Meditation Focus #132
Healing Mother Earth
What follows is the 132nd Meditation Focus suggested for the next 4 weeks beginning Sunday, June 19, 2005.
HEALING MOTHER EARTH
2. Meditation times
3. More information related to this Meditation Focus
PART I - US efforts to water down the G8 Summit commitments to fight global warming
PART II - The Gaia Hypothesis
4. Summer Solstice Meditations and Celebrations
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN PASSING THIS ON TO OTHERS
As the world is witnessing yet again another failed attempt-in-progress by the governments of the richest countries on Earth to tackle the run-away global warming of our planet, there is no longer any doubt that humanity's collective activities are solely responsible for the drastic climate changes now underway. Earlier this month, the senior science academies of the G8 nations, including the US National Academy of Science, issued a statement saying that evidence of climate change was clear enough to compel their leaders to take action. Despite this, extraordinary efforts have been made by the White House to scupper attempts to tackle global warming and to undermine completely the science of climate change. The White House has even withdrawn from a crucial United Nations commitment to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions. Under U.S. pressure, G8 Summit negotiators in the past month have agreed to delete language that would detail how rising temperatures are affecting the globe, set ambitious targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions and set stricter environmental standards for World Bank-funded power projects. The administration's push to alter the G-8's plan on global warming marks its latest effort to edit scientific or policy documents to accord with its position that mandatory carbon dioxide cuts are unnecessary.
Faced with such an intractable denial of scientific evidence and with an international community that seems patently unable to act decisively to restore balance with and within the Web of Life now unravelling ever faster every day, Light servers and all truly concerned humans are faced with an even greater responsibility to contribute in bringing about a shift in awareness and a global awakening to our indissociable unity with all Life on Earth, which would seem as the only means through which our relationship with our global environment could be set on a sustainable path soon enough to avert a complete collapse of our sole life support system.
One of the key understandings that can make a significant difference in this process is the realization that all Life on Earth is intrinsically connected and form a vast sentient being, our living Earth, mother of over 30 million species, all contributing to its continued existence. For just as our human body is composed of billions of cells working together as a single living being, so are the billions of life forms on Earth working together as a living super organism. The rainforests, functioning as the planet's lungs, exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide in concert with the oceans. The rivers and streams are like a circulatory system for the planetary body, bringing clean water and flushing the system. Invisible currents of universal force that run longitudinally, latitudinally and diagonally around our planet are like acupuncture meridians that carry this life force within the human body. The seasonal cycles mirror bodily changes, from the contraction of autumn to the inevitable rebirth of spring. Everything works in ordered splendor and unison, overlapping from the smallest of algae, bacteria and plankton to the migration of birds, caribou and whales. Everything is intelligently self-regulating and acting coherently and wisely... except human kind. Can we feel the pulse of the Earth beneath our feet? Feel a deeper reality? And comprehend this magnificence? Can we plug into and attune to an even greater universal knowledge? Can we Humans come to a deeper understanding of the source from which we spring? Can we learn to work intuitively together for the benefit of the whole, and thus become one with Gaia?
It is time for us all to set about to renew and re-energise our water, clean up our air supply, afforest our barren marginal land and deserts with greenery and color, and eliminate all toxic and harmful residues. It is time to heal Mother Earth!
Please dedicate your prayers and meditations, as guided by Spirit, in the coming four weeks, and especially in synchronous attunement at the usual time this Sunday and the following two Sundays, to contribute in heightening within humanity's collective consciousness the sense of Oneness with all other Life forms and with our Living Planet herself, and thus to assist in precipitating a global awakening through reaching a critical mass of enlightened sensing/being/acting human beings, each with a renewed awareness of the sanctity of all Life and a profound commitment to do no harm as we strive to live in symbiosis with Earth. Let us tap the Universal Force of Love and act as living channels to collectively beam healing vibrations to all waters, to all forests, to all animals and within the very core of Gaia's living body so as to balance out the imbalances created by our past actions and foster a complete regeneration of the Web of Life, for the Highest Good of All.
This whole Meditation Focus has been archived for your convenience at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/MeditationFocus132.htm
"In a BBC interview the commander of the International Space Station, Frank Culbertson, expressed his own and the other two crew members' concern over changes they have noticed in their views of the Earth over the last ten years. Commander Culbertson spoke of the overall impression of the impact the human population was having on the earth. He referred to changes in what comes out of rivers, to growing areas of dust and smoke, especially in those areas of Africa becoming ever drier, to land being cleared for development and the loss of trees."
- Taken from Worrying views of Earth from space in a BBC report published on 31 August 2001
2. MEDITATION TIMES
i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes. Please dedicate the last few minutes of your Sunday meditation BOTH to the healing of the Earth as a whole and to reiterate our willingness and desire - if we so choose - to receive assistance from our space family in order to help set things on a path towards a new era of global peace, love and harmony for all. See the Earth as healthy and vibrant with life, and experience the healing of all relations as we awaken globally to the sacredness of all Life and to our underlying unity with All That Is.
ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.
These times below will correspond, this Sunday April 3, to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:
Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage * 8:00 AM -- Los Angeles * 9:00 AM -- Mexico City, San Salvador & Denver * 10:00 AM -- Houston * & Chicago * 11:00 AM -- Santo Domingo, La Paz, Caracas, New York *, Toronto *. Montreal *, Asuncion & Santiago 12:00 AM -- Halifax *, Rio de Janeiro & Montevideo 1:00 PM -- Reykjavik & Casablanca 4 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, London *, Dublin * & Lisbon * 5:00 PM -- Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Geneva *, Rome *, Berlin *, Paris * & Madrid * 6:00 PM -- Ankara *, Athens *, Helsinki * & Istanbul * & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Baghdad *, Moscow * 8:00 PM -- Tehran * 8:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 PM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington +4:00 AM
+ means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time.
* means the place is observing daylight saving time (DST) at the moment.
You may also check at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?day=19&month=06&year=2005&hour=16&min=0&sec=0&p1=0 to find your corresponding local time for tomorrow if a nearby city is not listed above.
3. MORE INFORMATION RELATED TO THIS MEDITATION FOCUS
This complement of information may help you to better understand the various aspects pertaining to the summary description of the subject of this Meditation Focus. It is recommended to view this information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision we wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mind-set, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of peace and healing. This complementary information is provided so that a greater knowledge of what needs healing and peace-nurturing vibrations may assist us to have an in-depth understanding of what is at stake and thus achieve a greater collective effectiveness.
US efforts to water down the G8 Summit commitments to fight global warming
1. New US move to spoil climate accord
2. G8 Draft Climate Text Watered Down
3. US Pressure Weakens G-8 Climate Plan
Fiddling as the planet burns (June 19)
There is nothing left to debate about climate change. It is happening and each of us must act. The great lie in the climate debate is that there is still a debate worth having. Opponents of change insist that the human factors in global warming are not proven and that we must wait until we have hard evidence before taking drastic action, which is as about as silly as saying there are two equally valid views on the issue of whether paedophilia damages children. What is so destructive about this stance is that it claims equal weight and equal airtime. The 'balance' in newspaper reports, especially in the United States, is, in fact, a bias against the truth and weakens the case for immediate action against emissions of C02. And while we hum and haw, trying to persuade reluctant sceptics, the permafrost of the Arctic melts, sea levels inch up and the pH levels of oceans gradually drop because of the carbon that is absorbed from the atmosphere. (...) US policy seems to be simply one of cynical prevarication; at the very least, Bush and the oil companies are hopelessly behind the times. Jeffrey Immelt, head of General Electric, the largest company in America, gave a far-sighted speech to the George Washington Business School last month and, though he did not attack Bush's policy, he made a very strong case for mandatory controls on carbon dioxide emissions. Immelt is not the kind of guy to follow some whimsical scientific fad. He is a hard-nosed businessman; his advisers have told him about the problems ahead as well as the opportunities, and he has acted. As a result, GE is doubling its investment in energy and environmental technologies. The penny has dropped with big business. In New York, a syndicate of two dozen institutional investors managing $3 trillion in assets recently asked American companies to confront urgently the risks of global warming. Even the oil industry outside America has got the message. Lord Oxburgh, non-executive chairman of Shell, said in a speech at the Hay-on-Wye Festival: 'We have 45 years, and if we start now, not in 10 or 15 years' time, we have a chance of hitting those targets. But we've got to start now. We have no time to lose.' Governments will follow these men because they are in thrall to corporate power. Even the proudly retrograde US government will eventually fall in line, though almost certainly not under Bush. CLIP
Europe fails to cut greenhouse gas emissions (June 18, 2005)
Europe is failing to tackle climate change, putting further pressure on Tony Blair to come up with a fresh initiative at the G8 summit and embarrassing the European commission, which is floundering over budget cuts and the constitution treaty. The latest figures for Europe's greenhouse gas emissions, seen by the Guardian but not due to be released until next week, show that the 15 countries who were EU members in 2003 increased their overall emissions by 1.1% in the year up to 2004. Under the Kyoto agreement, which came into force earlier this year, EU countries must reduce emissions by 8% by 2012 - something which looks increasingly unlikely. Under the Kyoto agreement, which came into force earlier this year, EU countries must reduce emissions by 8% by 2012 - something which looks increasingly unlikely. Figures from the European Environment Agency show that only France, Germany, Sweden and the UK have any hope of cutting their energy use in time to meet their targets and that most countries are now falling well behind. They also show that Britain increased its total emissions more than all other EU countries except Italy and Finland in 2003/4. The 1.3% increase, equivalent to 7.4m tonnes of carbon, was mainly because people drove more. Britain is expected to only just fulfil its Kyoto obligations but not the government's more ambitious target of a 20% cut in emissions by 2010. In the EU only Ireland and Portugal have cut their emissions. But both are expected to exceed their future targets following years of economic expansion. Finland, Denmark and Austria burned more fossil fuels than in previous years. Yesterday, the commission played down the figures, blaming a harsh winter for the increases. "It was very cold across Europe. The number of days that people needed to hear their homes was much higher," said a spokeswoman. But the figures are embarrassing for Britain, which is chairing the G8's discussions on climate change and assumes the presidency of the EU in less than two weeks. The statistics may weaken Britain's negotiating hand with the US by suggesting that wealthy countries' policies to curb the use of fossil fuels are not working. One reason the US gave for not joining the Kyoto treaty was because the US administration said it would not deliver the cuts needed to avoid serious climate change. Chris Green, the Lib Dems' environment spokesman in the European parliament, said: "The upward trend in European emissions is very worrying. These figures put in doubt the EU's commitment to fighting climate change. "The commission must seize the initiative and give a stronger lead." Catherine Pearce, global climate change spokeswoman for Friends of the Earth, said: "If Britain and the rest of Europe cannot get it right, then how can anyone expect the US or developing countries to?" CLIP
Hurricanes 'to get stronger' (June 17)
Hurricanes are likely to get more extreme as a result of climate change, say scientists. Computer models of the Earth's water cycle suggest that hurricanes will intensify as warmer temperatures draw more ocean water into the atmosphere. The research follows a record number of hurricanes affecting Florida and typhoons striking Japan last year. Kevin Trenberth, a researcher at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, who led the research, said warmer seas and increased atmospheric water vapour would add energy to the showers and thunderstorms that fuel hurricanes. "Computer models also suggest a shift ... toward extreme hurricanes," he said. CLIP
Draft G8 Communique Takes Only Mild Stance on Illegal Logging (June 17, 2005)
LONDON Rich nations in the Group of Eight have failed to heed calls for tough moves on illegal logging and will issue only a mild call for action at a summit next month, according to a leaked draft. G8 president Britain, among others, had been pushing for concerted and obligatory action -- including new international laws -- to curb the annual $15 billion business. But under pressure from the United States, the summit will simply commit the group to voluntary actions "with each country acting where it can contribute most effectively". The summit in Scotland will stress that logging countries have to bear their own share of responsibility for ending a trade that is devastating rain forests in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The leaked draft of the final G8 summit communique, seen by Reuters, contains a three-paragraph statement endorsing the findings of a meeting in March of G8 environment and development ministers that agreed bilateral actions to end the multi-billion dollar trade. Environmentalists at the time rued the lack of concrete and committed actions as "a missed opportunity".
Desertification, Dust Are Global Threats (June 16) http://www.truthout.org/issues_05/061705EC.shtml
Oslo - Desertification threatens to drive millions of people from their homes in coming decades while vast dust storms can damage the health of people continents away, an international report said on Thursday. "Desertification has emerged as a global problem affecting everyone," said Zafar Adeel, assistant director of the U.N. University's water academy and a lead author of a report drawing on the work of 1,360 scientists in 95 nations. Two billion people live in drylands vulnerable to desertification, ranging from northern Africa to swathes of central Asia, he told Reuters. And storms can lift dust from the Sahara Desert, for instance, and cause respiratory problems for people as far away as North America. Over-grazing and over-planting of crops, swelling human populations and misuse of irrigation were contributing to desertification, the report said. It estimated that 10-20 percent of drylands were already degraded. Global warming, widely blamed on human emissions of heat-trapping gases from cars, factories and power plants, was likely to exacerbate the problems in coming decades by triggering more floods, droughts and heatwaves. "Growing desertification worldwide threatens to swell by millions the number of poor forced to seek new homes and livelihoods," according to the report, part of a Millennium Ecosystem Assessment led by U.N. agencies and other groups. "Desertification is potentially the most threatening ecosystem change impacting livelihoods of the poor," it said. The report said 41 percent of the world's land area was dryland, including most of Australia, the western part of North America and much of the Andean region of South America. CLIP
'The Boat Is Sinking' (15 June 2005)
As our appetite for oil hastens climate change, who will speak out for the alternatives? One possible champion is Lord Ron Oxburgh, the distinguished geologist who also happens to be chairman of Shell. He tells Aida Edemariam why the time for complacency is over. (...) Oxburgh, the non-executive chairman of Shell in the UK, on the dias with Greenpeace executive director Stephen Tindale, listened to King with increasing impatience, his abundant black eyebrows knitting restlessly under windblown white hair. As soon as he decently could, he grabbed the microphone, strode to the front of the stage and launched into his speech, contemptuous of the lectern, glancing only occasionally at his notes, leaning in towards the audience as if, like an evangelist, he wanted to pick everyone up and shake sense into them, just as the wind was shaking the tent. "We have roughly 45 years. And if we start NOW, not in 10 or 15 years' time, we have a chance of hitting those targets. But we've got to start now. We have no time to lose." (...) But these are early days for biofuels and renewable energy, and early days too for a method many including Oxburgh tout as a possible eureka: carbon sequestration, which involves trapping the CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels and storing it, usually underground, in the cavities where the oil, natural gas, or coal came from in the first place. It's a possible option in the North Sea and in the US, but more difficult in India and China, where abundant cheap brown coal produces relatively high levels of CO2 but where there are few obvious places to store it. Which brings up another, potentially far greater, problem. As Oxburgh points out, China, India, Brazil and Mexico are rapidly emerging markets, and "as countries grow and become more prosperous, they use more energy. It is a sad fact that if these countries experience the perfectly legitimate growth in GDP [gross domestic product] that they have a right to expect, and they do so in the same energy-inefficient way that we have seen our prosperity grow, then I think we are wasting our time. Because, frankly, the numbers of people are so large, and the rate of change is so great, that there will be simply no hope of meeting our targets by 2050." China, for example, "is opening a new, old-fashioned, dirty, full-sized power station at the rate of one a fortnight." (The developing world, not surprisingly, will be most affected by climate change: Africa is forecast to get warmer at double the rate of anywhere else and, says David King, will soon be feeling the effects of climate change at a level rivalling the effects of the HIV epidemic.) CLIP
Heatwaves: the developed world's hidden disaster
During August 2003, between 22,000 and 35,000 people died due to a heatwave across Europe. Economic losses totalled over US$ 13 billion. Why were authorities and communities so poorly prepared? What can be done to support those most at risk? Europe is not alone. Heatwaves kill more people in the United States than hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and floods combined. Yet heatwaves are not a typical natural hazard, inflicting instantly recognisable damage. Few people are aware of the dangers. Heatwaves trigger silent disasters, which explains why most governments fail to raise the alarm in time. Those who suffer are the elderly and marginalized.Heatwaves have been missing from disaster and public health policies, despite mounting death tolls. CLIP - Taken from the World Disaster Report 2004
US environmental policy chief quits (June 13)
A former oil industry lobbyist has resigned as a White House aide after being accused of doctoring official US policy papers on global warming to play down the link between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Philip Cooney, who was chief of staff of the White House council on environmental quality, quit his job two days after a report released by a watchdog group, the government accountability project, showed he had deleted some paragraphs and edited others drafted by government scientists. CLIP
Bush's climate row aide joins oil giant (June 16)
A senior White House official accused of doctoring government reports on climate change to play down the link between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming has taken a job with Exxon Mobil, the world's largest oil company. Philip Cooney, who resigned as chief of staff of the White House council on environment quality at the weekend, will begin work at the oil giant in the autumn. Politicians and environmental groups in Washington condemned the move yesterday. "At a minimum it creates a terrible appearance," said Henry Waxman, a Democratic Congressman who sits on the committee for government reform. "This is one of the fastest revolving doors I have seen." Kert Davies, the US research director for Greenpeace, said: "The cynical way to look at this is that ExxonMobil has removed its sleeper cell from the White House and extracted him back to the mother ship." CLIP
Special Reports: Green Politics
Special Reports: Climate Change
Yahoo Full coverage on Climate Change
New US move to spoil climate accord
June 19, 2005
Mark Townsend in New York - The Observer
Extraordinary efforts by the White House to scupper Britain's attempts to tackle global warming have been revealed in leaked US government documents obtained by The Observer.
These papers - part of the Bush administration's submission to the G8 action plan for Gleneagles next month - show how the United States, over the past two months, has been secretly undermining Tony Blair's proposals to tackle climate change.
The documents obtained by The Observer represent an attempt by the Bush administration to undermine completely the science of climate change and show that the US position has hardened during the G8 negotiations. They also reveal that the White House has withdrawn from a crucial United Nations commitment to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions.
The documents show that Washington officials:
· Removed all reference to the fact that climate change is a 'serious threat to human health and to ecosystems';
· Deleted any suggestion that global warming has already started;
· Expunged any suggestion that human activity was to blame for climate change.
Among the sentences removed was the following: 'Unless urgent action is taken, there will be a growing risk of adverse effects on economic development, human health and the natural environment, and of irreversible long-term changes to our climate and oceans.'
Another section erased by the White House adds: 'Our world is warming. Climate change is a serious threat that has the potential to affect every part of the globe. And we know that ... mankind's activities are contributing to this warming. This is an issue we must address urgently.' The government's chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, has dismissed the leaking of draft communiques on the grounds that 'there is everything to play for at Gleneagles.' However, there is no doubt that many UK officials have become exasperated by the Bush administration's refusal to accept the basic principle that climate change is happening now and is due to man's activities.
Earlier this month, the senior science academies of the G8 nations, including the US National Academy of Science, issued a statement saying that evidence of climate change was clear enough to compel their leaders to take action. 'There is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring,' they said.
It is now clear that this advice has been completely ignored by Bush and his advisers. 'Every year, it (local air pollution) causes millions of premature deaths, and suffering to millions more through respiratory disease,' reads another statement removed by Washington.
Washington also appears to be unsympathetic towards the plight of Africa, the other priority singled out by Blair for the G8 Summit in Gleneagles.
The documents reveal how the Bush administration has pulled out of financial pledges to fund a network of regional climate centres throughout Africa which were designed to monitor the unfolding impact of global warming.
'Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Arctic are particularly vulnerable to climate variability and are starting to experience the impacts,' reads another excerpt rejected by the US.
Other crucial schemes ditched by the US include the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) set up to help developing states develop economically while controlling greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the documents, the American government has reneged on plans to 'ensure that the CDM executive board is adequately funded by the end of 2005.'
G8 Draft Climate Text Watered Down
June 16, 2005 By Jeremy Lovell, Reuters
LONDON A new draft communique on climate change for next month's Group of Eight summit has removed plans to fund research and put into question top scientists' warnings that global warming is already under way.
The text seen by Reuters, titled Gleneagles Plan of Action and dated June 14, has been watered down from a previous draft which itself had no specific targets or timetables for action.
The latest draft also explicitly endorses the use of "zero-carbon" nuclear power -- another development that will dismay many environmentalists three weeks before the summit of the world's eight richest nations at Gleneagles in Scotland.
"The text is getting weaker and weaker. There are no targets, no timetables, no standards -- and even the money is gone," a source close to the negotiations told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
"You are looking at a very, very serious problem for Blair," the source added.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has pledged to put the fight against climate change at the heart of Britain's year-long presidency of the G8. He visited three G8 leaders in two days this week to drum up support for his priorities.
The leaders of the G8 and major developing nations South Africa, Brazil, India, Mexico and China will meet at the heavily guarded Gleneagles countryside hotel, 40 miles (65 km) northwest of the Scottish capital Edinburgh, from July 6-8.
But the United States, questioning the scientific basis for global warming, refuses to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol that finally came into force in February aimed at cutting emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2).
The new draft starkly illustrates the weakening process that has gone on in just six weeks.
An introductory paragraph has moved the statement "our world is warming" into square brackets and has given the same treatment to a statement from the world's top scientists that climate change is already under way and demands urgent action.
RESEARCH FUNDING DISAPPEARS
All references in a draft dated May 3 to unspecified dollar funds for research and development into new, clean technology and fuels have been excised from the latest version.
References in the May 3 draft to "setting ambitious targets and timetables" for cutting carbon emissions from buildings has completely disappeared from the June 14 text.
Even a suggestion that the developed world has a duty of leadership in combating global warming is given the square bracket brush off.
A section on managing the impacts of climate change which previously talked about global warming happening and bringing with it more floods, droughts, crop failures and rising sea levels now contains just one reference to the global crisis.
And even that is in square brackets, indicating that there is deep disagreement over its inclusion.
Campaign group Friends of the Earth said the latest draft lacked "any sense of urgency or genuine commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions".
Bryony Worthington, a climate campaigner with the group, said: "We have to conclude that attempts to keep the United States happy are preventing real progress on this issue."
US Pressure Weakens G-8 Climate Plan
By Juliet Eilperin - The Washington Post
17 June 2005
Global-warming science assailed.
Bush administration officials working behind the scenes have succeeded in weakening key sections of a proposal for joint action by the eight major industrialized nations to curb climate change.
Under U.S. pressure, negotiators in the past month have agreed to delete language that would detail how rising temperatures are affecting the globe, set ambitious targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions and set stricter environmental standards for World Bank-funded power projects, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. Negotiators met this week in London to work out details of the document, which is slated to be adopted next month at the Group of Eight's annual meeting in Scotland.
The administration's push to alter the G-8's plan on global warming marks its latest effort to edit scientific or policy documents to accord with its position that mandatory carbon dioxide cuts are unnecessary. Under mounting international pressure to adopt stricter controls on heat-trapping gas emissions, Bush officials have consistently sought to modify U.S. government and international reports that would endorse a more aggressive approach to mitigating global warming.
Last week, the New York Times reported that a senior White House official had altered government documents to emphasize the uncertainties surrounding the science on global warming. That official, White House Council on Environmental Quality chief of staff Phillip Cooney, left the administration last Friday to take a public relations job with oil giant Exxon Mobil, a leading opponent of mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
The wording of the international document, titled "Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development," will help determine what, if any, action the G-8 countries will take as a group to combat global warming. Every member nation except the United States has pledged to bring its greenhouse gas emissions down to 1990 levels by 2012 as part of the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair -- who currently heads the G-8 -- is trying to coax the United States into adopting stricter climate controls.
In preparation for the summit, negotiators are trying to work out the wording of statements on climate change and other issues that leaders of all eight nations are willing to endorse. The language is not final, but the documents show that a number of deletions have been made at U.S. insistence.
Although the new statement by G-8 leaders may not dramatically alter the other nations' policies on global warming, what it says could mark a shift for the United States. (The other G-8 members are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia.) U.S. officials pressed negotiators to drop sections of the report that highlight some problems tied to global warming, warn of more frequent droughts and floods, and commit a specific dollar amount to promoting carbon sequestration in developing countries.
One deleted section, for example, initially cited "increasingly compelling evidence of climate change, including rising ocean and atmospheric temperatures, retreating ice sheets and glaciers, rising sea levels, and changes to ecosystems." It added: "Inertia in the climate system means that further warming is inevitable. Unless urgent action is taken, there will be a growing risk of adverse effects on economic development, human health and the natural environment, and of irreversible long-term changes to our climate and oceans."
Instead, U.S. negotiators substituted a sentence that reads, "Climate change is a serious long term challenge that has the potential to affect every part of the globe."
James L. Connaughton, who heads the Council on Environmental Quality, said the United States was in "extremely constructive discussions on preparing leadership text for the G-8 meeting" that would outline the world's climate change problem in a "succinct and strong" manner.
"It's very important to view [the deletions] in context," Connaughton said in an interview. "The overall context is one of strong consensus about a shared commitment to practical action, as well as defined management strategies."
But environmentalists and Democrats criticized the administration for trying to water down the international coalition's initiative.
"The administration is pursuing a dangerous 'ostrich' policy: put your head in the sand and pretend nothing's happening," Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) said in an interview.
Some advocates are urging the seven other G-8 members to adopt their own global warming plan rather than accept a milder statement that they say would provide the Bush administration with political cover.
"The U.S. will just not budge," said Hans J.H. Verolme, director of the World Wildlife Fund's U.S. climate change program. "We'd rather not have a deal than have a deal that lets George Bush off the hook."
CLIP - Read the rest at http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/061705G.shtml
The Gaia Hypothesis
"About one billion years after it's formation, our planet was occupied by a meta-life form which launched an explosion of richly relating diversities we call life forms, transforming the surface of the planet into its own complex dynamical substance. All the life forms of the planet are part of Gaia - sharing the same DNA, not only the coding language, but also much of the basic genome across all species. In a way analogous to the myriad different cell colonies which make up our organs and bodies, the life forms of earth in their diversity co-evolve and contribute interactively to produce and sustain the optimal conditions for the growth and prosperity not so much of themselves, but of the larger whole, Gaia. That the very makeup of the atmosphere, seas, and even the terrestrial crust is the result of radical interventions carried out by Gaia through the evolving diversity of living creatures, including, ultimately, ourselves."
- Taken from the Mkzdk review of The Ages of Gaia at http://www.mkzdk.org/texts/gaia2.html
1. Myth to 21st Century science . .
2. WHAT IS GAIA?
3. Gaia theory (science)
Gaia Theory: Science of the Living Earth
Here is a brief introduction to Gaia theory, as developed by Lovelock, Margulis and others.
Gaia Hypothesis - review of James Lovelock's The Ages of Gaia.
James Lovelock, Gaia's grand old man (August 17, 2000)
The scientist who first theorized that our planet is a biological organism, not merely a rock, discusses life on Earth and the possibilities for its future. (...) SALON: At the Gaia 2000 conference, someone asked, "What would happen if the Sahara Desert were replaced with vegetation?" The answer, in a nutshell, was more rainfall, cloud cover and cooler weather in Egypt and, especially, western Africa. Some rainfall might be drawn away from the Caribbean. Now, this was simply a thought experiment, but what if someone actually did try to forest the Sahara, or some other desert? There's lots of talk these days about massive tree plantings to offset global warming. Do you think that's a good idea? LOVELOCH: Doesn't work. The French tried that sort of thing at the turn of the last century. Sadly, it's much easier to create a desert than a forest. There's evidence that portions of the Pakistan desert were forested in biblical times. It appears that much of the Australian outback was once forested, lost to the dreadful tradition of fire-drive hunting. Now it's desert as well. The tropical rain forests in the Amazon and Malaysia do not respond well to deforestation and are going to desert. This is because those rain forests make their own rain, rather than benefiting from the rainfall that would occur, say, from ocean breezes sweeping up a mountain range, as, for example, is the case with the Costa Rican rain forest. SALON: Your doctorate is in medicine, training that has led you to regard the Earth's body as having "vital organs" -- key regions that, if debilitated, could imperil the health of the global ecosystem as a whole. LOVELOCH: Yes. The tropical rain forests are a telling example. Once cut down, they rarely recover. Rainfall drops, deserts spread, the climate warms. CLIP
Explore the Gaia hypothesis
Tons of related links!
Books about Gaia
More related webpages:
Myth to 21st Century science . .
Today there is a growing hypothesis circling the globe:
"Our Planet - Mother Earth - is a Living Being and all life forms are her offspring."
Therefore we humans could be said to be "Her" children, with the inherent ability to become super-conscious adults.
This is the Gaia Hypothesis (pronounced Gay-a) named after the Greek word for the 'Earth Mother' - Gaea.
In 1979 James Lovelock, a British Scientist who worked for the NASA (USA) space program, reminded us of the idea that Planet Earth, like the Sun, is a conscious living being.
For just as our human body is composed of billions of cells working together as a single living being, so are the billions of life forms on Earth working together as a living super organism.
Looking at our Living Planet:
We can visualise the Equatorial rainforests functioning as the planet's lungs, exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide in concert with the oceans.
Observe the atmosphere functioning as a global respiratory system.
Imagine that our rivers and streams are like a circulatory system for the planetary body, bringing clean water and flushing the system.
Feel invisible currents of universal force that run longitudinally, latitudinally and diagonally around our planet. These unseen but sensed Ley lines are like acupuncture meridians that carry this life force within the human body.
Notice that the whole planet "breathes" by contracting and expanding with the moon's gravitational pull.
Witness the seasonal cycles mirroring bodily changes, from the contraction of autumn to the inevitable rebirth of spring.
When we gaze upon the global ecosystem as a whole, we find that everything works in ordered splendour and unison, overlapping from the smallest of algae, bacteria and plankton to the migration of birds, caribou and whales..
Everything is intelligently self-regulating and acting coherently and wisely.. except human kind.
Here we are.. Homo Sapiens, forgetful progeny, mostly composed of 70% water and 30% earth, much like the surface of our mother, Gaia, Planet Earth.
As we approach the 21st century through the media of electronic communications and space photographs, we are coming to the realisation that all of humanity born on this blue and white, jewel-like planet are, like seed and spore, a product of Mother Earth.
Since our bodies are composed of the minerals and elements of the Earth, shouldn't we be known as Gaia's children?
For if our umbilical cord could be traced back from our mother's mother all the way back into the past, we would see that we have all come from Mother Earth.
"And the Lord God formed us of the dust of the ground and breathed into our nostrils the breath of life and we became a living soul." Genesis 2:7
Thus we are all the family of humanity, being global and planetary beings. Yet will we remember to utilise our mind, the full 100% of our brain and inner potential?
Can we feel the pulse of the Earth beneath our feet?
Feel a deeper reality? And comprehend this magnificence?
Today we witness widespread disaster and tragedy.
Wise, compassionate, visionary leadership is an essential necessity.
Humanity has become fragmented and separated, brother and sister pitted against each other.
We need no prophetic visions to tell us where such conflict is leading us..
On Mother Earth, humans can be compared to the bacteria in and on our own bodies, basically benevolent, but when harmony and balance do not exist, the bacteria can cause illness that in some cases leads to the termination of the host.
This is particularly noticeable in the relationship of humanity to our planet. The question is asked, will we come to the self-realisation of who we really are?
We stand naked in time and space, illuminated only by the light of our own self-knowledge.
Can we plug into and attune to an even greater universal knowledge?
Can we Humans come to a deeper understanding of the source from which we spring?
When working together for the benefit of the ecosystem as a whole, we blend in, to co-create and become dynamically one at the heart and mind of Gaia and beyond - by intelligently and intuitively aligning with her and her virtuous fecundity.
Opening into the new century, our greatest challenge is to understand, appreciate and feel our intimate relationship with Our Planet, Her peoples, Her Flora and Fauna and to strive to resolve all conflicts, especially those of greed, war, hunger, disease and suffering.
We must set about to renew and re-energise our water, clean up our air supply, afforest our barren marginal land and deserts with greenery and colour, and eliminate all toxic and harmful residues.
For we big brained creatures are a vital part of the created and future evolutionary growth of Our Planet, Gaia.
The study of ourselves as a conscious assembly of Gaia's elements reveals our inner relationship to the whole of creation, where we may open up and reconnect with our Cosmic inheritance.
As physical Beings of Conscious Essence,
We can embark on a Magnificent Quest,
Co-existing with Mother Earth...
Potentially Seeding our Solar System
- going Galactic and Beyond with Intelligence and Life...
Working in harmony with Nature, our growth and transformation can evolve us beyond Gaia, into the cosmic whole and possibly home.
This is the most wonderful challenge to befall us!
For we, each one of us, are an assemblage of the Big Bang and over time we've emerged from Mother Earth wearing bodies and are now making the connection with where we have come from.
We are the Universe finally discovering itself.
For the first time in Ages.
The Gaia hypothesis does not conflict with any of the major schools of religious thought: Christ, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Krishna, Quetzalcoatl, Moses, Zarathustra, Mohammed and Baha'u'llah may have been among the first blossoming flowers of Gaia.
In reflecting on the work of Plato and Pythagoras, we find their themes "know thyself (microcosm) and you will know the Universe (macrocosm)" particularly relevant in the understanding of this hypothesis.
Gaia as the Ancient Greeks Saw Her
Books by Lovelock:
Gaia A New Look at Planet Earth
(Oxford University Press)
The Ages of Gaia (Oxford University Press)
The Practical Science of Planetary Medicine (Allen and Unwin)
The Gaia Atlas of Planet Management
Edited by Norman Myers (Pan Books)
If you are practical, intelligent, have a good heart and wish to assist positive change, this superb book is for you. Solutions for a planetary society of tomorrow today.
Earthdance 432- page book
by Elisabet Sahtouris. ISBN: 0-595-13067-4 available at http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-13067-4
Gaia: A Way of Knowing
Edited by William Irwin Thompson
Stonehenge, Glastonbury, The Great Pyramids of Egypt and many Cathedrals of Europe are situated along these Universal Lines of Invisible Force.
WHAT IS GAIA?
by James Lovelock
Most of us sense that the Earth is more than a sphere of rock with a thin layer of air, ocean and life covering the surface. We feel that we belong here as if this planet were indeed our home. Long ago the Greeks, thinking this way, gave to the Earth the name Gaia or, for short, Ge. In those days, science and theology were one and science, although less precise, had soul. As time passed this warm relationship faded and was replaced by the frigidity of the schoolmen. The life sciences, no longer concerned with life, fell to classifying dead things and even to vivisection. Ge was stolen from theology to become no more the root from which the disciplines of geography and geology were named. Now at last there are signs of a change. Science becomes holistic again and rediscovers soul, and theology, moved by ecumenical forces, begins to realise that Gaia is not to be subdivided for academic convenience and that Ge is much more than just a prefix.
The new understanding has come from going forth and looking back to see the Earth from space. The vision of that splendid white flecked blue sphere stirred us all, no matter that by now it is almost a visual cliche. It even opens the mind's eye, just as a voyage away from home enlarges the perspective of our love for those who remain there.
The first impact of those voyages was the sense of wonder given to the astronauts and to us as we shared their experience vicariously through television, but at the same time the Earth was viewed from outside by the more objective gaze of scientific instruments. These devices were quite impervious to human emotion yet they also sent back the information that let us see the Earth as a strange and beautiful anomaly. They showed our planet is made of the same elements and in much the same proportions as are Mars and Venus, but they also revealed our sibling planets to be bare and barren and as different from the Earth as a robin from a rock.
We now see that the air, the ocean and the soil are much more than a mere environment for life; they are a part of life itself. Thus the air is to life just as is the fur to a cat or the nest for a bird. Not living but something made by living things to protect against an otherwise hostile world. For life on Earth the air is our protection against the cold depths and fierce radiations of space.
There is nothing unusual in the idea of life on Earth interacting with the air, sea and rocks, but it took a view from outside to glimpse the possibility that this combination might consist of a single giant living system and one with the capacity to keep the Earth always at a state most favorable for the life upon it.
An entity comprising a whole planet and with a powerful capacity to regulate the climate needs a name to match. It was the novelist William Golding who proposed the name Gaia. Gladly we accepted his suggestion and Gaia is also the name of the hypothesis of science which postulates that the climate and the composition of the Earth always are close to an optimum for whatever life inhabits it.
The evidence gathered in support of Gaia is now considerable but as is often the way of science, this is less important than is its use as a kind of looking glass for seeing the world differently, and which makes us ask new questions about the nature of Earth.
If we are "all creatures great and small," from bacteria to whales, part of Gaia then we are all of us potentially important to her well being. We knew in our hearts that the destruction of a whole ranges of other species was wrong but now we know why. No longer can we merely regret the passing of one of the great whales, or the blue butterfly, nor even the smallpox virus. When we eliminate one of these from Earth, we may have destroyed a part of ourselves, for we also are a part of Gaia.
There are many possibilities for comfort as there are for dismay in contemplating the consequences of our membership in this great commonwealth of living things. It may be that one role we play is as the senses and nervous system for Gaia. Through our eyes she has for the first time seen her very fair face and in our minds become aware of herself. We do indeed belong here. The earth is more than just a home, it's a living system and we are part of it.
Gaia theory (science)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
(Redirected from Gaia hypothesis)
Gaia theory is a class of scientific models of the biosphere in which life fosters and maintains suitable conditions for itself by affecting Earth's environment. The first such theory was created by the English atmospheric scientist, James Lovelock, who developed his theories in the 1960s before formally publishing them in 1979. He hypothesized that the living matter of the planet functioned like a single organism and named this self-regulating living system after the Greek goddess, Gaia.
Gaia theories have non-technical predecessors in the ideas of several cultures. Meanwhile today, "Gaia theory" is sometimes used among non-scientists to refer to theories of a self-regulating Earth that are non-technical but take inspiration from scientific models. Among some scientists, "Gaia" carries connotations of scientifically unrigorous, quasi-mystical thinking about Earth, and Lovelock's own hypothesis was received initially with much antagonism by the scientific community. No controversy exists, however, that life and the physical environment significantly influence one another.
Range of views
Gaia theory today is a spectrum of hypotheses, ranging from the undeniable to the radical.
At one end is the undeniable statement that the organisms on the Earth have radically altered its composition. A stronger position is that the Earth's biosphere effectively acts as if it is a self-organizing system which works in such a way as to keep its systems in some kind of equilibrium that is conducive to life. The history of evolution, ecology and climate show that the exact characteristics of this equilibrium intermittently have undergone rapid changes, however, which are believed to have caused extinctions and felled civilisations (see climate change).
Biologists and earth scientists usually view the factors that stabilize the characteristics of a period as an undirected emergent property of the system; as each individual species pursues its own self-interest, for example, their combined actions tend to have counterbalancing effects on environmental change. Opponents of this view sometimes point to examples of life's actions that have resulted in dramatic change rather than stable equilibrium, such as the conversion of the Earth's atmosphere from a reducing environment to an oxygen-rich one. However, proponents will point out that those atmospheric composition changes created an environment much more suitable to life.
Some go a step further and hypothesize that all lifeforms are part of a single planetary being called Gaia. In this view, the atmosphere, the seas and the terrestrial crust would be results of interventions carried out by Gaia through the coevolving diversity of living organisms. While the Earth as a unit does not match the generally accepted biological criteria for life itself (Gaia does not reproduce, for instance), many scientists would be comfortable characterising the earth as a single "system".
The most extreme form of Gaia theory is that the entire Earth is a single unified organism; in this view the Earth's biosphere is consciously manipulating the climate in order to make conditions more conducive to life. Scientists contend that there is no evidence at all to support this last point of view, and it has come about because many people do not understand the concept of homeostasis. Many non-scientists instinctively see homeostasis as an activity that requires conscious control, although this is not so.
Much more speculative versions of Gaia theory, including all versions in which it is held that the Earth is actually conscious or part of some universe-wide evolution, are currently held to be outside the bounds of science. These are discussed in the Gaia philosophy article.
4) SUMMER SOLSTICE MEDITATIONS AND CELEBRATIONS
Cancer Lighted Way Meditation
Cancer full moon in 2005 - Tuesday, June 21 at 9:14 pm PDT (Wednesday, June 22 at 04:14 UT)
In 2005 the two full moons in Cancer are important in distributing the Life into our world. We are being impressed and guided to participate in the Cancer Lighted Way Meditation in a two-part manner.The emphasis of the first Cancer full moon is on bringing new Life into the individual soul. Keynote: "I build a Lighted House and therein dwell." (2) The second Cancer full moon focuses on each individual's radiating new Life into the world they touch. Keynote: We build a Lighted World and therein dwell.Every person in the Holy Grail ~ the Sacred Chalice, planet Earths Light Grid ~ participates in the distribution of the Life and in turn restores the Divine Plan on Earth. Each one is uniquely responsible for this restoration. As the Life enters and flows through all individuals and their world, it makes the whole world sacred. (...) If at all possible, we suggest being in meditation at the exact time of the full moon. If you are unable to do this, choose a time within 12 hours before or after to align with these energies and be part of this global meditation.Consider ...What is the appropriate way to join in this meditation ... you may wish to participate in group formation on the physical plane as well as on the inner planes. Whether or not you choose to be "alone" on the physical plane, know you are uniting with many others who also are attuning to the energies available at this Global Festival, and that this group focus creates a powerful channel for the meditation to be potent and effective. Prior to your meditation take the needed time to create a sacred space and spiritually align your energies. CLIP
World Peace and Prayer Day Summer Solstice - Tuesday, June 21, 2005
This is an annual gathering of all nations and all faiths joining hearts in prayer for world peace and global healing. You are invited to gather at sacred sites across the world, and make a great circle of prayer for world peace and the healing of Mother Earth.
Pagan Spirit Gathering 2005 - Community Rituals & Celebrations June 19-26 in Ohio
Stonehenge Summer Solstice 2005
Stonehenge is a perfect marker for the Summer Solstice - the midsummer sunrise dawns over the magnificent Heel Stone, watched by thousands from within the inner circle of the People's Temple - today as in the past ...The Summer Solstice is the high point of the solar year, when the forces and energies of nature are at their peak. The Solstice - literally meaning 'a stopping or standing still of the sun' - occurs twice a year. For several days around 20th June the sun - which has been slowly moving northwards - appears to be stationary. The midsummer sunrise marks the furthest point northwards along the horizon at which the sun ever rises. Sunrise is at 04.58 on Tuesday 21st June 2005
Current and Ongoing Global Meditations
"Candle Night" Summer Solstice 2005 Spreading Worldwide
By Japan for sustainability
June 1, 2005
The "Candle Night Summer Solstice 2005" will be held this year from 8 to 10 p.m. (your local time) on the evenings of June 18 through 21. Promoted under the slogan of "Turn off the lights, and take it slow," this will be the fifth such event (including winter solstices) since 2003. Japan's Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has added its official support for the event in recent years.
The "Candle Night" was originally initiated by several of Japan's environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including the Association to Preserve the Earth (Daichi-O-Mamoru-Kai), the Sloth Club and Ms. Junko Edahiro, the joint chief executive of Japan for Sustainability (JFS).
The event encourages people to turn off their lights and to enjoy some quality time in candlelight for two hours on the evening of the summer solstice. Its promoters are appealing to a wide audience with a concept that goes beyond energy conservation, anti-nuclear and other political messages. More than 6,000 major buildings and structures in Japan turned off their lights during the 2004 summer event, and an estimated six million people participated, according to the MOE.
A variety of events are being planned in many locations this year, mainly on June 18 and 19. The MOE is recommending that lights in public and private structures be turned off on Sunday, June 19. This year, Tokyo Tower, one of the top landmarks in the country, will be participating again by turning its lights off at the specified time on that night.
The Candle Night event is enjoying a wave of popularity in Japan, across all sectors of society -- the government, municipalities, business and the public. It offers an open opportunity for people to enjoy themselves in their own ways -- spending the time with the family or a loved one, enjoying quiet time or the beauty of the stars, reviewing their lifestyles, or thinking about peace, the global environment, energy saving, or global warming.
The promoters hope to expand globally "a gentle wave of darkness," on "a night without excessive lights," and invite people around the world to join the event.
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