Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Scary Thing

Over the last few weeks, I have found myself dealing with something we all deal with. When a particular thought or emotion arises, I run it through my "fear check". Often the emotion doesn't pass the test. The emotion is a ghost... a ghost created by some fear that I harbor. Once the ghost has been revealed, it dissipates.

Perhaps the greatest change in the political landscape over the last 7 years is the rampant use of our politicians.

Fear has always been a primary motivator of the far fascist right. They would have us believe that we must fear others of color. We must fear foreigners. We must fear a nuclear Iran, but not a nuclear Pakistan. We must fear the immigrants who take our jobs. We must fear future attacks. We are told that we must fear gay marriage or the institution will be destroyed.

Over and over, we are programmed by the MSM to fear and then to silence or preemptively attack those who do not agree with us, or those who worship a different god.

Tonight, our culture celebrates the victory of courage over fear. We put on masks and we go out into the dark. We learn to face our fears.

We cannot deal with the great real issues of the day as long as we are manipulated by our fears. For these issues require courage, clear thinking, calm resolution, and great compassion... not fear.

There are many writers and leaders who have spoken of fear. Here are a few:

We now know that the human animal is characterized by two great fears that other animals are protected from: the fear of life and the fear of death... Heidegger brought these fears to the center of his existential philosophy. He argued that the basic anxiety of [humanity] is anxiety about being-in-the-world, as well as anxiety of being-in-the-world. That is, both fear of death and fear of life, of experience and individuation. Ernest Becker

Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive -- the risk to be alive and express what we really are. Don Miguel Ruiz

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. Anne Frank

Fear is not the natural state of civilized people. Aung San Suu Kyi

Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd. Bertrand Russell

I accept chaos. I am not sure whether it accepts me. I know some people are terrified of the bomb. But then some people are terrified to be seen carrying a modern screen magazine. Experience teaches us that silence terrifies people the most. Bob Dylan

When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest. Henry David Thoreau

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Marianne Williamson

Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom. Marilyn Ferguson

In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Without darkness,
Nothing comes to birth,
As without light
Nothing flowers. May Sarton

Fear is a scary thing. oZ

Let us put a face on it.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

National Guard: Where?

*anonymous photos send in by Marge Woods


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Monday, October 29, 2007

Being Here

Under normal conditions, when I find time to slip down to my little pueblito in the Catorce uplift, I often barely miss a beat. But this trip to the mountains has been a good example of what can go wrong. I'm pretty sure that Mercury is retrograde, other communication has also been challenged over the last several weeks. (it is) Here is the forecast:

"Businesses, travels and communications tend to experience delays and different problems. Computers and other processes that work with information may experience crashes, unexpected failures.

Don't enroll to courses, don't buy expensive Mercurian items (books, cars, mobile phones etc.), don't sign important contracts and do not marry."

On the first leg of my trip, I was unable to connect into the 5 star hotel´s connection because, as the very capable and honest front desk fellow offered, "you must have a communication software on your computer". I do of course, I use Skype all the time, and their firewall kept me from connecting to any web site, not just Skype. I was afraid that I would have to go into dreaded black screen I P Config land just to release their hold on me.

It's a little spooky to think that Skype is now getting blocked from certain hotel chains. (I guess they want their long distance money back.)

The next day, I got to my place in the mountains and fired up the tablet. There was plenty of signal from my unidirectional antennae from across the way but no server. It turns out that the hotel where I shoot my wireless broadband from had lost its phone lines. (for 3 days already) That left me with bugging my good friend on the hill or going to the Cafe Quemado. And that is where I am right now.

There is a small pack of young boys playing games on the 2 computers next to me. They have their headphones on as they race and mouse, looking over at me every now and then with a certain sense of puzzlement.

The owner here also projects movies on the 200 year old wall across the street, complete with popcorn.

Even though dealing with the loss of my communication link has been a bit of a trouble, ( the hotel is now in its 6th day of no phone service) it has also reminded me of the time I had in years past, when I would buy a phone card from Telmex and wait in line at the pay phone. In the early days around here, the phone shop would send an 80 year old man to my door to tell me of an incoming call.

All of this brings me to this. Mercury will go out of retrograde in a few days, but the likelihood of the continuation of these kind of breakdowns and the sort of selective firewall I experienced in Saltillo is very high. With oil at all time highs and production on a plateau, and an albedo flip in the climate crises appearing in the arctic this summer, it's pretty likely that more of this stuff is on the way. Here is Carolyn Baker on emotional awareness in a collapsing world.

"We are headed for collapse. In fact, collapse has already begun, but most folks haven't a clue. They are too tired from working long, depressing jobs. They are numbed-out and dumbed-down by mainstream corporate media. I don't know how collapse will look, whether it will be slow or fast, but it is happening and folks are not preparing. (clip)

The main thing I'm doing in preparation for collapse is readying my mind and heart. I do this by grieving the destruction, by loving the life all around me, by reading books and articles daily, by spending time with friends who are up to speed on the state of the planet and by spending time daily with my bird friends and other nature friends.

I also do this using a practice called Tonglen. It is a Buddhist meditation practice whereby I breathe in destruction, anger, grief, hate, et cetera and breathe out well-being, love, peace, compassion, release, etc. I learned this practice from Pema Chodron's book, When things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, and there you can find greater detail into this practice. " (clip)


What's been your journey in coming to terms with the triple threat of Peak Oil, climate crisis, and economic meltdown? Have you gone through various stages? How can people not just either shut down or go into deep despair?

CR: Earlier in the interview I recounted my coming to terms with these threats through a series of life events. I have definitely gone through various stages, and it can be truly daunting. I have both shut down and gone into deep despair at times. I have grieved deeply and for long periods of time.

I am often so overcome with joy and love for this planet that I burst out into spontaneous songs of affection. I weep and I wail. I laugh and I sing. I spend long hours with friends talking about these things. I consistently read about these subjects with a dogged determination to see the truth. I think shutting down and going into deep despair are part of the process of coming to terms with these threats.

Staying there is where it becomes dangerous and ineffective. As Tim and Sally talk about in their documentary What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire and as Derrick Jensen speaks about in his books, hope can be a dangerous thing, keeping us stuck in passivity. So despair and hopelessness can open us to a new paradigm, to a new way of thinking. "

During my first night here in Catorce, I asked, "Is knowing about what is coming, and still not planning more stupid than not knowing at all?"

And the answer to my own question seems to be this, "perhaps knowing and practicing" is enough.

For perhaps to breathe in destruction, anger, grief, and hate, as we breathe out well-being, love, peace, and compassion is the plan that we must all adopt.

Being here, not staying there.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Giant in the Hood

Giant in the Hood

There’s a giant in the hood.
Our future’s jingling in his pockets —

It’s not just spare change either —
his pockets bulge and billow,
bank doors flap and rattle.

There is a giant in the hood.

His grid, translucent and shimmering
almost past sight, full of shaky promise,
and explosions, full of self consumption
defines the contours of our block —

The print curtains you hung
last week to cheer up the
back bed room — he made them in China.

The wicker hamper is his design,
and your paycheck that is half
what it used to be,
and Mother’s trust, and margin calls,

even the old photos are his.
Great-grandfather’s war belonged
to the giant.

could only weep.

There is a giant in the hood.

Even in this green city
where most would live in peace
we tear ass race to grab the scraps
he tosses off as
the cost of doing business.

There’s a dumb, hungry sneer
on his lips that always lie.
There’s meat between its teeth,
other than that, the giant’s not alive,
tho law says otherwise,
gives it the same rights as
an individual,

As soon as you catch his name,
he changes it.

It plays both sides of the street,
bribes us with concerts,
an alumni center at the university,
while at the capital it buys legislation
that erases our right to
protect the water life requires.

There is a giant in the hood —
a perfect union of government
and commerce, a billowing hedge fund
a slick silk suit, jackets lined with explosives
and autocad.

There’s a giant in the hood —
and Democracy like any good idea
fractals to lint, to dust, when it
hits the streets of a world market
paved with debris, and grist, and blood.

©Susan Bright, 2007

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-ninety books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chinese Moon

Yi Dance --

China has launched a rocket to the Moon,
and named the mission after the ancient Goddess
Chang-E. The
3He-rush is on.

Chang—E, A Chinese Legend
transcribed by Denise Kaisler (

The people of the earth rejoiced after the great archer Yi shot down nine of the ten wayward suns [see last month's EH]. Yi felt great satisfaction at having helped the people, so he decided to stay on Earth and do other heroic deeds.

Yi's wife, the goddess Chang-E didn't like this idea, yet could hardly tell her husband what to do. Instead, she asked him to finish his tasks quickly so that they could return to heaven and take their rightful places at King Di-Jun's celestial court.

So Yi set off in search of adventure. By the time a year had passed, the great warrior had rid the world of six evils : the chimera Zha-Yu, the minotaur Tao-Chi, Jiu-Yang, the winged hydra, the fearsome Roc of Quingqu lake, the great python of Dongting, and Feng-Xi, a giant boar. All of these creatures were once divine beings who had assumed monstrous forms to terrify and devour mortals.

Yi felt great pride at his own accomplishments. He thought that surely the Heavenly King must be quite pleased by his actions. Thus, he cooked a great joint of the slaughtered Feng-Xi and brought it on a platter to King Di-Jun, hoping to hear the sovereign's words of praise.

Yet the Heavenly King was most sorely displeased with Yi. "You shot down nine of my sons," he raged. "You killed other celestial beings for sport ! From this day forward, neither you nor you wife shall set foot in this court again. I hereby condemn you to live as mortals on Earth until the end of your days!"

Yi returned to his wife with a heavy heart and told her what the king had said. Instead of being sympathetic, she was furious. "Look at where your foolish desires have landed us! I am no longer a goddess! My home is forever lost to me."

Then sorrow claimed her. "Oh what a miserable ending for us. One day we shall die and then wander the earth as ghosts. What a terrible fate!"

The couple lamented together until, suddenly, Chang-E had an idea. "It is said that the Western Queen Mother has a special potion of immortality. If you could obtain some, we would not become ghosts."

Yi's hope and courage were immediately restored. The very next day he mounted a white horse and galloped away towards Kunlun mountain. This was where the Western Queen Mother lived.

His journey was an arduous one. First, Yi had to cross a range of fiery mountains which burned day and night. Next he had to cross a river which was so weak it could not even keep a feather afloat. Finally, he had to hike eleven thousand leagues to reach the palace of the Western Queen Mother.

The goddess was sympathetic to Yi and gave him all the exilir she possessed. "It should be enough to grant both of you immortality," she said. "Yet if one of you drinks it all, you will regain your godhood."

Yi hurried home and gave the potion to Chang-E. He told her all that had transpired and then fell into exhausted slumber. Alone, by the light of a single candle, Chang-E stared at the leaf containing the magical potion. Suddenly, the thought of immortality on Earth became distasteful to her. It was her husband's actions that caused her to be exiled to Earth. Why should she suffer for his foolishness?

Thus, Chang-E swept up the potion and swallowed it in a single gulp.

In a twinkling, her body became so light that she floated out the window of the cottage they shared. She drifted up towards heaven, rejoicing at being able to see her home once more. Then Chang-E was paralyzed by a thought. She could not return to the celestial court. The Heavenly King and all his courtiers would surely punish her for having left her husband.

Filled with sorrow, Chang-E flew towards the moon. The Moon Palace was lovely, yet desolate. The only living things in that place were a jade hare and a bay tree. Chang-E was seized by a bitter regret of her rash decision. Oh, if she could only fly down to Earth and be with her husband! But it was too late.

Some people say that if you look up towards the moon, you can see the outline of Chang-E as she dances in the cold light of her lonely palace.

Dr. Denise Kaisler is a professor of Astronomy at Citrus College. Her interests include Astronomy education, Asian cultures, and the search for planets around other stars.

Any way to get human beings to stop thinking about
the universe as if it were a mine?

They want something called Helium 3 - (BBC) to make vast
nuclear explosions.

"One visionary website has calculated that 4x space shuttle loads of 3He a year could meet the earth's energy supply for 10,000 years. The Russians are already thinking aloud about joining the "3He-rush"." (from BBC story above)



Friday, October 26, 2007

High as a Barrel of Oil

Oil hit new highs today and the german peak oil report seems to have legs.

In the mountains.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Global Plan

I'm on the road again, so here's an oldie from the first year of EFA with a few changes at the end.

Just a year ago, many of us who scour the news and research sites for developments in Climate Change, Peak Oil, and advanced technological developments were impressed by an apparently leaked plan out of the Pentagon. I got a copy of the report and I was impressed mostly with the realization that the U S government did have a climate change plan in place.

And it is not mitigation.

Mitigation means you sign climate treaties and you cooperate with the other nations to try to keep the suffering and destruction to a minimum.

It is not adaptation,

at least not in the standard use of the term.

Adaptation would mean air conditioning programs, and efficiency programs, and strategies to deal with reduced water tables, and reduced water in rivers and lakes, and studies to suggest where to move food and grain producers.

No, the U S response is different.

It is a military response.

Commissioned by highly respected Defense Department planner Andrew Marshall, the Pentagon study raised the possibility that global warming could prove a greater risk to the world than terrorism. Marshall is known in Pentagon circles as Yoda, because he is so highly regarded.

He is listened to.

The study's principal authors were Peter Schwartz, former head of planning for Shell Oil, and Doug Randall of the Global Business Network, a California think tank.

When the Guardian broke the story, they were, well, less guarded:

Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters..

A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

An imminent scenario of catastrophic climate change is 'plausible and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately', they conclude. As early as next year widespread flooding by a rise in sea levels will create major upheaval for millions.

A major story followed in Fortune where they got right to the point:

The threat that has riveted their attention is this: Global warming, rather than causing gradual, centuries-spanning change, may be pushing the climate to a tipping point. Growing evidence suggests the ocean-atmosphere system that controls the world's climate can lurch from one state to another in less than a decade—like a canoe that's gradually tilted until suddenly it flips over. Scientists don't know how close the system is to a critical threshold.

But abrupt climate change may well occur in the not-too-distant future. If it does, the need to rapidly adapt may overwhelm many societies—thereby upsetting the geopolitical balance of power.

And there was a good story in Grist.

So, are you getting the point yet?

This administration definitely believes in Global Warming.

And they believe in Peak Oil.

And their response, according to this report.

Is more military might.

In fairness, the Pentagon planners are just doing their job.

We either look out for ourselves.

Or we look out for the Earthfamily.

Do you have a Plan?

The Pentagon does."

In these rather remarkable times,

it seems that each of us, each family, each town, each state,

should have a plan for ourselves and our community.

In my case, I am working everyday to build and make my community

as sustainable and prepared as it can be for the days and years ahead.

I am also building my other community,

the one that might survive,

should the pentagon plan on

climate change and peak oil,

become the global plan.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ali Bilir: Turkish Poet

BABAZULA: Turkish Folk Music

Two poems by Ali Bilir, from a collection of poetry

translated from Turkish by M. Ali Sulutas, with help
from R. Bruce Bickley, Jr. and Susan Bright ,
from Plain View Press.


I might have written
passionate lines —
as if dying,
God lent his hand
letting fall
the magic of language
from his tongue.

I might have written
poems of my suffering
people, an image
pungent with carnation
and sweat.

Where am I now —
the poem: a word
melting the ice
on my tongue.


My grandmother's swing
sways on and on
in the arms of death.
We travel to the utmost
edge of the coast —

a flower
cool to the touch
as the mountainous cliff.
A sailor's lantern
does not light the way.
Does it shine?
Does death wait
until morning?

Is the lust of Kerem
quenched, does it
penetrate the rocks
with his love?
A pink cyclamen
heats his flesh
with the burning health
of Asli.


* Kerem and Asli were lovers,
one Muslem, one Christian
whose tragic love story is a favorite
subject of traveling minstrels, Asiklar —
meaning those who are in love --

poems © Ali Bilir, 2007


Born in 1945 in Gülnar, Mersin, Turkey. Attended the School of Medicine for a year, but graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Istanbul, in 1969. Participated in the student and youth movements of 1968. In 1967, took a four-month adventure tour of Europe and North Africa, mainly on foot.

While practicing his profession in his own pharmacy in his home town of Gülnar, kept writing poems and short stories, which he had started doing in high school. Assumed responsibilities with cultural, social, educational, sports, and literature clubs.
His poems, short stories, and articles on certain subjects have been published in local, regional, national, and international periodicals, magazines, and journals.

Among the prizes he obtained are: 1990 Günes Magazine (Sweden) - Story, 1993 Orhan Kemal - Story, 1996 Ibrahim Yildiz - Honorable Mention for the poetry book of Göç Türküsü (Migration Ballad), 1998 Samim Kocagoz – Story, 2004 S. Avni Olez - Jury Special Prize for the poetry book of Güz Animsamalari (Autumn Reminiscences).

His published books in Turkish are: Usuyen Sicak Duslerim (My Shivering Warm Dreams) (Stories), Göç Türküsü (Migration Ballad) (Poems), Elestiriden Günceye (From Critique to Diary) (Critiques and Diaries), and Güz Animsamalari (Autumn Reminiscences) (Poems).


Video clip from film: Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Instanbul

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Solar Bloom

I found it rather amazing that oil was breaking the 90.00 barrel record just as ASPO Houston was finishing their last day. So did Kunstler: (read this)

"It was a sublime coincidence of fate and history that throughout the ASPO conference, the price of a barrel of oil surged up through the high eighty-dollars range and briefly touched $90-a-barrel on Friday (just as the stock market was tanking by 360-odd points). It was also interesting that as all this action was unfolding, MSNBC was running an interview with Senator Larry Craig (R. Idaho), (clip)

So, while the price of oil ratcheted up hour by hour, the ASPO conference members heard from an impressive range of experts who have been leading the public conversation on the Peak Oil story – with no help from the mainstream media or the political sector.

Among them were Robert Hirsch, co-author of the now-famous 2005 Hirsch Report, commissioned by the US Department of Energy, which, much to the consternation of its sponsor, first told the nation in no uncertain terms that it was heading for a catastrophic set of disruptions in “normal” American life if we heedlessly continued energy business-as-usual.

Hirsch went a little further now, two years on, than he had in his famous report, predicting a future of “oil export withholding,” panicked markets, and allocation disturbances that would make the 1973 OPEC embargo look like a golden age." more

At the same time, there is a real race between some pretty big time competitors to develop an affordable solar plant that can work in tandem with already affordable wind generation to power our homes, offices, and cars.

Here's the story from Reuters

Solar power edges towards boom time
Fri Oct 19, 2007
By Gerard Wynn

LONDON (Reuters) - Solar power could be the world's number one electricity source by the end of the century, but until now its role has been negligible as producers wait for price parity with fossil fuels, industry leaders say.

Once the choice only of idealists who put the environment before economics, production of solar panels will double both next year and in 2009, according to U.S. investment bank Jefferies Group Inc, driven by government support especially in Germany and Japan.

Similar support in Spain, Italy and Greece is now driving growth in southern Europe as governments turn to the sun as a weapon both against climate change and energy dependence.

Subsidies are needed because solar is still more expensive than conventional power sources like coal, but costs are dropping by around 5 percent a year and "grid parity", without subsidies, is already a reality in parts of California.

Very sunny countries could reach that breakeven in five years or so, and even cloudy Britain by 2020.

"At that point you can expect pretty much unbounded growth," General Electric Co's Chief Engineer Jim Lyons told the Jefferies conference in London on Thursday, referring to price parity in sunny parts of the United States by around 2015.

"The solar industry will eventually be bigger than wind."

The industry could halve costs and achieve parity in significant markets including the United States, Japan and parts of southern Europe by 2012, said Erik Thorsen, chief executive of the world's biggest solar power company Renewable Energy Corp (REC).

"If grid prices go up at the present rate if could happen before," he told Reuters. REC expects to halve costs on new production by 2010.

German solar power company Q-Cells AG, the world's second biggest maker of solar cells, expects similar cuts by making more components itself, thinner than before, and by using cheaper techniques for processing the silicon raw material." more

Yesterday, I was looking at the Nanosolar web site. They have developed a printable conductor which is basically a CIGS ink, and therefore is the first of the power paints.

In our town, our city council just made some special concessions to keep another CIGS technology close to home. This technology could print thin film photonic materials on glass, roofing, or siding, thus making distributed solar an economic strategy.

Recently, I have heard that other thin film producers, perhaps using equipment from Applied Materials, may be able to provide electricity in the 10 cent range in 50 MW lumps.

When the politicians finally add the cost of carbon onto fossil fuels, solar technologies with these prices should be deployable now.

Indeed a"solar boom time" is just around the bend.

But I imagine it not as a boom, perhaps with a bust.

I see a solar bloom.

And the earth and its inhabitants,

photo courtesy of Austin Chronicle


Monday, October 22, 2007

For my Palestinian sisters

For my Palestinian sisters
By : Sufi Mostafavi

When they kill you
I lose the trace of dandelions

When they drive you from your home
I become a wanderer in my own soul

When your parents explode before your very eyes
my dreams are torn to pieces

I sprinkle my bedsheets and pillows with all my perfume
but my room becomes filled with the smell of gunpowder

The minibus that takes me to school everyday
is the same ambulance that carries your corpse

from the refugee camp to the martyrs’ cemetery
The teacher talks to an empty classroom

and the blackboard is a mirror with a memory
that recalls to me nothing but your tearful glance

A bottomless pit opens in the mouth of the TV reporter
which devours everything: the dinner on the table

and my birthday cake with all its lighted candles —
only you remain with the STONES

that your hands and your brother’s hands
would throw at your enemy

Your weapon will always be as vivid as poetry
be it at the bottom of the river

in the heart of the mountain
or in your hands

But their guns, bombs and missiles
will be rusty one day, only good for museums

however much they will want to kill you
however much the dandelions would want to drag me along

in their wake
on the trail of lost footsteps …

© 2007, Sufi Mostafavi, 17 year old daughter of renown Iranian poet,
Farideh Hasanzadeh–Mostafavi.

* Poem and photo send by Farideh Hassanzadeh-Mostafi --"Photo from a film about my daughter's life entitled: "Poet of dandelions" filmed by a prize winning Russian filmmaker.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Pathless Land

Here is an oldie from the first year.

I had written a post on polluters and pressed publish and it disappeared.

So, here is the core Teaching of J Krishnamurti , one of my very favorites.

Krishnamurti was born in 1895 in south India, the eighth child in a middle-class family. At an early age he was adopted by Annie Besant, then the President of the Theosophical Society. She took Krishnamurti and his brother Nitya to England where she had them educated privately.

On Krishnamurti's return to India while still in his teens, Theosophists proclaimed him to be the world teacher whose coming they had been awaiting. They built a large and rich order round him, with many thousands of followers. But in 1929, in a rather famous speech, Krishnamurti disbanded the organisation, returned the estates and monies that had been given to him, and declared that his only purpose was to set human beings unconditionally free from psychological limitations.

Krishnamurti said this in 1981.

‘Truth is a pathless land'.

Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophic knowledge or psychological technique.He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection.

Man has built in himself images as a fence of security - religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols, ideas, beliefs. The burden of these images dominates man’s thinking, his relationships, and his daily life. These images are the causes of our problems for they divide man from man. His perception of life is shaped by the concepts already established in his mind.

The content of his consciousness is his entire existence.

This content is common to all humanity. The individuality is the name, the form and superficial culture he acquires from tradition and environment. The uniqueness of man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the content of his consciousness, which is common to all mankind. So he is not an individual.

Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not a choice. It is man’s pretense that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but lies in the first step of his existence. In observation one begins to discover the lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity.

Thought is time.

Thought is born of experience and knowledge, which are inseparable from time and the past. Time is the psychological enemy of man. Our action is based on knowledge and therefore time, so man is always a slave to the past. Thought is ever-limited and so we live in constant conflict and struggle. There is no psychological evolution.

When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts, he will see the division between the thinker and thought, the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experience. He will discover that this division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation which is insight without any shadow of the past or of time.

This timeless insight brings about a deep, radical mutation in the mind.

Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence.

Krishnamurti belonged to no religion, sect or country, nor did he subscribe to any school of political or ideological thought. Instead, he stated that these are the very factors that divide us from one another and bring about personal and social conflict and ultimately war.

His talks and discussions were not based on any authority of tradition or academic knowledge, but arose out of his own insights into the human mind and his own relation with the sacred.

Perhaps he was the World Teacher.

And Annie got it right after all.



Friday, October 19, 2007

What Goes Up

After yesterday's "slit your wrist" story with Max and Jeanelle, it seems like a little lift is in order. This comes from my new book which should go into production soon.


Just about forty years ago, I was in a rock and roll copy band. We had a few songs that we wrote, but we mostly copied the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and to my dismay, Paul Revere and the Raiders. We were pretty good for youngsters though.

One late afternoon, the drummer and I went to check out the set up at the Youth Center where we would be playing later in the evening. Satisfied that the set up was under control, we left. There is not a lot to do in the majestic flat lands of the upper high plains of Texas. Almost always, you are pulled to the sky. They are so big there. The eyes and the spirit seemingly have no other place to reside.

Smisson and I had some time to kill, so we decided to buy some 10 cent gliders at the convenience store and go down to the park that was in front of our houses. Smisson was a neighbor and his name really was Smisson.
His middle name was Mulkey, and just for the record, he was the third.

Anyway, we took our gliders out of their plastic wrappings and assembled them. There are really only four pieces. There is the main fuselage, the wing that slips through the slit in the fuselage, the back wings, and the rudder that slips on the top of the fuselage.

I put mine together quickly and fine-tuned the wings and rudder. As I did, I said to Smisson, “Watch this Smisson, it will never come down!” I pointed the glider into the ever constant Panhandle north wind and sent it off.

It did what all gliders do. It went down, picked up speed and lift and then went up and over up side down and started to head for the ground where it actually, (and I do remember this faithfully) touched the very top of a delicate wild flower stalk. Then it picked up speed and lift and begin to head back up again. This time, instead of going over backward, it stalled for just a moment and began to dive back towards the ground. As it began to head for the ground it picked up speed and began to climb again, and this time, it climbed a little higher than the time before. Then it stalled. Then it accelerated toward the ground and then turned up and ascended even higher. Then it began to dive and pick up speed again.

By this time, Smisson began to pay attention. In the 10 cent glider world, a 10 second ride is pretty rewarding. That would mean that the glider went forward and down, then up and over, then up again, and then peel off to the right or left out of the wind and circle around finally crashing as it began to lose its lift.

But this glider seemed to have a mind of its own. It kept its nose into the wind. It continued to stall, descend and pick up speed and lift, then turn its nose up and move higher into the sky.

I watched.

It went higher and higher.

It kept climbing.

Smisson began to laugh. Soon, I was laughing with some kind of ecstatic joy. By now, the glider was several hundred feet in the air and it had worked its way north of the park towards the street. We followed it, laughing and looking at each other like we were in the first act of a good space invasion movie.

We got in the car and followed it as it continued to stall dive and climb, stall dive and climb, stall dive and climb.

We followed it to the north side of town before we completely lost sight of it. The last time we saw it, it was still climbing.

Like I told Smisson, “Watch this Smisson, it will never come down”

It never did.

Smisson and I made a deal that day. We decided that no one would believe this story, so we agreed to tell no one. We went back and played that night with that certain kind of smile that you generally get from doing something illegal.

And, we never spoke of it again. (clip)

I learned a lot that day in the park on the High Plains.

I learned that sometimes, the forces line up

and unexpected miraculous things occur.

I realized that what goes up,

doesn’t have to come down.

And, I began to appreciate just how important words are."

Which makes me believe that,

If we say that we can solve the problems that lie ahead.

We will.


"The Rising" courtesy of Yelena (Ona) Matulic-Owens


Thursday, October 18, 2007

World on Fire

I opened up my digi-reader and looked at the lead story on my private enviro-news service.

"My God! we've done it." I screamed to Jeanelle.

"What honey?" she says.

"We've actually done it."

"Done What?"

"It says here that, according to the most recent observations, the north pole is now an ocean, it is officially ice free all but a few months during the middle of winter. It's now like the Great Lakes used to be before they stopped freezing over."

"But aren't the Great Lakes shrinking?"

"Yes, because the lack of ice doesn't cap the evaporation during the winter."

"But that's old news, this is huge honey."

In true form, the next day the national news ministry reported the good news.

"Ice Free Arctic Improves Global Sea Routes"

This was pretty much standard these days. Once it became abundantly clear that Humankind was changing the climate with its emissions of carbon from our cars and power plants, and that the political powers that be "would not", or rather "could not" put in place carbon tax policies that would curb the emissions and move us to another age, "a solar age", so to speak, the news channelers of the 3 remaining news services decided (or were told) to coordinate the news about the coming disaster with the news ministry.

Rather than deal with the issue, it was determined by the "corporate carbon elite" that it would be better to continue to obfuscate or as they saw it "massage the truth".

After all, there were lots of people who were losing their lives now to the change in climate for lots of reasons. Starvation in Africa had moved like a black plague into southern Asia, picking off several million victims a year. Malaria was moving up from the mid tropics into the upper latitudes causing a 10 fold increase in world malaria deaths. Over-heating in formerly cool climes like Paris and Chicago had brought heat stroke deaths to the point that they took over as the leading cause of death in males and females over 70. Even in our rich town, due to crazy weather issues, certain fruits and meats were now only available at the elite super stores which required a government classification to enter.

I remember well how the Chicago over-heating story was spun as a "new prosperous market opportunity" for window air conditioners.

My friend Lanny was in the news ministry, and Jeanelle and I would argue with him about the new disinformation policies over dinner.

"We cannot possibly tell the truth," Lanny would say.

"Last year, 100 million people died from climate change and the number is growing by 20% a year. Do you really think the national security force could keep law and order if everyone in the black lined areas knew that their children would likely not be able to survive past Jr. High, and that their own ability to survive would soon be doubtful unless they have been selected to be in the designated protected green zones?

"It would be chaos", he said.

Jeanelle and I were still working on a daily basis, hoping to get folks awakened out of their sleep walking states. We were still moving those folks who did seem awake down to the pueblos, sort of a peoples' green zone.

But here in the states, it was as if there was a thick cloud of stupid in the air. Eight out of ten on the street were seemingly innoculated with some kind of info-shield that kept them from seeing what had happened to them. Most of them still believed that our problems were caused by the terrorists who had managed to disrupt the world economy. They had their plasma screens and their mega-sports events, and they still had their beer and their freeze dried pizza pies.

"According to this report, the Greenland sheet is now slipping by a mile a day." I said.

The disinformation specialists from the national news ministry would answer this story and every other story of catastrophic climate change with the response that "the carbon and methane that was being released was primarily coming from nature, and not from human burning", and that there was "nothing that could be done". They would always end their stories with the reminder that the continued use of coal and oil, and our dangerously aged fleet of nuclear reactors was the only way to maintain even the limited prosperity that remained.

And they were right, at least on the first point.

Our burning was the match,

the match that set the World on Fire.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Plateau Oil

Several months ago, I walked into the boss's office and made an announcement. It was similiar to the one I made less than two years ago when I expressed my belief that the issue of climate change had come of age, even in the geographic state of the United States.

But this time, my message was this, " Peak Oil is here, watch for oil to hit 80.00 in the next few months and then head north from there."

Yesterday, oil hit $88.00 before settling just below there. And it's been in the eighties now for over a month. Another thing is also obvious. We are not at Peak Oil in the sense of a distinquishable peak. No, the world oil production for the last 11 quarters has been flat, hence the term Plateau Oil.

Here is part of a piece from the Oil Drum on the state of world oil production:

World total liquids production (Fig 1) remains on a peak plateau since 2006 and is forecast to fall off this peak plateau in the middle of 2009. According to the IEA, the current peak production of 86.13 mbd occurred on July 2006 and only one year later, June 2007 total liquids production fell to an unexpectedly low 84.50 mbd. A good increase up to 85.10 mbd occurred for September 2007. As long as demand continues increasing then prices will also continue increasing.

Forecast world crude oil and lease condensate (C&C) production retains its 2005 peak (Fig 2). The forecast to 2100 shows declining C&C production, using a bottom up forecast to 2012 (Fig 3). The forecast to 2012 shows a 1%/yr decline rate to 2009, followed by a 4%/yr decline rate to 2012.

World oil discovery rates peaked in 1965 (Fig 4) and production has exceeded discovery for every year since the mid 1980s. Discoverable reserves in giant fields also peaked during the mid 1960s (Fig 5). The time lag between world peak discovery in 1965 and world peak production in 2005 of 40 years is similar to the time lag of 42 years for the USA Lower 48 (Fig 6).

World C&C year on year production changes to June 2007 and July 2007 (Figs 7,8) show significant declines for Mexico, North Sea and Saudi Arabia and significant increases for Russia, Azerbaijan and Angola. As Russia is likely to be on a production plateau and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE have probably passed peak production, the world C&C production will continue to decline slowly.

Saudi Arabia retains its 2005 C&C peak (Fig 10), which is the same as the peak year for world C&C (Fig 2). Saudi Arabia C&C production has dropped to 8.6 mbd which is 1 mbd less than its peak in 2005. It is now almost a certainty that Saudi Arabia passed peak C&C production of 9.6 mbd in 2005 (Figs 9,10).

Kuwait retains its 2006 minor C&C peak (Fig 12). Kuwait C&C production has now dropped to 2.5 mbd which is less than its peak in 2006. There is a strong likelihood that Kuwait has passed its minor 2006 peak (Figs 11,12). Kuwait’s major peak was 3.3 mbd in 1972.

UAE retains its 2006 C&C peak (Fig 14). UAE C&C production has now dropped to 2.6 mbd which is just less than its peak in 2006. Once again, there is a strong likelihood that UAE passed its 2006 peak (Figs 13,14).

World natural gas plant liquids is forecast to increase due to new OPEC projects (Fig 15). World ethanol and XTL production is forecast to double by 2012 (Fig 16). World processing gains are forecast to decline slowly to 2012 (Fig 17). "

Starting today, the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) will open its American conference in Houston. ASPO Houston will feature such well known figures as Houston Mayor Bill White (former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy), Mr. T. Boone Pickens (pioneer Texas oilman), Bob Hirsch (co-author of the groundbreaking Hirsch-Bezdek Report to DOE), Peter Tertzakian (author of "A Thousand Barrels a Second"), Matthew Simmons, (author of "Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock"), Henry Groppe of Groppe, Long & Littell, U.S. Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD.-tentative), and Chris Skrebowski of London's Energy Institute plus many others, including my boss.

A couple of weeks ago, my long time friend and Friday night dinner pal told me that the price of oil was going to drop to under 50.00. Anything can happen of course, especially with a humongous depression, but I immediately bet him dinner that it wouldn't. (there were caveats of course).

He changed the subject.

Most Americans don't realize that the so called high price of oil is not so bad for our European friends and others around the globe. Remember, oil is sold only in dollars, and since the dollar has dropped in value in the last six years to roughly 55% of its value, an 80 dollar barrel of oil is still a 44 dollar barrel in Euros.

You can thank the war, and and those phantastic fiscally fanatic republicans who wage war and lower taxes for that.

As Plateau Oil continues, those who can't afford higher energy prices will simply buy less of it. Those nations and individuals on the margins will begin to suffer.

The suffering point for the rest of us comes soon enough.

Plateau Oil means production and demand is flat.

But Prices will climb up.

And $100.00 oil is just around the bend.

If it weren't for the huge profits the bad guys are taking,

it would be a good thing.

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