Posts Tagged ‘Future’

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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A Christmas Carol

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To share a slightly different outlook on the Christmas Festival I wrote a short song modeled after Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol but inspired by the earlier Pagan traditions of the Season.

According to historian Ronald Hutton, the current state of observance of Christmas is largely the result of a mid-Victorian revival of the holiday spearheaded by Dickens’ Christmas Carol. Hutton argues that Dickens reconstructed Christmas as a family-centered festival… in contrast to the earlier community (and church)-based observations which had dwindled during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Most of our actual British Christmas customs the tree, the turkey, the stocking, the cards and Santa Claus have only appeared since 1840.

This season was always however a time for community, charity and sharing, as the poorest, oldest and feeblest members of a community would become physically vulnerable to hunger and cold. Their morale would take a further dent if they saw their neighbors making merry all round them and were unable to share in any of it. If they then died, this would not be good for the consciences of their survivors; if they lived, they could bear nasty grudges. Hence, from the time that evidence survives, midwinter was a great time for the giving of food, drink or money to the less fortunate. In the Middle Ages people known as Hogglers or Hognels would often volunteer to collect and distribute them. In addition, poor women and children would go from door to door asking for such gifts, a custom known, according to your region, as Thomasing, Gooding or Mumping. The fitter men from the poorer families would visit their wealthier neighbours with plays, dances or songs, and earn the goodies in return; that is why customs such as mummers’ plays, sword dances and carols are so important at this time. So when your doorbell rings and you find a choir yelling ‘Good King Wenceslas’ outside while a collector holds out a tin for a good cause, you are sharing in (a tradition)… thousands of years old.
(Ronald Hutton, Stations Of The Sun)

Whilst the trappings of the modern Christmas are relatively recent, this festive season has been celebrated since history began.
In Ancient Northern Europe the mid-winter Solstice (between 20th/23rd of December) was called ‘Modranicht’ or ‘Earth Mother’s Night’ and as the shortest day of the year it effectively represents the turning point of the season.
In Northern Europe the winter festival was called the Yule (Juul). As the people thought the Sun stood still for twelve days in the midwinter, plunging Mother Earth and all her growing things into the dark, coldness of death, it was thought that spring could not come without their celebration of midwinter.
More on the Yuletide here.

Of Father Christmas, mythologist Helene Adeline Guerber suggests the Northern traditions indicate Santa as the Norse god Thor. Contrastingly from Iceland the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda poems
describe Odin as riding an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir (Santa originally had eight reindeer, Rudolph was nine) .
More on the origins of Santa Claus here.

Further, that the three greatest Neolithic monuments of Ireland, Scotland and England the massive tombs of Newgrange and Maes Howe, and Stonehenge itself are all aligned on the midwinter sunrise or sunset, shows how important this festival was even in the Stone Age.

With an eye to current world affairs and the rise of Global Corporatism, I have included a protestors scene, with a call to Occupy Christmas as an opportunity to reconsider what the festival may mean now.


✻ ✼ ❄ ❅ ❆ ❇ ❈ ❉ Occupy Christmas ✻ ✼ ❄ ❅ ❆ ❇ ❈ ❉
to learn about the causes of Occupy I recommend Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine
.
I replaced Dickens’ Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future with a mischievous Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws who finally gets his Christmas mission right, after a fashion), and instead of the more usual three visits through time in the life of Ebeneezer Scrooge, my character ‘Scourge’ is given 3 visions instead, to the Three Realms of Celtic mythology;

The Celtic view of the Otherworld consisted of three distinct realms, these being Sea, Land and Sky, their counterparts being Underworld, Earth and Otherworld.

Tir Andomain, Realm of The Underworld and the Sea.
This is the realm of the Ancestors and Gods and Goddesses responsible for the cycle of life, death and rebirth, the realm of the past.

The Meath, Realm of the Land (Earth) represents the present and the physical. We are beings of this realm that we share with the animals and the nature spirits.
Here we see the poverty of Dickens’ London as families live in sheds and children carol sing not for pocket money or treats but for essential foods.

The Magh Mor, Realm of Sky and the Otherworld.
This is where most of the Gods and Goddesses dwell, the realm of the future and the place that grants inspiration, creativity and wisdom. The realm of sky is the pathway of the Sun, Moon and constellations, as well as the wind and weather. Many Gods and Goddesses have influence in all three realms, just as the Land has it’s influence on the other two realms; caves, burial mounds, wells and springs are entrances to the underworld, while trees which exist in our realm are viewed as linking all three together. Represented here as a Celtic Afterlife peopled by Four Elemental Spirits of Air, Fire, Earth and Water.

As Air; Dian Cecht, Psychic Guardian and Healer of the Tuatha Dé Danann ~ The Hawthorn was a symbol of psychic protection due to its sharp thorns. Spirits were believed to dwell in Hawthorn hedges, which were planted as protective shrubs around fields, houses and churchyards. The Goddess Brighid was also associated with the Hawthorn, which is one tree which has managed to breach the divide between Paganism and Christianity and Dian Cecht was Brigid’s male counterpart.Hawthorn individuals are represented by a Masculine polarity and the color purple.

As Fire; Aibheaog is an Irish deity who represented fire, and yet she had a magical well which promoted healing. She is associated with wells and the number 5. Rules Over: Healing, Midsummer well rituals.

As Earth; Cernunnos. Although Cernunnos is a Gaulish horned god, his worship was widespread in the Celtic era, and he was venerated over the channel in Britain in various similar forms.
In appearance he had stag antlers sprouting from his head, wore a torc around his neck, and was depicted with a ram headed serpent. He may have been seen as lord of the animals, and the spirit of the woods, a powerful archetypal nature spirit and male partner of the earth mother. Later, in Christian times his image was transposed on to that of the Devil, who also appeared with horns.

As Water; Coventina, a Celtic river goddess known for healing, also associated with renewal, abundance, new beginnings, life cycles, inspiration, childbirth, wishes and prophecy. In worship to her coins and other objects were tossed into the wells as offerings for sympathetic magick. These wells represent the earth womb, where the Celts felt her power could be most strongly felt. Her symbols are the cauldron, cup, water, coins, broaches and wells. From Scotland comes her association with the underworld, where she was the Goddess of featherless flying creatures which could pass to the Otherworld. Being a river goddess she is connected the ebb and flow of time.

With a hope that this film may remind us to think of more than just family gatherings and presents, that it may be a magical time to think with our hearts and consider the wider picture.
To focus upon the whole rather than any portion, to live more meaningful lives, we may honor these the Three Realms and each-other throughout our daily lives.

A Yuletide Carol by celestialelff

Tis the Modranhit of Midwinter,
To the Three Realms we will go,
Through the portal to Tir Andomain,
Through the Silence beneath the Snow.

Deep within the center,
With the Ancestors in the past,
See the Joy of their Yuletide,
Beyond Time’s Oceans Vast.

The Rising of the Sun,
The Running of the Year,
The Setting of the Sacred Moon,
And the Circle is ever clear.

And look now upon the Earth Realm,
To the Meath beneath the Sky,
See the people in their families,
From their community awry.

Hear the Thomasing and the Gooding,
And the Mumping of the Children,
Both Ignorance and Want do Cry Out,
No more Cup Of Memory here….

The Rising of the Sun,
The Running of the Year,
The Setting of the Sacred Moon,
And the Circle now Draws Near….

Come beyond now to the Magh Mor,
Beyond the graveyard in the Sky,
To the Afterlife of the Otherworld,
Once again the Joy does fly…

Be Blessed then by this Vision,
Of the Three Realms you have made,
Join the Circle of your past life,
To your Future, Present saved…..

The Rising of the Sun,
The Running of the Year,
The Setting of the Sacred Moon,
And the Circle has come Here.

c Celestial Elf 2011.

Merry Christmas!

To The Venus Project;

This machinima film is a fictional message from a post apocalyptic and pro permaculture peace and sustainablility future world to the current day Venus Project and its founders.

Greetings to the people of the planet of the Earth,
to the 21st Century before freedoms birth,
Greetings and thank you for the gift that you gave us,
And to Jaque Fresco for the path that he showed us.

Our historians detail of your troubled times of life,
Of the crimes of Great War and of Poverty and Strife,
The suffering and the conflict endured beneath corporate powers that sell,
The pollution of planet and recurring nightmares that fell.

Cyclical, endless and ancient hierarchs its true,
But listen a moment and you will find the way through,
Give a thought to the causes of the problems portrayed,
Step out and beyond from the pointless charade.

Whilst rooted in confusion and greed and neglect,
Centralized self interest did rule as much as could get,
But the lack of balance between nature and her people,
Was paid by the countless and voiceless as their masters did trample.

Our mission in this message is to remind you now, how,
You chose to emerge all those eons ago,
Your heart-mind remembered that we are all one,
A family of life-kind under the very same sun.

The day you said stop, and all the world stood still,
You threw aside chains of deceit, fear and ill will,
You began the great Venus Project with its bright principles fair,
United creation, carbon emissions reduced and CO2 cleansed from the air.

From outside of the deeps and the depth of all space time,
We send you our thanks for the courage it took,
To emerge from beneath the tyranny of your lifetimes,
To evolve beyond fear and approach life with a new look.

Listen a moment longer and you might see ahead,
Our world following where your exemplary vision has led,
A cybernated eco-civilization where technology serves that all may thrive,
A permaculture planet, bio diverse, blue-green and alive.

Abandoning the treadmills of competitive possession,
Turning platitudes into plowshares, well wishes into action,
Setting the obsolete and dangerous power systems aside,
For clean solar and wind, water and thermal energies supplied.

Your restructuring of society brought peace to the earth,
Planetary sustainability beyond politics poverty and war,
Your well conceived vision bypassed the impending apocalypse,
As people and planet restored, realized the abundance of life.

And as all nations embraced the new resource based economy,
Our mythologies tell how the geo-political collapse fell away,
And the community of Life-kind on earth at last flourished,
As humanity embarked on its true finest day.

From our sustainable cities, circular on sea land and in air,
With each concentric region ergonomically planned,
From the central hub, home of our community endeavors,
From the hearts of our speakers, we send joy, thanks and blessings.

c celestial elf 2011

nb for any who may be interested in the problems of machinima making, please see Viewless at Venus for an interesting encounter.


What is the Venus Project?

The Venus Project ( http://www.thevenusproject.com/ ) was started
around 1975 (formally called “Sociocyberneering”) by Jacque Fresco and
founded on the idea that poverty is caused by the stifling of progress in
technology, which itself is caused by the present world’s profit-driven
economic system.
Presenting a bold, new direction for humanity that entails nothing less than the total redesign of our culture, resolving the serious problems of unemployment, violent crime, replacement of humans by technology, over-population and a decline in the Earth’s ecosystems.
According to Fresco, poverty, crime, corruption and war are the result of scarcity created by the present world’s profit-based economic system.
The Venus Project is dedicated to confronting these problems by actively engaging in the research, development, and application of workable solutions through the use of innovative approaches to social awareness, educational incentives, and the consistent application of the best that science and technology can offer directly to the social system, The Venus Project offers a comprehensive plan for social reclamation in which human beings, technology, and nature will be able to coexist in a long-term, sustainable state of dynamic equilibrium.
Fundamental to the project is what Fresco calls a “resource-based economy”. Such a system uses existing resources, rather than money, to provide an equitable method of distribution in the most humane and efficient manner. It is a system in which all goods and services are available to everyone without the use of money, credits, barter, or any other form of debt or servitude.
Fresco argues that the world is rich in natural resources and energy and that, with modern technology and judicious efficiency, the needs of the global population can be met with abundance, while at the same time removing the current limits of what is deemed possible because of notions of economic viability.

Fresco provides an example of this confusion in the following quote: “At the beginning of World War II the U.S. had a mere 600 or so first-class fighting aircraft. We rapidly overcame this short supply by turning out more than 90,000 planes a year. The question at the start of World War II was: Do we have enough funds to produce the required implements of war? The answer was No, we did not have enough money, nor did we have enough gold; but we did have more than enough resources. It was the available resources that enabled the US to achieve the high production and efficiency required to win the war. Unfortunately this is only considered in times of war.”[13]

Fresco states that for this to work, all of Earth’s resources must be held as the common heritage of all people and not just a select few; and the practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter-productive to the survival of human civilization.

The Venus Project was featured prominently in the 2008 documentary film Zeitgeist: Addendum, as a possible solution to the global problems explained in the first film and first half of the second film.
Following the movie, an organization called the Zeitgeist Movement was established to promote the aims of the Venus Project.
JOIN THE VENUS PROJECT HERE; ( http://www.thevenusproject.com/en/get-involved/global-activism-teams )

On Sustainable Cities;

A sustainable city, or eco-city is a city designed with consideration of environmental impact, inhabited by people dedicated to minimization of required inputs of energy, water and food, and waste output of heat, air pollution – CO2, methane, and water pollution.
A sustainable city can feed itself with minimal reliance on the surrounding countryside, and power itself with renewable sources of energy. The crux of this is to create the smallest possible ecological footprint, and to produce the lowest quantity of pollution possible, to efficiently use land; compost used materials, recycle it or convert waste-to-energy, and thus the city’s overall contribution to climate change will be minimal, if such practices are adhered to.

It is estimated that around 50%[2011] of the world’s population now lives in cities and urban areas. These large communities provide both challenges and opportunities for environmentally conscious developers. In order to make them more sustainable, building design and practice, as well as perception and lifestyle must adopt sustainability thinking.


On Permaculture;

Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that are modeled on the relationships found in natural ecologies.
The ecological processes of plants, animals, their nutrient cycles, climatic factors and weather cycles are all part of the picture. Inhabitants’ needs are provided for using proven technologies for food, energy, shelter and infrastructure. Elements in a system are viewed in relationship to other elements, where the outputs of one element become the inputs of another.
Within a Permaculture system, work is minimized, “wastes” become resources, productivity and yields increase, and environments are restored.
Permaculture principles can be applied to any environment, at any scale from dense urban settlements to individual homes, from farms to entire regions.
While originating as an agro-ecological design theory, permaculture has developed a large international following. This “permaculture community” continues to expand on the original ideas, integrating a range of ideas of alternative culture, through a network of publications, permaculture gardens, intentional communities, training programs, and internet forums. In this way, permaculture has become a form of architecture of nature and ecology as well as an informal institution of alternative social ideals.

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