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4 Ways to De-Escalate Extremism

“Problems are solvable. That does not mean that they will solve themselves, but it does mean that we can solve them if we sustain the benevolent forces of modernity that have allowed us to solve problems so far, including societal prosperity, wisely regulated markets, international governance, and investments in science and technology.” ~Steven Pinker

Humanistic environmentalism is the way forward if we wish to survive in harmony with the planet and to evolve in a healthy and progressive way.

This means being proactive in the de-escalation of carbon, unsustainable material excess, poverty, and overreaching bloated militaries.

This means not only placing our best efforts in building something new, but also in systematically dismantling the unsustainable system that outflanks us. As Arundhati Roy said, “Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness.”

This means going beyond merely being eco-aware, but also being eco-centric and eco-moral. Precisely because we are interdependent beings. We are the earth, and the earth is us: self-as-world and world-as-self.

The rising ecowarriors are the spearhead of this revolution-turned-evolution. They are the voices of logic and reason in the Desert of Conditioned Ignorance. They are the embodiment of healthy change amidst all the unhealthy stagnation. They are a personified force of nature. And they are willing to die bringing water to wasteland.

Decarbonization

“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” ~Aldo Leopold

As it stands, the excessive use of fossil fuels does the exact opposite of preserving the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.

Forget the ongoing debate about climate change and global warming. Some people’s cognitive dissonance is so powerful that no amount of arguing will convince them. It will only solidify their hardheaded stance.

Focus instead on the real problem; something we can all agree on: pollution. There is no denying that the excessive use of fossil fuels is a dangerous pollutant. From oil-based plastics choking plankton at the bottom of the food chain, to oil-slicked coastlines clogging our waterways. From non-biodegradable plastics piling up in landfills, to orange-hazed ozone poisoning the air we breathe. Nobody can deny that pollution is a huge problem in our world.

The new eco-warriors are focusing on scaling back the use of fossil fuels. They are co-creating new, healthier, more sustainable technologies while also shaming and mocking outdated, unhealthy, less sustainable technologies.

Dematerialization

“The real revolution is the revolution of consciousness and each one of us first needs to eliminate the divisionary, materialistic noise we have been conditioned to think is true; while discovering, amplifying, and aligning with the signal coming from our true empirical oneness.” ~Peter Joseph

Unfortunately, the predominant paradigm in our culture is ego-centric, materialistic and ownership-based. We live in a world where human relations are mostly based upon materialism, ownership and immediate gratification. It’s almost like we’re conditioned to consume to the point that we “consume” each other. Even the words we use toward each other imply ownership.

It’s sad. But no condition is insurmountable. We can recondition ourselves to form healthy relationships based upon respect, honesty, and trust.

This process begins by first dematerializing our lifestyles. By investing in healthy experiences rather than unhealthy material excess. It begins by transforming our lifestyles into relationship-based rather than ownership-based lifestyles; into courage-based rather than fear-based lifestyles. It begins by doing as Gandhi wisely suggested: “live simply so that others may simply live.”

Let us not be possessed by our possessions. When we escape the linear, ownership-based matrix and discover the interconnected, relationship-based paradigm, we remove ourselves from the dead-end state of coercion, victimization and the subliminal desire to bend others to our will. We move, instead, into the open-ended embrace of cohesion, relationship and the holistic compassion of motivating and bringing people together.

Deimpoverization

“From the point of view of morality, it is not important that everyone should havethe same. What is morally important is that each should have enough.” ~Harry Frankfurt

Extreme poverty and starvation are avoidable in this age of extreme surplus. The utter failure of our distribution system undermines freedom itself. It prevents people from thriving because they are expending all their vital energy on merely surviving.

It behooves us, as both reasonable and moral human beings, to make sure that we each have enough by fixing the corrupt system of distribution. Fixing the problem of distribution and then creating a way where everyone has their basic needs met will go a long way in preventing unnecessary poverty.

The deeper psychological problem is that we believe that our sense of worth is wrapped up in how skilled we are at something, because we were raised and conditioned in a culture that values competition over cooperation. This creates ego-centric specialists concerned only with narrow-minded one-upmanship over open-minded compassion.

But we are social creatures, first and foremost. We need each other to survive. Competition has always been secondary to cooperation; otherwise we wouldn’t have survived as a species (Darwin).

So, our worth is actually wrapped up in how much we care for each other. The problem is that we’ve had the cart (competition) in front of the horse (compassion) for too long. It’s time we got the horse back in front of the cart. This will be an arduously Herculean task, considering our cultural conditioning. But it is very important, for the survival of our species, that we get it right.

Demilitarization

“The fairest rules are those to which everyone would agree if they did not know how much power they would have.” ~John Rawls

The U.S. military is larger than the next seven militaries in the world, combined!

Let that sink in. World military spending totaled more than $1.6 trillion in 2015 alone. The U.S. accounted for 37 percent of that total. If that’s not a bloated military, I don’t know what is.

It’s time to scale back. It’s time to see the military industrial complex for what it really is: a terrorist-generating war machine propped up by profiting weapons manufacturers. As Arundhati Roy said, “Once weapons were manufactured to fight wars. Now wars are manufactured to sell weapons.”

Rising eco-warriors understand that violence is not the answer. The non-aggression principle is paramount. Only self-defense is needed. Overreaching bloated militaries with plutocratic political agendas is never needed. Unless your goal is to keep the rich richer and the poor dead.

At the end of the day, our militarized culture of violence and war is only fruitful through a vigilant rebellion against it. Demilitarization is the systematic dismantling of the war-machine while maintaining an organic adherence to the non-aggression principle.

The new eco-warriors realize that a species hellbent on violence against itself is unhealthy and eventually destroys itself. While a species determined to be healthy, on the other hand, only uses violence in self-defense.

The hardhearted tyrant juts his ugly head, violently declaring himself free at the expense of the freedom of others. The defiant hero rises-up in self-defense, denying the tyrant’s violent oppression while affirming freedom through the freedom of us all. That’s what Albert Camus meant when he wrote: “I rebel –therefore we exist.”

About the Author

Gary ‘Z’ McGeea former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.

This article (4 Ways to De-Escalate Extremism – The Rise of the New Eco-Warriors) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Anna Hunt and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

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Planet Earth

Melted Remains of Hiroshima Litter Japans Beaches

If you take a close look at the beaches of Motoujina Peninsula in Japan, you’ll find the sand is littered with tiny glass beads strangely shaped like teardrops as if they’ve been blasted down from the skies.

It might come as no surprise that these unusual objects are the relics of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in the dying days of World War Two. As reported in the journal Anthropocene, these pieces of debris – dubbed “Hiroshimaites” – are essentially the remains of the city that were blasted into the skies, cooked in an atomic cloud, and later rained down.

While sifting through the sands of Hiroshima Bay and Miyajima Island, geologist Mario Wannier started to notice these glassy flecks and set out on a journey to discover how exactly they were created. In the samples of sand he and his team collected, they found the spheroids and other unusual particles accounted for up to 2.5 percent of all of the grains.

This assortment of glassy particles was discovered in beach sands near Hiroshima. (c) Anthropocene, Volume 25, March 2019

This assortment of glassy particles was discovered in beach sands near Hiroshima. (c) Anthropocene, Volume 25, March 2019

Although most unusual, the teeny structures did remind Wannier of other sediment samples he had analyzed that date to the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, better known as that time an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million ago. Whatever forged the structures, it must have been an unbelievably epic amount of energy – and since they were found just miles outside the epicenter of nuclear explosions that occurred just 74 years ago, the source of that energy was obvious.

On the morning of August 6, 1945, the US dropped “Little Boy” on the city of Hiroshima, marking just the second ever detonation of an A-bomb and the first nuclear weapon ever used in warfare. Over 70 percent of the city was destroyed in the blink of an eye, along with at least 70,000 people who died instantly. An estimated 200,000+ more died in the following years due to injuries and radiation.

“This was the worst manmade event ever, by far,” Wannier said in a statement. “In the surprise of finding these particles, the big question for me was: You have a city, and a minute later you have no city. There was the question of: ‘Where is the city ­­– where is the material?’ It is a trove to have discovered these particles. It is an incredible story.”

The wrecked framework of the Museum of Science and Industry in Hiroshima, Japan. Everett Historical/Shutterstock

The wrecked framework of the Museum of Science and Industry in Hiroshima, Japan. Everett Historical/Shutterstock

A deeper analysis of the Hiroshimaites showed a wide variety in the chemical composition, including concentrations of aluminum, silicon, and calcium. However, some were composed purely of just iron and steel, or even concrete, marble, stainless steel, and rubber.

“Some of these look similar to what we have from meteorite impacts, but the composition is quite different,” explained co-author Rudy Wenk, a professor of mineralogy at UC Berkeley. “There were quite unusual shapes. There was some pure iron and steel. Some of these had the composition of building materials.”

Understandably, the research team concluded that only an atomic explosion could have kicked up such a strange composition.

Next, the team hopes their research will encourage further tests on the samples to see if any samples carry radioactive elements. They’d also like to travel to Nagasaki, the Japanese city hit by the US’s Fat Man atomic bomb three days later, to see if similar structures can be found.

Tom Hale
IFLScience

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Planet Earth

Despite International Ban, Iceland Plans to Kill 2,000 Whales by 2023

Mandy Froelich, Truth Theory
Waking Times

In February 2019, Icelandic authorities announced their plan to kill more than 2,000 whales over a five-year period. Because the global demand for whale meat is declining, the trade is considered to be inhumane, and the conservation argument has flaws, environmentalists are enraged by the development.

Every year until the year 2023, whalers will be authorized to harpoon 209 fin whales and 217 minke whales in Icelandic waters. The move was approved, despite falling public support for whaling in Iceland.

The nation’s fisheries minister, Kristjan Thor Juliusson, claims the numbers are sustainable and based on “the latest scientific research.” In a statement, the government cited the economic benefits of whaling, as well as official figures revealing how populations of the once endangered fin whale are reviving. “During the most recent count in 2015, their population in the central North Atlantic was estimated at 37,000, or triple the number from 1987,” the statement reads.

But activists and conservationists disagree. The Icelandic Environmental Association, specifically, criticized the research on which the Fisheries Ministry based its quotas. And, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), an organization dedicated to protecting whales around the world, said whaling is no longer beneficial to the country’s economy.

“This is a country that’s embraced whale watching and has a different relationship with whales now,” said WDC spokesman Chris Butler-Stroud. “The reality is, the whale meat that’s being consumed there is mostly by tourists, unfortunately. … If it was down to local consumption, this probably would be dead in the water.”

Last year, Iceland was the center of a controversy after two rare blue/fin whale hybrids and at least a dozen pregnant females were killed in its waters. Activists believed change would finally occur, as a result. But, no such luck. “The Icelandic government’s decision to continue to kill whales – amongst the most peaceful and intelligent beings on the planet – is morally repugnant as well as economically bankrupt,” said Vanessa Williams-Grey, a campaigner for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

In 1986, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) placed a ban on commercial whaling. Despite being a member of the IWC, Iceland has continued to hunt whales with its own quotas. Japan also a loophole that allows killing whales for scientific purposes to bypass the International Whaling Commission ban.

“It is well known that overexploitation by the whaling industry led toserious declines in many of the world’s populations of whales. … Many are now in the process of recovering, although not all,” says the IWC website.

About the Author

Mandy Froelich is an RHN, plant-based chef, freelance writer with 6+ years of experience, Reiki master therapist, world traveler and enthusiast of everything to do with animal rights, sustainability, cannabis and conscious living. I share healthy recipes at Bloom for Life and cannabis-infused treats at My Stoned Kitchen.Read More stories by Amanda Froelich

**This article (Despite International Ban, Iceland Plans to Kill 2,000 Whales by 2023) was originally featured at Truth Theory and is re-posted here with permission.**

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Planet Earth

They discover plastic bags in the deepest place in the ocean

An underwater trip to the deepest place on the planet showed some unnatural results.

plastic bags in the deepest place in the ocean

On board a bathyscaphe (submersible), the businessman Victor Vescovo descended 10,927 meters to reach the abysmal depth of the Marianas Trench, in the Pacific Ocean.

He managed to break the record of the deepest dive made by a human being by a few meters; surpassing that obtained by the oceanographer Don Walsh in 1960 (10,916 m) and the most recent by filmmaker James Cameron in 2012 (10,908 m).

After spending four hours making observations from the specially prepared submersible, Vescovo and his team found several species, from arthropods with long legs and antennae to translucent “sea pigs”, similar to a sea cucumber.

plastic bags in the deepest place in the ocean

However, the most shocking was finding plastic objects such as bags and candy wrappers. “It was very disappointing to see the obvious human pollution in the deepest point of the ocean,” said the businessman when interviewed by Reuters.

Previous studies on samples collected in the Mariana Trench have shown that the amphipods called hirondellea gigas had microplastics in their entrails. But not only that, also radiocarbon.

The amphids that scan the dark depths feed on organic matter that rushes there. By eating the remains of animals that were exposed to the nuclear test activity of the Cold War, the bodies of the amphipods were infused with radiocarbon – the carbon-14 isotope or “carbon bomb” -.

Although it seems incredible, man’s pollution has reached more than 11,000 meters deep, where it also puts at risk the life that inhabits it.

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