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Climate Change in Copenhagen

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Climate Change in Copenhagen
by Manitonquat (Medicine Story)

YOU IDIOTS! Shouts the cover of Rolling Stone magazine for January 21,
2010.  In blazing red filling a black background, with subtitles:
“Meet the Planet’s Worst Enemies – Inside the Battle over Global
Warming.”  Heartening to see, as this journal is one voice of a
generation not yet entrenched and calcified, a generation that
announced a revolt from the status quo with new music and new values.
I’m not sure how much impact this issue will have, as I had to drive
20 miles to buy it at a book store chain.  But I wish millions would
also find it, read it, tear off the cover or copy it and send it to
Obama and everyone in the Congress.

The article describes how the right wing and big oil and coal
producers spread misinformation and outright lies about the situation
and spent vast amounts of money to make sure the US would do nothing
to curtail CO2.  They name the 17 worst polluters and deniers who do
the most to derail all efforts to curb global warming.

I more or less knew all that, in general, but in reading the details I
got so angry I had to chill and recall my wonderful experience in
Copenhagen during the COP15 climate conference.  So I guess I better
tell you about that.

In the cold and the dark of December of 2009 the United Nations
gathered a conference to plan how to counteract the growing threats to
the planet.  Most specifically the emissions by human activities of
carbon dioxide which has unleashed the fastest chain of global warming
in the story of life on Earth.  There have been other periods of
warming, but they happened slowly, gradually, through eons of time.
The speed and intensity of this heating up is shocking, outstripping
the direst predictions  of the past forty years.  It is caused by a
now well-known and documented “greenhouse effect” of the sun’s rays
penetrating a growing ceiling of CO2 that envelops the planet.

Around the world much hope was vested in this COP 15 conference, as it
was dubbed. Knowledgeable people wanted solutions and action from the
leaders of the nations.  A hundred thousand people marched in the
street to urge agreements from the conferees to save our planet before
it is too late.  Many of the Non-Governmental Organizations, who were
turned away from the conference at the Bella Center, formed an
alternative conference downtown.

It quickly became apparent that the conference would confound all our
high hopes.  There would be no cooperation, no compromising of the
extreme differences between the rich and the poor nations.  The
developing nations want to develop and believe the wealthy nations
should make greater sacrifices than those who are not creating the
problem and are only trying to survive.  Certainly the rich could
afford sacrifices better than the poor countries.

Some of the young people from our European circles came to
demonstrate, and marched to the Bella Center to try and stage a
People’s Assembly to “give a voice to those who are not being heard.”
The police informed them that the center was closed off, and when the
crowd did not disperse the police chose to break up the demonstration
even though the activists had signaled that they would not try to
enter the venue after all but stage a gathering outside.
Demonstrators were then pepper-sprayed and beaten with batons.  One
delegate shouted “We said we would be peaceful and you’ve reacted with
violence.  Shame on you.”

When a few of the crowd at the end of the march began throwing stones
through business and government windows, the police surrounded and
arrested the last 900 people, including our people and the Hari
Krishnas!  Linda and Rabea, our young women, had their hands manacled
behind their backs and had to sit hours on the freezing ground before
being carried to cages in a warehouse that had been acquired by the
city for this event.  All but three were released the next day.

It was not all failure.  The day before the end the conference was
deadlocked, and the discouragement was leaking out all over the city.
Then Obama flew in and insisted that they go back and work harder,
find some place to agree to something so it wouldn’t be a total
disaster.  And they did.  They managed a tree-planting program that
all nations could sign on to, and they agreed to meet again in a year
in Mexico.  The hope is that the people of the world will be so
disappointed and disgusted and ashamed of the politics and economics
of the status quo, that in a year there could be a new dedication,
stirring cooperation and the will to sacrifice to meet the common
threat to us all.

But there is a greater hope that I found emerging from Copenhagen
during the conference – not from the COP15 meeting of the big guys at
the top, but from the bottom, the little guys – us.  In Christiania we
organized an alternative meeting which we called “Windows of Hope.”
Christiania, as perhaps you know, is a free haven of around 800 adults
and perhaps 150 children that in 1971 was squatted by street people in
an abandoned military base in the Copenhagen district known as
Christianshaven.  Eventually the then socialist government allowed the
squatters to remain and called it a social experiment.  That community
has thrived for over 38 years now, and a whole generation has been
born and grown and begun new families there.  Ellika has lived there
since 1979, and we have based our European travels from her house
there since 1984.

In Christiania’s “Peace Meadow” we set up a circus tent, three tipis
and 3 yurts, plus a heating system, indoor toilet trailer and a sauna.
Several hundred people attended during the two-week period.  I opened
every day’s sessions with our traditional thanksgiving around a fire
outside.  Every day we had people from ecovillages and environmental
groups, and from scientists and technologists who are actually
addressing and doing something about the CO2 problem, and from many
spiritual leaders.  I learned so much every day that in spite of the
failure of the COP15 it gave me hope for the world.

Ross Jackson, chairman of the Gaia Trust, started out with the warning
that the COP15 would fail to make any meaningful agreements because,
as Albert Einstein observed, you can’t solve a problem using the same
thinking that created it.

The representatives of both the developed and the developing nations
are still motivated by the same national and corporate greed that put
us where we are now.  The same selfishness and competitiveness and
narrow thinking.  For those who think in the modes of competition and
domination there is no possibility of the cooperative thinking that is
needed to save civilization for our grandchildren.  They have not been
taught by their elders to consider the unborn generations before

So the hope of the future falls on us, folks.  It is up to us to
educate everyone about the extent of the threat of global warming, the
melting of the Arctic and Antarctic that will inundate major cities
and obliterate many island and coastal nations, the disappearance of
glaciers that are the main source of water in many countries, the
warm-weather insects that will proliferate, with species invasions
into new areas, eating up forest and field (such as the Asian tiger
mosquito that carries diseases like Dengue fever and malaria) and
bringing more disease and epidemics, the ever stronger and more
frequent hurricanes such as devastated Haiti and New Orleans, the
droughts which are already deadly in many places getting longer, and
the wildfires, turning into infernos, wiping out habitats as well as
trees and plant life that hold the topsoil, which is disappearing at
an increasing rate.  And the massive loss of trees speeds the warming
ever faster, increasing the greenhouse cloud of CO2.  The speed of the
warming now is surprising the scientists that predicted it decades
ago. The combination of these effects and its unpredictability makes
the situation scarier and comprehensive action now more urgent.

And with all that, which any school child can plainly see, “those
idiots” are trying to tell us that global warming is all a hoax of the
tree-hugging environmentalists, there is no threat, and we can
continue to exploit nature and people, burn up the fossil fuels and
spew out carbon dioxide without restraint.  Of course theirs is the
noble motive of making themselves wealthy while the “tree huggers”
have the strange and fuzzy motive of preserving life on this planet!

While the delegates to the COP15 were deadlocked in their mode of
competition and narrow self-interests, corporate interests, and
national interests, they allowed no input from the NGOs that held
their own conference downtown.  Even there, I was told, there was not
so much clarity as confusion, and more competition than cooperation.

We drew fewer numbers to the bottom meeting, but those who came were
sincerely interested to learn and solve the problems, to listen to
each other and to give and serve, rather than to take and dictate.
Some people came every day and a sense of community and comradeship in
a shared purpose grew and nourished all who were there.

I offered circles informing about our work in communities, in
ecovillages, in the Nature School, and in our prison programs, and was
part of several panels of elders, including one of indigenous people.

I have long held the belief that the best hope for humankind is
presented by the ecovillage movement, where people are empowering
themselves to create alternative sustainable societies and reduce
their carbon footprints by using alternative energies such as wind and
solar, growing their own food organically, and by conservation, simple
living, and recycling everything to the point of zero waste.  I have
been closely connected with a number of these communities, and have
visited, learned from, and assisted many others.  Right now there are
thousands of communities all over the world that are developing their
own ecological styles of sustainable living.

It was with immense pleasure that I reconnected with representatives
from some of the ecovillages I have connected with over the years.
With Findhorn, with which I was connected through Peter Caddy in 1974,
with Albert Bates from The Farm in Tennessee where for the birth of
our first son Emmy and I stayed and worked for two months in 1976,
with Twin Oaks in Virginia, with whom our Mettanokit Community shared
in the Federation of Egalitarian Communities in the 1980s and  90s,
with Auroville in India, with which our community communicated by
video mail and provided gatherings for their supporters at our
conference center, with ZEGG, where I have been a close friend and
supporter since 1992 and  of which I am an honorary member, and Sieben
Linden also in Germany, with Dyssekilde in Denmark and Tamera in
Portugal, where I have made many circles and workshops over the years,
and with Solborg in Norway and Damanhur in Italy where I have visited
and was enchanted and delighted by their work and gifts to the world,
and of course with Christiania, my summer home for 25 years.

There were others new to me, giving fascinating and inspiring accounts
of their achievements: Krishna EcoValley in Hungary, the Valley of
Flowers in Estonia, Brama Kumaris in India, the Sarvodaya movement of
ecovillages in Sri Lanka, the Amsterdam Balloon Company, a city tribe,
in Denmark Friland, Hertha Hjortshøj, Thy, Mors, and Tor Jordbo on the
island of Fyn, the Ecovillage Network Ghana, Ecovillage Clareado of
Brazil, the Brazilian Ecovillage Network, the Pachamama Alliance of
South America, Wongsamit Ashram in Thailand, the Mali Peoples Center,
and the Senegal Network of Ecovillages.  We heard from many
organizations such as the Global Ecovillage Network, Gaia Education,
Ecovillage Design Education, Scrap Heap Mountain, The Green City,
Earth Restoration Corps, the Nordic Folkecenter, the Global Peace
Initiative of Women.  We learned about Transition Towns, Eco
Agriculture, Permaculture, Biodymanics, Cradle to Cradle – making
everything biodegradable or recyclable so there is zero waste. We
learned about horse culture, about natural medicine and health
provision, and about the living sea.

We learned about restructuring the global economy in the face of
ecosystem overload, global warming, overpopulation, increasing
inequalities, peak oil – all results of a dysfunctional political
system with no global governance.  We learned about a pluralistic
perspective on money, about local currencies and mutual credit unions
in ecovillages, and how we might establish a more sound and societally
oriented financial system.

We heard about Forum that is used in several communities, and I gave a
workshop to inform about the use of Co- counseling, which was
fundamental to our Mettanokit Community and to our International
Family Camps in tribal living.  We had a panel on Conflict Resolution,
and spoke of non-violence, civil disobedience, theater action,
forgiveness and reconciliation.

We addressed the issue of how we strengthen the economics in and
between communities (ecovillages, transition towns, cooperatives,
companies and cultural/political/religious groups in the city) in and
across bioregions, through liberating local creativity.

We had ecumenical panels of representatives from many and various
religious and spiritual groups, such as Andrew Harvey, Rev. Joan Brown
Campbell, Swamini Pramananda Saraswati, Dr. Dharmakosajarn, Ven.
Bhikkhu Bodhi, Ven. Chan Wen, Sarko Andrecevic, Michael Kagan, Sheikh
Saliou Mbecke, and Prachar Hutanuwatr and others.  It was very
encouraging to hear the unanimity of all these various religious
traditions in coming together to act passionately to save our beloved
planet.  We could feel that spirituality may bind us, not separate us,
to work together with mutual respect and love for the Earth.

Volunteer organizations from Holland and Germany came and fed the
people good vegetarian fare every day for a small donation.  Such a
noble service – to feed the people!  Hearing from some of the speakers
about food issues I almost decided to become fully vegan.  Almost.  I
decided it would be a major and more possible step for me to commit to
organically and locally grown foods and animal products like dairy
only from animals that were well treated and fed without chemical or
fossil fertilizers.  But I learned that the livestock sector
contributes at least 51% of human caused greenhouse gas amd is
responsible for more of that gas than all the world’s transport
combined.  That the world’s population of farmed animals will double
in 50 years which would negate emission reductions from all other
sectors.  That a shift to plant-based diets would increase health and
quality of life, reduce soil erosion and deforestation, reduce air and
water pollution and loss of biodiversity, hunger and thirst, and
animal abuses.  So I can report to you that I am now eating and buying
food much more consciously and carefully than before.

The actions of a small group of people who use black clothing to
identify themselves and who travel to many events in various countries
to protest the actions and systems of the  rich nations produced
continuing counter-actions by the police, who had been expanded for
the occasion.  I was glad that our house could be a haven for a number
of young visitors fleeing the sweeping attacks of law enforcement.
After the setting of fires in the street one night the police invaded
Christiania and tear-gassed the conference site, the tent and the
grounds around it, and a group of young Finns took refuge in our

The acts of vandalism against the system by our beloved comrades, our
brothers and sisters and children, are very understandable in the
light of our frustration with the system, the injustices and
inequality, the elitist disregard and exploitation of people, and the
unremitting, unrepentant destruction of the home that belongs to all
of us, to all life, our Mother Earth.

But these actions of violence, be they only against property, are
counter productive to the real and practical goals of making needed
change and creating a truly human society that works for everyone and
all life.

All violent acts are demonstrations of powerlessness.  And we are not

We have the intelligence, the creativity, the stamina and the courage
to achieve our goals when we get together.  Together there is nothing


For the Irish in all of us.

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This is one of the most beautiful renditions that Rona Downey made. 

A MUST LISTEN -- "Just for You . . . An Irish Blessing  . . . Great for Peace of Mind."
Especially at the end.  Hope you enjoy this.

For the Irish in all of us.




International Whaling Commission's controversial proposal to legalize commercial whaling has failed.

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If _only whales could scream then the world might listen

Dear Leni,

I'm thrilled to announce to you that the International Whaling Commission's controversial proposal to legalize commercial whaling has failed.

This stunning news comes after IFAW supporters around the world voiced their opposition to the plan through hundreds-of-thousands of phone calls, emails, letters, postcards, and petition signatures.

Today's announcement shows how truly vital our work is - whether it's our hands-on work rescuing and caring for animals, or our efforts to influence international conventions like the International Whaling Commission.

Wherever animals need our care and protection - we are there - and I can't thank you enough for joining us in this mission.

Of course, the fight to protect whales goes on, as they face more threats than ever:

  • Japan, Norway, and Iceland have continued to hunt whales despite the ban on whaling.
  • The world's oceans are crowded with fishing gear that can entangle whales, and large ships and vessels that can strike and injure or kill them.
  • Whale calls which used to span entire oceans are drowned out by the constant sound of ship engines, underwater construction and oil exploration.
  • And scientists are still exploring the many ways that climate change could affects whales, and us all.

So while we can allow ourselves a deep breath to celebrate today's result, let's take this opportunity to redouble our efforts to protect these magnificent creatures from all of the threats they face.

Thank you!
Fred O'Regan Signature
Fred O'Regan


Salva le foreste!

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Osservatorio sulle Foreste Primarie http://www.salvaleforeste.it

In Ucraina, minacciosi uomini in nero aggrediscono con motoseghe accese pacifici manifestanti e abbattono alberi facendoli sfracellare sulla testa degli ambientalisti.
In Cile, una inutile e faraonica diga promossa dall'Enel minaccia di compromettere per sempre le meraviglie naturali della Patagonia.
Le purissime acque del lago Baikal, la perla della Siberia, sono minacciate da una pestilenziale cartiera cui il governo russo concede tutti i permessi di inquinare.
E poi gli indigeni malesi Penan, da anni in prima linea per proteggere le loro foreste, e gli indios Guarani in Brasile, aggrediti dai latifondisti che hanno rubato loro terre e foresta.
In tutto il mondo, le foreste hanno bisogno di te. Basta un click per aiutare associazioni ambientaliste e gruppi indigeni a proteggere il bene più prezioso che abbiamo.

Ucraina: ferma l'assalto degli uomini in nero
Nel cuore del Gorky Park:, squadre di Uomini in Nero che assaltano di difensori della foresta, bastonando, facendo cadere alberi sopra la loro testa, e abbattendo illegalmente pezzi di foresta. 50 uomini vestiti di nero anno assaltato e demolito l'accampamento di attivisti che protestavano contro l'abbattimento degli alberi del Gorky Park, a Kharkiv. I forestali si sono scagliati sui manifestanti brandendo le motoseghe accese, mentre la polizia ha osservava l'assalto senza intervenire. Dopo l'aggressione però, la polizia ha arrestato in modo arbitrario una decina di ambietalisti, malgrado i tagli fossero stati dichiarati illegali dal Ministero dell'Ambiente. Sostieni gli ambientalisti ucraini

Un progetto sbagliato minaccia la Patagonia: scrivi all'ENEL
Gli ambientalisti della Patagonia si oppongono al progetto dell'ENEL: faraoniche dighe idroelettriche min acciano la Patagonia: 12 riserve forestali protette, con 15.645 ettari devastati dagli impianti, e altri 4.6 milioni di ettari di paesaggi naturali degradati. Un elettrodotto ad alta tensione attraverserà la Patagonia, fino alla capitale, con 2.200 chilometri di linee ad alta tensione, toccando otto regioni e 64 comuni.
Le dighe, costruite in zona sismica, rischiano di trasformarsi in autentiche bombe a tempo, mentre la distruzione dell'ambiente annulla il potenziale turistico dell'intera regione. Gli ambientalisti sostengono l'impiego di fonti alternative meno dannose per l'ambiente come l'energia eolica, solare e geotermica, che assieme a una maggiore efficienza energetica delle centrali idroelettriche già in funzione, sarebbero in grado di soddisfare il fabbisogno energetico del paese.  Invia una lettera all'Enel

Proteggi il Baikal
Il Lago Baikal, la perla della Siberia, è un unico patrimonio universale dell'Unesco. Ora è minacciato da un decreto del governo russo, che permette a una grande cartiera di scaricare rifiuti tossici sulle sue rive Scrivi al Direttore Generale dell'UNESCO Irina Bokova per difendere questo patrimonio unico al mondo!
Greenpeace propone di inviare una lettera al direttore generale dell'Unesco

Ferma la caccia all'Indio
Osmair Martins Ximenes, indigeno Guarani del Brasile meridionale, è l'ultima vittima del conflitto tra allevatori e Indios in Brasile. Altri due membri della sua comunità, Kuretê Lopez e Ortiz Lopez, sono stati uccisi nel 2007 da sicari assolti dagli allevatori, nel tentativo di occupare le loro terre ancestrali.
Nel 2007 la corte federale aveva imposto al governo di demarcare le terre tradizionali degli indios, ma al progetto si sono fieramente opposti gli all evatori, che già occupano gran parte delle terre indigene, e anche il governo ha ostacolato lo sviluppo del progetto. Da allora si è scatenata la violenza dei latifondisti. Lo scorso dicembre, una ventina di Guarani sono stati torturati mentre tentavano di occupare le proprie terre nel comune di Iguatemi, presso la frontiera col Paraguay. Questo gruppo di Guarani era stato espulso negli anni cinquanta dagli allevatori, e costretto da allora a vivere nelle riserve di Sassoró e Porto Lindo. A ottobre, nel corso di un attacco a fuoco da parte di sicari degli allevatori presso la città di Paranhos, i maestri di scuola Rolindo Vera e Genivaldo Vera sono scomparsi. Scrivi una lettera al Ministro brasiliano

Petizioni precedenti:

Chiedi alla Chevron di riparare ai danni in Amazzonia
Tra il 1964 e il 1990, la Texaco, sussidiaria della Chevron, ha deliberatamente riversato milioni di barili di rifiuti tossici senza sostanziali bonifiche. Convocata in giudizio, la Chevron ha messo in moto una costosa macchina di lobbisti, avvocati e aganzie di relazioni pubbliche,  per evitare le proprie responsabilità sul disastro ambientale e per far passare il caso sotto silenzio.
Il verdetto, dopo anni di battaglia legale da parte delle popolazioni indigene dell'Ecuador, è imminente. La Chevron si è sempre rifiutata di bonificare i siti inquinati, perfino se costretta da un tribunale: "Combatteremo il verdetto fino a quando non sarà congelato. E allora lo batteremo nel ghiaccio". E ora stanno usando la diplomazia statunitense per forzare l'Ecuoador a una soluzione accomodante.
Awaaz propone una petizione per aiutare le foreste e i loro popoli: scrivere al direttore nuovo direttore della Chevron affinché si assuma le proprie responsabilità

Proteggere il Grande Lago della Siberia
Le associazioni ambientaliste siberiane hanno finalmente ottenuto la chiusura della discussa cartiera di Baikalsk, che per deenni ha riversato nelle cristalline acque del Lago Baikal 100.000 metri cubi di scarichi tossici al giorno.
Il Baikal è il lago più profondo del mondo, oltre 1.500 metro di profondità. La sua enorme massa d''acqua fino ad oggi ha compensato l''inquinamento, ma una volta compromesso, saranno necessari secoli prima che le sue acque completino il ricambio.
La Continantal Management, l''impresa che controlla la cartiera, sta ora tentando di ottenere dal governo ulteriori fondi per rinnovare gli impianti e riprendere la produzione, tenendo in ostaggio i 1.400 lavoratori appena lincenziati e privi di alternative. L''econ omia della zona era stata basata sullo sviluppo della cartiera, mentre è necessario sviluppare un piano di sviluppo basato su tecnologie verdi.
Le associazioni del Baikal chiedono proprio un piano di sviluppo territoriale basato sul turismo e su energie rinnovabili. E la definitiva chiusura della cartiera.

Greenpeace al Presidente indonesiano
Greenpeace ha condotto proteste pacifiche nella penisola di Riau Kampar per denunciare la distruzione delle foreste pluviali e delle torbiere, proprio a supporto del suo impegno nel ridurre le emissioni di gas serra in Indonesia. La maggior parte delle emissioni dell’Indonesia derivano dalla deforestazione, che ha portato il Paese a occupare il terzo posto nella classifica dei paesi emettitori. Il Governo Provinciale di Riau, con il supporto della polizia locale, ha arrestato ed espulso gli attivisti di Greeenpeace e i giornalisti.
Greenpeace chiede al Presidente indonesiano Yudhoyono di mettere fine a queste continue tattiche intimidatorie usate contro gli ambientalisti e i media, e di prendere immediati provvedimenti per fermare la deforestazione e la distruzione delle torbiere in Indonesia

Malesia: aiuta gli indigeni Penan a proteggere le foreste!
I Penan tornano a bloccare le strade di accesso alla foresta. Armati di frecce e cerbottane hanno eretto i blocchi lungo le strade aperte dalle compagnie nel cuore delle  foreste pluviali. a polizia malese presidia i blocchi ma non si ha notizia di scontri.
I Penan vivono in Sarawak, la parte malese dell’isola del Borneo. Da vent'anni si battono per fermare il disboscamento delle loro terre ancestrali. Alcune comunità hanno avuto la meglio ma altre hanno dovuto assistere alla devastazione delle loro foreste, all’inquinamento dei loro f iumi e alla scomparsa delle piante e degli animali da cui dipende la loro sussistenza. Survival invita a inviare una lettera al govererno malese

I link:
Sostieni gli ambientalisti ucraini: http://www.salvaleforeste.it/gorky-park-lassalto-degli-uomini-in-nero.html
Proteggi la Patagonia, scrivi all'ENEL: http://www.salvaleforeste.it/un-progetto-sbagliato-minaccia-la-patagonia-scrivi-allenel.html
Proteggi il Baikal: http://www.salvaleforeste.it/proteggi-il-baikal.html
Ferma la caccia agli Indios: http://www.salvaleforeste.it/ferma-la-caccia-agli-indios.html
Chiedi alla Chevron di riparare ai danni in Amazzonia: http://www.salvaleforeste.it/chevron-amaznonia.html
Proteggere il Grande Lago della Siberia: http://www.salvaleforeste.it/proteggere-il-grande-lago-della-siberia.html
Greenpeace al Presidente indonesiano: http://www.salvaleforeste.it/greenpeace-kampar.html
Malesia: aiuta gli indigeni Penan a proteggere le foreste: http://www.salvaleforeste.it/malesia-peanan3.html



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