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Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

Why do we celebrate Earth just one out of 365 days of the year?

I may sound radical and against tradition but one day of Earth remembrance is just not enough. Our home planet is not just a celebrity whose birthday we remember or another mundane holiday or shopping day like Halloween or Valentine’s Day; not even the honorable causes that gave us Martin Luther King or Veteran’s Day. No, the Earth’s significance is far beyond any tribute we may pay to any past human hero or cause no matter how magnificent.

With all due respect the very organism that gave us life, everything we enjoy and keeps us living, our Earth, deserves our homage, care and devotion every single day in the calendar. I think we need more than an Earth Day.

Earth

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My latest reflection on sustainability came to me in the metaphor of a dysfunctional home where every member is stuck inside with every other. We no longer live in harmony with each other. There is nowhere for anyone to escape, insulate or be free from the others. We have become too many in this ever shrinking house. The personal space we once had is gone.

We can no longer trash the place without creating complaints and smelling the waste we leave behind. We can no longer say “this is my place and if you don’t like it get out of here”. It is no longer our own place but everyone’s, and as such we must learn to share it no matter our differences or dramas.

We are divided on Earth in the same way a family is divided. We wished but cannot afford to put order the way we would like; we bite our tongue and hit the table to channel the outrage of injustice and avoid fighting; we exert self-restraint because without it, we will have an all-out war we will all regret and will ultimately assure our collective destruction.

We must learn to live with all of our family members despite our countless irreconcilable differences. Nature gave us a single tiny oasis where we could safely inhabit in a vast but hostile universe. If we have overpopulated it and trashed it and we no longer can bear one another, it is solely our problem. We must step up to the plate and create harmony whatever it takes to ensure we will keep the most precious side of our existence, our HOME.

For those who may find not this post is not objective enough I should point out the etymology of the word ecology. Created by German zoologist Ernst Haeckel, his original term was Ökologie which derived from the Greek oikos “house, dwelling place, habitation” and logia “study of”.  Ecology thus became the branch of science dealing with the relationship of living things to their environments.

Source: everydaylife.globalpost.com

Source: everydaylife.globalpost.com

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In response to Guernica’s article God’s Creation Is Running a Fever, being a non-believer does not prevent me from having the highest respect for someone as devoted as Katherine Hayhoe. I would however be placing as much emphasis on climate change adaptation as on mitigation. I understand mitigation may prevent a further destabilization of the planetary cycles but at the same time even if we stopped all our emissions and metabolic activity tomorrow – something virtually impossible, we would still experience Climate Change.

Now we need to adapt to the new conditions of a change in the planetary ecosystem as it finds a new equilibrium after its anthropogenic disruption. If we just wait for society to act on emissions, we are going to loose our opportunity window to prepare for the growing global disturbances we are already experiencing.

Climate change is already here. We cannot afford to spend precious time debating “democratically” with the skeptics. If we do so, we will give into their stalling tactic and lose our opportunity to save considerable life and resources.

232_Temp_anomaly

Temperature data from four international science institutions. Source: NASA.

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Unfortunately due to human nature and the forces of the economic system where we are all imprisoned, we just cannot afford to wait and win the hearts and minds of people before we can conveniently and democratically shift to sustainability.

I fully agree with Bill’s analysis regarding the individual and collective dynamics of motivation and persuasion. However Bill left out a critical element, most likely for lack of time. What Mr. Rees missed and what I think is the big elephant in his analysis is the actual System which nourishes not just our body but let’s be honest, our very own mind and spirit. We are lead to believe we have a freedom based democracy where we make our own choices but it is actually a corporate oligarchy where the choices are already pre-selected for us.

We are physically, emotionally, intellectually and culturally plugged into The System in the same way that a patient is hooked to an intravenous (IV) system. And it will take nothing short of a cataclysmic disruption to remove from our vanes the serum of Global Capitalism and allow the transition to a truly free, healthy and sustainable civilization.

 

 

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One day I want to be as composed and moderate as Post Carbon Institute Fellow Bill Rees who appears in the video below. I think there is enough justification to be emotionally explosive about the dramatic reality he describes, precisely because of how real it is. Bill is a source of inspiration not just in the scientific sense but also at the emotional level. Behind his refined and corteous professor demeanor lies a visible flame of outrage, passion and justice.

The message Bill provides is liquid gold, so concentrated and rich that it becomes precious. I feel I must not allow myself to run the risk of taking away anything you may get from his discussion by adding my own thoughts. If you read me enough you will realize I am on his page. Enjoy the potent flavor of truth.

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This post is about a recent scientific paper evaluating through a mathematical model the potential for collapse of human societies inferring our current risk, based on just two unsustainable dynamics in our modern economy, economic stratification or degree of inequality and ecological strain from resource depletion. The model has been validated recreating the failures of past civilizations which like ours enjoyed a relative high degree of sophistication.

Many people who have faith in the future a magic technological bullets will save us from these and other global threats but the truth of the matter is that it is only an illusion. No amount of technological prowess can keep us alive separated from or at odds with our life-sustaining system.

Our current and present risk for the demise of our civilization is no longer an alarmist tale or even an opinion. We have a quantifiable scientific probability.  That is called data. I challenge any PhD supporting the current unsustainable establishment to discredit this and other scientific studies which realistically dare to quantify the risks inherent to our ravenous devouring of natural and human resources driven by our insane debt based capitalism.

Enjoy this enlightening paper and do not let the societal manipulation of media and people make you believe you are cannot rationally and effectively evaluate the risks of our present global economic system.

Western_civilization_collapse_C_80

Source: Another World is Posssible…

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This post is specially dedicated to those who want to convince us that the material based progress and the global economic system we have is the best and the only one we can have.  I am often the critic of such manipulative assertion, but I am going to let someone respected by millions be the critic this time.

Not being a particularly religious person I often have my ear on what religious leaders have to say, particularly the Dalai Lama whom I regard as being light years ahead of most religious leaders.  He speaks deep truth and high wisdom. I believe the commentary below is not just a brilliant critique and analysis of today’s reality but a daring look at the world calling it for what it is.

Few individuals today have the courage and the critical mind to recognize, let alone face such reality. But guess what? The number of people waking up to this often uncomfortable and even scary reality is growing. People are slowly but surely stepping up to face these planetary compounded challenge. However if we want to make a timely difference we need such growth to be exponential, and to me it still feels linear.

I cannot wait for the growth of consciousness to become a runaway (ever growing) effect, a positive feedback loop so that it can keep up with and counter our runaway global crisis.

 

Dalai lama

Source: Dalai Lama Daily Quotes

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