From the 92nd Street Y in New York City, an hour with former Vice President Al Gore about his book "The Future"
From the 92nd Street Y in New York City, an hour with former Vice President Al Gore about his book "The Future"
The shocking minutes relating to President Putin’s meeting this past week with US Secretary of State John Kerry reveal the Russian leaders “extreme outrage” over the Obama regimes continued protection of global seed and plant bio-genetic giants Syngenta and Monsanto in the face of a growing “bee apocalypse” that the Kremlin warns “will most certainly” lead to world war.
According to these minutes, released in the Kremlin today by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation (MNRE), Putin was so incensed over the Obama regimes refusal to discuss this grave matter that he refused for three hours to even meet with Kerry, who had traveled to Moscow on a scheduled diplomatic mission, but then relented so as to not cause an even greater rift between these two nations.
At the center of this dispute between Russia and the US, this MNRE report says, is the “undisputed evidence” that a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, are destroying our planets bee population, and which if left unchecked could destroy our world’s ability to grow enough food to feed its population.
So grave has this situation become, the MNRE reports, the full European Commission (EC) this past week instituted a two-year precautionary ban (set to begin on 1 December 2013) on these “bee killing” pesticidesfollowing the lead of Switzerland, France, Italy, Russia, Slovenia and Ukraine, all of whom had previously banned these most dangerous of genetically altered organisms from being used on the continent.
Two of the most feared neonicotinoids being banned are Actara and Cruiser made by the Swiss global bio-tech seed and pesticide giant Syngenta AG which employs over 26,000 people in over 90 countries and ranks third in total global sales in the commercial agricultural seeds market.
Important to note, this report says, is that Syngenta, along with bio-tech giants Monsanto, Bayer, Dow and DuPont, now control nearly 100% of the global market for genetically modified pesticides, plants and seeds.
Also to note about Syngenta, this report continues, is that in 2012 it was criminally charged in Germany for concealing the fact that its genetically modified corn killed cattle, and settled a class-action lawsuit in the US for $105 million after it was discovered they had contaminated the drinking supply of some 52 million Americans in more than 2,000 water districts with its “gender-bending” herbicide Atrazine.
To how staggeringly frightful this situation is, the MNRE says, can be seen in the report issued this past March by the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) wherein they warned our whole planet is in danger, and as we can, in part, read:
“As part of a study on impacts from the world’s most widely used class of insecticides, nicotine-like chemicals called neonicotinoids, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has called for a ban on their use as seed treatments and for the suspension of all applications pending an independent review of the products’ effects on birds, terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, and other wildlife.
“It is clear that these chemicals have the potential to affect entire food chains. The environmental persistence of the neonicotinoids, their propensity for runoff and for groundwater infiltration, and their cumulative and largely irreversible mode of action in invertebrates raise significant environmental concerns,” said Cynthia Palmer, co-author of the report and Pesticides Program Manager for ABC, one of the nation’s leading bird conservation organizations.
ABC commissioned world renowned environmental toxicologist Dr. Pierre Mineau to conduct the research. The 100-page report, “The Impact of the Nation’s Most Widely Used Insecticides on Birds,” reviews 200 studies on neonicotinoids including industry research obtained through the US Freedom of Information Act. The report evaluates the toxicological risk to birds and aquatic systems and includes extensive comparisons with the older pesticides that the neonicotinoids have replaced. The assessment concludes that the neonicotinoids are lethal to birds and to the aquatic systems on which they depend.
“A single corn kernel coated with a neonicotinoid can kill a songbird,” Palmer said. “Even a tiny grain of wheat or canola treated with the oldest neonicotinoid — called imidacloprid — can fatally poison a bird. And as little as 1/10th of a neonicotinoid-coated corn seed per day during egg-laying season is all that is needed to affect reproduction.”
The new report concludes that neonicotinoid contamination levels in both surface- and ground water in the United States and around the world are already beyond the threshold found to kill many aquatic invertebrates.” More
Terracide and the Terrarists - Destroying the Planet for Record Profits
We have a word for the conscious slaughter of a racial or ethnic group: genocide. And one for the conscious destruction of aspects of the environment: ecocide. But we don’t have a word for the conscious act of destroying the planet we live on, the world as humanity had known it until, historically speaking, late last night. A possibility might be “terracide” from the Latin word for earth. It has the right ring, given its similarity to the commonplace danger word of our era: terrorist.
The truth is, whatever we call them, it’s time to talk bluntly about the terrarists of our world. Yes, I know, 9/11 was horrific. Almost 3,000 dead, massive towers down, apocalyptic scenes. And yes, when it comes to terror attacks, the Boston Marathon bombings weren’t pretty either. But in both cases, those who committed the acts paid for or will pay for their crimes.
In the case of the terrarists -- and here I’m referring in particular to the men who run what may be the most profitable corporations on the planet, giant energy companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Shell -- you’re the one who’s going to pay, especially your children and grandchildren. You can take one thing for granted: not a single terrarist will ever go to jail, and yet they certainly knew what they were doing.
It wasn’t that complicated. In recent years, the companies they run have been extracting fossil fuels from the Earth in ever more frenetic and ingenious ways. The burning of those fossil fuels, in turn, has put record amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Only this month, the CO2 level reached 400 parts per million for the first time in human history. A consensus of scientists has long concluded that the process was warming the world and that, if the average planetary temperature rose more than two degrees Celsius, all sorts of dangers could ensue, including seas rising high enough to inundate coastal cities, increasingly intense heat waves, droughts, floods, ever more extreme storm systems, and so on.
How to Make Staggering Amounts of Money and Do In the Planet
None of this was exactly a mystery. It’s in the scientific literature. NASA scientist James Hansen first publicized the reality of global warming to Congress in 1988. It took a while -- thanks in part to the terrarists -- but the news of what was happening increasingly made it into the mainstream. Anybody could learn about it.
Those who run the giant energy corporations knew perfectly well what was going on and could, of course, have read about it in the papers like the rest of us. And what did they do? They put their money into funding think tanks, politicians, foundations, and activists intent on emphasizing “doubts” about the science (since it couldn’t actually be refuted); they and their allies energetically promoted what came to be known as climate denialism. Then they sent their agents and lobbyists and money into the political system to ensure that their plundering ways would not be interfered with. And in the meantime, they redoubled their efforts to get ever tougher and sometimes “dirtier” energy out of the ground in ever tougher and dirtier ways.
The peak oil people hadn’t been wrong when they suggested years ago that we would soon hit a limit in oil production from which decline would follow. The problem was that they were focused on traditional or “conventional” liquid oil reserves obtained from large reservoirs in easy-to-reach locations on land or near to shore. Since then, the big energy companies have invested a remarkable amount of time, money, and (if I can use that word) energy in the development of techniques that would allow them to recover previously unrecoverable reserves (sometimes by processes that themselves burn striking amounts of fossil fuels): fracking, deep-water drilling, and tar-sands production, among others.
They also began to go after huge deposits of what energy expert Michael Klare calls “extreme” or “tough” energy -- oil and natural gas that can only be acquired through the application of extreme force or that requires extensive chemical treatment to be usable as a fuel. In many cases, moreover, the supplies being acquired like heavy oil and tar sands are more carbon-rich than other fuels and emit more greenhouse gases when consumed. These companies have even begun using climate change itself -- in the form of a melting Arctic -- to exploit enormous and previously unreachable energy supplies. With the imprimatur of the Obama administration, Royal Dutch Shell, for example, has been preparing to test out possible drilling techniques in the treacherous waters off Alaska.
Call it irony, if you will, or call it a nightmare, but Big Oil evidently has no qualms about making its next set of profits directly off melting the planet. Its top executives continue to plan their futures (and so ours), knowing that their extremely profitable acts are destroying the very habitat, the very temperature range that for so long made life comfortable for humanity.
Their prior knowledge of the damage they are doing is what should make this a criminal activity. And there are corporate precedents for this, even if on a smaller scale. The lead industry, the asbestos industry, and the tobacco companies all knew the dangers of their products, made efforts to suppress the information or instill doubt about it even as they promoted the glories of what they made, and went right on producing and selling while others suffered and died.
And here’s another similarity: with all three industries, the negative results conveniently arrived years, sometimes decades, after exposure and so were hard to connect to it. Each of these industries knew that the relationship existed. Each used that time-disconnect as protection. One difference: if you were a tobacco, lead, or asbestos exec, you might be able to ensure that your children and grandchildren weren’t exposed to your product. In the long run, that’s not a choice when it comes to fossil fuels and CO2, as we all live on the same planet (though it's also true that the well-off in the temperate zones are unlikely to be the first to suffer).
If Osama bin Laden’s 9/11 plane hijackings or the Tsarnaev brothers’ homemade bombs constitute terror attacks, why shouldn’t what the energy companies are doing fall into a similar category (even if on a scale that leaves those events in the dust)? And if so, then where is the national security state when we really need it? Shouldn’t its job be to safeguard us from terrarists and terracide as well as terrorists and their destructive plots?
The Alternatives That Weren’t
It didn’t have to be this way.
On July 15, 1979, at a time when gas lines, sometimes blocks long, were a disturbing fixture of American life, President Jimmy Carter spoke directly to the American people on television for 32 minutes, calling for a concerted effort to end the country’s oil dependence on the Middle East. “To give us energy security,” he announced,
“I am asking for the most massive peacetime commitment of funds and resources in our nation's history to develop America's own alternative sources of fuel -- from coal, from oil shale, from plant products for gasohol, from unconventional gas, from the sun... Just as a similar synthetic rubber corporation helped us win World War II, so will we mobilize American determination and ability to win the energy war. Moreover, I will soon submit legislation to Congress calling for the creation of this nation's first solar bank, which will help us achieve the crucial goal of 20% of our energy coming from solar power by the year 2000.”
It’s true that, at a time when the science of climate change was in its infancy, Carter wouldn’t have known about the possibility of an overheating world, and his vision of “alternative energy” wasn’t exactly a fossil-fuel-free one. Even then, shades of today or possibly tomorrow, he was talking about having “more oil in our shale alone than several Saudi Arabias.” Still, it was a remarkably forward-looking speech. More
With the beginnings of a state of chaos developing around the globe it is time for those of us with the vision to suggest an alternate and safer path of development to ensure a peaceful and sustainable future for our descendants.
|The Georgia Guide Stones|
We have in our future a number of developing situations that may well be drivers of conflict. There is climate change, which is a scientific theory which has consensus among 97 percent of climate scientists on the planet. They are in agreement that it is anthropogenic (or human induced) and unless mitigated will have a disastrous impact on the world as we know it.
We have, in the near-term, a worsening resource shortage, which includes fossil fuel, minerals, metals, and rich productive agricultural land.
All of the above mentioned situations will cause further knock on effects, climate change is predicted to cause changes in rainfall patterns, some regions getting heavier rains and others getting less. This will affect agricultural output and food security.
Warming of the atmosphere will and in fact is causing sea level rise which will eventually mean evacuation of islands and all the problems with the resettling of refugees.
By 2050 the global population will be in the region of nine billion. How are we going to be able to feed all of these people? More people means more homes, roads, parking lots, and all of this means less land for agriculture. Rising atmospheric temperatures will result in reduced food production as for every one degree that the temperature rises grain production falls by ten percent.
The War on Terror conducted by the United States without benefit of the Rule of Law is also a frightening and dangerous path to transverse.
We Therefore need A Guide To An Age Of Reason:
1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2. Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
4. Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
9. Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
10. Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.
March against Monsanto Worldwide on 25th May 2013.
Join a March near you
A Grassroots Movement called March Against Monsanto is Going Global – Taking Back Control of Food Production Starting May 25th 2013
02 May 2, 2013
NOAA reports that 2012 brought the warmest recorded sea surface temperatures in 150 years for the US east coast between Cape Hatteras, N.C. and the Gulf of Maine.
Using satellite and ship-board measurements, NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) reported that average surface temperatures reached 57.2 F (14 C) in 2012, beating the previous record set in 1951. 2012's temperature rise also marked the largest single-year increase since records began in 1854 and one of only five times that average temperatures have jumped by more than 1.8 F (1 C).
“Changes in ocean temperatures and the timing and strength of spring and fall plankton blooms could affect the biological clocks of many marine species, which spawn at specific times of the year based on environmental cues like water temperature,” said Kevin Friedland, a scientist in the NEFSC Ecosystem Assessment Program, in a press statement.
Research has shown that rising ocean temperatures as a result of climate change may also pose a threat to the ocean's single-celled phytoplankton, such as algae. They are not only the foundation of the marine food chain, Climate Central explains. They also "consume about half of the carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere."
Scientists aren't certain of the extent to which rising temperatures will impact these organisms, or how quickly they will be able to adapt, but slowed phytoplankton growth could mean more CO2 remaining in the atmosphere.
Atmospheric CO2 concentrations are at their highest level in human history and continue to rise.
Increased carbon dioxide in the air -- as a result of human activities like the burning of fossil fuels -- also means more CO2 dissolved in the world's oceans. NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco told the Associated Press in 2012, ocean acidification is climate change's "equally evil twin."
"It's yet another reason to be very seriously concerned about the amount of carbon dioxide that is in the atmosphere now and the additional amount we continue to put out," she told AP. "It is going to be a long time before we can stabilize and turn around the direction of change simply because it's a big atmosphere and it's a big ocean."
Rising sea level
Another report  from Georgetown, S.C. said:
Effects of higher sea level are very clear down a winding dirt road in Georgetown County where acres of what was once a forested wetland have morphed into a salt marsh of dead trees jutting toward the sky.
"When you go into the field, you really see a lot of trees dying. That's the first thing that catches your eye," said Alex Chow, who teaches biosystems engineering at Clemson University's Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science at Hobcaw Barony, a wildlife refuge northeast of Georgetown.
Chow and two other colleagues at the institute used aerial photos to map how the salt water has advanced into freshwater Strawberry Swamp from nearby Winyah Bay.
Their study found that over the past six decades, the amount of salt marsh in the area has increased from about 4 acres to more than 16 acres. The study was published in December in "Wetland Science and Practice," the quarterly journal of the international Society of Wetland Scientists.
"Over long periods – and what we looked at is over 60 years – the maritime forest retreats at approximately the same rate sea level rises," said Tom Williams, a professor emeritus of forestry and natural resources who is a co-author.
Bo Song, assistant professor of forestry and natural resources, also contributed to the study.
The study notes that along the state's north coast, the sea level rise has average 3 to 4 millimeters a year during the past century or so.
William Conner, a professor of forestry and natural resources at the institute, said that what is happening in Strawberry Swamp is similar to what is happening throughout the Southeast, where the shorelines tend to be flattened. The dead trees along the Cape Fear River in Wilmington are an example, he said. In areas where rivers are dredged for shipping, it also makes it easier for salt water to impinge on freshwater areas.
"It's been a little more dramatic in recent years," he said.
"Based on the calculations in this study, you can see it's happening much faster in the past two decades," Chow said. More
United Natures is a documentary movie on the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, permaculture, philosophy, spirituality and a neo-indigenous future for humanity.