News-in-Transition

28 May 2017

 - On Saturday, in often sweltering heat, more than 44,000 people in Ecuador reportedly sowed their way into the Guinness Book of World Records by planting 647,250 trees of over 200 species in one day. The effort was organized by the Ecuadoran government under an initiative called “Siembratón.”

Ecuador’s record was set based on the number of species of trees planted. “There is no record in history of similar events involving over 150 species,” a Guinness Records adjudicator told AFP.

Volunteers reportedly sowed an estimated 216 species of trees across some 2,000 hectares of land in 150 locations ranging from the Pacific coastal region to the Amazonian basin to the high Andean mountains. The diverse climatic terrain likely helped in the small country plant so many different species. Trees included alder, wild cherry, willow, cedar, rosemary, lignum vitae, myrtle, podocarpus, carob, cholan, laurel silk guarando, eugenia, mahogany, paper tree, walnut, fig tree and arabisco.

Read more...

25 May 2017

 - This is one of the most dramatic beach makeovers, ever. Over a span of 85 weeks, resident volunteers in north western Mumbai, India, transformed Versova beach from one of the most littered to absolutely stunning. The beach cleanup removed 5.3 million kilograms of trash, which is over half of the daily garbage generated by Mumbai.

Local attorney Afroz Shah started this remarkable beach cleanup effort in October, 2015. He received much support from Versova residents, students, businesses, and civic employees. In addition, the movement gained the attention of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

What became the Versova Resident Volunteers group collected over 5 million kilograms of trash, including plastic, glass and other debris. In addition to their work on the beach, volunteers cleaned up many creeks that feed into the ocean. As a result of his leadership in this cleanup effort, Shah received the UN’s top environmental award, Champions of the Earth.

Read more...

21 April 2017

 - On the one hand; yes, we’re an incredibly violent and cruel species that is capable of mind-boggling horrors when we’re trying to survive. Hell, some of the things we do when we aren’t desperate are still nightmare inducing. But what most people forget is that in our darkest moments, we’re capable of immeasurable acts of compassion and altruism.

That’s the unique duality of our species; and it’s a duality that totally separates us from every other creature on this planet. When we’re bad, we’re worse than any animal. That’s why we prep. But at our best, people are capable of awe-inspiring acts of kindness. Your average individual human is capable of more mercy and selflessness than the members of most entire species put together.

And in case you’ve forgotten that fact, I have a few reminders for you. Below are ten examples of people who were utterly selfless in the midst of terrible tragedies and disasters.

Read more...

20 March 2017

 - There is a sense that the world food system has reached an impasse. Hunger afflicts at least an eighth of the world population, mostly in the global South, but also in the North where austerity policies—which respond to crisis by prioritizing the interests of the wealthy—leave working people hungry. What is even more serious is that even this damaged 'food security' cannot be guaranteed into the future. International institutions now recognize that something fundamental must change, a realization embodied in the notion of paradigm shift and further concretized in the form of sustainable intensification.

"The world needs a paradigm shift in agricultural development: from a 'green revolution' to an ecological intensification' approach. This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production towards mosaics of sustainable regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers. We need to see a move from a linear to a holistic approach in agricultural management, which recognizes that a farmer is not only a producer of agricultural goods, but also a manager of an agroecological system..."

Read more...

11 April 2017

 - What do you think the biggest issues the world faces today are? Most people would say matters of bias and privilege, right? Well what if you could go somewhere where those weren't problems?

The truth is, you can. This utopia has existed for 50 years, even; it's called Auroville, and is located in Southern India.

The brainchild of Mirra Alfansa, Auroville is a universally welcoming place, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, or language.

Instead, it celebrates what we all are: Citizens of earth.

Alfansa created a charter by which the city runs, and no nation can claim property of the place. Instead, it belongs to the world.

Read more...

4 April 2017

 - People in the small town of Cajamarca, Colombia understand that water is life, and that’s why they rejected a $35 billion gold mine project, choosing instead to put people and the Earth before profit. “Around 98 percent of the residents in Cajamarca said no to the mine due to concerns over the environment and water pollution.”

The South African company, AngloGold Ashanti, wanted to build the gold mine (La Colosa) in Central Colombia. It is planned to be the biggest gold mine in South America, and has the backing of the national government. However, residents of Cajamarca, the planned location of the mine, overwhelmingly rejected the project in a recent referendum.

Read more...

30 March 2017

 - The smallest country in Central America – El Salvador – has approved a law prohibiting all metal mining in an attempt to protect the environment and natural resources. It is the first country in the world to do so.

The new law, supported by 70 lawmakers, bans all exploration, extraction, and processing of metals both in open pits and mines.

“It’s a historic day in El Salvador. It’s a historic day for the whole world,”, Environment Minister Lina Pohl told reporters after a vote in Congress, as quoted by the Financial Times.

Read more...

26 March 2017

 - In these uncertain, crazy, polarizing and scary times we live in, one thing I think everyone can agree on is this: if viewed as a single macro-organism, humanity has fallen ill. There has been a sickness—a type of madness—existing deep within the soul of humanity that for many years has been infecting the global body politic that, instead of continuing to hide in the shadows, is now becoming glaringly and undeniably obvious. Current political events are the manifestation of a deeper process that has been brewing in the cauldron of the collective unconscious of humanity for many years, maybe even from the beginning of our appearance on this planet.

With the ascension of Donald Trump onto the highest throne of political power on planet earth, some of us might feel that the sickness is finally going to be called out, illumined and healed, while others feel that Trump and his administration are themselves the current purveyors, lineage holders and embodiments of the sickness. Either way, the fact that humanity is not well—afflicted with some sort of disorder—is something I think we can all agree upon; this might be a good starting point for our inquiry. The obvious question: What is the nature of this deeper sickness that is pulsing through the veins of humanity?

Read more...

14 March 2017

 - Rational observation leads one to be unable to deny the undeniable:  the toxic burden now being carried by the Earth’s atmosphere, living matter, animals and humans, has taken us all to the brink of apocalypse.

Yet, in spite of evidential states of dramatic damage to the fabric of life on Earth, radiantly beautiful children are birthing on this planet every day, as if in defiant declarations of the power of life over death.

These children are arriving even as nuclear reactors leak, catch fire and melt down, depositing their deadly radioactive isotopes around the planet. Even as a persistent drum beat ‘for war’ reverberates  across continents and seas. Even as mind numbed and micro-chipped robotic humans blunder blindly onwards towards their slavish epiphany.  Even as the skies are torn apart by streams of aluminium sulphate nanoparticles, and depleted uranium continues its mission as a weapon of mass destruction, to rip the very heart out of the warm corpuscles of life.

Read more...

8 March 2017

 - “The world today hangs by a thin thread, and that thread is the psyche of man.” - C. G. Jung

How does anyone possibly express in words the state of collective madness that humanity has fallen into at this time in our history? As if in a hypnotic trance, our species is enacting a mass ritual suicide on a global scale, rushing as fast as we can towards our own self-destruction. We are destroying the biospheric life-support systems of the planet in so many different ways that it is as if we are determined to make this suicide attempt work—using a variety of methods as a perverse insurance policy, in case a couple of them don’t do the job. What modern-day humanity is confronted with, to quote the author and Trappist monk Thomas Merton, is “a crisis of sanity first of all.”

In trying to find a way to write about this state of affairs, I find myself going “off-planet,” imagining what it would look like if some enlightened aliens, in their travels throughout the universe, came upon our planet. Observing from a distance, they would naturally see all the various living beings who call planet earth home as related members of one larger organism—a single eco-system—who literally depend upon each other for survival. From this vantage point, I imagine, they would be utterly baffled at why human beings—the seemingly most intelligent species ever to appear on planet earth—are acting out their destructive impulses practically without restraint in every corner of the globe. Contemplating the state of humanity, I imagine these awakened beings wondering, “What in the world has gotten into them?”

Read more...

20 February 2017

 - Understanding the origin, purpose, and true nature of the earthly reality that you are experiencing can be instrumental to transcending your current level of consciousness and moving up to the next level of the game.  For some, especially the unawakened, this information might be a bit overwhelming or hard to believe but it could prove to be very important to the future course of your life both, during this one and the next.
Within the Construct

As with all realities created within the One great cosmic mind, and there are multitudes, our earthly reality is simply a mental construct.  There are many individual parts/aspects of the One who have chosen to put their focal point of awareness within this construct — to dive into, and play the Earth game.  And they all chose to do this for the same fundamental reason — because it provides extremely interesting and formative experiences that drive the evolution of consciousness.  And this is the point of all realities because the foundational stuff of existence IS CONSCIOUSNESS.

YOU are one of these aspects of the One that is playing the Earth game right NOW.  Whether you know it or not, your true essence IS, and ALWAYS has been, a thread of the universal consciousness.  And you, and the higher levels of you, on behalf of the One, have been exploring the nature of yourself and existence by creating a multitude of realities and playing a multitude of roles (lives) within those realities.

Read more...

14 February 2017

Seeing Wetiko: On Capitalism, Mind Viruses, and Antidotes for a World in Transition - What if we told you that humanity is being driven to the brink of extinction by an illness? That all the poverty, the climate devastation, the perpetual war, and consumption fetishism we see all around us have roots in a mass psychological infection? What if we went on to say that this infection is not just highly communicable but also self-replicating, according to the laws of cultural evolution, and that it remains so clandestine in our psyches that most hosts will, as a condition of their infected state, vehemently deny that they are infected? What if we then told you that this ‘mind virus’ can be described as a form of cannibalism. Yes, cannibalism. Not necessarily in the literal flesh-eating sense but rather the idea of consuming others—human and non-human—as a means of securing personal wealth and supremacy.

You may dismiss this line of thinking as New Age woo-woo or, worse, a lefty conspiracy theory. But this approach of viewing the transmission of ideas as a key determinant of the emergent reality is increasingly validated by various branches of science, including evolutionary theory, quantum physics, cognitive linguistics, and epigenetics.

The history of this infection is long, strange, and dark. But it leads to hope.

Read more...

3 February 2017

 - Automation is coming, and it's going to drastically reduce the amount of labor needed for society to function. This will result in many people – particularly unskilled workers – being out of work and having very little to do. This could have many negative ramifications, such as increased crime, substance abuse, and so forth. While I'm still apprehensive about UBI, we need to be prepared for automation and its consequences.

It is a utopian idea, literally, but is enjoying a renaissance as politicians and policy wonks grapple with technology-driven changes that could redefine our very understanding of work.

If robots and machine intelligence threaten to render many white-collar jobs obsolete, then what will people do for money?

Enter the concept of a "universal basic income", a flat sum paid to all regardless of your existing wealth or ability to work. It is one of the rare ideas that has support from both the libertarian right -- which favours tearing up the welfare state -- and the left wing.

Read more...

Boycott Israeli Goods