Sunday, July 25, 2021

Visons Of A Warmer Earth

                                                                                                            written 18 July 2021

                                                                                                        published 25 July 2021


            Scripps Institution of Oceanography, an organization not given to hysteria, reported in 2017 that "business as usual" presented a 1:20 chance of raising Earth's temperature 5°C above preindustrial levels within thirty years, with odds increasing to 1:4 twenty years later.  This article examines descriptions of a hotter Earth. 


            From Green Facts: as Earth warms to 4°C


            Oceanic Impact:  Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration not only warms the oceans but increases the acidity of the water.  The combination of thermally induced bleaching events, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise threatens coral reefs, which provide coastal flood protection, as well as nursery grounds and habitat for many fish species.  Coral reefs are already starting to bleach and dissolve.

            Temperatures:  The largest warming will occur over land.  Summer months will be warmer than the most extreme heatwaves presently experienced.  Increases of more than 6°C (11°F) in average monthly summer temperatures would be expected in the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East, tropical South America, central Africa, and all tropical islands in the Pacific, which would regularly experience heat waves of lethal magnitude and duration. 

            Water Issues:  With increasing heat, drought is projected to increase, exacerbating existing water scarcity in northern and eastern Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, southern Europe, large parts of North America and South America, and southern Australia.  While wetter conditions are projected for northern North America, northern Europe, and Siberia, and some monsoon regions, such as the Ganges and Nile.

            Biodiversity:  Large-scale loss of biodiversity is likely as rapid warming drives Earth´s ecosystems into a state unknown in human experience, with more frequent extreme weather events, such as forest loss due to droughts and wildfire, exacerbated by changes in land use and agricultural expansion, likely leading to increased mortality and species extinction, dramatically reducing ecosystem services on which society depends.

            Food Availability:  New research suggests a rising risk of crop yield reductions as the world rapidly warms. Large negative effects have been observed at high and extreme temperatures in several regions including India, Africa, the United States, and Australia, with reduction in both yields and nutrition.  


            From Big Think: commentary on a map showing a 4°C warmer world. 


            The following areas are uninhabitable due to floods, drought or extreme weather: the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S., all of Mexico and Central America, the middle third of South America, Mozambique, Madagascar, Pakistan, Indochina, and most of Indonesia.  The last inhabitants of the Southwest U.S. are migrating north.  The Colorado river is a mere trickle.  Deglaciation means Peru is dry and uninhabitable.  Bangladesh is largely abandoned, as is South India. 

            Most of the U.S., the rest of South America, almost all of Africa and the southern halves of Europe and Asia, become barren deserts.  

            Some land, where populations are currently concentrated, is lost to 2 meters of sea level rise.  In the U.S. for instance, counties directly on the shoreline constitute less than 10% of the total land area but account for 40% of the total population.  


            From Job One for Humanity:


            There are three degrees and definitions for climate destabilization.

            Catastrophic Climate Destabilization: associated with a measurement of carbon above 400ppm. We are currently at 420ppm, and already in the beginning stages of catastrophic climate destabilization.  Last year, global warming-caused storms, floods, seasonal disruption, wildfires, and droughts cost the US almost $450 billion.

            Irreversible Climate Destabilization: associated with a measurement of carbon above 425 ppm.  Earth will have moved away from the relatively stable temperatures experienced during the previous hundreds of thousands of years.  Earth will most likely not recover for hundreds or even thousands of years, costing the nations of the world hundreds of trillions of dollars.

            Extinction-Level Climate Destabilization: associated with atmospheric carbon greater than 600 ppm. The temperature range associated with extinction-level climate destabilization is 5°C and above, producing the eventual extinction of more than half of the species on earth and most, if not all, of humanity.  


            Take a moment.  Look around at this wonderful world.  We risk losing it all.  A half century of self-serving corporate disinformation and Republican intransigence means there are no graceful solutions left.  To avoid disaster, we must reduce carbon emissions by 50% in the next 100 months!  But this requires a degree of social cohesion sadly lacking these days.  Are we really too selfish to survive?  


Sunday, July 18, 2021

July Covid Update

                                                                                                            written 11 July 2021

                                                                                                        published 18 July 2021


            Any horror movie aficionado knows the story doesn't end when the "monster" is vanquished the first time.  It rises again, either a few minutes later, when everyone is relaxed and celebrating, or in the sequel to the movie, when everyone has completely forgotten about the danger. 

            The flu pandemic of 1917 started small and exploded across the world, helped by the massive movement of troops during World War I.  A second wave, more lethal than the first, hit the next year.  The virus had mutated, becoming more infectious.  Once a person was infected, the virus quickly spread throughout their body.  It was particularly lethal for healthy young people with strong immune systems.  Their body's immune response was so massive, it tore their body apart hunting the virus. 

            Over the last 18 months, the Covid virus has infected almost 200M people worldwide, which is probably an undercount.  As it spreads, it mutates, and hundreds of variations have been discovered.  Fortunately, most are minor changes, without much affect, but several are significant.  Right now, the "Delta" variant is of most concern.  It is twice as infectious as the original strain, makes people sicker sooner, and displaces other variants.  In England, Delta makes up more than 90 percent of new cases, and in the US, it is 50 percent of new cases, up from 20 percent just three weeks ago. 

            In order to infect a human cell, Covid must first attach to the cell surface, using specific proteins at the tips of spikes on the surface of the virus.  Delta has many more of these spikes.  Recent reporting indicates that an infected person has about 1,000 time more virus in their throat than with the original strain, increasing the viral load that can be shed into the environment and infect other people.

            Even with effective vaccines, and better therapeutic treatments for the infected, the last 18 months have revealed that in addition to those who die (still less than 2 percent of those infected), many survivors experience serious health effects from Covid.  "Long Covid", affecting about 1 in 4, describes damage that can last for months, even in a person who was never sick enough to be hospitalized.  The virus can reduce functioning in every part of the body.  Recent studies show measurable reduction in brain mass in about 1/2 the Covid cases studied.  This disease should be avoided if possible!

            In the US, the vaccination program initially focused on the elderly population, because they were dying in disproportionate numbers, but as vaccine availability increased, all adults were included.  Consequently, US case rates, hospitalization rates, and death rates have fallen dramatically in the last six months. 

            With millions of people vaccinated, the data shows that, so far, the various vaccines provide very good protection against all the variants, including Delta, reducing the chance of getting infected, and almost eliminating the need for hospitalization.  However, even though the US is one of the countries with the highest percentage vaccinated, 150M Americans have not had even one dose, which is a very large pool of vulnerable folks.  

            While the case numbers have declined, Covid still killed 1500 Americans last week.  As the Delta variant expands across the country, case rates have jumped 75 percent in the last two weeks, with the highest percentage of cases in the 18 to 36 year old population.  As cases increase, deaths will soon increase as well.  99 percent of the people dying are unvaccinated.  

            There are many reasons a person might not get vaccinated, and some are based on reasonable health concerns.  However, a graph of counties plotting vaccination percentages against the magnitude of Trump support shows the redder counties tend to have lower vaccination rates, no matter the overall state average.  

            Making public health a partisan issue should qualify for the Darwin Awards.  That is an annual award given to people who have done such profoundly stupid things that they die, removing themselves from the gene pool, thus strengthening the species.  With effective vaccines freely available, the unvaccinated are primarily putting themselves and their own families at risk.  For a political party to risk killing their own supporters as a test of loyalty is callous, and politically foolish, no matter the short-term PR gain.   

            Covid isn't over, it is just preparing for the blockbuster sequel this fall.



Sunday, July 11, 2021

Embracing Reality

                                                                                                            written 4 July 2021

                                                                                                      published 11 July 2021


             Embracing unity reality is hard!  It demands transcending the traditional limitations and stereotypes that have historically defined our culture and individual lives.  But, in the long run, trying to ignore it is futile, since it is the deeper reality.  Suffering is being at war with a fact.  

            In unity reality, everything arises from the same source, so if anything is exceptional, everything must be.  Consequently, the assertion of "white male Christian exceptionalism", a current tenant of the Republican party, is a foolish, self-destructive fantasy, attempting to justify exclusive gain of a few at the expense of the larger whole.  Such self-proclaimed religiosity is even contrary to the core teachings of Christ.  

            The propositions of "American exceptionalism", which denies our globally interdependent economy, and "human exceptionalism", which denies our interdependence with the biosphere, are similar long-standing fallacies of exclusive gain, now being tested by the inclusivity of the reality we all inhabit. 

            The collapsed 12-story apartment building in the Miami area is a perfect metaphor.  The fundamental design, which benefited a few at the expense of everything else, was flawed, then degraded further by self-serving corruption during construction, additionally compromised by short sighted, cost saving, lack of maintenance, culminating with an abrupt collapse and massive loss of life and value, due to unacknowledged changes in the underlying physical structure.  How many other buildings are in the same situation?  How secure do their occupants feel?  What will be the long-term impact on the Florida economy?

            The same week that building fell, temperatures in the Pacific northwest broke multiple records.  Portland, OR, was 35°F above their normal for this time of year.  The town of Lytton, BC, recorded a new high for Canada, 121°F, halfway to boiling, and then completely burned to the ground a couple of days later, as high winds drove lightning ignited fires through the narrow canyon.  

            In addition to increased fire risk, the heat wave rapidly thawed permafrost across the region, creating landslides, killing forests, accelerating soil erosion, choking rivers, causing flooding, and released more methane, which will further enhance warming.  Arctic researchers are concerned that much of the remaining multi-year ice, the last refuge for many Arctic animals, so thick it was expected to last into the next century, has been melting rapidly, to the point that regular ship traffic in the area is increasing.   

            The east coast is preparing for arrival of tropical storm Elsa, which formed unusually early this year.  Extreme flooding in the upper mid-west has disrupted farming.  At what point do these interrelated disasters affect the economy?  How many Lytton, BC, or Paradise, CA, disasters will it take for the insurance and real estate markets to be affected?

            The warning signs have been apparent for decades, and the alarms are ringing.  Yet, under lobbying by Exxon-Mobil and the Chamber of Commerce, putting profits over people, the climate change provisions were stripped out of the "bi-partisan" infrastructure bill.  A sting video with an Exxon lobbyist revealed which Senators were on the Exxon payroll to make sure the government does nothing about the climate, despite massive public support. 

            But the Republican party, with no policy beside remaining in power, is not committed to democracy.  In 2010, Republicans on the Supreme Court removed limitations on campaign contributions, allowing corporate dark money to explode.  In 2013, they removed protections against State voter suppression in the Voting Rights Act.  Last week, the Court, further strengthened the rights of corporations, which are legal fictions, to buy an election, while expanding State voter suppression of actual citizens, and made it harder to challenge the rules.  The party of exclusive gain believes this will allow their minority rule to endure a while longer.  

            However, if democracy is subverted, if corruption replaces the rule of law, if the economy collapses due to the changing climate, what exactly will they rule?  Their tactics are crude, and their lies supporting inaction are becoming more ludicrous and obvious every day.  The climate crisis is already here, and the quantity of people being affected is large, so public concern, especially among the young, is growing, demanding real action on voting rights to preserve our democracy, and on climate change to preserve a planet hospitable to humans.  

            I have faith in Americans, and believe we will embrace reality, and the real promise of democracy, which accepts everyone as valid.    




Sunday, July 4, 2021

The Transformation Of Fear

                                                                                                            written 27 June 2021

                                                                                                           published 4 July 2021


            The brain evolved over time, adding new functional areas.  A simple model from the 60's describes evolution of the modern human brain as first the older reptilian portion, then the limbic, and finally the neocortex.  Most of our actions are directed by unconscious patterns laid down in the reptilian and limbic, somewhat modified by conscious patterns in neocortex.  Fear and the instinctual fight/flight impulses arise in the primitive reptilian brain.  Love and empathy are hardwired as "mirror neurons" in the limbic region.  Choice and higher thinking reside in the neocortex. Choosing between "love or fear" determines the quality of our life.  Social systems of domination and control cultivate fear, while systems of cooperation cultivate love and compassion.

            Although I was educated in western science, I am also rooted in metaphysics.  Reductionist western science, arising in reaction to the lethal dogma of the Church, defined matter as the foundation of reality, abandoning consciousness and meaning to philosophy and religion.  Eastern science places consciousness at the foundation of reality, avoiding the twisted logic of the west.  Such consciousness transcends material space/time, inspiring intuition and creativity with wisdom.  One avenue of access is through channeled sources.  The following information comes from

            "Over the course of the many lifetimes you have all had intense experiences of both good and evil and the energy created by them has been carried from lifetime to lifetime in cellular memory.  Until cleared, these pockets of old energy continue to function when activated by some outer experience."
             "The escalating violence you are seeing is the result of energy flowing to Earth which is acting to bring dense energies stored in the physical, emotional, and mental bodies to individual awareness." 
​            "A great deal of clearing takes place as you sleep, but cellular remembrance of intense and traumatic experiences must come to conscious awareness in order to be acknowledged and then cleared.  A person can clear these old fears firstly by ceasing to identify with the fear and secondly through understanding that fear does not exist in the reality of their being.  Fear is old programming put in place for protection, but old programming can be dissolved."

​            "We are not saying that deeply held fears release easily, especially for those not yet awake to the deeper truths.  Fears that have been carried through lifetimes often become a person's identity but at a certain point in everyone's evolutionary journey all remaining deeply ingrained fears must be acknowledged and cleared." ​ 
            "Some choose to act out these old energies rather than allowing them to clear.  There are some who find satisfaction in maintaining their particular fear because it gets them attention and can be an excuse for doing or not doing certain things.  Strive to be totally honest with yourselves because continuing to hold on to some fear or negative quality because it makes you special in some way will block further spiritual advancement.  It represents separation.  Remember, if you identify with any negative issues that come up for you it simply aligns you with that particular energy and then does indeed make it yours."
​​            "Long ago, souls chose to experience separation and proceeded to get stuck in the resulting dense energies, creating a collective consciousness based in two powers and separation, which constitutes the third dimensional illusion.  You chose to be on Earth at this time in order to assist with the shifting of the collective out of this established density and into Light."
            "You witness a world that seems to be collapsing from the weight of its own density.  These things must surface in order to be seen by the majority, otherwise they would just continue to remain out of sight where they could fester and explode into issues of pain and suffering.  This is the grand shift that has been predicted for eons."

            "Your Higher Self is you, not some far off entity hovering around and looking in on you occasionally.  The Higher Self is that fragment of your Soul that has never forgotten conscious oneness.  It knows you inside and out because it is YOU.  Trust that it is always working to bring you experiences that will best serve your evolutionary process."  

            Those cultivating fear and hate seek to control, but we have the power to choose love over fear, and create a better world for everyone.