Friday, February 15, 2013

Corporate Climate Denial is Now Endangering our Children's Futures

So now we have the bitter truth we are in a race not just against the build up of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere but against the pollution industry and the billionaires who fund them. We already know that according to a recent report in The Guardian, "Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change..The funds, doled out between 2002 and 2010, helped build a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarising "wedge issue" for hardcore conservatives. The millions were routed through two trusts, Donors Trust and the Donors Capital Fund, operating out of a generic town house in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. Donors Capital caters to those making donations of $1m or more." Now we see the work of these trusts manifest themselves in state laws that are determined to overturn science just as surely as early efforts tried to overturn the teaching of evolution. According to EcoWatch "Oklahoma, Colorado and Arizona’s Legislatures are debating bills, all written by the pollution industry front group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The bills all refer to global warming as a “theory” and a “controversy” with scientific weaknesses. The Oklahoma bills say that students need to “develop critical thinking skills they need in order to become intelligent, productive and scientifically informed citizens.” As we learn in this report, "ALEC is comprised of corporate lobbyists who write bills that well-greased lawmakers then introduce to Congress and State Legislatures nation-wide. ALEC gets most of its funding from the fossil fuel industry, and its interests are solely to protect the industry’s bottom line. As Americans wake up to the reality of climate change, the corporate polluters responsible for global warming would prefer to put us back to sleep. They want us to lie in a warm blanket of cozy lies, and because their propaganda is not working as well with adults anymore, the polluters are targeting our children" Where are we as a country when money buys this kind of influence over our children's minds? It is a time to stop this notion that the Supreme Court has advanced that money is speech. Money spent by corporations to influence legislatures is not speech it is propaganda to advance their own selfish interests at the expense of the rest of us and our future.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Can a Space Eye View of the Planet Change Us?

So if we want to leap forward and change consciousness we may need to take a trip into outer space Ross Pomeroy speculates in his latest Big Think piece. All we need to do is peer out the window as we see the earth--our beautiful spot of vivid blue floating serenely in a black cosmos. As Apollo 9 astronaut Russell Schweikart told self proclaimed space philosopher, Frank Wright "When you go around the Earth in an hour and a half, you begin to recognize that your identity is with that whole thing," ..That makes a change. You look down there and you can't imagine how many borders and boundaries you cross, again and again and again, and you don't even see them. There you are -- hundreds of people in the Mideast killing each other over some imaginary line that you're not even aware of, and that you can't see." To come up with a term to describe the emotion that is created and the change that seems to occur is hard. The "Overview Effect" does not seem quite right but it is in use for now. Now psychologists Melanie Rudd and Jennifer Aaker of Stanford University and Kathleen Vohs of the University of Minnesota are studying these "feelings of awe in a laboratory setting. They found that these moments made subjects feel like they had more time available, and that time itself was slowing down. This made them more patient, less materialistic, and more willing to volunteer to help others. Take a look at this short documentary and judge the effect for yourself.

OVERVIEW from Planetary Collective on Vimeo.

I am sure Richard Branson and other entrepreneurs will want to use footage like this to sell us on buying a ticket on the next shuttle trip. After all we do live in the 21st century. Of course for the cost of the ticket we might begin to solve some problems here on planet earth. Perhaps a trip to the local iMAX theater might be a good substitute.