I hope you had a wonderful Holiday break!!!
2010 is here. It feels good, doesn’t it? A new decade! Are we on the verge of a global paradigm shift that will make right our failing world? I think we are.
Did you see Avatar yet? What a movie—a masterpiece by James Cameron! The story line takes place on a distant planet in the future—Pandora, where a race of humanoids called the Na’vi, live in perfect harmony with nature—a beautiful world of rich biodiversity, with each plant and animal given full respect and a place at the table of life. Then enters the human race from earth, in the person of a transnational corporation, scientists and the military, seeking to exploit the Na’vi for the mineral wealth that lays under the ground of their sacred home. The Na’vi had to be moved to a new territory. The gross insensitivity of our race towards a beautiful indigenous culture that was deeply in-tune with nature, and the rapacious disregard exhibited by us towards their flora and fauna was a mirror of reflection for our present day mishandling of our own earth’s biosphere. Avatar provides a fitting reminder, as we begin our journey into this new decade, that we in the industrialized world have a long way to go and much to correct regarding our actions around our own world.
But I am excited. I am ready for a major sea change, a paradigm shift of global proportions. Bold and audacious goals seem very appropriate this January 4th of 2010. Here are three to grab hold of:
1. Fight For Biodiversity
It comes down to loving the Creation, honoring the fruits of evolution, understanding the value of each of life’s form in the biosphere. Avatar depicts a world of conflict between the indigenous people and the modern industrialized cultural practices
Agroecology, the alternative to the Green revolution, is the solution to displacement, environmental disaster, and life lived outside of nature. As was presented in our December 22nd Newsletter, agroecology is proving its ability to feed our starving world wherever it is implimented. Biodiversity is the key to agroecology. It embraces farming with nature rather than against it. Take the time to check it out. Go to their website—Agroecology, get the book Food Rebellions! Crisis and the Hunger for Justice, Pub.2009, by Eric Holt-Gimenez and Raj Patel—
Biodiversity is exquisitely argued for in the book by Nobel Laureate Eric Chivain—Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity, Pub. 2008. In 1996 he founded and still heads the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. One hundred scientists contributed to the writing of this impressive work.
It is a book about our relationship to nature. It defines that relationship by how our health and lives depend on the health of the natural world. In his public presentations, Dr. Chivain brings home his point that other creatures play a vital role in our health through relaying examples from his book—his observations regarding the polar bear, the gastric breeding frog and the cone shell. Here is what Dr. Chivain said in one of his lectures:
We have talked throughout the last year about the accelerating demise of many species on land and in the sea—a process we have labeled de-evolution. Dr Chivian stated that species extinction is occurring now at a higher rate than anytime in history.
We have 3½ billion years of evolution that we are destroying and that is a sin whether you are religious or not. Here a fascinating interview of Eric Chivian, Harvard Professor and Richard Cizik, evangelical Presbyterian Minister regarding biodiversity and the environment.
2. Embrace Agroecology and Permaculture- Agriculture Justice
The University of California and the University of Vermont are leading the way in courses and degrees in Agroecology. For those who want a quick immersion in the theoretical concepts behind current global food issues and the solutions offered through agroecological methods, both schools jointly offer a 2 week Short Course in Agroecology, each summer. See their website for this information.
3. Believe a Quantum Leap from Fossil Fuel Energy to Clean Energy is Possible
November 2009’s Scientific American devoted its issue to a plan for a sustainable future. In its featured article entitled, A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030, authors Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University and Mark Delucchi, a research scientist at the University of California’s Institute of Transportation Studies, argue that it is entirely plausible that we can be free of carbon based energy by 2030. That is just two decades from now. Here are a few points for their article:
Taking it to the next level, the Rocky Mountain Institute weights in on a carbon free energy source for the world by suggesting we need to take a quantum leap into a future with a totally clean and renewable energy source. In its 2009 Christmas/New Years newsletter, entitled Reinventing Fire, is aimed at changing the way most people have been getting and using energy since the Industrial Revolution. In their short video Greeting for the New Year and New Decade they spell it out—Our New Year Resolution. View it. Let’s embrace the vision.
Next week I will have a script for you that goes along with this sheet—Therapeutic Foods Systemic Support.
The Last Quiz Answer: This amazing creature is an Octopus. Octopuses belong to the phylum Mollusca (molluscs), class Cephalopoda (cephalopods), subclass Coleoidea. They belong to the genus Octopus and there are about 50 known species including the common octopus (O. vulgaris), which may reach 2 m/6 ft in length; the Australian blue-ringed octopus (genus Hapalochlaena) that can kill a human being in 15 minutes as a result of its venomous bite; and the giant deep-sea octopus (Architeuthis dux) that can grow to 20 m/64 ft.