Time for a new way of life

Posted November 14th, 2010 in Blog, Featured 6 Comments »
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Fostering Ecological Hope
Today from Margaret Swedish:

One of the new demands on my time is collaborating with a group of folks on a project to consider just how it is that we begin to build the resilient community, the convivial community, a way of life that can get us out of this soul-killing economic culture and help us survive all the upheavals about to unfold on the planet.

And I don’t mean survive miserably. I mean survive with a quality of life based on simplicity, family and friendship, neighborhood, art and poetry, love of the natural world, and a deeper meaning for the human than the one that comes with our role as consumers on a wasted, toxified planet.

As regular readers know, it is my practice to gather together slices of information, little windows on our reality, into one frame that provides a larger view of the real world. Today’s NY Times business section provided a couple worthy of reflection.

Should you be snuggling with your cellphone?

The answer is, no. I have been one of those irritating voices that believes that cellphones cause cancer, no matter what the industry-funded studies say. I am one who reads the fine print on the owners manual where even the companies that make the phones acknowledge the risk and warn people not to put them against their heads (or any other part of our bodies). They state publicly that the phones and their EMFs are safe, but when I see warnings like that, I see companies trying to protect themselves from the coming lawsuits.

Read this article and share it with those you care about, especially parents of small children.

Here’s the other from the same section:

Making ads that whisper to the brain

Scary stuff – advertisers using the latest neuroscience to find ways to make their ads effective in the subconscious part of the brain. Here’s the thing: are we as a culture, are you, are your families, your communities, making any conscious decisions about these things? Do you want to be manipulated like this, or given brain cancer without being aware that what you hold in your hand and against you ear all day could be cause of deadly disease? Do you want corporate advertisers using neuroscience to mess around with your subconscious?

Right now, thanks to decades of effort, anyone who begins smoking surely knows the risks of death and disease. And most of us know the addictive qualities of nicotine. So even though this lethal product is still bought and sold, I can make an informed decision about whether or not I want to take on these risks.  The vast majority of us do not – we don’t even want to be in the same room with the smoke anymore.

How ’bout all those gadgets emitting EMFs (electromagnetic fields)? How ’bout directing those frequencies right into our brains? What would you like to know about cellphones and cordless phones before you make a decision to wed your life to them? Or is ignorance bliss?

The NY Times can be a font of sobering news, and so today.  This from the front page:

Greenland Ice Sheet - Earth Institute, Columbia University. Image credit: Hannes Grobe, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research

As Glaciers Melt, Science Seeks Data on Rising Seas

A long article. I recommend reading the whole thing. It is disturbing – not only because of the raw information, the threats of rising seas in this century, but perhaps even more so because the political culture does not even allow us to have a conversation about this.

I’m feeling very grouchy this evening, annoyed, distressed. I commit to this new project because I have a sinking feeling about the question of whether human beings can anticipate disaster enough to snap into awareness – or maturity – and start dealing with all these scary indicators. I struggle every day with this question of why we humans, especially in this supposedly educated culture, are so incapable of pulling back from an economic culture that is making us sick, diminishing the precious gifts and dynamisms of the planet, threatening our future, and making us all stressed and unhappy.

I feel the diminishment of this culture, of the so-called ‘American Era.’ Shoot, in my state, we will have a new governor bent on refusing $810 million in federal money to build high-speed rail from Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison and eventually on to Minneapolis.  He wants roads. He wants more convenience for cars.

So I will look for hope among the thinkers, writers and artists, spiritually inspired, and the practitioners of a new way of life that must emerge out of this chaos and craziness. I will write about this as we move along in this effort. Our hope is to become one point where a critical mass begins to come together to make ‘new creation’ happen among us.

Design by: Diane Therese Pinchot, O.S.U.

And, I almost never do this here, we could use some funds to support us in this effort. The fiscal sponsor of Spirituality and Ecological Hope is the Center for New Creation, a most perfect name for what we are trying to do. We are tax deductible.  You can click on the “Donate” button and contribute by way of PayPal, or by sending us a check.

I hope you will want to be a part of this. Let us know how you are making ‘new creation’ by way of the comment function.

Peace this November evening!


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6 Responses

  1. D.Bheemeswar

    I think so the time has come for rigorous exercise to rebuild the ethical and morale value, by which HUMANS and the other life on this earth can live peacefully, harmoniously and serenely. One should not forget that life on this ever changes, one transforming to other that is “poornam adam poornam idam, poornarth poornam udatyache …: Only those who think they want control others by bossing, posing with race, region, religion, cast etc. feelings have to worry about, as they are after materialistic aspects of life. It is is a life cycle, between righteous, virtuous and
    unworthy, wrongful people.

    Lets hope better ecology and social life in future, which is well balanced by like minded people.

  2. Niki Yanakou

    Were getting close to the point where people will begin to notice that change is a must. Once the pocketbook is affected by high fuel and food prices they will be looking for leaders to guide them in the transition. Thats where we come in. By being prepared we can help in that transition.
    AS a happy side note: a small, local organic farm, held a green dinner party last Saturday. Tickets were 125.00 they had a sold out crowd.

  3. Steven Earl Salmony

    Dear Niki, Margaret, hombredelatierre and Friends,

    Given the general mind-set, the one driven in our time by economic globalization and the global political economy, it is difficult to believe how change to whatsoever is sustainable could occur. The mantra of endless growth of unsustainable lifestyles and too-big-to succeed corporations appears pervasive and unassailable.

    Gigantic, multinational conglomerates are adamantly engaged in the production of goods (both needed and unnecessary), business and finance, the marvelous edifices housing the great religions, large-scale agriculture, the military complexes. These entities are the actual constructions that drive the process of economic globalization and give the global political economy its leviathan-like structure.

    What you are reporting appears correct. It seems to me that two things could happen. First, an internet-driven transformation of global human consciousness will somehow occur in order to bring about necessary changes in the self-serving, destructive behavior of the fossil fools among us. Second, something embodied in this shift in human consciousness will give rise to completely unexpected, somehow interlocking events like the one which occurred at the city of Jericho in ancient times when “the walls fell down”. Even the leviathans of human enterprise in our days could crumble.

    Recently we witnessed the near collapse of some of the giants of the automobile industry and the virtual implosion of investment houses and big banks on Wall Street. Are the titans of big business and finance not only “too-big-to-fail” but also “too-big-to-succeed” precisely because they are soon to become patently unsustainable on a planet with size, composition and ecology of Earth?

    We have also seen in the past several years the poisonous fruits to be derived from extolling as ‘virtues’ outrageous greed, obscene overconsumption and relentless hoarding of wealth by many too many leaders. Never in the course of human events have so few stolen so much from so many….with a sense of pride. That these people reward each other with medals and awards for their pernicious activities is shameful. I believe we can agree that the unbridled overgrowth activities of the masters of the universe now overspreading the surface of Earth can much longer stand neither the test of time nor the biophysical limitations of the planetary home we are to inhabit and not ruin, I suppose. Following self-proclaimed masters of the universe down a primrose path could be the wrong way to direct the children to go.

    The children deserve the chance of facing the prospect of a future that is good enough. I am no longer thinking of leaving the children a better world than the one that was given to their elders. That appears out of reach now. It remains my hope that the elder generation, with responsibilities to assume and duties to perform, will do better than we doing now by changing our ways for the sake of keeping Earth fit for habitation by children everywhere. As examples, we could pay our debts instead of mortgage the children’s future; we could clean up the ecological messes that have been made in the course of the past 65 years; we could eschew “bigger is better” and “the biggest is the best” in favor of “small is beautiful”, doing more with less, and embracing the spirit of living well by living more simply and sustainably.

    Perhaps changes toward sustainable lifestyles and right-sized enterprises are in the offing.

    And perhaps we have been travelling down a long road over hundreds upon hundreds of years, a road of growing production and distribution capabilities, of wanton overconsumption and reckless hoarding, and of unbridled overpopulation. These activities have been occurring for a long time on a small scale, but only recently exploded in seemingly uncontrollable ways, within the natural world we inhabit and without sufficient regard being given either to human limits or Earth’s limitations. An improbable combination of narcissism, arrogance, foolhardiness and greed blinded leadership to the practical requirements of living on Earth; to the “rules of the house” in our planetary home. Too many leaders decided to willfully behave like kids who were left alone and given the run of the house by their overseers. All the rules were ‘forgotten’ or simply ignored. Laissez faire, whatever will be will be, living without limits and all that ruled!

    The children tore everything up and made a big mess. When they realized what they were doing, they felt stuck as if between a rock and hard place. Do they stop their destructive activities or else choose to keep tearing up the house? This is a tough choice for kids at play. Who knows, perhaps they will not be caught red-handed at what they have been doing. And if they are caught, they could always blame the wreckage on other bad boys. How many times have we seen kids at play and men at work blaming their wrongdoing on others and not ever taking responsibility for their own dishonest, deceitful or destructive behavior?

    Either the choice to turn back and begin the clean-up or the choice to keep tearing things up is fraught with danger. From a kid’s (or fossil fool’s) perspective they could face more danger by trying to clean up the mess they made than they would be exposed to by continuing with their rampage. Either choice presents its own challenges and threats. After all, so much damage has already been done. There is no longer any easy way forward, that is for sure, even under the best circumstances.

    What to do here? Now what? These are the questions, I suppose.


    Sincerely yours,


  4. Steven Earl Salmony

    Dear Friends,

    If we can communicate about what seems so obvious, perhaps one day soon enough science will overcome the power of a deafening silence that has kept certain evidence of human population dynamics hidden from us for nearly a decade.

    Many top-rank experts have been kind enough to make Russell Hopfenberg’s and David Pimentel’s work on human population dynamics available on their websites, but this science does not receive the attention it deserves, I believe. The research is presented without comment and treated as if it is not worthy of consideration. Here we are nearing the end of the year 2010 and no discussions, either inside or outside science, adequately focus upon recent research of human population dynamics. This scientific evidence appears to have profound implications for the future of life on Earth because it makes visible the proverbial ‘elephant in the living room’ of the planetary home we inhabit.

    Who is carefully examining and sensibly reporting findings on the taboo subject of human population dynamics now here? Where are the discussions of this topic to be found? In professional societies dedicated to the science of human population numbers? In first rate specialty journals regarding population biology, human ecology and demography? Can you or any other person on this email kindly point to examples where human population dynamics has been discussed? How on Earth do we address and overcome human-driven challenges, the nature and existence of which we refuse to acknowledge as well as willfully deny?

  5. Steve Salmony

    If we choose not to make a new, more fully human way for ourselves, then I suppose you can likely see what is visible through my eyes now.

    Can you see in the offing, there on the far horizon within sight of every human being with feet of clay on Earth, the first slouching trillionaire in the universe lumbering toward Bethlehem to be born?

  6. Steve Salmony

    One day soon I trust that a HIGH LEVEL DISCUSSION of extant scientific evidence of human population dynamics and human overpopulation of the Earth happens in many places. Sooner or later discussions of this kind have to occur, I suppose, despite the fact that free and open speech of what looks to me like the very last of the last taboos is forbidden by “the powers that be”, the ones who value money, power and position before all else and exclaim their dishonest and duplicitous ‘work’ is, of all things, “God’s work”.

    My concern for children, much less grandchildren everywhere is this. If the children in our time are “sold” the aberrant idea that economic success is what really matters, that arrogance and avarice actually rule this world, then from now here I expect those who are still young will follow a clearly marked and soon to become patently unsustainable primrose path to perdition and destruction, a path that has been adamantly advocated and religiously pursued by self-proclaimed masters of the universe.

    Let us not allow the ‘economic success’ that is derived from “bigger is better” and “the biggest business is the best”, and from insider trading, hedging, dark pools of capital, CDOs and other dodgy financial instruments, market and currency manipulations, ponzi schemes and economic globalization by the masters of the universe to be confused with the works of God, as given to us in The Creation and disclosed to us in science.

    Despite all the efforts to foment confusion and uncertainty by economic theologians, demographers and other smarty and clever minions of the wealthy and powerful, I trust we can agree that The Creation and science itself are utterly different from the artificially designed, ideologically flawed, manmade global economy that is organized and managed by the masters of the universe for their benefit primarily. Regarding this single thing, can there be even so much as a shadow of doubt? As for demography, it appears to provide a politically useful and economically attractive platform for looking at “the growth rate decreases” of human population numbers in one place after another and then for broadcasting this ‘scientific’ evidence everywhere as if these data provide actual assurance of the end of global population growth soon. All the while the demographers willfully ignore unchallenged scientific evidence of the skyrocketing increase of absolute global human population numbers. Demography is not the practice of science; it is a ruse. Demography is dangerous because it is so very misleading. The ’empirical’ evidence derived from demography serves the selfish interests of the wealthy and powerful among us by disguising rather than disclosing the actual challenges posed to humanity in our time by the unbridled growth of the human population worldwide by approximately 75 to 80 million annually as well as by the gigantic scale of the global population that is projected to reach 9+ billion, likely during the lifetime of my children.