Environment

Bolivia’s “Law of Mother Earth”

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In America (and throughout other parts of the world) there is a strong discussion of “human rights.” Humans have a right to this, and humans have a right to that. But we’re only one small species in the vast web of creation. What about the laws of the planet? The laws of Mother Earth?

In Bolivia, they have such a thing. “Ley de Derechos de La Madre Tierra” (The Rights of Mother Earth). This law holds that the land is sacred.  It is a living system that has the right to be protected from exploitation,  and creates a set of distinguished rights for the environment.

The Law of Mother Earth includes the following rights for the planet: 

1. To life: The right to maintain the integrity of living systems and natural processes that sustain them, and capacities and conditions for regeneration.

2. To the diversity of life: It is the right to preservation of differentiation and variety of beings that make up Mother Earth, without being genetically altered or structurally modified in an artificial way, so that their existence, functioning or future potential would be threatened.

3. To water: The right to preserve the functionality of the water cycle, its existence in the quantity and quality needed to sustain living systems, and its protection from pollution for the reproduction of the life of Mother Earth and all its components.

4. To clean air: The right to preserve the quality and composition of air for sustaining living systems and its protection from pollution, for the reproduction of the life of Mother Earth and all its components.

5. To equilibrium: The right to maintenance or restoration of the interrelationship, interdependence, complementarity and functionality of the components of Mother Earth in a balanced way for the continuation of their cycles and reproduction of their vital processes.

6. To restoration: The right to timely and effective restoration of living systems affected by human activities directly or indirectly.

7. To pollution-free living: The right to the preservation of any of Mother Earth’s components from contamination, as well as toxic and radioactive waste generated by human activities.

The document also has a set of obligations that are the duties of the people to the environment. You can see more of that in the information below.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING LINKS

Law of Mother Earth Complete Text (World Future Fund)

Law of the Rights of Mother Earth (Wikipedia)

Bolivia passes “Law of Mother Earth” which gives rights to our planet as a living system (The Earth Child)


A March for Science in DC Set for Earth Day 2017

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In response to an Administration and Congress that seems hostile to science — particularly in regards to climate change — there is going to be a March for Science in Washington DC, this year, on Earth Day.

There are also a growing constellation of marches around the nation set for that day.

What began as a Reddit conversation has grown into a movement of scientists and science lovers standing up for evidenced-based policy making and inclusivity in the science community.

The date of the march isn’t just an average Saturday. April 22 is Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970.

The original Earth Day is seen by many as a turning point in the environmental movement. The year itself also marks a major turning point for the U.S. government and environmental policy. In 1970, Richard Nixon signed the Environmental Protection Agency into existence and it began operating that December.

I usually don’t post politically oriented stuff on here, but I think this goes beyond politics. It is dangerous to me when politicians have so little regard for facts and scientific reality. Somewhere around 99% of scientists around the world state that climate change is a reality, whereas only 50% of U.S. politicians agree with this. Without support for the greatest minds our society has to offer, we’re not going to go anywhere as a country or as a people. It was hostility to intellectualism that thrust Europe into the Dark Ages. There is so much potential in our day and age. Potential to explore the stars. Potential to power our cities with sunshine and wind. Potential to unlock the secrets of the human mind and genome. We can’t give that all up now out of fear and hate.

So if you’re interested in standing up for science, definitely check out this link.

Update: I just joined a chat room with the organizers. So I’ll post more updates if I get any relevant information that needs to be posted here.

 READ MORE DETAILS HERE


Behemoth Film Depicts Human Cost of Coal

Not to be confused with the Polish Metal band Behemoth, this is a Chinese movie. Zhao Liang’s film Behemoth provides a striking view of the environmental and health costs of coal mining and consumption in China. The film borrows its plot structure from Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, as a coal miner suffering from lung disease. This coal miner guides the audience through a modern-day hell, purgatory and heaven – the coal mines and cities of Inner Mongolia.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE


Frogs: The Thin Green Line

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FULL DOCUMENTARY ABOUT FROGS ON PBS

Our little green friends play a vital role in the eco-system. Yet now they’re vanishing off the Earth at an alarming rate.

“It is the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs.  Population by population, species by species, amphibians are vanishing off the face of the Earth. Despite international alarm and a decade and a half of scientists scrambling for answers, the steady hemorrhaging of amphibians continues like a leaky faucet that cannot be fixed or a wound that will not heal.”

“Large scale die-offs of frogs around the world have prompted scientists to take desperate measures to try to save those frogs they can, even bathing frogs in Clorox solutions and keeping them in Tupperware boxes under carefully controlled conditions to prevent the spread of a deadly fungus. Will it ever be safe to return the frogs back to the ecosystem from which they were taken?”

Hopefully this problem can be solved before it’s too late.


The Era of Fake Reform. When Will We Actually Fight for the Planet?

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Currently the 2015 Climate Change Conference is being held in Paris, France. It will go from November 30th – December 11th.

Yet how effective have these climate ‘talks’ been? And is that all it is? Just talk?

Since the first climate summit 20 years ago, carbon dioxide emissions have soared (not decreased) and the pace of destruction is accelerating. Climate scientists say that sea levels, for example, are rising three times faster than predicted and that the Arctic ice is vanishing at rates unforeseen.

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If we allow carbon dioxide concentrations to reach 550 ppm, that means the global temperature will continue to rise for at least another century. We have already passed the 400 mark – a figure unseen on earth for 3-5 million years, and in the last ten years, we’ve seen the nine hottest years on record.

But of course greenhouse gasses aren’t the only issue at hand.

The reality is that humans are presiding over an era of mass destruction on planet earth. Scientists are calling the human era (the Anthropocene Age) an era of mass extinction. In 40 short years, our economic systems have destroyed half of the wild life on the planet according to the world wild life fund.

This is not to mention that little is being said by global elites about the most environmentally destructive industry in our time – the agriculture industry. While it was barely mentioned in the climate talks, these big agriculture businesses account for nearly 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

So what we have is an era in which the leaders and elites deliver feel good sound bites and lofty rhetoric. There are always ‘talks’ about change and endless ‘conversations.’ Sure, around twenty countries have taken a pledge to reduce their CO2 emissions, but what rules have been put into place to force these promises into action?

And even if these countries do reduce CO2 emissions, that’s not the complete problem.

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The real problem is that today’s societies and governments are based on a system of endless growth that cannot possibly be sustained. The same leaders who deliver happy talk about saving the rain forests and cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions, are the leaders who profit from the machinery of environmental destruction and corporate greed.

The truth is that we cannot live by systems of endless growth on a planet with finite resources.

So the truth is that a corporate cabal has hijacked our democracies and governments. Our so called liberal leaders have done little to nothing to stop the break neck speed of climate change and environmental destruction. Many of the so called liberal reformers who deliver rhetoric about saving the planet and climate change, are also the people who voted yes for the TPP and cheer on fracking. It’s okay, it’s called ‘natural’ gas – so that means it’s natural right? Never mind the fact that this process releases methane into the air, which is 20 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

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So in our time we have the growth of environmental fads, such as buying $50 dollar light bulbs and fair trade coffee. Things like this make people feel like they’re doing something without changing the actual infrastructure of the problem.

This would be like if a dragon were flying around, raining hell fire and destruction from above, and people cheered one another on for painting the dragon’s toe nails green (instead of…you know…slaying the dragon).

So a lot of this feel good talk and fake reform is dangerous – more dangerous than doing nothing in some ways. It’s dangerous because it creates the illusion that we’re doing something about our problems, when we’re actually not. This way, people don’t rise up and demand change, because they’re fooled by the lies of the fake reformers.

But the reality is that if people don’t push for REAL change, Mother Nature will push these changes herself. It’ll just be a change that human beings won’t like very much.

The reality is that the coming destruction as a result of humanity’s excesses won’t happen in a linear fashion, as part of some carefully calculated trend. The destruction will happen all at once because our ecosystem is interconnected. It’ll be a widespread domino effect. We’ll see the crash of our food systems, destroyed due to a lack of genetic diversity, and the death of natural pollinators – like the bees. We’ll see the rise of droughts, disease, coastal flooding and mega-storms.

So the reality is that change is coming one way or another.

We can either be a part of the change or be on the receiving end of it. 

It would be great if our leaders could peacefully put through needed reforms. And it’s great that people are talking about environmental reform. But if real environmental change doesn’t come, there will be a need in our time for people to put forth new political ideologies – for people to be willing to take down the current infrastructure of runaway corporate greed. This may involve violence. This may involve civil disobedience. But it’s near certain that the people benefiting from the planet’s destruction are not going to stop unless someone makes them stop.

The people presiding over this system are not good people. The problems of today aren’t a temporary hiccup in a gleaming machine of progress. What kind of people would preside over the destruction of half the planet’s wildlife? What kind of people would abide the greatest income inequality of our time? The answer, is sick, disturbed people. These people are spiritually and mentally sick, and they are a byproduct of the fact that the world has been run off of sick religious ideas for a while now.

In our time there is a need to become spiritually attuned to Nature – as our ancestors were in the days of old. Soon Nature will call for warriors to take a stand against evil and greed. Will you heed the call of the Earth?

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New Zealand Now Recognizes ALL Animals As Sentient Beings!

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READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

ANIMAL WELFARE BILL


To interrupt my long stasis from blog updates (been a busy month with visiting my new born nephew, and all sorts of other stuff), I would like to bring you this exciting news. New Zealand has just set a new precedent for how a nation should think about nature and its animal brethren.

For a long time many people have believed in foolish things about animals, such as the idea that animals “don’t feel pain.”

There’s this idea of “sentience” that certain animals have a more valuable existence than others, because their thought process is more complex.

However, New Zealand just said ‘to hell with that,’ and has now announced that ALL animals have feelings. This has set the precedent for the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, last month, to prosecute people involved in animal abuse/cruelty, as well as to ban animal testing and research. Much of the testing of products on animals can be done via other means. For example, many cosmetic companies will put their products in an animal’s eye to see if it causes them pain.I’m sure there’s a better way to conduct that kind of research.

Hopefully other countries will begin to follow New Zealand’s example in the protection of animals from abuse and cruelty.

Our lives are no more valuable than theirs. The first step towards living on this planet in a sane manner is to start seeing our furry friends as relatives, not as lifeless tools.


Earth Day Realities and Environ-metal – Change is Needed Before We Reach The Point of No Return

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Happy Earth Day everyone! But of course, we must remember that everyday is Earth Day, not just today.

We must also remember that we do not need to worry about Nature. Nature has been around for billions of years, and Nature has survived 5 major mass extinctions. The worst one, The Permian Extinction, wiped out about 90% of the life on the planet. So human activity may cause temporary chaos – but Nature will get past it – even if it takes her 100,000 years to clean up the mess human beings have caused, this is just a drop in the bucket in the overall scale of time.

Human beings are the ones who should be worried. If we continue to destroy the resources we need to survive – there will be a massive scale of death of human beings in the billions. This sounds far-fetched, but remember that a plague alone killed a third of Europe’s population in the 13th century. What percentage of the world’s people would die if we were dealing with global plague, famine, increased super storms – and of course the wars ignited in reaction to these things?

The global environmental crisis isn’t just something that will stay in the third world either – already it is wrecking havoc in California with the chronic water shortage.

So climate change is a real issue – THE issue – and we need to take it very seriously.

If we don’t do something soon as a society, we will reach the point of no return. At a certain point, problems will start solving themselves – just not in a way that we would like. (Think of Hurricane Sandy times 100).


WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE ON A GLOBAL LEVEL

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I won’t be able to go over everything in minute detail, or else this blog post would turn into a book. But I’ll go over a few basics.

  • THE SHIFT TO A CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY: When I say “clean energy,” I’m not talking about “natural” gas. Putting the word “natural” in a name doesn’t make it any more clean or natural. Fracking has actually been shown to cause more pollution than the standard oil drilling, (since fracking releases methane – and methane is at least 20 times more powerful as a green house gas than Carbon Dioxide). There needs to be an initiative on a major level to transition away from our global dependency on oil drilling, fracking and coal burning – and shift towards solar and wind power. The transition towards a “Clean Energy Economy” would actually create millions of new jobs and would be better for the environment overall. Also, according to CleanTechnica, such a shift would create around 3 million new jobs in America alone and would only cost 1.2% of the GDP. To put this in perspective, keep in mind that the top earning companies have used 4% of public GDP just to improve the worth of their own company stocks. (The Atlantic, 2015).
  •  A MAJOR AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION: One of the largest causes of pollution and environmental destruction is the structure of our global food systems. Modern agriculture has set in motion a gigantic reduction in global water supplies. Industrial fertilizers were only invented 100 years ago, so there is no long term track record of what they are going to do to the planet (which is pretty scary!). Modern fertilizers have also played a role in the extinction of helpful species (such as bees, bats and frogs), as well as destroying the local soil. The domestication of animals on a major level also requires a large amount of land, the consumption of vegetation, the destruction of forest land, and releases a record amount of methane in the atmosphere. On a global scale, the agriculture industry is the largest cause of methane emissions (EPA). Yes, industrial agriculture has been helpful so far in averting global famine, but it doesn’t have a long term future. A global shift towards family owned organic farms, urban farming, self sustainability and even low meat diets would be a start in solving this problem. There needs to be a greater conversation about a “Plan B” for achieving a realistic replacement plan for the non-viable Industrial Agriculture system.
  • TACKLING ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ON A POLITICAL/LEADERSHIP LEVEL: Much of the modern narrative about Environmentalism has been about what you – as an individual – can do to save the planet. There is all this talk about buying new light bulbs, driving a hybrid and shopping at Whole Foods. Perhaps if everyone did these things it might make some minor difference, but the major cause of pollution and global warming is actually caused by large industries that can really only be regulated by the government. The problem is that in many governments (particularly America) Environmental reform is occurring at a glacial pace – if not a non-existent pace. The Environment wasn’t even mentioned in the 2012 presidential election until hurricane Sandy hit New York; Here’s a scary fact, half of the newly elected Congress doesn’t believe in global warming (motherboard) – compare this to the fact that 97% of scientists do believe in global warming.
  • TACKLING THE LIE THAT A HEALTHY ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT CAN’T EXIST SIDE BY SIDE: The lie that many big companies use to avoid new regulations or a shift towards a more environmentally positive policy is this idea that environmental reform isn’t “profitable.” This is a lie, a complete and total lie. The reality is that today’s big businesses would actually not be profitable if they had to pay for the resources they used. Industries like big oil and big agriculture (Monsanto) receive a record amount of subsidies and government level support to keep their industries afloat. None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use (Grist, 4-17-13). The reality is that an energy-efficient economy would actually be much more profitable, create more jobs, would have a better chance at a long term future and would be better for the environment. After all, what is big oil going to do when they run out of oil? How much longer can the fracking industry last? Most scientists give them only 20 years. What is big-agro going to do when they run out of ground water? The reality is that the people who are currently in power are scared – as they should be – because their companies have no long-term future, are not truly profitable. Here is another fact. An economy can’t exist when its people are dead. Environmental reform on a large scale is key if we are to solve the major issues of our time. 

 WHAT CAN YOU DO AS AN INDIVIDUAL? 

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From what I wrote above, I made it sound like that the individual can’t do much, but that is not true. As an individual, you can actually do a lot to help the planet. But the main contribution won’t be using an energy efficient lightbulb (although that is a thoughtful gesture), your contribution will be in using your voice, your talents, your activism and your creativity to help contribute towards the creation of a culture and political system that prioritizes the protection of nature and the development of sustainable systems.

Here are some ideas for Earth Day action for the individual.

  • Think about how you can use your voice and your talents to spread awareness about the destruction of life on the planet and the need for major environmental change.
  • Plant a tree (Like I said, won’t change the world. But it is a fun Earth Day activity that will help your local environment and help get you more in touch with nature).
  • Go for a hike in nature.
  • Host a clean up at your local park.
  •  Start a garden (Growing your own food won’t cause a revolution, but its a positive step towards sustainability and ending the dependence on destructive agricultural systems).
  • Donate your time or money to a company/cause that fights for climate change/climate justice.
  • If you vote, look into the candidate that has the best track record of environmental protection
  • Consider eating a low meat diet (or getting your meat at a Farmer’s Market). Apparently half of the world’s crops are used to feed domesticated animals. I’ve already talked about the problems of Industrial Agricultural above. If the meat industry was downsized, that would be more land – less pollution – and more crops for the hungry. The U.S. could feed 800 million people alone with the crops that domesticated farm animals eat (Cornell).
  • Get in touch with Earth Based Spirituality. One of the greatest things we need to do to change is change our culture – change our perception of our role on this planet. This world wasn’t meant to be mankind’s plaything. The growth of indigenous, Earth based religions and traditions around the globe is helping to focus people’s attention towards what really matters. Looking at the Earth as a divine mother, rather than a material product is the first step towards a positive change.

  NOW ENJOY SOME ENVIRON-METAL

HAVOK – POINT OF NO RETURN

While this video deals with a variety of geopolitical issues, I thought this video does a great job of hammering home the point that humanity is reaching a point of “no return.” If we don’t achieve real change now, we’ll reach a point where problems will start solving themselves – in a way that we don’t like.


KREATOR – PEOPLE OF THE LIE

Much of the structure of today’s world is a lie – the lie that this is a good system and if you cooperate you’ll have a good future. Perhaps things may look good now (if you live in a developed country, and are in a part of that country with a strong economy). But much of our current wealth has been borrowed from the planet, and borrowed against the future. This current lifestyle has no long term future. The politicians won’t tell you that – but it is the truth. Our current system and its leaders are the people of the lie.


TESTAMENT – DARK ROOTS OF EARTH

“Dark roots of the Earth
Echoes an eternity
Dark roots of the earthy
Will see us home eventually”

A simple but powerful point. The dark, primordial power of the Earth is a long lasting, ancient truth. We will find ourselves home if we connect with nature, and if we do not – we’ll find our ruin.