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18098Fw: [focus-group] Meditation Focus #115: Saving the Earth Through Healing Our Koyaanisqatsi

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  • Polly
    Aug 1, 2004
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      Meditation Focus #115: Saving the Earth Through Healin

       
      Hello,
      What follows is the 115th Meditation Focus suggested for the next 4 (FOUR) weeks beginning Sunday, August 1, 2004.

      SAVING THE EARTH THROUGH HEALING OUR KOYAANISQATSI

      1. Summary
      2. Meditation times
      3. Higher Assistance May Be Given Within the Context of the Law of Free Will
      4. Earth People... Awake!
      5. Humanitarian Vigil for Darfur, Sudan
      6. More information related to this Meditation Focus


      CONTENTS OF SECTION #6 BELOW

      1. Modern Day Noahs Race to Build Wildlife Gene Bank
      2. Life Disintegrating
      3. Crazy Life
      4. Mass Extinction Underway, Majority of Biologists Say
      5. Lions 'close to extinction'
      6. Study: Only 10 percent of big ocean fish remain
      7. Bluefin tuna losing battle for survival
      8. World's plants under pressure
      9. Orangutans Edging Closer to Brink of Extinction
      10. Polar bears roam Arctic ice on borrowed time
      11. Industrial shrimp farming in mangrove areas must be banned
      12. Deforestation threatens Amazon river, scientists warn
      13. Amazon fires change weather, speed deforestation
      14. The killer bees are coming
      15. Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World
      16. US nuclear clean-up carries major risks

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      1. SUMMARY

      Koyaanisqatsi
      koy · ahn · i · skaht · see

      Noun from the Hopi language meaning...

      1. life disintegrating
      2. life out of balance
      3. life in turmoil
      4. crazy life
      5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.

      For over 50 years now, the environmental movement has desperately struggled against modern civilization's rush to ecological destruction, yet today we stand on the cusp of what many scientists refer to as the "Sixth Great Extinction," one caused this time not by a meteor or other "natural" disasters, but by the accumulated impacts of human activity.
      Like a snowball rolling down a steep hill, the evidence is rapidly accumulating - there's a limit to how much bulldozing, plowing, paving, deforestation, pollution, and other human impacts Earth can take, and we've gone over it. The situation is so bad that scientists are now racing to set up a gene bank of the world's endangered animals, with thousands of species expected to become extinct within a generation due to climate change and habitat destruction.

      According to Richard Cincotta, ecologist and senior researcher, Population Action International, "There are now more human babies born each day-- about 350,000-- than there are individuals left in all the great ape species combined, including gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans." Orangutans once ranged throughout Southeast Asia. Today they can be found only on the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Scientists estimate that in the last 10 years their numbers have been reduced by up to 50 percent, to perhaps as few as 13,000 living in the wild. Lion populations have fallen by almost 90% in the past 20 years, leaving the animal close to extinction in Africa, a wildlife expert has warned. There are now only 23,000 left, compared to an estimated 200,000 two decades ago, according to Laurence Frank, a wildlife biologist from the University of California.

      As for the oceans, they may look pristine but experts warn that life below the sea could collapse. A study by Ran Myers and Boris Worm of Nova Scotia's Dalhousie University reported that 90 percent of all large fishes have disappeared from the world's oceans in the past half century, the devastating result of industrial fishing. Those marine biologists say not only bluefin tuna but also other fish stocks are plummeting across the world, upsetting delicate natural food chains. Some fear irreversible damage has already been done. Even worse, international law experts add, little is being done to stop it. Despite all the evidence, high-tech fleets probe the last deep water refuges, hardly troubled by authorities.

      Should Earth continue its warming pattern, scientists fear shore and habitat erosion, increased salinity of estuaries and freshwater aquifers, altered tidal ranges in rivers and bays, changes in sediments and nutrient transport, a change in patterns of chemical and microbial contamination in coastal areas, and increased coastal flooding. Ecosystems particularly at risk include saltwater marshes, mangrove ecosystems, coastal wetlands, coral reefs, coral atolls, and river deltas.

      Almost half of all plant species could be facing extinction, according to new research by botanists in the United States. The official estimate by the World Conservation Union - the IUCN - suggests that 13% of the world's plant species are under threat, but the two US botanists say it is at least 22% and could be as many as 47%. Tropical forests alone are estimated to be disappearing at the rate of 12 million to 15 million hectares (46,000 to 59,000 square miles) a year.

      This list of environmental ills that destroy our local and global environment could go on and on and on, as exemplified in the complementary information section below.

      Our modern culture presents itself as something inevitable, even "natural," as if we have no choice but to continue to live alienated and Earth-destructive lives, but this is a lie. There is a way of living human life on Earth that is far more healthy, graceful and balanced than the destructive alienation currently driving us towards disaster, a way of life so powerfully connected to the often unnoticed wonder that surrounds us that it can actually heal the immense devastation we've caused during our march to "civilization." It is high time we heal our "koyannisqatsi" - our deadly estrangement from nature and the devastating damage it has caused to the processes that support life on Earth, as well as our own epidemic of human physical, emotional, social, and spiritual diseases. Despite huge progress in parts of the world in so-called environmental awareness, there is still a huge gap between what we profess or believe about the preciousness of all life-forms and the lightning speed with which we go about destroying the environment through our individual choices as consumers and the cumulative consequences of simple food choices, preferred lifestyles, transportation modes, and indulging in the multifaceted comforts of modern civilization.

      Please dedicate your prayers and meditations, as guided by Spirit, in the coming four weeks (up to August 28), and especially in synchronous attunement at the usual time this Sunday and the following three Sundays, to foster a sense of urgency in every living soul as to the state of our endangered planet and the need to take remedial actions in order to restore balance in the Web of Life that sustains us all. May every human being realize soon how fragile are the ecological processes that maintain a steady and dynamic equilibrium without which nothing of what we have taken for granted for so long would exist. The exquisite beauty of all Life in Its myriad manifestations and the ever enchanting wonders of Nature are too sacred and just too precious to be wasted and blindly destroyed in the blink of an eye, on a cosmic time-scale perspective, as we are collectively doing right now. Let us all take time to ponder what can be done to alleviate the sufferings of Mother Earth and let us focus our collective healing energies to help Gaia, our living planet, survive and prosper, for the Highest Good of All.


      This whole Meditation Focus has been archived for your convenience at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/MeditationFocus115.htm

      ---

      "In Darfur, the situation is catastrophic on the scale of the [1984-85] famine in Ethiopia, which killed a million people, and that is a terrible thing to say in 2004."

      Geoff Wordley, a senior emergency officer for the UN refugee agency.


      "A long, long time ago, on an island lost amidst oceans of stars, in a place where neither foot nor eye had ever been set, a spark of Life slowly began to form and shine more and more strongly until it beamed with an almost unbearable intensity. For the first time - but was there ever a first time - Life, at a precise point in space-time, was able to manifest its Presence, diffused throughout the visible universe.Life was already there when the first atoms of hydrogen were formed from the raw material of universes. And when the first huge clouds of hydrogen gave birth to the first stars, sparkling like diamonds in the infinite vault of the sky, there again Life was manifesting a sign of its Presence. Yes! Life has always been at the origin of all that has taken form... But there, for the first time, all the necessary conditions were met for the beginning of the gestation of all the other forms of Life, endowed with movement and freedom. Right from these first instants was written in the great Book of Life, the Story of all beings that were to be begotten in the times to come. All... We were all there, joined as One Single Being, One Single Look, One Single Thought. The Immortal Child had just been born..."

      - Taken from The Immortal Child at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/ImmortalChild.htm

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      2. MEDITATION TIMES

      i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes. Please dedicate the last few minutes of your Sunday meditation to the healing of the Earth as a whole. See the Earth as healthy and vibrant with life, and experience the healing of all relations as we awaken globally to the sacredness of all Life and to our underlying unity with All That Is.

      ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.

      These times below are currently corresponding to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:

      Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage * 8:00 AM -- Los Angeles * 9:00 AM -- Mexico City, San Salvador & Denver * 10:00 AM -- Houston * & Chicago * 11:00 AM -- Santo Domingo, La Paz, Caracas, New York *, Toronto *. Montreal *, Asuncion & Santiago 12:00 AM -- Halifax *, Rio de Janeiro & Montevideo 1:00 PM -- Reykjavik & Casablanca 4 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, London *, Dublin * & Lisbon * 5:00 PM -- Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Geneva *, Rome *, Berlin *, Paris * & Madrid * 6:00 PM -- Ankara *, Athens *, Helsinki * & Istanbul * & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Baghdad *, Moscow * 8:00 PM -- Tehran * 8:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 PM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington +4:00 AM

      + means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time.

      * means the place is observing daylight saving time (DST) at the moment.
      You may also check at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/full.html to find your current corresponding local time if a closeby city is not listed above.

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      3. HIGHER ASSISTANCE MAY BE GIVEN WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE LAW OF FREE WILL

      "At this time, many beings of other planetary spheres are helping the Earth to move into a Golden Age of Unconditional All-encompassing Love and Perfection. They are responding to the Law of Free Will, for many of Earth have ASKED, of their own free will, for their assistance.

      This is a particularly critical time to reach out telepathically to these beings who have come with the express intention to serve the unfoldment of the light on Earth. Many of them come from highly advanced civilizations, far removed from us, and in some cases have not been in contact with the earth for a long time.

      The more of us who ask with clear visualization, the more assistance can be given. Since they are capable of helping us restore Earth to a perfect state on all levels, please remember to ask them, from inner guidance, for whatever assistance you feel is needed.

      This is a time to offer vast and comprehensive visions of healing and enlightenment if you are so guided. Spare no superlatives nor detail in spelling out your visions.

      Remember that those who are here to help are highly evolved. Some of them have technology that is millions of years more advanced than ours, and they are working under the Law of One, the highest good of all concerned.

      They are answering individual requests for healing and enlightenment as well as requests for the Earth as a whole or any part thereof. If you specify that the answer to your prayer be governed by the Law of One, then whatever you have asked for stands the best chance of being granted.
       
      Otherwise, sometimes a request may have contradictory aspects that only become apparent from a higher perspective that encompasses all the ramifications and future consequences of the request. 

      An excellent guideline for prayer is to emphasize a graphic visual image of the wonderful end result that you are co-creating. For example, if you are asking for the earth to be restored to its pristine purity of the "garden of Eden", visualizing the appropriate, beautiful scenes of lush clean forests with clean running streams enhances the power of the prayer.

      As with all requests, it is effective to ask a minimum of three times over a period of a few days or more. They determine in this way that the request is well thought out and that resulting changes are expected and will be met with gratitude and love instead of surprise and alarm. Keep in mind that requests for mental, emotional, and physical healing may result in unusual sensations and symptoms, occur in stages, and require time for recuperation and assimilation."

      - Cynthia Rose <Spiritus@...> July 31, 2004. Taken from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lovingpurelove/message/18087

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      4. EARTH PEOPLE... AWAKE!

      Earth People... Awake!

      You came from every part of this mighty Universe to help revive this dying planet.

      You are those few selected ones who were given the rare privilege to assist this planet in giving birth to a new Being in the cosmic pantheon of gods: Gaia, the Immortal Child.

      The Time is Now...
      Awake from your sleepy state and carry out your Divine Mission on Earth.

      The Time is Now...
      Open your mind to the ideas poured into you through the sacred guidance of your soul.

      The Time is Now...
      Manifest the Vision of a New World through enlightened and courageous actions.

      You have been given all the necessary skills and training up to now in your life to accomplish your Cosmic Duty. Trust the Spirit that inspired these words through one of Its many channels. Be sure that the cohort of God's angels will always be at your side to protect you and help you in fulfilling your Destiny. But above all, know that all the God Qualities are embedded within you and are available at any time to assist you along the Path. You are One with God, as you have always been and shall be forever...

      Earth People... Awake! Awake!

      Awake from your dream state, beloved Sons and Daughters of Light. You have nothing to fear, for I am with you, I am within you,

      I AM YOU...

      Stand up and walk towards the bright future that I devised for you. Stand up and talk to everyone around you about this glorious Destiny awaiting Humanity. Stand up and raise the real issues of your time: Peace, Love and Harmony. Peace among nations, Peace among neighbours, Peace within you. Love towards God, Love towards others, Love towards yourself. Harmony with the Universe, Harmony with the Earth, Harmony within you.

      You are the leaven in the bread. You can change things around. You can trigger a global shift of consciousness. You can make a difference. For you are not alone... You are millions scattered all around the Earth as Seeds of Light. You must now shine as the true Sons and Daughters of Light that you are...

      You are the Earth People. Your mind encompasses the whole planet and feels it as a single Being now ready to be born anew...

      Earth People... Awake! Awake! Awake!

      You are the morning dew crystalline pearls of Light emerging from the sky and fixing in Humanity's Consciousness the message of God ...

      "UNITY is bound to manifest again its immanent Reality on our beloved planet Earth. From every part of My cosmic body, I sent Messengers of Peace, Bearers of the most sacred Mission ever embodied in human flesh. You are those who can change the face of the world. Awaken yourselves now from the slumber of matter and let shine this immortal Flame of Love that is your true and only nature. Rejoice with the celestial hosts as you express in your life the wisdom and compassion I pour and will unremittingly pour into you...

      Now is the Time...

      Command to all the Earth Forces of Life to renew and purify its lands and oceans so that the myriads of Life forms may blossom again as it was before Man attempted to destroy this magnificent blue sphere of Life, the craddle of Humanity, the Immortal Child. Command to all the invisible beings surrounding you and they will obey you, for you are My Sons and Daughters, for it is My Will that overshadows you and shall guide your steps on this eternal Path of Light that you are walking upon since the Beginning of Time."

      I say "Open your heart, open your mind, open your soul to My Divine Guidance and all will be made anew on the face of the Earth and in the heart of Humanity"...

      And one day, not far from now, the Story of how the Earth People have awakened themselves and joined to transform the world shall be told at night, around a fire, by old wise sages to the children of our lineage,
      now latent in our loins...

      - Taken from http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/medcorner.htm

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      5. HUMANITARIAN VIGIL FOR DARFUR, SUDAN

      Here are some of the latest developments in Darfur Sudan. Please also keep this situation in mind during your meditations in the coming weeks to help ensure that peace prevail there as well and humanitarian assistance is provided in a timely manner to everyone in need of such assistance.

      From: http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/reuters20040730_263.html

      UN Council Demands Sudan Stop Darfur Atrocities

      July 30, 2004 - By Evelyn Leopold

      UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council on Friday adopted a U.S.-drafted resolution demanding Sudan disarm and prosecute marauding militia in Darfur and threatened sanctions if Khartoum did not comply.

      The 13-0 vote with abstentions from China and Pakistan came after the United States, facing considerable opposition, deleted the word "sanctions" and substituted a reference to a section of the U.N. Charter permitting punitive measures.

      This provision, called Article 41, allows the "interruption" of economic, transport, communications or diplomatic measures, which amounts to sanctions.

      The resolution, co-sponsored by Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Chile and Romania, demands that Khartoum disarm and prosecute within 30 days militia known as Janjaweed or the Security Council will consider punitive measures under Article 41.

      At least 30,000 civilians have been killed in Sudan's western region of Darfur, 1 million have been driven from their villages into barren camps and 2 million need food and medicine in what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis and the U.S. Congress has branded as genocide.

      The resolution also places an immediate weapons embargo on all armed groups in Darfur, where government forces and Arab militia have been battling a rebellion from some African tribes. But Sudan security forces, accused of protecting the Janjaweed as they rape and kill, are excluded.

      The United Nations has been planning a peacekeeping force after a final peace pact in southern Sudan, where a decades-old civil war is ending. The resolution says the planning should also include Darfur, although troops are not expected soon.

      The United States and its European allies faced an uphill battle in the Security Council, where developing nations as well as Russia questioned the 15-member body's right to interfere in internal affairs and argued that punishing Sudan would make matters worse.

      But after deleting the word "sanctions" made the resolution more palatable to most objectors, 13 members voted in favor. But China said it had hoped all references to sanctions would be removed and decided, along with Pakistan, to abstain.

      "The initial draft included the word sanctions. It turns out that the use of that word is objectionable to certain members of the Security Council," U.S. Ambassador John Danforth said earlier. "They would rather use 'U.N. speak' for exactly the same thing."

      He said one could use word "banana, so long as it is clear that it equals sanctions. The meaning has to be very clear."

      ---

      From: http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/07/31/sudan040731

      Sudan warms to UN resolution on Darfur

      31 Jul 2004

      KHARTOUM - Sudan has "no other option" than to comply with a UN resolution on the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region, the Sudanese ambassador to the African Union told reporters Saturday.

      Osman al-Said's comments come one day after the resolution was passed and then promptly rejected by Sudan's information minister, El-Zahawi Ibrahim Malik. The UN Security Council endorsed a resolution calling on Sudan to disarm militias terrorizing civilians in Darfur in one month, or face economic penalities.

      "We are not happy with the resolution, but we are going to implement it," al-Said said.

      The militias, known as the Janjaweed, are blamed in the deaths of at least 30,000 people, mostly black African farmers, in the past year and a half. The Sudanese government has been accused of providing air support during the raids.

      The death toll could surge to more than 350,000 if aid doesn't reach more than two million people soon, the U.S. Agency for International Development has warned.

      At least one million people have been driven out of their homes in the western region.

      According to an African Union monitoring team, militias chained civilians together and set them on fire in an attack on a village earlier this month.

      Rain slows food aid

      The United Nation's World Food Program (WFP) reports it's becoming increasingly more difficult to feed hundreds of thousands of hungry people in Darfur province.

      A lack of security and heavy rains are the main obstacles.

      Simon Pluess says his agency had hoped to distribute food to about a million people this month. But because of the dangers and the rain, aid agencies have been able to reach only about 265,000 people.

      WFP trucks often are attacked and the food is stolen. Lately, most of them are bogged down on rain-soaked, muddy roads.

      The WFP will soon start air drops of food to people in hard-to-reach areas. It hopes to drop 3,000 tonnes of food over the next two weeks.

      On Saturday, France sent a planeload of aid to neighbouring Chad, and about 200 French soldiers will distribute the supplies at the Sudanese border.

      ---
      By Samson Mulugeta - Newsday

      27 July 2004

      Thousands of villages in the Sudanese region of Darfur have suffered in a war that is, by most measures, the worst humanitarian disaster in the world today.

      Bahai, Chad - Umm Fahara Mohammad was fetching water at the well in her Sudanese village when she heard gunfire and the thunder of galloping horses. She flung her clay pot aside and sprinted to hide in nearby bushes. Two of her cousins collapsed in the dirt, shot dead without warning, she said.

      Mohammad hid for hours while the Janjaweed, an ethnic Arab militia, killed and pillaged. When she emerged, the village of Abliha was a ruin of charred huts and granaries.

      Mohammad, 25, fled with her four children, the youngest on her back, into the hills of western Sudan. After six months, they ran out of food and trekked across the semi-desert plains to reach a refugee camp in Chad this month.

      Thousands of villages in the Sudanese region of Darfur have suffered Abliha's fate since last year in a war that is, by most measures, the worst humanitarian disaster in the world today.

      As many as 30,000 people have been killed and 1.2 million uprooted from their homes, human rights groups say. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development, 300,000 are likely to die by December even if relief agencies can get food, tents and medicines into Darfur in the coming weeks.

      Three weeks after Secretary of State Colin Powell and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan came to Darfur to insist that Sudan's government halt the violence and facilitate relief, attacks continue. Warfare and the start of annual rains, coupled with Sudan's resistance to foreign involvement in the crisis, means essential aid is not arriving and the ultimate death toll is likely to rise.

      CLIP

      Pressure is growing for the United States and other Western governments to intervene militarily. Last week, Britain hinted it might send troops as part of a UN force. Thursday, Congress approved a resolution urging President George W. Bush to consider "multilateral or even unilateral intervention to prevent genocide should the UN Security Council fail to act."

      A 1948 UN convention on genocide, to which the United States is a party, obliges governments to move aggressively to halt and punish any instance of genocide. The administration has avoided declaring this a genocide.

      Sudan, a vast country nearly a third the size of the continental United States, was created by British colonialists who patched together territories of various groups from the north and south. Since independence in 1956, Sudan's governments have been dominated by northern groups from the Nile River valley that long ago "Arabized," adopting Arab language and culture as well as Islam.

      Sudanese Arabs raided the Christian and animist south for slaves for almost a century. After independence, Arab-led governments, most of them military dictatorships inspired by an Islamic nationalist vision, have fought almost continuously to dominate non-Arab groups in the west and south. That battle escalated after oil was discovered in the south, and it has left more than 2 million dead over three decades.

      Government Arms Militias

      After years of fruitless negotiations, a peace agreement was struck this year with the southern-based rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement.

      Last year, however, rebels in Darfur, from ethnic groups such as the Zaghawa and Massalit, took up arms and demanded either better treatment from the government or independence. The government responded by arming the Arab Janjaweed militias.

      Neither the ethnic politics nor the war in Darfur is simple, said Abdul Mohammad, an Ethiopian who worked for years in Sudan as a representative of UNICEF. "In Darfur, you find people who are dark but identify themselves as Arab," he said. "Often, you can't tell apart who is who."

      Struggles for land historically have fueled wars in Darfur, especially during droughts such as the one that has afflicted the region in recent years. The Arabized tribes are mainly herders, while non-Arabs are mostly sedentary farmers.

      Now the annual three-month rainy season is transforming the sandy plains on the fringes of the Sahara Desert into bogs and wadis, or rivers, that make overland travel virtually impossible. Having missed their planting season because of the fighting, the locals are totally dependent on aid.
      In Darfur, "the situation is catastrophic on the scale of the [1984-85] famine in Ethiopia," which killed a million people, "and that is a terrible thing to say in 2004," said Geoff Wordley, a senior emergency officer for the UN refugee agency.

      Wordley, a British logistics specialist, and other foreign human rights and relief officials say Sudan continues to drag its feet even though it has promised Powell, Annan and other leaders that it will do all possible to end the crisis.

      "Khartoum is playing politics, trying to slow down aid coming in," he said.

      Sudanese officials say foreigners underestimate the difficulty of pacifying Darfur.

      Policy advocates such as the International Crisis Group accuse Sudan of integrating Janjaweed fighters into its army rather than disarming them.

      "We're hearing reports that they are recruiting the Janjaweed into the Sudanese army" to guard camps of people uprooted by the Janjaweed, Wordley said. "The situation is putrid."
      Because Sudan still is not letting relief agencies operate freely in Darfur, much of the crisis has shifted to places like Bahai, in eastern Chad. In camps scattered up and down the desert and plains along the Chadian side of the border, about 150,000 uprooted Sudanese are seeking shelter. Human rights monitors, Western government investigators and journalists trek to these isolated sites to monitor the crisis.
      CLIP

      A Humanitarian Crisis

      On Thursday, Congress declared that the civil war in the Darfur region of Sudan has become a case of genocide. U.S. officials say the death toll is likely to reach 300,000 this year.

      The Combatants

      Janjaweed militia

      * Reportedly backed by Sudan's government.
      * Drawn from Arabized tribes, mostly herders.
      * Accused of ethnic cleansing and genocide Against non-Arabs.

      Darfur rebels

      * Drawn from non-Arab ethnic groups (Fur, Massalit, Zaghawa, etc.), mostly sedentary farmers.
      * Main groups are the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement.

      Reason for Conflict

      * Arabs dominate central government; non-Arabs are poorer and marginalized from power.
      * Farmers, herders battle for control of land.

      The Toll

      * An estimated 30,000 killed in the past 16 months.
      * An estimated 1.2 million uprooted from destroyed villages; they face starvation and disease.
      * Widespread rapes and abductions by Janjaweed are reported.

      ---

      See also:

      Darfur: We Are All Guilty of Watching Them Die (July 29, 2004) http://allafrica.com/stories/200407290961.html
      For 15 Months now, ruthless militiamen have wrought devastation in western Sudan, butchering an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 black African people and uprooting another one million.The one million have been forced into the barren patches of sun-scorched Darfur and right across the desolate border into neighboring Chad. The shocking images of what is happening in Darfur, brought to us on TV, through the internet, graphic newspaper descriptions and eyewitness accounts, reveal a land stalked by genocidaires. . Powell meets President Museveni on May, 27 2001. He has shown more concern for the suffering people in Sudan's Darfur region than African leaders. (...) I have seen pictures of children and women with bodies so starved to look like wire gauzes.But with all these gory images swirling in our faces why did these African leaders who pride themselves on having turned a new chapter in the African leadership dither? It is quite easy to understand the ambivalence of the Sudanese Arab brothers; Egypt, Libya, Algeria or Tunisia. Yet it remains baffling for continental powers like Nigeria and South Africa to sit on their hands.What is somebody supposed to interpret from AU's - but most particularly these two nation's - disheartening indifference to a situation of gang rape, poisoning of water sources, burning entire villages and crop fields, random shooting of civilians? It is the same SA and Nigeria championing Nepad, pontificating to the West of how we are ready to solve our internal strife and police our own leadership. CLIP

      Full Coverage on Sudan

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      6. MORE INFORMATION RELATED TO THIS MEDITATION FOCUS

      This complement of information may help you to better understand the various aspects pertaining to the summary description of the subject of this Meditation Focus. It is recommended to view this information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision we wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mind-set, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of peace and healing. This complementary information is provided so that a greater knowledge of what needs healing and peace-nurturing vibrations may assist us to have an in-depth understanding of what is at stake and thus achieve a greater collective effectiveness.


      See also:

      Plutonium cancer risk may be higher than thought (18 July 04)
      Plutonium may be many times more dangerous than previously thought. The cancer risk from exposure inside the body could be 10 times higher than is allowed for in calculating international safety limits. The danger is highlighted in a report written by radiation experts for the UK government, which has been leaked to New Scientist. The experts are unanimous in saying that low-level radiation emitted by plutonium may cause more damage to human cells than previously believed. Their opinion could provoke a rethink of the guidelines on exposure to radiation. Several tonnes of plutonium have been released into the environment over the last 60 years by nuclear weapons tests and nuclear plants. Concern over the harmfulness of plutonium is growing because of discoveries about the subtle effects of low-level radiation. Researchers in Europe and North America have shown that the descendants of cells that seem to survive radiation unharmed can suffer delayed damage, a phenomenon called "genomic instability". CLIP

      UN conference on tropical timber breaks up without accord (July 30, 2004)
      GENEVA (AFP) Delegates from 59 states involved in the trade in tropical timber have failed in a week of talks to reach a deal on a new international agreement to protect rapidly disappearing forests, a United Nations spokesman said in Geneva on Friday. They agreed to meet again in February to review International Tropical Timber Agreement (AIBT), adopted in 1994, and which expires at the end of 2005. Tropical forests are estimated to be disappearing at the rate of 12 million to 15 million hectares (46,000 to 59,000 square miles) a year. The aim of the agreement, to which 33 producer countries and their 26 major customers plus several dozen conservationist bodies are party, is to strengthen international rules protecting the forests. The tropical woods industry is estimated to be worth 10 billion dollars (8.3 billion euros) a year and support 500 million people.

      Environmental Milestones: A Worldwatch Retrospective
      http://www.worldwatch.org/features/timeline/timeline.htm
      Trace key moments in the modern environmental movement from the 1960s until today. Explore pivotal events, scientific breakthroughs, and obstacles through an illustrated timeline with links to resources on the Web.
      Bangladesh capital inundated as millions suffer in flooded South Asia (July 28, 2004)
      DHAKA, Bangladesh - Residents waded through sewage and rowed boats on flooded roads in this city of 10 million people, as 44 more victims drowned and the death toll from monsoon rains reached 1,100 across South Asia on Tuesday. The annual monsoon flooding, fed by melting snow and torrential rains, has left millions across South Asia marooned or homeless. At least 686 people have died in India, 102 in Nepal and five in Pakistan, according to reports from officials. The new deaths were reported Monday and Tuesday in central and northern Bangladesh as waters receded in some flooded areas, raising the number killed in this delta nation to 394, the government said. Most of the deaths were caused by drowning, lightning, snakebites, and outbreaks of waterborne diseases.(...) The floods in Bangladesh are the worst since 1998. They have engulfed two-thirds of the country, affecting more than 25 million people. Up to 1.3 million displaced people huddled in about 4,000 flood shelters.  CLIP

      Greenland ice-melt 'speeding up' (July 28, 2004)
      First you hear a savage cracking sound, next the rolling crash of thunder. Then as the icebergs rip away from the margin of the ice-sheet they plunge into the grey waters of the Atlantic with a roar that echoes around the mountains.  In some places, the ice is melting one metre a month. Nothing prepares you for the sheer scale and drama of events in this forbidding terrain and all the signs are that the changes at work here are gathering pace. The only way to reach the ice-sheet is by helicopter - a spectacular flight through remote fjords and the jagged blue-white rubble of the ice. We travelled with Danish scientist Carl Boggild of GEUS, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. For the past few years he has been managing a network of 10 automatic monitoring stations and his first results are alarming - the edges of the ice-sheet are melting up to 10 times more rapidly than earlier research had indicated.  (...) "We can say for certain that the rate of melting has increased and we can say for certain that the height of the ice-sheet is falling, even allowing for increased ice-flow. "There is no doubt that something very major is happening here." As we speak, he checks the instruments on the automatic station. A large range of data is collected and transmitted via satellite to Copenhagen every six hours. For the first time, scientists should have a long-term, on-the-ground view of the changes taking place here. Just before we leave, there is another roar as more icebergs crash into the ocean Many more icebergs falling into the sea will cause two things to happen - the sea-level will rise and the injection of freshwater could disrupt the ocean currents, including the Gulf Stream. What happens in this remote barren land has the potential to affect us all.

      Maldives: Paradise soon to be lost (July 28, 2004)
      To visit the Maldives is to witness the slow death of a nation. For as well as being blessed with sun-kissed paradise islands and pale, white sands, this tourist haven is cursed with mounting evidence of an environmental catastrophe.  The country is portrayed by travel companies as a tropical paradise. To the naked eye, the signs of climate change are almost imperceptible, but government scientists fear the sea level is rising up to 0.9cm a year. Since 80% of its 1,200 islands are no more than 1m above sea level, within 100 years the Maldives could become uninhabitable. The country's 360,000 citizens would be forced to evacuate. The Maldives' survival as a sovereign nation is truly at stake. CLIP

      Sea engulfing Alaskan village (July 30, 2004)
      Alaska It is thought to be the most extreme example of global warming on the planet.  Some estimate that the sea moves inland three metres a year. The village of Shishmaref lies on a tiny island on the edge of the arctic circle - and it is literally being swallowed by the sea.Houses the Eskimos have occupied for generations are now wilting and buckled. Some have fallen into the sea. Not only is the earth crumbling underfoot, but the waves are rising ominously all around.  (...)  Locals are planning to relocate to the mainland. Because temperatures in Alaska have increased by as much as 4.4C over the last 30 years, glaciers are starting to melt, causing the sea levels to rise. The increased temperature is also thawing the frozen ground, which is known as permafrost, on which the arctic communities such as Shishmaref were built. It is this thawing that is causing the ground to crumble like sand. CLIP

      Climate change: The big emitters (July 23, 2004)
      The future of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change is largely in the hands of the world's biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. BBC News Online looks at how much they emit, what are they doing about it and where they stand on Kyoto. The US emits more, absolutely and per head, than any other country - although it also produces more wealth. When Kyoto was agreed, the US signed and committed to reducing its emissions by 6%. But since then it has pulled out of the agreement and its carbon dioxide emissions have increased to more than 15% above 1990 levels. For the agreement to become a legally binding treaty, it must be ratified by countries which together were responsible for a at least 55% of the total 1990 emissions reported by the industrialised countries and emerging economies which made commitments to reduce their emissions under the protocol.As the US accounted for 36.1% of those emissions, this 55% target is much harder to achieve without its participation. President George W Bush said in March 2001 that the US would not ratify Kyoto because he thought it would damage the US economy and because it did not yet require developing countries to cut their emissions. CLIP

      Greenpeace Jaguars on the prowl Saving Argentine forests from destruction
      Update July 29th: During their latest prowl our jaguars tracked down five more bulldozers clear cutting and burning the forest. Using their motorbikes they intercepted the bulldozers and blocked their path to the forest thus ending today's planned destruction. The machines have been locked up with chains and 'Blocked by Greenpeace' is now stamped on all the diggers. Monday's bulldozers are also still locked up so, all in all, our prowlers have managed to immobilize eight bulldozers. (...) In Argentina, 75 percent of our native forests have already disappeared, and every hour the equivalent of 20 football pitches (soccer fields, for you North Americans) of forest is destroyed to grow transgenic soya. The damage is irreversible, it is almost impossible to grow forest on the soil again - and today an area the size of Germany is at risk. In the last month, a provincial government has already sold off a natural reserve to companies planning to sow genetically engineered (GE) soya, an unprecedented act. This cannot carry on! That's why the Greenpeace Jaguars have gone into action to defend north-west Argentina's remaining forest. CLIP

      Argentina Protests Against Monsanto's Clear-Cutting Virgin Forests to Plant GE Soybeans
      29 July 2004 - Campaigners from environmental group Greenpeace launched a protest this week in Argentina's north western forests, in response to biotech company Monsanto using the land to plant genetically modified soya.

      Locusts begin rampage in West, North Africa (July 28, 2004)
      ALGIERS, Algeria - Damage from swarms of locusts eating vital crops in North and West Africa could triple to $245 million within a year if no emergency aid is provided soon, U.N. and government experts say. "Locusts use war tactics. Locusts know no borders. Donors have to understand ... we face the risks of famine and death," Senegalese Agriculture Minister Habib Syla told a regional meeting to discuss the plague. Desert locust swarms contain up to 80 million insects per square kilometer and travel more than 80 miles a day. An adult desert locust can munch its own weight, or about two grams, of food a day. Swarms can devastate entire crop fields in minutes. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said the current locust crisis was the most serious to hit West Africa since a 1987-89 plague which cost more than $300 million. CLIP

      Pesticides found in 43% of fruit and vegetables traces of pesticide (28 July 2004)
      More than four out of ten items of fruit, vegetable and cereals on sale in Britain contain traces of pesticide, according to a new report which reveals the extent of chemical contamination in the food chain.Of a total of 2,087 samples, 889 - or 43 per cent - were found to contain some form of pesticide. Meanwhile 34 items, or 1.6 per cent of the total, exceeded the maximum safety levels laid down by the authorities. (...) Across Europe, more than 46,000 samples of mostly fresh food were analysed for traces of 170 pesticides. Compared with previous years the percentage with no detectable residues has decreased and those over the maximum threshold has risen as has those with some pesticide traces.  CLIP

      Apple a day may poison children (July 30, 2004)
       Children who eat an apple or pear a day may be exceeding the pesticide safety threshold because of residues on the fruit, according to research.Using Department of Environment data on pesticides on fruit collected from supermarkets, scientists calculated that each day some children would get a toxic level of pesticides.  CLIP

      Bush Eases Pesticide Reviews for Endangered Species (29 July 2004)
      Washington - The Environmental Protection Agency will be free to approve pesticides without consulting wildlife agencies to determine if the chemical might harm plants and animals protected by the Endangered Species Act, according to new Bush administration rules.  CLIP

      Alaska's Rainforest, The Tongass Under Threat by the Bush Administration (July 30)

      20 Ways The World Could End
      http://Extinct.net

      Rainforests Biodiversity Scale Of Destruction -- The Number One Issue Facing Humanity

      Full Coverage on Climate Change

      Full Coverage on Environment and Nature

      Full Coverage on Nuclear Power and Waste

      Full Coverage on Pollution

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      1.

      From: http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/26263/story.htm

      Modern Day Noahs Race to Build Wildlife Gene Bank

      UK: July 27, 2004

      LONDON - Scientists are racing to set up a gene bank of the world's endangered animals, with thousands of species expected to become extinct within a generation due to climate change and habitat destruction.

      The plan, dubbed the Frozen Ark and announced on Tuesday, will run alongside a similar project to collect seeds from endangered plants run by Britain's Royal Botanical Gardens.

      "Natural catastrophes apart, the current rate of animal loss is the greatest in the history of the earth and the fate of animal species is desperate," said Phil Rainbow, Keeper of Zoology at London's Natural History Museum.

      While the biblical Noah collected live specimens to repopulate the world after the flood, the modern day Noahs will instead strive to preserve their biological details for posterity.

      The Arabian oryx and the Socorro dove are among the 10,000 species of animals listed by the IUCN world conservation union as being likely to vanish over the next 30 years.

      Of these, some 33 species are already extinct in the wild, and nearly 1,000 are deemed to be critically endangered.

      Among the first species to enter the Frozen Ark will be the yellow seahorse, mountain chicken - which is actually a frog - the Seychelles Fregate Beetle and Polynesian tree snails.

      Frozen Ark, which will hold samples of DNA and tissue at minus 80 Celsius, will save their genetic material for ever and give scientists an otherwise lost opportunity to study them.

      "This is not an attempt to recreate Jurassic Park, but we are going through a period of intense species loss and we don't know what effect this will have on biodiversity," said Frozen Ark's patron Crispin Tickell, a diplomat and environmentalist.

      The Ark - a project with the Natural History Museum, the Zoological Society of London and Nottingham University's Institute of Genetics - will be copied at other scientific institutions in countries including Australia and the United States.

      The project will collect DNA samples from mammals, birds, insects and reptiles, with priority being given to animals in danger within the next five years and those that are already extinct in the wild.

      Researchers will then focus on those expected to disappear within the next few decades.

      "This is a small start," said Natural History Museum Trustee Anne McLaren. "But is has taken a long time to even get here and we have to start somewhere. This is vital work."

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      2.
      From: http://www.eces.org/archive/dwc_pages/index.php/2

      Life Disintegrating

      Like a snowball rolling down a steep hill, the evidence is rapidly accumulating - there's a limit to how much bulldozing, plowing, paving, deforestation, pollution, and other human impacts Earth can take, and we've gone over it. Just a few examples:

      * One in four mammal species and one in eight species of birds now face a high risk of extinction within the next 30 years, according to the IUCN.

      * In January 2003, a major new study found that Atlantic shark numbers have plummeted up to 90% during the last 15 years due to overfishing; thresher shark populations have completely collapsed and hammerhead, great white, and other shark populations could soon follow.

      * Scientists are warning that massive overfishing, pollution, global warming, and other human impacts will reduce the world's coastal habitats - coral reefs, kelp forests, seagrass and oyster beds - to microbial-dominated ecosystems within 20 to 30 years. Let's be clear what that phrase, "microbial-dominated ecosystems," really means: the replacement of once vibrant coral reefs, lush kelp forests, and productive seagrass and oyster beds with bacterial and fungal slime. Already 25% of the world's coral reefs have died and scientists now predict the death of all of the world's coral reefs within the next 20 to 50 years.

      In the face of the environmental crisis now bearing down on us, Life Disintegrating/Earth Crash takes a unique approach to environmental issues, one dedicated to documenting Earth's environmental collapse due to the accumulated impacts of human activity without any of the usual sugar-coating. It contains in-depth coverage of the compelling evidence that the ecological collapse of Earth has indeed begun, by means of hundreds of news article from a wide variety of sources such as the BBC, New York Times, the international journals Science and Nature, and many other sources, with links to the original source articles.

      If Life Disintegrating/Earth Crash succeeds at its mission, it is likely you will be very disturbed after spending some time browsing through it. If so, you are encouraged to look at what else is offered at Earth Crash Earth Spirit. Crazy Life (http://eces.org/archive/dwc_pages/index.php/21) presents an analysis - albeit a very challenging one - of how we got into this fix. Another Way of Living (http://eces.org/archive/dwc_pages/index.php/409) outlines a new way of thinking about and living human life on Earth that is far more healthy, graceful and balanced than the destructive alienation currently driving us towards disaster. And, finally, Earth Spirit (http://eces.org/archive/dwc_pages/index.php/3) offers us hope, because there are ways of healing the damage we caused, although by not by the usual means we've been trained to think of, such as yet more technological fixes.

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      3.
      From: http://eces.org/archive/dwc_pages/index.php/21

      Crazy Life

      For over 50 years now, the environmental movement has desperately struggled against modern civilization's rush to ecological destruction, yet today we stand on the cusp of what many scientists refer to as the "Sixth Great Extinction," one caused this time not by a meteor or other "natural" disasters, but by the accumulated impacts of human activity.

      One of the basic ideas behind Earth Crash Earth Spirit (ECES) is that the main reason why the environmental movement has had such limited success over the last 50 years is because, in many ways, it is still locked into the same "civilized" ways of thinking as the very mindset that has brought us to the edge of the ecological catastrophe we now face.

      In other words, more of the same - more "progress," more technological fixes - is not going to be able to avoid the total environmental collapse now looming over us and the hideous amount of suffering it will bring, not just to humans but to all life on Earth.

      We humans face a fateful choice now: we can go on with our usual ways of thinking and doing, even though they obviously aren't "working" in terms of avoiding environmental collapse, or we can strike out in an entirely new direction - developing radically different ways of thinking about and living human life on Earth. ECES opts for the second path, and hopes you will too.
      Our modern culture presents itself as something inevitable, even "natural," as if we have no choice but to continue to live alienated and Earth-destructive lives, but this is a lie. There is a way of living human life on Earth that is far more healthy, graceful and balanced than the destructive alienation currently driving us towards disaster, a way of life so powerfully connected to the often unnoticed wonder that surrounds us that it can actually heal the immense devastation we've caused during our march to "civilization."
      Taken together, the series of essays listed below present a new view of what it means to be human and what I have come to believe is the only way of living human life that can heal our "koyannisqatsi" - our deadly estrangement from nature and the devastating damage it has caused to the processes that support life on Earth, as well as our own epidemic of human physical, emotional, social, and spiritual dis-ease. For our children and for all beings with whom we share Earth, please take some time to explore the essays included HERE. Granted, their point of view is quite different from the normal environmental discussion and can be very challenging to our usual ways of thinking and living. I am convinced, though, that it offers the only real hope we have. I therefore invite you to explore - and perhaps even join in developing - this different way of thinking about and living human life on Earth.

      Nature's Little Rule Book

      What will it REALLY take to tackle the human over-population crisis?

      Sustainable Development and Related Myths

      Big Green and the Problem of Politics

      Archaeologist Ronald Wright: Civilization is a pyramid scheme

      Daniel Quinn: The Boiling Frog

      Daniel Quinn: The Great Forgetting

      John Zerzan: Future Primitive

      John Zerzan: Running on Emptiness - The Failure of Symbolic Thought

      John Zerzan: Language - Origin and Meaning

      John Zerzan: Time and Its Discontents

      John Zerzan: The Case Against Art

      John Zerzan: Number - Its Origin and Evolution

      Paul Shepard: Themes of Cultural Recovery

      Not So Dumb After All

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      4.
      From: http://www.well.com/user/davidu/extinction.html

      MASS EXTINCTION UNDERWAY

      The World Wide Web's Most Comprehensive Source of Information on the Current Mass Extinction

      THE CURRENT MASS EXTINCTION:

      Human beings are currently causing the greatest mass extinction of species since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. If present trends continue one half of all species of life on earth will be extinct in 100 years. (For details see links below.)

      Scroll Down For Hundreds Of Links:

      Following the article below are more than 200 links to authoritative reports and updates about the current mass extinction. New articles are added regularly.
      (Most recent update: July 14, 2004)

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      Mass Extinction Underway, Majority of Biologists Say

      Washington Post

      April 21, 1998

      By Joby Warrick - Staff Writer

      A majority of the nation's biologists are convinced that a "mass extinction" of plants and animals is underway that poses a major threat to humans in the next century, yet most Americans are only dimly aware of the problem, a poll says.

      The rapid disappearance of species was ranked as one of the planet's gravest environmental worries, surpassing pollution, global warming and the thinning of the ozone layer, according to the survey of 400 scientists commissioned by New York's American Museum of Natural History.

      The poll's release yesterday comes on the heels of a groundbreaking study of plant diversity that concluded than at le

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