Friday, January 4, 2008

A New Year! ~Create in 2008!

We have violent conflicts the world over -- over access to or ownership of natural resources, or about land rights, or rights to minerals, water, oil…. and how many precious resources are wasted in the production of what we think will solve our problems (oil, ethanol, bio-fuels which are all energy intensive)?

What are our intentions for creating the positive communities that we wish to experience here on planet Earth? Solar power is everywhere. There are even solar panels that now capture sun energy in foggy areas. Communities in California won the right to take control of their energy with the landmark AB 117 Community Choice law in 2002. Cities and counties can act as buyer-cooperatives in purchasing their own energy via the open market, or by issuing tax-free bonds to invest in their own new energy facilities. In Massachusetts, we have the success of the Cape Light Compact which serves 200,000 customers. Cape Light Compact's transparent energy efficiency programs has installed solar installations on Cape Cod schools, fire stations and libraries.

I was at the United Nations last year to attend the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development 15th Session. There was a great deal of discussion about "Clean Coal" ! Yes the new buzz word by the coal industry is "Clean Coal"! The spin masters have gone overboard with this one!

Coal is like a sponge. It absorbs cadmium, mercury, etc. -- all released when processed and burned. The nuclear power industry is claiming to be clean too! Nuclear Power is the most expensive to produce and the most dangerous fuel on the planet. Need we say more?

Oil? Here in the San Francisco Bay we experienced a major cargo ship accident where over 58,000 gallons of toxic dirty fuel spilled into the San Francisco Bay impacting wildlife and also birds on their annual migration. Chevron is located here in the San Francisco Bay Area and the price that we pay for petrol is the highest in the U.S. The social price that other communities pay around the world so oil can get to the U.S. and China etc. is even higher!

Our greatest power in changing and shifting the system is to first understand how the economic policies are skewed to benefit major corporations and not the rest of us. According to the World Bank, 1.1 billion of the world's 6.5-billion people live on less than a dollar a day.There are over 9,000 families homeless in NYC. We have people living on the streets in San Francisco, Berkeley, Calcutta, Paris, -- where wealth abounds. Slums exist all over the developing world. So…who owns the wealth? The concentration is getting smaller while we fight amongst each other around the world for the crumbs. The greatest end to war is people educating themselves and each other-- not with folk tales and misinformation or keeping old grudges alive--- but on what is really going on --and by taking hold of solutions and moving on past the systems that are impoverishing us and the natural resources of earth! Yes- the past and our stories that keep us in the past is our ball and chain. How can we free ourselves? can we forgive the atrocities of twenty five …hundred.. a thousand years ago? How can we stop buying into those stories that keep us separated by race, class and gender, etc.? How can we create new stories that empower all of us?

In-fighting is applauded by the powers that be- we know that. They count on that many people will act like sheep. Those who control the information want to make sure we are kept distracted with conflicts and fear. We know that they are wrong. How do we step up empowering ourselves and each other? The Iowa caucuses has shown that people are waking up to critical thinking. We need to ignite this "critical thinking" revolution around the world!

What are the impacts of our actions? Is the wealth acquired by an ethanol corn producing farm really worth it when the water is polluted and poisons have to be used to sustain a mono-crop that eventually depletes and sterilizes soil? Why not integrate perma-culture and cooperative organic methods if we have to grow this stuff? Our aim should be not only to question but to make it unprofitable to carry on with economic policies that are poisoning us and the planet.

Whether you are a blue collar worker or bio-tech scientist...Stop buying into the machine. Dare to change it! How? Speak up and question! Is there a better way?

How about putting your dollars into products that are local or produced by sustainable methods. Disable the destruction machine by taking action as a citizen of your village, town or city by asking for systems and policies that we know will sustain our ecosystems. Ask once, twice- and keep at it! Is your apartment building spraying toxic pesticides? Ask why? Find out what are the alternatives. Hold a meeting- be peaceful- find solutions together!

Does your store carry affordable organic products- no? Ask why not. If not --start a neighborhood once-a- month buying club and find an organic farmer that will deliver to you and who will provide healthy choices.

Remember that we can clean up this way of our consuming and living in a toxic soup that is speeding us on our way to a dead planet.We can challenge each other and ourselves. The world needs us! The world needs us to release all those behaviors and clinging to all that which holds us in bondage. We are the ones who can make the difference by taking action.
If our country was able to pull together during World War II with great personal sacrifice and innovation on the part of all segments of society.

What is stopping us from acting in peaceful constructive ways to use our wealth and technology to get back in balance with our planet's live giving systems?

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