Children & The Wild

Connectedness to nature makes children happier

Image of young girl planting a plant in the forest. This connection encourages children to display more sustainable behaviors, which in turn gives them greater levels of happiness: Frontiers in Psychology
This connection encourages children to display more sustainable behaviors, which in turn gives them greater levels of happiness. Image: Shutterstock

— by Tayyibah Aziz, Frontiers Science Writer

A new study in Frontiers in Psychology, led by Dr Laura Berrera-Hernández and her team at the Sonora Institute of Technology (ITSON), has shown for the first time that connectedness to nature makes children happier due to their tendency to perform sustainable and pro-ecological behaviors.

As our planet faces growing threats from a warming climate, deforestation and mass species extinction, research focusing on the relationships between humans and nature is increasingly urgent to find solutions to today’s environmental issues. As younger generations will be the future custodians of the planet, work is being done by researchers on how we can promote sustainable behaviors and develop environmental care in children. The researchers state that a disconnection to nature, termed ‘nature deficit disorder’, may contribute to the destruction of the planet, as the lack of a bond with the natural world is unlikely to result in desire to protect it.


Connectedness to nature: its impact on sustainable behaviors and happiness in children

Berrera-Hernández describes ‘connectedness to nature’ as not just appreciating nature’s beauty, but also “being aware of the interrelation and dependence between ourselves and nature, appreciating all of the nuances of nature, and feeling a part of it.”

The study recruited 296 children between the ages of 9 and 12 from a northwestern Mexican city. All the participants were given a self-administered scale completed in school to measure their connectedness to nature, sustainable behaviors (pro-ecological behavior, frugality, altruism, and equity) and happiness. This included measuring their agreement with statements about their connectedness to nature, such as ‘Humans are part of the natural world’ and statements about their sustainable behaviors, such as ‘I separate empty bottles to recycle’.

The researchers found that in children, feeling connected to nature had positive associations for sustainability practices and behaviors, and also led to children reporting higher levels of perceived happiness. This suggests that children who perceive themselves to be more connected to nature tend to perform more sustainable behaviors and therefore also have greater levels of happiness. Previous research on adults had suggested a relationship between connectedness to nature and the development of pro-environmental behaviors, and the happiness derived from these

Despite the study’s limitations of only testing children from the same city, the results provide insight into the power of positive psychology of sustainability in children. Deepening our understanding of the relationships between these variables may provide practical insights for the added psychological benefits of promoting sustainable behaviors in children. If we are to develop environmental care and concern in younger generations, then initiatives to encourage and enable young people to spend more time in nature is a must.

Berrera-Hernández states: “Parents and teachers should promote children to have more significant contact or exposure to nature, because our results indicate that exposure to nature is related to the connection with it, and in turn, with sustainable behaviors and happiness.” The study has fascinating and practical implications for future research in environmental psychology and its applications in nature-based education and initiatives, highlighting the positive benefits for both the planet and children’s wellbeing in encouraging more exposure and contact with the natural world.


Original article: Connectedness to nature: its impact on sustainable behaviors and happiness in children

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00276/full?utm_source=fweb&utm_medium=nblog&utm_campaign=ba-sci-fpsyg-child-nature-happiness

from:    https://blog.frontiersin.org/2020/02/26/connectedness-to-nature-makes-children-happier/

Another Look at Global Warming

Global Warming

SUMMARY: Global warming is a theory with four components:

1. The Earth’s surface temperature is rising because of human activity, particularly industrial production and personal consumption;

2. Weather extremes we now experience are more destructive than in the past because of this warming effect;

3. If this trend is not stopped, the planet will soon be unable to sustain human life as we have known it; and

4. The solution is government management of all human activity, including the elimination of private property and personal freedom.

We reject the theory of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming for three reasons:

1. It is based on junk science and fraud. In other words, it does not exist. The driving force behind this theory comes from politicians, bureaucrats, and those employed by institutions that depend on government funding. All of these benfit from the alleged solution to the alledged problem.

2. The proposed solution requires crushing taxation, confiscation of private property, and denial of freedom-of-choice. This is contrary to The Creed of Freedom, paragraphs 3 and 4.

3. The threat of global warming is the bedrock foundation of almost all programs on behalf of totalitarioan government based on collectivism.

Exposing the Myths

Analysis by G. Edward Griffin

Myth 1.

Leaders of the crusade against global-warming have no financial conflict-of-interest because they only care about the environment, but those who challenge their theories do so because they are paid by the fossil-fuel and nuclear-power industries.

ANALYSIS: There is no doubt that the rank-and-file, true believers in global-warming are motivated by a desire to protect the environment, but those at the top are not so naïve. They know that the specter of environmental disaster is a made-up horror story to frighten us into accepting crushing taxes and a global totalitarian system in the name of saving the planet. How do we know that? Because they say so.

Ottmar Edenhoffer, an official at the UN’s IPPC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) was a former co-chair if the IPCC Working Group III and lead author of the IPPC’s Fourth Assessment Report released in 2007. His report concluded:

One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. … One has to free one’s self from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy…. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War.” (Story) (Cached) (Original in German)

For an eye-opening summary of the meaning of “green” in the environmental movement (it means money), see “Climate Policy as Political Entrepreneurship”, uploaded to the University of Utah website here. (Cached)

MYTH2.
Temperatures have risen since 1998, and reports to the contrary are false.

ANALYSIS: One of the most troublesome facts challenging the theory of global warming is that, even according to UN sources and in spite of data manipulation, global temperatures have not risen since 1998. The dire predictions of increasing temperatures simply have not been validated by nature.

By 2014, this was damaging the credibility of the myth makers and causing skepticism in the public mind. Something had to be done to restore confidence in the global-warming narrative − and, with the Paris Climate Summit scheduled to begin in November of 2015, it had to be done fast in order to have an impact on the proceedings there.

In June of that year, an article appeared in Science magazine, written by a nine-man team at the Environmental Information office of the tax-funded National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This article was exactly what was needed. It said that the reported ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming was an error − and it had data and charts to prove it.

Because this article came with the imprimatur of NOAA, it well served the purposes of the Paris Conference. Afterward, however, it was learned that the article was politically inspired, and the authors had violated numerous principles of scientific inquiry. That was the conclusion of a former top scientist at NOAA itself, Dr John Bates who, in 2014, was awarded a gold medal by the Obama administration for his work in setting standards for producing and preserving climate data.

Bates said that all the scientific standards he had helped to establish at NOAA had been violated to produce a politically useful document at the Paris Climate Summit. The lead author of the article, Thomas Karl, had insisted on “decisions and scientific choices that maximized warming and minimized documentation … in an effort to discredit the notion of a global-warming pause, and rushed so that he could time publication to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.”

Dr. Bates said that the NOAA team used fraudulent data, applied methods of analysis that overstated the speed of warming, relied on software that was known to be inaccurate, never submitted data for verification by others, and failed to archive the data, making it now impossible to examine. In other words, they lied and then destroyed the evidence.

MYTH3.
Global warming is caused by pollution and weather-modification programs. Therefore, it IS man-made.

2016 Nov 18 from Nikeros
To Ed Griffin:
You don’t believe that Fukushima, nuclear testing, extensive military operations involving gawd knows what, fracking, aerosol spraying of aluminum, barium, strontium and gawd knows what else worldwide and on and on has no effect on the earths climate? Ok fine. I will say no more.

ANALYSIS: The anthropomorphic mantra of most global-warming proponents is that the “man-made” cause is CO2. Period. They claim that CO2 is the byproduct of industry and consumption and that it produces a “carbon footprint”. Therefore, they seek expanded government power and funding to reduce CO2. That’s the basis for all the carbon-tax and regulatory nonsense. None of these people are talking about taxing or regulating “Fukushima, nuclear testing, extensive military operations, fracking, aerosol spraying of aluminum, barium, strontium and gawd knows what else”. They talk only about CO2, the non-toxic greenhouse gas that does NOT cause global warming. The global-warming hoaxers are very good at lumping together pollution (which is real) and man-made global warming (which is not). They are countng on us to fall for the trick and fail to see that these are two entirely different issues.

from:    https://freedomforceinternational.org/position-statements/global-warming/

Need Something to Protest Now?

4 Truly Important Items for Your Post-Election List of Things to Protest

not-my-president-protest-1Dylan Charles, Editor
Waking Times

Supporters of Clinton in the painfully long 2016 presidential campaign warned us before the vote that if Trump lost the election, his supporters would stop at nothing to disrupt Clinton’s inauguration. They said riots, violence and revolution would break out, and that Republicans would claim voter fraud and refuse to respect the democratic process or accept the results should Hillary have won.

This scare tactic and all the other nightmare fantasies about Trump projected into public consciousness by the left were insufficient to persuade enough voters to go for Hillary, and as many suspected would happen, Clinton voters are now doing the precise things they had previously declared to be unacceptable.

Hypocrisy is now as American as apple pie, and no one is really all that surprised that phony idealists are taking to the streets, destroying property, threatening to assassinate the president elect, and organizing to prevent Trump’s inauguration. Some are even openly calling for revolution. The deeper irony here, though, is that people from all walks of life should be out protesting the government as well, but for much more significant reasons than to protest the outcome of the election.

In the true American spirit of redressing grievances, and as a public service to a nation struggling to find purpose and reason, here are four critical issues that any worthwhile protestor should add to their post-election list of complaints against the machine.

1.) The Orwellian Permanent War and The Military Industrial Complex

This is the biggest elephant in the room. The U.S. has ongoing military operations in dozens of nations, and it has at least 800 military bases in eighty something foreign nations. Hundreds of non-combative foreign civilians a year are killed by U.S. bombs and drones and written off as collateral damage. The military industrial complex has fully commandeered the progress and development of technology, and sells billions of dollars of weapons each year to countries around the world including severely oppressive dictatorships states like Saudi Arabia.

At home, expenditures on ‘defense’ account for over half of every dollar U.S. taxpayers give Uncle Sam, diverting resources away from improving our country here at home. Surplus military equipment and battle hardened veterans are increasingly moving into the civilian law enforcement sector, dramatically exacerbating social issues such as police brutality and racism. The security industry has expanded to include the mass surveillance of every American and continues to invade our privacy in evermore creative ways. Genuine organic terrorism against Americans at home and abroad is the indirect result of destroying foreign nations and entire civilizations, stealing oil and other resources from foreign nations, while murdering innocents.

War has become the health of the state and it’s poisoning every segment of our society and culture.

2.) Serious Human Rights Abuses Committed by Government

Protestors today are taking to the streets to reject the verbal and emotional abuse of minority and sensitive members of our society, while actual physical human rights abuses are going under-addressed.

Government openly engages in the brutal torture of enemy combatants and even American civilians in facilities around the world and on American soil.The largely privatized U.S. prison system houses more inmates than any other country in the world, and has the highest per capita prison population of any nation ever. Rights abuses in U.S. prisons are rampant, rarely receiving public attention. The vast majority of these prisoners are locked away from family and life for non-violent, victimless crimes.

Members of America and the world’s elite are involved in covering up and participating in a global trade of sex slaves, and widely believed to be involved in pedophilia, child abduction and occult worship and rituals.

3.) Debt Slavery

The top-tier of the banking and investment world have created a global system of economic slavery which intentionally creates ever-increasing public debt. The human race owes so much money that no one really understands to whom it is owed. It could be aliens for all we know, but if the status quo remains, it would take the daily productivity of many generations to come to pay off only what is owed today, and the debt increases every minute.

This is a stealthy form of slavery that is written into the matrix code of society. To be born on earth is to owe money. This is utterly unacceptable, and so systemically unstable it’s guaranteed to collapse, causing worldwide suffering.

4.) Environmental Stewardship is Criminally Negligent

Viewpoints on the environmental stress we see in our world today vary wildly depending on who you talk to and what their background or agenda may be. Call it global warming, climate change, or whatever you like, but at its core, our natural world is being sold off and destroyed for corporate profit. Massive unchecked pollution and environmental destruction by the energy industry and corporations at large is destroying this planet at an exponentially increasing rate. Industrial disasters like Fukushima go unaddressed while the world’s rainforests are being decimated and indigenous cultures driven to extinction. This sad list just goes on and on. It’s just too much to put down here.

Final Thoughts

You could easily add so much more to this if you like, as there are a thousand and one causes rebelling against, yet so very few ever seem to make it into public consciousness and onto the corporate mainstream news. If you’re outraged about what is happening in America today, but haven’t yet included these issues on your ‘mad as hell’ list , then your protest isn’t living up to its full potential, and your idealism is only half-assed.

from:     http://www.wakingtimes.com/2016/11/11/4-truly-important-items-post-election-list-things-protest/

Global Witness & Environmental Activism

Special operatives hired by powerful industries are assassinating environmental activists trying to protect Mother Nature

Global Witness

(NaturalNews) Environmental activists are being murdered at record rates, with as many as three deaths occurring per week, according to London-based advocacy group, Global Witness.

A report released last year by Global Witness, found that 185 killings occurred in 2015 – a 60 percent increase over the previous year, and “the deadliest year on record.”

The majority of the murders were committed against activists involved in opposing logging, mining, agribusiness and dam projects, with Brazil’s logging protestors being the most common victims of violence.

In Brazil’s Amazon states – and elsewhere throughout the world – the murderers are being shielded by “collusion between state and corporate interests.”

“In cases that are well-documented we found 16 were related to paramilitary groups, 13 to the army, 11 to the police, and 11 to private security — strongly implying state or company links to the killings. There was little evidence that the authorities either fully investigated the crimes or took actions to bring the perpetrators to account.”

Governments are ‘turning a blind eye’

And, although the Global Witness report finds these trends more prevalent in locations such as South America and Africa, the United States government is also complicit in the persecution of activists, labeling them as terrorists, and using infiltration and illegal surveillance tactics against their organizations.

In fact, many governments throughout the world are not only “turning a blind eye to corruption, illegalities and environmental degradation,” but are also publicly condemning activists as being “anti-development.”

The sad truth is that most of the violence is being perpetrated against indigenous people trying to protect their land from pillaging by loggers, ranchers and plantation owners.

Indigenous people accounted for 40 percent of the total deaths.

Anti-logging activists were the most frequently targeted, but the palm oil industry in places like the Philippines was also responsible for a number of deaths.

From Free Thought Project:

“The top five most deadly countries for environmental activists and land defenders were Brazil, with 50 deaths; the Philippines, with 33; Colombia, with 26; and Peru and Nicaragua, with 12 fatal attacks each.”

Globalization: the human and environmental cost

Globalization has created a whole new level of government and corporate collusion in terms of exploiting resources and crushing any opposition.

The rise of corporate fascism has led to extreme levels of violence and corruption amid the wholesale destruction of entire ecosystems – and, at this point there seems to be little hope of stopping it.

Free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will make it even more difficult to oppose global corporate interests, leaving activists squeezed between legal obstacles and government-sanctioned persecution.

The TPP will weaken regulatory agencies globally, making it easier for corporations to exploit natural resources, and leaving little legal recourse for those who oppose them.

And, as long as governments continue to turn a blind eye to violence against activists, while simultaneously passing legislation favoring corporations, the problem will only continue to grow worse.

Global Witness is calling for the protection of activists and their right to speak out, as well as a full investigation into, and prosecution of, those responsible for the violence.

To find out more about their work, and to join in the struggle against the corruption and violence being carried out by those who wish to exploit the world’s natural resources, visit the Global Witness website.

And, as corporate influence becomes more powerful by the day, it’s crucial for the average citizen to become as self-reliant as possible. Don’t wait for the total collapse of the system; start preparing today.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that our governments do not represent the people anymore, but rather the corporations who get them elected while lining their pockets. And these corporations have shown that they will stop at nothing – even murder – to get what they want.

Sources:

TheFreeThoughtProject.com

GlobalWitness.org

AlterNet.org

Cleaning Up The Oceans

The World’s First Ocean Cleaning System Will Be Deployed In 2016

May 29

by IAN CROSSLAND

There are five gigantic patches of swirling plastic throughout the Earth’s oceans, known as gyres.thumbProxy

 

Because of ocean currents, a great majority of the plastic that ends up in the oceans finds its way into these garbage patches, poisoning marine life and ending up in the food supply of the planet.  Toxic chemicals like PCBs and DDTs are absorbed by the plastic and cause diseases like cancer, malformation and impaired reproductive ability.

That the plastic lands in these rotating patches is a double edged sword.  It is horrible, yes, and causes a multitude of problems, but it also localizes the pollutants and gives us a place to start when cleaning up.  It’s estimated that 1/3rd of the world’s oceanic plastic pollution is within the great Pacific Garbage Patch (number 01 on the map above).

One young man saw the problem early in his life.  Boyan Slat, at the age of 18, gave a riveting Ted Talk unveiling his plan to clean the pollution using passive flotation devices and the ocean’s own current.  After all, “why move through the oceans, if the oceans can move through you?”  In 2014, at the age of 19, he realized the plan was actually feasible, and now it’s going into effect off the coast of Japan.

The currents pull the sea life under the floatation devices but the lighter-than-water plastics float into the barriers.  What would have taken humanity 70,000 years to clean with boats and nets can be cleaned, instead, in decades.thumbProxy-1

 

It’s estimated that a single, 100km cleanup array will clean 42% of the ocean’s plastic in 10 years.  The first array will be deployed in 2016 and technology is underway to recycle the plastic into biofuel.


Source: Minds, The Ocean Cleanup

from:    http://www.realfarmacy.com/first-ocean-cleaning-system-2016/

Greening Interstate Corridors for Butterflies

The Quiet Revolution Turning Roadsides Into Nature Reserves

Monarch butterflies once coursed through North America in clouds so dense they darkened the sky. Now their migrations have dwindled to an uncertain trickle. The species could become the 21st century’s passenger pigeon, a once-omnipresent species driven to extinction. But there’s hope: In a literally last-ditch effort, ecologists hope to save the black-and-orange beauties by creating habitat along Interstate 35, which runs from Texas to Minnesota and tracks a major monarch migration route. The country’s forgettable roadsides could seed the monarchs’ salvation.

It may seem improbable, at least at first. But the I-35 restoration is part of a quiet revolution occurring in some of America’s most unappreciated spaces. Roadsides and utility corridors, biologists say, are potentially vital sources of life. They can become grasslands and shrublands, rich habitats that once formed after fire and other natural disturbance, but have become rare in human-dominated landscapes.

Even the most intensively developed regions, from the agricultural heartland to the heart of New York, contain millions of acres of potential habitat. People just need to wrap their heads around that idea. “People think that everything has to look like their front lawn. If you don’t mow roadsides, people complain,” says Chip Taylor, a University of Kansas ecologist and founder of conservation group Monarch Watch. “But if you like birds, if you like butterflies, you should want to restore roadside habitats. There is so much land that can be restored.”

The notion goes back several decades, most notably to landscape ecologist Richard Forman, who estimated total US roadside habitat at 10 million acres, an area the size of Maryland. Taylor thinks there’s much more. Whatever the figure, it’s been largely ignored. In a few places, like Iowa, roadsides are partially managed with consideration for wildlife, but that’s rare. Most places reflect a reflexive cultural preference for domestic landscapes as tidy as they are ecologically impoverished.

That worm is finally turning. Last summer the White House pledged to help pollinators—not just commercial honeybees, but also wild pollinators, the thousands of species of native bees and butterflies threatened by pesticides, disease and habitat loss. Modern landscapes simply don’t offer sufficient food and shelter to the creatures who literally make it bloom.

While the White House pollinator strategy didn’t contain a lot of specifics or funding, Taylor says, it’s been a powerful catalyst, pulling together government agencies, conservationists, farmers and private companies to discuss what must be done. The planned I-35 monarch corridor, which in February received a $3.2 million boost from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, emerged from these talks. And it wouldn’t only be monarchs that benefit, notes naturalist David Mizejewski of the National Wildlife Federation, but other pollinators and invertebrates, small mammals, migratory and ground-nesting birds: the entire community of life that thrives where monarchs do.

The project is in its infancy. That means partners must be enlisted, seed sources and funding sought, and best-practices developed to balance road visibility with ecosystem vibrancy. Most of all, both along the I-35 corridor and elsewhere, the people who manage these spaces need to be educated. “I ask, ‘Why do you mow there?’” said Rick Johnstone, founder of Integrated Vegetation Management Partners, of highway managers whose cuts extend hundreds of feet beyond the tarmac. “They say, ‘We always have.’ I say, ‘I know you have—but why do you do it?‘ It’s a mindset.”

While Johnstone works along roads, his specialty is utility corridors: the company-managed rights-of-way that extend along high-tension power lines and gas pipelines. In the continental US these cover some 20 million acres, roughly equivalent to the size of Maine, and like roadsides traditionally have been subject to routine mowing and landscape-scale herbicide dosing.

In a few places in the northeast, though, where rocky terrain made mowing difficult and public safety concerns mitigated herbicide use, utility companies have experimented with other management techniques. They eliminate tall and fast-growing trees that could interfere with their equipment, but otherwise allow smaller vegetation to grow unfettered. The result is dense shrubland, an early-stage forest habitat that, like grassland, teems with life and is desperately needed.

“Conservation organizations could not afford to manage the amount of shrubland that power companies manage in the process of protecting their high-tension lines,” says ecologist Robert Askins of Connecticut College, who has studied flourishing bird populations along power lines. Other researchers have studied their value for pollinators, and the White House pollinator strategy tasked federal agencies to work with utility companies in promoting corridor habitat.

As with roadsides, Johnstone says, there’s much work to be done in designing locale-specific strategies and convincing managers to change their habits. Conscientious stewardship requires expertise and extra commitment, especially at first: It’s much simpler, after all, to just cut everything down. But eventually, Johnstone says, the shrublands become largely self-perpetuating. They cost less and less to maintain. In the long run, then, being nature-friendly doesn’t just make for richer landscapes. It saves money, too.

from:    http://www.wired.com/2015/04/roadside-utility-corridor-habitat/

Monsanto Questions WHO on Cancer Link

Monsanto Asks World Health Organization to ‘Retract’ Cancer Link

Will the WHO make the change?
monsanto_lab_tech_735_350
Anthony Gucciardi
by Anthony Gucciardi
Posted on March 25, 2015

Just days after the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer released a report publicly declaring the well-known link between Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and cancer, the GMO leviathan is already calling on the entire agency to issue a ‘retraction.’

Recently, Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide – the most widely used and best-selling herbicide in the U.S. and one of the world’s most popular weed-killers – has been labeled a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Now Monsanto is fighting that assessment.

As reported by The Lancet:

“In March, 2015, 17 experts from 11 countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC; Lyon, France) to assess the carcinogenicity of the organophosphate pesticides tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate (table). These assessments will be published as volume 112 of the IARC Monographs.”

Instead of deciding to make the product safer, or even delving into the realm of the conclusion from the scientists that Roundup is ‘probably carcinogenic (cancer-causing) to humans,’ Monsanto instead stated that they ‘question’ the assessment.

“We question the quality of the assessment,”the vice president of global regulatory affairs for Monsanto, Philip Miller, stated in an interview.  “The WHO has something to explain.”

I think Monsanto has something to explain. And so do many scientific experts around the globe.

“There are a number of independent, published manuscripts that clearly indicate that glyphosate … can promote cancer and tumor growth,” said Dave Schubert, from the cellular neurobiology laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. “It should be banned.”

Numerous past studies have proposed what most of us have already surmised, that glyphosate – the main ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp – is utterly killing us. What’s more – it is causing damage in much smaller servings than the agriculture industry is dishing out in its common GMO and pesticide spraying practices.

With the already existing plethora of research pointing towards Roundup’s dangers, as well as this most recent assessment from the WHO, I think we have reason enough to find a better way to stop weeds.

Photo credit: Noah Berger, Bloomberg

Forests & Lifestyle

The Gaian Mind

Forests As Sanctuaries

forest wonders

We all know how intricate are the relationships between a single tree and the forms of life that live with it, and around it. But why are trees so important to human beings who are after all–as forms of life–so distinct and different from trees? Though distinctive and different, human beings are part of the same heritage of life.

Trees and forests are important for deep psychological reasons. In returning to the forest, we are returning to the womb not in psychological terms but in cosmological terms. We are returning to the source of our origin. We are entering communion with life at large. The existence of the forests is so important because they enable us to return to the source of our origin. They provide for us a niche in which our communion with all life can happen.

The unstructured environments which we need for our sanity and for our mental health, as well as for the moments of silent brooding without which we cannot truly reach our deeper selves, should not be limited to forests only. Rugged mountains and wilderness areas provide the same nexus for being at one with the glory of the elemental forces of life. Wilderness areas are live-giving in a fundamental sense, nourishing the core of our being. This core of our being is sometimes called the soul.

To understand the nature of the human being is ultimately a metaphysical journey; in the very least it is a transphysical journey. Transphysical translated into the Greek language means metaphysical. The metaphysical meaning of forests has to do with the quality of spaces the forests provide for the tranquility of our souls. Those are the spaces of silence, the spaces of sanity, the spaces of spiritual nourishment–within which our being is healed and at peace.

We all know how soul-destroying and destructive to our inner being modern cities can be; and actually are. The comparison alone between the modus of a technological city and the modus of a wilderness area informs us sufficiently about the metaphysical meaning of the spaces of forests, of the mountains, of the marshlands.

Though the trees are immensely important to our psychic well-being, not every tree possesses the same energy and meaning. The manicured French parks and the primordial Finnish forests are different entities. In the manicured French parks we witness the triumph of the Cartesian logic and of Euclidean geometry, while in the Finnish forests, immensely brooding and surrounded by irregular, female-like lakes we witness the triumph of natural geometry.

What is natural and what is artificial is nowadays difficult to determine. However, when we find ourselves among the plastic interiors of an airport, with its cold brutal walls and lifeless plastic fixtures surrounding us, on the one hand, and within the bosom of a big forest, on the other hand, we know exactly the difference without any ambiguity. In the forest our soul breathes, while in plastic environments our soul suffocates.

The idea that our soul breathes in natural unstructured environments should not be treated as a poetic metaphor. It is a palpable truth. This truth has been recognized on countless occasions, and in many contexts…although usually indirectly and semi-consciously.

Life wants to breathe. We breathe more freely when there are other forms of life which can breathe around us. Old beams made of oak in an old cottage breathe. Those panelings made of wood in the modern flat breathe. And we breathe with them. Those plastic interiors, and those concrete cubicles, and those tower blocks, and those rectilinear cities do not breathe. We find them ‘sterile,’ ‘repulsive,’ ‘depressing.’ Those very adjectives come straight from the core of our beings. And those are not just the reactions of some idosyncratic individuals, but the reactions of all of us, at least a great majority of us.

A plastic interior may be aesthetically pleasing. Yet after a while, our soul finds it uncomfortable, constraining, somewhat crippling. The primordial life in us responds quite unequivocally to our environments. We have to learn to listen carefully to the beat of the primordial life in us, whether we call it instinct, intuition, or the wholistic response. We do respond with great sensitivity to spaces, geometries and forms of life surrounding us. We respond positively to the forms which breathe life for these forms are life-enhancing. Life in us wants to be enhanced and nourished. Hence we want to be in the company of forms that breathe life.

It is therefore very important to dwell in surroundings in which there are forms that can breathe…the wooden beams, the wooden floors. Lucky are the nations that can build houses made of wood…inside and outside. For the wood breathes, changes, decays…as we do. It is also important to have flowers and plants in our living environment. For they breathe. To contemplate a flower for three seconds may be an important journey of solitude, a journey of return to original geometry…which is always renewing. We make these journeys actually rather often, whenever plants and flowers are in our surroundings. But we are rarely aware of what we are doing.

Forests and spirituality are intimately connected. Ancient people knew about this connection and cherished and cultivated it. Their spirit was nourished because their wisdom told them where the true sources of nourishment lay.

tumblr_nbdvh2Up8I1t6bh5fo1_500

The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demand for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life’ s activity; it affords protection to all beings, offering shade even to the axeman who destroys it.

Buddha

Towards a Spiritual Renewal

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We are now reassessing the legacy of the entire technological civilization and what it has done to our souls and our forests. Our problem is no longer how to manage our forests and our lives more efficiently in order to achieve further material progress. We now ask ourselves more fundamental questions: How can we renew ourselves spiritually? What is the path to life that is whole? How can we survive as humane and compassionate beings? How can we maintain our spiritual and cultural heritage?

The wilderness areas, which I call life-giving areas, are important for three reasons, Firstly, they are important as sanctuaries. Various forms of life might not have survived without them.

Secondly, they are important as givers of timber that breathes and out of which will be made beautiful panels and beams that breathe life into our homes.

Thirdly, and most significantly, they are important as human sanctuaries, as places of spiritual, biological and psychological renewal. As the chariot of progress which is the demon of ecological destruction moves on, we wipe out more and more sanctuaries. They disappear under the axe of man, are polluted by plastic environments, are turned into Disneylands.

The rebuilding of sanctuaries is vital for the well-being of our body and the well-being of our soul, for the two act in unison. We have lost the meaning of the Temple (Templum) in now deserted churches.

We have to recreate this meaning from the foundations. We have to re-sacralize the world, for otherwise our existence will be sterile. We live in a disenchanted world. We have to embark on the journey of the re-enchantment of the world. We have to recreate rituals and special ceremonies through which most precious aspects of life are expressed and celebrated.

Forests still inspire us and infuse us with the sense of awe and mystery . . . that is when we have time and the quietness of mind to lose ourselves in them. And here is an important message. Forests may again become sacred enclosures where great rituals of life are performed, and where the celebration of the uniqueness and mystery of life and the universe is taking place. It depends on our wills to make the forests the places of the re-sacralization of the world. The first steps in this direction were taken when by the famous Polish director, Jerzy Grotowski, who has abandoned the theatre in order to make nature and particularly forests the sacred grounds for man’s new communion with the cosmos.We must develop a similar spirit of reverence and empathy for the trees and forests. For they are true sanctuaries.

This article by Henryk Skolimowski has been republished from The Deoxyribonucleic Hyperdimension

from:    http://www.shift.is/2015/01/gaian-mind/

Ethanol & Pollution

Gov’t Study Concludes Ethanol NOT Better for the Environment than Gasoline

image source

Melissa Melton
Activist Post

Remember how we have to pay to subsidize a crap ton of genetically modified corn (yes, not just a ton, but a “crap ton”), because we have to make the supposedly green biofuel ethanol? We are told it is so much better for the environment, right?

The Obama Administration and others claim it’s truly a ‘clean oil alternative’ that will help ‘combat climate change’, after all.

Well according to a new study — a study our government spent half-a-million dollars on that was just released in a peer-reviewed journal — that is simply untrue, as AP reports:

…biofuels made with corn residue release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline.

While biofuels are better in the long run, the study says they won’t meet a standard set in a 2007 energy law to qualify as renewable fuel.

Guess they’ll just up and change the standard to fit the agenda yet again like they usually do when they don’t like reality… (Raised permissible levels of nuclear radiation in drinking water post-Fukushima, anyone?)

Reminds me of a lot of other supposedly “green” stuff we are told — through heaping amounts of green guilt propaganda or greenwashing — we should all run out and buy right away “for the environment”…those CFL light bulbs immediately come to mind

You know the curly little bulbs that contain mercury, so if you accidentally break one, your trendy green energy-saving Earth bulb suddenly becomes a toxic, hazardous waste pile for you and the environment, which is why the EPA recommends a multi-step hazardous materials clean-up process that involves clearing all humans and pets out of the room.

One study also concluded those bulbs emit dangerous ultraviolet rays that damage human skin cells as well. Sounds fun, right?

Basically when the government says something is good for me anymore, I have to wonder if it really is or if they are just saying that because someone high up in there got paid to say that so someone else could get a big, fat kickback because people believe it.

Sure, that may sound paranoid at first read, but here’s a list of a whole lot of reasons why I say it:

(And the sad part is, the revolving door between our government and big business spins so fast, these diagrams couldn’t even keep up with it if the people who created them wanted to.)

Melissa Melton is a writer, researcher, and analyst for The Daily Sheeple and a co-creator of Truthstream Media, where this first appeared.

from:    http://www.activistpost.com/2014/04/govt-study-concludes-ethanol-not-better.html

Thomas Berry Quote

It was an early afternoon in May when I first wandered down the incline, crossed the creek, and looked out over the scene. The field was covered with white lilies rising above the thick grass. A magic moment, this experience gave to my life something that seems to explain my life at a…profound level. It was not only the lilies. It was the singing of the crickets and the woodlands in the distance and the clouds in a clear sky…

…This early experience… has become normative for me throughout the entire range of my thinking. Whatever preserves and enhances this meadow in the natural cycles of its transformation is good, what is opposed to this meadow or negates it is not good…

That is good in economics fosters the natural processes of this meadow. So in jurisprudence, law, and political affairs—that is good which recognizes the rights of this meadow and the creek and the woodlands to exist and flourish in the ever-renewing seasonal expression.

– from The Great Work

to find out more about the works of Thomas Berry, go to:    http://www.thomasberry.org/Biography/

And in response to “What does the earth desire?”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUnvd9hhpyE&feature=related