Thursday, October 18, 2007

Artic Winds Will Change The World

A new wind circulation pattern is blowing more warm air towards the North Pole than in the 20th Century, scientists found. Shrubs are now growing in tundra areas while caribou herds are dwindling in Canada and parts of Alaska.

NOAA - Artic Report Card 2007
The first update of a report tracking the state of the Arctic indicates that some changes in that region are larger and occurring faster than those previously predicted by climate models, while other indicators show some stabilizing. The “Report Card” was issued today by an international team of scientists, including a NOAA lead author. “The Arctic is an extraordinarily interconnected region, so what happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic,” said Richard Spinrad, NOAA assistant administrator for oceanic and atmospheric research. “There will be significant environmental effects throughout the globe resulting from changes in the Arctic. This annual update provides key information to decision makers and the scientific community on changes that are taking place in the Arctic now.”

An international team of research scientists created a peer-reviewed website, Arctic Report Card, which tracks multiple changes in the Arctic environment. Relative to amounts of Arctic sea ice in the 1980s, the region lost almost 40 percent of the summertime sea ice in the central Arctic in 2007. While the continued loss of summertime sea ice is the most dramatic example, changes are also seen in the atmosphere, on land, in the ocean, and in location and abundance of Arctic species.

“The purpose of the Report Card is to provide a concise, scientifically credible and accessible source of information on recent changes in the Arctic,” says Jacqueline Richter-Menge, the chief editor of the project, from the US Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory.

A lead author, James Overland, a scientist at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, Wash., has identified a wind circulation pattern blowing more warm air towards the North Pole, compared to the circulation patterns in the 20th century. The fate of the Greenland ice sheet represents large uncertainty. “Recent ice loss is about the same as in the early 20th century, but one cannot exclude a potentially faster response, as mechanisms remain incompletely understood,” wrote the team headed by Edward Hanna of the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.
Not all indicators show extreme events, and some signals are mixed. For instance, North Pole ocean temperatures are returning to 1990s values, but currents are relatively warm around the edges of the Arctic Ocean.

Permafrost temperatures are stabilizing in both North America and Eurasia, but permafrost melt remains a serious problem. Shrubs are moving northward into tundra areas, but causes for treeline movements are difficult to assess because forest management practices are as influential as climate change. Changes in Arctic animal populations show mixed tendencies over decades. Many caribou and reindeer herds have declined (some up to 80 percent relative to their peaks), while Arctic goose populations have generally expanded.

“The Report Card brings together cutting edge information on changes in Arctic systems,” says Mike Gill, Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program Secretariat in Canada, and a report card co-editor. “The Report Card reinforces that natural systems in the Arctic continue to undergo significant change, with climate change likely playing an increasing role - emphasizing the need for ongoing and enhanced monitoring.”

Oil & Gas Uncover Colonial Dinosaurs

Environmental groups yesterday condemned British plans to claim sovereignty over a vast tract of the seabed off the coast of Antarctica, with Greenpeace and WWF expressing dismay that the Foreign Office was contemplating possible oil, gas and mineral exploration in the region.

Plan to exploit region seen as huge ecological risk

The Guardian yesterday revealed that the Foreign Office was preparing to submit a rights claim to the UN commission on the limits of the continental shelf (CLCS) for 1m sq km (386,000 sq miles) of seabed off the coast of the British Antarctic Territory.

Any claim, it is alleged, could threaten the stability of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, which froze territorial disputes on the world's least explored continent. Drilling for oil or gas would disrupt the fragile marine ecology of the Southern Ocean, environmentalists warn.

Simon Walmsley, head of WWF-UK's marine programme, insisted: "There should be no oil or gas exploitation in Antarctica. It's such a fragile habitat. Some of the sea creatures there are killed by a rise in temperature of merely 1.1C. It would be a body blow for the whole region. Guardian Unlimited

A Convenient Lie?

"If the majority of scientific data points to the fact that global warming is caused by the Sun, then how will a tax on carbon emissions help to stop it?"

Global warming caused by man-made activity? A Convenient Lie!
- Andrew G. Marshall

A documentary aired on the UK’s Channel 4, entitled “The Great Global Warming Swindle”, which challenged the prevailing political understanding that global warming is caused by man-made activity. The movie argues that it is in fact the sun that is responsible for the current changes in the Earth’s temperature and the film is riddled with the testimony of many scientists and climate experts, furthering a growing dissent to the man-made theory. After all, that’s all it is, a theory. As soon as people start to state that “the debate is over”, beware, because the fundamental basis of all sciences is that debate is never over, that questions must be asked and answered and issues raised in order for the science to be accurate. So what exactly are the arguments behind the Sun being the main cause of global warming?

First off, it is very important to address the fact that Earth is not the only planet to be experiencing climate change in our solar system currently. In fact, many astronomers have announced that Pluto has been experiencing global warming, and suggested that it is a seasonal event, just like how Earth’s seasons change as the various hemispheres alter their inclination to the Sun. We must remember that it is the Sun that determines our seasons, and thusly has a greater impact upon the climate than we could ever even try to achieve.

In May of 2006, a report came forward revealing that a massive hurricane-like storm that occurred on Jupiter may be caused by climate change occurring on the planet, which is expected to raise its temperatures by 10 degrees. National Geographic News reported that a simultaneous rising in temperature on both Mars and Earth suggest that climate change is indeed a natural phenomenon as opposed to being man-made. The report further explains how NASA has reported that Mars’ carbon dioxide ice caps have been melting for a few years now. Sound familiar?

An astronomical observatory in Russia declared that, “the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun”. They further point out that both Mars and Earth have, throughout their histories, experienced periodic ice ages as climate changes in a continuous fashion. NASA has also been observing massive storms on Saturn, which indicate a climate change occurring on that planet as well. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has also been recording massive climate changes on Neptune’s largest moon, Triton. Triton, whose surface was once made up of frozen nitrogen, is now turning into gas.

The Associated Press has reported that satellites that measure the temperature of sunlight have been recording an increase in the sun’s temperature, meaning that the sun itself is warming up. Even the London Telegraph reported in 2004 that global warming was due to the sun being hotter than it has ever been in the past 1,000 years. They cited this information from research conducted by German and Swiss scientists who claim that it is increasing radiation from the sun that is resulting in our current climate change.

Claude Allegre, a leading French scientist, who was among the first scientists to try to warn people of the dangers of global warming 20 years ago, now believes that “increasing evidence indicates that most of the warming comes of natural phenomena”. Allegre said, “There is no basis for saying, as most do, that the "science is settled." He is convinced that global warming is a natural change and sees the threat of the ‘great dangers’ that it supposedly poses as being bloated and highly exaggerated. Also recently, the President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus said, when discussing the recent ruling by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that global warming is man-made, “Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so. It is not fair to refer to the U.N. panel. IPCC is not a scientific institution: it's a political body, a sort of non-government organization of green flavor. It's neither a forum of neutral scientists nor a balanced group of scientists. These people are politicized scientists who arrive there with a one-sided opinion and a one-sided assignment.” And if you are about to ask why no politicians here seem to be saying this, Klaus offered up an answer, “Other top-level politicians do not express their global warming doubts because a whip of political correctness strangles their voice”.

Nigel Calder, the former editor of New Scientist, wrote an article in the UK Sunday Times, in which he stated, “When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works.” He further stated that, “Twenty years ago, climate research became politicised in favour of one particular hypothesis”. And in reference to how the media is representing those who dissent from the man-made theory he stated, “they often imagine that anyone who doubts the hypothesis of man-made global warming must be in the pay of the oil companies”, which is exactly what I believed up until I did my research. He also wrote, “Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare also ensures that heatwaves make headlines, while contrary symptoms, such as this winter’s billion-dollar loss of Californian crops to unusual frost, are relegated to the business pages”.

For those who saw Al Gore’s “documentary”, it was very convincing of its hypothesis that global warming is a man-made phenomenon that has the potential to kill us all and end humanity. After all, the film was filled with graphs and charts, so it must be true. Let’s just get something straight here, Al Gore is not a climatologist, meteorologist, astronomer, or scientist of any kind; he is a politician. And as we all know, politicians always tell the truth. However, as Al Gore’s popularity grows and with his recent winning of an Academy Award for his movie, the issue has spiraled into massive push for quick action and stifled debate, forcing many scientists to speak out and challenge the political status quo.

A group of scientists recently stated that the research behind Al Gore’s film and in fact, the concept of greenhouse gases causing global warming, is "a sham". They claim that in fact, there is very little evidence to prove that theory, and that the evidence actually points to an increase in solar activity being the cause of climate change. In Gore’s movie, he presented evidence that was found in the research done on ice core samples from Antarctica, which he claimed is proof for the theory of CO2 being the cause of rising temperatures. However, this group of scientists state that “warmer periods of the Earth's history came around 800 years before rises in carbon dioxide levels”, meaning that a rise in Carbon Dioxide follows a rise in temperature, rather than increasing temperature following rising CO2 emissions. And not only that, but it follows behind the rise in temperature by about 800 years. The group also mentions that, “after the Second World War, there was a huge surge in carbon dioxide emissions, yet global temperatures fell for four decades after 1940.” They also claim that the report given by the UN, which said it was backed by over 2,000 of the worlds leading scientists, “was a ‘sham’ given that this list included the names of scientists who disagreed with its findings.”

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Progress Can Kill

Speaking about the desperate health situation of his people, Davi argues that the only way to save the rainforest is to save the Indians, by recognising their land rights ‘Progress can kill’ details for the first time how separation from their lands leads to the physical and mental breakdown of tribal peoples:

‘You napëpë (whites) talk about what you call ‘development’ and tell us to become the same as you. But we know that this brings only disease and death. Now you want to buy pieces of rainforest, or to plant biofuels. These are useless.

‘The forest cannot be bought; it is our life and we have always protected it. Without the forest, there is only sickness, and without us, it is dead land. The time has come for you to start listening to us. Give us back our lands and our health before it’s too late for us and too late for you.’
Survival International

Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, shaman speaks of the coming of the white people, and the dream of origins:

Discovering the white people
A long time ago, my grandparents, who lived on the headwaters of the Toototobi River, sometimes visited other Yanomami established in the lowlands along the Aracá River. It was there that they met white people for the first time. During those visits our old ones got their first machetes. They told me that many times, when I was a child.

But it was a lot later, when we lived at Marakana, closer to the mouth of the Toototobi River, that the white people first visited our home. At the time our old ones were still all alive and we were many, I remember. I was a boy, but was beginning to become conscious of things. It was there that I started to grow up and discovered the white people. I had never seen them, I knew nothing about them. When I saw them I cried, I was so afraid.

The adults had already met them a few times, but I hadn’t! I thought they were cannibal spirits that were going to devour us. I thought that they were very ugly, whitish and hairy. They were so different they terrified me. Besides, I couldn’t understand a single one of their entangled words. It sounded like they spoke a ghost’s language.

The old ones used to say that they stole children, that they had already captured some and taken them when they went up the Mapulaú River, in the past. That’s also why I was so scared: I was sure that they were going to take me away too. My grandparents had already told that story many times.

When those strangers would come into our house my mother would hide me under a large basket in the back of our house. Then she’d say, ‘Don’t be afraid! Don’t say a word!’, and I stayed there, trembling under my basket, saying nothing. I remember it, but I must have been very small at the time or I wouldn’t have fit under that basket! My mother would hide me because she too was afraid that the white people would take me with them, like they had stolen those children the first time.

Later I really began to grow up and to think straight, but I continued to ask myself, ‘What are the white people doing here? Why do they open paths in our forest?’ The older ones would answer, ‘No doubt they come to visit our land in order to live here with us later!’ They understood nothing of the white people’s language; that’s why they let them enter their lands in such a friendly way. Had they understood their words, I think they would have expelled them.

Those white people fooled them with their presents. They gave them axes, machetes, knives, clothes. In order to make their distrust sleep they would say, ‘We, the white people, will never leave you deprived of things, we will give you many of our products and you will become our friends!’ But, shortly thereafter, almost all of our relatives died in an epidemic, then in another one. Later, a lot of other Yanomami again died when the highway entered the forest and many more when the garimpeiros (gold prospectors) arrived with their malaria. But this time I had already become an adult and I thought straight; I really knew what the white people wanted when they entered our land.

In the land of the white people
When I saw Europe, the white people’s land, I was distressed. Some cities are beautiful, but the noise never stops. They run around in them with cars, on the streets and even with trains underground. There’s a lot of noise and people all over. One’s mind becomes dark and entangled, one can no longer think straight. That’s why the thoughts of the white people are full of dizziness and they don’t understand our words. All they say is, ‘We are very happy to roll and fly! Let’s continue! Let’s look for oil, gold, iron!’ The thought of those white is obstructed, that’s why they mistreat the land, stripping it everywhere, and they dig it even under their houses. They don’t think that one day it will end up collapsing.

We, we want the forest to be kept as it is, always. We want to live in it with good health, and we want the xapïripë [shamanic] spirits, the game and the fish to continue to live in it. We plant only the plants that feed us, we want no factories, no holes in the ground, nor dirty rivers. We want the forest to remain quiet, the sky to remain clear, the evening darkness to really fall and for the stars to be seen.

The white people’s lands are polluted, they are covered by a smoke- epidemic that has extended very high to the sky’s bosom. This smoke is coming towards us but has not reached us yet, because the celestial spirit Hutukarari still repels it incessantly. Above our forest the sky is still clear, because the white people haven’t been coming close to us for that long. But later, when I’m dead, maybe this smoke will grow big to the point of extending darkness over the earth and turning off the sun. The white people never think of these things that the shamans know, that’s why they are not afraid. Their thought is filled with forgetfulness.

Dreams of the origins
The xapiripë [shamanic] spirits have danced for the shamans since the earliest time and continue to do so now. They look like human beings but are as minuscule as particles of shining dust. In order to see them one has to inhale the powder of the yãkõanahi tree many, many times.

The xapiripë dance together on great mirrors that come down from the sky. They are never grey like the humans. They are always magnificent: their bodies are painted with urucum [annatto paint] and lined with black drawings, their heads are covered with white feathers of king vulture, their beaded arm straps are full of parrot, cujubim [a type of bird] and red macaw feathers, their waists are wrapped with toucan tails.

Thousands of them come to dance together, waving leaves of young palms, emitting cries of joy and singing ceaselessly. Their path looks like spider’s thread sparkling like moonlight and their feather ornaments move slowly at the pace of their steps. It’s a joy to see how beautiful they are!

The spirits are so numerous because they are the images of the forest animals. Everything in the forest has an utupë image: those who walk on the ground, those who climb in the trees, those who have wings, those who live in the water. It is those images that the shamans call and make come down to become xapiripë spirits.

Those images are the true centre, the true interior of the forest beings. Common people cannot see them, only the shamans. But they are not images of the animals we know today. They are the images of these animals’ fathers, they are our ancestors’ images. In the First Time, when the forest was still young, our ancestors were humans with the names of animals and ended up becoming prey. It is them whom we kill with arrows and eat today. But their images have not disappeared and it is they who dance for us as xapiripë spirits.

White people draw their words because their thoughts are filled with forgetfulness. We have kept the words of our ancestors within us for a long time and we continue to pass them on to our children. The children who know nothing about the spirits hear the chants of the shamans and then want to see the spirits in their turn. This is how, even though they are very old, the words of the xapiripë always become new again. It is they who increase our thoughts. It is they who make us see and know far away things, the things of the old ones. It is our study, which teaches us how to dream.

The Spirit Ancestors of Many Nations

As a child, I would hear the songs of the Ancestors, this song of the spirit world is the first thing a child hears when they are born into the physical world. The physical world parents are the honoured guardians of the child of the Spirit Ancestors; but one of the first things humans do is to try to take control of the new spirit. The human family tell the children not to listen to the song of their ancestors. In the westernized world, a child who hears the songs of the Ancestors is a danger to progress. This is because a child who listens to the song of life will not destroy the planet, nor fill their stomach with the blood of their brothers and sisters sharing this sacred journey.

In the physical world, if you do not become a killer you fail. In the spirit world you fail when you become a killer. The spirit world outlives the physical world many times over, and so it is up to you to decide where you want to invest your energy. Those who become killers die, and those who stay balanced live

It is not hard to listen to the harmonious songs of the Ancestors, without their song we would not exist. The original song harmonises our DNA, and those harmonics hold the physical body together.

One of the first problems people face is the dis-resonant song of ego identity, which offers the spirit whatever it wants -- as opposed to what is right. Many people think the songs of the Ancestors would make a nice tune if they could hear it... In reality, listening to the Ancestors leaves no choice, and this is why the vision is not a valid one for most people.

People want to do what they want, and live the illusion that they can do whatever they want regardless of the consequences. To the spirit world this behaviour is madness. As a result the world has a big drug problem, but the biggest drug of all is the ego and all the other little drugs are the way the ego controls the individual mind to get its own way.

A healthy and awake individual would say to the ego: "Wait a minute, you are leading me on a path to destruction, while behind me is a trail of devastation."

The Matrix illusion is that people can do what they want. This creates a somewhat brutal, insensitive approach to living on this earth. If people would hesitate, step back and question their thoughts and movements - they would discover a magical world beyond thought.

You may say: "Wait-a-minute! You need to think to write your posts..."

Actually! No! When I write posts or work on my website, I cease to exist.

We humans are much more than walking thought containers. If you stopped to consider that your thoughts are not you but are some mechanical type intrusion into the peace and depth of an otherwise silent mind, then life would take on another meaning.

Nano-seconds... quantum millimeters... a heartbeat beyond thought... lies a world few people enter, before they die. This other world has depth, intensity, beauty, silence... It is the unknown... The silent mind is not a popular destination for the mass populations, whose minds are under siege, stressed out, violent, unhappy and never at rest.

People on this planet run to places of great beauty to silence their minds, or they attempt other means, they have other addictions. The very attempt to attain peace of mind is the denial of that peace. Peace does not come from outside, it is not far away, you cannot journey to find it and it does not take time to arrive there.

The noisy mind runs through its activities seeking peace from itself, while the fragile human being looks on - a passenger in their own life as it unfolds in front of them at the speed of thought. There really is no method to shift the mind into a state of silence. The silence comes only when thought dies completely. The ending of thought is choiceless awareness. This leads us to our true origins. To read the story of our true origins the mind has to be still, silent and at peace.