Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

What kind of world in 2050?

The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future by Laurence C. Smith.

My Introduction / Review;
This book takes the form of a thought experiment propelled by the four global forces, of demography, natural resource demand, globalization, and climate change, plus a fifth  — of enduring legal frameworks — and follows ground rules as stated in the opening chapter: That this study shall not be subject too Sudden Silver Bullets (incremental and unforeseeable advances in technology), World War III – no radical reshuffling of our geopolitics and laws (although in my own view this World War III has long been underway and is less traditional than economic -please see Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine) +/Or Hidden Genies, like a global depression, a killer pandemic, or sudden climate change.

How will the world change within our own life times, a scientifically deduced view of the growing population trends and accompanying demands on limited world resources, of species extinctions and other ecological changes forcing unprecedented social and cultural upheavals, of the possibilities of new powers protecting or even prospecting for resources in other territories by force of arms (such as water Wars or etc). 

”Imagine a 2050 world in which global population has grown by nearly half, forming crowded urban clots around the hot lower latitudes of our planet. Mighty new poles of economic power and resource consumption have arisen in China, India and Brazil. People are urban, grayer and richer. Many places are water stressed, uninsurable or battling the sea. Some have abandoned irrigated farming altogether; their cities rely totally on global trade flows of energy and virtual water (ie traded goods containing water such as food etc) to even exist”….

True, we have a diverse basket of new energy resources, but we still rely heavily upon fossil fuels and the development trends and lack of substantial enough alternatives suggest the dependency will continue.  Natural gas is especially lucrative and under aggressive development in all corners of the world. In addition billions of southern organisms will press northward, including us. These broad pressures and trends portend great changes to the northern quarter of our planet, making it a place of higher human activity and strategic activity than today.

Nunavut. President Keskitalo’s Argument;
”In Tromsø sitting with Aili Keskitalo, president of the Norwegian Sámi Parliament. She was describing the plight of her Sámi people (Lapps), the aboriginal occupants of northern Europe.
‘Our language. Our symbols. Our traditional knowledge. They are threatened. In some areas, to a very large extent. We need to have a say in how the natural resources are exploited!’
Unfortunately, a naturally twitchy climate makes the steady, predictable push from anthropogenic greenhouse gases more dangerous, not less. From the geological past we know the Earth’s climate has not always been so quiet as it is now. Therefore, through greenhouse loading we are applying a persistent pressure to a system prone to sudden jumps in ways we don’t fully understand. Imagine a wildcat quietly sleeping on your porch—it looks peaceful but is by nature an ill-tempered, unpredictable beast that might spring into a flurry of teeth and claws in an instant. Greenhouse gases are your knuckles pressing inexorably into its soft slumbering belly; the global ecosystem is your exposed hand and arm.”…
“The climate change, it makes the oil, the gas, the mineral resources in the North more accessible. So the need to get control over the resource management is even more important, because of the climate change.” She sat back in exasperation. “If you have no representation, how can you have an influence on resource management?

”If there was ever a moment when my perspective suddenly broadened on the future of the northern countries I was traveling, that was probably it. We talked some more, so I could assemble in my own head what was already so obvious in hers. Everything is linked. Shrinking ice, natural resource demand, and political power were all tugging on each other. My scientist’s training had wrongly led me down the path of dissect, isolate, and rank. This works well for a focused problem, but is not always best for gaining a synoptic understanding of the world.”
Thus we join the dots to see the bigger picture and how everything really is linked to everything else, change is inevitable, if we understand a little of what may follow we might better cherish the present and nurture the best of possible future outcomes”….

Of further concern is the fact that scientific research has recently revealed that our climatic emergence from the last ice age was neither gradual nor smooth. Instead it underwent rapid flip-flops, seesawing back and forth between glacial and interglacial (warm) temperatures several times before finally settling down into a warmer state. These large temperature swings happened in less than a decade and as quickly as three years. Precipitation doubled in as little as a single year….
The Pentagon’s report, which outlines possible social scenarios if what occurred 8,200 years ago were to happen again today (quite scary) describes wars, starvation, disease, refugee flows, a human population crash, civil war in China, and the defensive fortification of the United States and Australia.

”To me, the old debates of Malthus and Marx, of Ehrlich and Simon, miss the point. The question is not how many people there are versus barrels of oil remaining, or acres of arable land, or drops of water churning through the hydrologic cycle. The question is not how much resource consumption the global ecosystem can or cannot absorb. It’s moot to wonder whether the world should optimally hold nine billion people or nine million, colonize the sea, or all move to Yakutsk. No doubt we humans will survive anything, even if polar bears and Arctic cod do not. Perhaps we could support nine hundred billion if we choose a world with no large animals, pod apartments, genetically engineered algae to eat, and desalinized toilet water to drink. Or perhaps nine hundred million if we choose a wilder planet, generously restocked with the creatures of our design. To me, the more important question is not of capacity, but of desire: What kind of world do we want?”

Absolutely stunning book which lays the whole world and all its developmental trends before the reader in a totally comprehensive manner lacking the obscurantist occlusion or mere one-upmanship of many scientific authors who dazzle with detail the less specialist reader.
If you care to understand the present and future trends of big Businesses and Governments and the hardlines underpinning their perspectives, here you will find a vast array of evidence based assessment and demographic details delivered in an entirely acessible manner.

Highly Recommended for any present 
& all near future residents of Earth..
 ”…The world is alive. The plants, animals, rocks, and water all have spirits. These spirits must be respected and cared for or the land would become hostile or barren. Therefore, protection and balance of one’s environment is of utmost importance…” –

Siberian Elder Wisdom, The Sakhas or Sakha-Yakuts ( Horse People) northeast Siberia.

Informed with knowledge, 
may All our choices be blest **~

 

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Imbolc Blessings…

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Imbolc (February 1st) is a time of new beginnings,
Of Welcoming the first Light of Spring and of Honouring the Celtic Goddess Brighid.

It also marks the center point of the dark half of the year.
There is in Ancient traditions a Spiritual reality and a Physical reality associated with each Season.
At this time as the ewe’s become ready for conception in Spring when their milk will flow, the focus is upon the as yet Unrealised Fertility of Nature in this New Year.
For this reason, Imbolc was also called Oimealg by the Druids, from the Gaelic word “oimelc” which means “ewes milk”
As the Maiden Goddess of this time & because of these reasons of fertility, Brighid was symbolised by White flowers, the Stars and the Milky Way.
Most importantly, as Her womb now becomes ripe with fertility,
She symbolizes the great potential of everything yet to come.
Yet much of her power also resides in the uncertainties of this fecundity.
It is therefore considered taboo to cut plants during this time,
as this would destroy the blessing of new life given by the Goddess to the Earth.

Imbolc is the festival of this Maiden Goddess then,
& from this day to March 21st is her season to prepare for growth and renewal.


(video by Paganboynuneaton)

The meanings of Imbolc are deeply bound with Natures cycles,
As is the case for all Ancient Spiritual ways.

Imbolc is a particularly important date in this natural calendar as it marks the beginning of the agricultural year.
Preparations for spring sowing would begin at this time, and included blessing the seeds and consecrating the agricultural tools, particularly the plough…
In some areas, this is the first day of ploughing in preparation for planting of crops, and the plough woud be decorated to celebrate its importance.
Pieces of cheese and bread were sometimes left by the plough and within the newly turned furrows, as offerings to the nature spirits.

Spring Cleaning,
Prior to the eve of Imbolc the home would be given a thorough cleaning in preparation for a visit from the Goddess.
The fireplace especially should be cleaned very well and a birch branch should be used to symbolically sweep the floors.
Birch has strong associations with Brighid, and has long been used for rites of purification and new beginnings.

Offerings,
A small dish of butter (referencing the fertility of the ewes & The Goddess)should be placed on a windowsill and a fresh fire kindled (evoking the return of the Sun)in the hearth, to honor the Goddess and the new Life that she brings.

Candles,
The lighting of candles honoring the re-birth of the Sun but dedicated to Brighid & floated on the waters of Lake, River and Ocean, emphasized the balance between male fire and female water energies, an essential harmony if the forces of Nature would sucessfully conjoin and beget fruitfullness.
Thus the candles also symbolised The(Re-)Union of the Goddess and the God.

Brideog or Corn Dolls,
Ideally made by the man of the household (again balancing the procreative energies of nature)before the traditional family or communal feast.
Long pieces of straw or rushes would be woven into the shape of a doll and wrapped with white cloth to represent a dress.
She would then be decorated with greenery, flowers, and shells or stones and consecrated with a sprinkle of sacred water whilst invoking Brighid’s blessings.
These dolls were then placed in baskets with white flower bedding, and set before the hearth..

Brighid’s Crosses,
This is the most widely practiced custom associated with Imbolc.
These are woven (solar as opposed to later christian) crosses of straw.
Old crosses from previous years should be removed to the rafters and the new crosses hung near or over doorways.
These are thought especially effective in protecting the household from fire and lightning, as well as blessing all who pass under thhem.

Divination,
The eve of Imbolc is traditionally the best time of the year to perform divinations enquiring after the future of your family & the best choices to be made.
This is because Imbolc as the approach of Spring was held to be one of the Sacred Times when the Otherworlds were more easily communicated with.
This channel of communication was more Open at such special times (including dawn and dusk, but also at some special locations..) due to the Seasons changes in the Cosmological Wheel of Nature, impacting the balance Light & Darkness, and of the Spirit worlds.

As ever on this path of learning & sharing what I learn about these Ancient ways,
I am reminded once more that All of these rituals and practises celebrating the Seasons, the Sacred Times and Tides at work in our Lives and in the Nature which clothes, sustains and surrounds us,
All of these practises are not arcane and mysterious arts.
These are Light Hearted, Hopeful and Bright-Shinning Ways to Honour and Celebrate the Life we are given,
to make the most of the Nature around us and the Communities with which we share.
I should rather rename these Pagan(means ‘Nature’) Traditions as
Good Husbandry/Wifery for sucessful integrated living with our Selves and our Sacred Earth.

Happy Imbolc
Bright Blessings to All.

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