Roger Annis, ALEXANDRE GUEDES BARBOSA, Lester R. Brown, Sena Christian, Finian Cunningham,
Guy Crequie, Liz Dwyer, Melanie Haiken, Dahr Jamail , Alison Kanski,
David Korten, Reynard Loki, Jan Oberg , Alisa Opar,
John R. Platt, Jon Queally, Jim Rogers, Aparajita Sengupta,Mike Whitney
Roger Annis, Roger Annis - War in Ukraine & NATO Offensive in Eastern Europe
ALEXANDRE GUEDES BARBOSA, APRENDENDO A VIVER APPRENDRE À VIVRE APPRENDRE À VIVRE LEARN TO LIVE APRENDER A VIVIR НАУЧИТЬСЯ ЖИТЬ
Lester R. Brown, Sunlight Striking Earth’s Surface in Just One Hour Delivers Enough Energy to Power the World Economy for an Entire Year
Sena Christian, Can GMOs Help Feed a Planet Stressed by Climate Change and Overpopulation?
Finian Cunningham, US Military Coup for Euro Meltdown?
Guy Crequie, l’Iran et six grandes puissances sont parvenus à un compromis, annoncé mardi 14 juillet 15
Liz Dwyer, The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities in the World
Melanie Haiken, 7 Wild and Beautiful Places That Should Be National Parks
Dahr Jamail, Mass Extinction: It's the End of the World as We Know It
Alison Kanski, All the World's Greenhouse Gas Emissions in One Interactive Chart
David Korten, Obama's Push For Corporate Rule: A Moment Of Opportunity
Reynard Loki, Jane Fonda Joins Canadian Activists Calling for Climate Justice, Jobs and an End to Tar Sands Mining
Jan Oberg, TFF PressInfo 328 - With another approach, we would have a deal with Iran today
Alisa Opar, 5 Ways the Trans-Pacific Partnership Could Ruin the Environment
John R. Platt, The Unseen Extinction Wiping Out the World's Wildlife
Jon Queally, The Lancet: Fossil Fuels Are Killing Us... Quitting Them Can Save Us
Jim Rogers, US ‘Shot Itself in the Foot’ by Pushing Russia Toward China
Aparajita Sengupta, When Temple Bells Drown The Earth's Heartbeat: Earth-Based Spirituality Versus Organized Religion
Mike Whitney, Putin Leads BRICS Uprising
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|July 7, 2015||
Mass Extinction: It's the End of the World as We Know It
by Dahr Jamail , Information ClearingHouse
Guy McPherson is a professor emeritus of evolutionary biology, natural resources and ecology at the University of Arizona, and has been a climate change expert for 30 years. He has also become a controversial figure, due to the fact that he does not shy away from talking about the possibility of near-term human extinction. While McPherson's perspective might sound like the stuff of science fiction, there is historical precedent for his predictions. Fifty-five million years ago, a 5-degree Celsius rise in average global temperatures seems to have occurred in just 13 years, according to a study published in the October 2013 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A report in the August 2013 issue of Science revealed that in the near term, earth's climate will change 10 times faster than during any other moment in the last 65 million years.Prior to that, the Permian mass extinction that occurred 250 million years ago, also known as the "Great Dying," was triggered by a massive lava flow in an area of Siberia that led to an increase in global temperatures of 6 degrees Celsius. That, in turn, caused the melting of frozen methane deposits under the seas. Released into the atmosphere, those gases caused temperatures to skyrocket further. All of this occurred over a period of approximately 80,000 years. The change in climate is thought to be the key to what caused the extinction of most species on the planet. In that extinction episode, it is estimated that 95 percent of all species were wiped out. Today's current scientific and observable evidence strongly suggests we are in the midst of the same process - only this time it is anthropogenic, and happening exponentially faster than even the Permian mass extinction did.
In fact, a recently published study in Science Advances states, unequivocally, that the planet has officially entered its sixth mass extinction event. The study shows that species are already being killed off at rates much faster than they were during the other five extinction events, and warns ominously that humans could very likely be among the first wave of species to go extinct.
So if some feel that McPherson's thinking is extreme, when the myriad scientific reports he cites to back his claims are looked at squarely and the dots are connected, the perceived extremism begins to dissolve into a possible, or even likely, reality.
The idea of possible human extinction, coming not just from McPherson but a growing number of scientists (as well as the aforementioned recently published report in Science), is now beginning to occasionally find its way into mainstream consciousness.
"A Child Born Today May Live to See Humanity's End, Unless ..." reads a recent blog post title from Reuters. It reads:
McPherson, who maintains the blog "Nature Bats Last," told Truthout, "We've never been here as a species and the implications are truly dire and profound for our species and the rest of the living planet."
Truthout first interviewed McPherson in early 2014, at which time he had identified 24 self-reinforcing positive feedback loops triggered by human-caused climate disruption. Today that number has grown to more than 50, and continues to increase.
A self-reinforcing positive feedback loop is akin to a "vicious circle": It accelerates the impacts of anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD). An example would be methane releases in the Arctic. Massive amounts of methane are currently locked in the permafrost, which is now melting rapidly. As the permafrost melts, methane - a greenhouse gas 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide on a short timescale - is released into the atmosphere, warming it further, which in turn causes more permafrost to melt, and so on.
As soon as this summer, we are likely to begin seeing periods of an ice-free Arctic. (Those periods will arrive by the summer of 2016 at the latest, according to a Naval Postgraduate School report.)
Once the summer ice begins melting away completely, even for short periods, methane releases will worsen dramatically.
Is it possible that, on top of the vast quantities of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels that continue to enter the atmosphere in record amounts yearly, an increased release of methane could signal the beginning of the sort of process that led to the Great Dying?
McPherson, like the scientists involved in the recent study that confirms the arrival of the sixth great extinction, fears that the situation is already so serious and so many self-reinforcing feedback loops are already in play that we are well along in the process of causing our own extinction.
Furthermore, McPherson remains convinced that it could happen far more quickly than generally believed possible - in the course of just the next few decades, or even sooner.
Truthout caught up with McPherson in Washington State, where he was recently on a lecture tour, sharing his dire analysis of how far along we already are regarding ACD.
Dahr Jamail: How many positive feedback loops have you identified up until now, and what does this ever-increasing number of them indicate?
Guy McPherson: I can't quite wrap my mind around the ever-increasing number of self-reinforcing feedback loops. A long time ago, when there were about 20 of them, I believed evidence would accumulate in support of existing loops, but we couldn't possibly identify any more. Ditto for when we hit 30. And 40. There are more than 50 now, and the hits keep coming. And the evidence for existing feedback loops continues to grow.
In addition to these positive feedback loops "feeding" within themselves, they also interact among each other. Methane released from the Arctic Ocean is exacerbated and contributes to reduced albedo [reflectivity of solar radiation by the ice] as the Arctic ice declines. Tack on the methane released from permafrost and it's obvious we're facing a shaky future for humanity.
You talk often about how when major industrial economic systems collapse, this will actually cause a temperature spike. Please explain, in layperson's terms, how this occurs.
Industrial activity continually adds reflective particles into earth's atmosphere. Particularly well known are sulfates produced by burning coal ("clean coal" has a lower concentration of sulfates than "dirty coal"). These particles reflect incoming sunlight, thus artificially cooling the planet.
These reflective particles constantly fall out of the atmosphere, but industrial activity continuously adds them, too. When industrial activity ceases, all the particles will fall out within a few days. As a result, earth will lose its "umbrella" and rapid warming of the planet will ensue. According to a 2011 paper by James Hansen and colleagues, the warming will add 1.2 plus or minus 0.2 degrees Celsius. Subsequent research indicates the conservative nature of this paper, suggesting termination of industrial activity will add a minimum of 1.4 degrees Celsius to the global average temperature.
What indicators are you seeing that show the possibility of major economic collapses in the near future?
We cannot sustain the unsustainable forever, and this version of civilization is the least sustainable of them all. It teeters on the brink, and many conservative voices have predicted economic collapse this year or next. According to a June 2012 report by David Korowicz for the Feasta group, a disruption of supply will trigger collapse of the world's industrial economy in as little as three weeks.
The supply disruptions to which Korowicz refers include water, food and oil. We can add financial credit to the list. In other words, credit could dry up as it nearly did in late 2008. Or the bond markets could trigger hyperinflation. California could have insufficient water to grow enough food to support much of the US, and not long from now. The list goes on.
Go into detail about what you're seeing as far as indications of abrupt climate change.
When I'm in the midst of a speaking tour, as I am now, I deliver a presentation approximately every day. Lately, I include a [different] indication of abrupt climate change [in] each presentation. In other words, I've been coming across evidence every day.
Recent examples include the June 19, 2015, paper in Science Advances: We are in the midst of the sixth great extinction. According to the abstract, the "sixth mass extinction is already under way." The lead author, in an interview, said, "life would take many millions of years to recover, and our species itself would likely disappear early on."
According to data from The Cryosphere Today, Arctic ice extent declined 340,000 square kilometers between June 17 and 18, 2015. Such an event is unprecedented. We could witness an ice-free Arctic by September of this year for the first time in human history.
How much temperature increase, over what period of time?
Depending upon the timing of economic collapse and release of the 50-gigaton burst of methane Natalia Shakhova warns about, earth could warm an additional 3 degrees Celsius within 18 months. The relatively slow rate of planetary warming we're seeing so far exceeds the ability of organisms to adapt by a factor of 10,000, according to a paper in the August 2013 edition of Ecology Letters.
We depend upon a living planet for our survival. We're killing non-human species at an astonishing rate. To believe we're clever enough to avoid extinction is pure hubris.
Is there an historical precedent for this phenomenon?
There is no historical precedent for ongoing planetary warming. We're dumping carbon into the atmosphere at a rate faster than the Great Dying from about 250 million years ago. That time, nearly all life on earth was driven to extinction.
What does this mean for humans? How do we cope and survive?
Astonishingly, against cosmological odds, you and I get to live. But not forever. And not much longer.
Coping with the reality of abrupt climate change and human extinction is hardly an easy undertaking. The message I've been delivering for several years is a heavy burden. I suggest fully absorbing the message that we get to live! Part of the process of living is death.
In addition to my latest book [Extinction Dialogs], co-authored by Carolyn Baker, I've developed other means for dealing with reality. Among these are a book for young adults co-authored by Pauline Schneider and a workshop co-developed and facilitated by Ms. Schneider. We signed a contract for the book in mid-June and the workshop is described at onlyloveremains.org.
What are some events of late you can point to as evidence that we are already experiencing abrupt climate change?
In addition to the information presented above, there's the ongoing collapse of the Larsen ice shelves in Antarctica, abundant evidence we're headed for a warmer year than 2014 (the hottest year in history), and numerous extreme weather events. These ongoing phenomena have been anticipated for years.
And now, they're here.
What are other factors you feel people should be aware of?
We're in serious human-population overshoot. We're driving to extinction at least 150 species each day. Nuclear power plants require grid-tied electricity, cooling water and people getting paychecks. Without all these, they melt down, thus immersing all life on earth in ionizing radiation.
There's more. Much more. But all the evidence points toward our individual deaths and the extinction of our species in the near future.
But most importantly, we get to live now.
Reporter's note: After my last Climate Disruption Dispatch article was published, I began receiving emails from people sharing their experiences with climatological aberrations they have been seeing where they live. Their experiences have ranged from witnessing vanishing glaciers, to creeks that have never dried up now vanishing, to record temperatures, to extremely early harvesting seasons for fruit. If you would like to send me information about what you're witnessing, so that I might include it in a future report, please share your experience (and photos, if you have them) with me: email@example.comDahr Jamail, a Truthout staff reporter, is the author of The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, (Haymarket Books, 2009), and Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq, (Haymarket Books, 2007). Jamail reported from Iraq for more than a year, as well as from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over the last ten years, and has won the Martha Gellhorn Award for Investigative Journalism, among other awards.
His third book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co-written with William Rivers Pitt, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in Washington State.
|July 14, 2015||
US Military Coup for Euro Meltdown?
by Finian Cunningham, Information ClearingHouse
The capitulation of the Greek government to Berlin-led finance capital is a daunting watershed moment. It marks the “disciplining” of the wider European electorate under corporatist financier rule. What is happening in Greece is a forerunner for other European Union states.
In that event, widespread social unrest can be expected.
The rapid expansion of American military forces across Europe over the past year has invoked the pretext of “defending” NATO allies from alleged Russian aggression. But an altogether different contingency is that Washington is preparing for a military coup in Europe – in the wake of economic collapse stemming from the Greek debt crisis.
Just last week, American army general Ray Odierno – a member of the US Joint Chiefs of staff – outlined plans for a new battalion of troops in Germany, along with heavy armour and other equipment. Odierno told the Wall Street Journal that the new military installations were to counter “the rising Russian threat”.
Germany is already under de facto US military occupation, since the end of the Second World War, with tens of thousands of American troops and a slew of garrisons. Why the need for more American military, and not in peripheral European states close to Russia, but right in the heart of Europe – Germany?
Similar increasing deployment of American troops, artillery, armour, warplanes and helicopters has taken place in other European NATO members over the past year under the guise of conducting war games.
The result is that US military presence across Europe has never been greater at any time since the Cold War ended with the Soviet Union 25 years ago.
General Odierno said the “prepositioning” of troops and equipment in Germany and neighbouring states, including Poland and the Baltic countries, would allow for the rapid scale-up of American military in Europe “in the event of a crisis”. By “crisis” he was apparently alluding to a possible war with Russia.But Washington planners may have another crisis in mind – the economic and social meltdown of the European Union.
In that event, the American military would be deployed to shore up fragile, discredited governments amid widespread social turmoil. These “care taker” governments may be similar in personnel to the parties already in power in European capitals. But their administrations will be increasingly autocratic and imposed without popular mandates, as is being evidenced in Greece. If a social crisis of full-blown poverty, soaring unemployment, public protests and industrial disruption were to culminate, then the American military forces in Europe will be in place to enforce the rule of these technocratic “governments”.
American political analyst Randy Martin, who writes at crookedbough.com, reckons that US rulers have anticipated the current turmoil in Europe over Greece.
“The Greek crisis has been going on for five years and more,” says Martin. “You can bet that Washington has already drawn up plans on how to administer Europe politically and financially if the situation demands that intervention. And that situation is becoming more and more apparent almost by the day.”
He added: “Don’t forget that the NATO military alliance of 28 members is really just American military power outsourced in various European disguises. NATO formations across Europe are therefore tantamount to US military occupation of Europe,” says Martin. “This is exactly what Russian government figures have perceptively been saying for a long time.”
Since the Ukraine crisis erupted due to the US-sponsored coup in that country in February 2014, the Western media has been saturated with American claims of Russian aggression toward Europe. But, as Randy Martin points out, the narrative of a Russian threat is becoming increasingly threadbare. There is no evidence of Russian infiltration in Ukraine, no evidence of Russian military aggression toward Europe, and, moreover, Moscow has consistently refuted the allegations as “fantasy”.
Which leads one to conjecture: is the American militarisation across Europe for another purpose – the containment of the European Union as it comes under increasing social pressure from within due to economic collapse?What is called the “Greek debt crisis” is in reality a symptom of a systemic breakdown in Western capitalism.
Many other countries across the European Union also find themselves in similar condition of chronic fiscal arrears and drowning indebtedness.
Italy, Spain and Portugal come to mind as having precarious debt loads that outstrip their respective economies. France, the second biggest economy in Europe, is also submerged with a total debt exceeding its national economic output.
The austerity measures that EU governments have been imposing on their populations are felt most acutely in Greece, manifested in the scenes of mass queues outside banks for a subsistence daily allowance, or desperate crowds at food stores and pharmacies searching for dwindling supplies of basic essential commodities. With the Greek government of Alexis Tsipras showing itself as a willing instrument of Europe’s banker-oligarchy to apply more austerity, the atmosphere among many ordinary Greeks is increasingly volatile and brooding.
But this scenario of economic collapse and social mayhem seen most vividly in Greece will likely be repeated in other EU countries because of the systemic nature of the crisis. The EU institutional creditors, led by Germany, want to teach the rest of Europe a lesson by disciplining Greece over its national finances.
However, austerity pushed to extreme will result in social revolt, not just in Greece, but across Europe.
Washington is alarmed by the potential meltdown
in Europe. Last week, President Barack Obama urged Germany’s
Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras to come
up with a solution to the debt crisis. Obama’s Treasury Secretary
Jack Lew echoed the concerns and
The control of government by private corporate interests, with no democratic accountability, attests to the definition of fascism. As analyst Randy Martin comments: “What is taking shape in Europe and more so in the United States is the complete subjugation of government by finance capital. It is not an exaggeration or empty jargon to say that we in the West are succumbing to the rule of financial fascism.”
Banker-led technocratic administrations across Europe will engender rising popular protest and civil unrest. When American politicians talk about “meltdown” and their army generals talk about “securing Europe” what they really mean is securing Europe from its own angry people. Russia is but the bogeyman to justify American military occupation of Europe and the imperative of finance capital administered from Berlin.
The irony is that 70 years after the defeat of fascism in Europe, Europe is coming full circle under the same phenomenon. This time instead of Nazi jackboots, we have American ones.
© 2015 Sputnik. All rights reserved
|July 14, 2015||
Putin Leads BRICS Uprising
by Mike Whitney , Information ClearingHouse
There’s been a virtual blackout of news from this year’s seventh annual BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia. None of the mainstream media organizations are covering the meetings or making any attempt to explain what’s going on. As a result, the American people remain largely in the dark about a powerful coalition of nations that are putting in place an alternate system that will greatly reduce US influence in the world and end the current era of superpower rule.
Let’s cut to the chase: Leaders of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) realize that global security cannot be entrusted to a country that sees war as a acceptable means for achieving its geopolitical objectives. They also realize that they won’t be able to achieve financial stability as long as Washington dictates the rules, issues the de facto “international” currency, and controls the main levers of global financial power. This is why the BRICS have decided to chart a different course, to gradually break free from the existing Bretton Woods system, and to create parallel system that better serves their own interests. Logically, they have focused on the foundation blocks which support the current US-led system, that is, the institutions from which the United States derives its extraordinary power; the dollar, the US Treasury market, and the IMF. Replace these, the thinking goes, and the indispensable nation becomes just another country struggling to get by. This is from the Asia Times:
Can you see what’s going on? Putin has figured out the empire’s vulnerabilities and he’s going straight for the jugular. He’s saying: ‘We’re going to issue our own debt, we’re going to run our own system, we’re going to fund our own projects, and we’re going to do it all in our own currency. Kaboom. The only thing you’re going to be doing, is managing your own accelerating economic decline. Have a good day.’ Isn’t that the gist of what he’s saying?
So can you see, dear reader, why none of this is appearing on the pages of US newspapers or on US television. Washington would rather you didn’t know how they’ve bungled everything by alienating the fastest growing countries in the world.
The Ufa conference is a watershed moment. While the Pentagon is rapidly moving troops and military hardware to Russia’s borders, and one bigwig after another is bloviating about the “Russian threat”; the BRICS have moved out of Washington’s orbit altogether. They are following the leadership of men who, frankly speaking, are acting exactly like US leaders acted when the US was on the upswing. These are guys who “think big”; who want to connect continents with high-speed rail, lift living standards across the board, and transform themselves into manufacturing dynamos. What do America’s leaders dream about: Drone warfare? Balancing the budget? Banning the Confederate flag?
It’s a joke. No one in Washington has a plan for the future. It’s all just political opportunism and posturing. Check this out from The Hindu:
The dollar is toast. The IMF is toast. The US debt market (US Treasuries) is toast. The institutions that support US power are crumbling before our very eyes. The BRICS have had enough; enough war, enough Wall Street, enough meddling and hypocrisy and austerity and lecturing. This is farewell. Sure, it will take time, but Ufa marks a fundamental change in thinking, a fundamental change in approach, and a fundamental change in strategic orientation.
The BRICS are not coming back, they’re gone for good, just as Washington’s “pivot to Asia” is gone for good. There’s just too much resistance. Washington has simply overplayed its hand, worn out its welcome. People are sick of us.
Can you blame them?
|July 14, 2015||
Roger Annis - War in Ukraine & NATO Offensive in Eastern Europe
by Roger Annis, Information ClearingHouse
Roger Annis - War in Ukraine &
NATO Offensive in Eastern Europe Posted July 14, 2015
Posted July 14, 2015
|July 15, 2015||
US ‘Shot Itself in the Foot’ by Pushing Russia Toward China - Jim Rogers
by Jim Rogers, Sputnik, Countercurrents
American investor Jim Rogers has actively encouraged investing into Russia. During his interview with Gazeta.ru Rogers said that he has joined the Board of Directors and bought shares of ‘PhosAgro’ which is a Russian chemical holding company producing fertilizer, phosphates and feed phosphates.
He also increased the proportion of shares of the Moscow Stock Exchange and he also has a paper of ‘Aeroflot’.
Concerning the current rouble situation Rogers said, “Russia has low debt, unlike Greece, as well as convertible currency, which is quite unique for the new markets. So fundamentally its position can be called normal. It is being pressured by lower oil prices, but as soon as the black gold finds the stable point the situation will improve for the rouble.”
He also mentioned the dollar saying that the US currency is in a terrible situation as the US national debt and trade deficit are huge.
“If we simply write out on paper the facts that lie behind the ruble and the dollar, without naming the currency, then everyone will want to buy rubles and no one will buy dollars. But as soon as you name them then, of course, people buy dollars.”
He added that he hopes he will be smart enough to get rid of dollars before the collapse happens. “Everything seems perfect, until one day it ceases to be so. It was the same with Britain, France, Spain and Greece. Often stocks manage to go up for a few years before hitting bankruptcy.”
It is a matter of time before Asia becomes a major partner for Russia. For America this would mean that they will not receive their share of potential in the Asian market. The “US has simply shot itself in the foot.”
“The Asian market is much larger — 3 billion people. The population of the United States and Europe is a little more than 1 billion people. For Russia it is better to be with 3 billion creditors than 1 billion debtors,” the investor explained.
Jim Rogers said that China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore are where all the money is, while the US and Europe have become the largest debtors.
|June 23, 2015||
When Temple Bells Drown The Earth's Heartbeat: Earth-Based Spirituality Versus Organized Religion
by Aparajita Sengupta, Countercurrents
I grew up irreverent with regards to religion. My parents believe in god, and show respect to certain religious customs, but they are far from being deeply religious. We worshiped twice a year at home, but the idols that are scattered in our house mostly serve artistic (some are very poor art in my opinion, but my parents beg to differ) purposes. They are not housed together icon-style, and there is no daily ritual of feeding or clothing them, or lighting diyas or decorating with flowers or chanting hymns from a dead language we don't understand. Every year, on two special days ascertained by the almanac, we would worship the goddesses Saraswati and Laxmi at home, in ceremonies that were specially designed by my liberal educated parents, who made a point of trimming what they deemed “unjust” from the typical ceremony to device a special version for our family. The ceremonies were only half-serious. My parents would, for example, say that the main point of the ceremony was the food and hanging out with friends over it, but they were not ready to chuck out the whole religious routine. It is hard to state the ground rule for what they accepted and what they didn't, but there were some basics: no priests (because they did not believe in the caste system, and my dad was extremely uncomfortable to the idea of having a priest say his prayers for him); no special utensils, we could use pots and pans from the kitchen if they were clean (vegetarian and non-vegetarian vessels are a big deal for purists); my parents would fast, but we couldn't (they needed to burn some fat being the excuse, we could fall sick); artistic display and food was really important, but all the items necessary in a ritualistic ceremony, including flowers, a green coconut, mango leaves, vermilion, fruits, honey, ghee, five different kinds of cereal and some other things whose actual or symbolic purpose in the ritual has become hazy over time were bought and displayed.
We would get up in the morning, shower and put on fresh clothes, help baba with the decoration and ma with the cooking, worship in the evening, and have dinner with the food offered to the idols after that. The worship itself was peculiar, because we did not have a clear idea of the sequence, and would do random things like ringing the brass bell, wave the diyas, or scatter the flowers, in no particular order , while baba would insist on chanting some hymns he remembered from his childhood (I was quite embarrassed when I realized that the hymn writers were obsessed with goddesses' breasts) and ma on pressing our palms together and touching our heads on the floor at the end. There was plenty of giggling, and an ROFL interlude at one instance where baba had brought a “panchali”, a prayer book written for women observing the ritual, and ma, reading it aloud in a sing-song tone as was the custom, found that she met the description of the bad woman to every inch. The seeds of my irreverence were hence sown in trying to practice religion. I am still ashamed to admit that I was the “priest” in such ceremonies for a long time, throwing off the holy mantle only as teenager who would not put up with the outwardly practice of a religion and gods she no longer believed in. It was also quite irritating to follow ma's instructions regarding the sequence of flower-throwing and diya waving (when she ran out of ideas she would sometimes ask me to wave random things I had never seen a priest wave); she would figure out a new routine every year, and insist that that was our “tradition”. With time, even the vestiges of this sort of upbringing fell off me; I had retained, for example, the habit of including artistic idols in home decor, but gave it up when they seemed to send out the wrong message. I stopped touching my forehead every time I accidentally stepped on someone's toes, and I successfully got over the almost physical sense of cringing every time my feet touched a book.
In spite of all the terror that comes out of organized religion, speaking against it is still unacceptable, even in liberal circuits. Asking people to question it is often perceived as an affront to religious freedom. In left-liberal circuits, it is far easier to berate communism as brainwashing, faculty-dulling, or power-driven than to critique religious practice. The most frequently-cited aims of religion, good behavior on this planet and recognizing what lies beyond us, the core of religion, has nothing to do with the organized practice of religion. Organized religion could in fact take focus away from the fact of our irresponsible behavior—praying does not heal the planet or distraught fellow humans, compassion and positive action do; asking for pardon does not absolve us from the crimes we commit by merely buying the things we buy, knowing more about the process of production does. In the current condition of the world, no manner of religious wisdom will make changes unless there are changes in our economic and political models. [I am in particular dilemma regarding a Pope who preaches environmentalism. I have no idea how to react, and I am not asking who's paying him. As much as I am excited by the idea of instant mass change through the influence of a religious leader, I am put off at the thought of the world changing, albeit for the better, only because a religious leader dictates his followers to make the changes. How can that be conscious change?]
When I try to come to terms with my liberal friends' celebration of religion or religious organizations, I think about my parents' approach to religious practice. Maybe shaking off religion is a process that spans generations; maybe when people recognize the problems with organized religion, and one by one components that went hand in hand with religious practice are discarded as unfair or divisive, religion might not be confined to cliques or to specific communities. Stripped of superstition, the caste system, discriminatory thought or practice against women or the gay community, generalizations to describe the Other, or jingoistic celebration of religious identity, religion might show its true core. I wonder, though, if it is worth the while of intelligent people to hold on to something and keep wanting to reform it, rather than start with fresh thought and sensibility. Maybe, like I see in my parents, it is impossible to throw it all off at once and reject internalized habits of religious practice, but trying to listen in on our planet's heartbeat on a quiet day, someone might figure out that the mysteries of the universe are never going to be solved in temples or mosques or churches.
Aparajita Sengupta is a farmer
|June 23 2015||
The Lancet: Fossil Fuels Are Killing Us... Quitting Them Can Save Us
by Jon Queally, Countercurrents
The bad news is very bad, indeed. But first, the good news: "Responding to climate change could be the biggest global health opportunity of this century."
That message is the silver lining contained in a comprehensive newly published report by The Lancent, the UK-based medical journal, which explores the complex intersection between global human health and climate change.
The wide-ranging and peer-reviewed report—titled Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health—declares that the negative impacts of human-caused global warming have put at risk some of the world's most impressive health gains over the last half century. What's more, it says, continued use of fossil fuels is leading humanity to a future in which infectious disease patterns, air pollution, food insecurity and malnutrition, involuntary migration, displacement, and violent conflict will all be made made worse.
"Climate change," said commission co-chairman Dr. Anthony Costello, a pediatrician and director of the Global Health Institute at the University College of London, "has the potential to reverse the health gains from economic development that have been made in recent decades – not just through the direct effects on health from a changing and more unstable climate, but through indirect means such as increased migration and reduced social stability. Our analysis clearly shows that by tackling climate change we can also benefit health. Tackling climate change represents one of the greatest opportunities to benefit human health for generations to come."
Put together by the newly formed Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change—described as a major new collaboration between international climate scientists and geographers, social and environmental scientists, biodiversity experts, engineers and energy policy experts, economists, political scientists and public policy experts, and health professionals—the report is the most up-to-date and comprehensive of its kind. Though many studies have been performed on the subject, the commission argues the "catastrophic risk to human health posed by climate change" has been grossly "underestimated" by others.
"Climate Change is a medical emergency," said Dr. Hugh Montgomery, commission co-chair and director of the UCL Institute for Human Health and Performance. "It thus demands an emergency response."
With rising global temperatures fueling increasing extreme weather events, crop failures, water scarcity, and other crises, Montgomery says the report is an attempt to make it clear that drastic and immediate actions should be taken. "Under such circumstances," he said, "no doctor would consider a series of annual case discussions and aspirations adequate, yet this is exactly how the global response to climate change is proceeding."
In a companion paper published alongside the larger report, commission members Helena Wang and Richard Horton explained why human health impacts are an important part of the larger argument regarding climate change:
Responding to the findings and warnings contained in the report, Mike Childs, the head of policy for the Friends of the Earth-UK, said the message from one of the world's foremost institutions on public health has given powerful new evidence to the argument that "radical action is urgently required" to avoid further climate catastrophe.
"When health professionals shout 'emergency'," Childs said, "politicians everywhere should listen."
Going from diagnosis to prescribing a remedy, the doctors and scientists involved with the report—who equated the human health emergency of climate change with previous physician-led fights against tobacco use and HIV/AIDS—argue the crisis of anthropogenic climate change demands—as a matter of "medical necessity"—the rapid phase-out of fossil fuels (with special emphasis on coal) from the global energy mix. In addition, the authors say their data on global human health support a recommendation for an international carbon price.
"The health community has responded to many grave threats to health in the past," said another commission co-chair, Professor Peng Gong of Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. "It took on entrenched interests such as the tobacco industry and led the fight against HIV/AIDS. Now is the time for us to lead the way in responding to another great threat to human and environmental health."
The Commission argues that human health would vastly improve in a less-polluted world free from fossil fuels. "Virtually everything that you want to do to tackle climate change has health benefits," said Dr. Costello. "We're going to cut heart attacks, strokes, diabetes."
The following video, produced by the Commission and released alongside the report, also explains:
As Wang and Horton conclude in their remarks, "Climate change is the defining challenge of our generation. Health professionals must mobilize now to address this challenge and protect the health and wellbeing of future generations."
|June 28, 2015||
Obama's Push For Corporate Rule: A Moment Of Opportunity
by David Korten, Countercurrents
Only a few months ago, President Barack Obama was at loggerheads with Republican members of Congress intent on destroying his administration. With bewildering speed, Obama has since turned against his own political base to form an alliance on trade issues with those same Republican members of Congress.
Obama’s most vigorous opposition now comes from progressives, including most of the senators and representatives of his own party, who only a few months ago were his most loyal political base. The few corporatist Democratic members of Congress who still support Obama face the threat of opposition in the 2016 primaries, as Democratic voters mobilize to defend democracy, workers, and the environment.
The goal of Obama’s surprise alliance is to finalize a series of international agreements—the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)—each of which will strengthen corporate rights at the expense of human rights, democracy, economic justice, peace, and the healing of Living Earth.
Leaked text from the secret negotiations that are crafting these agreements reveals that contrary to the claims of proponents, virtually every provision would weaken democracy and undermine the ability of nations, people, and localities to shape their economic destinies. Americans from across the political spectrum have been stunned by the sudden emergence of this unholy alliance. In historical context, however, it may be less unlikely than it seems.
America’s bipartisan corporate political alliance
U.S. corporations have been actively advancing an agenda of corporate rule since at least 1971. That was when Lewis Powell, soon to be a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, submitted his infamous memo “Attack on the American Free Enterprise System” outlining a grand strategy for a corporate takeover of U.S. politics. The resulting actions rapidly played out as a global corporate colonization of the world’s people and resources. I spell out this history in detail in When Corporations Rule the World, released this month (June 2015) in a 20th anniversary edition.
As the corporate agenda unfolded, the Republican Party quite proudly branded itself as the party of big business and, more deceptively, of small government. The Democratic Party became seen as the party of big government, corporate restraint, and social programs for those the corporate state excluded.
But there has long been more cooperation between the two parties in support of big business than either is inclined to acknowledge. Democratic President Carter began the deregulation of the airline industry. Democratic President Clinton rolled back welfare programs, expanded corporate rights with the passage of the WTO and NAFTA agreements, and sponsored the Wall Street deregulation that led to the financial collapse of 2008.
Democratic President Obama carried forward the bank bailouts started by Republican President George W. Bush, shielded senior bank managers from prosecution and prison, and made no effort to restrict the continued growth and consolidation of the biggest Wall Street banks. His campaign for fast-track authority to push through a series of new international corporate rights agreements removes all ambiguity as to where his true loyalties lie.
The public, however, is catching on. Awareness of accelerating consolidation of global corporate rule and its implications for peace, equality, and the environment began to emerge in the mid-1990s about the time When Corporations Rule the World first launched. For many people, that book helped them connect what they were experiencing with what they were beginning to suspect.
The issue a bogus debate obscures
For the past several decades, corporate interests have managed to define the political choice in America as between small government Republicans and big government Democrats. It was a clever misdirection. Because most Americans are properly distrustful of big government, they easily buy into the anti-big government argument. The result is to deflect attention away from the sins of big business—and the implications for government size.
The idea that government is essential to the function of complex societies should be immediately evident to any thinking person. It is similarly clear that letting money-seeking transnational corporations rule as best suits their financial interests has disastrous societal consequences.
Entirely missing from the debate is the extent to which it is the growth of corporate size and influence that creates the need for big government to limit corporate excesses, clean up their messes, subsidize their operations, and field the military and police forces required to protect their global and domestic properties. The subsidies include welfare for underpaid employees, unemployment for those whose jobs they outsource abroad or displace with robots and migrant workers, and medical insurance for those they fail to insure.
Without the burden that monopolistic and predatory corporations place on society, government, particularly national government, could be dramatically downsized and public debt largely eliminated.
An abstract debate over the size of government is a pointless distraction—as those who promote it are likely aware. We should instead ask, “Does our federal government represent the interests of the United States and its people and is its size appropriate to that task?” Tragically, the answer for the United State is no.
Although the American people pay the bills, it is a government of, by, and for the United Corporations of Planet Earth and their needs, not a government designed to meet the needs of our people. We could do nicely with a far smaller federal government, if we limited the size of corporations and structured their ownership to assure that they are accountable to the people of the communities in which they do business.
The essential work of our time
The institutional system of corporate rule is essentially a robotic system programmed to use its economic and political power to extract limitless short-term financial gain by whatever means available. It runs on autopilot beyond human control. And it values life only for its market price. It should be evident to any thinking adult not brain damaged by taking too many economics courses that peace, economic justice, and ecological balance will remain beyond humanity’s reach for so long as the rights of people are subordinated to the rights of the corporations that populate this system.
Hope for humanity requires a successful transition to democracy grounded in strong place-based communities and local economies. This transition is not just an ideal. It is essential to human viability.
President Obama and the Republican and Democratic corporatists currently allied with him have positioned themselves on the wrong side of history.
Fortunately, there may be a positive side to their betrayal of the human interest. It reminds us that true transformational leadership depends less on the empty promises of political leaders than on social movements of we the people. The public outrage now focused on their betrayal of democracy and the human interest lays the groundwork for what could be a seismic political realignment.
Possibilities of a transpartisan political awakening
Over the past 20 years, public awareness of the nature and consequences of the expansion of corporate rule has grown significantly. This awareness finds particularly visible expression in the public demand to overturn the Citizens United decision of a corporatist Supreme Court that removes most restraints on corporate funding of elections. And, most recently, we are seeing broad-based and increasingly vocal resistance to the current betrayal of America by Obama’s trade agenda.
Progressive voters are outraged by the assault on democracy, workers, the environment, and local communities entailed in the Trans Pacific Partnership. Conservative voters are outraged by the attack on national sovereignty.
The resulting political shock is shining a public spotlight on the extent to which corporate influence has corrupted our national government. It is a short step from here to a recognition that the failures and burdens of our national government are not inherent in government. Rather they are inherent in corporate control of government.
Two highly intelligent, articulate national leaders—Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren—are articulating a new message with the potential to redefine the debate and win broad support for steps to end corporate rule. Even voters who may disagree with their politics are drawn to their courage and integrity—qualities otherwise far too rare in American politics.
The moment seems ripe for the foundational political realignment proposed by Ralph Nader in his recent book Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State and outlined in a recent YES! Magazine interview with Ralph Nader and Daniel McCarthy, editor of The American Conservative magazine. Fran Korten, publisher of YES! Magazine (and my wife) suggests we are experiencing a new populist moment.
Call it populism versus corporatism or democracy versus corporate rule. Either way it is a far more meaningful political division than the current division between two big-government political parties debating big versus small while both compete aggressively for corporate money and pursue variations on corporatist agendas.
The distinction between democracy and corporate rule is the issue that underlies most other issues. The task before us is to recognize and act on the potential for a momentous political realignment that can make our government truly “of the people.”
This article was written for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas and practical actions. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Dr. David Korten (livingeconomiesforum.org) is the author of Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, and the international best seller When Corporations Rule the World. He is board chair of YES! Magazine, co-chair of the New Economy Working Group, a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, president of the Living Economies Forum, and a member of the Club of Rome. He holds MBA and PhD degrees from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and served on the faculty of the Harvard Business School.
|June 17, 2015||
Sunlight Striking Earth’s Surface in Just One Hour Delivers Enough Energy to Power the World Economy for an Entire Year
by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute, AlterNet
In April 1954, top scientists gathered in Washington, D.C., to hear something new: voice and music broadcast by a solar-powered radio transmitter. Scientists at Bell Labs in New Jersey were demonstrating their invention, the first practical solar cell, which was made of silicon. This breakthrough paved the way for the solar revolution taking place today on rooftops and in massive ground-mounted solar farms around the world.
Solar cells, also called solar photovoltaics or PV, powered U.S. satellites during the 1960s space race with the Soviet Union. But PV technology was still too expensive to be used for much else until the Arab oil embargo of 1973. Amid rising fears about energy security, governments and private firms poured billions of dollars into solar research and development, reaping big gains in efficiency and cost reductions. This led to widespread use of PV in the 1980s for powering telephone relay stations, highway call boxes, and similar applications.
Japanese and U.S. companies became early leaders in PV manufacturing for uses both large and small. For example, Japanese firms such as Sharp and Kyocera pioneered the use of solar cells in pocket calculators. A credit-card-sized solar-powered calculator from 1983 still helps us do quick calculations.
In the mid-1980s, Germany joined the United States and Japan in the race for PV production dominance, but by the early years of the new millennium, Japanese and U.S. companies accounted for roughly 70 percent of the world’s PV output.
Forward-thinking energy policies in Germany were the catalyst that spurred solar power’s astounding growth over the last decade or so. By guaranteeing renewable power producers access to the grid as well as a long-term premium price for their electricity, the German government’s policy made going solar economically attractive. A reinvigorated German PV manufacturing industry climbed back into the number two spot behind Japan. As world production increased to meet demand, the price of solar panels dropped, helping to drive demand higher.
With demand for PV cells growing quickly, China — factory to the world — got into the game. Beginning around 2006, a boom in the Chinese PV industry massively expanded global production and drove prices down even further. Today China is a solar manufacturing giant, producing close to two thirds of the world’s PV—more than the United States, Japan, and Germany combined.
The decline in PV panel prices over the decades is astonishing. In 1972, they cost over $74 per watt. The average price as of mid-2014 was less than 70¢ per watt—99 percent cheaper. (For reference, the typical U.S. rooftop system today has between 2 and 10 kilowatts of generating capacity. One kilowatt equals 1,000 watts.)
Around the world, solar installations are growing by leaps and bounds on residential and commercial rooftops and in solar farms, also called solar power plants or parks, that can cover thousands of acres. Between 2008 and 2013, as solar panel prices dropped by roughly two thirds, the PV installed worldwide skyrocketed from 16,000 to 139,000 megawatts. That is enough to power every home in Germany, a country with 83 million people. In its January 2014 solar outlook report, Deutsche Bank projected that 46,000 megawatts would be added to global PV capacity in 2014 and that new installations would jump to a record 56,000 megawatts in 2015.
The International Energy Agency in Paris, which is typically conservative in its renewable energy forecasts, has been revising its solar projections upward. As recently as 2011 it forecast 112,000 megawatts of solar generating capacity by 2015 — a figure the world left far behind in 2013. The organization now projects that by 2018 the total will be 326,000 megawatts of generating capacity, but the world will likely come close to this in 2016.
As solar power installations spread, it is worth remembering a point often made in the energy literature to convey the sheer scale of the solar resource: The sunlight striking the earth’s surface in just one hour delivers enough energy to power the world economy for one year.
[Excerpted from the book The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy, by Lester R. Brown, with Janet Larsen, J. Matthew Roney, and Emily E. Adams.]
Lester R. Brown is president of Earth Policy Institute, an organization dedicated to building a sustainable future. He has authored or co-authored over 50 books, the most recent of which is The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy, and has received 24 honorary degrees and numerous awards, including the 1987 United Nations Environment Prize, a MacArthur Foundation "genius award" and the 1994 Blue Planet Prize. He lives in Washington, D.C.
|June 23, 2015||
Can GMOs Help Feed a Planet Stressed by Climate Change and Overpopulation?
by Sena Christian, Earth Island Journal, AlterNet
Nigel Taylor spreads apart the wilted and discolored leaves of a cassava plant. He wants us to see its sickness on full display. Taylor leads a team of scientists in St. Louis attempting to genetically engineer a virus-resistant version of the plant, and is working with researchers in Uganda and Kenya, where cassava is a staple crop. Once created, this plant will be delivered to small-landholder farmers for widespread use in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
Cassava grow in a greenhouse at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Researchers at the center are trying to engineer a virus-resistant version of the plant. (Photo: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center)
“Cassava is an incredibly important source of calories in the tropics,” Taylor explains to a group of journalists visiting the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Missouri in early May. The ultimate goal of this not-for-profit center, founded in 1998, is to double production of the world’s most important crops while lowering agriculture’s environmental footprint. More than 200 employees are on the case, and for these scientists, answers lie in an obvious place: “We think plants are a wonderful solution to a lot of global challenges,” vice president of research Dr. Toni Kutchan tells us.
Among the biggest challenges is a growing global population expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, which will need to be fed without degrading more natural resources. Other challenges include regions around the world suffering from increased salinity in soil, water supplies tainted with fertilizer, declining crop yields due to plant disease, and intensifying droughts. The agricultural powerhouse of California, for instance — responsible for producing about half of the United States’ vegetables, fruits and nuts — has entered the fourth year of a historic drought with no relief in sight. Danforth scientists are developing crops to withstand these environmental stressors as we brace for the impacts of climate change.
“Human-induced climate change is here and now. It’s not just something we need to think about for our grandchildren,” says Kathy Jacobs at the second National Adaptation Forum in St. Louis, where she joined more than 800 representatives from the private and public sector in May.
Senior Research Scientist Nigel Taylor leads a team tasked with developing virus-resistant cassava, which is a staple crop in sub-Saharan Africa. Taylor works at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri. (photo: Sena Christian)
Jacobs directs the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions at the University of Arizona and coauthored the 2014 National Climate Assessment, which evaluates and summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States. When the report — the third of its kind since the passage of the Global Change Research Act of 1990, which mandated the development of a comprehensive U.S. climate change research program — came out last May, the consensus among its roughly 300 authors was clear: Don’t waste any more time on denial. The science of climate change is well understood and, increasingly so, its impacts.
According to the report, U.S. average temperature has increased by between 1.3 degrees and 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since recordkeeping started in 1895, with that rise mainly occurring since about 1970.
American agriculture, energy, transportation, public health, ecosystems and biodiversity will all be influenced by rising temperatures. In terms of farming, the crop-growing season may lengthen in some regions, while in others, food production will suffer from heat, drought, disease, and heavy downpours. Where plenty of water exists, its quality may be questionable.
And that’s just the scene in the United States. Globally, the average combined land and ocean surface temperature increased by 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit from 1880 to 2012, according to the IPCC’s fifth assessment report.
Global food security could hang in the balance. As the IPCC elaborates in its report, crop production and fishery stocks are sensitive to changes in temperature, and climate change will lead to shifts in crop yields around the world — overall yields will decrease, but some temperate places at higher latitudes will see increases. Already, some indigenous communities have adjusted their seasonal migration and hunting practices in response to temperature changes. Poorer communities in developing countries will likely be more vulnerable to loss of health and life brought about by a changing climate.
Scientists at the Danforth Plant Science Center hope to address the impacts of climate change on food production and food security, and are working to improve the nutritional content, disease resistance, and yield of staple crops for subsistence farmers around the world. On their list: sweet potato, banana, cassava, sorghum, maize, rice, groundnuts, millet and cowpea. After seeing Taylor’s work, we observe a conveyor system that captures detailed images and provides real-time monitoring of how plants respond to different environment stressors, such as too much water, too little water, too much sun, too little sun, and more, one of many tools the scientists use in their research.
Taylor’s work on developing virus-resistant cassava is largely funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, and The Monsanto Fund. Genetic modification is being used on the plants and “this is the same technology used to save the papaya industry in Hawaii,” Taylor says, which was seriously threatened in the 1990s when a virus infected plants on the Big Island — where 95 percent of the state’s papaya grew. Scientists inserted resistant genes derived from the pathogen into the host papaya plant, just as Taylor’s group has done with cassava. Not everyone in Hawaii, however, was thrilled with the introduction of GMO papayas.
The Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa (VIRCA) project has been conceptually underway since the late 1990s and is now in its second phase — the advanced experimental stage. “We have shown the technology works in the fields through numerous field tests in Uganda and Kenya,” Taylor says.
A persistent challenge, though, is integrating resistance to the multiple diseases present in cassava — there are many — into the cultivar, and not affecting other plant attributes famers value. “It’s not any old bread,” Taylor says. “You want the bread you like.” The project requires more field tests and then will undergo the regulatory process in African countries where genetic modification is new, before the product is released to the farmers. There will be no pesticides needed and “nothing new” for farmers to do in cultivating the two new crop varieties that are part of VIRCA, Taylor says. The technology’s developers won’t receive profit or royalties, and aren’t passing on any costs to end-users.
Another mission at Danforth involves increasing the nutritional value — specifically beta-Carotene — of cassava, a root vegetable high in calories but low in minerals and vitamins.
In 2014, Danforth received a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation for “The Missouri Transect,” a five-year statewide collaborative of nine institutions focused on the intersection of plants, climate, and community. A portion of that money will fund plant phenomics, which measure changes in an organism’s physical and biochemical traits in response to environmental stressors. Scientists will specifically analyze drought tolerance and water efficiency in maize using what’s called an automated phenotyping facility.
Resistance to drought is high on the list of goals in Missouri, which was at the epicenter of “a drought of Biblical proportions” in 2012, says scientist Todd Mockler. That drought devastated livestock crop production throughout the Midwest and led to a rise in food prices.
“In our project we are conducting basic research to identify traits, [for example] genes, that could be used for crop improvement relating to drought responses and tolerance. But we are not developing the improved crops per se,” Mockler says later via email. “Our hope is that seed companies will commercialize our discoveries.”
Once Danforth finalizes a particular technology, private companies may license it, while the center reserves the right to use it for humanitarian purposes. In the case of VIRCA, for instance, the intellectual property, technology, regulatory, biosafety, quality control, distribution and stewardship components needed for developing and delivering the cassava will be made readily available by Danforth scientists to interested groups in Africa.
Danforth’s use of genetic engineering in some of its research has led the nonprofit Food and Water Watch to deem it a “pro-GMO research center” and note the facility’s close relationship to Monsanto — both in terms of the funding it receives from the biotech giant and the fact that the company is headquartered across the street. Additionally, Monsanto’s president serves on Danforth’s board of directors.
Opponents like Food and Water Watch don’t agree that GMOs will play a significant role in solving food security problems, and argue that one major drawback is the increased use of herbicides that often accompanies the genetically modified crops. They also argue that GMOs contribute to the growth of resistant “superweeds,” and express concern over how their seeds might travel and cross-pollinate in unknown and unexpected ways.
This fall, Danforth will be joined by another facility using plant science to solve huge global issues when the 45,000-square-foot University of Nebraska Greenhouse Innovation Center opens in Lincoln. The facility will also use an automated phenotyping system that sends plants down conveyor belts to chambers where high-resolution images will capture how the traits of plants respond to stressors.
Plant science is only one example of hundreds of climate change adaptation measures currently underway around the world. But it’s a critical one, especially in the context of a growing global population and threatened food security. Because as these scientists know, we all have to eat, and we’ll need to do so without further devastating the natural environment around us if we hope to live with the ramifications of a climate we have irrefutably changed.
The author's trip to the National Adaptation Forum was paid for by the Metcalf Institute.
Sena Christian is an independent journalist living in the American West. A 2014-15 Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder, she has written for Newsweek, The Guardian, YES! Magazine, Christian Science Monitor Earth Island Journal and Civil Eats.
|June 20, 2015||
The Unseen Extinction Wiping Out the World's Wildlife
by John R. Platt, AlterNet
For years now, conservationists have warned that Earth is in the middle of the “sixth great extinction,” with dozens of species going extinct every day owing to habitat loss, pollution, climate change and other factors.
According to new research, previous estimates may seriously underestimate the number of species that we’re losing. A paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that we may have already lost 130,000 species, or a staggering 7 percent of the world’s total biodiversity.
RELATED: The Acid Oceans of Our Future
How could we have lost so many species without noticing? It’s simple: The authors say most of these extinctions are not big, noticeable creatures such as rhinos and tigers. Instead they’re tiny insects and other invertebrates that don’t get much attention. These species tend to have very small ranges with specific habitat needs and aren’t often well studied. Of the estimated 1.4 million invertebrates worldwide, fewer than 16,000 have been evaluated for their extinction risk by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List. Of that number, nearly a third are listed as “data deficient,” meaning we don’t know enough about them to say if they’re at risk.
By contrast, every single known bird species appears on the Red List. Of the more than 15,000 birds and mammals listed, fewer than 6 percent are ranked as data deficient.
A program to reintroduce the endangered American burying beetle in southeastern Ohio was initiated by the Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service with partners Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife; Ohio State University; The Wilds; the St. Louis Zoo; and the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. (photo: Wayne National Forest/Flickr)
So, Why You Should Care?
The authors of the new paper say that focusing on larger, more easily studied species means we’re not getting a true picture of the extent of the sixth great extinction. Thus we may be losing species that could be important to human health even before we discover them. Snails and other invertebrates form an important part of the food web for all manner of animals, so their extinctions can have a cascading effect on biodiversity.
To close that knowledge gap, the researchers took a random sampling of 200 land snail species around the world and then looked at the scientific record to see what we know about them. They didn’t find much. Snails haven’t been studied in some parts of the globe for decades, and some entire genus groups have never been studied at all. The researchers write that a full 84.5 percent of their 200 random species would be considered “data deficient” if they were added to the Red List today.
Giant African snails can reach up to 8 inches in length and nearly 5 inches in diameter — about the size of an average adult fist — and can live up to nine years. In a typical year, mated adults lay about 1,200 eggs. (photo: USDA/Flickr)
Even that doesn’t tell the full picture. Of the 200 species examined, 79 had not been observed in more than five decades. One example was a Hawaiian species known as the Amastrid land snail. Amateur snail-shell collectors have wiped out many of Hawaii’s snails, probably including this one. However, because no formal scientific studies have gone looking for it, it can’t yet be officially declared extinct.
Another example came from Mexico, where a species known only as Eucalodium moussonianum hasn’t been seen since 1872. Is it extinct? The original scientific description doesn’t mention the snail’s distribution or habitat, and no one has looked for it since.
Chances are high that these two species — and many others — are gone. “Mollusks are the species group most affected by extinction,” said the study’s lead author, Claire Régnier of Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris. The most common factors for their extinction include habitat loss, water pollution, and invasive species.
Régnier said the purpose of the paper is not to criticize the current ways that we look at endangered species and extinction risk but to “suggest an alternative methodology which would give us a more global idea of our current losses.”
That might not be enough to stop the sixth great extinction anytime soon, but it might help us to understand it and start to take action.
John R. Platt covers the environment, technology, philanthropy and more for Scientific American, Conservation, Lion and other publications.
|May 20, 2015||
5 Ways the Trans-Pacific Partnership Could Ruin the Environment
by Alisa Opar, AlterNet
Here’s something for conspiracy theorists: In order to gain access to a certain document, members of Congress must descend to the basement of the Capitol, hand over their cell phones and other electronic devices, and enter a secured, soundproof room. Then they can’t speak to the public about what they glean from their visit.
What’s so hush-hush? A draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an enormous international trade agreement that 12 nations, including the United States, Japan, and Australia, have been hashing out in secret for the last half-decade. It’s a big deal: The dozen national economies make up nearly 40 percent of global GDP.
The agreement may be shrouded in mystery, but in recent weeks President Obama and some Democratic members of Congress have been publicly sparring over it—trading barbs during press conferences, on national television, and elsewhere. Critics contend the TPP would allow multinational companies to weaken environmental and labor rules here at home; the administration maintains the partnership is good for the American people and economy.
On Thursday the Senate voted to start debate on giving the president “fast-track” authority to negotiate the deal—a move that would limit Congress to voting yes or no once the nations finalize the pact (no messy fights over amendments!). Next, the battle will move to the House.
Despite the cloak of secrecy around the TPP, some draft sections have leaked, sparking concerns among green groups about everything from increased fracking to tainted seafood. “We do not believe that the rules in the TPP will be strong enough nor enforced enough to be able to lift up environmental standards outside the United States,” says Ilana Solomon, director of the Sierra Club’s responsible trade program. “At the same time, rules in the agreement could severely threaten environmental and climate policy in the States and abroad.”
On that note, here are five ways the TPP could affect the West.
Many conservationists are concerned that the TPP could spur more fracking. To understand why that is, bear with me for a quick (and appalling) explanation.
The greatest tool that the TPP gives foreign corporations is a provision “buried in the fine print of the closely guarded draft,” as Senator Elizabeth Warren puts it. This is the “investor state dispute settlement” (ISDS), which grants multinationals the power to sue any government that interferes with their business. Yep, if some pesky regulation in a TPP country is hurting a corporation’s bottom line, it can sue for “millions to billions of dollars,” says Jake Schmidt, director of NRDC’s international program (disclosure). This has happened in other agreements with similar language, Schmidt says. He points out that nearly 500 ISDS cases have been brought, including a Swedish company that sued Germany because it decided to phase out nuclear power after Japan’s Fukushima disaster, and a Delaware-based oil and gas company, Lone Pine Resources, which is suing the Canadian government under NAFTA for more than $250 million because Quebec placed a moratorium on fracking.
Speaking of fracking, “The TPP would expand the export of fossil fuels and pave the way to more fracking, and therefore more emissions,” says Solomon. “It’s a major deal because Japan is one of the countries in TPP and happens to be the biggest importer of natural gas.”
To export natural gas to another country, the U.S. Department of Energy must first assess whether sending the fuel overseas is consistent with the public interest. The Energy Department, however, loses its authority to regulate exports to countries with which the United States has a trade agreement. The TPP would force it to automatically give those exports the green light. You can see where this is going. Countries that sign onto the TPP, whether the original 12 or those that join later (as China is expected to), will be able to import gas from here, then have the power to sue over any future fracking moratoria or bans around the West. (Existing anti-fracking measures, like those in communities in Colorado, California, New Mexico, and Texas, wouldn’t be affected, says Schmidt.)
Similarly, the trade deal could spur more coal-mining in the West. While U.S. consumption of the dirty fuel has been on the decline, TPP countries, including Japan, Malaysia, and Vietnam, are relying more and more on coal to keep the lights on.
Air and Water Woes
With increased fossil-fuel development comes more water and air pollution. Fracking, for instance, has been shown to contaminate local aquifers and drinking water. Adding insult to injury, considering the four-year drought gripping the West, the drilling method is also a water-intensive process. Fracking sullies the air, too; one of the by-products released, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, has been linked to cancer and respiratory ailments. Coal production comes with its own set of toxic consequences, including degraded waterways, habitat fragmentation, and health risks like pulmonary disease. And, of course, whatever fossil fuels we pull out of the ground will contribute to global carbon emissions (and that ginormous climate change problem whose effects we’re already feeling).
Fill ’er Up
The TPP's environmental effects would extend beyond wells and mines. Once fossil fuels are out of the ground, they’re on the move across the country and then around the world. As recent experience has shown, there’s no guarantee of safe transport either by pipeline or train.
By the time the fuels wind up in export terminals, extensive damage to the coastal environment has already been done. Constructing such terminals requires dredging sensitive estuaries to make room for massive tankers, and, of course, facilitates the burning of the fossil fuels being transported. Opposition has blocked some proposed facilities and delayed approval of others, such as an LNG terminal near Astoria, Oregon, for several years (the Energy Department gave it the OKlast year). “Oregon has a number of proposed LNG terminals,” says Solomon, and the TPP could remove roadblocks to their construction.
Americans love fish. Each year we eat nearly 5 billion pounds of seafood, or about 15.8 pounds of fish and shellfish per person. Most of that—up to 90 percent—is imported, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Of course, we aren’t the only ones with a penchant for tilapia and tuna. To meet demand, the global fishing industry is dramatically depleting stocks all over the world, while fish farms pollute waterways.
The (leaked) environment chapter of the TPP attempts, but ultimately fails, to address overfishing. It has language about prohibiting shark-finning, preventing illegally caught fish from entering international trade, and having regional fisheries managers institute best practices. Sounds good, right? Wait. “The right words are going to be in the chapter,” says Solomon, “but it won’t have any teeth.” That’s because the pact doesn’t requirecountries to abide by these provisions. “The only thing legally binding is ‘must’ or ‘shall,’ ” says Schmidt, “and what we’ve seen is a lot of ‘strive’ and ‘endeavor.’ I’m not sure how you’d penalize a country for not ‘striving’ or ‘endeavoring.’ ”
So the fish we import could still be illegally caught. And what’s more, the United States wouldn’t be able to ban imports of products not up to our safety standards. Shrimp aquaculture in Vietnam and Malaysia, for instance, uses pesticides and antibiotics that are forbidden in the States. “The TPP will bring a tidal wave of dangerous fish imports that will swamp the border inspectors who cannot keep up with the tainted aquaculture imports today,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, in a press release.
China has long been known as the world leader in cheap apparel manufacturing, but Vietnam is now billing itself as the best cheaper option. If the TPP comes to pass, tariffs on clothing between the United States and Vietnam will drop to zero, from 17.2 percent. With its use of excessive amounts of water, energy, and harmful chemicals, the textile industry makes the clothes we wear dirty—even if we never see the pollution. China, which produces more than 50 percent of the world’s fabric, is trying to clean up its act. But green groups are increasingly concerned about clothing made in Vietnam, which already dumps huge amounts of untreated sewage into its waterways. “Vietnam is in the Mekong Delta, in this pristine place,” says Schmidt. “Expanding the apparel industry could seriously draw down water resources and contaminate enormous quantities of water.”* * *
While the TPP, which negotiators hope to finalize by the end of the year, is the most immediate concern, the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a trade deal between the United States and European Union, is also worrying environmentalists. Supporters of these massive agreements often dismiss concerns that they will diminish environmental standards and other regulations at home. After all, they say, under any of the existing free trade agreements, the United States has never lost a legal case against it.
But that’s no guarantee of future success, says Schmidt. “It’s true the United States has not lost,” he says. “It’s also true that the United States is not immune to loss. Great laws and great lawyers do lose sometimes.”
Alisa Opar is Earthwire's Western correspondent. She is also the articles editor at Audubon magazine, and has written for many publications about science and the environment. Follow her on Twitter @alisaopar.
|June 24, 2015||
The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities in the World
by Liz Dwyer, AlterNet
There’s no denying that it’s easier for people to pedal their way from home to school or work in some places than in others. In the past year, France has paid people to bike to their jobs, and some Swedish towns have given residents free bike coaches who teach them how to safely navigate car-filled streets—all in the hope of reducing lung-choking smog. But those efforts aren’t enough to earn those places the top spot in the 2015 Copenhagenize Index, the most comprehensive inventory and ranking of bike-friendly cities in the world.
According to the index, Copenhagen is the most bike-friendly city on the planet, knocking Amsterdam out of the No. 1 spot. The Danish capital is packed with crosstown bike lanes and bicycle bridges and is “impressively consistent in its investment in cycling as transport and in making efforts to push it to the next level,” wrote the index’s authors.
Indeed, the transformation from car-reliant city to haven of biking that Copenhagen has made over the past 40 years is impressive. Forty-one percent of residents ride their bikes to school or to work, and 55 percent bike every day, according to the Copenhagenize blog.
The biannual index was created in 2011 by Copenhagenize Design Company, a European consulting firm, as a tool for internal use on projects. But the company soon realized that the information it was collecting could be used to help various municipalities track bike policy effectiveness, share ideas and learn from one another.
This year the index ranked 122 urban centers around the globe with populations of 600,000 or more according to how they stack up in 13 different categories. Some of the classifications are no-brainers, such as whether a city has the proper bicycle facilities and infrastructure. Places with bike racks in public places, space for people to put their bikes while they’re riding on public transportation, and dedicated bike lanes all garner higher scores.
However, the index also takes into consideration criteria that many people might not think of, such as the gender split of cyclists in a city. If bikers are mostly men, a place earns a lower score.
So, Why Should You Care?
The easier it is for people to get around on bicycles, the more likely they are to ditch their smog-spewing vehicles. With about 7 million people per year worldwide dying from the ill effects of air pollution, according to the World Health Organization, many cities are feeling the pressure to make it easier for residents to abandon their cars.
Where is it a relative breeze to bike in the United States? New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon, are all becoming more amenable to cyclists. But only one U.S. city managed to crack the top 20.
Minneapolis is the most bike-friendly city in the U.S. and is the 18th-most bike-friendly place in the world, according to the index. Key to Minneapolis’ ranking are the hundreds of miles of dedicated bike lanes the city has added in recent years. Its impressive bike-sharing system has also propelled it into the upper echelons of cycling nirvana.
Curious what other cities are seriously hospitable to cyclists? Check out the index’s top 20 below.
Liz Dwyer is a staff writer at TakePart. She has written about race, parenting and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.
|July 10, 2015||
All the World's Greenhouse Gas Emissions in One Interactive Chart
by Alison Kanski, AlterNet
Carbon emissions are often considered in the future tense: the G7 aims to reduce future emissions and countries attending the Paris climate summit in December will pledge to make future carbon cuts. Amid all the future talk, the World Resources Institute (WRI) has released new information about the present — an infographic and huge database of the world’s current greenhouse gas emissions.
Based on data from the WRI’s CAIT Climate Data Explorer, the graphic shows emissions data from 2012 by country. As a whole, the world emitted 42,386 megatonnes of greenhouse gases. Here’s how that number breaks down.
The top 10 list of emitters is no surprise. It includes China, the U.S., European Union 28, India, Russia, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Iran. Together, they emit twice as much as the other 175 countries in the data, accounting for 72 percent of the globe’s emissions. The top two alone, China and the U.S., account for more than one-third of the world’s emissions.
Six of the top 10 emitters are developing countries. China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico and Iran account for 38 percent of the world’s emissions. While the lowest 100 countries emit less than 3 percent of the globe’s greenhouse gases.
The energy sector makes up about 76 percent of the world’s emissions. Of the countries with energy data available, three-quarters of them attribute a majority of their emissions to energy. The projected rise of wind and solar energy in the next 25 years is likely to reduce the impact of the energy sector. Agriculture and industry are the other largest sectors that add to global emissions.
The small South Asian country Brunei has the highest per capita emissions in the world with almost 49 tons per person. Though on the world scale, the country only contributed 0.04 percent of emissions. Of the top 10 emitters, the U.S. remains the highest, with nearly 20 tons per capita in 2012.
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Alison Kanski is a journalist and graduate student at the City Universitty of New York Graduate School of Journalism. Follow her on Twitter @alisonkanski.
|July 7, 2015||
7 Wild and Beautiful Places That Should Be National Parks
by Melanie Haiken, AlterNet
In February, President Obama designated Colorado’s Browns Canyon a national monument, granting the pristine stretch of rock-walled whitewater the protected status long demanded by rafters, anglers, and environmentalists. Just a month before, Nevada’s Tule Springs Fossil Beds, a twisted moonscape strewn with Pleistocene-era relics, including mammoth tusks, gained long-sought monument status.
So, Why Should You Care?
These are just two in a long list of wilderness areas urgently in need of the resources that come with national park or monument status in the United States. Most are in the West, which makes sense given that Western and Plains states have the largest swaths of undeveloped land. But wilderness enthusiasts prioritize some places because they’re in densely populated regions of the Northeast and Midwest, where people have fewer unspoiled retreats. Here are seven spectacular natural wonders we’d like to see forever protected.
Green River Lakes and Squaretop Mountain, Wind River Range, Wyoming (credit: G. Thomas/Wikipedia)
Wind River Range, Wyoming
Top on most national park system watchers’ lists is the Wind River Range, home to many of the Northern Rocky Mountains’ tallest peaks — 40 of them top 13,000 feet. Like Glacier National Park to the north, the Wind River Range provides a refuge for grizzlies and the country’s largest remaining herd of bighorn sheep, which roams the Whiskey Mountain area.
There are dozens of glaciers here too, albeit shrinking, as are glaciers everywhere. Most of these are in the Fitzpatrick Wilderness surrounding Gannett Peak, at 13,804 feet the highest in Wyoming (yes, higher than the Grand Tetons.) The range, which runs roughly 100 miles north to south and includes the headwaters of the Green River, is mostly managed by the U.S. Forest Service, much of it as part of the Wind River Ranger District.
Boundary Waters, Minnesota
Laced by rivers, streams, and more than 1,000 lakes strung along northern Minnesota’s border with Canada, Boundary Waters is a primitive paradise for boaters, fishers, and anyone looking to get about as far away from it all as you can get. Officially designated as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, it encompasses more than a million rugged and densely forested acres in Superior National Forest.
This isn’t an easy area to navigate; it has more than 1,200 miles of canoe and kayak routes, 12 major trails, and 2,000 campsites. Guides and outfitters provide maps and equipment and trip planning, or you can plan your own with the help of the area’s supportive community.
Mesas, buttes, and canyons in the east-central area of the San Rafael Swell, Emery County, Utah. (image: Tom Chidsey/Utah Geological Survey)
San Rafael Swell, Utah
Chances are, you’re familiar with the otherworldly landscape of southern Utah’s San Rafael Swell thanks to the viral fame of Goblin Valley. The region’s surreal rock towers, known as hoodoos, were immortalized on video when vandals (former Boy Scout Leaders, no less) toppled one of the formations, filming themselves gleefully as they did so.
Rock art is another draw: Barrier Canyon is home to images that experts believe may date to as early as 7430 B.C. The 80-by-30-mile San Rafael Swell is also beloved by geologists for its exposed stripes of 60-million-year-old strata, many with names you might recognize from a trip to the Grand Canyon, such as the Moenkopi and Chinle Formations, Coconino Sandstone, Kaibab Limestone, Kayenta, and Navajo Sandstones.
The Sawtooth Range is part of the Rocky Mountains, encompassing an area of 678 square miles. (image: U.S. Forest Service)
Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho
You might be forgiven for thinking the Sawtooth Mountains were already a national park, thanks to Idaho Sen. Frank Church’s public campaign in the 1960s to permanently protect the range. Protection didn’t happen, though, and while the flamboyantly beautiful 756,000-acre tract has come up for consideration many times since, it remains a recreation area. What’s the difference? There are many, but a big one is that hunting, while allowed in many recreation areas, is prohibited in national parks. The Sawtooth Society campaigns actively for stronger preservation and particularly for the designation of Boulder White Clouds as a protected wilderness area.
Backpackers, climbers, mountain bikers, and fly fishers love the Sawtooth Mountains for their sheer emptiness. The area’s 300 lakes are a big draw, as are the many 10,000-foot-plus peaks, and rafters prize the Wild and Scenic Salmon River. In winter, the area is a favorite with backcountry skiers and skate skiers. The region is also a hotbed of wolf conservation efforts.
Allagash Wilderness Waterway State Park is completely surrounded by the North Maine Woods (image: National Park Service)
North Woods, Maine
Backpackers, climbers, mountain bikers, and fly fishers love the Sawtooth Mountains for their sheer emptiness. The area’s 300 lakes are a big draw, as are the many 10,000-foot-plus peaks, and rafters prize the Wild and Scenic Salmon River. In winter, the area is a favorite with backcountry skiers and skate skiers. The region is also a hotbed of wolf conservation efforts.
This is another area prominent on many park watchers’ radar, thanks largely to its location in New England, an area lacking in protected wilderness. Park advocates have not one but two websites, which note the area’s key role in habitat protection for the endangered Eastern timber wolf and Canada lynx, as well as moose, Atlantic salmon, and many songbirds.
Long a favorite of canoeists, kayakers, and fall color road-trippers, the 3.2 million-acre proposed park encompasses hardwood forests threatened by logging and development.
Sandhills in Hooker County, seen from Nebraska Highway 97 south of the Dismal River (image: Ammodramus, Wikipedia) Sandhills, Nebraska The Nebraska Sandhills cover more than a quarter of the state, making such a vast region difficult to protect. But given the Sandhills’ ecological importance as one of the only areas of the Western prairie that remains almost entirely in its natural state, many feel it deserves protection. The World Wildlife Fund designated the area, which is 85 percent intact, as a unique eco-region owing to its biodiversity. In 1984 the Sandhills were designated a National Natural Landmark, but wilderness enthusiasts argue this status confers little in terms of visitor access. For instance, many national landmarks have no public access at all. Organizations such as the Nature Conservancy have taken steps to protect parts of the Sandhills. The Niobrara Valley Preserve is one of the Nature Conservancy’s largest protected areas and in turn shelters one of the West’s biggest herds of bison. But that’s only the beginning: Red foxes, coyotes, badgers, mule deer, and white-tailed deer make their home in the Sandhills. To date, biologists have counted 213 bird species, 25 fish species, 17 reptile species, and 70 butterfly species in the preserve. The grass valleys of the caldera appear groomed due to heavy browsing by elk and cattle, as well as frequent grass fires of human and natural origin. Through the Valles Caldera National Preserve limited grazing program the grasslands feed hundreds of cattle in the summer and thousands more of elk during most of the year. (image: Larry Lamsa/Flickr CC) Valles Caldera, New Mexico Northern New Mexico’s Valles Caldera has long been one of environmentalists’ prime candidates for national park status because of its unique ecosystem, which is centered on one of North America’s few super volcanoes (now extinct). In January, the National Park Service began to assume management of the Valles Caldera preserve. This is fairly fast progress considering that the land was in private hands as a working cattle ranch 15 years ago, when the government purchased the land. The effort to open Valles Caldera as a park is not without major controversy, however. The nearby Jemez Pueblo claims the land as part of its homeland. Last week an appeals court ruled that the pueblo’s case has merit and that the district court must decide whether the 1860 land grant that took the land from the pueblo takes precedence over the tribe’s rights to it. YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE Melanie Haiken is a San Francisco Bay Area–based health, science, and travel writer who contributes regularly to Forbes.com and numerous national magazines.
Sandhills in Hooker County, seen from Nebraska Highway 97 south of the Dismal River (image: Ammodramus, Wikipedia)
The Nebraska Sandhills cover more than a quarter of the state, making such a vast region difficult to protect. But given the Sandhills’ ecological importance as one of the only areas of the Western prairie that remains almost entirely in its natural state, many feel it deserves protection. The World Wildlife Fund designated the area, which is 85 percent intact, as a unique eco-region owing to its biodiversity.
In 1984 the Sandhills were designated a National Natural Landmark, but wilderness enthusiasts argue this status confers little in terms of visitor access. For instance, many national landmarks have no public access at all. Organizations such as the Nature Conservancy have taken steps to protect parts of the Sandhills. The Niobrara Valley Preserve is one of the Nature Conservancy’s largest protected areas and in turn shelters one of the West’s biggest herds of bison. But that’s only the beginning: Red foxes, coyotes, badgers, mule deer, and white-tailed deer make their home in the Sandhills. To date, biologists have counted 213 bird species, 25 fish species, 17 reptile species, and 70 butterfly species in the preserve.
The grass valleys of the caldera appear groomed due to heavy browsing by elk and cattle, as well as frequent grass fires of human and natural origin. Through the Valles Caldera National Preserve limited grazing program the grasslands feed hundreds of cattle in the summer and thousands more of elk during most of the year. (image: Larry Lamsa/Flickr CC)
Valles Caldera, New Mexico
Northern New Mexico’s Valles Caldera has long been one of environmentalists’ prime candidates for national park status because of its unique ecosystem, which is centered on one of North America’s few super volcanoes (now extinct). In January, the National Park Service began to assume management of the Valles Caldera preserve. This is fairly fast progress considering that the land was in private hands as a working cattle ranch 15 years ago, when the government purchased the land.
The effort to open Valles Caldera as a park is not without major controversy, however. The nearby Jemez Pueblo claims the land as part of its homeland. Last week an appeals court ruled that the pueblo’s case has merit and that the district court must decide whether the 1860 land grant that took the land from the pueblo takes precedence over the tribe’s rights to it.
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Melanie Haiken is a San Francisco Bay Area–based health, science, and travel writer who contributes regularly to Forbes.com and numerous national magazines.
|July 7, 2015||
Jane Fonda Joins Canadian Activists Calling for Climate Justice, Jobs and an End to Tar Sands Mining
by Reynard Loki , AlterNet
Over the weekend, thousands of activists mobilized across Canada to engage in a number of direct actions calling for climate justice, jobs and an end to tar sands mining.
The environmental group 350.org, which supported the nationwide mobilizations, said that the coast-to-coast actions demonstrate that citizens "care about their communities, and that we are ready to stop digging, start building and move beyond the tar sands."
On Friday, students led sit-ins across the country. On Saturday, "We > Tar Sands" rallies we mounted. And on Sunday, activists participated in the March for Jobs, Justice and the Climate in Toronto.
The #JobsJusticeClimate actions included the formation of a giant human chain on the sea wall at Vancouver's Sunset Beach, a flotilla of boats — including a solar-powered catamaran — touring the Salish Sea in British Columbia, as well as musical performances, poetry readings and speakers discussing jobs, unions and front line resistance to support climate action."This mobilization brought together a truly diverse coalition, from frontline indigenous communities to Canada's largest public and private sector unions, students, social justice organizations and grassroots groups mobilizing against destructive industries," said 350.org about Saturday's march in Toronto.
On Sunday, actress and activist Jane Fonda, environmentalist and scientist David Suzuki and author and social activist Naomi Klein joined Labour groups, First Nations leaders and hundreds of people outside Ontario's legislative buildings for a rally and march calling for a green economy and climate action.
"This is the kind of coalition that will make the difference," Fonda told the crowd. "They are saying we don't have to choose between the environment and the economy. That's a false choice. In fact, renewable energy — doing away with the fossil fuel-based economy — will create more jobs, more democracy and more justice."
The actions came ahead of two major international summits this week. From July 7-9, 300 regional government and business leaders from across the hemisphere — including former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, California Governor Jerry Brown and the former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón — will convene in Toronto for the Climate Summit of the Americas. The summit will "work towards commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and highlight opportunities for investing in a global low carbon economy."
And from July 8-10, Toronto will also host the Pan American Economic Summit, which will bring together executives from Shell, the Rockefeller Foundation, Canada’s Finance Minister, former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Perez and U.S., Canadian and European Chambers of Commerce to discuss the connection between climate action and low-carbon economies.he Nation:
What you’re seeing are the first steps towards a new kind of climate movement. It’s a climate movement that recognizes that time is too short to allow our divisions to keep us from building the kind of coalitions that will safeguard life on earth. Canadians are clearly getting tired of the fossil-fuel roller coaster. Tired of being told we have to sacrifice our environmental protections and our international standing when times for industry are good. Of seeing our budgets for social programs slashed and livelihoods destroyed when times for industry are bad. It turns out we sacrifice on the upside and we sacrifice on the downside."
In an opinion piece published in the Toronto Star on Friday, Suzuki wrote:
"[T]he government and much of the mainstream media appear to be hell-bent on promoting (and subsidizing) rapid oilsands expansion and pipeline development with little concern for the consequences of pollution and global warming, and with little attention to the tremendous opportunities for healthy communities and a healthy economy from clean technology and renewable energy and efficiency. It’s absurd and extremely short-sighted that a country like Canada, with its energy resources and vulnerability to climate change, doesn’t even have a national energy strategy. The current and relatively recent fossil-fuel-based global economic system once offered tremendous benefits for human societies, but it emerged during a time when resources were abundant and we didn’t fully understand the consequences of our actions — from exploding population growth to resource depletion to social inequity to pollution and global warming.
|July 15, 2015||
TFF PressInfo 328 - With another approach, we would have a deal with Iran today
by Jan Oberg
There could have been a deal with Iran today – to the benefit of everybody – if the nuclear issue had been approached in a fair, principled and visionary manner from Day One.
If there will be no deal later, one of the most important possible agreements in contemporary international history will have been lost, the risk of war will increase and the Iranians will suffer. And the United States and the EU (here France and Germany) will move further down in terms of relative global power and up in terms of self-isolation.
On the day of no deal, perhaps the Five Ps + Germany should spend a moment on self-reflection: What could we have done differently?
To the trained conflict- and peace-making eye, 99% of the Western commentators have failed to point out the benefits of a deal and, instead, devoted their creativity to find all kinds of possible negative aspects, details and – of course – on how the West should demand even more. They’ve suggested “red lines” at absurdum.
The fundamental a-symmetry of this whole conflict eludes them – or is conveniently left unmentioned.
At the table sit the five largest nuclear weapons powers which have, de facto and de jure, for decades completely and systematically ignored the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT, and have repeatedly broken international law and conducted wars. They would never allow the type of inspections on their own territory that they demand of Iran. The U.S. issues threats – and plan a war – Iran has never threatened the U.S. And so on and so forth.
Absent from every nuclear discussion is Israel and other nuclear-armed countries which, in contrast to Iran, are not members of the NPT and have a record of warfare and occupation.
Imagine a world in which we had seen negotiations, for real, about reducing the possession of nuclear weapons as a quid pro quo of proliferation – exactly as stated in the NPT.
Imagine that we had required Iran to abstain from getting nuclear weapons as a quid pro quo of a promise by the nuclear “haves” that they would reduce their arsenals. Indeed, imagine that the United States which is Second to None in putting up demands on everybody “or else … and all options remain on the table” had promised the world that it would do something too to further the accepted and UN-based goal of general and complete nuclear disarmament. Imagine the recent NPT Review conference had resulted in something decent in a world order perspective. Indeed, imagine some kind of mutuality, fairness, and equivalence in the whole approach.
The approach was wrong from Day One. It was built on military and structural power, not on intellectual power.
What stands between the parties is a philosophical impossibility: to have one side prove empirically and 100% what it has not done in reply to the demanding side’s accusations. Fact is that there is no way Iran can ever do something without being accused of cheating – thus the ever increasing demands of intrusive, national security-violating demands for all kinds of inspections and knocking doors (which in the case of Iraq was misused to also let foreign agents into the teams).
And what if the West had practised the simple legal norm that no one shall be punished before proven guilty – never applied in the case of Iran.
Secondly, without trust there will never be any productive and sustainable agreement. Here Iran has much more reason to distrust the West, the U.S. in particular – while what you have heard has only been a long list of reasons why Iran cannot be trusted. Here are 19 substantial reasons.
We can completely forget about fair and accurate reporting to the Western public who has been filled with exclusively negative images of everything Iran. As everyone who has been a tourist for a week or two in Iran knows, this standardized image has little, if anything, to do with the real Iran, its civilisation and its welcoming, open-minded, well-educated citizens who – strangely you may say – seem to want nothing more but better relations with the West. And they want this deal.
“Strangely” because the United States has done little but harm to Iran and its people since the coup orchestrated by CIA and the British Secret Intelligence Service that overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, in 1953 – followed by the Shah, puppet of the West with the most militarist policies at the time and introducing nuclear power and contemplating nuclear weapons. But he was OK because he was “our son of a bitch.”
Had the parties set up a truth and reconciliation dialogue process first and then negotiated the nuclear issues, everything would have been easier. Fundamentally, the parties don’t trust each other and each parties have deep conflicts between hardliners and realists seeking mutual benefits.
There is also yet no deal because of a nasty game among the Five Permanent Members + Germany. Look at the media pictures and comments: Most of the time, you have seen only the Iranian negotiators and those of the U.S. Why? Well, France behaves destructively against a deal as the representative of Israel. China and Russia keep a low profile because they don’t mind if the whole process leads to a failure and no deal; they have their understandable and clear interests in opening up anyhow to Iran and seeing the U.S. cash in another diplomatic defeat. Britain trails the U.S. and Germany has its difficult balancing act – e.g. exporting submarines to Israel and wanting trade on the huge Iranian market. So – all would say: Drop the sanctions! – if it wasn’t for the United States that has also lost billions of dollars on the foolish sanctions but believes it’s worth it because of its irrational hatred of everything Iran.
Only sticks have been employed on Iran: killing of its scientists, still un-documented accusations of cheating, constant threats of being bombed if… And sanctions. The main reason of the death of about one million Iraqis over 13 years were the sanctions and they are now in place in Iran. They hit the innocent Iranians and help only the Iranian black economy and hardliners, that is, they are totally counterproductive if you want a mutually beneficial relationship with a future Iran.
Imagine instead that we had used carrots: If you abstain from acquiring nuclear weapons, we’ll help you with your technical-economic reforms, deliver anti-pollution technology to clean up your heavily polluted cities, give you solar and other energy and open up our universities and for all kinds of co-operation, including cultural exchanges. What if?
But we chose to bully, threaten and make unreasonable demands specifically constructed for Iran, not for any other country in the world.
If as a consequence there is no deal, there will be even more problems in the Middle East, including most likely bombing of Iran with very special weapons. The Iranian people may face unspeakable suffering unless – and that is what we must hope – the world just simply ignore these utterly counterproductive sanctions. Everyone will be worse off in terms of economic growth, not to speak of peace. And one more important country will turn away from the West.
But if there is a deal, a new chapter opens in the Middle East because Iran can be seen as the most important country in the region and, potentially, as a positive factor in the future world – including becoming the second “I” in BRIICS. Iran and all the West would gain. And if there is a signed document, there is a basis for punishing Iran in the unlikely event that it would try to go nuclear whereas punishing Iran by bombing it without a deal will make Israel and/or the United States stand out as (more) rogue states in the world’s eyes.
On this day, finally, we should recognise what nobody want to say aloud: What a diplomatic victory for Iran to be alone against the 6 most powerful countries in the world, hundreds of times more militarised than itself – unfriendly threatening, making only accusations and demanding the impossible (100% verified safety that no activity could ever be seen as leading to nuclear weapons) – and negotiating these many years without delivering the desired surrender, without losing its sovereignty, pride and diplomatic dynamic. Indeed, time speaks for Iran, not for its six opponents at the table.
Fact is that Iran’s post-Ahmedinejad political change is remarkable and that it is blessed with having a foreign minister who is in a class of his own and whom these six probably deep down admire and envy that they don’t have. Javad Zarif with his team has – whether there is a deal in the future or not – already inscribed himself in the contemporary history of diplomacy and peace-making.
So, on the day when no deal is signed, isn’t it time for a little intellectual self-reflection: What could the Five P’s + Germany have done differently?
Today, the Iranian side has very good reasons to say with Eric Clapton : “Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself.”
|July 15, 2015||
l’Iran et six grandes puissances sont parvenus à un compromis, annoncé mardi 14 juillet 15
by Guy Crequie
Guy CREQUIE Global file
Ecrivain français à finalité philosophique. Blog http://guycrequie.blogspot.com
Après douze ans de négociations, l’Iran et six grandes puissances sont parvenus à un compromis, annoncé mardi 14 juillet. Il nous faut reconnaître qu’il s’agit là d’un effort diplomatique sans précédent.
Il est difficile d’avoir beaucoup foi en l’humanité ces derniers jours. L’État islamique impose sa loi en Irak et en Syrie, le gouvernement de Bachar al-Assad continue à massacrer son propre peuple, la guerre fait rage dans l’est de l’Ukraine; même aux États-Unis, où la guerre apparaît comme une notion lointaine, les tueries de masse sont devenues une caractéristique régulière de la vie moderne. Plus que jamais auparavant, la paix semble être une aberration. Et le conflit la norme.
Mais il existe aussi des raisons d’espérer. Et un développement en particulier pourrait devenir un nouveau jalon dans la capacité qu’à l’espèce humaine à rester humaine: les efforts des membres permanents du conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU, plus l’Allemagne et l’Iran, pour résoudre la question du programme nucléaire iranien à travers la négociation et la démocratie.
Au-delà des détails sur l’enrichissement, les capacités nucléaires et la levée des sanctions, on assiste à une tentative innovante pour trouver une paix durable qui, je le crois, est sans précédent. En parvenant, ce 14 juillet, après dix-sept jours de pourparlers, à trouver un accord, les deux côtés auront fait bien plus qu’éviter une guerre ou empêcher l’Iran de se doter de l’arme atomique. Leur véritable réussite sera d’avoir résolu un conflit international majeur (qui avait amené les États-Unis et l’Iran à deux doigts de la guerre ces dernières années) par un compromis obtenu grâce à un patient travail démocratique.
Cela peut sembler banal —après tout, n’est-ce pas là le travail des diplomates?— mais il existe, à vrai dire, peu d’exemples d’une telle ampleur dans l’histoire. D’habitude, les diplomates instaurent la paix suite à un carnage — pas avant.
Les grands conflits de ce type sont rarement résolus grâce à l’action diplomatique sans que les différentes parties n’entrent auparavant en guerre
Quatre choses font de cet accord un cas à part. Tout d’abord, la confrontation autour du programme nucléaire iranien est un conflit mondial majeur, qui implique la communauté internationale tout entière et non uniquement les voisins de l’Iran. C’est un point important, car les grands conflits de ce type sont rarement résolus grâce à l’action diplomatique sans que les différentes parties n’entrent auparavant en guerre.
Seules quelques voix parmi les plus extrémistes ont affirmé qu’une guerre avec l’Iran serait facile et rapide. La plupart des experts militaires pensent qu’il s’agirait d’un engagement massif, long et coûteux sans résultat certain.
Deuxièmement, les deux côtés étaient effectivement à deux doigts d’entrer en guerre. La guerre contre l’Iran est au programme du gouvernement américain depuis au moins 2005. Le National Intelligence Estimate de 2007 aurait contrarié les projets du gouvernement George W. Bush d’attaquer l’Iran —qui m’ont été confirmés par des officiels— en révélant que les experts du renseignement américain avaient conclu que l’Iran n’avait pas de programme actif d’armement nucléaire.
Restait la peur qu’Israël ne lance une attaque contre l’Iran. Le gouvernement Obama a en partie étoffé son contingent diplomatique en 2011 afin d’empêcher Israël de lancer une attaque. En outre, en 2013, il est peu à peu arrivé à la conclusion que les sanctions qu’il avait prévues étaient plus susceptibles de mener les États-Unis à la guerre que de pousser l’Iran à capituler. Au mois de juin de la même année, le peuple iranien offrit à tous une porte de sortie à cette escalade en élisant le modéré Hassan Rouhani comme président. Peu de temps après, les négociations s’intensifièrent. Avant cela, cependant, non seulement le conflit s’orientait vers la guerre, mais la confrontation militaire fut parfois plus proche qu’on ne le pensait.
Troisièmement, le résultat des négociations est un véritable compromis. C’est peut-être la caractéristique la plus étonnante des négociations actuellement en cours. Aucun côté ne négocie les termes de sa défaite ou de sa capitulation, pas plus qu’ils ne s’assurent les conditions d’une victoire à somme nulle. Au lieu de cela, ils définissent les termes de leur victoire mutuelle —une solution «gagnant-gagnant» comme l’ont définie les Iraniens.
Les États-Unis et les autres interlocuteurs avaient écarté la condition du «zéro enrichissement»
Les contours de ce compromis étaient bien connus avant même le dernier round de négociations. Les États-Unis et les autres interlocuteurs avaient écarté la condition du «zéro enrichissement», qui aurait consisté à demander à l’Iran de démanteler toutes ses centrifugeuses et de cesser toutes ses activités d’enrichissement. Au centre de la position occidentale durant de nombreuses années, cette demande était la raison clé de l’échec des négociations précédentes. En outre, l’Occident va suspendre et même lever nombre des sanctions imposées à l’Iran. Les Iraniens, à leur tour, vont autoriser des mesures de transparence sans précédent tout en limitant leurs activités d’enrichissement, tant en matière d’envergure que d’intensité, durant au moins 10 ans. Cette alliance de limitations et de transparence, empêchera à l’Iran tout accès à la bombe atomique.
Une transformation des relations Occident-Iran ?
La quatrième et dernière raison qui fait de cet accord une réussite unique pour la paix du monde est sa portée. Cet accord ne se contente pas de limiter le programme nucléaire iranien: il règle l’évolution de relations accrues entre l’Iran et L’Occident. Ce conflit a toujours dépassé de beaucoup la question de l’enrichissement nucléaire et s’il serait osé de suggérer que l’Iran et les États-Unis vont former une alliance ouverte, une transformation de leur hostilité mutuelle est très plausible.
Le secrétaire du Conseil suprême de la sécurité nationale, Ali Shamkhani, a déclaré que les États-Unis et l’Iran pourront, après l’accord, «se comporter de manière à ne pas gâcher leur énergie en s’opposant l’un à l’autre».
Si l’Iran et les États-Unis peuvent parvenir à une détente et éviter les frictions, cela serait un changement radical par rapport à leur antagonisme des trois dernières décennies. Cela ne serait pas nécessairement un partenariat —et encore moins une alliance— mais leurs relations ne se caractériseraient plus par la confrontation. Une sorte de trêve.
Le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu a qualifié mardi d'"erreur historique" l'accord nucléaire finalisé entre l'Iran et les grandes puissances à Vienne.
"D'après les premiers éléments qui nous parviennent, il est déjà possible de dire que cet accord est une erreur historique pour le monde", a déclaré M. Netanyahu avant une rencontre à Jérusalem avec le ministre des Affaires étrangères néerlandais Bert Koenders.
Grâce à cet accord qui vise à empêcher Téhéran de se doter de l'arme nucléaire en échange d'une levée des sanctions qui étranglent son économie, "l'Iran va recevoir des centaines de milliards de dollars qui vont lui permettre de faire fonctionner sa machine de terreur, son agression et son expansion au Moyen-Orient et dans le monde entier", a accusé M. Netanyahu.
Le ministre de la Défense Moshé Yaalon a lui aussi dénoncé une "tragédie pour tous ceux qui aspirent à la stabilité régionale et craignent un Iran nucléaire".
Le Premier ministre israélien, qui mène depuis des mois une campagne déterminée contre un accord sur le nucléaire iranien, a critiqué le groupe P5+1 --Etats-Unis, France, Grande-Bretagne, Chine, Russie et Allemagne--, qui a, selon lui, été "prêt à un accord à tout prix".
"Il n'est pas possible d'empêcher un accord lorsque les négociateurs sont prêts à faire toujours plus de concessions à ceux qui, lors même des discussions, crient 'mort aux Etats-Unis'", a-t-il souligné, faisant référence aux manifestations anti-américaines en Iran.
"Nous savions très bien que le désir de signer un accord était plus fort que tout, et nous ne nous sommes donc pas engagés à empêcher un accord", a-t-il poursuivi. "Mais nous nous sommes engagés à empêcher l'Iran de se doter des armes nucléaires et cet engagement est toujours d'actualité".
Les responsables israéliens affirment depuis des mois ne pas écarter un possible recours à une action militaire, une perspective qui a toutefois été largement mise entre parenthèses.
M. Netanyahu a aussi appelé la classe politique israélienne à mettre de côté la "politique politicienne" pour s'unir derrière un "sujet crucial pour l'avenir et la sécurité de l'Etat d'Israël".
Un appel visiblement vain, le chef de l'opposition, le travailliste Isaac Herzog, ayant peu de temps après l'annonce de la signature de l'accord, rendu M. Netanyahu largement responsable de l'isolement d'Israël.
"Un des éléments les plus graves de la situation actuelle est que l'accord qui affecte le plus l'existence d'Israël depuis plusieurs décennies a été signé en l'absence totale d'Israël", a -t-il déploré sur sa page Facebook.
"Les intérêts d'Israël ont été abandonnés --en partie à cause des différends personnels entre Netanyahu et Obama", a-t-il encore écrit, faisant allusion aux mauvaises relations notoires entre M. Netanyahu et le président américain.
Israël est considéré comme la seule puissance nucléaire du Moyen-Orient et n'a pas signé le Traité sur la non-prolifération des armes nucléaires.
COMMENTAIRE personnel DE GUY CREQUIE AVANT MON ABSENCE TOTALE DU 16 JUILLET AU 25 AOUT, auparavant, je me suis absenté quelques jours en Saône et Loire :
la montée en puissance de DAECH (Etat islamique) a pesé pour la conclusion de cet accord et l’espoir occidental pour le rôle que l’Iran peut tenir contre les mouvances islamistes sunnites, même si le soutien au régime syrien de Bachar El-ASSAD complique le jeu international.
Me concernant , je me méfie des enthousiasmes rapides comme pour l’accord conclu avec la Grèce aux forceps, ceci, alors que le Premier Ministre grec TSIPRAS avoue lui-même qu’il ne croit pas à cet accord. Après la fin de la guerre froide entre Cuba et les Etats –Unis, le Président Obama veut laisser une empreinte positive de son mandat présidentiel et ainsi justifier le Prix Nobel qu’il a reçu .
Cependant , cela n’amoindrit pas ses erreurs relativement au Proche et au Moyen Orient et sa gestion du différent russo-ukrainien. Le monde se complexifie avec la mondialisation, cependant présentement le monde ne dispose pas de dirigeants ayant une capacité d’anticiper l’évolution positive de l’humanité. Si la paix avec l’Iran est souhaitable et même nécessaire, le respect et la vigilance concernant la sécurité d’Israël est aussi primordiale. Egalement le monde occidental doit respecter les composantes religieuses de l’ lslam , ceci, n’ a rien à voir avec le fondamentalisme et le fanatisme de mouvances et clans qui ne respectent pas la dignité de la vie, et dont le masque religieux cache des pratiques criminelles.
Messager individuel de la culture de la paix de l’UNESCO
Of: Guy Crequie [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Envoy: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 13:48 Subject: IRAN AGREEMENT AND GREAT POWERS RELATIVEMEN WITH THE NUCLEAR POWER!
Iran and six great powers arrived to a compromise, announced Tuesday, July 14, 15
WHAT SE CALLED IN THE MEDIAE BELOW:
After twelve years of negotiations, Iran and six great powers arrived to a compromise, announced Tuesday, July 14. We should recognize that it is a diplomatic effort without precedent.
It is difficult to have much faith in humanity these last days. The Islamic State imposes its law in Iraq and in Syria, the government of Bachar Al-Assad continuous to massacre its own people, the war made fumes in the east of the Ukraine; even in the United States, where the war seems a remote concept, slaughters of mass became a regular characteristic of the modern life. More than ever before, peace seems to be an aberration. And the conflict the standard.
But there exist also reasons to hope. And a development in particular could become a new stake in the capacity that with the mankind to remain human: efforts of the permanent members of the Security Council of UNO, plus Germany and Iran, to solve the question of the Iranian nuclear program through the negotiation and the democracy.
Beyond the details on enrichment, the nuclear capacities and the lifting of the sanctions, one attends a innovating attempt to find a durable peace which, I believe it, is without precedent. While arriving, this July 14th, after seventeen days of talks, to reach an agreement, the two sides will have made much more than to avoid a war or to prevent Iran from obtaining the atomic weapon. Their true success will be to have solved a major international conflict (which had brought the United States and Iran within an inch of the war these last years) by a compromise obtained thanks to a patient democratic work.
Can That seem banal - after all, there isn't the work of the diplomats?- but there exists, to tell the truth, few examples of such a width in the history. Usually, the diplomats found peace following a carnage - not front.
The great conflicts of this type are seldom solved thanks to the diplomatic action without the various parts not entering before in war
Four things reach this agreement a case except for. First of all, confrontation around the Iranian nuclear program is a major world war, which implies the very whole international community and not only the neighbors of Iran. It is an important point, because the great conflicts of this type are seldom solved thanks to the diplomatic action without the various parts not entering before in war.
Only some voices among more the extremists affirmed that a war with Iran would be easy and fast. Most military experts think that it would be about a massive commitment, long and expensive without unquestionable result.
Secondly, the two sides were indeed with two fingers to enter in war. The war against Iran is with the program of the US government since at least 2005. The National Estimate Intelligence of 2007 would have opposed the projects of the government George W. Bush to attack Iran - which were confirmed to me by the official ones by revealing that the experts of the American information had concluded that Iran did not have an active program of nuclear armament.
Remained the fear that Israel does not launch an attack against Iran. The government Obama partly packed her diplomatic quota in 2011 in order to prevent Israel from launching an attack. Moreover, in 2013, it little by little concluded that the sanctions which it had provided were more likely to lead the United States to the war than to push Iran to capitulate. To June of the same year, the Iranian people offered to a whole an exit door with this climbing by electing moderate Hassan Rouhani as president. Little time after, the negotiations intensified. Before that, however, not only the conflict was directed towards the war, but military confrontation was sometimes closer than it was thought.
Thirdly, the result of the negotiations is a true compromise. It is perhaps the most astonishing characteristic of the negotiations currently in hand. No side negotiates the terms of its defeat or its capitulation, not more than they do not make sure the conditions of a victory with worthless sum. Instead of that, they define the terms of their mutual victory - a solution “winner-winner” like defined it the Iranians.
The United States and the other interlocutors had drawn aside the condition of “zero enrichment”
Contours of this compromise were well-known before even the last round of negotiations. The United States and the other interlocutors had drawn aside the condition of the “zero enrichment”, which would have consisted in requiring of Iran to dismantle all its centrifugal machines and to cease all its activities of enrichment. In the center of the Western position lasting of many years, this request was the key reason of the failure of the preceding negotiations. Moreover, the Occident will suspend and even raise number of the sanctions imposed on Iran. The Iranians, in their turn, will authorize measurements of transparency without precedent while limiting their activities of enrichment, as well as regards scale as of intensity, lasting at least 10 years. This alliance of limitations and transparency, will prevent in Iran any access to the atomic bomb.
A transformation of the Occident-Iran relations?
The fourth and last reason which reaches this agreement a single success for the peace of the world are its range. This agreement is not satisfied to limit the Iranian nuclear program: it regulates the evolution of relations increased between Iran and the Occident. This conflict always went far beyond the question of nuclear enrichment and if it would be dared to suggest that Iran and the United States will form an opened alliance, a transformation of their mutual hostility is very plausible.
The secretary of the Supreme council of the national security, Ali Shamkhani, declared that the United States and Iran will be able, after the agreement, “to behave so as not to waste their energy by being opposed one to the other”.
If Iran and the United States can arrive to a relaxation and avoid the frictions, that would be a radical change compared to their three last decades antagonism. That would not be necessarily a partnership - and even less one alliance but their relations would not be characterized any more by confrontation. A kind of truce.
Israeli the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu qualified Tuesday “historical error” the nuclear agreement finalized between Iran and the great powers in Vienna.
“According to the first elements which reach us, it is already possible to say that this agreement is a historical error for the world”, Mr. Netanyahu declared before a meeting in Jerusalem with the Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders.
Thanks to this agreement which aims at preventing Teheran from obtaining the nuclear weapon in return for a lifting of the sanctions which strangle its economy, “Iran will receive hundreds of billion dollars which will enable him to make function its machine of terror, its aggression and its expansion in the Middle East and in the whole world”, showed Mr. Netanyahu.
The Minister for Defense Moshe Yaalon also denounced a “tragedy for all those which aspire to regional stability and fear nuclear Iran”.
Israeli the Prime Minister, who conducts since months a campaign determined against an agreement on the Iranian nuclear power, criticized the P5+1 group --The United States, France, Great Britain, China, Russia and Germany--, which has, according to him, be “ready with an agreement at all costs”.
“It is not possible to prevent an agreement when the negotiators are ready to make always more concessions with those which, at the time same of the discussions, shout “dead in the United States””, he underlined, referring to the anti-American demonstrations in Iran.
“We knew very well that the desire to sign an agreement was stronger than all, and we thus did not commit ourselves preventing an agreement”, he continued. “But we committed ourselves preventing Iran from obtaining the nuclear weapons and this commitment is always of topicality”.
The Israeli persons in charge affirm months since not to draw aside a possible recourse to a military action, a prospect which however was largely put between brackets.
Mr. Netanyahu also invited the Israeli political community to put to side the “politicking” to link itself behind a “crucial subject for the future and the safety of the State Of Israel”.
An obviously vain call, the leader of the opposition, the member of the Labor Party Isaac Herzog, having little time after the announcement of the signature of the agreement, returned Mr. Netanyahu largely responsible for the insulation of Israel.
“One of the most serious elements of the current situation is that the agreement which has affected more the existence of Israel for several decades was signed in the complete lack of Israel”, he deplored on his Facebook page.
“The interests of Israel were abandoned --partly because of personal disagreements between Netanyahu and Obama”, he still wrote, alluding to the bad notorious relations between Mr. Netanyahu and the US president.
Israel is regarded as the only nuclear power of the Middle East and did not sign the Treaty on the non-proliferation of the nuclear weapons.
Personal COMMENT OF GUY CREQUIE BEFORE MY COMPLETE LACK FROM JULY 16TH TO AUGUST 25TH, before, I went away a few days in the Saone and the Loire:
the rise to power of DAECH (Islamic State) weighed for the concluding of this agreement and the Western hope for the role which Iran can hold against Sunni islamist mobilities, even if the support for the Syrian mode of Bachar El-ASSAD complicates the international play.
Relating to Me, I am wary of fast enthusiasms as for the agreement concluded with Greece with the forceps, this, whereas Greek Prime Minister TSIPRAS acknowledges itself which he does not believe in this agreement. After the end of the cold war between Cuba and the United States, President Obama wants to leave a positive print of his presidential mandate and to thus justify the Nobel Prize which it received.
However, that does not reduce its errors compared to Proche and with the Middle-East and its management of the different Russo-Ukrainian. The world becomes more and more complex with globalization, however at present the world does not have leaders having a capacity to anticipate the positive development of humanity. If peace with Iran is desirable and even necessary, the respect and vigilance concerning the safety of Israel are also paramount. Also the western world must respect the religious components of the lslam, this, have nothing to dohas nothing to do with the fundamentalism and the fanaticism of mobilities and clans which do not respect the dignity of the life, and whose religious mask hides criminal practices.
Individual Messenger of the culture of the peace of UNESCO
|July 7, 2015||
APRENDENDO A VIVER APPRENDRE À VIVRE APPRENDRE À VIVRE LEARN TO LIVE APRENDER A VIVIR НАУЧИТЬСЯ ЖИТЬ
by ALEXANDRE GUEDES BARBOSA, BH/MG BRASIL
APRENDENDO A VIVER
Depois de algum tempo, você aprende a diferença, a sutil diferença, entre dar a mão e acorrentar uma alma. E você aprende que amar não significa apoiar-se, e que companhia nem sempre significa segurança. E começa a aprender que beijos não são contratos e presentes não são promessas. E começa a aceitar suas derrotas com a cabeça erguida e olhos adiante, com a graça de um adulto e não com a tristeza de uma criança.
E aprende a construir todas as suas estradas no hoje, porque o terreno do amanhã é incerto demais para os planos, e o futuro tem o costume de cair em meio ao vão. Depois de um tempo você aprende que o sol queima se ficar exposto por muito tempo. E aprende que não importa o quanto você se importe, algumas pessoas simplesmente não se importam... E aceita que não importa quão boa seja uma pessoa, ela vai feri-lo de vez em quando e você precisa perdoá-la, por isso. Aprende que falar pode aliviar dores emocionais.
Descobre que se levam anos para se construir confiança e apenas segundos para destruí-la, e que você pode fazer coisas em um instante das quais se arrependerá pelo resto da vida. Aprende que verdadeiras amizades continuam a crescer mesmo a longas distâncias. E o que importa não é o que você tem na vida, mas quem você tem na vida. E que bons amigos são a família que nos permitiram escolher. Aprende que não temos que mudar de amigos se compreendemos que os amigos mudam, percebe que seu melhor amigo e você podem fazer qualquer coisa, ou nada, e terem bons momentos juntos.
Descobre que as pessoas com quem você mais se importa na vida são tomadas de você muito depressa, por isso sempre devemos deixar as pessoas que amamos com palavras amorosas, pode ser a última vez que as vejamos. Aprende que as circunstâncias e os ambientes tem influência sobre nós, mas nós somos responsáveis por nós mesmos. Começa a aprender que não se deve comparar com os outros, mas com o melhor que pode ser. Descobre que se leva muito tempo para se tornar a pessoa que quer ser, e que o tempo é curto. Aprende que não importa onde já chegou, mas onde está indo, mas se você não sabe para onde está indo, qualquer lugar serve. Aprende que, ou você controla seus atos ou eles o controlarão, e que ser flexível não significa ser fraco ou não ter personalidade, pois não importa quão delicada e frágil seja uma situação, sempre existem dois lados.
Aprende que heróis são pessoas que fizeram o que era necessário fazer, enfrentando as conseqüências. Aprende que paciência requer muita prática. Descobre que algumas vezes a pessoa que você espera que o chute quando você cai é uma das poucas que o ajudam a levantar-se.
Aprende que maturidade tem mais a ver com os tipos de experiência que se teve e o que você aprendeu com elas do que com quantos aniversários você celebrou. Aprende que há mais dos seus pais em você do que você supunha. Aprende que nunca se deve dizer a uma criança que sonhos são bobagens, poucas coisas são tão humilhantes e seria uma tragédia se ela acreditasse nisso.
Aprende que quando está com raiva tem o direito de estar com raiva, mas isso não te dá o direito de ser cruel. Descobre que só porque alguém não o ama do jeito que você quer que ame, não significa que esse alguém não o ama, contudo o que pode, pois existem pessoas que nos amam, mas simplesmente não sabem como demonstrar ou viver isso. Aprende que nem sempre é suficiente ser perdoado por alguém, algumas vezes você tem que aprender a perdoar-se a si mesmo. Aprende que com a mesma severidade com que julga, você será em algum momento condenado. Aprende que não importa em quantos pedaços seu coração foi partido, o mundo não pára para que você o conserte. Aprende que o tempo não é algo que possa voltar para trás.
Portanto... plante seu jardim e decore sua alma, ao invés de esperar que alguém lhe traga flores. E você aprende que realmente pode suportar... que realmente é forte, e que pode ir muito mais longe depois de pensar que não se pode mais. E que realmente a vida tem valor e que você tem valor diante da vida!"
APPRENDRE À VIVRE
Après un certain temps vous apprenez la différence, la différence subtile entre la tenue d'une main et enchaîner une âme. Et vous apprenez que l'amour ne signifie pas compter, et que l'entreprise ne signifie pas toujours la sécurité. Et vous commencez à apprendre que les baisers ne sont pas des contrats et des cadeaux et ne sont pas des promesses. Et vous commencez à accepter vos défaites avec la grâce d'un adulte et non le chagrin d'un enfant.
Et apprendre à construire vos routes aujourd'hui parce que la terre de demain est trop incertaine pour les plans et les contrats à terme qui ont une façon de tomber à la mi-vol. Après un certain temps vous apprenez que le soleil brûle si vous l'avez trop longtemps. Et vous apprenez que peu importe combien vous vous inquiétez, certaines personnes ne se soucient pas ... Et vous acceptez que peu importe la qualité d'une personne, elle vous fera du mal de temps en temps et vous devez lui pardonner pour cela. Vous apprenez que parler peut soulager la douleur émotionnelle.
Vous découvrirez qu'il faut des années pour construire la confiance et quelques secondes pour la détruire, et vous pouvez faire des choses dans un moment et que vous allez le regretter pour la vie. Apprendre que les véritables amitiés continuent de croître, même à de longues distances. Et ce qui importe n'est pas ce que vous avez dans la vie, mais ce que vous allez avoir dans la vie. Et ce sont de bons amis de la famille qui nous a permis de choisir. Apprenez à ne pas avoir à changer d'amis, si nous comprenons que les amis changent, nous rendons compte que notre meilleur ami et vous pouvez faire quelque chose ou rien et avoir de bons moments ensemble.
Découvrez que les personnes que vous aimez le plus dans la vie partent trop tôt, nous devons donc toujours laisser nos proches avec des mots d'amour, c'est peut être la dernière fois que nous les voyons. Circonstances et environnements ont une influence sur nous, mais nous sommes responsables de nous-mêmes. Commencez à apprendre que vous ne devriez pas vous comparer à d'autres, mais au meilleur que vous pouvez être. Vous découvrirez que cela prend beaucoup de temps pour devenir la personne que vous voulez être, et que le temps est court. Vous apprenez que peu importe ce qui vous atteint, mais où vous allez, même si vous ne savez pas où vous allez, vous irez n'importe où. Vous apprenez que soit vous contrôlez vos actes ou ils sont contrôlés, et faire preuve de souplesse ne signifie pas être faible ou ne pas avoir de personnalité parce que peu importe combien est délicate et fragile la situation, il ya toujours deux côtés.
Vous apprendrez que les héros sont des gens qui ont fait ce qui était nécessaire pour faire face aux conséquences. Vous apprendrez que la patience nécessite beaucoup de pratique. .
Apprenez que la maturité a plus à voir avec les types d'expériences que vous aviez et que vous avez appris que la façon de nombreux anniversaires que vous avez célébrés. Apprendre qu'il n'y a plus de vos parents en vous que vous avez pensé. Apprendre qu'il ne faut jamais dire à un enfant que les rêves sont stupides, peu de choses sont tellement humiliantes et serait une tragédie si il le croyait.
Vous apprendrez que lorsque vous êtes en colère vous avez le droit d'être en colère, mais cela ne vous donne pas le droit d'être cruel. Sachez que juste parce que quelqu'un ne vous aime pas comme vous le souhaitez d'amour, ne veut pas dire que ce quelqu'un ne vous aime pas, car il ya des gens qui nous aiment, mais ne savent pas comment dire ou vivre cela. Apprendre qu'il ne suffit pas toujours d'être pardonné par quelqu'un, parfois vous devez apprendre à vous pardonner. Apprenez avec la même rigueur que vous jugez, vous serez condamné à un certain point. Vous apprenez que peu importe combien de morceaux votre cœur était brisé, le monde ne s'arrête pas pour vous corriger. Vous apprenez que le temps n'est pas quelque chose que vous pouvez revenir en arrière.
Alors ... plantez votre propre jardin et décorez votre propre âme, au lieu d'attendre que quelqu'un vous apporte des fleurs. Et vous apprenez que vous pouvez vraiment endurer ... vous êtes vraiment fort, et que vous pouvez aller beaucoup plus loin que vous pensez. Et que la vie a réellement de la valeur et que vous avez la valeur de la vie! "
LEARN TO LIVE
After awhile you learn the difference, the subtle difference between holding a hand and shackling a soul. And you learn that love does not mean counting, and that the company doesn't always mean security. And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises. And you begin to accept your defeats with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child.
And learn how to build your roads today because tomorrow is too uncertain for plans, and futures contracts which have a way of falling in mid-flight. After awhile you learn that the sun burns if you have it too long. And you learn that no matter how much you worry, some people do not care... You agree that regardless of the quality of a person, she will make you hurt once in a while and you must forgive him for this. You learn that talking can relieve emotional pain.
You will discover that it takes years to build trust and a few seconds to destroy it, and you can do things in a moment and you will regret for life. Learn the real friendships continue to grow, even at long distances. And what is important is not what you have in life, but what you have in life. And they are good friends of the family who allowed us to choose. Learn how to do not have to change friends if we understand that friends change, we realize that our best friend and you can do something or nothing and have good times together.
Discover that the people that you love the most in life leave too early, so we must keep our loved ones with words of love, it is may be the last time we see them. Circumstances and environments have an influence on us, but we are responsible for ourselves. Begin to learn that you shouldn't compare you to others, but to the best you can be. You will discover that it takes lot of time to become the person you want to be, and that the time is short. You learn that no matter what achieved you, but where you are going, even if you do not know where you are going, go anywhere. You learn that either you control your acts or they are controlled, and flexibility does not mean be weak or have no personality because no matter how much is delicate and fragile situation, there are always two sides.
You will learn that the heroes are people who have done what was necessary to deal with the consequences. You will learn that the patient requires a lot of practice. .
Learn that maturity has more to do with the types of experiences you had and you have learned the way of many birthdays you've celebrated. Learn that there is more than your parents in you than you thought. Learning should never say to a child that dreams are stupid, few things are so humiliating and would be a tragedy if he thought.
You learn that when you're angry you have the right to be angry, but it does give you the right to be cruel. Be aware that just because someone does not love you like you love, does not mean that someone does not love you because there are people who love us, but know not how to say or live it. Learn that it is not always enough to be forgiven by someone, sometimes you have to learn to forgive you. Learn with the same rigour that you judge, you will be sentenced to a certain point. You learn that no matter how many pieces your heart was broken, the world does not stop to correct you. You learn that the time is not something that you can go back.
Then... to plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really can endure... you are really strong and you can go much further than you think. And that life really has value and that you have the value of life! "
APRENDER A VIVIR
Después de un tiempo aprendes la diferencia, la sutil diferencia entre sostener una mano y encadenamiento de un alma. Y aprendes que el amor no significa contar, y que la compañía no siempre significa seguridad. Y comienzas a aprender que los besos no son contratos y regalos no son promesas. Y empiezas a aceptar tus derrotas con la gracia de un adulto, no el dolor de un niño.
Y aprender a construir tus caminos hoy porque mañana es demasiado incierto para los planes y los contratos de futuros que tienen una forma de caer en pleno vuelo. Después de un tiempo aprendes que el sol quema si tienes mucho tiempo. Y aprendes que no importa cuánto te preocupes, alguna gente no le importa... Usted acepta que independientemente de la calidad de una persona, hará que duele de vez en cuando y lo perdonen por esto. Aprenderás que hablar puede aliviar el dolor emocional.
Descubrirás que lleva años construir confianza y unos segundos para destruirla y puedes hacer cosas en un momento y te vas a arrepentir para toda la vida. Conozca que las amistades reales continúan creciendo, incluso a grandes distancias. Y lo importante es no lo que tienes en la vida, pero lo que tienes en la vida. Y son buenos amigos de la familia que permitieron a elegir. Aprender a no tener que cambiar de amigos si comprendemos que los amigos cambian, nos damos cuenta que nuestro mejor amigo y te puede hacer algo o nada y tener buenos momentos juntos.
Descubrir que las personas que amas más en vida dejan demasiado temprano, así que debemos mantener nuestros seres queridos con palabras de amor, es mayo será la última vez los veo. Entornos y circunstancias influyen en nosotros, pero somos responsables por nosotros mismos. Comience a aprender que no te comparas con otros, pero lo mejor que pueden. Usted descubrirá que tarda mucho tiempo para convertirse en la persona que quieres ser, y que el tiempo es corto. Aprendes no importa lo que lo logró, pero donde vas, incluso si no sabes dónde vas, ir a ningún lado. Aprendes que o controlas tus actos o están controlados y flexibilidad no significa ser débil o no tiene personalidad porque no importa cuánto es delicada y frágil situación, siempre hay dos lados.
Usted aprenderá que los héroes son personas que han hecho lo necesario para lidiar con las consecuencias. Usted aprenderá que el paciente requiere mucha práctica. .
Aprende que la madurez tiene más que ver con los tipos de experiencias que has tenido y has aprendido la manera de muchos cumpleaños que has celebrado. Aprender que hay más de tus padres en ti de lo que pensaba. Aprendizaje nunca debe decir a un niño que los sueños son estúpidos, pocas cosas son tan humillantes y serían una tragedia si pensó.
Eso aprende cuando estás enojado usted tiene el derecho de estar enojado, pero te da el derecho a ser cruel. Tenga en cuenta que sólo porque alguien no ama como tú amas, no quiere decir que alguien no te ama porque hay personas que nos aman, pero no puedo decir ni vivirlo. Aprende que no siempre es suficiente ser perdonado por alguien, a veces tienes que aprender a perdonar. Aprender con el mismo rigor que juzgar, que será condenado a un cierto punto. Aprendes que no importa cuántos pedazos su corazón estaba roto, el mundo no se detiene para corregirlo. Se aprende que el tiempo no es algo que puedes volver.
Entonces... a plantar su propio jardín y decora tu propia alma, en lugar de esperar a alguien para traerle flores. Y aprendes que realmente puedes soportar... eres muy fuerte y puedes ir mucho más lejos de lo que crees. Y que la vida tiene valor y que tiene el valor de la vida! "
Через некоторое время вы узнаете разницу, тонкое различие между рука и кандалы души. И вы узнаете, что любовь означает не считая, и что компания не всегда означает безопасность. И вы начинаете учиться, что поцелуи не контракты и подарки не обещания. И вы начинаете принимать ваши поражения с грацией взрослого, не горя ребенком.
И Узнайте, как построить ваши дороги сегодня, потому что завтра является слишком неопределенным для планов и фьючерсных контрактов, которые имеют способ попадания в полете. Через некоторое время вы узнаете, что солнце горит, если у вас слишком долго. И вы узнаете, что независимо от того, сколько вы беспокоиться, некоторые люди не заботятся... Вы соглашаетесь, что независимо от качества человека, она будет делать вам больно, раз в то время, и вы должны простить его за это. Вы узнаете, что говорить можно снять эмоциональную боль.
Вы обнаружите, что он принимает лет, чтобы построить доверие и несколько секунд, чтобы уничтожить его и вы можете сделать вещи в один момент и вы пожалеете на всю жизнь. Узнайте реальные дружеские отношения продолжают расти, даже на большие расстояния. И важно не то, что у вас в жизни, но то, что у вас в жизни. И они являются хорошими друзьями семьи, кто позволил нам выбрать. Узнайте, как не нужно менять друзей, если мы понимаем, что менять друзей, мы понимаем, что наш лучший друг и вы можете сделать что-то или ничего и имеют хорошие времена вместе.
Узнайте, что люди, которые вы любите больше всего в жизни уходят слишком рано, поэтому мы должны держать наших родных и близких со словами любви, это май быть в последний раз мы их видеть. Обстоятельства и условия оказывают влияние на нас, но мы несем ответственность за себя. Начать, чтобы узнать, что вы не должны сравнить вас с другими, но насколько вы можете быть. Вы обнаружите, что это занимает много времени, чтобы стать тем, кем вы хотите быть, и что время короткий. Вы узнаете, что независимо от того, чего добиться вас, но куда вы направляетесь, даже если вы не знаете, где вы собираетесь, никуда идти. Вы узнаете, что либо вы контролировать ваши действия или они находятся под контролем, и гибкость означает не быть слабым или имеют не личности, потому что независимо от того, сколько является деликатной и хрупкой ситуации, всегда есть две стороны.
Вы узнаете, что герои это люди, которые сделали то, что необходимо бороться с последствиями. Вы узнаете, что пациент требует много практики. .
Узнайте, что зрелость имеет больше общего с типами опыта у вас и вы узнали так много дней рождения, которую вы отмечали. Узнайте, что есть больше, чем ваши родители вам, чем вы думали. Обучение никогда не должны сказать ребенку, что сны являются глупо, кое-что так унизительно и будет трагедия, если он думал.
Вы узнаете, что когда ты сердит, вы имеете право на гнев, но это дает вам право быть жестоким. Имейте в виду, что только потому, что кто-то не люблю вы, как вы любите, не означает, что кто-то не люблю тебя, потому что есть люди, которые любят нас, но не умею сказать или жить. Узнайте, что это не всегда достаточно, чтобы быть прощенными кого-то, иногда вам придется научиться прощать вас. Узнайте же строгости, что вы судите, вы будет приговорен к определенной точке. Вы узнаете, что независимо от того, сколько частей вашего сердца был сломан, мир не остановить исправить вас. Вы узнаете, что время не является чем-то, что вы можете вернуться назад.
Затем... посадить свой собственный сад и украсить свои собственные души, а не ждать, пока кто-то принесет вам цветы. И вы узнаете, что вы действительно можете терпеть... Вы очень сильны, и вы можете пойти гораздо дальше, чем вы думаете. И что жизнь действительно имеет значение и что у вас есть ценность жизни! "