Saturday, March 31, 2007

Seeds of Hope

Folklore or Prophecy?
According to South Indian lore, if you have a pongamia tree in your backyard and sit under it every day, you will receive the nourishment and vitality you need to overcome problems caused by extremes of wind, water, or fire. This bit of folklore may prove to be prophetic. The pongamia tree has the potential for transforming the struggling villages of today into tomorrow’s havens of prosperity and tranquility, and at the same time, restoring their rich heritage of rural self-sufficiency.

Drought, Biofuel, and Community Renewal - By Ishan Tigunait
With suicide rates among farmers in drought-stricken South India reaching epidemic proportions, a team of humanitarian organizations joined hands with entrepreneurs, scientists, bankers, and village leaders to restore the natural balance of rural life. The result? A creative plan to turn destitute farmers into the architects of a bright future for their communities. This plan, now well on its way to fruition, illustrates the potential for transformation when the seeds of hope are sown in human hearts.

For countless generations rural India ran on the jajmani system in which every family in a village was considered a “client” of all the others. Almost everything the community needed could be produced within the village, and essential goods and services were exchanged without the use of currency. The washermen, for example, collected and laundered the clothes of the entire village, and, in return, collected pots from the potters, rope from the ropemakers, and vegetables and grain from the farmers; the barbers cut their hair, and the tailors made their clothes.

This natural interdependence ensured that the basic necessities were available to everyone, and that nothing was wasted. The owner of a field harvested only what he needed, and when he declared himself finished with his harvest, the other villagers could come and take what remained. When the harvest was complete, anyone could turn their livestock out to graze in the fields. The same attitude applied to fruit trees. It was understood that only the landowner was entitled to pick the fruit, but anyone—even a passing stranger—was entitled to fruit that had fallen.

The jajmani system created a stable economy, for everyone understood that if any segment of the community struggled, everyone would suffer. As a result, social and economic interrelationships were carefully nurtured to maintain the health of the village and the land that supported it. And because farmers provided the nourishment needed to sustain life, they occupied a central role in this time-honored system.

As the plight of the villagers worsened throughout the 1990s, scientists from various disciplines began to look for new ways to foster sustainable rural development. A group at the Indian Institute of Sciences in Bangalore had been researching these strategies for more than thirty years. In the late 1990s they were searching for ways to bring electricity to run irrigation pumps to remote drought-stricken areas. One day, as they were discussing the possibilities with some villagers, their eyes fell on the large trees that formed hedges and boundary markers around the parched fields. Despite the persistent drought, the trees were flourishing.

These were pongamia trees. Mature specimens of pongamia pinnata stand up to 50 feet high, and their dense canopy can be almost equally wide. They sport hearty, dark-green leaves that retain moisture even under intense heat. Small clusters of white, purple, and pink flowers blossom on their branches throughout the year, maturing into brown seed pods that litter the ground. The pods are so tough that even goats ignore them. Other than firewood, the only known use for the pongamia trees was to provide shade.

But as much as they appreciated the shade, it was the seeds that held the researchers’ attention. They knew that before the introduction of kerosene lanterns, pongamia seeds had been a source of lamp oil. This gave them an idea. Back in their laboratory, they found that with minimal refinement pongamia oil could also be used to fuel diesel engines.

This discovery addressed one of the most pressing needs of rural villages—the ever-growing demand for energy. Instead of importing petroleum diesel fuel to run their irrigation pumps and to power the generators that are the main source of electricity in remote areas, the villagers could switch to a locally available, affordable fuel. With further processing, pongamia seed oil can also be used to run heavy machinery and tractors—even to fuel cars and trucks.

Since the late 1990s, members of the Himalayan Institute’s South India Chapter had been concerned by the calamity facing the villagers. Under the leadership of Anil Reddy, the Institute had been working to provide basic medical and counseling services, as well as some small-scale employment opportunities in the form of organic farming projects in some villages. As helpful as these efforts were, it was clear that they were only short-term solutions. What the villagers really needed was a sustainable way to earn their living and a means of renewing their self-confidence and their traditional community bonds.

Searching for a way to bring this about, Reddy and his colleagues investigated dozens of rural development strategies. Pongamia was the most promising. For one thing, the tree is well suited to the intense heat and sunlight of South India. For another, its dense network of lateral roots and its thick, long taproot make it drought-resistant. The tree can even help rehabilitate the land—the dense shade it provides slows the evaporation of surface water and its root structures promote nitrogen fixation, which moves nutrients from the air into the soil. And once established, the pongamia can give a reliable harvest of seeds for fifty years.

After meeting with the researchers from the Indian Institute of Sciences and conducting additional research, Reddy knew he had found what he was looking for—a way to restore the self-reliance and economic self-sufficiency that had once been the hallmark of village life. Pongamia could form the basis of a self-sustaining agricultural platform that would breathe new life into the villages. Using pongamia oil to run irrigation pumps and generators would stem some of the outflow of village resources, but that was only the beginning.

In addition to biofuel, pongamia provides other resources vital to a farming community. The seedcake remaining after pressing the oil can be used as cattle feed; crops can be treated with organic pesticides from the seed pod; kitchen stoves can run on methane biogas made by fermenting the seed cake; and the waste pulp from the fermented seedcake can be used as an organic fertilizer (see sidebar). The potential was tremendous. And best of all, planting and cultivating the tree would require the labor of many villagers. Not only would this provide a steady income, but they would have to learn to rely on each other and share resources if the enterprise was to blossom. With millions of acres of farmland lying barren and unused, this tree could breathe new life into the villages of Andhra Pradesh.


After experimenting with a small pilot project to test the feasibility of the idea and to iron out the glitches, the Himalayan Institute launched its Biofuel Rural Development Initiative in 2003 in collaboration with two other organizations: Rahul Medical Society and Roshini Biotech. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop the full potential of the pongamia tree to bring about a widespread and lasting renewal throughout the region’s rural villages. But for this to happen, Reddy and his colleagues knew that they would first need to rekindle the villagers’ capacity for hope. Poverty and failure had so demoralized the farmers that they no longer believed in themselves. They needed to see there was an alternative to endless poverty, an alternative that would not just help them get by for another day or another week, but that would enable them, their families, and their community to build a healthy, more prosperous life. For this project to succeed on a grand scale, the impetus would have to come from the farmers themselves.

The Institute began by launching a massive public awareness and education campaign. It sent teams from village to village. They erected tents and provided cool lemon drinks and other refreshments; they listened to the villagers talk about their failing crops, the problems caused by the high-interest moneylenders, and their anxieties about the future. Then, team members offered a solution: grow pongamia trees as a crop. It was a radical idea—cultivating a common shade tree as a cash crop. But the team members assured the farmers that they had buyers for all the tough, brown seed pods these trees could produce.

The villagers were amazed to hear that they could grow pongamia on land they had considered useless. Rocky, hilly parcels were perfectly suitable for the tree. This allayed the farmers’ fears of gambling on an unknown crop—they realized they could cultivate pongamia on their marginal land while continuing to grow traditional crops on their most fertile acreage. And they were surprised to hear that the water required for four acres of crops such as rice or millet could support up to 150 acres of pongamia. Villagers also learned about crops that grow especially well in the vicinity of pongamia. For example, one of the more unusual characteristics of the tree is its capacity to attract and withstand insects that weaken and kill other plants. These pests restrict themselves to the pongamia and ignore more delicate plants, such as the cotton or groundnut. With the cooperation of the village councils, the word began to spread, and soon thousands were flocking to local meetings to learn about this promising new project.

The idea began to take hold, and when a significant number of farmers were ready to try it, the Institute set up workshops to teach the fundamental skills: how to irrigate and care for the seedlings during the crucial first few years, how to prune the growing trees, and how to graft the plants.

Grafting is necessary because it can take as long as ten years for a tree in the wild to reach full seed-bearing maturity. Even when it finally matures, there is no guarantee the tree will consistently produce a good harvest. If they were to grow pongamia successfully, the villagers needed simple, effective, and inexpensive ways to overcome these limitations.

In Roshini Biotech’s Hyderabad laboratory and on expansive test plots, researchers had developed standardized techniques for growing pongamia on a large scale. They found that to guarantee a consistently high yield, a stem, or scion, from a tree with a demonstrated capacity to produce many seeds had to be grafted onto an existing pongamia rootstock. So they studied thousands of pongamia variants, identifying and collecting the best sources of high-quality grafting stock. This not only removed the uncertainty from the yield, it also reduced the time to harvest from ten years to as little as three. In addition to scions from reliable trees, the villagers would need rootstocks for grafting, so Roshini Biotech established large nurseries to provide a steady supply.


Once the villagers had mastered the planting, grafting, and irrigation techniques, they were ready to begin. Roshini Biotech and the Himalayan Institute organized the villagers into groups and helped them qualify for low-interest loans so they could undertake the project. Roshini Biotech’s research nurseries supplied the seedlings and grafting materials. The company also served as the focal point for ensuring there is enough water available to irrigate the young trees. The federal government offered subsidy grants in the form of rice so the farmers and their families would not go hungry during the start-up phase. This was instrumental in persuading the farmers to commit acreage to the pongamia project because the rice subsidy amounted to approximately 300 kg per acre—more rice than can be grown on an acre of land in the region in a bad year.

As the farmers worked their fields, Reddy and his associates turned their attention to organizing and coordinating cooperative efforts. It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to raise pongamia. Years of mistrust and hard times had strained the traditional bonds of fellowship that hold rural communities together. Now it was time to renew them.

Recognizing that the Himalayan Institute had made a long-term commitment to helping, the villagers joined hands to work as one to ensure their collective efforts would bear fruit. Starting with the village councils, cooperation at a grassroots level was established. Land that had once been fragmented into tiny plots and farmed by the individual owners was planted in pongamia and tended collectively. Farmers worked together to plant seedlings on land owned by the village and shared the responsibility for tending the young trees.

Another example of this newfound cooperation was the development of a community-based irrigation system. Villagers began to share the responsibility for collecting and distributing precious irrigation water. By overcoming their urge to grasp tightly to what little they had, and instead working together for the common good, the villagers took a huge step in restoring the trusting relationships which once defined their way of life.

What began in 2003 as a pilot project involving a few thousand families and 10,000 acres of pongamia trees has mushroomed. Today, more than 40,000 families are cultivating more than 100,000 acres of pongamia. Resilient green saplings are rising from dusty red fields, transforming the landscape around hundreds of villages. Yet, the fruit of this project goes far deeper than income generation and alternative energy, for it has touched the hearts of these villagers. For them, the pongamia tree is producing seeds of hope.

One Seed, Many Products
As people around the world are rediscovering, vegetable oils can be used to supplement or even replace traditional petroleum fuels. Though its raw oil can be used in stationary generators, pongamia oil, like all vegetable oils, needs additional processing known as transesterification to be used to power motorized vehicles. This involves heating unrefined oil and agitating it with a catalyst for a few hours to separate the pure vegetable oil from other constituents, such as glycerol. This transforms 90 percent of the dark-brown unrefined oil into a light-yellow liquid that can properly be called biodiesel. The glycerol in the remaining 10 percent has a wide range of applications, including use in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. In fact, almost every step in the life cycle of pongamia seeds results in a safe and useful product.

Once the oil has been extracted from the seeds, the remaining seedcake can be mixed with water and placed in an airtight environment where it ferments, producing a flammable gas and a slurry, which is a safe and highly effective organic fertilizer. The gas can be compressed and stored in small tanks for use as cooking fuel. (Biogas burns far cleaner than wood or cow dung, the traditional cooking fuels, and so causes fewer respiratory disorders.) Widespread use of gas for cooking could also help curb the rampant deforestation common to areas where wood is used as a primary fuel.

The seedcake has other uses as well. The toxic compounds that make pongamia seeds repellent to grazing livestock can be extracted to create a potent natural pesticide. And once these toxins are removed, the seedcake makes a cattle feed that is rich in amino acids.

Transforming Ourselves and the World Around Us
The goal of spiritual practice is to seek the intrinsic divinity within ourselves and to experience its richness in every facet of our lives. It is this process of transformation—within and without—that is the heart of yoga.

The practice of yoga leads us to see the outer world as a reflection of the divinity within. And as we do, we see that the divinity shining in our own hearts shines in all living beings. When this realization dawns, we experience joy and fulfillment in serving others, and selfless service becomes an integral part of our spiritual practice. This is why all great spiritual organizations involve themselves in humanitarian work.

The Himalayan Institute, which publishes Yoga International magazine, serves as one the world’s leading centers for the study and practice of yoga. It has been undertaking humanitarian and charitable projects since it was founded more than thirty years ago. To help further this work, the Himalayan Institute launched Sacred Link—The Healing Revolution in 2001. Comprising a broad range of initiatives, Sacred Link is the culmination of the Institute’s efforts to bring the practice of self-transformation into action, both at the individual and collective level.

One of Sacred Link’s most exciting humanitarian projects is the Biofuel Rural Development Initiative launched in South India in 2003. It seeks to transform struggling rural communities into havens of health and happiness through a wide range of economic development and social renewal programs. Himalayan Institute Sacred Link

We cannot find global solutions to local problems. We have to find local solutions and apply these solutions locally. This simple truth applies to all communities throughout the world. When people value the local resources that allow them to survive and prosper, then people will also respect the resources that empower their lives.

Friday, March 30, 2007

World Bank & Shark Fin Soup

Bankrupting The Pacific: How Multilateral Development Banks Finance Overfishing and The Destruction of Our Ocean Wildlife.

Shark fin soup is a popular delicacy in China, but eaten farther afield. A survey carried out in China in 2006 by WildAid and the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association found that 35% of participants said they had consumed shark fin soup in the last year, while 83% of participants in an online survey conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature, said that they had consumed shark fin soup at some time.

In Hong Kong restaurants, where the market has traditionally been strong, demand from Hong Kong natives has reportedly dropped. There has been a steady increase in demand from the Chinese mainland, as the economic growth of China has put this expensive delicacy with the reach of a growing middle class. The high price of the soup means that is often used as a way to impress guests or at celebrations, 58% of those questioned in the WWF survey said they ate the soup at a celebration or gathering.

A third of all fins imported to Hong Kong come from Europe. Spain is by far the largest supplier, providing between 2000 and 5000 metric tonnes a year. Norway supplies 39 metric tonnes, but Britain, France, Portugal and Italy are also major suppliers. Hong Kong handles at least 50% and possibly up to 80% of the world trade in shark fin, with the major suppliers being Europe, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United States, Yemen, India, Japan, and Mexico.
Hidden Cost of Shark Fin Soup

This report was carried out in 2005
PDF File of 2005 Report The report examines how projects funded by the Asian Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation (partner organisation to the world bank) are having a devastating impact on marine biodiversity and the target fish stocks.

This is now 2007, and guess what? The situation is worse than it was in 2005... In 2007, wildlife experts are warning the people on this planet that up to 73 million sharks are being killed each year to make shark fin soup. Let's put this in perspective. If one human being is attacked by a shark, not killed just attacked, it makes international news. Human are killing up to 73 million sharks a year to make soup. That figure does not include all the other shark deaths from inhumane over-fishing methods the international banks are financing.

It's back to the problem of supply and demand. If you have some little guy in a little boat who can catch a little shark a day (if he is lucky), then no matter what the world demand is for shark fin soup... the supply is not going to match the demand. When you have international banks financing vaccum-shark fisheries, then you can kill 73 million sharks a year, and maybe 93 million the next year until the sharks are extinct.

This was known in September 2006: Animal World
The world's booming shark fin trade is killing up to 73 million sharks per year—about three times more than the official catch number reported to the United Nations, a new study concludes. The findings, derived using data collected from illegal shark fin traders, are detailed in the October issue of the journal Ecology Letters.

"The shark fin trade is notoriously secretive. But we were able to tap into fin auction records and convert from fin sizes and weights to whole shark equivalents to get a good handle on the actual numbers," said study leader Shelley Clarke, an American fisheries scientist who works in Hong Kong and Japan.

The researchers arrived at their figure using a unique statistical model and data obtained from cooperative traders of shark fins in Hong Kong. Converting the figures to shark weights, they estimated that about 1.7 million tons of shark flesh is harvested each year. This translates to about 73 million sharks.

That's three to four times higher than the figure estimated by United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), which keeps track of official shark catch records provided by member countries. The FAO's estimates for the amount of shark biomass caught each year range from 0.39 to 0.60 million tons per year.

Ocean Sharks Are Disappearing
Guardian Unlimited March 2007 - Overfishing of the ancient predators has lead to a sudden uprising of species they prey on, causing an abundance of skates, rays and smaller sharks, which are steadily devastating populations of shellfish, including scallops, oysters and clams, the researchers claim.

The findings suggest that the demise of the great sharks, whose primitive ancestors cruised the seas long before the rise and fall of the dinosaurs, may have unforeseen knock-on effects on marine life lower down the food chain. Sharks are targeted by fisheries for their fins and meat, but are also taken as by-catch by fleets fishing for tuna and swordfish. As many as 73 million sharks are killed each year around the globe for the finning trade.

Are International banks financing collapse of the world's oceans?
Multilateral Development Banks provide financial support and professional advice for economic and social development activities in developing countries. These are: The African Development Bank, The Asian Development Bank, The European Reconstruction Bank, The Inter American Development Bank Group. These banks make Long-term loans, based on market interest.

BASED ON MARKET INTEREST <---Very important! It seems the world bank development loans financing this massive supply to the market interest for shark fin soup is resulting in a collapse of the shark populations. The way this works is that shark products are marketed all over the world, so that short lived humans can get rich and countries can develop, and we can triple human world population growth... and what do these populations eat? By the time the human world populations have doubled and tripled the forests are gone, the sharks are extinct, the grain and corn is being used to produce energy, the Artic ice has melted, the fish stocks have completely collapsed, and the only thing to eat will be humans...

But hey! The banks have more money than the Roman Empire could dream of. Those guys are rich...

European Union - Major Exporter of Shark Fins The global shark fin trade is estimated to be increasing each year, while sets of shark fins can sell for more than US$700 per kg. European participation in the Hong Kong fin market has increased from negligible levels in the early 1990s to nearly one-third of total declared imports. Spain has led all other fin exporters in the world by a wide margin.

Dangerous Waters For Sharks The shark fin market results in the killing of 100 million sharks each year. Ninety percent of the cut fins come from blue sharks (Prionace glauca), whose population dropped 60 percent in Europe's Atlantic coast. In 2004 the EU exported more than 40,000 tonnes of shark meat -- 40 percent of the world total. Spain, which has Europe's largest fishing fleet, annually exports to Asia between two and three tonnes of shark fins, the equivalent of one million sharks. Italy is the European leader in shark fishing, with 1,061 tonnes caught in 2004. Next come Turkey, with 1,018 tonnes, and Greece with 911 tonnes a year.

Are California fishermen finning sharks...?
Global Ban on Finning?
Ban Shark Cartilage Health Products

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ethanol Is Not "Bio"

The grain required to make enough ethanol to fill an SUV tank is enough to feed a person for a whole year.

The boom in the biofuel industry is impacting the whole world significantly. Brazil, the most impressive success story in biofuel production so far, is using 50% of its yearly sugarcane production to satisfy its 40% of automobile fuel needs while fast felling down trees to grow more soybeans and sugarcane.

Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests are being destroyed for the plantation of oil palms, proving life-threatening to endangered rhinos, tigers, orangutans, and innumerable other species to serve the burgeoning European market for biodiesel.

A recent report of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for the International Energy Agency (IEA) raises serious concerns about this new approach to achieve energy liberalization in future. It has been found that 80% if the greenhouse emissions in Brazil come not from vehicles, but, shockingly, from deforestation the release of embedded carbon dioxide during deforestation and burning of forests.

Humans can be incredibly stupid when it comes to being taken for a ride by a consumer oriented society run by big corporations and their puppet-governments. There is nothing Bio about ethanol. To get ethanol or any bio-fuel, you have to process wood, or grain, or corn... and you have to turn this organic substance into ethanol.

What do you need to grow the grain, food crops or the corn? You need oil in the form of petrol (gas). Non-organic farms require fertilisers and pesticides (petroleum products). The reason we have the intensive food production that we have in the world today is due to petroleum products: that black substance everyone is so dependant on - and for good reason.

An MSU scientist is claiming that, with cellulosic ethanol, there is no food vs. fuel debate. -- As more and more corn grain is diverted to make ethanol, there have been public concerns about food shortages. However, ethanol made from cellulosic materials instead of corn grain, renders the food vs. fuel debate moot, according to research by a Michigan State University ethanol expert.

The problem with this is the demand. The demand supply curve is the most basic form of economics. Really, most people are not paying attention to this, although it is the number one factor behind everything we see happening in the world today. In many ways the problem is not actually oil, or oil based fuels. The problem is demand. If people can begin to understand this simple fact then maybe we can begin to find solutions. Everywhere I look I see the trees and forests being cut down. The trees are already providing humans with more than the planet can afford, how on earth are they going to provide fuel on top of the already increasing demand for wood?

There is growing evidence that the oil problem is not so much that the reserves of oil are depleted over time. There is growing evidence that the earth actually produces oil in fields that are not being over-pumped. In other words, the oil-field problem is the demand. The fields are being pumped dry at a much faster rate than they are being replenished. In that respect free-energy is not the solution either unless human beings evolve onto a level where they transcend greed. More-and-more-and-more is not healthy, and it is not natural. In terms of greed and more the human race is mentally (spiritually) ill. In the ancient world the mind and the spirit are one and the same.

To make this clear, lets say that we just discovered that it is possible to convert earth (soil) into fuel. You just look out your window and you are sitting on it. The trees are growing in the soil outside your appartment, it's everywhere. Your house is built on it. Your food comes from the earth. The oceans cover the ocean floor (earth). Just for fun let's add sand (desert) to this marvelous technology. You don't need to convert plants and trees into ethanol, because you have found a way to convert earth and sand into fuel. That is how you will power your society, your world, your transport system...

Now you understand the problem. If only ten people on the planet are interested in your invention the impact wont be so large. You and ten other people convert earth and sand into fuel and you have energy to power your homes and cars. But if the whole planet is interested in your invention - you have a problem. It's called: DEMAND. All of a sudden, everywhere you look, people are digging up earth and sand. It is the same with corn, grains, trees, stalks... the problem is the extremely high demand. Just imagine in Africa, in the Middle East, in China, India, Russia, American and in Europe everyone is digging up the earth and they are converting it into fuel. The whole world is suddenly rich!

Out in the desert you have billions of people digging up the sand to convert it to fuel. The technology is easy, the convertion is cheap. The resource is plentiful, and the world has a problem... The problem exists because of the demand. Too many people - and the numbers are growing - are drawing on this resource. The more societies have access to this cheap fuel, the more the populations grow. The more the populations grow, the more demand increases. Very soon you have no earth (soil) and no sand. That is our current problem. Humans cannot feed the growing populations and now into the demand equation comes this very badly named "bio-fuel".

I am a purist in the traditional sense. To me "bio" is the energy from the sun, or free magnetic energy, the power of light or the amazing force that moves the unverse. When you have to go to so much trouble to produce fuel - and you need oil to do this (as in growing and harvesting the food), how can you call it bio? This is an international scam created by vested interests to make money. What is bio? Sun energy, wind energy, water or wave energy, magnetic force. The moment I have to dig up sand from the sahara and convert it into fuel - that is not bio, it is processed. I have to process the substance to get the fuel. The new bio-fuel.

Is The Problem Supply Or Demand?
How are human populations going to feed the demand of growing world populations for fuel? The human race is totally out of balance. The more the planet gives us, the more we want. The human race is breeding at such a rate that if we were rabbits governments would be killing us. Personally, I live a very simple life. I walk everywhere, and I eat a lettuce and some tomatoes during the day. But all around me the demand for energy (fun) is killing this planet. It is this senseless demand that is the real problem, and most of what humans do is senseless. Just stop and look at how we power our world. At night it is called light pollution.

World societies are not addicted to oil, they are addicted to demand (give-me-more). People no longer know how to live a simple life. The more one has the more one wants. Maybe we should create fuel-quotas? Those of us who use less than our yearly quota get a bonus at the end of the year, and those who use more than their quota must pay. The quotas are the same for everyone, and the quotas are based on need (and not on current self-gratification values). Why not?

Saying that Ethanol is not the answer is like saying: "The king has no clothes."

There is another reason that food-for-fuel is not the answer to the worlds energy problems. The limits of a Green Revolution?

How are we going to feed a world population that will rise from 6.6 billion today to more than nine billion people by 2050, when we cannot feed the people in the world today? There are more important factors to growing food for fuel. One of those factors is climate change. At the moment the world can still grow the food it needs without too much difficulty. When dramatic climate changes hit the food producing areas, reducing grain production, then you have a nightmare situation.

The potential future is a world where increasing demands of food-for-fuel pushes up the price people pay for food, as with the rising corn prices in Mexico. The demand for food to produce fuel is vulnerable to a global fall in production due to climate change and/or unrest in the Middle East (increase in the price for oil). In many ways the bio-fuel industry is like putting faith in a sinking ship that is so full of holes that the sinking of the ship is inevitable. If people go for this scam, then people get what they deserve in terms of what hits them later.

The way I see this is you have a road sign that reads "motorway ahead", when in fact the road you are driving on is leading to a dead-end. The drivers put their foot on the gas, and around the next curve is a wall. I wonder if the drivers will have time to break before they hit the wall (it's a short curve).

Biofuels Spurring Deforestation

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Golden Day

Photo credit
Today was one of the most amazing days I have lived on this earth. It was perfect in every way. Apart from the fact that there was a beautiful blue sky, the sun was warm and the cherry blossoms are beginning to appear on the trees. This was just one of those days. Although it will take time to write down what I was shown today, there is one clear message: A Golden Age has dawned.

Considering what is happening in the world right now, it seems completely crazy to consider that something new has taken place and nothing will ever be the same again. I saw it with my own eyes, the old is fading and ending and the new is beginning. This is one of the most awesome things I have see in this world, because today I actually saw the spirit world, the elven world appear (mirror itself) in the physical world.

I see beauty every day with my spirit eyes. If I have a bad day, it is what I see with my spirit vision that keeps me balanced. Until today, my spirit vision was not reflected in the physical world humans inhabit. I don't mean nature when I say this. Everywhere in nature is the presence of the spirit world in which the physical reality is rooted. But the world of man is a pale shadow and is mostly hidden away in a little corner where people can pretend materialism is God and that the world of spirit does not exist.

Since I was a child I have lived close to the world of spirit and my eyes are not clouded by the shadow of materialism. I live a very simple life, I eat only vegetables, and I drink my Ann Wigmore water, Rejuvelac. I paint my pictures and everywhere I go I watch, observe and pay attention to the invisible world, the world of spirit.

This afternoon the spirit guides called me out while I was working on the websites. I observed the trees, and the birds. The dandelions are appearing. They are truly amazing flowers. They are so resilient, appearing in cracks in the road where no other flower dares to grow. Dandelions are the Zen Masters of the flower kingdom.

As I was returning I looked at the small ornamental ponds where the Goldfish die every year, there are some newts and frogs. Everything was fine in these small ornamental ponds until the gardeners/someone did something to the little heron who liked to visit the gardens. This is an area surrounded by a forest (nature park), where there are meadows and natural ponds. It is only natural that the odd heron stops by the ornamental goldfish pond.

Herons also eat frogs and newts, and I sometimes saw the heron walking through the grass in this public garden. Not only looking for food. There is a special energy in this place, and they were at home there. Sometimes I would see them fly overhead, and rarely I would meet the heron in natures garden. The little heron was walking around and we did not disturb one another.

One day I saw heron feathers everywhere leading from the water, and I was left with the impression that the garden autho-rot-ties had something to do with this. It is difficult to tell if the heron survived, but after that I did not see the bird who liked to visit nature's rosegarden again. It was shortly after this that the goldfish began to totally die off. While the heron was visiting the fish were fine, and now no fish survives there... They all die. It's very strange.

Today there was only the water in the pond and a magnetic wind blowing through the trees. That is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. I could hear a new sound in the pine needles, the trees and the pine trees. For days there has been a powerful magnetic wind. Today it appeared in the gardens where the small ponds are. That is when I saw a totally new world emerging.

Man without the spirit of nature is dead man walking. Man without nature is dead man walking. Today I saw something so beautiful, that I can say I have never seen such beauty in the physical world as I saw today. It began with the magnetic wind blowing into the water of the small pond. It is a shallow flat bottom that reflects the light when the sun is shining, and the sun was shining. The sun was golden.

That is exactly what I saw in and on the water. Gold. I could hardly believe my eyes. It will take me many weeks (months) to find a way to convey this reality in words and pictures. All I can say now is that I saw the world of spirit directly reflected in this physical world, and I knew this is something totally new.

You see indications of this in the signs left by long lost civilisations.

But, the key word is lost. Today what was lost returned. I now understand the darkness, and the cycle of the dark ages. The darkness is not the enemy of mankind, it is our teacher and our companion. I do not mean the fools who get lost in the darkness. I mean the actual darkness (where people get get foolishly lost) is a pure form of light. It is a powerful teacher. It is teaching us not to get lost, and not to be afraid. Then the cycle changes and the golden age begins to form... This is the cycle we are entering now.

I saw an actual golden light reflected in the water moved by the magnetic wind. This gold is the light of the spirit world in which the physical world is rooted. The physical world grows from the ground of the world of spirit, the spirit world. If the physical world ceased to exist, the spirit world would still exist. Today, for the first time, I saw the world of spirit touching the world of matter (our world). I saw the two become one. They are one.

I was shown that this is a cycle. The cycle is older than time. We enter a phase where the spirit world seems to fade, and people seem to lose touch with what is real. The people who have the eyes to see do not lose touch. There are civilisations who do not lose touch, because they can see in the dark. Only the immature life forms lose sight of the spirit when the darkness falls. It is a lesson to teach us to see in the dark through the light of our own inner being. When a species sees the light in the darkness, they evolve onto a totally new level of being.

We are still caught in the illusion that the darkness is to be feared, and that darkness is not the light. But when you look out into a clear night sky, what do you see? The stars embeded in darkness where they shine brightest of all. When you look at nature the darkness is a companion to the light. The two are one. Present day mankind has forgotten this truth.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Earthquakes Hit Pacific Ridge

Two Major Earthquakes Cross the Pacific Plate

Earthquakes shook two locations on the edges of the Pacific Plate in the early hours of March 25, 2007. The first earthquake registered near Vanuatu in the southern Pacific Ocean, as an earthquake of magnitude 7.1 struck off the west coast of Japan's largest island, Honshu. Iris Seismon

Obviously this was a major movement of the earth's crust for two areas along the ridge of those plates to be effected by such large quakes within such a short period. This is the region where the Pacific Plate meets the Indo-Australian and the Eurasian Plates. You don't have to be an expert in Tectonics to appreciate the implications and the movement involved.

You can see the great serpents winding their way across the surface of the earth. I would imagine that these are what the ancients called the 'Dragon Lines' of power (magnetic - electromagnetic power). This is what happens, an incredible amount of power is given off in the form of these tension releasing quakes and also in volcanic activity. The Dragons breathe fire in their battles across the planet. This is a very colourful way to describe this form of energy. It is both life giving and destructive.

Vanuatu Islands
25Mar2007 00:40:02.8 - 20.6S 169.4E (depth 35) Mag 7.2

Near West Coast of Honshu Japan
25Mar2007 00:42:02.9 37.5N 136.4E (depth 32) Mag 6.7

Vanuatu Islands
25Mar2007 01:08:19.6 20.8S 169.4E (depth 35 ) Mag 6.0
(Time recorded = UTC)

Plate Tectonics Plate tectonics (from Greek τέκτων, tektōn "builder" or "mason") is a theory of geology that has been developed to explain the observed evidence for large scale motions of the Earth's crust. The outer surface of the earth is made of 12 major plates and several smaller plates. The plates are all moving in different directions and at different speeds. The place where the two plates meet is called a plate boundary.

Older cultures than ours point to a hidden reality of energy. In an age where energy consciousness is dawning for some at least, perhaps we should attach more value to these ancient energy ‘pathways’. Geobiology is an emerging field and modern physics tells us nearly all the universe is made of energy. But we have mostly forgotton how to perceive it directly. Dragon Line

This is a drawing made in 1911 of spirals carved into the rocks at Achnabreck, Argyll & Bute, Lochgilphead, Scotland, Rockartuk. The same spirals and labyrinths can be seen carved into rock all over the earth. As an artist you can really appreciate the skill involved. These people understood something that has been forgotten. That there is a balance to the cosmos, as above so below. That we all are contained within one womb of consciousness. That includes the earth, the stars, the planets, galaxies, all life forms. We are all expressions of one unified movement. These are also in some ways carvings of that force.

I cannot understand earthquakes in scientific terms, but I can understand in my own terms. The bones of mother earth are cracking together, there is a lot of movement in the earth. It is like when you crack your spine together and tension gets released, the bones and ligaments all come back into place. Only in terms of the size of the earth we are tiny ants crawling on the surface. The bones crack and our houses shake.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Knowing How To Survive

On How each Spherical In-Wave (future) flows through its Wave-Center (present) and Becomes the Out-Wave (Past)

Some of my earliest memories regarding Climate Change, were in the 60's and the 70's as I observed the world around me. From the long forgotten and abandoned stone Brochs and monuments in the Highlands of Scotland, to the dried mountain river beds, it became clear that nothing on earth lasts forever.

Skara Brae is only one of many lost cultures, and we probably have not found one tenth of what once existed. The whole planet is covered in signs of change, and in signs of climate change. The fact is the climate does change, and people are now so removed from nature that changes in the climate alarm them. One only has to read Velikovsky to know that the earth has been visited by cataclysmic change in the past and it will experience such changes in the future. The only obstacle to such change is human thought.

The Egypt of today was once the land of milk and honey. The desert regions were once covered in vegetation. Rivers once flowed in areas where water today is now scarce. In my travels across the world I have often walked in dried riverbeds, where even in winter the water no longer flows. The recorded history today is a nano-blip in the overall history of mankind, and add to that the history of the earth before mankind.

There is a thing, formless yet complete. Before heaven and earth it existed. Without sound, without substance, it stands alone and unchanging. It is all-pervading and unfailing. We do not know its name, but we call it Tao. .. Being one with nature, the sage is in accord with the Tao. - Lao Tzu Ancient Eastern Philosophy

I sense that the message in the Tao is to go with the flow... No matter what, there is going to be change and the way we deal with the flow of events is equal to the art of living. Our inability to deal with the flow of events are equal to our levels of resistance. Thought is continually in resistance to change. Yet, if you study the nature of life everything around you is in a constant state of change and flux.

Life and death exists simultaneously. Rivers will change their course, rocks over time will wear down, land will rise and land will fall, people are born and people die. The sun is different today than it was a moment before. Such is life. It seems only our thoughts are obsessed with freezing events and creating a state of material permanence - although thought is incapable of that act. You only have to look around to see that we live in a profound state of change.

Rather than discussing whether changes in the sun are altering the climate, or if human activity is altering the climate - the real challenge is how we adapt. Those who adapt survive, they go with the flow. This has always been the case. It seems to be the Alchemical nature of material life to be in a constant state of flux and adaptation, transforming to the next level and altering ones state to adapt to co-exist at the next level. It is a form of planetary and universal alchemy.

“Many islands will be submerged around the world, even with 1 meter of sea-level rise,” he says. “This could include whole island nations such as the Maldives, the Marshall Islands, and the Tuvalu.” Rising carbon-dioxide levels and greenhouse warming may not only speed up the arctic melting, but it may also affect other abrupt climate shifts, Overpeck says.

“The most alarming thing is that we think global warming will act to increase the probability of abrupt climate shifts happening in the future,” he says. “It really makes sense for us to slow the rate of human-induced climate change in order to reduce the threat of one or more devastating climate surprises.”
Study of Planet Earth

The rational behind changing how we live on this planet is not a question of climate change, it is a question of not polluting the earth - period. Storms or no storms, you do not pollute the earth you live on. Storms or no storms, you do not pollute the water. Storms or no storms, you do not pollute the air. Changes to the earth's climate are coming anyway, but the question of pollution is a no brainer in terms of how we live on this planet. No one can afford to pollute their living environment (even in times of plenty).

Chaco is located at 6,200 feet in elevation. The weather in Chaco Canyon is unpredictable and can be extreme. Come prepared for all possibilites! Chaco Canyon

In isolated areas where nature makes it difficult to farm, cultivate, and where it is difficult to exist there is little sign of modern human presence. Populations gather and grow in areas of relative climate stability, where nature's clock of cycles and patterns allow for food cultivation and access to the most important supply of water. But if you go into areas like Chaco Canyon you experience a mini-version of global climate change, and it is the same in most high mountain areas.

Very few people in the world could survive in one of these areas, because people do not understand and do not pay attention to nature. You can go into the mountains of Glencoe, Scotland when the skies are blue and the sun is shining and within minutes be faced with a rapidly approaching storm. It is often the case that in isolated areas of the planet the natural environment can change dramatically from one moment to the next. These are very volatile environments.

What seems to be happening is that this massive flux in nature's energy is moving into highly populated areas, where people are not used to these kinds of changes. Humans have built large towns and cities to accomodate their lifestyles, and these places are not suitable for large and unexpected swings in climate. Towns and cities do not adapt well to extremes in weather. Too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet bring high levels of discomfort to the concrete jungles. Therefore alterations in the climate are leading to high levels of alarm. People are no longer a part of nature.

Since I was a child I have been telling people that big changes are coming, not because I read books or prophecies, but because I had dreams and for some reason I knew these dreams to be true. The Tsunami that hit across Asia is nothing compared to the tidal waves I saw engulfing high-rise cities. In many places a wall of water is coming our way. That in itself is not a reason to change. The reason to change is intelligent love of our planet.

I never associated my dreams with a reason to love the planet earth. I did not think: I had better love the earth because a wall of water is coming. In times of abundance just as in times of change you love the planet you live on. You don't have a reason for loving the earth, you just love the earth and act responsibly towards the planet you live on. Love and respect are heart-felt and not rationally motivated. This is the biggest problem that humans have. Very few people on this planet know how to feel gratitude in the most extreme weather. This is only something you learn if you love nature. Often, people caught unexpectedly in a torrential downpour will inevitably laugh - when nature catches us out...

I do not feel that the problems facing us are about climate change, but about our attitude and the need for a climate change in attitude to meet the climate change of the earth. Because the changes are coming whether we can deal with it or not. What these changes mean is that the things we take for granted can no longer be taken for granted. It is not a major disaster, it is a challenge to change. Those of us who change will adapt, and those who do not change will suffer from the global tsunami that demands us to adapt to the earth (rather than the other way round).

If you take a tent out into the mountains, then you are sitting right in the middle of climate change, because there is a very fine line between a tent and the surrounding weather. When this extreme comes into the fortresses of our towns and cities people panic. It is a fact of nature that when water supplies dwindle communities face problems. Solution oriented communities will adapt to those changes. The first rule of wilderness survival is: "Don't panic" (when you are lost). Children of The Earth

Monday, March 19, 2007

Vernal Equinox Solar Eclipse

Vernal Equinox is on Solar 14, March 21, at 01:07 Central Eu-time. Dreamspell Kin: White Self-Existing World-Bridger: Guided by Spirit. This Solar Eclipse takes place with the Sun and Moon at 29 degrees Pisces, associated with this astrological Sabian Symbol: Light Breaking Into Many Colors As It Passes Through A Prism.

...An Andean prophecy predicts that the Condor will fly with the Eagle and peace will reign throughout the Americas, again... In ancient times the Condor, which is the national bird of Peru and symbolizes all South Americans, flew side by side with the Eagle, the high flying totem of the north that represents all persons of Central and North America, and peace and love reigned throughout the Americas. 13 moons Calendar

Life in the Incan empire was measured by a thousand year cosmic cycle called an Inti, which means 'Sun'. This thousand year cycle was then divided into halves, each of which was referred to as a Pachakuti. The cosmovision of the Andean world is the conception of duality that is in permanent opposition, but complementary. This same principle of duality applies to each Pachakuti. Pachakuti also means a time of great changes. The Lemurian Solar Disc

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Spinning The Meter Backwards

you can spin your meter backwards and seamlessly connect to your utilities grid. Sell your electricity back to your utility company and receive a return on your investment. It's a no brainer! Premier power USA - Solar Roof Tiles

What has happened since 2004?
SAN FRANCISCO -- The shingles that help to protect you from the elements could soon help to keep your lights on. Solar companies have developed light-absorbing roof tiles as a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to solar panels. WIRED NEWS

What has happened since 2005?
A major new market -- there are solar BIPV roof tiles. Rather than mounting separate solar panels on a rack on top of a roof, BIPV shingle designs interlock with roof tiles and shingles to provide an aesthetic, seamless look. Focus On Roof Tiles

How Solar Works
Bavaria Solar Park is one of the world's largest photovoltaic arrays, covering 62 acres and using 57,600 photovoltaic panels. As the turnkey system provider for the deployment, PowerLight was responsible for the project's development, design, deployment, and on-going operation. The PowerLight PowerTracker® System was installed in three solar plants in Muehlhausen, Guenching, and Minihof, Bavaria, for a total capacity of 10 MW. PowerTracker technology enables the panels to follow the sun, resulting in significantly more electricity production than possible with fixed ground-mount systems. All three plants began producing electricity in 2004.

I thought the whole point about generating Solar and Wind Turbine energy is that it is free, minus the cost of installing the panels and unforseen maintenance costs. I recall ten to twenty years ago, ecological groups were calling for sustained investment in developing ecological alternatives to hydrocarbons. At the the time, the calls for investment were not to produce a central power plant for free energy, but to create local and individual initiatives in generating electricity within the community for the community. Since then independant firms have worked to develop their own solar panels and small wind turbines without much encouragement from the population at large.

I am watching how the energy industry are developing "Energy Farms", "Wind Turbine Farms" and "Solar Farms", where millions of people pay the energy producers for their free energy. I am watching this and I am thinking, stupid, or what?

Equally frustrated - back in 2006:
Multi-function solar roof tiles. An Industrial Design graduate at the University of Western Sydney has devised a roof tile that heats water and generates electricity using the Sun's rays.

The designer is Sebastian Braat and his hope is to see a greater up take of solar technology around the country. "It's frustrating to see cutting edge solar technology being developed in Australia but not being implemented widely in our cities," says Sebastian.

"There are ever-expanding housing estates with hundreds of thousands of square metres of concrete tiles currently soaking up megawatts of solar energy and doing absolutely nothing productive with it.

ZNet - Solar Energy News - - EU-Solar Portal

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Oceans of Mars

ESA - Mapping The Ice Layers On Mars
The amount of water trapped in frozen layers over Mars' south polar region is equivalent to a liquid layer about 11 metres deep covering the planet.

This new estimate comes from mapping the thickness of the dusty ice by the Mars Express radar instrument that has made more than 300 virtual slices through layered deposits covering the pole.

The radar sees through icy layers to the lower boundary, which in places is as deep as 3.7 kilometres below the surface.

If there is so much ice (water) on the polar surfaces of Mars, then is there also water inside the surface of the planet? I don't know if it would be frozen, but there would have to be water under the surface of Mars. Planetary bodies are multi-level eco systems which defy the imagination. Without some form of water, I would imagine a body of that size would collapse into a more dense form.

In the ancient texts, water is life. We think only of the water down here on earth, and the water that we know. Maybe there is a lot more to water than we know. Maybe understanding water holds the key to understanding the universe.

Rivers of water exist under the Sahara desert. In 2002 a team of Russian scientists found a river flowing under volcanic rock 500m below the surface. Water has also been found under deserts in China. The water is there, it is just that it is so deep we cannot get to it. We rely on "surface" water, because it easy to access surface water (ground water). The water deep inside the earth is very much out of our reach.

It occured to me that bodies in deep space may collapse when and if they lose their water (hydrogen). Water provides the magnetic resonance for particles to bond. If you lose the magnetic resonance the particles are going to explode out into space leaving a cloud. Whatever is left will collapse in on itself, into an extremely dense form (almost like a magnet).

If a planetary body loses it magnetic resonance it loses it identity (form). It is probably the same for stars. When you look at images of nebula you can see this. The clouds are suspended in something, otherwise everything would collapse together and nothing would exist. If what I am saying is correct, then Mars would have to be filled with water. On the surface the water is frozen into ice. A few thousand years is nothing in the life of a planet. Mars could easily have oceans again.

We think too much in terms of the physical material surface, what we can see, what we can touch. We have forgotten the wisdom of our ancestors: That the physical is a mirror, and there is something behind. What do you see in a mirror other than your own reflection?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Preventing Wind Farm Bat Deaths

Could radar prevent bats dying in windfarms? Bat deaths at wind farms far exceed those of birds and, it’s feared, if action is not taken some species could eventually become endangered. Researchers at Aberdeen University believe they may have found a solution to a problem that they worry will only worsen with the proliferation of wind turbines worldwide.

Leading bat experts Professor Paul Racey and Dr Barry Nicholls studied the behaviour of bats at various distances from 10 radar installations across Scotland last summer. The pair found that the bats did not forage where electromagnetic radiation from the installations could be measured. However, the bats did forage where no radiation was detectable.

Professor Racey, Regius Professor of Natural History within the University of Aberdeen's School of Biological Sciences, said: "We found that the bats were deterred by the electromagnetic radiation emitted from the radar installations.

"This raises the possibility that radar could be used to deter bats from approaching wind turbines. And so far this would appear to be the only real possibility of preventing bats colliding with turbine blades worldwide."

Professor Racey said: "People are aware of bird deaths at windfarms but are not so aware that many bats are perishing too.

"Bat fatalities at wind turbines has been documented in Australia, North America, Germany, Spain and Sweden but really the scale of the problem in the UK has yet to emerge as the area is largely understudied.

"Three years ago nearly 3,000 bats were killed in a six week period at one windfarm in the USA, and nearly 1,700 were killed over a same period of time at another windfarm elsewhere in the States.

"If bat fatalities continue this has the potential to be really serious. For example, in the States there are three species of bats that we are worried about, and one of them, the red bat is seriously threatened. Bats migrate along ridge crests and these crests are also ideal locations for wind turbines, so we are concerned that if the killing continues more species of bats could end up becoming endangered.

"And the problem is likely to get much worse with the proliferation of turbines, not just from large power companies erecting them, but private individuals doing so as well." It was a chance remark that led Professor Racey and Dr Nicholls down the route of exploring radars as a potential deterrent to bats around wind turbines.

Professor Racey explained: "It was sparked by an anecdote which came from one of our honour students, doing Zoology at the University of Aberdeen several years ago, who was studying bats in the Buchan area of Aberdeenshire.

"When the student was driving back to Aberdeen he would wedge his bat detector in the window of his car and listen out for bats. He noticed that every time he passed the Aberdeen Airport radar he could never hear any.

The Professor added: "We think the bats either feel the heat of the radiation or can actually hear it. Either way, they appear not to like it, and forage elsewhere. "What is needed now are further studies to determine the characteristics of radar which best deters the bats."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Adopt The Pace of Nature

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Honey bees have been around on the earth for over 80 million years, and man's relationship with bees goes back many thousands of years, to well before the Romans changed the calendar. Bee colonies have successfully populated this planet long before humans existed. To understand why bee colonies are dying all over America, you have to understand what humans are doing to these colonies. Wikipedia-Beekeeping

For example, beekepers buy in the queen bees for their hives... Wait a minute! They 'buy' the queen bees? In the natural world the hives would produce queens, but modern Apiaries buy and sell the bees and they buy or sell the queens. Potentially, you are in danger of transferring disease from one area to another area, and from one bee hive to another bee hive using these methods. This is apart from the fact that natural bee colonies usually produce their own queens. There is probably a natural reason for this.

The next problem is the beekeepers are breeding the bee colonies to make money. Everyone wants to make money. The farmers need the bees to pollinate the plants and the beekeepers need the bees to produce honey. Life for the local bee has become one of high stress. In humans stress can lead to a lowering of the immune system. The beekeepers also drive the bee hives across America, then later they drive them to another location. This can also cause the bees a lot of stress.

"You have got to be kidding right! They drive the bees all over the country?"

Yes, and that is another factor potentially leading to the spread of disease.

Then you have the high stress factor within the function of the hives as a result of human interference. The beekeepers want to produce more honey, because they can then sell more honey and make more money. Bees produce honey for the health and survival of the colony. Beekeepers take the honey and feed the bee colonies refined sugar. Over many generations the bees no longer receive the natural enzymes from the honey they produce, which is a necessary part of building a healthy bee immune system.

Most of the substances the bees produce for the health and welfare of the bee colony are taken from the hives. This includes Propolis (a natural antibiotic), Gelee-Royal and bee-pollen. The whole natural cycle of worker bees and nurse bees are being managed by humans to meet human needs, and this is no longer meeting the highly organised way of life of the bees. The colonies are being manipulated out of their natural cycle to provide humans with either breeding farms or honey production.

Most beekeepers are interested in a surplus of honey. Maximal honey production occurs when the most workers bees (both foragers and ripeners) are present at the exact same time that nectar-producing flowers (in both numbers and nectar production) are also at an optimum. For pollination, both the grower and beekeeper are looking for a surplus of foraging honey bees. Package bee and queen producers try to have as many nurse (young worker) bees as possible on hand. Queen breeders also try to manage drone population numbers.

Queens can live for as long as five years but most commercial beekeepers replace them every two years, often yearly. That means the beekeepers kill the queens. This is done to exerting control over the hive, to prevent swarming, aggression and to keep honey production at a maximum. Queens come from commercial queen suppliers. This human behaviour is seriously messing up the natural breeding patterns of the bee colonies.

Many queens live five years and some up to nine years, but vitality decreases with age. The aging process is hastened by a high demand to lay eggs. Most beekeepers prefer to replace the queen before she begins to fail. This can be a yearly process, but most requeen every other year. Requeening is relatively inexpensive, especially when you consider the production loss and generally weakened colony due to a failing queen.

The beekeepers take the honey from the hives and feed the bees sugar over the winter, and the bees get lowered immune systems - because honey is a complete food. Honey has antibiotic properties, it is full of enzymes, it has minerals the bees require for health... The best bee food is ripe honey. Beekeepers often set aside dark, strong flavored, or other low-value honey to feed bees during emergencies. If you do not have honey reserves, make a syrup from equal volumes of pure cane sugar and water. Bring the water to a boil and remove from the heat. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves.

as a substitute to combat the many deadly infestations facing the bee colonies the beekeepers feed the bees an assortment of human made antibiotics. Many organic beekeepers consider that bacterial and mite infestations effecting bee colonies are due to a lowering of the immune defences of the bees. It is even possible that the mites and the bacteria are becoming immune to the range of antibiotics beekeepers use on the hives. Add to this the coctail of pesticides sprayed annually on the plants, crops and trees...

The natural system is not breaking down, humans are actively killing it.

The most important requirements for organic beekeeping:
*-Organic bee colonies must be situated such that within a radius of 3 km from the apiary site, nectar and pollen sources consist essentially of of organically or very extensively produced crops and/or natural vegetation.

*-The hives must be basically made of natural materials, without synthetic paints, varnishes, preservatives. Agents for pest control as well as cleaning& disinfection are limited to a few permitted agents (annex 2B and Annex E).

*-The bee wax for new foundations must in principle originate from organic production units and must not be treated with unallowed pest control agents. Normally, the wax has to be replaced by certified organic wax during the conversion year.

*-At end of production season the hives must be left with reserves of honey and pollen sufficiently abundant to survive the period without nectar/honeydew. Artificial feeding of colonies is only allowed as exception and on with certified organic honey or otherwise organically produced sugar products.

*-Diseases must be prevented as far as possible. If in spite of preventions the colonies become sick or infested, legally permitted phytotherapeutic and homeopathic products shall be used in preference to allopathic products. Use of allopathic medication for preventive treatment is prohibited. For treatment of Varroa jacobsoni only the following products are permitted: formic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, oxalic acid or menthol, thymol, eucalythus, camphor.

*-Appropriate breed shall be chosen with regard to optimal adaptation to local conditions and disease resistance. NO genetically altered bee species may be used. In principle bees for organic apiaries must originate from certified organic apiaries. For first certification, all colonies (not certified organic yet) will undergo one year conversion period.

*-Use of synthetic repellents during harvest is prohibited. Destruction of bees in the combs as a method associated with the harvesting of beekeeping products is prohibited. Removal of supers and the honey extraction must be duly documented. All handling activities must assure that the organic products are not commingled with other products and not contaminated.

*-All apiaries in the same area must be managed organically.

With all things and in all things, we are relatives. - Sioux
Effective Microorganism was developed by Professor Dr. Teruo Higa, at the University of Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan in 1970’s. The fundamental principle of this technology was the introduction of a group of beneficial microorganisms to improve the efficacy of organic matter utilization by crops.

Bee Pollen is among the oldest known dietary supplements. Its use as a rejuvenator and medicine date back to the early Egyptians and ancient Chinese. It has been called many things, from a fountain of youth to an "ambrosia of the gods." The Greek physician Hippocrates, sometimes called the father of modern medicine, used it as a healing substance 2,500 years ago. It is rich in vitamins, especially B vitamins, and contains trace amounts of minerals, elements, amino acids, and enzymes.

Colony collapse disorder, is when flourishing hives are suddenly depopulated leaving few, surviving bees in that colony. The queen bee is found with just a small number of young worker bees. No dead bees are found either inside or outside the hive.

The fact that other bees or parasites seem to shun the emptied hives raises suspicions that some kind of toxin or chemical is keeping the insects away, Cox-Foster said. Bees found in devastated colonies all seem to be infected with multiple micro-organisms, which cause stress-related illness in bees.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Magnificent Seven

"A decade-long mystery has been solved using data from ESA's X-ray observatory XMM-Newton. The brightest member of the so-called 'magnificent seven' has been found to pulsate with a period of seven seconds." ESA

I was trying to understand how a star can send out a pulse every seven seconds that can be detected on the earth, when I realised that these are the seven pulses of life. It occured to me that these objects are emitting signals and pulses of life (sound) creating the frequency of matter, and probably anti-matter.

For me it is a question of whether anti-matter is visibly manifest in the physical universe as sound. "There is no one simple account of creation, and there are many detailed and inter-related stories. Central is the narration of the sacrifice of the primal being (purusha), found in the Rig Veda. On the metaphysical level, the universe is created from sound (vak). Sound corresponds to ether, the subtlest of the five material elements. According to such sankhya philosophy, the elements develop progressively from subtle to gross." Creation

I picked up on this, because Genisis states, "In the beginning was the word." The much older Sacred Hindu Texts state, " the beginning was sound." Technically, one could argue that the Nutron pulse is a language, and therefore is a word. Perhaps there is a much older language that does not use words, it uses sounds. Evidence of that language exists all around us in the form of the mysteries of the universe, which brings us back to the pulse.

Something strange occured to me... If I could hear the sound of the universe would it be so loud that it would be unbearable? If you read some of the information on the ESA Portal and look at the images of stars, galaxies, black holes and deep space, all these cosmic bodies are emitting sounds. The subtle fact of life is that our ability to hear sound has been designed in such a way that we hear certain frequencies and therefore we are not overwhelmed by the total sound of the surrounding comsos.

One day in the future people will probably build highly advanced sensors capable of hearing the sounds coming from space, and not just a beep-beep-beep. When they hear those sounds as they are, it will be the most beautiful music known to mankind. Because, cosmos is sophisticated and our instruments to help us understand space are far from sophisticated. In the future these scientists will hear the music of the spheres and it will be so beautiful that it will bring tears to their eyes.

Probably, many of the great composers and most of the ancient music composed by our ancestors came from their ability to sense (or hear) the sounds of cosmos. Which can more easily be heard in our dreams. On occasions, when walking alone in the Highlands of Scotland, I began to hear a background sound emanating from the land and from the mountains.

The sounds I heard repeated themselves over and over again in complex patterns and cadances, spiralling like a vortex of DNA. The music of the Highlands was very subtle, but the sounds were unmistakable. What fascinated me is that the pitch and the tones were similar to Celtic and old Scottish music. The sound was everywhere. We no longer hear those sounds today, because our world makes its own noise and cuts out the other.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Soldiers Arrive & Buddha Boy Leaves

The Nepal Buddha Boy walked away from the place he was meditating on March 11 2006. He re-appeared again on December 25 2006 and began meditating at a new location. A few weeks ago, I read a short report saying that Nepalese soldiers were guarding the meditation area of Ram Bahadur Bomjan. They claimed the soldiers were guarding him from sunset to sunrise. The strange thing is that since the soldiers have incorporated their presence into the area where he is meditating, the Buddha Boy has walked away again, as from March 8 2007.

A Nepalese teenager hailed as a reincarnation of the Buddha has vanished for a second time in southern Nepal, a member of his support committee said Saturday. Ram Bahadur Bomjam, 17, who shot to fame in 2005 when his supporters said he had begun a meditation session that would go on uninterrupted for years, went missing on Thursday night, the committee member said.

"He suddenly disappeared from his meditating site in the jungle of Bara," said Raju Shah, a member of the committee set up after the boy became a local media sensation. "He told his priest Indra Lama that he would meditate somewhere in other undisclosed locations."

Bamjon left the site late on Thursday, said a police officer in Jijgadh, 150 km southeast of Kathmandu. "He quietly left the site around midnight on Thursday. Earlier that night he had told his attendants that he would move to a new location for meditation," Rameshwar Yadav said.

Meditating For Peace

Nepal - March 2007 More than 500 kids have died in Nepal's war. Those survived are homeless and orphans. View however you like about this Nepali Boy, but he has become an inspiration for many. Although its not clear what motivated him to do this, but his followers claim that his eternal voices had been calling... "There is war in my land, Peace should prevail..."

Peace Loving Lord Buddha's life wasn't any different. Prince Buddha, was confined to his own world, the royal palace, He never saw the outside world. On an ordinary day, he escaped his palace to see the real world. He saw people's poverty, death, hunger and sickness and sufferings, something that he never knew could exist in this world. He abandoned his luxurious life, wife and his kids, then spent years in the jungle meditating under a tree. Later he received enlightenment.

Ram Bahadur Bomjon's followers regard him as the reincarnation of Buddha. The story is similar except Ram Bahadur belongs to a poor class of family, but has seen Nepal's war before his eyes for years and years. Many consider his work to be small, some say it is not possible to meditate and go on fasting for months. Scientists fear examining his health might disturb him from meditation. Banjan has already brought Nepal's profile to the world. He is appearing in blogs, news sites and even in newspapers world-wide. He is making this tiny country of ours known to the world even more than the Big Companies with tons of cash in their banks!

He has already proven poverty and age are no limit to promoting Nepal and Sending a message of peace to the world. Although Ram has not spoken formally about his meditation, his followers believe that Ram started meditating because of the country's current war.

"There is no peace here in the country,
Go tell my family I will be alright" -- Ram Bahadur Banjan

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Biofuels: Killing The Forests To Save The Earth

Indonesia's Biofuel Expansion on Rainforest Peatlands
to Accelerate Climate Change

Indonesia’s rainforests contain 60% of all the tropical peat in the world. Peatland rainforests are wet, swampy rainforests that when drained and cleared, their peat filled soils become highly susceptible to long burning, carbon and methane rich fires. Such rainforests on peat soils are one of the world’s most important carbon sinks and play a vital role in helping to regulate the global climate. They are also very rich in biodiversity and a refuge for species like orang-utans, since most of the non-peat lowland forests have already been cleared.

Rainforest peatlands are being destroyed fast; primarily by palm oil, timber, and paper and pulp companies. The Indonesian government has endorsed a massive biofuel program which foresees an increase in oil palm plantations from currently just over 6 million hectares to eventually over 26 million hectares. 5.25 million hectares have just been allocated for biofuel production, including one million hectares to PT SMART, one of the companies which was involved in agreements for a mega-plantation in the part of Kalimantan known as the ‘Heart of Borneo’ which has been halted for the time being, but is likely to reemerge at some point in some guise or other.

Indonesia's biofuel expansion spurred on largely by the European market is likely to be the death-knoll for most of Indonesia’s remaining rainforests and peatlands. Far from reducing climate change emissions, it will rapidly release up to 50 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere. This is the equivalent of over 6 years of global fossil fuel emissions and could well make the generally accepted 2 degree C of warming that is considered "dangerous" unavoidable. This surge of carbon originating in cleared peatland rainforests alone could well take the planet to beyond the climate tipping point, releasing major feedbacks which worsen global heating such as large-scale methane release from permafrost and ocean clathrates, and causing the rapid break-up of the ice shelves and unstoppable mass extinctions.

Already, Indonesia’s carbon emissions from peat drainage and fires put the country in third place for CO2 emissions worldwide. A recent study has found that one ton of biodiesel made from palm oil grown on Southeast Asia’s peatlands is linked to the emission of 10-30 tons of carbon dioxide. Shockingly, this is 2-8 times as much carbon released as in production of a ton of fossil fuel diesel. Far from helping with development, monoculture plantations have been linked to increased rural poverty and hundreds of conflicts over land rights.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Universal Harmonic

The moon is rising over Germany (23:20) and the eclipse has now passed us, and yet the effect of this subtle effortless cycle has not ended. An eclipse of the sun and an eclipse of the moon reminds us of the precise geometry behind the movements of the planets (our cosmos).

It fascinates me to consider that the same source which moves the cycles of the seasons also moves the sun, the solar system, the stars, planets, galaxies and the whole universe. If you stop to consider the power behind the mystery that moves the whole universe in absolute syncronistiy, it can only inspire us to wonder what power can move all that is and yet remain unseen.

Smaller life forms on planet earth use extreme force to attain the smallest effect, and if you observe the way science organises its exaggerated use of force to achieve the minimum of movement and effect, then you have to wonder how the universe moves billions of Galaxies and touches our lives without destroying our environment. I have observed nature all my life. As a small child I spent hours studying every growing thing. I would stare at cherry blossoms opening in the braches of trees, and the seed of maple trees and beech trees springing out of the ground.

If you stop to consider that the same force that moves galaxies is the force that moves the smallest seed to germinate and grow, then it also brings the question: What are we doing? Human beings have also grown out of and are supported by this mysterious force. Why then do humans not live by the subtle laws of this movement without resistence? Why do we build explosive and destructive energy, rather than build energy units that emulate the movement of the moon and the stars?

As I watch the moon rising, I see a gigantic body capable of crashing to earth, rising into the heavens with ease... And yet mankind creates explosive power units to fire his world which eat the resources that brings man life. If we are intelligent enough to build a dis-harmonic and highly destructive (wasteful) energy unit, then we are also capable of inventing an energy unit that follows universal laws.

I will later add links that support this observation. It is the human mind and the state of the human mind that either drags us down or draws us into the universal harmonic we see moving above our heads and below our feet. As above so below. This ancient wisdom applies to our energy innovations as well as our lives. As I wrote this post the moon rose effortlessly into the night sky. What is wrong with mankind that he does not follow these laws?