Politics and Justice without borders

Global Community Newsletter

Volume 10 Issue 2 February 2012
Theme this month:

Series #2
Sciences, Communications and the Universe

by Soullife
Note: see text only version of above Introduction

President Obama
A) Thank you letter to President Obama concerning your decision not allowing the world dirtiest oil, tar sands oil from Alberta, to enter on American soil.
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c) Text only of the animation of " Thank you letter to President Obama concerning your decision not allowing the world dirtiest oil, tar sands oil from Alberta, to enter on American soil."

B) Letter to President Barack Obama concerning your re-election as President of the United States of America

Animation movie of Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe in swf

Global Peace Earth is a project of the Global Community. Global Peace Earth

Listing and showing of all our animations so far Website of the Global Community Global Information Media main website iconGD2011 iconGDmain Current News Proceedings since 1985 Global Constitution Global Parliament Justice without borders Global Law Global Peace Movement Global Peace Earth Global Peace Village Ministry of Global Peace Scale of Global Rights Protection of the global life-support sustems Soul of all Life

Listing of all lessons on Earth  Management

Read about the introductory text concerning Global Peace Village: the way forward. Read about the introductory text concerning Global peace Village: the way forward.

Short list of previous articles and papers on Global Peace

Short list of previous articles and papers on Energy and the protection of the global life-support systems

Letter to President Barack Obama concerning your re-election as President of the United States of America

All our Global Peace animation projects are listed here.

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"Thank you letter to President Obama concerning your decision not allowing the world dirtiest oil, tar sands oil from Alberta, to enter on American soil".

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Artboard #1 Thank you President Obama

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Series #1
Animation movie of Listing of all lessons on Earth Management in .swf Animation movie of Listing of all lessons on Earth  Management in swf
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Artboard of Listing of all lessons on Earth Management Listing of all lessons on Earth  Management artboard

Series #2
Animation movie of Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe in .swf Animation movie of Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe in swf
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The galaxies Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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University of Global Learning wings 91 & 92 Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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Unexplainable phenomena happening have been observed in distant galaxies. These phenomena cannot be explained with laws of Physics. They are the subject of this lesson. One of these phenomena is the appearance of radiation traveling from one side of a galaxy to the other side. It seems to be radiation. A remarkable phenomena! Sciences as we know it today cannot explain the phenomena. Finding out how that works would greatly increase communications over the entire Universe and, yes, communications with other intelligent life forms on distant planets, especially in the Milky Way galaxy, our home. Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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Einstein general theory on the gravitational and electromagnetic fields and the Special Theory of Relativity do not come close to explain the observable phenomena. It just seems the human mind has reached its first obstacle beyond what we consider to be rational, logical and down-to-Earth. We truly need to leave behind the old bag of Physics as we know it to hypothesise an explanation to the observable phenomena. So let go
E = mc2
i.e. let go Einstein's general theory on the gravitational and electromagnetic fields which work so well locally, and let go relativity. Let the mind postulate new avenues never explored before and search an explanation to the inexplicable observables Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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What are they? What cause them to behave this way? How is that possible? Could we reproduce these phenomena in laboratory using high speed particle accelerators? What are we missing? In my view, the best questions to ask ourselves is why are we not observing those phenomena in the Milky Way? Are these phenomena everywhere in the Universe but somehow distant galaxies allow us to observe them? Or are they specific to a certain type of galaxies? Or are they here as well in the Milky Way but cannot be seen? Could the radiation be encoded with information for communications? Very likely they are here, everywhere, and we have no way to observe them. Why? Let us first give very simple answers.
Einstein showed that E = mc2 , and that light had a finite, measurable speed. If what we observe on distant galaxies was correct, i.e. radiation traveling from one side of a galaxy to the other Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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in seconds then it would seems that the speed of light is thousands of times faster. So if a particle was traveling in front of our eyes, so to speak, at less than the speed of light, we would be able to measure its presence and characteristics. And we do. But if a particle was traveling at a thousand time the speed of light we could not possibly measure its presence. No known instrument on Earth, no known high energy particle detectors could detect this particle. So that explains why we dont "see" the phenomena in the Milky Way galaxy. But they are very likely here, everywhere, and probably everywhere in space between stars and in the intergalactic space as well. Everywhere!?? Another question to ask is what are they? What effects have they in the Milky Way? Is there intelligence present in these phenomena? Is that a new 'field' other than the gravitational and electromagnetic fields? If so how does it interact with the known fields if at all? Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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Were these phenomena present at the beginning of the Big Bang? Was intelligence present in this 'new field' at the beginning of the Big Bang? I postulated an explanation a few years ago. Here is how it goes.First I suggest you read about my definition of a "pixel mind" and seeing the Universe as an image with vector graphics. You will find this short extract the October Newsletter at http://globalcommunitywebnet.com/Village/
Dialogue2012/Newsletters/October.htm http://globalcommunitywebnet.com/PeaceNow/
_images/Dialogue20120802.png This extract is basically telling the mind to leave behind the old bag of Physics and go where no one has ever been before.At the time when I postulated my explanation to these phenomena I truly had 'faith' in God and of the presence of God in the Universe. And I am convinced that the Spirit of God has a lot to do with this 'new field'. I have called these new particles Souls. The Spirit of God Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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has a lot to do with this 'new field'. I have called these new particles Souls. The Spirit of God is the 'new field'. A Soul is a part of the Spirit of God and, therefore, of the 'new field'. Another reading for you: http://globalcommunitywebnet.com/PeaceNow/
It is commonly believed that a Soul comes into existence at the same time as the body and that, as the body grows older, the Soul may be defined as a person's strong, deeply felt thought, action,and emotion, which may or may not be of moral nature, and which may be concerned with language, social customs, religion, and music. But this is not my view. All Souls are independent living beings, and they exist together elsewhere. They don't resemble our physical forms. There is a Soul in everyone of us. The same Soul stays with us throughout our life. Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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A Soul is a beautiful, wonderful entity who loves us completely. Souls exist in all spaces and are goal oriented. The one goal common to all Souls is to guide the matter of the universe towards the creation of life.Then life becomes conscious of God.This goal is a global common to all Souls. We could compare it to the force fields of our universe: gravitational, electromagnetic, static magnetic, electric, electrostatic, etc. We can communicate with our Soul just by listening to our own thoughts, our innerself. Our Soul talks to us all the time. We just need to pay attention and differentiate our everyday thoughts to those of our Soul.They dont make decisions for us but they always show us the way, and it is left to us to choose the way of the Soul or not. Where Souls live time does not exist. Time has no meaning for Souls. Past, present and future are all in one. That is the reason why Virginie and I have defined the expression ' Global Community ' as that being: Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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"all that exits or occurs at any location at any time between the Ozone layer above and the core of the planet below." This definition includes all people, all life on Earth. So time is truly a global common for the physical universe, for all life, as we do observe the passage of time, but is not a global common for the Souls. God's Spirit is everywhere at all times, past, present and future.Other global commons amongst Souls are peace, social harmony, love, absolute communications, fluid motion, and Will of God. Although the same Soul would be within a life-form throughout its life-span, it is only a viewpoint, life's viewpoint, the physical universe's viewpoint. Past, present and future dont exist for Souls. What seems a billion years to us is only an instant, an event, a motion for a Soul.The overall picture, the Soul's viewpoint, is still a fluid type of motion and Souls move around as waves and the wind, swirls, interacting gusty winds, in and out of each other, constantly merging to achieve their ultimate goal. Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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Souls exist in all particules and can have an effect on the physical universe. A Soul shows the way in whatever particule they exist in. A Soul has one very important goal, and it is to show the way toward the creation of life in the universe. That is why I referred to them as 'Guiding Souls'. Since time has no meaning to a Soul, the billions of years that it takes to create galaxies, planets, and ultimately life, can always be achieved. Like an artist painting the universe making sure that, at the end, life is expressed on the canvas. Life is the ultimate goal to achieve. Life is the way God has chosen for the physical universe to be conscious of God.A lifeform with more physical senses has more ways to communicate with the Soul and thus with God. From life's viewpoint, the ultimate goal of a Soul is truly to create a symbiotical relationship between God and life in all its forms. God loves it when life becomes conscious of God. And life has achieved its greatest purpose by being conscious of God. Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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The Guiding Souls to serve God is a part of a new religion made public for the first time a few decades ago on the websites of the Global Community, the Human Family. The fundamental beliefs of the Guiding Souls serving God are as follow. The laws of nature can organize matter to build complex biochemical systems that are at the origin of lifeforms such as a complex human being. The most relevant laws are: biological reproduction, natural selection and mutation. And each particle of matter has a Guiding Soul. All biological structures can be explained in terms of those natural laws and the Guiding Souls serving God. The existence of Souls does not necessarily imply a special beginning of the universe. The universe may have never had a beginning and probably never did. Souls can only guide the matter of the universe to serve God. Observations of the universe show the stars in our galaxy, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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super clusters of galaxies, and many other special objects. A theory of the observable universe that has stood out over the past decades is the Big Bang theory. Different types of data point at the Big Bang theory. We may never be a 100% certain which theory of the universe (and God knows there are many) is correct. A good reference is my own Master's Degree Thesis: "La Cosmologie et la Cosmogonie: Une Discussion" by Germain Dufour, Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres, Departement de Physique, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. December 15, 1982. Supervisor: Dr. Felix deForest. Let us assume here that the beginning of our observable universe was a Big Bang. The conditions for the formation of life on Earth appeared gradually over the past billion years. Souls were guiding the expansion of the universe and evolution of life in small ways so as to make it possible for life to evolve and be conscious of God. Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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Souls do their work at all times and everywhere over the entire universe. This is especially true during the formation of stars. Stars are formed when a large cloud of dust particles collapse on itself by gravitational for ces and other physical phenomena which affect their characteristics. Then a star, and planets with their moons, if any, are formed.After being born a star system has a lifetime of its own. For instance, our Sun is believed to be about six billion years old, a young star really! Souls continue to do their work at all times during the formation of a new star system.It is very likely that there are billions of star systems with planets in our observable universe. Souls would have guided matter to create such systems to better serve God. The ultimate goal is the creation of life on a planet. Life allows Souls to be conscious of God in many different ways, and thus to better serve God. Now imagine a large cloud of dust particles and each particle has a Guiding Soul. As the cloud becomes a Star and planets, Souls start merging together. Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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The star itself, like our Sun, becomes a single, unique Soul serving God. The Sun spreads its light, its energy all around, DIVINE LOVE and DIVINE WILL, helping life to be created on Earth. Earth itself also became one unique Soul to better serve God. At the early stage of this expanding universe, every particle in the universe had a Soul each being a small part of the primeval consciousness of God. Each Soul was the essence of a small part of God's Spirit.In a way, the essence of each Soul is its own Spirit, itself a small part of God's Spirit. This is because God exists everywhere in the universe in every particle of all galaxies. Souls have an important intrinsic quality, they can merge together, a group of Souls can become one Soul, a brighter one, different. This is what Souls do best, and it is to unify to better serve God. Souls can evolve as well. A Soul's primary goal is to serve God. A Soul can affect matter to some extent so as to achieve God's Will. At the early stage, when the Earth was formed, and a while later, the conditions for the Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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formation of life were present, and life was created to better serve God. Life was made of matter and every particle of that matter had a Soul that merged with all the others. That first spark of life had a unique and independent Soul,and its own Spirit, to better serve God.Throughout the different evolutionary stages of life on Earth, Guiding Souls have guided the step-by-step evolution of life on Earth and kept merging to better serve God.Guiding Souls guided the evolutionary process in small ways. Many groupings of Souls became more complex than others as they were much brighter beings than other groupings, but all serve God in their own special way.One unique and most wonderful grouping was the grouping that made the Human Soul. God loves the human Souls a lot because of their wonderful qualities. Through their Souls human beings became conscious of God in many different ways. Religions of all kinds started to spread on Earth over the past thousands of years to adore God and pray. Different groupings of Souls affected human beings in Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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different ways and Peoples today have different religious beliefs. God is like a river feeding plentifully and bountifully all life and plants. There are many pathways leading to the river.They are God's pathways.God loves diversity in Nature and in Souls.God loves good Souls from all religions. Different religions have different ways to love, adore and pray to God. And God's Heaven exists. Heaven on Earth is different from God's Heaven. To be in Heaven with God will mean a Soul has left the matter of the universe forever to enter God's Heaven.There are other pathways for Souls to enter God's Heaven but they are God's pathways. The Soul of Humanity is helping to bring about the event of Peace in the world. Knowing that Earth is a spiritual entity as well as a physical entity in space and time in the universe we begin to have a better relationship with Earth and with all its living inhabitants.This way Earth management will become a spiritual and a natural process whereby each person is responsible and accountable for its management the best they can. Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

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Peace in the world and Earth management have for too long been in the hands of and affected by government and business leaders,in the hands of a few people on the planet, as opposed to being in the hands of all of us(7 billion people on Earth)working together to keep our planet healthy. We are the keepers of the Earth. The Soul of Humanity will help us:
*     resolve problems, concerns and issues peacefully;
*     work with humanity to keep Earth healthy, productive and hospitable for all people and living things;
*     bring forth a sustainable global society embracing universal values related to human and Earth rights, economic and social justice, respect of nature, peace, responsibility to one another;
*     evolve spiritually to fulfill God's Plan; and
*     enter God's Heaven, God's Spirit, God's Pure Light, God's universal mind and global consciousness.
Germain Dufour
Spiritual Leader of the Global Community Artboard of  Series 2 Sciences, Communications and the Universe

All our Global Peace animation projects are listed here.

As we have all done on May 26 of last month, along with the Celebration of Life day, the Global Community celebrated Global Peace Day . Our Global Peace Mouvement is about the courage

Germain Dufour
Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
February 1st, 2012

All our Global Peace animation projects are listed here.

Daily reminder

This is the way     Message from the Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
Message from the Editor    GIM  Message from the Editor
Politics and Justice without borders: what we stand for Politics and Justice without borders: what we stand for
Message from the President of Global Parliament, the Federation of Global Governments    Message from the President of Earth Government
History of the Global Community organization, Earth Government and the Federation of Global Governments History of the Global Community Organization and Interim Earth Government Since its beginning in 1985, many accomplishments can be claimed by the Global Community: History of the Global Community organization and Earth Government
Global Community days of celebration or remembering during the year Global Community Days of Celebration
A reminder of her passing away. Virginie was a great global citizen, and we all owe her something that's forever. GIM  Message from the Editor
Life Day Celebration on May 26. Participate. Life Day Celebration May 26. Participate.
Participate now in Global Dialogue 2012, no fees  Participate now in Global Dialogue 2012
Global Dialogue 2012 Introduction Global Dialogue 2012 Introduction
Global Dialogue 2012 Program  Global Dialogue 2012 Program
Global Dialogue 2012 OVERVIEW of the process   Global Dialogue 2012 OVERVIEW of the process
Global Dialogue 2012 Call for Papers Global Dialogue 2012 Call for Papers
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GIM Proclamations

Authors of research papers and articles on global issues for this month

Geoff Brumfiel, Charles Q. Choi, Robert E. Cobb, Garry Davis, Lise Lippe(2), Alok Jha, Michael T. Klare, Charles Mercieca, Leslaw Michnowski

Geoff Brumfiel, Particles Found to Travel Faster Than Speed of Light Particles Found to Travel Faster Than Speed of Light
Charles Q. Choi, Leading Light: What Would Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos Mean for Physics? Leading Light: What Would Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos Mean for Physics?
Robert E. Cobb, Global Freshwater from Seawater Global Freshwater from Seawater
Alok Jha, Neutrinos still faster than light in latest version of experiment Neutrinos still faster than light in latest version of experiment
Michael T. Klare, Energy Wars 2012, Energy Wars 2012
Charles Mercieca, Preparing Peace Teachers and Peace Workers in the Community Preparing Peace Teachers and Peace Workers in the Community

Articles and papers of authors
 Data sent
 Theme or issue
 January 1, 2012  

1. Le MADE : Religion athee reliee aux Elohim createurs
2. Comment decrire la spiritualite qui caracterise les membres du MADE

3. Notre Pere qui tes aux cieux
4. Que votre nom soit sanctifie
5. Que votre regne arrive
5.1 Regne des Elohim au plan physique
5.2 Regne des Elohim au plan spirituel
6. Que votre volonte soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel
6.1 Sens de lexpression ce qui est
6.2 Sens de lexpression ce qui sera pour leternite
7. Donnez-nous aujourdhui notre pain quotidien
7.1 La nourriture du corps
7.2 La nourriture de lesprit
8. Pardonnez-nous nos offenses comme nous pardonnons ceux qui nous ont offenses
9. Ne nous laissez pas succomber la tentation
10. Mais delivrez-nous du mal. Amen !
 January 1, 2012  
1. Revelation du 13 decembre 1973
2. Revelation concernant la religion de l'infini
3. Pouvons-nous definir la religion de l'infini ?
4. Mouvement de la conscience humaine avec lunivers
5. Ouverture sur l'infini malgre les limitations de mon tre
6. La religion de l'infini se distingue de toutes les autres
7. La religion de l'infini part de ltre humain
8. Ce quest le bonheur absolu.
9. Des questions fondamentales se posent pour mieux nous situer dans lunivers infini
1) Comment nous situer dans la realite en lien avec la verite ?
2) Comment tendre vers le bonheur absolu ?
3) Comment rester en harmonie pour pouvoir nous epanouir ?
10. Trois prealables au bonheur
10.1 Tendre vers lepanouissement constant de ltre humain en lien direct avec sa capacite delever son niveau de conscience concernant toute realite existante
10.2 Acquerir sans relche la connaissance des 4 plans de la realite lindividu, lhumanite, les Elohim et l'infini avec la constante de lamour
10.3 Elever notre capacite de nous ressentir dans notre plaisir dtre et de ressentir les autres faisant un avec lunivers, car tout est dans le tout

1. tre conscient de la realite pour tre dans la verite
2. Rle indispensable des genies
3. Ce que represente lordre du vivant

1. Moyens de tendre vers le bonheur absolu
2. Ce qui entrave notre bonheur dexister
3. Comment dissiper les entraves au bonheur ?
4. Fondement de la verite absolue
5. Science et connaissance bien orientees
6. Quels sont les principes de base qui regissent lordre du vivant touchant la realite humaine en regard de son evolution ?
6.1 Lepanouissement de ltre humain
6.2 La communication
7. Pourquoi la prise de conscience de la realite en lien avec la verite absolue nous guide-t-elle vers la religion de l'infini ?

1. Mention dun communique errone de lEglise ralienne propos du bonheur
2. Lintervention dun leader spirituel est-elle necessaire ? Non. Seules les connaissances de lordre du vivant suffisent
3. Necessite dans la recherche du bonheur dtre conscient des 4 plans de la realite avec la constante de lamour
4. Ne pas occulter un ou plusieurs plans de la realite
5. Limportance des connaissances et de la science
6. Limportance dun gouvernement mondial geniocrate
7. Devant tant de souffrances pouvons-nous tre heureux
8. Notre bonheur depend de levolution de la societe
9. Science et spiritualite sont un
10. La societe est egalement responsable du bonheur individuel
11. Rle de la resistance dans la qute de la religion de l'infini
12. Poursuite du cycle dans l'infini selon le type de sillon suivi par une humanite
13. Le sillon trace par nos createurs les Elohim
14. En meritant lheritage scientifique des Elohim nous aurons acces beaucoup plus facilement au chemin dej trace
15. Importance de nous rallier la conscience universelle
16. La religion de l'infini se situe dans un mouvement
17. Nous portons en nous la realite du bien et du mal
18. Notre bonheur depend de notre volonte de choisir le chemin trace par les Elohim createurs
  Read LA RELIGION DE l'infini
 January 10, 2012  

The Three Top Hot Spots of Potential Conflict in the Geo-Energy Era

Welcome to an edgy world where a single incident at an energy “chokepoint” could set a region aflame, provoking bloody encounters, boosting oil prices, and putting the global economy at risk. With energy demand on the rise and sources of supply dwindling, we are, in fact, entering a new epoch -- the Geo-Energy Era -- in which disputes over vital resources will dominate world affairs. In 2012 and beyond, energy and conflict will be bound ever more tightly together, lending increasing importance to the key geographical flashpoints in our resource-constrained world.

Take the Strait of Hormuz, already making headlines and shaking energy markets as 2012 begins. Connecting the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, it lacks imposing geographical features like the Rock of Gibraltar or the Golden Gate Bridge. In an energy-conscious world, however, it may possess greater strategic significance than any passageway on the planet. Every day, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, tankers carrying some 17 million barrels of oil -- representing 20% of the world’s daily supply -- pass through this vital artery.

So last month, when a senior Iranian official threatened to block the strait in response to Washington’s tough new economic sanctions, oil prices instantly soared. While the U.S. military has vowed to keep the strait open, doubts about the safety of future oil shipments and worries about a potentially unending, nerve-jangling crisis involving Washington, Tehran, and Tel Aviv have energy experts predicting high oil prices for months to come, meaning further woes for a slowing global economy.

The Strait of Hormuz is, however, only one of several hot spots where energy, politics, and geography are likely to mix in dangerous ways in 2012 and beyond. Keep your eye as well on the East and South China Seas, the Caspian Sea basin, and an energy-rich Arctic that is losing its sea ice. In all of these places, countries are disputing control over the production and transportation of energy, and arguing about national boundaries and/or rights of passage.

In the years to come, the location of energy supplies and of energy supply routes -- pipelines, oil ports, and tanker routes -- will be pivotal landmarks on the global strategic map. Key producing areas, like the Persian Gulf, will remain critically important, but so will oil chokepoints like the Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Malacca (between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea) and the “sea lines of communication,” or SLOCs (as naval strategists like to call them) connecting producing areas to overseas markets. More and more, the major powers led by the United States, Russia, and China will restructure their militaries to fight in such locales.

You can already see this in the elaborate Defense Strategic Guidance document, “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership,” unveiled at the Pentagon on January 5th by President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. While envisioning a smaller Army and Marine Corps, it calls for increased emphasis on air and naval capabilities, especially those geared to the protection or control of international energy and trade networks. Though it tepidly reaffirmed historic American ties to Europe and the Middle East, overwhelming emphasis was placed on bolstering U.S. power in “the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean and South Asia.”

In the new Geo-Energy Era, the control of energy and of its transport to market will lie at the heart of recurring global crises. This year, keep your eyes on three energy hot spots in particular: the Strait of Hormuz, the South China Sea, and the Caspian Sea basin.

The Strait of Hormuz

A narrow stretch of water separating Iran from Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the strait is the sole maritime link between the oil-rich Persian Gulf region and the rest of the world. A striking percentage of the oil produced by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE is carried by tanker through this passageway on a daily basis, making it (in the words of the Department of Energy) “the world's most important oil chokepoint.” Some analysts believe that any sustained blockage in the strait could trigger a 50% increase in the price of oil and trigger a full-scale global recession or depression.

American leaders have long viewed the Strait as a strategic fixture in their global plans that must be defended at any cost. It was an outlook first voiced by President Jimmy Carter in January 1980, on the heels of the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan which had, he told Congress, “brought Soviet military forces to within 300 miles of the Indian Ocean and close to the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway through which most of the world’s oil must flow.” The American response, he insisted, must be unequivocal: any attempt by a hostile power to block the waterway would henceforth be viewed as “an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America,” and “repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”

Much has changed in the Gulf region since Carter issued his famous decree, known since as the Carter Doctrine, and established the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) to guard the Strait -- but not Washington’s determination to ensure the unhindered flow of oil there. Indeed, President Obama has made it clear that, even if CENTCOM ground forces were to leave Afghanistan, as they have Iraq, there would be no reduction in the command’s air and naval presence in the greater Gulf area.

It is conceivable that the Iranians will put Washington’s capabilities to the test. On December 27th, Iran’s first vice president Mohammad-Reza Rahimi said, “If [the Americans] impose sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the Strait of Hormuz.” Similar statements have since been made by other senior officials (and contradicted as well by yet others). In addition, the Iranians recently conducted elaborate naval exercises in the Arabian Sea near the eastern mouth of the strait, and more such maneuvers are said to be forthcoming. At the same time, the commanding general of Iran’s army suggested that the USS John C. Stennis, an American aircraft carrier just leaving the Gulf, should not return. “The Islamic Republic of Iran,” he added ominously, “will not repeat its warning.”

Might the Iranians actually block the strait? Many analysts believe that the statements by Rahimi and his colleagues are bluster and bluff meant to rattle Western leaders, send oil prices higher, and win future concessions if negotiations ever recommence over their country’s nuclear program. Economic conditions in Iran are, however, becoming more desperate, and it is always possible that the country’s hard-pressed hardline leaders may feel the urge to take some dramatic action, even if it invites a powerful U.S. counterstrike. Whatever the case, the Strait of Hormuz will remain a focus of international attention in 2012, with global oil prices closely following the rise and fall of tensions there.

The South China Sea

The South China Sea is a semi-enclosed portion of the western Pacific bounded by China to the north, Vietnam to the west, the Philippines to the east, and the island of Borneo (shared by Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia) to the south. The sea also incorporates two largely uninhabited island chains, the Paracels and the Spratlys. Long an important fishing ground, it has also been a major avenue for commercial shipping between East Asia and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. More recently, it acquired significance as a potential source of oil and natural gas, large reserves of which are now believed to lie in subsea areas surrounding the Paracels and Spratlys.

With the discovery of oil and gas deposits, the South China Sea has been transformed into a cockpit of international friction. At least some islands in this energy-rich area are claimed by every one of the surrounding countries, including China -- which claims them all, and has demonstrated a willingness to use military force to assert dominance in the region. Not surprisingly, this has put it in conflict with the other claimants, including several with close military ties to the United States. As a result, what started out as a regional matter, involving China and various members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has become a prospective tussle between the world’s two leading powers.

To press their claims, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines have all sought to work collectively through ASEAN, believing a multilateral approach will give them greater negotiating clout than one-on-one dealings with China. For their part, the Chinese have insisted that all disputes must be resolved bilaterally, a situation in which they can more easily bring their economic and military power to bear. Previously preoccupied with Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has now entered the fray, offering full-throated support to the ASEAN countries in their efforts to negotiate en masse with Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi promptly warned the United States not to interfere. Any such move “will only make matters worse and the resolution more difficult,” he declared. The result was an instant war of words between Beijing and Washington. During a visit to the Chinese capital in July 2011, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen delivered a barely concealed threat when it came to possible future military action. “The worry, among others that I have,” he commented, “is that the ongoing incidents could spark a miscalculation, and an outbreak that no one anticipated.” To drive the point home, the United States has conducted a series of conspicuous military exercises in the South China Sea, including some joint maneuvers with ships from Vietnam and the Philippines. Not to be outdone, China responded with naval maneuvers of its own. It’s a perfect formula for future “incidents” at sea.

The South China Sea has long been on the radar screens of those who follow Asian affairs, but it only attracted global attention when, in November, President Obama traveled to Australia and announced, with remarkable bluntness, a new U.S. strategy aimed at confronting Chinese power in Asia and the Pacific. “As we plan and budget for the future,” he told members of the Australian Parliament in Canberra, “we will allocate the resources necessary to maintain our strong military presence in this region.” A key feature of this effort would be to ensure “maritime security” in the South China Sea.

While in Australia, President Obama also announced the establishment of a new U.S. base at Darwin on that country’s northern coast, as well as expanded military ties with Indonesia and the Philippines. In January, the president similarly placed special emphasis on projecting U.S. power in the region when he went to the Pentagon to discuss changes in the American military posture in the world.

Beijing will undoubtedly take its own set of steps, no less belligerent, to protect its growing interests in the South China Sea. Where this will lead remains, of course, unknown. After the Strait of Hormuz, however, the South China Sea may be the global energy chokepoint where small mistakes or provocations could lead to bigger confrontations in 2012 and beyond.

The Caspian Sea Basin

The Caspian Sea is an inland body of water bordered by Russia, Iran, and three former republics of the USSR: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. In the immediate area as well are the former Soviet lands of Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. All of these old SSRs are, to one degree or another, attempting to assert their autonomy from Moscow and establish independent ties with the United States, the European Union, Iran, Turkey, and, increasingly, China. All are wracked by internal schisms and/or involved in border disputes with their neighbors. The region would be a hotbed of potential conflict even if the Caspian basin did not harbor some of the world’s largest undeveloped reserves of oil and natural gas, which could easily bring it to a boil.

This is not the first time that the Caspian has been viewed as a major source of oil, and so potential conflict. In the late nineteenth century, the region around the city of Baku -- then part of the Russian empire, now in Azerbaijan -- was a prolific source of petroleum and so a major strategic prize. Future Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin first gained notoriety there as a leader of militant oil workers, and Hitler sought to capture it during his ill-fated 1941 invasion of the USSR. After World War II, however, the region lost its importance as an oil producer when Baku’s onshore fields dried up. Now, fresh discoveries are being made in offshore areas of the Caspian itself and in previously undeveloped areas of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

According to energy giant BP, the Caspian area harbors as much as 48 billion barrels of oil (mostly buried in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan) and 449 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (with the largest supply in Turkmenistan). This puts the region ahead of North and South America in total gas reserves and Asia in oil reserves. But producing all this energy and delivering it to foreign markets will be a monumental task. The region’s energy infrastructure is woefully inadequate and the Caspian itself provides no maritime outlet to other seas, so all that oil and gas must travel by pipeline or rail.

Russia, long the dominant power in the region, is pursuing control over the transportation routes by which Caspian oil and gas will reach markets. It is upgrading Soviet-era pipelines that link the former SSRs to Russia or building new ones and, to achieve a near monopoly over the marketing of all this energy, bringing traditional diplomacy, strong-arm tactics, and outright bribery to bear on regional leaders (many of whom once served in the Soviet bureaucracy) to ship their energy via Russia. As recounted in my book Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet, Washington sought to thwart these efforts by sponsoring the construction of alternative pipelines that avoid Russian territory, crossing Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey to the Mediterranean (notably the BTC, or Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline), while Beijing is building its own pipelines linking the Caspian area to western China.

All of these pipelines cross through areas of ethnic unrest and pass near various contested regions like rebellious Chechnya and breakaway South Ossetia. As a result, both China and the U.S. have wedded their pipeline operations to military assistance for countries along the routes. Fearful of an American presence, military or otherwise, in the former territories of the Soviet Union, Russia has responded with military moves of its own, including its brief August 2008 war with Georgia, which took place along the BTC route.

Given the magnitude of the Caspian’s oil and gas reserves, many energy firms are planning new production operations in the region, along with the pipelines needed to bring the oil and gas to market. The European Union, for example, hopes to build a new natural gas pipeline called Nabucco from Azerbaijan through Turkey to Austria. Russia has proposed a competing conduit called South Stream. All of these efforts involve the geopolitical interests of major powers, ensuring that the Caspian region will remain a potential source of international crisis and conflict.

In the new Geo-Energy Era, the Strait of Hormuz, the South China Sea, and the Caspian Basin hardly stand alone as potential energy flashpoints. The East China Sea, where China and Japan are contending for a contested undersea natural gas field, is another, as are the waters surrounding the Falkland Islands, where both Britain and Argentina hold claims to undersea oil reserves, as will be the globally warming Arctic whose resources are claimed by many countries. One thing is certain: wherever the sparks may fly, there’s oil in the water and danger at hand in 2012.

Michael T. Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College, a TomDispatch regular, and the author, most recently, of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet. His newest book, The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources, will be published in March.

  Read Energy Wars 2012
 January 3, 2012  
It is quite obvious that two of the most important groups we have in this world to make a big difference for endless future generations are peace teachers and peace workers. Of course, this would require a special training, since there are so many factors or elements that are involved in the process. We learn from history that those that exert most influence on children, apart from the parents, are the teachers. Hence, we cannot take the teaching profession lightly.

Importance of Individual Preparation

Besides, we are also fully aware of the fact that those that have provided most help for those in dire need especially are the volunteers. Therefore, we should feel obligated to provide both teachers and volunteer groups with the best preparation possible as to achieve the maximum of results. To this end, we need to straighten out certain misconceptions we might have had in the past relative to these two very important elements in our world community.

We surely need to have a good philosophy of life that puts priority on the universal welfare of all people without exception. Moreover, we also need to make sure that in any position we hold in society we try to render the best service possible. In other words, we need to create a new global community where we all work as different parts of the same body with good coordination and harmony. If one part of the body becomes defective, the whole body will soon become uncomfortable and this often may lead to needless problems.

Since children are still in a stage of growth and development, they need to learn about the realities of life that surround them the way they are, that is a parte rei. They need to succeed to see them objectively, the way God sees them, that is, without any deception. This is very important since in a number of instances people in general tend to view things subjectively, which always amount to a mere expression of one's opinion or of one's feelings.

This explains why in this world we are faced with so many problems all of which, directly or indirectly, are created by people of one kind or another. Here is where a sharp line is drawn between the virtuous that are characterized by the practice of virtue, and the vicious that are measured by one's accumulation of vices. It is very important for both teachers and volunteers to be saturated in virtue. After all, the best way to win the hearts of others is by demonstrating that we practice, in the first place, the good things we preach.

Putting Priorities in Order

The way we form the first stages of life of every human will reflect on one's character and personality till the end of one's life. When we bring up a group of individuals in an environment of aggression, such individuals will eventually reveal aggressiveness in their dealing with others sooner or later. On the other hand, when we bring up a group of youngsters in an atmosphere of peace, such youngsters will eventually reveal serenity, peace and harmony in their communication with others.

To this end, Jesus of Nazareth illustrated this with small branches which happen to be curved. He said we may deal with such branches as to grow up straight during their initial growth and development. Otherwise, if we were to straighten up such branches after they are fully grown up, we will certainly end up breaking them. This also explains why Vladimir Lenin of Russia said: Give me a child until it is five and it will be bolshevist forever. The ideas we put in people's minds when young may remain with them for the rest of their lives.

We may mention here the preamble of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It starts as follows: Since wars begin in the minds of men it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed. Hence, the only effective way we have at our disposal to avoid future conflicts and wars, is to be sought in education and not in weapons and military equipment. Each time these two elements were used we discovered that violence breeds violence and more violence breeds more violence.

Also, throughout history we experienced with regularity that each time we resorted to the practice of virtue, such as patience, humility, perseverance, love, among others, we always witnessed positive and constructive results. On the other hand, each time we resorted to hatred and revenge we ended up in unbearable conflicts and the never-ending of the promulgation of wars, where everyone ended up to be a loser and no one a winner. Our secret of success in human relations is to develop always a win-win situation, where everyone would benefit in peace and harmony.

One of the problems we have at this stage of history lies here. Not all teachers were prepared in their academic preparation to become peace teachers. If we were to examine the school curriculum of a college or university we are likely to find out a list of subject areas that need to be taken for graduation. These subject areas are more or less the same everywhere, like for example, study of foreign languages, history, geography, science, biology, mathematics, chemistry, physics, psychology, government and the list may go on and on.

Careful Choice of Teaching Methods

The main goal of the traditional method of teaching has been very simple: the accumulation of knowledge that is presented in the respective subject areas. Once the students reveal they did acquire such knowledge then they simply graduate and become officially certified as teachers. This way teaching becomes practically just another profession, a way of making a livelihood. The acquisition of the knowledge of the subject areas of study was the ultimate goal. In order to produce a higher level of teachers, we need to move a step further.

Every subject area without exception should become a means to a further and indispensable goal. This would consist of the eventual promotion of a permanent world peace where everyone is given the opportunity to live in harmony and to develop one's potential to the maximum possible. Let us illustrate this by a couple of examples, say, in history and geography. Teachers of these two subject areas will grade highly students who show knowledge of the events of history and who have a clear concept of the locality of nations.

However, those who were trained to become peace teachers would approach these two subject areas differently in a way that would prove to be very beneficial for every human without exception. The teacher of history may ask the students to propose ways how future struggles and wars could be avoided as never to have a World War III. Students may also be given the opportunity to become involved in local and regional conflicts in the sense that they are allowed to propose the prevention of future repetitions.

In the case of geography, the teacher may show, say, a map of Europe that existed before World War II and then another one that appeared after World War II. The peace teacher here may say: Look at this west part of Poland. Before the war this was part of Germany and the people there were viewed as Germans and travelled with a German passport. Today, the same people are viewed as polish and travel with a polish passport. Afterwards, the teacher may raise a question: Does this make any sense to you? The job of the peace teacher is not to hand answers but to stimulate students to come with their own answers.

This way students are trained to become a part of the process of history with the full realization that they can make things happen for the better or the worse, depending on what kind of actions they would choose to follow. Later, the teacher may remark saying that our pride should not be in being a German, French, Russian, Chinese or American but in being a beneficial person to the entire world. In other words, the job of the peace teacher is to raise the human consciousness that we are all members of the same body, the global community.

Expectation of Peace Teachers

Moreover, the peace teacher may try to instill in students a great sense of responsibility and encourage them to make sure that the career they pursue in life is geared toward the universal welfare of all people without exception. Also, since everything that takes place for the better or the worse, amounts to the consequences of people's actions, the teacher may show that every job we choose to undertake may be viewed as our mission to help make the world better.

This would apply especially to positions of governmental responsibility since governmental jobs are not inherited but sought by those who may wish to render services where many human lives would be affected for the better or the worse. Also, the teacher here may point out that all people from every walk of life and profession may have the vocation to serve their nation and the world at large by becoming involved in the political sphere of life. Students may here be given the opportunity to learn about the four hierarchical laws.

Such laws affect all people and cannot be taken lightly. Our responsibility is to safeguard them to the best we can. They are viewed as hierarchical because in case we have a clash the laws that are higher should be observed while those that are lower should be ignored. These four hierarchical laws may be outlined as follows: divine law, natural law, ecclesiastical law, and civic law.

1. Divine Law ?This law is also known as the divine positive law, which consists of the Ten Commandments which God gave to Moses and which are found in every religion by different names. Among other things we find that we should not kill, destroy others?property, say lies, and abuse people. They also speak of the obligation we have to show love and respect for our parents.

2. Natural Law ?This consists of all those laws that God put in the order of nature since the very beginning of times. For example we have the law of gravity where everything heavier than air will tend to fall down, the law of plant growth where the roots of the trees will always grown below the surface while the trees themselves will always grow above the surface.

3. Ecclesiastical Law ?This consists of rules and regulations enacted by religious leaders that usually serve as a guide to help people lead a better and more beneficial life. Such rules and regulations should demonstrate respect toward the other two laws just mentioned. If for some reason, rules are enacted that go against the divine and natural law, then they should be disregarded.

4. Civic Law ?This is man-made law which could change from time to time. No government, no court, no authoritative source of any kind may enact laws that go against the three previously mentioned laws, especially the divine law and natural law. If such would be the case, then we have the moral obligation to disregard such laws openly and courageously by all means.

Importance of Political Involvement

Besides, the peace teacher should select some influential jobs that people may perform in life and show them about the unique opportunities they offer to enable students become more positively and constructively influential in the community. For example, students must learn that political jobs and all kind of positions in the nation and the world that carry high responsibilities are not reserved to a certain group or elite. Students, if they wish, may consider such positions as well if they do feel enough ambitious.

If we really want to change the world for the better, it would be much easier for us if we were to do that from a position of power where every decision-making is involved and carried out. While the peace teacher vocation deals mostly with students, the peace worker vocation deals with people from every walk of life and procession. Since their work is all done on a volunteer basis, such peace workers are generally working on a part time basis or on a full time basis if they are retired with a salary coming in to pay for their bills.

Peace workers represent a vast range of dedicated persons who are fully prepared to perform a variety of work that is fully beneficial to the universal welfare of all people without exception. We may have peace workers of the type of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whose vocation in life was to help the poorer of the poor, as she put it. Others may be of the caliber of Mahatma Gandhi who worked fearlessly to end up the foreign occupation of his native India.

We may also find some who prefer to follow the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi leading by example the simplicity of life and the joy it produces when we renounce the material things of this world. Besides, we may have some who, like St. John Bosco, want to spend their lives with children to create good citizens.

Over the centuries, experience has shown that when we prepare ourselves to do a good job, we are more likely to succeed than if we were to pursue the same work with no preparation at all. Also, it is much easier to mold the minds of the young than of the elderly because of the mind-set phenomenon. Once we become set in our ways it would not be that easy to really change afterwards.

Bringing Constructive Changes

While tolerating and struggling with the present generation of adults in general, we should move with full determination and energy we can have to bring about in the world a radical change for the better in the future. This could be done best through the solid build-up of a generation of peace teachers and peace workers. Both of these peace groups need to build their work on the peace philosophy as presented to us in the early part of the first century by Seneca.

This man was a Roman philosopher who was very much concerned with peace that comes with the preservation of the welfare of all people. Around the year 42 A.D. Seneca said clearly that world peace would come even permanently if we were to educate all of our children and make them glance at the whole world and say: Omins orbs terrarum patria mea est ?the whole world is my native land. Unfortunately, this philosophy was never implemented.

As a result, we have witnessed wars continuously for the past 2,000 years. All other philosophies that came during this period did not produce permanent results as far as real peace is concerned. As the familiar saying goes, it is better late than never. We need to take seriously the content of this presentation by convincing ourselves that preparing peace teachers and peace workers in our communities is a gigantic step in the right direction that cannot be taken lightly.

The good news is that the momentum has already started even though it may not be fully visible on a global scale. We need always to take over where others leave off. The positive and constructive steps that we may take to become directly involved in this world-wide peace process may be outlined as follows:
1. Conviction that the manifold problems of the world would be better solved when we are in peace than when we are at war.
2. Initiative in doing constructive work in the best interest of all people.
3. Determination in never giving up when confronted with problems.
4. Ability to do everything positive with determination and perseverance.

In view of what has been stated, it is quite obvious that the creation of peace teachers and peace workers everywhere is all we need to help bring the entire world several steps closer to a permanent peace in our community.
  Read Preparing Peace Teachers and Peace Workers in the Community
 December 30, 2011  
Global Community -

Early successes of NASA's Kepler Mission (logically inferring that in a Universe of infinite Earth-like exoplanets "we are not alone") have begun the quest of uniting all humanity - and achievement of global water equilibrium on Earth

"In less than 20 years, we have gone from not knowing if any other planets exist in the universe, to being able to look out at the night sky and realize that essentially any star we can see has at least one planet, and a good number of those are likely to be habitable." - Dr. Alan Boss, Science Working Group, NASA Kepler Mission.

The residents of Beijing, China's capital, could be drinking desalinated seawater within five years. As part of China's eleventh five-year plan, this source could become a main supply in efforts to deal with the water shortage (National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) People's Republic of Chins.) The potential and success of global five-year plans aimed at satisfying freshwater needs, at job creation and environmental sustainability through seawater desalination - eminently in order on a global scale - presupposes maximum use of renewable resources including particularly industrial hemp, an agricultural plant awaiting re-classification in the USA.

Global water equilibrium - in the age of empathy and compassion on Earth - describes the state of balance between freshwater amply avaiiable worldwide on one side and, on the other, constancy in planetary sea-levels. Dramatically accelerated, expanded and sustained seawater desalination will ensure (1) globally plentiful freshwater, (2) relief for low-lying communities vulnerable to sea-level rise, (3) stabilization of ocean shorelines, (4) enlarged land mass/biomass, (5) freshwater storage in areas which include those where once resided coal and petroleum, (6) climate stability.

In forelawsship on Board,

Robert E. Cobb
  Read Global Freshwater from Seawater
 December 30, 2011  
Sovereignty & Humankind - Theme for 2012 for all national citizens

The Ninth Amendment to the US Constitution refers to "unenumerated rights retained by the people." James Madison added it after enumerating the first eight rights. If they're "retained," they are "inalienable." i.e. human rights.

The only document defining universal human rights is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations December 10, 1948 as a "Common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations..." Article 21(3) provides that "The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government..."

The nation-state system, imported from former centuries, has become dysfunctional due to a condition of anarchy between each and all which is the breeding-ground of war.

"World" wars began in 1914. The so-called Nuclear Age, however, exploded into our psyches and hearts with the bombing of Hiroshima changing the dimension of war from relative to absolute, i.e. genocidal. Therefore "sovereignty" in today's instant communicative world pertains to humankind itself. This in turn plainly involves each and every human on planet earth

To recognize one as a "sovereign citizen" therefore is to also affirm world citizenship as its social/political/economic corollary.

Madison's foresight in adding the 9th Amendment was to provide an antidote to the US presidents power when acting as the "commander-in-chief" in time of war by virtue of article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution referring to the powers of the president: "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States..."

Thus, having declared a war on "terrorism" which is a global condition or anarchy and not an enemy, the United States today has become a total garrison state.

The US president thereby has become a legal dictator as Commander-in Chief. All lower level officials in the government thereby become involuntarily complicit and obedient to his command in the name of delusory yet ruinous "national security."

Article 6 of the UDHR, however, provides that "Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law." Ipso facto, the law before which "everyone" has the right to recognition must be world law.

The World Government of World Citizens (see www.worldservice.org) has founded the "World Court of Human Rights" on June 12, 1974 whose first Chief Justice was Luis Kutner.* (See www.worldservice.org/wsalstat.html).

The evolution and statute of this court is described in the author's book: World Citizen Garry Davis goes to Court." (Catalogue, sites above and below).

Conclusion: The essence of "sovereignty" is political choice. As we humans are all "planetary citizens" by virtue of the collapse of time and distance in the present century via technology and electronics, our claim to sovereignty is not only legitimate but critical for survival itself.

World Citizen Garry Davis
* (See World Habeas Corpus, Oceana Publications, 1962): www.worldgovernmenthouse.com
  Read World Government House
 January 5, 2012  

by Leslaw Michnowski

Member of the Committee of Prognosis Poland 2000 Plus
by the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and the Polish Association for the Club of Rome
Chairman of Sustainable Development Creators'Club
The Polish Federation for Life



1 JANUARY 2012
1. The beginning of a new year, God's gift to humanity, prompts me to extend to all, with great confidence and affection, my heartfelt good wishes that this time now before us may be marked concretely by justice and peace.

With what attitude should we look to the New Year? We find a very beautiful image in Psalm 130. The Psalmist says that people of faith wait for the Lord "more than those who watch for the morning" (v. 6); they wait for him with firm hope because they know that he will bring light, mercy, salvation. This waiting was born of the experience of the Chosen People, who realized that God taught them to look at the world in its truth and not to be overwhelmed by tribulation. I invite you to look to 2012 with this attitude of confident trust. It is true that the year now ending has been marked by a rising sense of frustration at the crisis looming over society, the world of labour and the economy, A CRISIS WHOSE ROOTS ARE PRIMARILY CULTURAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL. It seems as if a shadow has fallen over our time, preventing us from clearly seeing the light of day.

In this shadow, however, human hearts continue to wait for the dawn of which the Psalmist speaks. Because this expectation is particularly powerful and evident in young people, my thoughts turn to them and to the contribution which they can and must make to society. I would like therefore to devote this message for the XLV World Day of Peace to the theme of education: "Educating Young People in Justice and Peace", in the conviction that the young, with their enthusiasm and idealism, can offer new hope to the world.

My Message is also addressed to parents, families and all those involved in the area of education and formation, as well as to leaders in the various spheres of religious, social, political, economic and cultural life and in the media. Attentiveness to young people and their concerns, the ability to listen to them and appreciate them, is not merely something expedient; it represents a primary duty for society as a whole, for the sake of building a future of justice and peace.

It is a matter of communicating to young people an appreciation for the positive value of life and of awakening in them a desire to spend their lives in the service of the Good. This is a task which engages each of us personally.

The concerns expressed in recent times by many young people around the world demonstrate that they desire to look to the future with solid hope. At the present time, they are experiencing apprehension about many things: they want to receive an education which prepares them more fully to deal with the real world, they see how difficult it is to form a family and to find stable employment; they wonder if they can really contribute to political, cultural and economic life in order to build a society with a more human and fraternal face.

It is important that this unease and its underlying idealism receive due attention at every level of society. The Church looks to young people with hope and confidence; she encourages them to seek truth, to defend the common good, to be open to the world around them and willing to see "new things" (Is 42:9; 48:6).


2. Education is the most interesting and difficult adventure in life. Educating - from the Latin educere - means leading young people to move beyond themselves and introducing them to reality, towards a fullness that leads to growth. This process is fostered by the encounter of two freedoms, that of adults and that of the young. It calls for responsibility on the part of the learners, who must be open to being led to the knowledge of reality, and on the part of educators, who must be ready to give of themselves. For this reason, today more than ever we need authentic witnesses, and not simply people who parcel out rules and facts; we need witnesses capable of seeing farther than others because their life is so much broader. A witness is someone who first lives the life that he proposes to others.

Where does true education in peace and justice take place? First of all, in the family, since parents are the first educators. The family is the primary cell of society; "it is in the family that children learn the human and Christian values which enable them to have a constructive and peaceful coexistence. It is in the family that they learn solidarity between the generations, respect for rules, forgiveness and how to welcome others." (1) The family is the first school in which we are trained in justice and peace.

We are living in a world where families, and life itself, are constantly threatened and not infrequently fragmented. Working conditions which are often incompatible with family responsibilities, worries about the future, the frenetic pace of life, the need to move frequently to ensure an adequate livelihood, to say nothing of mere survival - all this makes it hard to ensure that children receive one of the most precious of treasures: the presence of their parents. This presence makes it possible to share more deeply in the journey of life and thus to pass on experiences and convictions gained with the passing of the years, experiences and convictions which can only be communicated by spending time together. I would urge parents not to grow disheartened! May they encourage children by the example of their lives to put their hope before all else in God, the one source of authentic justice and peace.

I would also like to address a word to those in charge of educational institutions: with a great sense of responsibility may they ensure that the dignity of each person is always respected and appreciated. Let them be concerned that every young person be able to discover his or her own vocation and helped to develop his or her God-given gifts. May they reassure families that their children can receive an education that does not conflict with their consciences and their religious principles.

Every educational setting can be a place of openness to the transcendent and to others; a place of dialogue, cohesiveness and attentive listening, where young people feel appreciated for their personal abilities and inner riches, and can learn to esteem their brothers and sisters. May young people be taught to savour the joy which comes from the daily exercise of charity and compassion towards others and from taking an active part in the building of a more humane and fraternal society.

I ask political leaders to offer concrete assistance to families and educational institutions in the exercise of their right and duty to educate. Adequate support should never be lacking to parents in their task. Let them ensure that no one is ever denied access to education and that families are able freely to choose the educational structures they consider most suitable for their children. Let them be committed to reuniting families separated by the need to earn a living. Let them give young people a transparent image of politics as a genuine service to the good of all.

I cannot fail also to appeal to the world of the media to offer its own contribution to education. In today's society the mass media have a particular role: they not only inform but also form the minds of their audiences, and so they can make a significant contribution to the education of young people. It is important never to forget that the connection between education and communication is extremely close: education takes place through communication, which influences, for better or worse, the formation of the person.

Young people too need to have the courage to live by the same high standards that they set for others. Theirs is a great responsibility: may they find the strength to make good and wise use of their freedom. They too are responsible for their education, including their education in justice and peace!

Educating in truth and freedom

3. Saint Augustine once asked: "Quid enim fortius desiderat anima quam veritatem? - What does man desire more deeply than truth?"(2) The human face of a society depends very much on the contribution of education to keep this irrepressible question alive. Education, indeed, is concerned with the integral formation of the person, including the moral and spiritual dimension, focused upon man's final end and the good of the society to which he belongs. Therefore, in order to educate in truth, it is necessary first and foremost to know who the human person is, to know human nature. Contemplating the world around him, the Psalmist reflects: "When I see the heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and the stars which you arranged, what is man that you should keep him in mind, mortal man that you care for him?" (Ps 8:4-5). This is the fundamental question that must be asked: who is man? Man is a being who bears within his heart a thirst for the infinite, a thirst for truth - a truth which is not partial but capable of explaining life's meaning - since he was created in the image and likeness of God. The grateful recognition that life is an inestimable gift, then, leads to the discovery of one's own profound dignity and the inviolability of every single person. Hence the first step in education is learning to recognize the Creator's image in man, and consequently learning to have a profound respect for every human being and helping others to live a life consonant with this supreme dignity. We must never forget that "authentic human development concerns the whole of the person in every single dimension"(3), including the transcendent dimension, and that the person cannot be sacrificed for the sake of attaining a particular good, whether this be economic or social, individual or collective.

Only in relation to God does man come to understand also the meaning of human freedom. It is the task of education to form people in authentic freedom. This is not the absence of constraint or the supremacy of free will, it is not the absolutism of the self. When man believes himself to be absolute, to depend on nothing and no one, to be able to do anything he wants, he ends up contradicting the truth of his own being and forfeiting his freedom. On the contrary, man is a relational being, who lives in relationship with others and especially with God. Authentic freedom can never be attained independently of God.

Freedom is a precious value, but a fragile one; it can be misunderstood and misused. "Today, a particularly insidious obstacle to the task of educating is the massive presence in our society and culture of that relativism which, recognizing nothing as definitive, leaves as the ultimate criterion only the self with its desires. And under the semblance of freedom it becomes a prison for each one, for it separates people from one another, locking each person into his or her own self. With such a relativistic horizon, therefore, real education is not possible without the light of the truth; sooner or later, every person is in fact condemned to doubting the goodness of his or her own life and the relationships of which it consists, the validity of his or her commitment to build with others something in common"(4).

In order to exercise his freedom, then, man must move beyond the relativistic horizon and come to know the truth about himself and the truth about good and evil. Deep within his conscience, man discovers a law that he did not lay upon himself, but which he must obey. Its voice calls him to love and to do what is good, to avoid evil and to take responsibility for the good he does and the evil he commits(5). Thus, the exercise of freedom is intimately linked to the natural moral law, which is universal in character, expresses the dignity of every person and forms the basis of fundamental human rights and duties: consequently, in the final analysis, it forms the basis for just and peaceful coexistence.

The right use of freedom, then, is central to the promotion of justice and peace, which require respect for oneself and others, including those whose way of being and living differs greatly from one's own. This attitude engenders the elements without which peace and justice remain merely words without content: mutual trust, the capacity to hold constructive dialogue, the possibility of forgiveness, which one constantly wishes to receive but finds hard to bestow, mutual charity, compassion towards the weakest, as well as readiness to make sacrifices.

Educating in justice

4. In this world of ours, in which, despite the profession of good intentions, the value of the person, of human dignity and human rights is seriously threatened by the widespread tendency to have recourse exclusively to the criteria of utility, profit and material possessions, it is important not to detach the concept of justice from its transcendent roots. Justice, indeed, is not simply a human convention, since what is just is ultimately determined not by positive law, but by the profound identity of the human being. It is the integral vision of man that saves us from falling into a contractual conception of justice and enables us to locate justice within the horizon of solidarity and love(6).

We cannot ignore the fact that some currents of modern culture, built upon rationalist and individualist economic principles, have cut off the concept of justice from its transcendent roots, detaching it from charity and solidarity: "The 'earthly city' is promoted not merely by relationships of rights and duties, but to an even greater and more fundamental extent by relationships of gratuitousness, mercy and communion. Charity always manifests God's love in human relationships as well, it gives theological and salvific value to all commitment for justice in the world"(7).

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied" (Mt 5:6). They shall be satisfied because they hunger and thirst for right relations with God, with themselves, with their brothers and sisters, and with the whole of creation.

Educating in peace

5. "Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on earth without safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity."8 We Christians believe that Christ is our true peace: in him, by his Cross, God has reconciled the world to himself and has broken down the walls of division that separated us from one another (cf. Eph 2:14-18); in him, there is but one family, reconciled in love.

Peace, however, is not merely a gift to be received: it is also a task to be undertaken. In order to be true peacemakers, we must educate ourselves in compassion, solidarity, working together, fraternity, in being active within the community and concerned to raise awareness about national and international issues and the importance of seeking adequate mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth, the promotion of growth, cooperation for development and conflict resolution. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God", as Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:9).

Peace for all is the fruit of justice for all, and no one can shirk this essential task of promoting justice, according to one's particular areas of competence and responsibility. To the young, who have such a strong attachment to ideals, I extend a particular invitation to be patient and persevering in seeking justice and peace, in cultivating the taste for what is just and true, even when it involves sacrifice and swimming against the tide.

Raising one's eyes to God

6. Before the difficult challenge of walking the paths of justice and peace, we may be tempted to ask, in the words of the Psalmist: "I lift up my eyes to the mountains: from where shall come my help?" (Ps 121:1).

To all, and to young people in particular, I wish to say emphatically: "It is not ideologies that save the world, but only a return to the living God, our Creator, the guarantor of our freedom, the guarantor of what is really good and true an unconditional return to God who is the measure of what is right and who at the same time is everlasting love. And what could ever save us apart from love?"(9) Love takes delight in truth, it is the force that enables us to make a commitment to truth, to justice, to peace, because it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (cf. 1 Cor 13:1-13).

Dear young people, you are a precious gift for society. Do not yield to discouragement in the face of difficulties and do not abandon yourselves to false solutions which often seem the easiest way to overcome problems. Do not be afraid to make a commitment, to face hard work and sacrifice, to choose the paths that demand fidelity and constancy, humility and dedication. Be confident in your youth and its profound desires for happiness, truth, beauty and genuine love! Live fully this time in your life so rich and so full of enthusiasm.

Realize that you yourselves are an example and an inspiration to adults, even more so to the extent that you seek to overcome injustice and corruption and strive to build a better future. Be aware of your potential; never become self-centred but work for a brighter future for all. You are never alone. The Church has confidence in you, follows you, encourages you and wishes to offer you the most precious gift she has: the opportunity to raise your eyes to God, to encounter Jesus Christ, who is himself justice and peace.

All you men and women throughout the world, who take to heart the cause of peace: peace is not a blessing already attained, but rather a goal to which each and all of us must aspire. Let us look with greater hope to the future; let us encourage one another on our journey; let us work together to give our world a more humane and fraternal face; and let us feel a common responsibility towards present and future generations, especially in the task of training them to be people of peace and builders of peace. With these thoughts I offer my reflections and I appeal to everyone: let us pool our spiritual, moral and material resources for the great goal of "educating young people in justice and peace".

From the Vatican, 8 December 2011
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI ____________________

(1) BENEDICT XVI, Address to Administrators of Lazio Region and of the Municipality and Province of Rome (14 January 2011): L'Osservatore Romano, 15 January 2011, p. 7.

(2) Commentary on the Gospel of John, 26, 5.

(3) BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate (29 June 2009), 11: AAS 101 (2009), 648; cf. PAUL VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio (26 March 1967), 14: AAS 59 (1967), 264.

(4) BENEDICT XVI, Address for the Opening of the Diocesan Ecclesial Meeting in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran (6 June 2005): AAS 97 (2005), 816.

(5) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 16.

(6) Cf. BENEDICT XVI, Address to the Bundestag (Berlin, 22 September 2011): L'Osservatore Romano, 24 September 2011, pp. 6-7.

(7) ID., Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, 6 (29 June 2009), 6: AAS 101 (2009), 644-645.

(8) Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2304.

(9) BENEDICT XVI, Address at Youth Vigil (Cologne, 20 August 2005): AAS 97 (2005), 885-886.
Copyright 2011 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  November 18, 2011  
Finding that contradicts Einstein's theory of special relativity is repeated with fine-tuned procedures and equipment.
Scientists from Cern have repeated their finding of neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light. Photograph: Cern/Science Photo Library.

The scientists who appeared to have found in September that certain subatomic particles can travel faster than light have ruled out one potential source of error in their measurements after completing a second, fine-tuned version of their experiment.

Their results, posted on the ArXiv preprint server on Friday morning and submitted for peer review in the Journal of High Energy Physics, confirmed earlier measurements that neutrinos, sent through the ground from Cern near Geneva to the Gran Sasso lab in Italy 450 miles (720km) away seemed to travel faster than light.

The finding that neutrinos might break one of the most fundamental laws of physics sent scientists into a frenzy when it was first reported in September. Not only because it appeared to go against Albert Einstein's theory of special relativity but, if correct, the finding opened up the troubling possibility of being able to send information back in time, blurring the line between past and present and wreaking havoc with the fundamental principle of cause and effect.

The physicist and TV presenter Professor Jim Al-Khalili of the University of Surrey expressed the incredulity of many in the field when he said that if the findings "prove to be correct and neutrinos have broken the speed of light, I will eat my boxer shorts on live TV".

In their original experiment scientists fired beams of neutrinos from Cern to the Gran Sasso lab and the neutrinos seemed to arrive sixty billionths of a second earlier than they should if travelling at the speed of light in a vacuum.

One potential source of error pointed out by other scientists was that the pulses of neutrinos sent by Cern were relatively long, around 10 microseconds each, so measuring the exact arrival time of the particles at Gran Sasso could have relatively large errors. To account for this potential problem in the latest version of the test, the beams sent by Cern were thousands of times shorter around three nanoseconds with large gaps of 524 nanoseconds between them. This allowed scientists to time the arrival of the neutrinos at Gran Sasso with greater accuracy.

Writing on his blog when the fine-tuned experiment started last month, Matt Strassler, a theoretical physicist at Rutgers University, said the shorter pulses of neutrinos being sent from Cern to Gran Sasso would remove the need to measure the shape and duration of the beam. "It's like sending a series of loud and isolated clicks instead of a long blast on a horn," he said. "In the latter case you have to figure out exactly when the horn starts and stops, but in the former you just hear each click and then it's already over. In other words, with the short pulses you don't need to know the pulse shape, just the pulse time."

"And you also don't need to measure thousands of neutrinos in order to reproduce the pulse shape, getting the leading and trailing edges just right; you just need a small number maybe even as few as 10 or so to check the timing of just those few pulses for which a neutrino makes a splash in Opera."

Around 20 neutrino events have been measured at the Gran Sasso lab in the fine-tuned version of the experiment in the past few weeks, each one precisely associated with a pulse leaving Cern. The scientists concluded from the new measurements that the neutrinos still appeared to be arriving earlier than they should.

"With the new type of beam produced by Cern's accelerators we've been able to to measure with accuracy the time of flight of neutrinos one by one," said Dario Autiero of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). "The 20 neutrinos we recorded provide comparable accuracy to the 15,000 on which our original measurement was based. In addition their analysis is simpler and less dependent on the measurement of the time structure of the proton pulses and its relation to the neutrinos' production mechanism."

In a statement released on Friday, Fernando Ferroni, president of the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics, said: "A measurement so delicate and carrying a profound implication on physics requires an extraordinary level of scrutiny. The experiment at Opera, thanks to a specially adapted Cern beam, has made an important test of consistency of its result. The positive outcome of the test makes us more confident in the result, although a final word can only be said by analogous measurements performed elsewhere in the world."

Since the Opera (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus) team at Gran Sasso announced its results, physicists around the world have published scores of online papers trying to explain the strange finding as either the result of a trivial mistake or evidence for new physics.

Dr Carlo Contaldi of Imperial College London suggested that different gravitational effects at Cern and Gran Sasso could have affected the clocks used to measure the neutrinos. Others have come up with ideas about new physics that modify special relativity by taking the unexpected effects of higher dimensions into account.

Despite the latest result, said Autiero, the observed faster-than-light anomaly in the neutrinos' speed from Cern to Gran Sasso needed further scrutiny and independent tests before it could be refuted or confirmed definitively. The Opera experiment will continue to take data with a new muon detector well into next year, to improve the accuracy of the results.

The search for errors is not yet over, according to Jacques Martino, director of the National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics at CNRS. He said that more checks would be under way in future, including ensuring that the clocks at Cern and Gran Sasso were properly synchronised, perhaps by using an optical fibre as opposed to the GPS system used at the moment.

This would remove any potential errors that might occur due to the effects of Einstein's theory of general relativity, which says that clocks tick at different rates depending on the amount of gravitational force they experience clocks closer to the surface of the Earth tick slower than those further away.

Even a tiny discrepancy between the clocks at Cern and Gran Sasso could be at the root of the faster-than-light results seen in September.

  Read Neutrinos still faster than light in latest version of experiment
 September 22, 2011  
Neutrino results challenge a cornerstone of Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity, which itself forms the foundation of modern physics.
Image: CERN

An Italian experiment has unveiled evidence that fundamental particles known as neutrinos can travel faster than light. Other researchers are cautious about the result, but if it stands further scrutiny, the finding would overturn the most fundamental rule of modern physics—that nothing travels faster than 299,792,458 meters per second.

The experiment is called OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus), and lies 1,400 meters underground in the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy. It is designed to study a beam of neutrinos coming from CERN, Europe's premier high-energy physics laboratory located 730 kilometers away near Geneva, Switzerland. Neutrinos are fundamental particles that are electrically neutral, rarely interact with other matter, and have a vanishingly small mass. But they are all around us—the sun produces so many neutrinos as a by-product of nuclear reactions that many billions pass through your eye every second. [Click here to read more about CERN's Large Hadron Collider]

The 1,800-tonne OPERA detector is a complex array of electronics and photographic emulsion plates, but the new result is simple—the neutrinos are arriving 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light allows. "We are shocked," says Antonio Ereditato, a physicist at the University of Bern in Switzerland and OPERA's spokesman.

Breaking the law

The idea that nothing can travel faster than light in a vacuum is the cornerstone of Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity, which itself forms the foundation of modern physics. If neutrinos are traveling faster than light speed, then one of the most fundamental assumptions of science—that the rules of physics are the same for all observers—would be invalidated. "If it's true, then it's truly extraordinary," says John Ellis, a theoretical physicist at CERN.

Ereditato says that he is confident enough in the new result to make it public. The researchers claim to have measured the 730-kilometer trip between CERN and its detector to within 20 centimeters. They can measure the time of the trip to within 10 nanoseconds, and they have seen the effect in more than 16,000 events measured over the past two years. Given all this, they believe the result has a significance of six-sigma—the physicists' way of saying it is certainly correct. The group will present their results September 23 at CERN, and a preprint of their results will be posted on the physics website ArXiv.org.

At least one other experiment has seen a similar effect before, albeit with a much lower confidence level. In 2007, the Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search (MINOS) experiment in Minnesota saw neutrinos from the particle-physics facility Fermilab in Illinois arriving slightly ahead of schedule. At the time, the MINOS team downplayed the result, in part because there was too much uncertainty in the detector's exact position to be sure of its significance, says Jenny Thomas, a spokeswoman for the experiment. Thomas says that MINOS was already planning more accurate follow-up experiments before the latest OPERA result. "I'm hoping that we could get that going and make a measurement in a year or two," she says.

Reasonable doubt

If MINOS were to confirm OPERA's find, the consequences would be enormous. "If you give up the speed of light, then the construction of special relativity falls down," says Antonino Zichichi, a theoretical physicist and emeritus professor at the University of Bologna, Italy. Zichichi speculates that the "superluminal" neutrinos detected by OPERA could be slipping through extra dimensions in space, as predicted by theories such as string theory.

  Read Particles Found to Travel Faster Than Speed of Light
 October 13, 2011  
Most physicists are betting against the idea that neutrinos can pierce the cosmic speed limit, but that has not stopped some researchers from exploring the implications

FAST AND ELUSIVE? Observations of supernova 1987A indicated that photons and neutrinos obey the same speed laws. But neutrinos might still have some tricks up their sleeve. Image: NASA, ESA, P. Challis and R. Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) The stunning recent announcement of neutrinos apparently exceeding the speed of light was greeted with startled wonderment followed by widespread disbelief. Although virtually every scientist on record expects this discovery to vanish once more detailed analysis takes place, dozens of researchers are exploring the question whose answer could shake the foundations of physics: What if this anomaly is real?

The stunning recent announcement of neutrinos apparently exceeding the speed of light was greeted with startled wonderment followed by widespread disbelief. Although virtually every scientist on record expects this discovery to vanish once more detailed analysis takes place, dozens of researchers are exploring the question whose answer could shake the foundations of physics: What if this anomaly is real?

Neutrinos are ghostly particles that only weakly interact with normal matter; trillions of neutrinos stream through our bodies every second. Last month researchers from the European OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus) collaboration reported clocking pulses of neutrinos moving at speeds that appeared to be a smidgen faster than light-speed. That might seem impossible, given the universal speed limit set by Albert Einstein's long-standing and well-tested special theory of relativity, but neutrinos have proved chock full of surprises over the years. For instance, in the late 1990s they were found to have mass after decades of thought to the contrary.

The credibility of the OPERA scientists who made the supposed discovery of superluminal neutrinos is not in doubt. "This is legitimate, professionally done science—these are not cranks," says neutrino physicist John Learned of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Astroparticle physicist Steen Hannestad of Aarhus University in Denmark agrees that "there are no obvious problems with the experiment." Still, Hannestad adds, "on any given year, one or more such anomalies show up in experiments—this is particularly true for neutrino physics, where measurements are notoriously hard."

Virtually every physicist interviewed strongly doubts the results will hold up, including the experimenters themselves. Recent calculations also suggest that any neutrinos traveling faster than light would have radiated most of their energy away before reaching detectors, something the researchers did not see.

Nevertheless, if scientists really have discovered superluminal neutrinos, "it probably presents the biggest revolution to fundamental physics in about a century, and almost every physicist loves this challenge," Learned says. As such, a multitude of studies have already popped up to address the OPERA results, including some that suggest new physics to explain the findings.

One explanation that a number of researchers have proposed is that the neutrinos might be traversing extra dimensions of reality beyond the familiar three of space and one of time. As such, they would only appear to be traveling faster than light from our perspective. This idea would keep Einstein's theory of relativity intact and help end decades of debate over whether extra dimensions actually exist.

"However, these models have other potential problems," says Hannestad, a researcher with a potential extradimensional explanation for the neutrino results. For instance, he notes, the neutrino pulses predicted to emerge from a trip through extra dimensions may differ in their attributes from the pulses the OPERA researchers actually detected.

Another notion is that neutrinos may travel faster through Earth than through empty space, with Earth essentially acting like a lens, says theoretical physicist Dmitri Semikoz of University of Paris Diderot in France. "Several checks of our proposal can be performed," he adds. "In particular, it predicts that the effect is proportional to the intensity of the neutrino wave. This can be checked experimentally by the OPERA and MINOS collaborations with data they already have." (MINOS, the Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search, is a competing neutrino experiment in the U.S.)

Dark energy, the mysterious force apparently driving the accelerating expansion of the universe, or dark matter, the as-yet unidentified substance making up about 85 percent of all matter in the universe, might be the explanation instead, suggests theoretical physicist Susan Gardner at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. The idea is that photons of light might interact more strongly with the dark universe than neutrinos do, such that the speed of light measured on Earth might be lower than its theoretical speed due to dark matter and dark energy found throughout the universe slowing it down. As such, neutrinos on Earth might only go faster than the highest speed of light we have so far discovered.

A challenge to Gardner's model comes from analysis of neutrinos from supernova SN 1987A, which strongly indicated the ethereal particles obey the cosmic speed limit. Perhaps, however, the light and neutrinos did not emanate from the explosion simultaneously, as assumed, and instead the star actually emitted faster-than-light neutrinos after it did the light. "Prior to SN 1987A theory told us that blue supergiant stars did not explode—SN 1987A came as something of a surprise," Gardner says. Perhaps this explosion behaved differently from more familiar supernovae, with its neutrino and light bursts occurring farther apart in time, and only by a fantastic coincidence did astronomers detect them close together.

To help settle the neutrino mystery, OPERA and MINOS will continue to make ever-more precise measurements of neutrino speeds.

"I think all we have to do is sit back and cheer our OPERA [and] MINOS colleagues onwards, and in two years or so we will know whether to get really excited," Learned says. "This is a great example of science in action, a great drama unfolding. It is either a fantastic discovery which seemingly cannot but have huge and as yet unknown consequences or it is a mistake. One would be a fool not to bet against the results, but yet they are not obviously wrong. Stay tuned!"