Category Archives: Uncategorized

GMO – here we go again…

…with another consumer scam sponsored by ‘Profits-R-Us’ corporate food greedies. BUT this time it’s a bit different: WE  HAVE A CHOICE.  Please pass this on to your friends…

IGNORE ‘non-GMO’ food labels.  Please, it’s good for you.

the story behind the story…

Consumers are starting to focus on buying non-GMO labeled products. This trend may decimate the organic industry.  Consumers unwittingly think that ‘non GMO’ is also organic. It is not. The dirty secret is non-GMO certified products have nothing to do with organic, and can freely use all industrial farming and heavy pesticide practices among other things.

Consumers are ‘eating up’ (pun intended) the non-GMO label more than the ‘organic’ label and are unwittingly increasing sales of industrial food conglomerates that use pesticides, …. other non-organic practices here….

It gets crazier: non-GMO labels are appearing on dairy and meat products. This is meaningless!

There have been several peer-reviewed scientific studies done debunking the notion that animals being fed GMO feed ‘transmit’ that GMO into their blood stream and into milk, eggs, and meat. There is NO DIFFERENCE between non-GMO labeled dairy and meat products and those that don’t have that label – except price (sometimes 2-3X higher). GMO grain fed cows, pigs, chickens do not produce GMO milk, beef, pork, eggs.

The new label of ‘Non GMO certified’ is a Trojan horse if there ever was one. It basically means it could or could not be organic (most aren’t) and everything else (besides the non-GMO) is industrial farm grade: pesticides, harmful practices, round-up, dirty water, etc.

Your better buy is to look for both labels, side by side (but they ARE duplicative since USDA organic already omits GMO):

Here’s details from an SF Chronicle article:

…organic farmers who objected to the label feel that the non-GMO designation takes away from organic certification, which already requires that farmers avoid using genetically engineered seed and animal feed. Meanwhile, some conventional dairy farmers said the term “non-GMO milk” makes their perfectly safe product sound scary…..

….. Eenennaam’s research has concluded that DNA from genetically engineered feed is not passed to milk or meat. Her 2014 scientific review of 30 years of livestock studies showed no difference in the health of animals given genetically engineered feed and those consuming unmodified feed, or a difference in the nutritional makeup of their meat or milk.

“We are really talking marketing here — developing a product line to differentiate it from a product that already does not contain GMOs,” she said. “As a company they of course can develop whatever products they want and if they see a profitable market — then it is a good business decision.”

It just doesn’t stop! Why do corporations continue to confuse, deceive and mislead consumers in the name of profit? Why is the media not more omnipresent and on top of these things?

On another note, the name ‘Monsanto’ is soon to disappear into ‘Bayer’ and everyone things that Bayer is an aspirin company. Bayer is almost worse than Monsanto when one looks at the ‘sudden bee collapse’ that Bayer’s nicotine based pesticides are mostly responsible.  More info here… link.

my next civil disobedience…

The next civil disobedience I will participate in will  be in the Pacific Northwest either at Vancouver or Longmont, Washington.

These two areas are prime candidates for development of deep sea ports and sizeable increases of rail-yard volume to accommodate oil and coal rail cars from the Bakken fields of North Dakota and beyond (think Alberta tar sands). More pipelines are already being built unbeknown to most people, skirting around any opposition silently underground.

The little town of Mosier, Oregon experienced a close call oil derailment not too long ago.  On a Friday in early June, more than 40,000 gallons of Bakken crude spilled in a fiery oil train derailment that burned for 14 hours. Jerry Oliver is a port commissioner in Vancouver, Wash., and a vocal supporter of what would be the largest oil-by-rail terminal in the country, known as the Vancouver Energy Project.  If built, the terminal would more than double the number of mile-long oil trains traveling along the Columbia River, to about 46 trains per week.

The Mosier derailment has led the Oregon Department of Transportation torequest the federal government issue a moratorium on oil trains in the Gorge and elsewhere throughout the state.

Protests have already started, and are sure to get bigger.   More than 100 protesters blocked BNSF Railway tracks in Vancouver, Washington, on Saturday, June 18, 2016, to protest oil train activity in the Northwest. Police arrested 21 people who refused to vacate the tracks as they protested oil train activity in the Pacific Northwest.

————————————————————————————-The current volume of oil & coal being shipped is staggering, and there’s a lot more profits to be made by increasing this volume. Is this a good thing? Is it good to keep supplying our addiction to gasoline and to keep prices down?

We are all enjoying cheaper prices at the pump. But at what price? Are we leveraging our grandkids’ future for instant gratification today (cheaper prices)?

There may be some short term pain at the pumps, but the sooner we start paying the real price of climate change fossil fuels, the sooner electric/hydrogen cars and more renewable technologies will be sprouted and competitive.

Since our systems looks mostly at short term returns and risks, oil trains are once again coming front and center.

The Quebec derailment and tragedy is a distant (3 year)
memory. 42+ people were killed… here’s the wikipedia link.  

Do we really need to wait until we have a similar disaster before we act?  I think not!  And I’ll be doing my small part by helping block the tracks… join me if you dare.

Nutrition myths

A recent NYTimes article    SHARE

“Is Sushi ‘Healthy’? What About Granola? Where Americans and Nutritionists Disagree”

This article explores the different common beliefs and expert nutritionists beliefs.  It’s an eye opener!  Quinoa  anyone?

Foods considered healthier by experts than by the public:
Percent describing a food as “healthy” Nutritionists Public Difference
Quinoa 89% 58%
31
Tofu 85% 57%
 28
Sushi 75% 49%
26
Hummus 90% 66%
 24
Wine 70% 52%
18
Shrimp 85% 69%
 16

Later down the list, the only one that surprised me were the granola bars: probably too much sugar & sodium in them?  AND:   I’m not about to give up chocolate chip cookies and a few other things on the lower part of the scale – but maybe I’ll be moving them more into the 10-20% frequency range – or at least that’s my intention :-).

Here’s the NYTimes article link:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/07/05/upshot/is-sushi-healthy-what-about-granola-where-americans-and-nutritionists-disagree.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0

 

 

 

Brexit op ed

Disclaimer: Please forgive me if I get political here for one blog: this is the one & only time in my ten year blogging history I will entertain politics.

I’m flummoxed over the UKs Brexit vote on Wednesday. Let me explain:  Brexit (short for Britain Exit) is the first time UK citizens vote on whether to stay as part of the European Union (EU) or not.

One of the three legs of sustainable living is social justice. With the ‘Brexit’ vote a few days away, it will send a global message about social justice and affect global futures for years to come.

  • Is it a local decentralized vs centralized issue?
  • Is is banks & finance vs. Main street?
  • Is is autonomous vs …?
  • Is it jobs vs trade?
  • Is it rich vs poor?
  • Is it micro vs super capitalism?

The short answer is YES, it’s all of these and more.

Before the Brexit vote it’s been the UK’s government, banks and corporations driving decision with the EU. For the first time now, it’s the English people’s turn to decide. There’s a lot at stake. You can read all about it in the pop media, but the story behind the story and its implications are more subtle. Here’s a couple links:

the Economist          USA Today

I can boldly say this one of the first big popular votes on super-capitalism by a western country. I am almost in favor of a ‘yes’ Brexit vote, just to see how corporate capitalists will react and spin the results to their benefit, and if other EU countries will follow suit. I can also argue for a ‘no’ Brexit vote because of all the people that will be displaced (mostly immigrants) and how once again lower economic sector, aka poor people, will suffer the most (jobs, inflation, taxes, etc).

But there are so many sides and complexities to the Brexit vote. For one, you have to look at the long-term history of England’s relationship to the rest of Europe. And, most importantly you have to look at the whole history and cultures within Europe.

Some of the immediate short term impacts will include:

  • The British pound will be devalued
  • Jobs will be lost (lo-wage ones disproportionally)
  • Borders will be closed
  • Tourism will decrease, visas required
  • Trade will suffer (both exports & imports to the UK)
  • NATO may be affected
  • Cost of doing EU business will go up
  • Energy prices affected
  • Right wing conservatives, isolationists will be emboldened
  • Central bank costs, trade costs will go up

My personal business experience with British business-persons was always fine because they presumed I was an American. When they found out (way later) that I was native German (and proud of it), they somehow seemed to distance themselves from me. My company landed many jobs in the Germanic and Scandinavian countries, but never one single one in the UK, even tho they were the leaders of PPP (Public Private Partnerships) – but that’s a whole other story. Back to Brexit…

The UK is way more aligned with the USA than it is with the EU. That’s a fact on many levels. The UK also needs the EU for finance, business and market reasons – that’s also a fact. What the UK doesn’t need, is a bunch of Brussels (Hdqrtrs of EU) bureaucrats telling them how to run their country. And most other countries in the EU feel the same way. And there’s the rub: One cannot compare the EU to the USA. The EU is not comprised of multiple states that are united together. The EU is a collection of age old cultures and countries with different languages, own armies, own banks, own currencies, etc before they all agreed to share everything but their languages and cultures. And therein lies the rub. How can multiple cultures come together and share? How can Greeks and Germans agree to austerity programs? How can Austria and Hungary agree to border controls? For the last twenty years the success of the EU always has been and will continue to be on financial and trade reasons. It’s big business! Or super-capitalism. If small is beautiful, and everything good is local, local; then how in the heck did the EU ever agree to ‘get bigger’? The answer is simple: money and competition.

In a world of every increasing trading partners and trading blocks (NAFTA, SEAT, PTA, etc) how could 28 small countries possible compete on the global stage? And so that’s one of the question in front of British voters in five days: Do you want to return to being a small fish within a big pond? Do you want to survive on your own, close down your borders, re-create your own banking and business centers?

Surely there will be short-term flashback from the EU if Brexit is passed. The EU has already fired many salvos across UK’s bow, warning it of dire banking and financial consequences. But do the people care? Do they want to be told what they can and cannot do? Will fear mongering of foreign ‘terrorists’ prevail? Are the people sick and tired of Banks and Corporations driving them further and further down economic parity? Stay tuned to June 23rd.

Boreal fires ++

under construction… stay tuned… draft

good great turnings

In italy there was a little court decision that has set a new precedent that maybe others will follow: excusing a hungry, homeless person from stealing food.

neutral: Scottish land laws are in the news… did you know that 16% of Scottish people own 10% of all the land in Scotland?

unravelings continue

Part of the great unraveling (WTR): The fire up in Alberta Canada is devestating the people of Ft. Murray with over 1600 homes destroyed, 88,000 people evacuated and horrific videos of cars driving through an inferno. The fire is in the middle of the infamous tar sands in Alberta.

On Monday, the blaze continued to burn uncontrolled, now covering 285,000 hectares (704,000 acres), officials said. By Monday evening it was moving 30 to 40 meters (98 to 131 feet) every minute and had jumped a critical firebreak north of the city to push into the oil sand camp areas.

The devastating fire in Ft. McMurray in Alberta last week bought home the future devastation of forest fires. Is it just a coincidence that this also happens to be the site of the world’s largest, dirtiest most ridiculous fossil fuel extraction? – TAR SANDS

Boreal fires. (northern) forests are 1/3 of the world’s forest – they are not as sexy or cool as tropical forest – so they don’t get a lot of attention.

I find it ironic and ominous that ‘nature’ has struck the epicenter of our human race’s most outrageous and environmentally destructive fossil fuel production areas. When will we wake up? Is this the start of Gaia unleashing its fury in a more obvious way – or will just shrug afterwards and blame it on El Nino?

but this is a whole different scenario. Alaska had it’s worse fire season last year. Russia exploded in 2012.

And the worse is yet to come!

These fires will also have many, many secondary effects. They will undobutedly warm the air around it and accelerate the melting of closeby ice sheets. There will also be some good news here, since ‘black is the new green’ and provide renewal and habitat for all kinds of species and wildlife.

In addition, winds are sometimes carrying soot from the northern fires onto the immense sheet of ice covering Greenland, darkening the surface and causing it to absorb more of the sun’s heat. In 2012, such soot contributed to melting the surface of virtually the entire Greenland ice sheet, the first time that had happened since 1889.

But the real big one is the long term, cumulative effect of losing all those green trees… they are absorbing CO2 as they stay green. When they burn, they release all that CO2 and can no longer absorb CO2. So this is another (albeit BIG one) great unraveling from Gaia that is edging us closer to positive spin: catastrophe!

ship drones!

Another news flash is the launch by the US Navy of the first drone ship. Can you image the ctombined terror of water borne & airborne drones? Personally, I’m reaching out to find out which activists (greenpeace?) will be on the front lines to blockade this unmanned ships of terror that will police 75% of Gaia’s surface (oceans) and bring untold violence from the seas.

Yeah + boooo

Good + Bad news on future gasoline prices  (fresh off the press):  The recent OPEC meeting in Doha failed to agree on an anticipated production quota for oil.  Markets are already starting to react and we’ll be in for lower gas pump prices for quite a while.   Good news for us, bad news for Gaia.

Looks like Iran + Saudi Arabia (Shia + Sunni ) will be waging an economic war of chicken, driving down global oil prices.

That may be good for your pocket book over the short term (and I will also be smiling at the gas pump only) – but it’s really, really sad for Gaia and our children’s future.  What it really means is that both Saudi Arabia (whose oil reserves are WAY overstated – insiders have known this for a long time) and Iran will try to outpump each other to break their opponent’s economic health.  The last, decades long war these two countries had killed 100’s of thousands – this one may last longer and be more devastating in the long run – globally.

Just when we think we may be coming out of an artificial bubble of low oil prices, another political twist continues to accelerate our inevitable rush toward post peak oil mayhem.

But stay tuned:  One little ‘incident’ in the Strait of Hormuz or OPEC country could spike oil prices at any time.

The ‘great unraveling’ (WTR) of our fossil fuel bubble continues at an accelerated rate now.

Repel mosquitoes naturally

With the fear mongering over mosquitoes (West Nile and Zika virus) perhaps we can forgo chemicals and pharmaceutic industry’s advertising/marketing of toxin loaded  (nanoparticles, DEET, etc) products and stick with Gaia’s own solutions:

Rub any of these on your skin before going out:  Lemon balm, Catnip, Basil, Lavender, Peppermint, Citrosom, Rosemary + Sage.   I’m going to put these into some outside water containers and see if they can deter larvae from forming.

http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/wellbeing/8-plants-repel-mosquitos-naturally?cid=soc_Rodale%27s%20Organic%20Life%20-%20RodalesOrganicLife_FBPAGE_Rodale%27s%20Organic%20Life__

 

great unravelings

One of the teachings within WTR (work that reconnects) is about the great unraveling calling us to do the great turning.  It’s best put by a 14 yo      posted on WTR website          04/20/2015     “This time we are in is to me an opportunity. I believe we are faced with an incredible challenge to take part in the Great Turning or the Great Unraveling. There is no guarantee either way but as Joanna Macy once said, it is in uncertainty that we are our truest selves. I think that we have to take action in every way we can to shift our consciousness and sense of community. It is critical that we take charge right now, and open our eyes to the true need of the Earth and the state we have put it in. I think that it is schools like Manzanita and communities like the one we have, that will thread the importance of earth connection and social connection back into our society, which I believe will eventually result in the Great Turning.”– Puma B., age 14, Manzanita School, 1/30/15

TWO current  unravelings:

Earth wobblings:   Hold steady now… our 60,000mph ride seems to have a front end misalignment.  Seems the melting ice in the Artic is causing a bit of an imbalance and increasing Gaia’s wobbling.  The pop media claims its the 900m tons of melting ice in the Artic.  NASA  JPL scientists claim: The finding was a surprise. This region has lost water mass due to depletion of aquifers and drought, but the loss is nowhere near as great as the change in the ice sheets.  So why did the smaller loss have such a strong effect? The researchers say it’s because the spin axis is very sensitive to changes occurring around 45 degrees latitude, both north and south. “This is well explained in the theory of rotating objects,” Adhikari explained. “That’s why changes in the Indian subcontinent, for example, are so important.” 

Another pop media comment (mostly by climate change deniers) was that we’ve only measure earth wobble for 35 years).  Scientists actually have wobbling data (peer reviewed) dating back 44,000 years.  But (this is what alarms me!) scientists are saying that the  current increase in wobbling is generally meaningless!  say what?   My intuition and 15 billion year connection with Gaia tells me otherwise.  Perhaps the increased wobbling is another part of the great unraveling, and we need to double down on the great turning.

I’ll put my creds with the Inuit elders in the Artic:

The elders maintain the Sun doesn’t rise were it used too, they have longer day light to hunt and the Sun is higher than it used to be and warms up quicker than before.  The elders who were interviewed across the north all said the same thing, their sky has changed.  The stars the Sun and the Moon have all changed affecting the temperature, even affecting the way the wind blows, it is becoming increasingly hard to predict the weather, something that is a must on the Arctic. The elders all agree, they believe the Earth has shifted, wobbled or tilted to the North.

 

—————————————————————————–

The Zika virus is now being raised to ‘alarm level’.  The Zika virus may be associated with an autoimmune disorder that attacks the brain’s myelin similar to multiple sclerosis, according to a small study that is being released today …

For those familiar with biomimetics, nature has several processes at play:  daily happenings,  systems + processes and strategies.  It’s this last one that we really know little about.  Seems to me that each couple years nature throws another virus or disease at us that confounds all our science + medical knowledge.  It’s almost as if nature was spying on our research and devising new ways to circumvent our vaccines, antibiotics, etc.  So maybe the Zika virus will take center stage for a while, we may or may not get the better of it… but WAIT, nature has more in store for us.  Why don’t we just simply honor nature’s resilience and stop declaring war on it?  Perhaps we can just embrace a great turning toward Gaia and trust in her rather than science + pharmaceuticals…  just sayin’

 

WTR path for LeLc

I just got back from a weekend workshop with Joanna Macy and the Work That Reconnects (WTR) and it has re-inspired me to focus more. We will be taking the LeLc (Living Energy Learning Center) and this web page more in the direction of WTR and its network.  We have finally found a ‘home’ of like-minded people where our work can bea very small niche within a larger movement – it fits perfectly, as it always does.

Joanna is SO amazing.  Just to be in her presence is a gift, and to talk directly with her is to be in the presence of higher being.  I’ve met very few people in my life so gentle + fierce at the same time, so compassionate and driven, so humble and inspiring.

The next few blogs will be about how the ‘energy infrastructure’ is unraveling, and how there are all kinds of ‘new paths’ that are bringing a sustainable life to our energy futures.

‘Sustainable’ – no more = ‘sustainable life

Joanna stated that the word ‘sustainable’ is really not a good word anymore.  It is a ‘sustainable life’ that we need to start calling it.  These two words together present a more clearer picture of what many of us mean to say.