Sunday, July 15, 2012

An Esoteric View of the 1960s and '70s

by Garry Gilfoy
Firstly, I want to make the claim that the evolution of consciousness is central to humanity's task, which, by the way, is the development of freedom -- refer to our creation myth with its starting point of eating from "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" and being denied eternal life and turned from the face of God. We were cut off, as it were, but not needlessly. The journey is long and it's slow and it's often a painful thing to witness, but we have an eternity to create freedom for a cosmic order where it doesn't otherwise exist. (For the whole of the BIG picture you'll just have to get my book.)
So, some recent historical perspective. When Jiddu Krishnamurti repudiated the claims of the theosophists that he was the new messiah, we assume that this assertion and the course of history prove him correct. With the aid of hindsight, however, we might consider that he has played a unique role in the advancement of our global spiritual consciousness.
In the latter part of the 19th century and into the 20th, Helena Blavatsky's Theosophical Society was a highly respected form of spiritualism embraced by many of Europe's intellectual elite. Krishnamurti was spotted by Charles Leadbetter, a Society leader and clairvoyant, who claimed him as a World Teacher and vehicle for the Maitreya. This was quite a claim. Among other things it caused Rudolf Steiner, the great mystic, scientist and pedagogue and at that time head of the German and Austrian branch of the Theosophical Society, to leave it and form The Anthroposophical Society. There would be only the one capital-I Incarnation, he asserted.
From the dim-witted boy he was purported to be, Krishnamurti received a good education both intellectually and spiritually. Although he went on to deny Theosophy's claims of him, he became a spiritual teacher of great renown in the West, taking up residence in California. Events would conspire to give him a central role in momentous societal shifts. Read More

‘Monsanto Rider’: Biotech companies to gain immunity from Federal law on 2013 Ag Bill

By Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins
The Secretary of Agriculture would be required to grant a permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, regardless of environmental impact.
While many Americans were firing up barbecues and breaking out the sparklers to celebrate Independence Day, biotech industry executives were more likely chilling champagne to celebrate another kind of independence: immunity from federal law.
A so-called “Monsanto rider,” quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill, would require – not just allow, but require – the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed. All the farmer or the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops could be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate conventional or organic crops and, ultimately, the nation’s food supply.
Unless the Senate or a citizen’s army of farmers and consumers can stop them, the House of Representatives is likely to ram this dangerous rider through any day now. Read More

The Ecology of Disease

(NY Times) THERE’S a term biologists and economists use these days — ecosystem services — which refers to the many ways nature supports the human endeavor. Forests filter the water we drink, for example, and birds and bees pollinate crops, both of which have substantial economic as well as biological value.
If we fail to understand and take care of the natural world, it can cause a breakdown of these systems and come back to haunt us in ways we know little about. A critical example is a developing model of infectious disease that shows that most epidemics — AIDS, Ebola, West Nile, SARS, Lyme disease and hundreds more that have occurred over the last several decades — don’t just happen. They are a result of things people do to nature.
Disease, it turns out, is largely an environmental issue. Sixty percent of emerging infectious diseases that affect humans are zoonotic — they originate in animals. And more than two-thirds of those originate in wildlife. Read More

NOAA releases comprehensive 2011 State of the Climate report

On Tuesday, July 10, 2012, NOAA released the 2011 State of the Climate report. This report is a peer reviewed paper that was compiled by 378 scientists from 48 countries around the world. This report looks at the extreme weather events that occurred in 2011. It also analyzes global climate indicators and monitoring stations and instruments used on land, sea, ice, and sky. The report says that 2011 was the coolest year on record since 2008, but it remained above the 30-year average (1981-2010). La Nina – the cool phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation – was the major cooling factor, globally, in 2011. At the same time, the influence of human-caused global warming on the climate system continues to grow. The report identified “human fingerprints” in more than two dozen climate indicators examined by this international research team — from air temperatures to ocean acidity. More specifics of the report below.
According to NOAA, La Niña played a major role in the crazy weather events that occurred in 2011, such as the violent tornado outbreaks in the United States, severe droughts in southern United States, northern Mexico, and East Africa, and one of the worst summer heat waves in central and southern Europe since 2003. Read More