Meditation Focus #192

Envisioning Our New Earth


Hello!

What follows is the 192nd Meditation Focus suggested for the next 4 (FOUR) weeks beginning Sunday, November 2, 2008.

ENVISIONING OUR NEW EARTH

1. Summary
2. Meditation times
3. More information related to this Meditation Focus
4. Reminder: WiseUSA 'O8 Global Ceremony - Sunday Nov 2

IMPORTANT REMINDER

Please note that the Daylight Saving Time transition to normal time takes place in North America this November 2 - and has already taken place in Europe on October 26. Thus if you live in the Northern hemisphere, the globally synchronized meditation now begins one hour earlier than in summertime, and if you live in the Southern hemisphere, it now begins one hour later.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN PASSING THIS ON TO OTHERS

Also recommended to your attention...

The Moment of Truth Series #15: The Turning Point is Now! (October 11, 2008)
http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2008/MomentTruth15.htm

Rising Phoenix Series #44: What Future Do We Choose? (October 21, 2008)
http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2008/RisingPhoenix44.htm

Eye of The Storm Series #1: A Maelstrom of News & Views (October 30, 2008)
http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2008/EyeStorm1.htm



1) SUMMARY

As the whole world is watching the United States and hoping that the outcome of its imminent presidential election will open the doors to what can only be termed as a massive change of direction for a country whose military power and economic weight are matched only by its influence in all spheres of human activity, and as most countries are increasingly affected by the abrupt economic downturn precipitated by the financial debacle triggered by the vagaries of speculators motivated solely by personal profit motives, the poorly reported echoes of another much larger planetary crisis are barely registering in the minds of most human beings. After decades of a breakneck development that has helped raise the standard of living of billions of human beings, we are now facing the dire consequences of our disregard for the fragile ecosystems of this living planet, as well as realizing that its finite resources cannot sustain indefinitely the economic expansion upon which our civilization thrives. All its vital indicators point to a crisis of unimaginable proportions and several new scientific reports now call for an unprecedented global mobilization to slow down and reverse the precipitous decline of our sole life support system.

While there have been numerous positive signs that most people are finally waking up to the need to do more to protect the environment and avoid wasting precious non-renewable resources, most governments are still paying lip service to this mounting crisis and refusing to consider the radical changes required, especially when it comes to the golden calf of economic growth, to actually shift their policies onto a truly sustainable path. As usual, real change can only come from the grass-roots up and an army of innovators has been actively experimenting for years with new ideas and radical solutions to help contribute to the solutions rather than to the problems. What is needed now however is for the spirit of personal responsibility and caring for all demonstrated by the actors of this renewal movement to reach critical mass and trigger a global mobilization of goodwill and creativity in order to shift our entire civilization to a new direction. But what is needed is much more than a mere green shift or any other kind of piecemeal change. What is needed is nothing less than a spiritual revolution and a vibrational shift of consciousness to actually break the spell of millennia of ignorance of our true nature and malicious disruption of our spiritual connection with the Source of All That Is.

You are once again invited to join the global community of souls on Earth and beyond who choose to act as channels for the potent universal energies of Light, Life and Love now pervading our dimension to uplift the experience of embodiment to new higher levels of spiritual resonance with the One Source of All. Once deeply immersed in the blissful Flow of Love, please allow the visions of the near future of this sphere of Life called Earth to appear on the perceptual screen of your consciousness and empower these visions with the certainty of Knowingness, the unshakable faith that such visions are indeed being gradually manifested right now and guiding the little will of man towards the pinnacle of ever greater realizations of our innate divine perfection. In so doing, you will contribute to the emergence of Our New Earth, the ONE and only possible future we are co-manifesting, for the Highest Good of All.


This whole Meditation Focus has been archived for your convenience at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/FocusArchives/MeditationFocus192.htm



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 to the healing of the Earth as a whole. 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 correspond (for most countries) to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:

Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage 7:00 AM -- Los Angeles 8:00 AM -- Denver 9:00 AM -- San Salvador, Mexico City, Houston & Chicago 10:00 AM -- New York, Toronto & Montreal 11:00 AM -- Halifax, Santo Domingo, La Paz & Caracas 12:00 PM -- Montevideo, Asuncion * & Santiago * 1:00 PM -- Rio de Janeiro * 2:00 PM -- London, Dublin, Lisbon, Reykjavik & Casablanca 4:00 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Paris & Madrid 5:00 PM -- Ankara, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Athens, Helsinki & Istanbul 6:00 PM -- Baghdad, Moscow & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Tehran 7:30 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 AM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington * +5:00 AM

You may also check at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?day=02&month=11&year=2008&hour=16&min=0&sec=0&p1=0amp;p1=0 to find your corresponding local time 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.

CONTENTS

1. A little help from ourselves... in the future
2. Special report: How our economy is killing the Earth
3. Living Planet Report Details Dangers Of Living Beyond The Environment's Means
4. Special report: Why politicians dare not limit economic growth
5. Interview: Champion for green growth




1.

A little help from ourselves... in the future

Imagine for a moment that all that exists now is part of a continuum - The Continuum! - that spans the entire past (back into infinity), present and future (forward into infinity) of the universes and dimensions forming the entire Cosmos... Imagine also that each of our souls - each an indivisible aspect of the Whole - is simultaneously experiencing lifetimes throughout the Continuum, each of these lifetimes being an ephemeral manifestation of one of its infinite facets, which we shall call "personages".

Now imagine also that some aspects of our souls have the innate ability to reach back in time, through the Continuum, to influence former expressions of Itself so as to effect changes that will ripple through the Continuum until the entire configuration of what happens in every single subsequent moment throughout the universe is subtly transformed through this retro influence.

In fact, consider also the possibility that each expression of the Whole at any point in the Continuum has the same ability to instantaneously connect with its originating soul and, through this "medium", to likewise simultaneously influence the perceptual experience and sense of Self of all its aspects, or personages, wherever and whenever they may be.

Of course, not all personages are aware of this inner linkage with their other selves, let alone conscious of their existence. But we could surmise that part of the evolutionary process taking place for each soul aspect throughout the Continuum is to finally reach a stage of Awakening when such an inner knowledge becomes a fact of life, just as incontrovertible that their throbbing heart and life-sustaining breathe, which continue almost unnoticed in the background of our consciousness only to reach the forefront of our awareness when some problem brings them to our attention. The deeper awareness of our continuous linkage with all other aspects of our soul is similar in some way to what has just been described, except it is much, much deeper in the background "screen" of our mind upon which thoughts arise as prompted by our outer and inner life experience.

When a personage reaches this threshold of awakening when information coming from the deeper pool of sentient knowledge - something wholly different from seemingly "factual" knowledge acquired through the means of our physical senses - can finally rise to the surface of our conscious awareness to be assessed and processed, we call this piece of inflowing information an "intuition", something which cannot generally be proven but which may often be considered as much or even more reliable than presumably "factual" information, depending on the level of experience one has accrued in trusting one's intuitive hunches.

This is precisely the channel that is being used right now in an ever growing number of personages living on planet Shan (the ancient name for the planet Earth), circa 2008 of the Christian era, to convey insights and higher guidance emanating from future aspects of our souls in a very natural process which is one of the key fundamental driving forces of the entire Cosmos, that is, the drive for Perfection.

Each of these insights communicated to the soul-sensitive aspects of our Selves are like as many pebbles thrown from the future into the streaming flow of our current awareness whose rippling effects can have an infinite variety of repercussions in how the flow of things past, present and future evolve in the ever-now Continuum.

The Point of this whole statement is to make us all aware that each of our conscious choices, informed both by outer, inner and deeper perspectives reaching our minds, have a determining influence of how EVERYTHING shapes up throughout the whole Continuum and throughout the entire Cosmos. EVERYTHING is intricately connected, intertwined—One! You pull a single tiny string here and the entire fabric of the space-time-consciousness continuum is affected.

So be careful when you decide to move your energies in one direction... You never know - except on the deepest of all levels - what the consequences could be. Which means we each have a key responsibility in ensuring that we are being guided by what resonates at the deepest level in us as the right perspective—which is the path of least resistance and greatest inner thrust of Grace—in every single conscious moment of our lives. Such is the Way ahead towards greater Perfection...




2.

From: http://www.newscientist.com/channel/opinion/mg20026786.000-special-report-how-the-economy-is-killing-the-earth.html

Special report: How our economy is killing the Earth

16 October 2008

We analyse the speeches to find out what the candidates are offering – and what the differences mean for science

THE graphs climbing across these pages (see graph (Note from Jean: Please take a long hard look at this graph - this is the most hair-raising, complacency-bursting graph I've ever seen!), or explore in more detail) are a stark reminder of the crisis facing our planet. Consumption of resources is rising rapidly, biodiversity is plummeting and just about every measure shows humans affecting Earth on a vast scale. Most of us accept the need for a more sustainable way to live, by reducing carbon emissions, developing renewable technology and increasing energy efficiency.

But are these efforts to save the planet doomed? A growing band of experts are looking at figures like these and arguing that personal carbon virtue and collective environmentalism are futile as long as our economic system is built on the assumption of growth. The science tells us that if we are serious about saving Earth, we must reshape our economy.

This, of course, is economic heresy. Growth to most economists is as essential as the air we breathe: it is, they claim, the only force capable of lifting the poor out of poverty, feeding the world's growing population, meeting the costs of rising public spending and stimulating technological development - not to mention funding increasingly expensive lifestyles. They see no limits to that growth, ever.
“Economists see no limits to growth - ever”

In recent weeks it has become clear just how terrified governments are of anything that threatens growth, as they pour billions of public money into a failing financial system. Amid the confusion, any challenge to the growth dogma needs to be looked at very carefully. This one is built on a long-standing question: how do we square Earth's finite resources with the fact that as the economy grows, the amount of natural resources needed to sustain that activity must grow too? It has taken all of human history for the economy to reach its current size. On current form it will take just two decades to double.

In this special issue, New Scientist brings together key thinkers from politics, economics and philosophy who profoundly disagree with the growth dogma but agree with the scientists monitoring our fragile biosphere. The father of ecological economics, Herman Daly, explains why our economy is blind to the environmental costs of growth ("The World Bank's blind spot"), while Tim Jackson, adviser to the UK government on sustainable development, crunches numbers to show that technological fixes won't compensate for the hair-raising speed at which the economy is expanding ("Why politicians dare not limit economic growth").
Gus Speth, one-time environment adviser to President Jimmy Carter, explains why after four decades working at the highest levels of US policy-making he believes green values have no chance against today's capitalism ("Champion for green growth"), followed by Susan George, a leading thinker of the political left, who argues that only a global government-led effort can shift the destructive course we are on ("We must think big to fight environmental disaster").

For Andrew Simms, policy director of the London-based New Economics Foundation, it is crucial to demolish one of the main justifications for unbridled growth: that it can pull the poor out of poverty ("The poverty myth"). And the broadcaster and activist David Suzuki explains how he inspires business leaders and politicians to change their thinking ("Interview with an environmental activist").

Just what a truly sustainable economy would look like is explored in "Life in a land without growth", when New Scientist uses Daly's blueprint to imagine life in a society that doesn't use up resources faster than the world can replace them. Expect tough decisions on wealth, tax, jobs and birth rates. But as Daly says, shifting from growth to development doesn't have to mean freezing in the dark under communist tyranny. Technological innovation would give us more and more from the resources we have, and as philosopher Kate Soper argues in "Nothing to fear from curbing growth", curbing our addiction to work and profits would in many ways improve our lives.

It is a vision John Stuart Mill, one of the founders of classical economics, would have approved of. In his Principles of Political Economy, published in 1848, he predicted that once the work of economic growth was done, a "stationary" economy would emerge in which we could focus on human improvement: "There would be as much scope as ever for all kinds of mental culture, and moral and social progress... for improving the art of living and much more likelihood of it being improved, when minds cease to be engrossed by the art of getting on."

Today's economists dismiss such ideas as naive and utopian, but with financial markets crashing, food prices spiralling, the world warming and peak oil approaching (or passed), they are becoming harder than ever to ignore.

Some of the 149 comments posted there...

By Alex - Fri Oct 17
I'm usually an optimist, but I think governments around the world are still not taking this seriously. With markets bouncing back now people seem to think that this temporary 'patch' fixed the problem once and for all.

By Colin - Thu Oct 16
If we start to consume more virtual goods (reading articles online, not paper, gaming environment assets etc..), exploiting more online environments (virtual office), and giving 3rd world countries a fixed annual return on environmental assets with permanent losses for destroying them, this would help somewhat. We need a global government, and unfortunately the capitalists would be in charge...

By Mircea Postolache - Fri Oct 17
Indeed it's a shame capitalists and materialists in general are "in charge", but a global government will not help at all. The problems we face are a buildup of issues that stand on our ever increasing selfishness, greed and dishonesty. The change must take place inside everyone. We became too lazy. We still hope there is a "miracle cure" (e.g. Global government) that does not involve us sweating too much to solve the problem. The solution must come from within us. Real (Re)Education is needed to revive the "good" in all of us.

By Niles - Fri Oct 17
Capitalists and materialists are "in charge" because that is what has worked in the past and the present. It is not evil - it is what society at large has adopted because it worked better than other systems. Re-education to a new paradyme will be a long term activity but a necessary one. Growth-based economics clearly has a natural limit. If re-education is approached as though Capitalism were immoral, those who believe in it and thrive under it will be defensive. The way to move to another approach is to provide solid reasoned arguments that even an ardent capitalists will ponder - not demonization. Whether re-education can advance quickly enough to avoid stalled-growth stagnation remains to be seen. It won't be easy since I don't know of any current economy successfully run on "sustainability" rather than growth that one can point to as a real, tangible example of the direction for the future.

By Jonathan Nesbitt - Fri Oct 17
The growth of Germany's solar industry and installed base is an example (PBS Nova described it) - it required a govt investment in that they agreed to pay anyone high rates to buy the electricity produced by any entrepreneurs - the best investment possible is to prevent 7-14 meter sea level rise. Germany's Program Result was that everyone put up solar panels and much CO2 production is being prevented - yes the electric rates rose some but that society's (and Japan's) govt decided correctly that it is worth the investment. Example: A German farmer got a $5M loan to put ...

By Gabriela Gi - Fri Oct 17
I fully agree with you on this but the process is much slower then a Government intervention especially in time of crisis.

By Mircea Postolache -- Sat Oct 18
Well, government intervention is needed of course, but not a new and unique "global government". Every government should be able to handle it's own people better than a single "generic government". One government is the worst solution to any problem you want to solve. Because each country and people have different ways of solving the same issue.

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Related comment and articles:

Herman Daly, former World Bank sr. economist, wrote a recent article in New Scientist (18 Oct 2008),"Economics blind spot is a disaster for the planet." The World Bank is unable to draw a realistic graph of inter-relationships between human economies & the environment. Mr. Daly writes, "That was when I realised that economists have not grasped a simple fact that to scientists is obvious: the size of the Earth as a whole is fixed. Neither the surface nor the mass of the planet is growing or shrinking. The same is true for energy budgets: the amount absorbed by the Earth is equal to the amount it radiates. The overall size of the system - the amount of water, land, air, minerals and other resources present on the planet we live on - is fixed. The most important change on Earth in recent times has been the enormous growth of the economy, which has taken over an ever greater share of the planet's resources. In my lifetime, world population has tripled, while the numbers of livestock, cars, houses and refrigerators have increased by vastly more. In fact, our economy is now reaching the point where it is outstripping Earth's ability to sustain it. Resources are running out and waste sinks are becoming full. The remaining natural world can no longer support the existing economy, much less one that continues to expand. The economy is like a hungry, growing organism. It consumes low-entropy natural resources such as trees, fish and coal, produces energy and useful goods from them, and spits out high-entropy waste such as carbon dioxide, mine slag and dirty water. Mainstream economists are mostly concerned with the organism's circulatory system, how the energy and resources can be efficiently allocated, while tending to ignore its digestive system. As my experience with the diagram showed, the sources of the resources that the organism consumes and the sinks into which it deposits waste are ignored. Effectively, economists are assuming they are infinite." Taken from this source.

Risks Of Global Warming Greater Than Financial Crisis - Stern (October 28, 2008)
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50776/newsDate/28-Oct-2008/story.htm
HONG KONG - The risks of inaction over climate change far outweigh the turmoil of the global financial crisis, a leading climate change expert said on Monday, while calling for new fiscal spending tailored to low carbon growth."The risk consequences of ignoring climate change will be very much bigger than the consequences of ignoring risks in the financial system," said Nicholas Stern, a former British Treasury economist, who released a seminal report in 2006 that said inaction on emissions blamed for global warming could cause economic pain equal to the Great Depression."That's a very important lesson, tackle risk early," Stern told a climate and carbon conference in Hong Kong.As countries around the world move from deploying monetary and financial stabilisation measures, to boosting fiscal spending to mend real economies, Stern said the opportunity was there to bring about a new, greener, carbon-reducing world order. CLIP

Mr. Sarkozy stays the course (October 17, 2008) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081017.eSarkozy18/BNStory/specialComment/home/
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is right in insisting that the economic slowdown is no reason to ditch the European Union's ambitious project to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, which will be finalized in December. He and Britain's Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, were forced at a summit this week to fight off protests from countries as diverse as Italy, Germany, Poland and Latvia that holding to an ambitious reduction target – 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 –would put European economies at a disadvantage to those of less progressive regions.Europe's climate plan is certainly not perfect. There is a real risk that some carbon-intensive industries, like steel production, could abandon the continent for more permissive pastures if their concerns are not taken into account, damaging the European economy and doing nothing for the environment. More worryingly, requiring Poland, one of the EU's most populous member states, to shutter its coal plants without a major initial investment in renewable energy would almost certainly mean increased dependence on natural gas from Russia, and hence power and money for the Kremlin.But these problems and others are, collectively, small compared to the stakes of failure. Establishing an effective, international regime to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions is one of the fundamental challenges of our time, as well as a classic collective action problem straight out of Economics 101. There are always excuses for doing nothing, and no state is eager to push on alone with environmental measures that could handicap it economically. Then again, all attempts so far at a global solution have failed spectacularly, thanks to the intransigence of the United States (and Canada) and the reluctance of large developing countries to accept curbs on the direction of their growth. Europe is uniquely positioned to charge ahead and break this stalemate. The EU, with 530 million citizens and the world's largest economy, is big enough to go it alone, but small enough to make it at least conceivable that when they meet in December the leaders of its member states will sign off on an emissions pact. And the tradition of intra-EU economic assistance, which helped transform the likes of Ireland and Spain from basket cases into highly developed economies, could be easily adapted to soften the blow of emissions reductions in the less affluent European countries. If Europe agrees to and begins implementation of an aggressive climate plan it will be considerably harder for the rest of the world, including the United States, to continue to dodge its responsibility to pitch in. And successfully building the first low-carbon economy would provide a powerful example to follow. With plunging share values dominating headlines, it is easy to forget the long-term economic and human consequences of unchecked global warming would likely be far worse than those of any financial crisis. The planet is lucky that Mr. Sarkozy, at least, has such a good memory.

"New Deal" Approach Needed For Climate Change – UN (October 23, 2008)
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50714/newsDate/23-Oct-2008/story.htm
LONDON - The world should take a leaf from US President Franklin Roosevelt's playbook for tackling the Great Depression and fund a "Green New Deal" to fight climate change, a UN agency proposed. A two-year United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) initiative launched on Wednesday would promote research into marketing tools, such as Europe's carbon emissions trading scheme initiated in 2005, to aid the environment. This is because political efforts to curb pollution, protect forests and avert climate change have proven "totally inadequate", UNEP executive director Achim Steiner said. He noted that a huge banking bailout had been mobilised in just four weeks, while the response to climate change was slow.From 1981 to 2005 the global economy more than doubled, but 60 percent of the world's ecosystems -- for example fisheries and forests -- were either degraded or over-used. "That's the balance sheet of our planet right now," he said.A successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the pioneering global pact to fight climate change, set to be agreed in Copenhagen by the end of next year appears more remote than a year ago, Steiner said."We're further from a deal in Copenhagen than we were at the end of the Bali conference," he said, referring to the launch of talks on the successor pact last December in Indonesia." But does that mean we will not have one? No."The difficulty is that there is no deal based on national interest alone. Quite frankly the levels of financing being discussed right now are totally inadequate to allow such a deal to emerge."British Environment Minister Hilary Benn, hosting the launch, said the UNEP proposal was right in tune with the thinking of Roosevelt, from whom he quoted approvingly: "'The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.'"

Crunch May Spur Rethink Of Nature As 'Free' (October 22, 2008)
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50704/newsDate/22-Oct-2008/story.htm
BARCELONA - The worst financial crisis since the 1930s may be a chance to put price tags on nature in a radical economic rethink to protect everything from coral reefs to rainforests, environmental experts say. Farmers know the value of land from the amount of crops they can produce but large parts of the natural world -- such as wetlands that purify water, oceans that produce fish or trees that soak up greenhouse gases -- are usually viewed as "free". "Most of our valuable assets are not on the books," said Robert Costanza, professor of ecological economics at the University of Vermont. "We need to reinvent economics. The financial crisis is an opportunity." Advocates of "eco-nomics" say that valuing "natural capital" could help protect nature from rising human populations, pollution and climate change that do not figure in conventional measures of wealth such as gross domestic product (GDP) or gross national product (GNP). "I believe the 21st century will be dominated by the concept of natural capital, just as the 20th was dominated by financial capital," Achim Steiner, head of the UN Environment Programme, told Reuters at the International Union for Conservation of Nature congress in Barcelona earlier this month. "We are reaching a point...at which the very system that supports us is threatened," he said.Conventional economists often object it is impossible to value an Andean valley or the Caribbean. "We have struggled with nature-based services: how does a market begin to value them?" Steiner said. Costanza helped get international debate underway a decade ago with a widely quoted estimate that the value of natural services was $33 trillion a year -- almost twice world gross domestic product at the time. CLIP^

ANALYSIS - 'Green' Loses Cachet On Wall Street (October 29, 2008)
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50799/newsDate/29-Oct-2008/story.htm
LOS ANGELES - "Going green" doesn't have quite the cachet it used to, at least on Wall Street. Investors in renewable energy stocks have seen their sector hit hard in recent weeks on concerns that tightening credit and a weak global economy could arrest growth of the high-flying industry despite its long-term promise. "The general economic slowdown is taking everybody's eyes off what was an increasing momentum around concerns of climate change and the cost of energy," said Paul Maeder, a general partner with venture capital firm Highland Capital Partners. Until credit becomes more available, big solar and wind projects will be more difficult to finance, and certainly more expensive. A drop in demand will also mean lower prices on solar panels and wind turbines, hurting manufacturers' profitability. CLIP

Green routes to growth (October 23 2008)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/23/commentanddebate-energy-environment-climate-change
Recession is the time to build a low-carbon future with the investment vital for economy and planet -- There are two crucial lessons we must learn from the financial turbulence the world has been facing. First, this crisis has been 20 years in the making and shows very clearly that the longer risk is ignored the bigger will be the consequences; second, we shall face an extended period of recession in the rich countries and low growth for the world as a whole. Let us learn the lessons and take the opportunity of the coincidence of the crisis and the deepening awareness of the great danger of unmanaged climate change: now is the time to lay the foundations for a world of low-carbon growth.High-carbon growth - business as usual - will by mid-century have taken greenhouse gas concentrations to a point where a major climate disaster is very likely. We risk a transformation of the planet so radical that it would involve huge population movements and widespread conflict. Put simply, high-carbon growth will choke off growth. To manage the climate, we must cut world emissions by at least 50% by 2050, as recognised by the G8 earlier this year. Given that rich countries' emissions are far above the world average, their cuts should be at least 80%, acknowledged in Europe and the UK, with the adoption of that target last week. (...) The coming period of growth can be firmly based in the low-carbon infrastructure and investments that will not only be profitable, with the right policies, but also allow for a safer, cleaner and quieter economy and society. And if, as we must, we halt deforestation - the source of 20% of greenhouse gas emissions - at the same time we can also protect and enhance our biodiversity and water systems. The International Energy Agency estimates that world energy infrastructure investments are likely to average about $1 trillion a year over the next 20 years. If the majority of this is low-carbon, and some of it is brought forward, it will be an outstanding source of investment demand. So too will be the investments for energy efficiency, many of which can be labour-intensive and are available immediately. (...) The next few years present a great opportunity to lay the foundations of a new form of growth that can transform our economies and societies. Let us grow out of this recession in a way that both reduces risks for our planet and sparks off a wave of new investment which will create a more secure, cleaner and more attractive economy for all of us. And in so doing, we shall demonstrate for all, particularly the developing world, that low-carbon growth is not only possible, but that it can also be a productive and efficient route to overcome world poverty.

Financial Crisis Has Lessons For Climate Fight - Expert (October 31, 2008)
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50859/story.htm
GOLD COAST - The world still has the funds and ability to fight climate change and nations should not use the financial crisis to delay policies on tackling global warming, a top carbon expert said on Thursday. CLIP

Man-Made Climate Change Seen In Antarctica, Arctic (October 31, 2008)
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50856/story.htm
OSLO - Both Antarctica and the Arctic are getting less icy because of global warming, scientists said on Thursday in a study that extends evidence of man-made climate change to every continent.Detection of a human cause of warming at both ends of the earth also strengthens a need to understand ice sheets on Antarctica and Greenland that would raise world sea levels by about 70 metres (230 ft) if they all melted, they said."We're able for the first time to directly attribute warming in both the Arctic and the Antarctic to human influences," said Nathan Gillett of England's University of East Anglia of a study he led with colleagues in the United States, Britain and Japan. CLIP

Ancient Forests Found to Be Climate Air Conditioners (October 31, 2008)
http://forests.org/blog/2008/10/science-regarding-forests-clim.asp
New research in _Royal Society journal Philosophical Transactions A_ "suggests that chopping down forests could accelerate global warming more than was thought, and that protecting existing trees could be one of the best ways to tackle the problem." The report quantifies how the release of the chemical terpene from tree canopies leads to cloud formation that cools the climate. Given ancient forests' massive canopies, the findings further clarify intact forest wildernesses' critical role in maintaining an operable atmosphere.Much remains to be learned regarding Gaia's workings, forests' interaction with climate, and the need for ecologically sufficient policy-making, yet it is gratifying to see formal science continue to catch up with Ecological Internet's biocentric campaigns ( http://www.ecoearth.info/campaigns/ ). Given additional recent scientific findings that old-growth forests continue to remove atmospheric carbon indefinitely, and primary forests lose much of their carbon permanently when first logged, there is no longer any justification for destruction of and forests. And presenting "sustainable" logging of such sacred and life-giving primeval treasures as having environmental benefits is ecologically bereft and criminally negligent

Climate-Warming Methane Levels Rose Fast In 2007 (October 31, 2008)
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50862/story.htm
WASHINGTON - Levels of climate-warming methane -- a greenhouse gas 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide -- rose abruptly in Earth's atmosphere last year, and scientists who reported the change don't know why it occurred. Methane, the primary component of natural gas, has more than doubled in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times, but stayed largely stable over the last decade or so before rising in 2007, researchers said on Wednesday. This stability led scientists to believe that the emissions of methane, from natural sources like cows, sheep and wetlands, as well as from human activities like coal and gas production, were balanced by the destruction of methane in the atmosphere.But that balance was upset starting early last year, releasing millions of metric tonnes more methane into the air, the scientists wrote in the Geophysical Research Letters. "The thing that's really surprising is that it's coming after this period of very level emissions," said Matthew Rigby of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "The worry is that we just don't understand the methane cycle very well."Another surprise was that the rise in methane levels happened simultaneously at all the places scientists measured around the globe, instead of being centred near known sources of methane emissions in the Northern Hemisphere, said Rigby, one of the study's lead authors along with Ronald Prinn, also of MIT. A rise in methane in the Northern Hemisphere might be due to a year-long warm spell in Siberia, where wetlands harbor methane-producing bacteria, the scientists said, but had no immediate answer on why emissions also rose in the Southern Hemisphere at the same time. CLIP

Greenhouse Gas Four Times More Than Thought – Study (October 24, 2008)
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50726/newsDate/24-Oct-2008/story.htm
WASHINGTON - Levels of a powerful greenhouse gas are four times as high as previously thought, according to new measurements released on Thursday. New analytical techniques show that about 5,400 metric tons of nitrogen trifluoride are in the atmosphere, with amounts increasing by about 11 percent per year. Ray Weiss of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, and colleagues said it had not been possible to accurately measure this gas before. They said nitrogen trifluoride is 17,000 times more effective at warming the atmosphere than an equal mass of carbon dioxide, although it does not yet contribute much to global warming. Previous estimates had put levels of the gas at less than 1,200 metric tons in 2006. Nitrogen trifluoride, a colourless, odourless, nonflammable gas, is used to etch silicon wafers and in some lasers. CLIP

China Report Warns Of Greenhouse Gas Leap (October 23, 2008)
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50713/newsDate/23-Oct-2008/story.htm
BEIJING - China's greenhouse gas pollution could double or more in two decades says a new Chinese state think-tank study that casts stark light on the industrial giant's role in stoking global warming.




3.

From: http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2008/10/29-7

Living Planet Report Details Dangers Of Living Beyond The Environment's Means

New WWF Analysis Warns of "Ecological Credit Crunch" and Offers Solutions For Avoiding A "Natural Resources Meltdown" As U.S. Scores Among Nations With Largest Ecological Footprint

WASHINGTON - October 29 - As global financial markets learn difficult lessons on the consequences of unregulated spending, a new report issued by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warns of the danger to future prosperity if the reckless over-consumption of the Earth's natural capital is left unchecked. 

WWF's Living Planet Report 2008, produced with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Global Footprint Network (GFN), shows more than three quarters of the world's people now living in nations that are ecological debtors, where national consumption has outstripped their country's biological capacity. Presently, human demands on the world's natural capital measure nearly a third more than earth can sustain. In addition, global natural wealth and diversity continue to decline, and more and more countries are slipping into a state of permanent or seasonal water stress.

The findings of the Living Planet Report 2008 reinforce WWF-US's "Greenprint" agenda, a policy road map for the next U.S. administration, which was provided in mid-October to Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill) and their U.S. presidential campaign staffs. Commenting on the "Greenprint" at its release, Carter Roberts, president and CEO of WWF-US noted "Global consumption of natural resources far exceeds the Earth's regenerative capacity. We are borrowing from our natural capital at an entirely unsustainable rate.  And, as is evidenced from the current economic crisis, unsustainable borrowing is not without profound consequences. To raise the stakes even further, there can be no bailout if the Earth's systems collapse."

"The world is currently struggling with the consequences of over-valuing its financial assets, but a more fundamental crisis looms ahead - an ecological credit crunch caused by under-valuing the environmental assets that are the basis of all life and prosperity," said WWF International Director-General James Leape, in the foreword to the new report. "Most of us are propping up our current lifestyles, and our economic growth, by drawing - and increasingly overdrawing - on the ecological capital of other parts of the world," Leape said. 

According to the Living Planet Report 2008, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Kuwait have the largest national ecological footprints per person.  On the other end of the scale are countries such as Haiti and the Congo, with a low ecological footprint per person, but facing a future of degrading biocapacity from deforestation and increased demands from a rising population and export pressures. 

The Living Planet Report, published by WWF every two years since 1998, has become widely accepted as an accurate analysis of the earth's ability to remain a "living planet". In 2008, it adds for the first time, new measures of global, national and individual water footprints to existing measures of the Ecological Footprint of human demand on natural resources and the Living Planet Index, a measure of the state of nature.

The Living Planet Index, compiled by ZSL, shows a nearly 30 per cent decline since 1970 in nearly 5000 measured populations of 1,686 species.  These dramatic losses in our natural wealth are being driven by deforestation and land conversion in the tropics and the impact of dams, diversions and climate change on freshwater species. Pollution, over-fishing and destructive fishing in marine and coastal environments are also taking a considerable toll.

The Living Planet Report 2008 includes a new water footprint measurement which illustrates the significance of water traded in the form of commodities; for example, the production of a cotton T-shirt requires 765 gallons of water. On average, each person consumes 327,177 gallons  (about half an Olympic swimming pool) of water a year, but this varies from 654,354 gallons per person a year (USA) to 163,325 gallons per capita annually (Yemen).  Approximately 50 countries are currently facing moderate or severe water stress and the number of people suffering from year-round or seasonal water shortages is expected to increase as a result of climate change, the report finds.

For the single most important challenge - climate change - the report shows that a range of efficiency, renewable and low emissions "wedges" could meet projected energy demands to 2050 with reductions in carbon emissions of 60 to 80 percent.  Bringing an ecosystems approach into consumption, development and trade considerations would go a long way to protecting the world's vital living resources.

"These Living Planet measures serve as clear and robust signposts to what needs to be done," said WWF-International's Leape. "If humanity has the will, it has the way to live within the means of the planet, but we must recognize that the ecological credit crunch will require even bolder action that that now being mustered for the financial crisis."

CONTACT: World Wildlife Fund (WWF) http://www.worldwildlife.org/
Kerry Zobor kerry.zobor@wwfus.org 202-778-9509


---

Related articles:

World is facing a natural resources crisis worse than financial crunch (October 29 2008)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/oct/29/climatechange-endangeredhabitats
The world is heading for an "ecological credit crunch" far worse than the current financial crisis because humans are over-using the natural resources of the planet, an international study warns today.The Living Planet report calculates that humans are using 30% more resources than the Earth can replenish each year, which is leading to deforestation, degraded soils, polluted air and water, and dramatic declines in numbers of fish and other species. As a result, we are running up an ecological debt of $4tr (£2.5tr) to $4.5tr every year - double the estimated losses made by the world's financial institutions as a result of the credit crisis - say the report's authors, led by the conservation group WWF, formerly the World Wildlife Fund. The figure is based on a UN report which calculated the economic value of services provided by ecosystems destroyed annually, such as diminished rainfall for crops or reduced flood protection. The problem is also getting worse as populations and consumption keep growing faster than technology finds new ways of expanding what can be produced from the natural world. This had led the report to predict that by 2030, if nothing changes, mankind would need two planets to sustain its lifestyle. "The recent downturn in the global economy is a stark reminder of the consequences of living beyond our means," says James Leape, WWF International's director general. "But the possibility of financial recession pales in comparison to the looming ecological credit crunch."The report continues: "We have only one planet. Its capacity to support a thriving diversity of species, humans included, is large but fundamentally limited. When human demand on this capacity exceeds what is available - when we surpass ecological limits - we erode the health of the Earth's living systems. Ultimately this loss threatens human well-being." Speaking yesterday in London, the report's authors also called for politicians to mount a huge international response in line with the multibillion-dollar rescue plan for the economy. "They now need to turn their collective action to a far more pressing concern and that's the survival of all life on planet Earth," said Chief Emeka Anyaoku, the president of WWF International.Sir David King, the British government's former chief scientific adviser, said: "We all need to agree that there's a crisis of understanding, that we're removing the planet's biodiverse resources at a rate which is as fast if not faster than the world's last great extinction." CLIP

ANALYSIS - Obama To Go Green, But Push Could Be Costly (October 31, 2008)
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50851/story.htm
WASHINGTON - The green revolution has ground to a halt with the collapse in oil prices, right?Don't bet on it if Barack Obama makes it to the White House with an agenda to create jobs while weaning the country off foreign oil.With the oil price at about half of its former record-breaking self and the government heading towards a trillion dollar budget deficit by some estimates, there has been speculation that going green would prove too expensive. Obama also said in a September TV debate that some energy initiatives might have to go due to the budget squeeze. But with the tail wind of commanding support in the polls, the green economy is regaining a new emphasis with Obama, although such an initiative could prove costly for taxpayers.Obama told Time Magazine this month that with the economy flagging he wanted to launch an "Apollo project" to build an alternative energy economy. Because "there is no better potential driver that pervades all aspects of our economy than a new energy economy ... That's going to be my No. 1 priority when I get into office." And in his "closing argument" ahead of next Tuesday's election, Obama told an Ohio rally that his energy plan would create jobs while freeing America from Middle Eastern oil."And I will invest $15 billion a year in renewable sources of energy to create five million new energy jobs over the next decade - jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced; jobs building solar panels and wind turbines and a new electricity grid..." he said.Environmentalists and analysts believe that despite dicey economics, Obama will press ahead on the green front for a few compelling reasons. Green technology could help revive a floundering economy, help pare the habit of importing 10 million barrels a day and ease the country's greenhouse gases. "We are not just facing an economic crisis unseen since the Great Depression; we are also facing a climate crisis, which we have never before seen in history. We must respond to both," said Gernot Wagner, economist with the Environmental Defence Fund in New York. CLIP

One-Third Of World Fish Catch Used For Animal Feed (October 30, 2008)
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50821/newsDate/30-Oct-2008/story.htm
WASHINGTON - One-third of the world's ocean fish catch is ground up for animal feed, a potential problem for marine ecosystems and a waste of a resource that could directly nourish humans, scientists said on Wednesday. The fish being used to feed pigs, chickens and farm-raised fish are often thought of as bait, including anchovies, sardines, menhaden and other small- to medium-sized species, researchers wrote in a study to be published in November in the Annual Review of Environment and Resources.These so-called forage fish account for 37 percent, or 31.5 million tonnes, of all fish taken from the world's oceans each year, the study said. Ninety percent of that catch is turned into fishmeal or fish oil, most of which is used as agricultural and aquacultural feed.Ellen Pikitch, executive director of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science and a professor at Stony Brook University in New York, called these numbers "staggering.""The reason I find that so alarming is that it's an enormous percentage of the world fish catch," Pikitch said by telephone. "And fish are fundamentally important to the health of the ocean overall."Forage fish are near the base of the marine food web, nourishing larger fish, ocean-dwelling marine mammals and sea birds, especially puffins and gulls, the study said. Unlike such dinner-plate fish as tuna, swordfish and cod, the extraction of forage fish is largely unregulated, Pikitch said. Excessive removal of these small fish from the ocean environment could hurt the species that feed on them.Aside from the potential ecological consequences, the taking of these large numbers of forage fish interferes with food security for humans, she said. On average, it takes three to five pounds (1.36 to 2.27 kg) of fishmeal to produce one pound (0.45 kg) of farm-raised fish, Pikitch said."If you're creating protein for humans to consume, does it make sense to take three to five pounds of perfectly good food and convert it into only one pound of food?" she said. CLIP

Rising CO2 Accelerates Coral Bleaching - Study (October 29, 2008)
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50795/newsDate/29-Oct-2008/story.htm
SYDNEY - Rising carbon dioxide levels in the world's oceans due to climate change, combined with rising sea temperatures, could accelerate coral bleaching, destroying some reefs before 2050, says a new Australian study. The study says earlier research may have significantly understated the likely damage to the world's reefs caused by man-made change to the Earth's atmosphere. "Previous predictions of coral bleaching have been far too conservative, because they didn't factor in the effect of acidification on the bleaching process and how the two interact," said Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and Queensland University. CLIP

Storms Among Haiti's Worst Disasters - UN Official (October 27, 2008)
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50755/newsDate/27-Oct-2008/story.htm
GONAIVES - Impoverished Haiti is suffering one of the worst catastrophes in its history after the recent onslaught of tropical storms and hurricanes, the UN humanitarian aid chief said on Friday.Four tropical storms and hurricanes that battered the Caribbean nation in August and September -- Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike -- killed more than 800 people and left nearly 1 million homeless or in dire need of help.Following a visit to the storm-ravaged northern city of Gonaives, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said more needed to be done immediately to improve conditions while promoting sustainable measures to address Haiti's long-term problems. CLIP

Rich World Behind Much Of Global Pollution – Groups (October 22, 2008)
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50702/newsDate/22-Oct-2008/story.htm
NEW YORK - Rich countries are partly responsible for pollution from poor ones, including poisonous mining discharge, because they buy many of the raw materials and goods that produce the waste, environmental groups said. "In our part of the world, these problems have been fixed for the most part," said Richard Fuller, founder of the New York-based Blacksmith Institute, which has compiled a database of 600 of the world's worst polluted places. "We have exported our industry overseas and yet there's no pollution controls in these places or the pollution controls are terribly inadequate." Blacksmith and Green Cross Switzerland, which works to clean up contamination from industrial and military disasters, released a report on Tuesday called "The World's Worst Polluted Places" -- available at http://ww.worstpolluted.org. It found that artisanal gold mining, contaminated surface water, radioactive waste processing and uranium mining and the recycling of used lead acid batteries, most of which occur in poor countries from Africa to Asia, are some of the world's top 10 sources of pollution dangerous to human health. Millions of people are poisoned or killed each year by industrial pollution and emissions, it said. To be sure, the developing world is also rife with problems that are not caused by the processing or manufacture of goods used in rich countries.Indoor air pollution from cooking fires, which occurs mostly in Africa, is one key example, the report said. And many of the products made or processed in rapidly developing countries, such as China and India, are used domestically. Still, children in developing countries are hit by pollution from many of the industries that make or process things used mostly by rich countries, including metals smelting and processing, lead battery recycling and the industrial mining of both common and precious materials, it said. Children are more vulnerable to disease from toxic pollution than adults. Rich countries should help mop up pollution sources not only because they are the world's largest consumers but because some pollution can travel over oceans through the atmosphere, eventually reaching consumers throughout the world. CLIP




4.

From: http://www.newscientist.com/channel/opinion/mg20026786.100-special-report-why-politicians-dare-not-limit-economic-growth.html

Special report: Why politicians dare not limit economic growth

15 October 2008

SCRATCH the surface of free-market capitalism and you discover something close to visceral fear. Recent events provide a good example: the US treasury's extraordinary $800 billion rescue package was an enormous comfort blanket designed to restore confidence in the ailing financial markets. By forcing the taxpayer to pick up the "toxic debts" that plunged the system into crisis, it aims to protect our ability to go on behaving similarly in the future. This is a short-term and deeply regressive solution, but economic growth must be protected at all costs.

As economics commissioner on the UK's Sustainable Development Commission, I found this response depressingly familiar. At the launch last year of our "Redefining Prosperity" project (which attempts to instil some environmental and social caution into the relentless pursuit of economic growth), a UK treasury official stood up and accused my colleagues and I of wanting to "go back and live in caves". After a recent meeting convened to explore how the UK treasury's financial policies might be made more sustainable, a high-ranking official was heard to mutter: "Well, that is all very interesting, perhaps now we can get back to the real job of growing the economy."

The message from all this is clear: any alternative to growth remains unthinkable, even 40 years after the American ecologists Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren made some blindingly obvious points about the arithmetic of relentless consumption.

The Ehrlich equation, I = PAT, says simply that the impact (I) of human activity on the planet is the product of three factors: the size of the population (P), its level of affluence (A) expressed as income per person, and a technology factor (T), which is a measure of the impact on the planet associated with each dollar we spend.

Take climate change, for example. The global population is just under 7 billion and the average level of affluence is around $8000 per person. The T factor is just over 0.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per thousand dollars of GDP - in other words, every $1000 worth of goods and services produced using today's technology releases 0.5 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. So today's global CO2 emissions work out at 7 billion ? 8 ? 0.5 = 28 billion tonnes per year.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that to stabilise greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere at a reasonably safe 450 parts per million, we need to reduce annual global CO2 emissions to less than 5 billion tonnes by 2050. With a global population of 9 billion thought inevitable by the middle of this century, that works out at an average carbon footprint of less than 0.6 tonnes per person - considerably lower than in India today. The conventional view is that we will achieve this by increasing energy efficiency and developing green technology without economic growth taking a serious hit. Can this really work?
With today's global income, achieving the necessary carbon footprint would mean getting the T factor for CO2 down to 0.1 tonnes of CO2 per thousand US dollars - a fivefold improvement. While that is no walk in the park, it is probably doable with state-of-the-art technology and a robust policy commitment. There is one big thing missing from this picture, however: economic growth. Factor it in, and the idea that technological ingenuity can save us from climate disaster looks an awful lot more challenging.

First, let us suppose that the world economy carries on as usual. GDP per capita will grow at a steady 2 or 3 per cent per year in developed countries, while the rest of the world tries to catch up - China and India leaping ahead at 5 to 10 per cent per year, at least for a while, with Africa languishing in the doldrums for decades to come. In this (deeply inequitable) world, to meet the IPCC target we would have to push the carbon content of consumption down to less than 0.03 tonnes for every thousand US dollars spent - a daunting 11-fold reduction on the current western European average.

Now, let's suppose we are serious about eradicating global poverty. Imagine a world whose 9 billion people can all aspire to a level of income compatible with a 2.5 per cent growth in European income between now and 2050. In this scenario, the carbon content of economic output must be reduced to just 2 per cent of the best currently achieved anywhere in the European Union.

In short, if we insist on growing the economy endlessly, then we will have to reduce the carbon intensity of our spending to a tiny fraction of what it is now. If growth is to continue beyond 2050, so must improvements in efficiency. Growth at 2.5 per cent per year from 2050 to the end of the century would more than triple the global economy beyond the 2050 level, requiring almost complete decarbonisation of every last dollar.

The potential for technological improvements, renewable energy, carbon sequestration and, ultimately perhaps, a hydrogen-based economy has not been exhausted. But what politicians will not admit is that we have no idea if such a radical transformation is even possible, or if so what it would look like. Where will the investment and resources come from? Where will the wastes and the emissions go? What might it feel like to live in a world with 10 times as much economic activity as we have today?

Instead, they bombard us with adverts cajoling us to insulate our homes, turn down our thermostats, drive a little less, walk a little more. The one piece of advice you will not see on a government list is "buy less stuff". Buying an energy-efficient TV is to be applauded; not buying one at all is a crime against society. Agreeing reluctantly to advertising standards is the sign of a mature society; banning advertising altogether (even to children) is condemned as "culture jamming". Consuming less may be the single biggest thing you can do to save carbon emissions, and yet no one dares to mention it. Because if we did, it would threaten economic growth, the very thing that is causing the problem in the first place.

Visceral fear is not without foundation. If we do not go out shopping, then factories stop producing, and if factories stop producing then people get laid off. If people get laid off, then they do not have any money. And if they don't have any money they cannot go shopping. A falling economy has no money in the public purse and no way to service public debt. It struggles to maintain competitiveness and it puts people's jobs at risk. A government that fails to respond appropriately will soon find itself out of office.

This is the logic of free-market capitalism: the economy must grow continuously or face an unpalatable collapse. With the environmental situation reaching crisis point, however, it is time to stop pretending that mindlessly chasing economic growth is compatible with sustainability. We need something more robust than a comfort blanket to protect us from the damage we are wreaking on the planet. Figuring out an alternative to this doomed model is now a priority before a global recession, an unstable climate, or a combination of the two forces itself upon us.




5.

From: http://www.newscientist.com/channel/opinion/mg20026786.500-interview-champion-for-green-growth.html

Interview: Champion for green growth

15 October 2008

(...)

After decades of work on the environment, you've painted a bleak picture in your latest book. Why?

I was trying to get to grips with a paradox: the environmental community is stronger, better funded and more sophisticated than ever, so why is the environment going downhill so far that we face the prospect of a ruined planet?

What do you think?

My conclusion is that we're trying to do environmental policy and activism within a system that is simply too powerful. It's today's capitalism, with its overwhelming commitment to growth at all costs, its devolution of tremendous power into the corporate sector, and its blind faith in a market riddled with externalities. And it is also our own pathetic capitulation to consumerism. Even as the environmental community swims more strongly against the current, the current gets ever stronger and more treacherous, so environmentalism slips under. The only solution is to get out of the water, take a hard look at what's going on and figure what needs to be done to change today's capitalism.

Can we can really reform capitalism?

Only if the issues I've dwelled on in The Bridge At The Edge Of The World become a subject of widespread discussion. The environmental community, at least in the US, is weak when it comes to talking about lifestyle changes, about consumption, and it is reluctant to challenge growth or the power of corporations. A lot of the big issues have political immunity. We need a new political movement in the US to drive this.

What should a movement like this be aiming for?

The economy we have now is an inherently rapacious and ruthless system. It is up to citizens to inject values that reflect human aspirations rather than just making money. But groups, whether they're concerned about social issues, social justice, the environment or effective politics, are failing because they're not working together. I want to see them join into one hopefully powerful political force.

Are there recent models of this "coming together"?

The US civil rights movement of the 1960s. People would have to be willing to take those kinds of risks.

How do you sell capitalism without growth?

The US has been growing between 3 and 3.5 per cent a year for a long time. Is there some growth dividend that's being put into better social conditions and services? No. Is it being spent protecting our environment? No. It's a snare and a delusion. We have enough money, we are just spending it poorly. To invoke growth as a solution creates barriers to dealing with the real problems.
“We have enough money, we're just spending it poorly”

What things do need to grow?

In the US we have huge social needs to meet, sustainable industries to create, technologies to grow, decent healthcare to create. We need to focus on those things and not sacrifice them to growing the aggregate economy. I'm not advocating state socialism, but I am advocating a non-socialist alternative to today's capitalism. If we took one-tenth of 1 per cent of what we spend on trying to prop up the current system, and put it into exploring the future, we'd be making good progress.



From: The Gaiafield Project (dnicol@ciis.edu)
Subject: Reminder: WiseUSA 'O8 Global Ceremony - Sunday Nov 2

WiseUSA 'O8 Global Ceremony

1:30-3pm PST/4:30-6pm EST/9:30-11pm GMT

Sunday, November 2

We wanted to remind you about our upcoming WiseUSA 'O8 Global Ceremony on Sunday November 2. The Global Ceremony is the peak event of the WiseUSA program. It will be an opportunity for you to join with many others around the world in a space of deep stillness and prayerfulness just two days before a critical collective decision is made in the USA. Together we will call forth wisdom and compassion from America - regardless of the election outcome - for the benefit of the entire Earth community and the next seven generations.

Can you help us spread the word by forwarding this email to your networks?

Event Description

Sunday November 2: 1:30-3pm PST /4:30-6pm EST/9:30-11pm GMT

The WiseUSA 'O8 Global Ceremony on Sunday November 2 will be a ninety-minute ceremony of deep meditation, collective prayer, and contemplative music involving individuals and groups from around the world. The ceremony will be anchored in two live gatherings at venues on the east and west coasts of the USA: the historic All Soul's Church in the heart of Washington D.C., and the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment in San Jose, California.

These gatherings will be linked by videoconference. Live audio from the ceremony will be broadcast for free to a global online audience (get the free broadcast HERE). Emmy-award winning musician and composer Gary Malkin is the event's artistic director.

Check the time of the ceremony in your local area HERE.

RSVP for the Global Ceremony HERE.

Live event details

If you live in the Washington D.C. Area, we invite you to attend the live gathering at the historic All Soul's Church, from 4:30-6pm EST. All Soul's, Unitarian, is located at 1500 Harvard Street NW, where the neighborhoods of Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, and Mount Pleasant come together. The main entrance to the sanctuary is on 16th Street. For more information, or to RSVP to the All Soul's event, please contact Myra at silentpeace.media@gmail.com.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, we invite you to come to the beautiful Center for Spiritual Enlightenment, San Jose from 1.30-3pm PST. CSE is located at 1146 University Avenue, San Jose, CA, 95126. For more information, or to RSVP to the CSE event, please contact Reverend Sundari at revsundari@csecenter.org.

Online Broadcast

The Global Ceremony will be broadcast live via internet radio. The broadcast will also include a stunning short video featuring the words of Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, set to music by Emmy-award winning musician Gary Malkin. To catch the broadcast, click HERE.

Create your own WiseUSA 'O8 event!

Creating your own event can be as easy as inviting a few friends around to listen to the online broadcast. To make it easy for you to organize your own WiseUSA 'O8 gathering, we've created a GROUP where you can get PR materials, ask questions, and meet other subtle activist leaders.

Here are a few examples of what others are planning:

Darshan of Peace Meditation, Vessels of Peace Practice for Peace, Yoga Center of Medford WiseUSA Global Link Teleconference, World Peace Prayer Society

Thank you so much for your continuing support and good will for our project. May Peace Prevail on Earth.

David Nicol, for the Gaiafield Wisdom Council.



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For more information, please review the material posted by the Global Meditation Focus Group at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/FocusArchives/home.htm

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN PASSING THIS ON TO OTHERS