and to be ready when the time is right," he suggests. From Sophia University, a professor urges young people to take action in the face of discouragement. "Sometimes a bleak situation can motivate you to act in ways you would not have the courage to do in good times. Today, with a bad job market and disconnected politicians, it is time for young people to act up, to speak out, to protest injustice, to dance in the streets and to sing at the top of your lungs. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain," he explains. A long-time friend and professor at Japan Women's University sent me two quotes from the Buddha focusing on the spiritual aspects of one's personal growth and life work, and explained why she chose them. The first quote is: "Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." "You've probably wondered at times how much difference you can really make, but there's so much that can be achieved through the efforts of one person," she notes. "It's easy to get into a mind-set where you feel that if you help others, your own energy and happiness will be depleted. But it actually works the opposite way!" The second quote: "Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it." "I've included the second quotation," she explains, "because it's so important to devote yourself heart and soul to what you feel passionate about. This is how we can bring the greatest benefit to ourselves and society."
An environmental educator in Kyoto focuses on the issue of production and waste.
"For a sustainable future, it is time to 'look back and move forward' to the old adage 'waste not, want not,' and to show that truly advanced countries can use their wealth and know-how to develop technologies that reuse everything. Then, like in the rest of nature, waste will once again become a resource in a closed-loop cycle, giving sustenance to the future."
Another educator from Kansai focused on the Internet's potential for political change.
" 'The System' has always been that the rich give lots of money to politicians and tell them what to say and do. Once in a while we can replace these politicians with new politicians who perpetuate this false democracy. But now we have Internet democracy. Millions of people uniting every day can make politicians think and act for ecological sustainability, instead of unsustainable economic 'growth'. "
Finally, a colleague at Aoyama Gakuin University who teaches environmental politics sent several quotes that inspire him. "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." (Often attributed to non-violent peace activist Mahatma Gandhi [1869-1948].) "Idealists foolish enough to throw caution to the winds have advanced humankind and enriched the world." (Lithuanian-American anarchist Emma Goldman [1869-1940].) And another he sent that is an old favorite of mine from Gandhi: "You must be the change you want to see in the world."
Which brings me to some suggestions of my own.
First and foremost, demand change. Political, social and economic changes are all urgently needed, and all are inherently part of conserving the global environment. You might not get what you demand, but you certainly won't get what you don't ask for.
Second, stay informed. The great British war leader Winston Churchill (1874-1965) once stated, "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." However, he also wryly noted, "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." So don't be that average voter, because what you don't know can hurt you. Imagine what Tepco (operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant) and the government would never have told us if the media and civil society had not asked questions, again and again, and demanded answers.
Of course, average is fine, but don't be average if it means being ignorant. Demand transparency and accountability in politics, in your universities and companies. Olympus might still have a rosy future if someone had demanded these things years ago. And when your politicians, universities and companies do wrong, be indignant, especially about injustice. Demand justice, demand equality — and demand fairness.
Finally, don't be afraid to take chances. One of the greatest obstacles to positive change is fear of the unknown; fear that what happens next may be worse than what we have. The world is changing environmentally, socially, politically and economically, and society must change to respond. Yesterday's solutions are, by definition, out of date.
Of course, change simply for the sake of change can be wasteful, but I can't count how many times I've heard decision-makers in Japan insist that something should not be done because it has never been done before. Solutions come in myriad forms, from purebred to hybrid, so if something has never been done before, that may be one of the best reasons to give it a try.
The truth is, human society needs change and needs it desperately. Most of us will not find a cure for disease or invent a pollution-free energy system, but we all contribute to society and our planet, for better or worse. So, be someone who contributes for the better.
No matter what you do with your life, however large or small your contribution to society, begin by acting for those around you: your family, your neighbors, your fellow students, your workmates, your community. You might not be the next Bill Gates or Mahatma Gandhi, but the ripples from your good works and kindness will spread — and carry you with them.

Evolutionary Enlightenment - A New Path to Spiritual Awakening

By Corina Andronache
I am pleased to introduce to you, Andrew Cohen, “a truly remarkable spiritual teacher on the cutting edge of evolutionary thinking and action. He is playing an invaluable leadership role in the emergence of evolutionary spirituality: an integrity-based, deeply meaningful approach to life grounded in our best scientific understanding of cosmic, earth, biological, and human history. Andrew’s writings and teachings are destined to make a real difference in the world.” - Michel Dowd, author of Thank God for Evolution

Corina: What is Evolutionary Enlightenment?

Andrew: Evolutionary Enlightenment is a new spiritual path and practice that is culturally relevant for our time. It brings together the perennial mystical insight that the ultimate nature of reality is Oneness and the scientific discovery that we’re part of an evolutionary process that is going somewhere. In Evolutionary Enlightenment, we win our spiritual liberation through the experiential recognition that who we really are is not separate from the primordial energy and intelligence that created the universe. We experience that energy and intelligence as what I call the evolutionary impulse—the life-positive, perpetually creative inspiration that compels human beings to strive to give rise to new potentials. The realization that “I AM” the energy and intelligence that created the universe and not merely a psychological ego is the fundamental insight that liberates the self in the new evolutionary spirituality.

Corina: Why do you describe Evolutionary Enlightenment as being "culturally relevant?”

Andrew: The pervasiveness of mythical and magical thinking in the great religious traditions presents an enormous challenge for the highly educated person at the beginning of the 21st Century. Also most forms of mysticism, both East and West, throughout the ages have primarily been about transcending the world, about “being in the world but not of it.” The new Enlightenment that I speak about is based upon an evolutionary worldview. Science has taught us that the entire universe is one ongoing creative process that had a beginning in time almost 14 billion years ago. This new worldview reveals to us that our uniquely human, highly evolved capacity for consciousness and complex thinking is the very leading edge of that creative process. As Julian Huxley famously said "Man is nothing but evolution become conscious of itself." A new culturally relevant mysticism is being born based upon this profound revelation: that you and I really are the energy and intelligence that created the universe awakening to itself in human form. The moral, philosophical, and spiritual implications of that truth are deeply relevant for human beings searching for meaning and purpose in the twenty-first century. Read More

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Beginning of the Beginning

Before Occupy Wall Street began, Saint Germain shared his insights regarding the stumbling blocks of greed and fear in the MP3 lesson: Luminous Light, from the Twilight Series. A complimentary copy of this lesson is available for anyone in financial need. Please e-mail orders at iamamerica.com for the download link. "Many are not ready to hear this message, while others will hear it and awaken, even in the Twilight Hours." ~ Saint Germain

On November 17th, tens of thousands of people peacefully gathered in Foley Square in solidarity with #OWS. It was a powerful night of music, chant, and protest. We marched across the Brooklyn Bridge finding strength in our numbers and inspiration in our shared resolve to challenge the neoliberal economic system that controls our government and destroys our communities. As we marched a beautiful light appeared in downtown Manhattan.......Read More

Safecast Draws on Power of the Crowd to Map Japan's Radiation



Eight months after a tsunami caused a nuclear accident in Japan, ordinary people are using new technology and the power of crowdsourcing to find radiation hotspots.

TRANSCRIPT

JEFFREY BROWN: Now, tracking the spread of radiation in Japan eight months after the tsunami caused a nuclear accident.

Japanese people are using new technology and the power of crowdsourcing to find hotspots.

NewsHour science correspondent Miles O'Brien has the second in a series of stories from Japan.

MILES O'BRIEN: In Japan, these days, you never know where you're going to find a hotspot. We are at a highway rest stop halfway between Tokyo and Fukushima, and we are looking for the kind of hotspot you would just as soon avoid.

PIETER FRANKEN, Safecast Japan: On the roof, the cesium didn't really stick very well, so it all flushed down and when it hit the concrete or the stone here, it bonded. So this is like a micro hotspot. Read More

SafeCast.Org

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Recycling Earth

"The recycling that I mentioned here is not the process of birth and death. This recycling comes between birth and death. In other words, it deals with the ‘code of conduct' of humanity when it arrives in this planet as a new born baby till the period of departure through death. We must live the life in this world with the realization that we are only travelers for a time being and we must maintain the sanctity and preserve the natural resources of this planet by ensuring a bright future for new arrivals which will be coming during and after our departure."

By Abdul Basit, Countercurrents.org


With the economic crisis that has gripped the world nations due to euro zone and the new report of US State Department of Energy stating that the carbon emissions in the environment have vastly increased in 2010, the world is passing through a critical stage. At the recent ECOQ exhibition and conference on environment in Qatar, Jean Audouze, President of France UNESCO said that at the beginning of 19th century, the planet had only 1billion human inhabitants. It is estimated that by next month there will be 7 billion people on Earth (which we have already attained this October), and by 2050 there will be 9 billion. “If every human being wished to live with the standards of American people, we would need seven Earths to support this amount of people. If every human being wanted to live in the same standards of a European, we would need three Earths to support all those people.”

With the growing population and developing countries emulating the path of developed countries in unsustainable and exploitative economic development, we will soon find ourselves in a situation where this planet is not enough for fulfilling our consumerist desires. Hence, how can we save the humanity and this earth from the greed and consumerism and ensure a balanced, sustainable and eco-friendly economic growth. This thought hounded me and resulted in the development of a new concept, ‘Recycling Earth'.

We have hitherto heard of waste management system by waste hierarchy of 3 R's namely, reduce-reuse-recycle (there also two additional R's that are incorporated recently like recover and rethink). The aim of this waste management hierarchy is to extract the maximum benefits from the used materials and reduce the amount of waste to minimal. As for recycling which is the third aspect, it is the process of converting used materials into new products to prevent the wastage potentially useful materials. These materials include paper, glass, plastic, metals, electronic...etc.

By the concept of ‘Recycling Earth' we can include the following three aspects:

1) Recycling land, water and air
2) Recycling Humanity
3) Recycling Economy

Being the only habitable planet in the universe, our earth, which is blessed with vast and varied landscapes and bio- diversities, should be protected in all respects to ensure the existence of the humanity and well-being of the future generation. Hence we have to preserve the land, air and oceans and prevent it from damage and pollution. Following are the brief details of how we can recycle land, water and air.

a) Land : Growing population, spreading urbanization, deforestation, industrialization, desertification, disposal of waste and unsustainable method of agriculture: have all negatively affected our land. Many of the islands and coastal areas are in the brink of disappearing due to rising sea levels and melting glaciers. The climate change has affected the carrying capacity of this planet and erosion and soil degradation are widespread. Taking into the consideration these factors, we have to find ways to recycle or reutilize the land that has been negatively affected and at the same time preserve the forests and other natural resources from extinction. We must also try to retrieve brownfield and superfund lands (these are terms used in US for unused and contaminated lands). Many new techniques have been developed to clean up the contaminated lands like soil vapour extraction, bioremediation, in situ oxidation and phytoremediation. However, further research and development is required to develop more sophisticated methods. Immediate actions must also be taken to save many islands from rising sea levels. Read More

Light Years: Solar Flares Won't Kill Earth



(CNN) The year 2012 is almost here. And so is the end of the world, if you believe myths about the Mayan calendar and certain science fiction movies and books. Solar flare activity is increasing and is expected to peak between 2012 and 2014 – around the time some believe the Mayan calendar ends. This has some people linking the flares to the End Times. But NASA scientists assure us that solar flares won’t destroy the Earth. “We have a very long record that shows that even the strongest flares can’t blow out the atmosphere,” said Antti Pulkkinen, a research scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “There is really no way that even the largest disruption can end the world.” Read More

What would happen if an asteroid hit Earth?

According to the I AM America prophecies as the current Light of Awakening--a prophesied wave of Galactic Light--increases on earth, many cataclysmic geological changes may be suspended.~Lori

‘Getting closer. Ready to die? Just kidding.’ Luckily for us, it was. If its mock Twitter page is anything to go by, @AsteroidYU55 was ‘huge, sarcastic, bit scary, lonely and looking forward to striking Earth in November 2011’. Thankfully, the 400metre-wide asteroid only came within 325,000km (202,000 miles) of our planet. In the end, 2005 YU55, to give it its full name, hurtled past at 48,000kph (30,000mph), coming slightly closer than the Moon. Nasa keeps a running list of recent NEO ‘close approaches’ to Earth –YU55 was just one of four to pass near Earth on November 8 alone. It also has a ‘risk table’ of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) that could cause ‘potential future Earth impact events’ in the next 100 years. The current tally lists 374 asteroids. The man who discovered the asteroid six years ago says there was never any chance of it hitting us. Read More

Asteroid 2055 YU55 passes close by Earth; how close did it get?  An asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier missed Earth by only 200,000 miles as it flew by Tuesday night — the closest an asteroid has been to Earth in 200 years...

Asteroid 2005 YU55 Meets Comet Elenin’s Debris Tail at Earth on November, 2011  Asteroid 2005 YU55 discovered December 28, 2005 by Robert McMillan of the Spacewatch Program near Tucson Arizona is expected to cross between the orbit of moon and the earth, passing the earth by only 204.502 miles at around the exact same time the...

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Wolf: The people versus the police

We May Be Witnessing the First Large Global Conflict Where People Are Aligned by Consciousness and Not Nation State or Religion

"They're fighting a "corporatocracy" that has bought governments, created armed enforcers, engaged in systemic economic fraud, and plundered treasuries and ecosystems."

by Naomi Wolf
 
America 's politicians, it seems, have had their fill of democracy. Across the country, police, acting under orders from local officials, are breaking up protest encampments set up by supporters of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement - sometimes with shocking and utterly gratuitous violence.

In the worst incident so far, hundreds of police, dressed in riot gear, surrounded Occupy Oakland's encampment and fired rubber bullets (which can be fatal), flash grenades and tear-gas canisters - with some officers taking aim directly at demonstrators. The Occupy Oakland Twitter feed read like a report from Cairo 's Tahrir Square : "they are surrounding us"; "hundreds and hundreds of police"; "there are armoured vehicles and Hummers". There were 170 arrests.

My own recent arrest, while obeying the terms of a permit and standing peacefully on a street in lower Manhattan , brought the reality of this crackdown close to home. America is waking up to what was built while it slept: Private companies have hired away its police (JPMorgan Chase gave $4.6m to the New York City Police Foundation); the federal Department of Homeland Security has given small municipal police forces military-grade weapons systems; citizens' rights to freedom of speech and assembly have been stealthily undermined by opaque permit requirements.

Suddenly, the United States looks like the rest of the furious, protesting, not-completely-free world. Indeed, most commentators have not fully grasped that a world war is occurring. But it is unlike any previous war in human history: for the first time, people around the world are not identifying and organising themselves along national or religious lines, but rather in terms of a global consciousness and demands for a peaceful life, a sustainable future, economic justice and basic democracy. Their enemy is a global "corporatocracy" that has purchased governments and legislatures, created its own armed enforcers, engaged in systemic economic fraud, and plundered treasuries and ecosystems.

Around the world, peaceful protesters are being demonised for being disruptive. But democracy is disruptive. Martin Luther King, Jr argued that peaceful disruption of "business as usual" is healthy, because it exposes buried injustice, which can then be addressed. Protesters ideally should dedicate themselves to disciplined, nonviolent disruption in this spirit - especially disruption of traffic. This serves to keep provocateurs at bay, while highlighting the unjust militarisation of the police response.

Moreover, protest movements do not succeed in hours or days; they typically involve sitting down or "occupying" areas for the long hauls. That is one reason why protesters should raise their own money and hire their own lawyers. The corporatocracy is terrified that citizens will reclaim the rule of law. In every country, protesters should field an army of attorneys.

Protesters should also make their own media, rather than relying on mainstream outlets to cover them. They should blog, tweet, write editorials and press releases, as well as log and document cases of police abuse (and the abusers).

There are, unfortunately, many documented cases of violent provocateurs infiltrating demonstrations in places like Toronto , Pittsburgh , London and Athens - people whom one Greek described to me as "known unknowns". Provocateurs, too, need to be photographed and logged, which is why it is important not to cover one's face while protesting.

Protesters in democracies should create email lists locally, combine the lists nationally and start registering voters. They should tell their representatives how many voters they have registered in each district - and they should organise to oust politicians who are brutal or repressive. And they should support those - as in Albany , New York , for instance, where police and the local prosecutor refused to crack down on protesters - who respect the rights to free speech and assembly. Read More

Project Syndicate

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Anchoring the New Cosmic Grid

"Galactic Brotherhood of light, imprint the
web of unity and compassion tonight!"

[Note: The Mayan Underworld Cycle of darkness is over, and ended Friday, October 28th. Now the earth enters a period of Light and Ascension, as prophesied in the I AM America Material. This article documents the birth of the new Grids of Light and the entrance of the Violet Ray of Mercy and Compassion. ~Lori]

On October 28th 2011, four masters performed end rites and birth rites at Four Corners, to usher a new age of creation and a new cosmic imprint. We received help from all the cosmic watchers, who blessed the ceremony, aiding us along the way and helping us to anchor the new energy to the Earth as the Earth began its ascent beyond three-dimensional reality.

We anchored the web of light, replacing the imprint of the Mayan Oxlahunkin underworld, the final cycle of an evolutionary tree of life that has been driving our planet Earth for millions of years. We ushered in a new cosmic birth cycle that is propelling the planet into a new energy spectrum.

We petitioned the great cosmic mother and father to dispense instant karma so that those evil warlords, who have ruled and decimated the planet during the long patriarchal underworld cycle, would be destroyed by their own treacherous acts and words. We banished the dark shadow forces of Orion, and heralded the new Quetzalcoatl energy of redemption.

We invoked the winds of Aquarius so that they would slash through the ages and unwind the spiral of darkness created by the shadow warlords. We invoked fire and water to cease the disorder, bleakness, and starkness that’s plagued the planet and its inhabitants. We witnessed the burning away of the perpetrators’ dark souls to remove the source of all Earthly blight and make way for the new Christ light.

We watched as the cosmic forces destroyed the dark forces forcing them to confront their own shadow demons. We saw the burning of the powers behind the world financial collapse and global greed, political and religious terrorism, environmental degradation and destruction, and finally imperialism, slavery, and one-world governmental control.

We purged Mother Earth, to prepare her for the purple ray of ascension. We chanted as the new galactic matrix imprinted itself into the veins of Mother Earth, purging the planetary destroyers. We anchored the new cosmic net to the ascending Earth with the help of the galactic brotherhood of light, and imprinted the web of unity and compassion to the Earth through our bodies, using our legs to root the new light energy.

As ashes turned to ashes and dust to dust, we heralded Quetzalcoatl as he rose from the ashes to ascend the purple ray, ushering the new age of Christ consciousness. As the Earth moved through the eye of the cosmic needle, we welcomed the new cosmic grid as it imprinted the new matrix to Earth, bringing a new age of unity and peace to all disciples of the light. Then we completed the ceremony and celebrated the new kingdom of light.

We will continue to witness the planet sweeping itself clean over the next year. Many will rejoice in the evolving kingdom of light, while many will leave the planet because they will not be able to embody the new energy of light and unity. The Mayan Underworld cycle has come to an end. The Mayan Long Count calendar is moving into its final year as well. The only constant through it all will be radical change.

In Lakech, Dawn

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

APNewsbreak: Global warming worsens weather extremes, international climate panel will say

"The report from the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be issued in a few weeks, after a meeting in Uganda. It says there is at least a 2-in-3 probability that climate extremes have already worsened because of man-made greenhouse gases."

WASHINGTON — Freakish weather disasters — from the sudden October snowstorm in the Northeast U.S. to the record floods in Thailand — are striking more often. And global warming is likely to spawn more similar weather extremes at a huge cost, says a draft summary of an international climate report obtained by The Associated Press. The final draft of the report from a panel of the world’s top climate scientists paints a wild future for a world already weary of weather catastrophes costing billions of dollars. The report says costs will rise and perhaps some locations will become “increasingly marginal as places to live.” Read More

IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


"More than 800 authors, selected from around 3000 nominations,
are involved  in writing the reports."

The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) is now underway. It will consist of three Working Group (WG) Reports and a Synthesis Report, to be completed in 2013/2014:

WG I: The Physical Science Basis - mid September 2013
WG II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability - mid March 2014
WG III: Mitigation of Climate Change - early April 2014
AR5 Synthesis Report (SYR) - October 2014
The AR5 will provide an update of knowledge on the scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of climate change. Information about the outline and other content to be addressed can be found in the AR5 reference document and SYR Scoping document. More than 800 authors, selected from around 3000 nominations, are involved in writing the reports. First Lead Authors meetings have been held. For the schedule of AR5 related meetings, review periods, and other important dates, please refer to the calendar.

 IPCC Workshop on Impacts
of Ocean Acidification on
Marine Biology and Ecosystems
 


IPCC Workshop on
Sea Level Rise and
Ice Sheet Instabilities