Two weeks ago, we looked at the struggles the city of Venice endures as it slowly sinks into the surrounding waters. Today, we turn to the submerging Pacific Island nation of Kiribati. Without any mountains, low-lying Kiribati is sinking like the disastrous Titanic, under rising seal levels caused by global warming. Located exactly in the center…
View of Earth by the Apollo 17 Crew while traveling to the Moon on December 7, 1972
Photo Credit: NASA
Mother Gaia to the Ancient Greeks
goddess and primordial power
to emerge after Chaos
Spinning and hurtling through space
at about 66,600 miles per hour
always in motion
trapped in orbit around the Sun
Earth your home and mine
gravity holds us all hostage
Astronauts and cosmonauts
in their rocket ships
a privileged few
to view Earth from space
a tiny, fragile, blue ball of life
with a paper-thin shield
hanging in the void
exposed & vulnerable to
Solar flares and radiation
reflected and absorbed by a 300-mile-thick atmosphere
holding the life-giving air we breathe
a ticking time-bomb with rising carbon dioxide levels
as of January 25, 2018
the Doomsday Clock moved to two minutes to midnight
a notch closer to the end of humanity
from looming threats of climate change and nuclear war
Doomsday Clock updated to two minutes to midnight – January 25, 2018
Updated yearly by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since its creation in 1947
Photo Credit: Science Magazine
one living, breathing organism
with one destiny
the “overview effect” causes
a cognitive shift of self-awareness
as part of the larger whole
Mother Earth Gaia
our home and final resting place
if we the people of Earth don’t take care of her
if we don’t set aside our differences
and work together
who else will
Watch the Video: The Overview Effect
Thomas Fire – Santa Barbara County – Southern California – December 12, 2017
Photo Credit: Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department
Here in California, after years of drought, ferocious wildfires have consumed the tinder and everything in their path. Ignited on December 4, 2017, the Thomas Fire was not fully contained until January 12, 2018. Now ranked as the largest fire in California’s modern history, it burned about 281,900 acres, equivalent to the size of Dallas and Miami combined. It destroyed 1,063 structures and damaged another 280.
Torrential rainfall on January 9, a welcome respite for firefighters, brought more distress to residents in the area. Mudslides roared down fire scarred slopes, destroying and damaging hundreds of homes, as well as commercial property. Twenty people lost their lives; three are still missing.
Home damaged by mudslides – Montecido – Santa Barbara County – Southern California
January 10, 2018
Photo Credit: Kenneth Song/Santa Barbara News
Meanwhile, extreme winter weather on America’s East Coast provides vindication for climate change deniers. But, as world-renowned climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann explains, this is “an example of precisely the sort of extreme winter weather we expect because of climate change.” What’s happening is the collision of increasingly warm Atlantic Ocean waters with cold Arctic air masses. To make matters worse, the warmer oceans also mean more moisture in the atmosphere to fuel the storm and produce larger snowfalls.
Woman walks down street in East Boston – Massachusetts – January 4, 2018
Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer/AP
In November 2017, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released its 477-page Climate Science Special Report (CSSR), in compliance with regulations issued by the Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The CSSR is “designed to be an authoritative assessment of the science of climate change, with a focus on the United States, to serve as the foundation for efforts to assess climate-related risks and inform decision making about responses.”
Wahoo Bay Beach – Haiti
It is so easy to disparage others when we are in a privileged position of wealth and power. In such positions, we can lose touch with our shared fragility as human beings. We can forget that the labor of millions of invisible human beings sustains our lives. Immersed in our comforts and luxuries, we can believe we belong to an invincible special breed.
In October 2017, I featured the work of the young immigrant Salvadoran poet, Javier Zamora, who holds a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) now up for review by our Congress. Following that post, another Salvadoran immigrant, who blogs under the name Koyote the Blind, started following my blog. Our president’s disparaging remarks about his country has struck a deep wound.
Ruins of Tazumal – pre-Columbian Mayan archeological site in Chalchuapa – El Salvador
In his blog post, “I come from a shit-hole,” on Thursday, January 11, he wrote:
I am Salvadoran, even if the term was imposed by Spain. I am American, even if the US thinks they own the name. I am güanaco, even if you think it’s an insult.
I am not Mexican. Mexicans call me “cerote”–a piece of turd.
Today, Trump agreed with them. Today, he said he didn’t understand why liberals want to bring people from those shit-hole countries.
I am a piece of turd from a shit-hole country in the backyard of Ronald Reagan.
Yet, I am here. And I come from the Land of the Jewel, Cuzcatlan, the last bastion of resistance.
I am here to stay, and to change this land, this entire continent, into what it truly is: the mother land in the process of awakening.
You may see in me a turd from a shit-hole country, but I see in you and me and all the true silver light of the empty mind, the freedom from the past, the glory of the New Sun that heralds the coming of the True Human Being. I am here to share that future with you, my reader, without hatred in my heart, without resentment, and without any names to hurl back at you.
You can read his complete post here.
Whether we live on the African continent, El Salvador, Haiti, Norway, or the United States of America, we are all human beings with short life spans in the grand scheme of death and rebirth of interconnected cycles of life on Planet Earth. What makes our insignificant lives meaningful is not our material trappings, but rather the way in which we touch the lives of others we meet along our journey. The greater our influence and power, the greater our responsibility to do good in the world.
Costs of America’s endless wars, Costs of War Project, Costs of War Project Map of USA Counterterror War Locations 2015-2017, Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatchdotcom, USA War of Terror, Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Costs of War Project Map of USA Counterterror War Locations 2015-2017
Prepared by: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs – Brown University
In his article “Mapping a World From Hell,” published on January 4, Tom Engelhardt presents a unique map produced by Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. After more than 16 years since the United States embarked on its war on terror that has transformed entire countries into hell on Earth, we finally have a visual representation of the true extent of our never-ending wars.
After first targeting Afghanistan in pursuit of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist group back in October 2001, as retribution for the group’s 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, our nation is now militarily engaged in some form in 76 countries. That’s 39 percent of the world’s nations, as indicated in the captioned map.
In places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, U.S. drone or other air strikes are the norm and U.S. ground troops (often Special Operations forces) have been either directly or indirectly engaged in combat. In these and several other countries, American advisers are also training local militaries or militias in counterterror tactics.
The number of U.S. military bases and “lily pads” (small, cooperative security locations) is also impressive. In 2017 alone, the USA deployed American Special Operations forces to 149 countries. We have so many troops on so many bases in so many places worldwide that the Pentagon has trouble keeping track of all of them.
While our gods of war reap the profits and spoils of warmongering, we the American people must pay the bill. In a separate study, released in November 2017, the Costs of War Project estimated a price tag that had already reached $5.6 trillion. That’s more than enough money to put millions of Americans to work again in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.
In the gods of war, we trust. In defense of our nation, we must rain down terror on our enemies. It matters not that our endless wars have created more terrorists and enemies. Next in line to suffer our fire and fury—North Korea. To follow: Iran, Russia, and China. World without end. Amen.
For my progressive American readers who would like to support candidates in the coming primaries who have not been bought by corporations, I recommend that you check out JoAnn Chateau’s nationwide list for your state.
To help Progressives stay on top of all the unbought and unbossed” 2018 candidates, as well as some crazy, wild, wonderful ballot initiatives, I have devised an information resource that makes staying informed easier…