The Horizon Of Our Dreams

TEDx - “Fifty years from now, will we have destroyed the world? Or saved it? It’s not too soon to ask. Little more than 100 years ago, the mundane acts of our 21st Century daily life were strictly the purview of the gods: To take flight and traverse a continent in just hours…To splash daylight across a massive arena on a moonless night with the touch of one finger…

“The more god-like we’ve become, the more our humility is affected.” And if we don’t give serious thought to our trajectory as a global society, if we spend too much time looking backward nostalgically rather than ahead thoughtfully, we will succumb to ourselves. Because, “the default human society is flawed”, and it is up to us to fight against that default.

Are we the first species to overcome the challenges and obstacles inherent in reaching out to the cosmos? If so, the next 100 million years may be up to us. Can we find a way to bring other species along with us and, together, light up the galaxy?”

- David Brin -

Victory! India Saves ‘Avatar Tribe’ From Vedanta Mine

Many people wrongly believe that the fight for tribal peoples’ rights is unwinnable, especially when they’re pitched against huge multinationals like Vedanta. But this outcome shows that might isn’t always right. The Dongria’s determination, coupled with overwhelming public support, has set a new precedent for tribal rights in India.’

 YouTube“Mine, narrated by Joanna Lumley, tells the story of the remote Dongria Kondh tribe’s struggle to protect Niyamgiri, the mountain they worship as a God. London-based mining company Vedanta Resources plans a vast open-pit bauxite mine in India’s Niyamgiri hills, and the Dongria Kondh know that means the destruction of their forests, their way of life, and their mountain God…”

Victory: India saves ‘Avatar tribe’ from Vedanta mine

Vedanta had failed to seek the consent of the Dongria before embarking on the project and even built a refinery at the bottom of the Niyamgiri Hills, which cost the company an estimated US $800 million.

Survival International – “In a sensational victory in the stand-off between India’s ‘real Avatar tribe’ and British mining giant Vedanta Resources, India’s authorities have quashed the company’s plans to mine the Dongria Kondh tribe’s sacred hills, it has been widely reported.

The decision follows unprecedented consultations with Dongria Kondh villages surrounding the mine site, which were ordered by India’s Supreme Court and dubbed the country’s first ever ‘environmental referendum’.

All twelve Dongria Kondh villages involved in the consultation courageously rejected Vedanta’s project in the face of intimidation and harassment, but the final decision lay with the Ministry for Environment and Forests.

The crushing defeat will have global repercussions for companies intent on working on tribal peoples’ lands and should serve as a lesson that tribal communities’ prior consent must always be sought.

The Dongria Kondh are celebrating their victory over British mining giant Vedanta Resources.
© Toby Nicholas/Survival

 

Survival International has been at the forefront of a global campaign supporting the Dongria’s struggle against Vedanta Resources, and persuaded celebrities such as Joanna Lumley and Michael Palin to champion the tribe’s cause.

Actor Joanna Lumley, who narrated Survival’s short film ‘Mine’ about the Dongria’s plight, said about the victory, ‘I am thrilled and delighted by this marvellous news. It shows that there really is hope for the ’little people’ of the world, standing up against governments and the greed of large corporations. The strength and resilience of the Dongria Kondh people has been both inspirational and humbling.’”

Full Article On Survival International

California’s Extreme Drought

 State officials in California have said that 17 communities will be out of water within the next two to four months.

17 California Towns Will Run Out of Water in the Next 60 to 120 days

Activist Post “Wells are starting to run dry and reservoir levels are low as the state faces the worst drought in almost a century. The number of vulnerable communities is expected to increase over the coming weeks and months, and the list will be updated weekly said Dave Mazzera, acting drinking water division chief for the California Department of Public Health.

Lompico is one of the affected areas.

“We have been unable to take water out of the creek since August and well production is down, and we didn’t have that much water to begin with.” said Lois Henry from the Lompico water board. She is certain the district will soon have to truck in water.”

Cloverdale has already seen the implementation of mandatory 25% rationing and a ban on lawn watering. It’s very likely that more mandatory cut backs will follow.” Full Story & List of Most Vulnerable Areas

DROUGHT STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR CALIFORNIA 1/17/14

Colorado River Drought Forces a Painful Reckoning for States

Faced with the shortage, federal authorities this year will for the first time decrease the amount of water that flows into Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, from Lake Powell 180 miles upstream.

That will reduce even more the level of Lake Mead, a crucial source of water for cities from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and for millions of acres of farmland: NYTIMES

The Enormous California Wildfire Looks Like Hell On Earth

Governor Brown Declares Drought State of Emergency


END:CIV – What Would You Fight For?

Based in part on Endgame, the best-selling book by Derrick Jensen, END:CIV asks: “If your homeland was invaded by aliens who cut down the forests, poisoned the water and air, and contaminated the food supply, would you resist?”

“A fierce critique of systematic violence and industrial civilization, End:Civ is not intended for garden-variety environmentalists. If you are anywhere below, say, an 8 on that sliding scale of pissed off, then this film is going to scare you…which means you should watch it.”

-Eugene Weekly

1aquote-derrick-jensen“There are very sober people talking about the possible death of entire oceans. The end of fish. If that’s not worth fighting for, what is?” Activist and author Derrick Jensen asserts that industrial civilization is murdering the planet and it must be stopped. We need to decolonize our hearts and minds. As soon as our allegiance is to the real world and not industrial capitalism, things become more clear. His books include A Language Older Than Words, The Culture of Make Believe, What We Leave Behind and Endgame.”

END:CIV- “The causes underlying the collapse of civilizations are usually traced to overuse of resources. As we write this, the world is reeling from economic chaos, peak oil, climate change, environmental degradation, and political turmoil. Every day, the headlines re-hash stories of scandal and betrayal of the public trust. We don?t have to make outraged demands for the end of the current global system – it seems to be coming apart already. 

But acts of courage, compassion and altruism abound, even in the most damaged places. By documenting the resilience of the people hit hardest by war and repression, and the heroism of those coming forward to confront the crisis head-on, END:CIV illuminates a way out of this all-consuming madness and into a saner future.

Backed by Jensen’s narrative, the film calls on us to act as if we truly love this land. The film trips along at a brisk pace, using music, archival footage, motion graphics, animation, slapstick and satire to deconstruct the global economic system, even as it implodes around us. END:CIV illustrates first-person stories of sacrifice and heroism with intense, emotionally-charged images that match Jensen’s poetic and intuitive approach. Scenes shot in the back country provide interludes of breathtaking natural beauty alongside clearcut evidence of horrific but commonplace destruction.”

Human Population Growth & Wildlife Extinction

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©Rebecca McFarland 2010

January 24, 2014 – “There are more than 7 billion people on the planet, and we’re adding 227,000 more every day. The toll on wildlife is impossible to miss: Species are disappearing 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than the natural rate — the fastest rate since dinosaurs roamed the planet. We can reduce our own population and consumption to an ecologically sustainable level in ways that promote human rights; decrease poverty and overcrowding; raise our standard of living; and allow plants, animals and ecosystems to thrive…”

A Whisper To A Roar

“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.”

- Voltaire

“As the powerful documentary A Whisper to a Roar demonstrates, Voltaire’s warning has never been truer than it is today. This film spotlights the perilous plight of pro-democracy activists in five countries as they mobilize against authoritarian governments that have been very wrong, in some cases for a very long time…”

The Square

I watched the documentary, “The Square” on Netflix today and was absolutely blown away by it.  It is a very complex documentary and it touches on issues that every one fighting to make a change in this world can probably relate to: Disorganization, facing overwhelming odds, risk of imprisonment, death…renewal and hope for a better world. I will give fair warning tho – this isn’t for the faint of heart or those who can’t focus on subtitles. It is POWERFUL in so many ways...it is sickening, discouraging, harsh, beautiful, terrifying uplifting, inspiring…what an emotional roller-coaster. I get chills all over again even now as I am sifting through the YT clips to share.

The one thing that struck me more than anything as I was watching, was just how right the ideas behind the Common Ground movement are. No matter what some of our differences may be, it is absolutely imperative that we start learning to look past them and turn our focus to what we have in common with each other. The whole world seems to be edging towards a roaring, revolutionary period as more of US, the peons of the world, get fed up with being stomped on by more and more of THEM – the current power-system holders. As things stand worldwide, THEY can stomp us with sheer force in 2 heartbeats…WE can only stand strong and “win” if we stand arm in arm, tight…Together…

“The Square movie is a documentary about the Egyptian revolution behind the headlines. Follow a group of activists in Tahrir Square, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience…”

“If you take out people & put people just like them from the same circle, from the same regime, then you didn’t take down the regime, you took down people…”

“Our main problem as revolutionaries, most of the time we only object and say, “No” and we never offer alternatives…”

Filming “The Square”

Common Ground: Can We All Agree?

Common Ground – “Very few would disagree with the assertion that our current system has us headed for a disaster. However not everyone agrees on what that disaster will look like, and it’s virtually impossible to get people to agree on the solution. As a result forming a unified front to face these challenges has been next to impossible.

The Common Ground is an approach designed to deal with this issue.

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Redefining Family

“You see so many people left alone. Why? Because of our concept of family.”

- Guruji Sri Vast

Sustainable Man -  “There are other ways of doing things. In this video, Guruju Sri Vast argues that it’s our concept of family that is destroying the world. “By only seeing those inside your house as your family, naturally, you must take from those outside of your house to take care of those inside of your house.” This view puts all families in competition with one another. Sri Vast points towards a new concept of family.

What does family mean to you? For Sri Vast, it is anywhere where he feels love and accepted for who he is. Using this definition of family – love and acceptance – could we not all be one big human family? 

“No one needs to be alone.” 

Peru: Gas Expansion in Amazon ‘Indigenous Reserve’

The Ecologist - “The Peruvian government is pushing ahead with plans to expand gas operations in a supposedly protected reserve in the Amazon despite calls by the United Nations to suspend them. 

The company leading the operations, Pluspetrol, moved one step closer to proceeding with the expansion of the Camisea gas project – Peru’s biggest ever energy development – following a report by the vice-ministry of inter-culturality (VMI) last week.

Pluspetrol’s plans include drilling 18 wells and conducting seismic tests in an ‘intangible’ reserve for indigenous peoples living in ‘voluntary isolation’ and ‘initial contact’.

The reserve is also part of the buffer zone for the Manu national park, where Unesco says the biological diversity “exceeds that of any other place on Earth.”

UN special rapporteur visited in December

The VMI, Pluspetrol and the energy ministry are continuing to push ahead with the expansion plans despite recommendations made by the UN’s special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, during a visit to Peru in December.

“As if the UN’s special rapporteur didn’t exist or hadn’t made an official visit”, was how Servindi, a Peruvian news website, responded to the VMI’s report.

Anaya made his recommendations in a formal, 2,714 word statement read at a press conference in Lima. One recommendation was that the government perform an“exhaustive study” of the indigenous peoples in the gas project region.

Another that it “shouldn’t proceed with the proposed expansion without previously and conclusively establishing that their human rights will not be violated.”

“It’s obvious that these groups are extremely vulnerable”, Anaya said at the end of his eight day visit.

Violence can be expected

Pilar Cameno, from Peruvian NGO DAR, told the Guardian that the expansion could lead to“violent encounters” between gas project workers and indigenous peoples, “increased mortality rates”, the loss of land and access to resources, and environmental contamination.

“The Peruvian state must heed the UN rapporteur’s recommendations and implement them”, Cameno says. “What’s at stake here is the survival of the indigenous peoples in isolation and initial contact – not just as individuals, but as whole cultures.”

Full Article on The Ecologist

PERU FINES PLUSPETROL FOR DAMAGE TO AMAZON POND

Nov. 27, 2013

AP – “Peru’s environmental protection agency has levied a $7 million fine on the Argentine oil company Pluspetrol for damage in the Amazon jungle to a pond in the country’s biggest oil concession.

The fine follows a total of $13 million in other sanctions against the company imposed this year by the agency for oil contamination. Those included the largest single fine ever levied in Peru against an oil company.

Pluspetrol did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

The company produces 15,000 barrels of oil daily in a lot in the northern state of Loreto where the environmental agency says the Shanshococha pond disappeared due to production activity.

Peru produces 62,000 barrels of oil daily.”

Introducing An Urban Renaissance Towards Living Neighbouhoods

Elke Miedema is an ambitious architect. She is part of Except, a multi disciplinary co-operation of sustainability professionals. She explains Urban Renaissance: a new way to re-develop our living environment, using the existing strengths to enable transformation, leaving room for innovation and stakeholder responsibility. 

Except is a worldwide cooperative of about 30 sustainability strategists, researchers and designers. Together we innovate for those organizations that wish to lead the way in sustainable development.

Polydome

Polydome is a revolutionary approach to greenhouse agriculture that offers the possibility of commercial scale, net-zero-impact food production. The Polydome system strategically interweaves a wide variety of crops and animals, taking advantage of every inch of the greenhouse while eliminating the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

With its high yields (60 – 90 kg per square meter), and diverse outputs (over 50 crops, two mushroom varieties, chickens, eggs, fish, and honey), even a small Polydome system can provide a richly varied food supply for a large population.

Sustainable Schiebroek-Zuid

Except developed a sustainable conversion and development plan for the post-war social housing area Schiebroek-Zuid in Rotterdam.

The project provides a flexible and exemplary roadmap for converting the neighborhood into a self-sufficient and sustainable area. It applies innovative energy solutions, various urban farming methods, social and economic programmes, secondary currencies, and adaptive redevelopment strategies.

Social housing conversion
As a first of its kind, the Sustainable Schiebroek-Zuid project provides a template approach to converting a commonly problematic housing typology into a beautiful, equitable and resilient sustainable community. The neighborhood uses proven, common technologies in smart ways, in combination with ‘biological engines’ to provide the neighborhood with its own water, electricity, heat, waste processing and 70% of its own food production.

Closed loop metabolism
The plan combines socio-economic programs and proven technologies to create a closed-loop urban metabolism. All energy and water are locally provided and most wastes are handled on site. Local agriculture is the “biological engine” that drives many aspects of the plan, such as energy generation, nutrition, education, recreation, social programs, and local economic activities.

Learn More: 

The Water Front

Coming soon to a city near you..?

What if you lived by the largest body of fresh water in the world but could no longer afford to use it?

The People’s Tribune-

“People need to know how much they are charging for every 1,000 cubic feet of water and for the sewage. My bill is $8 shy of $2,500 and $1,900 is for sewage. On my block alone, bills are almost $50,000. There are a lot of people here that receive only one check a month. They can’t afford to pay these bills.”

The Highland Park Human Rights Coalition joined forces with The Citizens for Highland Park Public schools to fight both the water crises and the dismantlement of the children’s educational system in Highland Park.

For more information, contact the Highland Park Human Rights Coalition at Michigan Welfare Rights, 313-964-0618.

Highland Park Water Crisis (doc)

“For the past several years in the city of Highland Park, thousands of residents and small businesses have had their water shut-off or have been threatened with water shut-off notices because they are unable to pay their exorbitantly high water and sewage bills. This situation has put many residents at risk of losing their home or children. In particular, many low-income seniors have had their water bills attached to their home property taxes as a lien. If this large bill—often thousands of dollars—is not paid, the home can be foreclosed upon and the senior can lose his or her home. For parents receiving Family Independence Agency assistance for their children, having no water in the home is cause for removal of the children.

The typical bill for most households is several hundred dollars every three months—far higher than the average national cost (see note below[1]). However, because of extensive billing delays by Highland Park financial managers, residents have been receiving water bills every six to nine months. Water bills recipients are then expected to pay these huge “estimate” water bills—again, often thousands of dollars—within a few days or risk shut-off. Furthermore, city clerks will not allow residents to make partial payments or payment arrangements, and repeatedly have been disrespectful and rude to these customers.

* Note:  According to a survey cited by the Environmental Protection Agency, the average annual household cost for water and sewer in the U.S. is $474. Highland Park residents pay nearly four times this amount! (http://www.epa.gov/ow/infrastructure/pricing/index.htm)”

Full Document Available Here

Rule from the Shadows – The Psychology of Power

“Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”

-President Woodrow Wilson in his book the “The New Freedom” published in 1913

Excerpts, StormCloudsGathering – “The quest for power is the primary driving force of history, always has been, always will be. Those who fail to recognize this principle are not spared in the grand chess game, but rather are moved and manipulated by forces that they do not understand.

From the perspective of those who dominate the board it is obviously preferable to have a population of ignorant pawns than it is to have an array of opponents which are capable of mounting an effective resistance. To that end it has always been in the interest of the ruling class to cultivate illusions which obscure the true nature of the game…”

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”

- Edward Bernays – “Propaganda” 1928

“The invisible government that Walter Lippmann, Edward Bernays, and Woodrow Wilson had referred to was not just an abstract concept. It was a very real and concrete reality, and they were were well positioned to comment on it, because they directly participated in its creation.

It all started as an inquiry. “The Inquiry.” to the select few who knew, was a group of 150 men assembled by Woodrow Wilson to gather the data they thought necessary to “make the world safe for democracy” after World War I was over.

Among the known members of the inquiry were Walter Lippmann, Paul Warburg (better known as the father of the Federal Reserve), and Edward House, Wilson’s closest advisor, the man responsible for convincing Wilson to sign the Federal Reserve Act in 1913.

From 1917 to 1918, the group compiled over 2000 documents to be used during postwar negotiations. The most famous of these was the 14 points document, authored by Walter Lippmann, which proposed the creation of the League of Nations, the predecessor to the United Nations.

After the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 a portion of the Inquiry met at the Hotel Majestic with a number of British diplomats to discuss forming a permanent institution. This meeting eventually led to the decision to join forces with a group of high-ranking officers of banking, manufacturing, trading and finance companies led by Elihu Root, a powerful corporate lawyer who was also a former United States Secretary of War, and leading advocate of Americas entry into the World War I. On July 29, 1921 the merged group filed a certification of incorporation, officially forming the Council on Foreign Relations, also known as the CFR.

The CFR, went on to build a membership comprised of the worlds most powerful business leaders, politicians and corporations. Among the corporate members are Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Chevron, Exxon, Shell, BP Oil, General Electric, Raytheon, Lockhead Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Bloomberg, Rothschild North America, and Dyncorp international. You can find a complete list on the CFR website.”

Group psychology is a weapon and like all weapons it is capable of being used for good or for evil. For many years it has been in the wrong hands. It has been hidden from the public and used against them. It’s time for the people to pick up that weapon and use it to free themselves.

Time to start studying.

Read Gustave Le Bon’s books: “The Crowd” and “The Psychology of Revolution”.

Read Edward Bernays’ books: “Propaganda” and “Crystalizing Public Opinion”.

And read Gene Sharp’s books: “From Dictatorship to Democracy” and “National Security Through Civilian-Based Defense”

Learn the theory. Learn the techniques and start using them to spread the truth rather than hiding it. Start using them to prevent wars rather than start them. Start using them to stop the militarization of the police and to end the surveillance state. Use them to bring this corporate mafia to its knees.

To some of you this might be a bit frightening. This is dangerous stuff. These are ideological m-16s with boxes of ammunition.

If even a few motivated individuals started using these techniques effectively it could seriously disrupt the balance of power.

But that’s exactly what’s needed.

I challenge you to look around. Look at the state of the world. Look at where these psychopaths are taking us. If you do not feel the imperative to change the course we are on, then you are not paying attention.

To be continued (Parts 2 and 3 are already under way).”

Read Full Story With Sources, Full Transcript and Bonus Footage Here

From Garden City to Edible City

Having spent five years on organic farms in Europe, Bjorn Low founded Edible Gardens, a friendly social enterprise that aims to change the food production landscape in Singapore. He has been using unique techniques such as pop up farms, vertical food walls, and edible landscaping services to facilitate the ecological environment. 

After dabbling several jobs like a cook and camera salesperson, Calvin worked his way up from O&M traffic assistant to the employee of the year within 2 years. He was the first Singaporean CD in Fallon New York and has worked in several Fortune 500 companies. Presently, Calvin is an urban farmer and founder of Ninety Nine Percent, an organization that works with clients who want to integrate consumers into their brand. 

Edible Gardens

“Edible Gardens champions the “Grow Your Own Food” movement in land-scarce and import-dependent Singapore. We want our city to grow food at under-utilized spaces like rooftops and sidewalks. We believe that growing food re-connects urbanites to nature, conserves natural resources, and cultivates a sense of community.

We design, build and maintain food gardens in tropical urban Singapore. Our team has more than 10 years of farming, award-winning design and construction experience. We use sustainable natural growing methods, resource recycling and waste minimisation. Our mantra: Beautiful gardens should be productive too.

We support communities via social projects and public outreach. We believe that every urbanite can have access to fresh produce grown naturally.

Join us in this food movement.”

Click here to visit the website and learn more

Edible “Garden City” Project on Facebook