New Book-Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, An Ecological Perspective.

My new book is now published and available here in Paperback and Kindle
This book provides a fresh perspective on the exponential rise in depression and suicide in modern western society. It’s an alternative book for alternative people who  have tried conventional medicine or who aren’t interested in treating depression with allopathic options, and who are open to trying other options. Scientists have studied depression is in fact a normal response to a global environmental destruction, with growing scientific peer reviewed papers that confirm our degrading environment affects our mental health. There is an urgent need for humanity to reconnect with nature and change society to become more environmentally friendly. The author offers advice on how to manage depression better with nutritional advice and controversial health hacks, recommended lifestyle changes including learning the art of living after surviving grief, deep trauma, and loss.
The aim is to help the reader see their depression as a calling to look within, connect with their truer inner being and begin to nurture themselves spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Furthermore, this book invites the reader to consider their own place in human evolution and redefine their lost purpose to one that is more aligned to Ecology than to Western Materialism, to become self-empowered, not a victim of depression. We look at talk therapies and radical new alternative therapies for managing depression in a challenging world.
Contents-
Introduction
Poem-Faithful Black Dog
Chapter One- I am Not my Story
Poem-The Exiled Dissidents
Chapter Two-Corporate devolution vs Ecology
Poem-My Friend, My Shadow
Chapter Three-A Brief History of Depression
Poem-The Thief
Chapter Four- The Art of Living
Poem-The Heart’s Compass
Chapter Five- Gluten Free Living, Health the Gut, Heal the Mind
Poem-Patented Flower in a Planet Sized Laboratory
Chapter Six- Health Hacks to Avoid Inflammation and Depression
Poem-Beat Your Drum
Chapter Seven- A Look at Different Talk Therapies
Poem-Illusions of Polarities
Chapter Eight- The Therapeutic Benefits of Entheogens and CBD oil
Poem–Merging Galaxies
Chapter Nine- The Noosphere, Consciousness and Biosphere
Poem-Love
99951 word count
414 pages

by C S

Author of

The Silent Ecocide 

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, an Ecological Perspective

Carlita is an independent environmental journalist and project developer who provides information overlooked by mainstream journalism funded by political agendas, since Carlita has worked closely with indigenous groups in Latin America for the last fifteen years.

 

Evolve to Ecology News

Our Appetite for State of the Art technology is causing Ecocide, but most people are more concerned about the extinction of the cell phone instead

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Illustration by Pawel Kuczynski

Gluttony for new technology is feeding African slavery and causing extinction of rare natural elements, a  heavier price for our insatiable consumer paradise, if we buy a new cell phone device or a laptop, we are part of this destructive predator named Capitalism, the beast of ‘First World Nations’ that is driving ecocide and modern slavery.  The predator that we feed, leaves behind a trail of destructive footprints across the planet, wherever it treads to extract and deplete, natural resources. The frightening thing is, no where on Earth is left sacred, protected or untouched any more, because Corporations are able to lobby, (legally bribe) politicians to rewrite environmental laws or any law that allows corporations to access minerals, oil, gas or any other biological resource, even in the most protected national parks, environmental laws have dwindled dramatically over the last forty years. All species, all ecosystems, all natural resources are dwindling at an exponential rate, as a result of this predatory insatiable appetite.

Every day, we dispose of over 416,000 mobile devices and 142,000 computers usually disposing of them in landfills and incinerators, where as a tiny portion are recycled, stated in a recent EPA survey. A BBC Panorama program said that every year 20 to 50 million tons of e-waste is generated worldwide.

Another EPA report reveals that by recycling one million cell phones, we can recover more than 20,000 lbs of copper, 20 lbs of palladium, 550 lbs of silver, and 50 lbs of gold. Then there are these other rare elements below that will soon be extinct, if we were able to recycle computers and cell phones without worrying about license laws, but with the care of the planetary resources in mind, we could millions of tons of reduce electronic waste each year and salvage rare elements that are becoming seriously depleted.

Diagram shows the scarcity of the elements. A new periodic table sizes the boxes for each element based on their relative abundance.  Credit: EuChemS/CC BY-ND

Our over-reliance on renewing our technological devices, is driving this unfolding ecocide, the consumerism of electrical goods such as ipads, tablets and android phones. All of these electrical devices rely on a highly unethical mining industry that uses slave labour to mine and assemble electrical products in inhumane conditions; in addition to driving the destruction of the last cloud forests home of the highly endangered Silverback Gorilla populations in Africa. This is well illustrated by the story of the Silverback Gorillas in the African Congo.

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The mining of Gold, Diamonds and Coltan, (Ta on the Periodic table-geological name – Columbite Tantalite), a mineral used in the microchips of every single new electronic device, cell phone or tablet and laptop, comes from the African Congo, in the Virungas National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The African Congo has a small area of biodiverse cloud forest ecosystem, where a small group of the world’s last pocket of remaining Silverback Gorillas which lend thanks to the work of Dian Fossey who was murdered on December the 26th 1985,  her work was to preserve and protect these primates, which are critically threatened with extinction from poaching and a continually eroded habitat due to these existing ‘Conflict Minerals’ being extracted in the area.  Including the mineral Coltan used for microchips,  the western greed for constantly renewing cell phones and laptops, is responsible for  this plundering. Other rare elements such as Indium are also depleting for the same reason –

Devices like computers and smartphones. Indium, for example, is a silvery metal used to create touch screens for phones and computers. According to Cole-Hamilton, the world’s indium supply is “extremely thinly spread” across the planet and could soon dry up if we continue chucking out our old devices every few years”-LiveScience

According the the European EuChemS new Periodic table on the rarest elements,  Coltan Ta is under serious threat of disappearing within the next hundred years. Coltan Tantalite is used primarily for the production of tantalum capacitors, used in every kind of electronic devices such as mobile phones.

ta

Niobium and Coltan Tantalum have a wide range of uses, including refractive lenses for glasses, cameras, phones and printers. They are also used in semiconductor circuits, and capacitors for small electronic devices such as hearing aids, pacemakers, and mp3 players, as well as in computer hard drives, automobile electronics, and surface acoustic wave (SAW) filters for mobile phones. Coltan is also used to make high-temperature alloys for jet engines and other engine  turbines.

Coltan can only be found in a few places in the world, one of which is in Australia, which was the world’s largest producer at Wodinga Tantalum mine in Western Australia, however they closed their mine in 2012 because it is cheaper to mine Coltan using child and adult slave labour in inhumane conditions in Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo and exposing these working communities to toxic chemicals. To make matters worse for the Silverback Gorillas, the SOCO International energy company are pushing to extract gas and oil reserves from under Lake Edward in the National Park. All this, at the cost of one of the last greatest African forests and majestic Gorillas which have only been given an estimated 15 years of survival amidst the adversities they face through our lack of global responsibility to better manage conservation of critically endangered species, because minerals, gold, diamonds and oil are far more important to the world than saving the Silverback Gorillas and their forest home.

The fact that global mining companies can cut corners to make a bigger profit at the expense of an entire endangered species such as the Mountain Gorilla and at the expense of hard working African miners, who are exploited slave labourers,
shows that international environmental and human rights laws are far too flimsy and ineffective.

However, the Western world conveniently lacks humanitarian and environmental ethics in business, which in turn perpetuates slavery, species extinction and ecocide. This has come so far as corporations suing and imprisoning entrepreneurs and innovators whose mere crime is to combat human waste and planned obsolescence to attempt to create sustainable solutions.

uploadscardimage776432e2c49274-e60e-4f24-bfec-9529c7a0e44d.jpg950x534__filtersquality90Eric  Lundgren, ecological entrepreneur was imprisoned for recycling computer circuit boards into reusable computers.         Image credit-David Sprague

Eric  Lundgren,  a 33 year old e-waste entrepreneur, from Los Angeles, United States, was imprisoned in 2018 for his success in a business which achieved  recycling  of 41 million pounds of e-waste each year from major corporations such as IBM and Sprint.

Microsoft took Eric Lundgren to court where he was then served a sentence of 15 months in prison and had to pay a $50,000 fine on April the 11th 2018. Microsoft’s argument was that Lundgren could potentially damage their future sales of new computers and new software licenses, the court  ruled in favour of Microsoft saying that he had infringed on Microsoft Corp. to the sum of $700,000.

Lundgren pleaded guilty, but he stated that the value of his discs to Microsoft was zero, as Microsoft, nor any computer manufacturers, sell them. He also explained that the discs could only be used to restore the software to computers already licensed for it. The licenses are good for the life of the computer.

Right-to-repair activists want legislation to remove the manufacturing and legal barriers that make it harder for consumers to fix their stuff. When people buy used devices and keep those devices working longer, fewer natural resources are needed for manufacturing and less e-waste ends up in landfills.

Planned Obsolescence needs to be revealed for what it is. People need to wake up to the damage corporations and consumers are causing to the environment and the perpetuation of slave labour, habitat destruction for mining and as a result species extinction.

 

by Carlita Shaw

The Silent Ecocide

Legal Bribery Destroying the Environment, the Battle for Solar Power & the Alternative Energy Renaissance

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The alternative energy industry, especially the solar industry has grown exponentially since 2010 into being worth £170 billion pounds globally.  This industry is now contributing to economic development.  Utility companies have been threatened by the growth of the alternative energy industry and this has escalated into trade and policy conflicts in countless examples globally, with serious economic and political consequences. Countries have been developing the use of  protectionist policies to encourage domestic manufacturing for alternative energy opening opportunities for foreign entry into domestic markets. However, not all countries are well positioned to become competitive exporters or importers of the same green technologies due to high taxes, but if industrial policies can help create competitive domestic manufacturers, there may be direct domestic economic benefits. Opening the global market entrants can lead to more competition in the sector, and encourage further technological innovation. (Lewis, 2014).

The Renaissance of Alternative Technologies

While most people think of Solar and Wind as the main alternative technologies, we are living in an exciting time with regards to alternative energy systems, yet we have not seen these technologies being delivered onto the public market as quickly as we would like to see considering the environmental problems that many are concerned about and part of the reason is because fossil fuel markets are very powerful with a great deal of financial and political power to impede the development of other alternative energy infrastructures.  The original Water Fuel Cell was invented by Stanley Meyers back in the 1980s, he was poisoned in 1998 at a restaurant, probably by oil barons. A few years before Stanley was murdered he gave a presentation on his water fuel cells, in the presentation, Meyer describes a molecular, chemical and electrical level of  how water can be used as fuel — not just as a gas, but for domestic and industrial electrical generation. Meyers was also the holder of  40 patents. This year Honda have launched their first water fuel cell car to be available on the public market in March 2016 The water fuel cell car will be made available to the public, and there are pilot studies of solar powered roads being tested and solar cars that are powerful enough to travel over 3000 kms on solar energy that will be available on the public market in the near future.

Honda have launched the water fuel cell car in March, 2016 and this system has been demonstrated to also be able to support a domestic household with all the power it needs. However, the current lack of infrastructure worldwide to support Hydrogen fuel cell technology will need to be worked on by alternative energy supporters. What this actually means is the politicians and oil company CEOs and shareholders will not take kindly to the water fuel cell car, that can also provide domestic power to the home to finally become available to the public market, therefore they will make it difficult for hydrogen processing plants and water fuel cell stations to emerge as part of this supportive  infrastructure while those that hold the oil monopoly cards also hold places of political  decision making that stop the emergence of alternative emission free solutions that are also solutions as alternatives to consuming oil, stopping ecocide and the current mechanisms behind war. (O’Callaghan, 2014) Think about the economical implications this would have on the current oligarchy monopoly on grid electricity power companies and oil stakeholders, when oil companies presently rake in 100,000 dollars per hour in profits. An astronomical amount of fortune that the world powers will defend with severe vehemence to protect a lucrative income, even if it will cost us the destructive to the Planet.

Justin Hall-Tipping’s innovation, nanotechnology will put an end to nuclear and coal power stations, turning a window into a power station to produce all your power needs or send others energy if they need it.

Other technological breakthroughs include developments in Nanotechnology. The entrepreneur, Justin Hall-Tipping, sought out the world’s leading nanotechnology scientists to harness the electron and create energy through nanotechnology, now they have a company called Nanoholdings, which consists of team of scientists, investors and innovators working at the cutting-edge of nanotechnology to develop solutions to the world’s growing energy problems. Working in partnership with the world’s best universities, they have developed products and companies that will revolutionize the way we use and generate energy.  The days of the coal or nuclear power stations are numbered as nanotechnologies are developing. Imagine you live in a building that has very large windows, you can use each window much like a solar panel, simply by using a thin plastic film with energy harnessing systems, embedded inside the film as fine or finer than a human hair, the plastic sheet can be stuck onto the window panes of a house or office building to use the light and heat energy beaming in through the window. This becomes a powerhouse using nanotechnology to convert light energy from the sun to power up the building for heat or to cool or generate electricity and if it is not required there, it can then be sent to someone else who needs it more. (Hall-Tipping, 2011).

Photo: Courtesy of Solar Pulse 2

This year, a Solar powered plane flew from Hawaii across the Pacific Ocean to California after flying around the world (Associated Press, 2016) The Plane called Solar Impulse 2 completed its world circumnavigated with 17,000 solar cells in the wing and tail; during the day the cells on the wing supply the motors with energy and charge lithium batteries, which power the plane at night (Ingber, 2015).

In Santiago, Chile is opening the world’s first Solar and Wind powered train, in 2018, (Holder, 2016). Such innovations will have a large impact on societies and are perceived as major threats to the utility industries which are part of a politically powerful global monopoly, usually investor owned utilities that politicians and lobby agencies have stakeholds in, these are the political  and financial constraints that hold back humanity becoming 100 per cent sustainable, it’s not because we lack technologies or are hindered by technological developments, on the contrary, we have plenty of options, the obstacles are political and usually protect well established corporate interests. (Sierra Club, 2014).

More and more Free Energy devices are emerging all over the world, Countries like India and China are not going along with the repression of Free Energy. While, in America, the privately owned Patent Office is reported to have already managed to suppress some 44,000 American free-energy patents.

Meanwhile, since Tesla’s work was repressed, scientists and inventors have been creating alternative energy systems for 180 years. Inventions that defy  the theories of physics that humanity adopted as laws, Paramahamsa Tewari is Chief Project Engineer of the Kaiga Project, Karwar, India, he and many other alternative energy scientists have already disproved the mainstream beliefs of the laws of physics.

He states “It has been hitherto believed in physics that the total electric charge in the Universe is a constant quantity, and if additional charge appears in some region, it is only at the expense of the charge deficit in some other regions. It is a basic law that electric charge is conserved and cannot be destroyed or created. Precise experiments on a Space Power Generator (SPG) which has been now further developed to demonstrate the commercial viability of the newly discovered phenomenon of space power generation however, totally violate the existing law of conservation of charge, by generating output electrical power much in excess of the input electrical power. Since electric charge is a form of basic energy, the law of conservation of energy will need to be enlarged to incorporate in it the dynamics of absolute vacuum which in a state of rotation generates a fundamental field to produce electrical charge and energy” -Paramahamsa Tewari, (Naik, 2002).

Conflicts with Solar vs Utilities (Fossil Fuels & the Oil-garch)

We will focus mainly on the conflicts between utilities and solar power which are being slowed down by political and corporate conflict of interests. Despite this, there is a positive outlook for the booming Solar Photovoltaics industry which in 2015, exceeded the nuclear power energy production. In the UK almost 90% of our energy comes from fossil fuels. Together, projects to cut Carbon Emissions such as Power Down and Power Up with the goal to eliminate all emissions from our energy system. Renewable energy provides a primary energy supply before conversion losses of around 1,160 TWh per year, allowing us to meet 100% of a final energy demand of 770 TWh per year (665 TWh per year, not including ambient heat for use in heat pumps) using only ‘zero carbon’ energy sources. Wind energy plays a central role, providing around half of the primary energy supply (581 TWh per year). (Center for Alternative Energy, 2014). The rest is generated using various renewable sources of energy, the UK could step up and follow Germany’s and China’s example, by installing more solar and wind, it would also benefit greatly from utilizing wave power. Despite the above project initiatives no one wants to take note of the fact that Governments and banks gain around 33 trillion in profit, a year from trading carbon and taxing emissions. Pushing the Global Warming Agenda is a profitable business and an excuse to keep using geoengineering which is poisoning ecosystems globally and unnecessarily blocking out the sun, is this really to cool the planet or is it another excuse to discourage solar energy?

The system of taxing and trading carbon does not remedy the root of the problem, while the emphasis is on carbon emissions in the public arena instead of consumption of Oil, the root cause to these critical environmental problems are blatantly ignored, it is the consumption of oil which is causing ecocide and influencing ecocide  and ecosystem collapse of the planet.

Global oil consumption is the highest it has ever been in human history, in 2010 the world oil consumption was at a rate of 87 million barrels of oil per day,(Rapier, 2014),  in six years of profitable wars for the global elite this has currently increased to 97 million barrels of oil a day, this year 2016. (EIA 2015), That is almost a 100 million barrels per day drained from the Earth. Despite this, we already have exciting fossil fuel alternatives appearing in vehicles, so there really is no need for us to rely so heavily on oil anymore. In the U.S. utilities have attempted to slow the growth of distributed generation (DG) solar by reversing policy support, and they have greater financial and political resources than the fledging solar industry. Energy companies with power and resources have attempted various strategies to slow the growth of DG solar,  the result vary by strategy type and also depends on the policies in various US States.

Niche organizations can somewhat overcome the political power of regime organizations through various options, to  form coalitions with political parties that support the niche technologies, or gain support from countervailing industrial organizations, and form coalitions with social movements to mobilize political protests and petitions. The political opportunity structure (in this case the party in control of the state government), affects the pattern of niche-regime strategies and interactions. Utility industries such as electricity exercise a strong influence on the development of Solar Technology.

Motivation for support for Solar Technology is in the policy arena reflecting the need to find solutions to environmental sustainability issues in ways that create jobs and enhance competitiveness. When powerful industrial regimes attempt to defend their business-as-usual models, political consensus for this justification for Solar can break down. What are the political strategies available to niche organizations and their coalitions? Some strategies implemented by the fossil industries are that the utilities continue to create obstacles for the Solar Technology market favored by consumers, who have the right to choose to support the transition of technologies for the  environment. The utilities are conveniently ignoring the environmental benefits of Solar technologies and the avoided costs in new non-solar generation and transmission.

Despite this attempts to gain monopoly control over solar energy, such as the legislative effort in the Washington State and  Iowa,  have been unsuccessful.  (Hess, 2015). However, there are some specific dimensions to the issue that make the analysis of the U.S. cases interesting. For example in the USA,  the Koch-brothers-funded front groups like American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) make it hard for home owners to convert to solar because of the punishing rates they endorse when people attempt to do so, which make the possibility of Solar powered states like Nevada and Arizona lag behind many others, the same situation with Florida, one of the warmest state in the USA, because the Solar market again has been hemmed out with similar techniques by Investor owned fossil fuel companies that have wealth and substantial political power as a result.

Key policies that have spurred a rooftop solar revolution elsewhere in America are absent or actually illegal in Florida.  Another example where utilities have the power to prevent a mandate in Florida for electricity from renewable power. Worse, the state’s restrictive monopoly utility law forbids anyone but the power companies from buying and selling electricity. Landlords cannot sell power from solar panels to tenants. Popular solar leasing programs like those offered by SolarCity and Sunrun are outlawed. Rooftop solar is limited to those who can afford the upfront expense; as a result, fewer than 9,000 Florida homes have panels installed. (Dickenson, 2016). The USA produces around 25 gigawatts of solar energy and is concern with China and Germany becoming  leaders in alternative energy produced by wind and solar,  China this year has overtaken Germany as the world’s leading solar energy producer with an installed capacity of over 43.2 gigawatts (GW) according to the latest statistics from the National Energy Administration (NEA).

Germany produces about  38.4 gigawatts. (Lindon, 2016). The phenomenon with Solar technology is that nanotechnology is developing rapidly that it has elevated the Solar industry so fast as new ways to trap more of the sun’s energy into more powerful cells and convert it into more electricity per cell.

Lobbying should be illegal since it erodes democracy, but Lobbying is a legal form of bribery where corporations can funnel millions to politicians, to influence their decisions and make them rewrite environmental laws to suit the access needs of fossil fuel companies. The utilities companies funnel millions or billions of dollars though lobbying agencies, a lobbying agency serves as a legal way to bribe or influence the decisions of politicians, so basically a corporation with enough power and money can buy one politician or a whole party to help the company get the outcome they want, (Sierra Club, 2014). Arizona Public Service disclosed to the PUC that its parent corporation had spent $3.7 million on the solar battle that year. (Hess, 2015) They spent $3.5 billion lobbying in the USA . A group of 167 organizations with almost $3.5 billion of disclosed lobbying spend in the USA, are also engaged in lobbying and public affairs activity in the UK.

Research by Who’s Lobbying in the UK has identified at least 167 organizations with disclosed lobbying activity in both the UK and USA. In the U.S. the utility industry spent over $21 million in lobbying campaign donations in 2014 in comparison with the roughly $2 million spent by the entire sector of renewable energy industries (Center for Responsive Politics, 2015). Yet, even with these Goliath advantages, the utilities have not always ended policy support for DG solar and contained its rapid growth (Hess, 2015)

When Tony Blair was in power, he was deeply involved with Egypt and Israel’s gas industry as an energy advisor, it was recently revealed that they are involved with plundering Gaza’s gas ocean-based reserves, which Israel is planning on selling to Egypt. The Labour Party, received up to 2.5 million pounds in  lobbying donations  in less than a year, from energy giants. (Ahmed, 2015) In the USA these 167 organizations have a combined disclosure of $3,499,731,804 total amount spent on lobbying and lobbying firms hired. (Sierra Club, 2014).  The UK lobbying system is less transparent and will not disclose the amount of money spent by corporations on politicians (Whose Lobbying, 2012). In the UK almost 90% of our energy comes from fossil fuels. Together, projects to cut Carbon Emissions such as Power Down and Power Up with the goal to eliminate all emissions from our energy system.  (CAE, 2014)

While the governments focus on cutting carbon emissions, the focus needs to be on cutting oil consumption in order to cut emissions. Global oil consumption is the highest it has ever been in human history, in 2010 the world oil consumption was at a rate of 87 million barrels of oil per day, (Rapier, 2014) which has currently increased to 97 million barrels of oil a day this year 2016. (EIA 2015), That is almost a 100 million barrels per day drained from the Earth. Despite this, we already have exciting fossil fuel alternatives appearing in vehicles, so there really is no need for us to rely so heavily on oil anymore. British Shell Petroleum, which is just one of dozens of different oil companies, makes a net profit of about one hundred million pounds an hour.  (Mann, 2015). This is one of the reasons why there is so much resistance to developing infrastructures for water fuel cell and solar vehicles.

Summary

It is not surprising that geopolitical-economic conflicts have emerged when the foundation of wealth was built on the fossil fuel industry. While the Oil-garchy will continue different strategies to try to keep things as they are and in some cases, the incentives for conflict may overpower the incentives for cooperation, efforts for continuing to take a collaborative approach to work with major trading partners or coalitions may defuse tensions that lead to feuds before the World Trade Organization or other controlled institutions, (Lewis, 2015).

This battle has  been paralleled with the famous story of David and Golliath, instead this battle is between fledgling alternative energy technologies and the Oil-garch giants.  Where there is a will, there is a way. There are more of us than there are of the global elite despite the power they claim to yield and as increasing demand for Solar innovations spreads and as technology is rapidly accelerating along with other nanotechnological innovations for Free Energy, the build up may be to the explosive variety of alternatives flooding the market which will have the effect of collapsing the current system because it already cannot control the diversity of  new technologies. During global collapse of ecosystems and the unfolding environmental crisis, we must embrace a change from the current energy monopoly which is causing ecocide for a transition to an ecologically sustainable and transparent economy, we are witnessing this transition albeit a warlike one, the diversity of  innovations, in response to the environmental crisis is overwhelming, alternative energy will prevail with persistence, demand and growing awareness.

by  Carlita Shaw

Author and Ecologist

References

Ahmed, N. (March, 2015), How Blair’s Egyptian gas gambit advances the Israeli energy empire . Middle East Eye. Last accessed, February 20th 2016    http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/how-blair-s-egyptian-gas-gambit-advances-israeli-energy-empire-1084496693#sthash.GBn2D1DX.dpuf >.

Dickinson, T. (Feb, 11, 2016). The Koch Brothers’ Dirty War on Solar Power. Rolling Stones Magazine. Issue 1255: February 25, 2016. Hall-Tipping.J. (2011). Ted Talks. July. Last accessed. Feb 2016. https://www.ted.com/talks/justin_hall_tipping_freeing_energy_from_the_grid?language=en >

Hess, D. (September, 2015). The politics of niche-regime conflicts: Distributed solar energy in the United States . Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions .Elsevier. 19 (2016) 42–50

Holder, (2016). Santiago metro system to become world’s first powered by wind and solar. Business Green. Last accessed 26th May 2016   <http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2459193/santiago-metro-system-to-become-worlds-first-powered-by-wind-and-solar>

Ingber, S, ( April, 2015) This Solar-Powered Plane is Currently Circumnavigating the World. Smithsonian Magazine. Last accessed 26th May, 2016. <http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/solar-powered-plane-circumnavigate-world-180954587/?no-ist >

Lewis. J. (November 2014). The Rise of Renewable Energy Protectionism: Emerging Trade Conflicts and Implications for Low Carbon Development. Global Environmental Politics 14:4.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lindon, H, (2016). China Now World’s Largest Solar PV Market, With 43.2 GW Of Installed Capacity. Industry News. 18th Feb. Last accessed 26th May <http://sustainnovate.ae/en/industry-news/detail/nea-china-now-worlds-largest-solar-pv-market-with-43.2-gw-of-installed-capa>

Mann, H. (2015). Shell Oil Profit- Comparing British BP with Shell Oil profits. Interactive Investor.  25ThJuly. Last accessed November 2015 <www.iii.co.uk/articles/182699/shell-vs-bp-who-wins>

Naik,M.H (2002) – Nuclear engineer out to rewrite laws of physics. Feb 12th, 2002. Times of India, O’Callaghan, J. (2014). ‘Honda shows off new hydrogen fuel cell car that goes on sale in 2016 – and it can even power your House’. 19th November. Accessed Jan 2016. online <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2840735/Honda-shows-new-hydrogen-fuel-cell-car-Vehicle-sale-2016-looks-like-s-escaped-sci-fi-film.html>

Orwig, J. (2016), The 2 most dangerous numbers in the Universe could signal the end of physics. Business Insider. Accessed March 20th <http://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-end-of-physics-as-we-know-it-2016-1>

Rapier, R. (Jul, 10th 2014), World Sets New Oil Production and Consumption Records, accessed 12  December 2014,<http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2014/07/10/world-sets-new-oil-production-and-consumption-records/>.Energy Trends Insider 2016.

Sierra Club (March, 2014) Polluting our Democracy and our Environment. Published by Sierra Club & Oil Change. http://www.sierraclub.org/democracy-program/polluting-our-democracy-and-our-environment-dirty-fuels-money-politics. Last accessed March 2016

The Associated Press. (24th April, 2016), Solar-powered plane completes journey across Pacific Ocean. Phys Org. < http://phys.org/news/2016-04-solar-powered-plane-journey-pacific-ocean.html>

Who’s Lobbying  2012. They spent $3.5 billion lobbying in the USA – what’s their activity in the UK? Accessed 26th May 2016.<http://blog.whoslobbying.com/post/18488136446/4billion-lobbying-spend>

The World’s Worst Oil Spills, Ramifications & Amazing Alternative Solutions.

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map courtesy of infogram

Last year marked a record breaking year for the amount of oil extracted globally, between 98,000 and 100,000 barrels of oil are taken from the Earth per day. All the manufactured wars on terrorism provide the rich with as much cheap oil as they can control across the globe. As oil makes oil barons and their political stakeholders millions in profit per year, there is very little consideration given to environmental consequences or health risks when there are grand scale oil spills.

Forty miles off the Louisiana coastline, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig sank on the 22nd of April 2010 and caused one of the largest scale oil spills in the US, stretching over 1,100 square miles, while BP oil made several unsuccessful attempts to cap and plug the blown hole. Over 2.5 million gallons a day were pouring out into the Gulf ocean causing ecocide until the well was capped on July 15, 2010. No one ever investigated why it had to take almost three months to plug and the devastation of sea life still hasn’t quite recovered 6 years on let alone the fishing economy, thousands of people lost work and property value. When there are large scale oil spills like this where toxic dispersants are also used afterwards, the toxicity in the water can cause outbreaks of flesh-eating bacteria Vibrio vulnificus which causes dangerous infections, it does not reflect well on the oil companies and government departments responsible for ensuring public safety and addressing serious public health concerns and this has been a regular problem with outbreaks in the Gulf of Mexico since the oil spill. Records kept by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the number of cases of Vibriosis nearly doubled between 2008 and 2012 – rising from 588 to 1,111.

Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill_-_May_24,_2010_-_wit.jpg
Satellite Image for reuse, public domain, Wikipedia images.

Then on January the 19th, 1991, the worlds largest oil spill occurred, over 380-520 million gallons of oil were released into the Arabian Gulf/Kuwait, Persian Gulf by Iraqi military who opened the valves of the oil pipes to try and prevent the US marines from landing to start war and claim control of the pipeline, this resulted in the largest oil spill in the last few decades and complete ecocide of the Persian Gulf ocean with over 4 inches of oil slick resting just on the surface spread out over a distance of 4000 square miles.

Then there was the Exxon Valdez supertanker which collided with a reef just off the Alaskan coast on march the 4th, in 1989 causing over 11 million gallons of crude into Prince William Sound and killing thousands of seabirds, marine mammals and ocean life.

These are just a few, in total there have been ten major oil spills globally since 1989, not including hundreds of smaller ones. Before 1989 the last major spills there were ten more large scale spills stretching back to 1979, which would mean writing a very long list according to the first map, there have been 4,500,000 over just 50 years, that doesn’t include statistics of smaller scale spills especially in developing countries in South America where much of these spills happen in the Amazon rain forest which stretches over Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru, these countries are areas where such spills are not even noticed by the media, yet this is where thousands of oil spills have occurred over the last few decades decimating one of the most bio- diverse areas of forest in the world. Texaco-Chevron started drilling in 1963. Chevron saved money by intentionally by-passing environmental risk protocols which would have been normal legal procedure in the USA. In the process they destroyed the area of the Ecuadorian rain forest affecting five indigenous tribes and polluting their ancestral land and rivers with billions of gallons of oil and waste water over a number of years, waste that went into the Amazon Rivers and land surface, instead of pumping it back underground. These methods are deemed sub-standard and toxic to human and environmental health around the world.

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Photo by Caroline Bennett, (public domain for reuse courtesy of Rain forest Network on Flickr).

As a result during 1993, indigenous Ecuadorians took Texaco-Chevron to court over environmental and health damages after they had become victims of an on-going long-endured oil disaster, the likes of which had never been seen before: Compensation and environmental restoration still has not been received despite 18 years of legal battles with the people of Ecuador – some 30,000 indigenous people and mestizo (mixed ancestry) settlers.

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Photo copyright of author Carlita Shaw, 2012, Ecuadorian Amazon.

The Ecuadorian plaintiffs accused Texaco-Chevron, of dumping 18 billion gallons of toxic waste water and spilling about 17 million gallons of crude oil into the rain forest during its operations in Ecuador from 1964 to 1990. These illegal actions contaminated the soil, groundwater, rivers and streams in the area and this is still causing cancer, horrible congenital defects and abortions among the indigenous population, it was called the rain forest Chernobyl. Another reason why oil spills are so commonplace in Ecuador is that they are carried out on purpose because there are insurance claims available and money for “cleaning up the spill”. Also official statistics of world oil spills do not truly account for the sheer scale of true spills unaccounted for in developing countries where some governments have hidden them if they were not too noticeable by outsiders.

Most people are unaware that Petroleum contains traces of Uranium according to the Geological Survey Professional Paper 356 B, Uranium and Other Trace Elements in Petroleum and Rock Asphalts by Kenneth G. Bell published in 1960, investigations were done in testing the crude oil uranium content at Table Mountain in Utah, USA and at Temple Mountain, Utah, scientists reported uranium contents of 32,000; 30,000; 50,000; and 67,000 ppb (parts per billion) for samples of crude oil extracted from sand stones in the region. This is one example, uranium content in this area was higher than in most crude oils, the concentration of which depends on the geology of where the drilling and extraction is. However, the point is, when there is an oil rig drilling daily or when you have a gas station even where you are filling up your car, oil still leaks into the ground and over time uranium deposits accumulate contaminating the soil and water table, this in turn builds up to radiation levels that can potentially cause environmental and health risks. So with this in mind and taking another look at the USA map below showing over 3000 oil spills, it’s a serious human health and environmental health problem and cancer in those areas but it is never ever talked about in the media or by politicians.

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There have been over 3000 oil and gas spills in the USA since 2010. Google map layers, public domain.

The Solution

The alternative to cars running on oil are the current new market of water based hydrogen fuel cell cars, there are several to choose from, one made by Genepax in 2011 could run on seawater and green tea even before Fukushima happened. Another two Japanese cars have been launched by Honda and Toyota, and the Honda car can travel 400 miles before needing 3 minute charging at stations and can provide power from the fuel cell for a domestic house also, possibly based on Stanley Meyers original designs before he died. General Motors and Mercedes-Benz are expected to enter the market in 2017. Ford, Nissan and Volkswagen also are developing electric-drive cars fueled by hydrogen gas. South Korean automaker Hyundai has also produced a hydrogen fuel cell car. In 2014, members of the Pakistani parliament, scientists, and students alike watched in awe as Waqar Ahmad, a Pakistani engineer, successfully demonstrated a hydrogen fuel cell powered car in Islamabad. With just one liter of water, Ahmad claims that a 1000 cc car could cover a distance of 40 km, or a motorbike could travel 150 km.

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Solar powered vehicle on display, (courtesy of Flickr, image for reuse by J.Ross 2008)

If you live in a country where there is lots of sun, you might consider instead a solar powered car, some of which can run for thousands of miles. Even more innovative is a solar powered road. Five years ago Scott Brusaw from California, USA, gave a talk with Ted Talks, presenting the ‘Solar Roadway Project’, which is a project where ‘green’ Engineers have been working to produce solar-powered roads and cars that could even provide power for homes and businesses and eventually villages and towns. The Australian world Solar Challenge is a competition that takes place yearly and recently was won by a Dutch Solar company named Eindhoven, which has built a solar-powered vehicle called ‘Stella’ and which is designed for families and traveled over 3000 miles across Australia without any problems.

The alternatives are already here, that is not the issue, the problem is the need for people to campaign to politicians (the most influential of which are stakeholders in oil and gas reserves), for the infrastructure to be built in order to support clean vehicle alternatives. This is even more reason for people to campaign and push for alternative infrastructures to be put in place for cleaner energy cars that have been made available to the public; the only reason they are not being used by everyone is because there is pressure by politicians and oil companies to repress recharging stations being built in every single town or city globally. There is a global systematic pressure from oil stakeholders in politics to prevent these alternatives but if local communities start campaigning and pressuring for stronger infrastructures this will help empower people to choose for themselves and make the transition from oil to cleaner alternatives easier.

by Carlita Shaw
Author, Deep Ecologist

The Silent Ecocide, a crisis of human consciousness

The Escazu Agreement – environmental and human rights

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Image Source Amnesty International South America

Well over due in a time when in South America the death rate and torture of environmental activists is the highest anywhere in the world, I have personally witnessed the wrongful imprisonment, torture, loss and deaths of many of my colleagues to this and although this is a step forward, it is still very much a painful reality in Latin America. The article below comes from Amnesty International. I hope that this helps those of us who have given our lives to this cause, however it will not replace the freedom lost by those currently imprisoned or bring back the hundreds of thousands that have died  for defending the protection of nature.

”Twelve countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have signed the Escazu Agreement into an important victory for the environment and human rights that should inspire the rest of the region to follow its example, Amnesty International said today.
Argentina, Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Saint Lucia and Uruguay have signed the treaty today, at the first opportunity, at the beginning of the meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York, while the Dominican Republic and Haiti have also committed to signing in the next few hours.
“As the first regional environmental treaty in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Escazú Agreement sets a historic precedent to guarantee the right of all people to a clean and healthy environment, making sure that all voices can be heard when it is time to take important decisions that affect us all, “said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director of Amnesty International.
“The leadership of the twelve countries that have signed the agreement today should serve as inspiration for the rest of the region and the world. We urge all other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to follow their example without delay, for the survival and well-being of current and future generations. ”
Adopted on March 4, 2018 in San Jose, Costa Rica, by representatives of 24 countries including Ecuador, the treaty implements Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration, adopted at the Earth Summit in 1992, by establishing safeguards for access rights to the information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters. The agreement also imposes specific obligations to protect from threats and attacks to people who defend human rights related to the environment, to investigate and punish any aggression against these people, and to guarantee their rights to life and personal integrity, as well as the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, movement, expression and association.
“The Escazú Agreement is the first treaty in history that includes specific provisions to protect those who defend the environment, setting an example for the entire world. It represents a vital opportunity to establish accountability for human rights violations related to the environment, “Erika Guevara Rosas continued.
“But the mere signing of the Treaty is not enough. The signatory countries must ratify it now without delay and take concrete measures to ensure that it lives up to its ambitious ideals and that decisions on the environment truly reflect the opinions, needs and rights of the people most affected. ”
As of today, the 33 states of Latin America and the Caribbean have the opportunity to sign the agreement at the UN headquarters in New York. To enter into force, at least 11 countries must sign and ratify it before September 27, 2020.”—Amnesty International.

UK Activists Jailed after Peaceful Protest against Fracking

710759-640x380.scale_type-center_cropImage source

UK anti-fracking campaigners have been jailed for taking part in a peaceful protest against Cuadrilla. The four men were charged after taking part in a four-day direct action protest blocking a convoy of trucks to the area.

Simon Roscoe Blevins, 26, and Richard Roberts, 36, have been sentenced to 16 months in prison, Richard Loizou, 31, was sentenced to 15 months on Wednesday after being convicted of causing a public nuisance by a jury at Preston crown court in August. Another defendant, Julian Brock, 47, was given a 12-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to the same offence. Three of these men will be the first people to be put in jail in Britain after a protest since the 1930s.

”Protest is like a safety valve for democracy, we wouldn’t have had the vote, we wouldn’t have ended slavery, we wouldn’t have had civil rights, we wouldn’t have had a decent working week, we wouldn’t have had half the parks and open spaces we actually have around the country if it wasn’t for protest, protest is what keeps the government in check, it is a very reasonable check for corporate power and for that influence corporate power has on the government, it’s an essential thing in a healthy democracy.”

What are the environmental and health concerns with Fracking?

Potential environmental impacts as a result of fracking, include subsurface water contamination with thermogenic methane and risks from chemical additives to fracturing fluids which, could have adverse health effects. These factors are exacerbated by air pollution and air quality degradation, as well as soil contamination from involved radioactive materials. The large quantities of water required to make gas wells productive, (an average 15.91 million litres of water ), leads to concerns that fracking will intensify risks to water-stressed regions and negatively impact upon increased water taxes and prices. Seismic risks, such as those experienced in the Northwest of England in 2011 after shale exploration company Cuadrilla’s fracking activities.

Shale gas also has significant implications for global climate change. Natural gas produces approximate 45% lower CO2 emissions per British thermal unit (Btu) than coal, alongside lower levels of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and mercury. Concerns over fugitive methane emissions are also an issue, as are methane which exacerbates the global greenhouse effect and diminishes local air quality.

Profit over civil liberties and the rights of Nature

Some key government figures politicians and corporate stakeholders are arm in arm with oil and gas companies worldwide. Politicians and oil barons are often one of the same, British Petrol has close ties to the government. The UK Conservative government spent 46 per cent of money on fossil fuels overseas while barely more than a fifth was spent on renewable energy sources. The Conservative party is heavily reliant on lobbying from fossil fuel companies, cash donations from bankers, investors and hedge funds.

After recent discoveries over indigenous oil and gas reserves in the Northern and Southern parts of the UK for example it is estimated there is up to 100 billion barrels of oil onshore beneath southern England . The UK government projections are invested in local indigenous oil and gas reserves which they want to increase extraction by 2035. This is for an estimated 20 billion barrels of indigenous oil and gas at a revenue of over £290 billion , not including the 100 billion barrels of oil beneath southern England.

Since 2015, Cuadrillo was given political support and license from the National Government in London as a result civilians protesting for the protection of the environment and human health concerns cannot stand in the way of government and energy giant investments in corporate profits.

The Labour party were no better when they were in power, Tony Blair was deeply involved with Egypt and Israel’s gas industry as an energy advisor, it was revealed that they were involved with plundering Gaza’s gas ocean-based reserves, which Israel is planning on selling to Egypt. The Labour Party received up to 2.5 million pounds in donations in less than a year from energy giants as a means to influence a privileged few in their environmental policies to become more flexible for energy industries.

The same thing happens in the USA, Oil companies pay politicians through lobbying agencies to influence their policy making decisions, it’s really a legalized form of bribery so that corporations can own politics and bypass environmental protection laws, this is why we are seeing ecocide and mass extinction at an unprecedented rate between 150 and 200 species are disappearing per day. Brazil’s supreme court has just banned Corporations from donating money to political elections. This is a great example of how to deal with this high level of corruption and should be made an international law to protect the environment.

You could say that the most powerful government positions are mostly filled by those who either run oil companies or are connected to the families of those who run oil and gas companies. Their goal is to make sure that our society stays in a kind of stasis, dependent on oil and gas, as it keeps the present governments in power, and generates for them a huge financial profit at a cost we all are paying for our health being affected, by global environmental destruction. This addiction to power and money through oil sales, is an addiction each of us are a part of, even if it is involuntary, but it is costing us the very Earth on which we live. We need to push local government and national governments towards sustainable alternatives, we need to pressure law makers to change the laws to protect nature. Our capitalist governments and western society has regressed to become a corporate oligarchy that is not only robbing us of our human liberties but is also driving us to global ecocide. Environmental protection is not a crime, it is a necessity in an age where corporate greed is causing ecocide. Meanwhile, these men have been put in prison for fighting to protect the environment and human health.

Please support these young men and our right to protest, and need to protect the environment against corporate greed. 

Sign the Petition for an Inquiry into the declining space for civil society to oppose the UK Fracking industry

by

Carlita Shaw

 

Further reading

Oil and Gas Stakehold Blueprint for government 2017

Revealed: BP’s close ties with the UK government

Oil wells in England’s green and pleasant land: Kemp

The Silent Ecocide, a crisis of consciousness

A Different Perspective on Depression and the Ecology of Human Consciousness

GirlWritinginCreek

An aspect of Deep Ecology is Eco-psychology or Eco-therapy and it takes into account our internal emotional and mental state and how this is creating our external environment. You may have had feelings of being unfulfilled, deepening apathy, depression, loss, anxiety and despair. Perhaps these feelings are rooted in the belief that we are separate from nature? It is understandable, considering the current world situation. Anyone that is not deeply saddened by current global events are either in denial or very disconnected from the Earth and their true nature. Many of us are going through different stages of this reaction process, yet most of us are unaware and not realising that these are psychological symptoms of the collective unconscious, or Noosphere, (Prinston University have a department that specialize in studying Human Consciousness which they call the Noosphere).

The World Health Organization states that over 1 million people commit suicide per year and that Depression is now the third biggest mental health problem of people. This is a reaction to the world in its current state of ecocide (apocalypse).
We may think that these feelings of frustration, anger, grief and depression are a reflection of personal problems but they are not, the bigger picture is that depression is not a disease, it is an indication that human consciousness needs to change, these symptoms reflect that something is deeply wrong with modern society.

The toxicity and predatory nature of modern capitalism has created these symptoms in our collective unconscious. Depression is an indication that Human understanding of itself in relation to the natural world, needs to change. Some people refer to depression as a ‘disease’. It is not a disease, but more chemical and emotional imbalance of the body and brain in response to environmental stress, normally affected by long-term stress, deep trauma or grief, for some it is difficult to diagnose the root cause.

(1) Dr John Grohol defines depression for those who insist on calling it a disease.

“These things are called disorders, not diseases, for a reason. A disorder simply means something that is out of the ordinary, which depression and other mental disorders are. They are more specifically a cluster of symptoms that research has shown to correlate highly with a specific emotional state.”- Dr Grohol.

Furthermore, should it really be referred to as a ‘mental illness’ either? Through my research and personal experiences, depression is an understandable psychological reaction to the stress and violent deformities of the modern world.
The most valuable activities that can help, are spending time in nature or in the company of animals, writing and creating and being as honest with one’s self or one’s true nature as possible and developing a deeper sense of self-awareness. If one doesn’t feel in touch with one’s true nature, just go with what makes you feel happy, comfortable or what inspires you, even the smallest thing helps point towards your truer nature.

Obviously, getting to the possible triggers and issues of depression help, such as recovering from anger, trauma and grief are signals that point towards the root cause of the problem. Diet is also a large contributing factor, the gut is the basis of the Human Immune system and Serotonin is produced in the Gut. When a person is sensitive to Wheat Gluten and Dairy, it is very likely they also suffer from depression and changing one’s diet and eating habits can help heal depressive tendencies.

People whom suffer from depression are usually highly aware and sensitive folk who are creatively gifted or perceptive in some way. As a result they are people who find it difficult to feel that they fit anywhere in the forms or archetypes dictated by society – a society that places value on things that are leading humanity and the environment to destruction. People who suffer from depression find it difficult to connect with others on a personal level and mostly they are simply overwhelmed and disheartened by the amount of injustice, destruction, greed, cruelty and abuse that goes on in an increasingly hostile world, so if you know someone who is depressed, the best way to support them is find ways to connect with that person on a deeper level if at all possible or encourage them to do activities with you in nature if they don’t like to be alone.

A number of environmental scientists such as (2) Dr. Stephan Harding, a deep ecologist, like myself, sees the value in needing to restore our lost connection with Earth and understand that we are all part of one greater consciousness. In an early interview Dr Stephan Harding said ”there is something wrong with you if you are not profoundly saddened or depressed by the state of things at the moment”. So if you are not feeling even a tinge of sadness with the current state of our world, then you are either in denial or deeply removed from your emotions. So it is in fact healthier to respond with depression at some stage in one’s life, at least it shows a degree of empathy and compassion and an acknowledgement of our global reality.

We are living in the sixth greatest mass extinction. Anthropogenic activity is destroying the oceans, ripping apart the last of the Rainforests and indigenous people, we are seeing the largest scale ecocide unfolding. The amount of torture and abuse that our fellow creatures suffer at our own hands, is just overwhelming, let alone the killing, torturing, abusing and trafficking of men, women and children worldwide, innocent victims of insane wars, exploitation and slavery.

It is important to understand the unconscious psychological impact of the current ensuing chaos on each of us, as we now have the internet and technologies which bring such information into our awareness. Some of the emotions we feel we may not even be conscious of, as they are a collective conscious reaction to a daily external violence and exploitation, which may stir feelings of grief or guilt, especially if we feel inept or feel we are unable to do anything about many of these issues, our severed connection with mother Earth and our lost ancient knowledge of whom we are and where we have come from.

adbustsers_90_consumerzombie_sConsumer zombie- Courtesy of Artist Aeryn James Davies, at Ravanna.

The illusion of our separation from nature has created a very ill and absurd world. It is also disturbing that many people are unstirred, almost completely oblivious to what is going on, and just continue about their day, as if the world is going to stay as it is forever, while those of us that are acutely aware of what is unfolding around us, try to manage our reaction to it.
We have been made to feel nothing more than human commodities by society, we are referred to as mere ”consumers” by a capitalist imperial system. We must be obedient and told that our only value in the modern world, is as a good worker and consumer, whose taxes go to destructive exploits that we have no say to, our privacy is invaded in case we act criminally, yet many governments continue to enjoy privacy and operate corruption behind closed doors above and beyond the law.

Our human rights are being fast eroded and many of us cannot even imagine a different world. If we really lived in a fairly just and free world, would we need to adhere to a list of human rights anyway? It is a challenge to imagine that we can rise above these lower vibrations. The ecological unconscious where our natural feelings of connection to the world of nature and other organisms rest, are connected to what the biologist (3) E.O. Wilson calls ‘biophilia’. People who are the opposite of biophilic, are those that prefer the man-made comforts to nature and therefore are ‘biophobic.’

(4) “Biophilic and biophobic tendencies are a marker of culture (Wilson, 1993) and if we take the assumptions made by various commentators (Foucault, 1964; Horwitz, 2002; Rind & Yuill, 2012), that mental health is a product of its culture, the connection is clearer still. The problems of mental health are shown to be increasing the world over (Desjarlais et al, 1995), whilst biophilia as a hypothesis can answer this to a degree, it provides many other answers, namely to do with the origin of many of these conditions that we are experiencing.’’- Douglas Radmore, (2014).

Biophobia is a result of modern technology and our dependence on urban life. People who live in cities, tend to survive in a bubble of distraction with iPhones, headphones and music on the go, computer games and living amidst shopping malls, motorways and everything at their convenience, where nature is neatly compartmentalized as parks and squares as aesthetic decoration in a consumer’s playground.

Is Biophobia acceptable? (5), David Orr makes a very good argument on this issue, he states;

”First, for every “biophobe” others have to do that much more of the work of preserving, caring for, and loving the nature that supports biophobes and biophiliacs alike. Economists call this the “free-rider problem”. It arises in every group, committee, or alliance when it is possible for some to receive all of the advantages of membership while doing none of the work necessary to create those advantages. Environmental free riders benefit from the willingness of others to fight for the clean air that they breathe, the clean water that they drink, the preservation of biological diversity that sustains them, and the conservation of the soil that feeds them. But they do not lift a finger to help. Biophobia is not okay because it does not distribute fairly, the work of keeping the Earth or any local place healthy. Biophobia is not okay for the same reason that misanthropy and sociopathy are not okay. Biophobia is not okay because it is the foundation for a politics of domination and exploitation. For our politics to work as they now do, a large number of people must not like any nature that cannot be repackaged and sold back to them. They must be ecologically illiterate and ecologically incompetent, and they must believe that this is not only inevitable but desirable. Furthermore, they must be ignorant of the basis of their dependency. They must come to see their bondage as freedom and their discontents as commercially solvable problems.’’ The drift toward a biophobic society, as George Orwell and C. S. Lewis foresaw decades ago, requires the replacement of nature and human nature by technology and the replacement of real democracy by a technological tyranny now looming on the horizon.’’-David Orr.

There are still ways in which we can become self-empowered sovereign beings. There are ways in which we can create a more harmonious and sustainable world without predatory capitalism and it’s destructive forces, we can create an alternative ecological and local community based capitalism, that uses the creative concepts but eradicates the predatory aspects of capitalism that drives ecocide. There are alternatives to this current system, which is driving a rise in depression and suicide worldwide, the fundamental principle being that we have lost our true value and our spiritual connection with nature.

We have lost our feelings of self-worth with loss of contributing to local communities, (it is human nature to have the desire to connect with a small local community, like one’s own tribe or family, as opposed to contributing to society which is not the same) and feeling valued in that way or in ways we can contribute to working with the land or honouring nature in some way, for the life she sustains, for us.

Most of all, we have become empty and bored, due to constant external seeking of fulfilment and stimulus. Even the most privileged people among us suffer from depression, this is an obvious testimony to the fact that all the riches in the world will not make us happy. People have forgotten how to look after their inner spirits, such as taking a walk in nature. Communing with nature soothes the soul and mind.

When we are children we are in a pure state of being, then society and government drum it into us that we are not worth anything by our natural state of being, we have to prove ourselves worthy of love and respect by working towards a status, qualification, proving our academic intelligence, external physical appearance or by reaching a respectable bank balance, in order to receive love and respect from society. When in fact a balanced world would encourage us to continue just being the unique amazing human beings, who we naturally are, this in itself is valuable and a beautiful act of existence that deserves love and respect.

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We must begin to redefine our value as human beings, as part of a larger global community that is working towards change, in the midst of all this chaos. We can begin to reclaim our connection with the Earth in various ways through growing food communally, rebuilding and re-inventing new communities and a transparency in our relationships, in government institutions, in society. Very few people question social values. We need to develop an importance on teaching and establishing new value systems in societies and communities based on a deeper spiritual existence in harmony with the Earth, with emphasis on shifting values and practices to unconditional love, kindness and acceptance, rather than status, materialism, idealised perfection and elitism, which are all forms of violence on, and repression of, our true human nature.

It is modern society and its corporatized values, that are causing most of the malfunctioning. The subtle violence of what society calls normality is disturbing enough and what is expected of people to conform to, in such an environment. That is enough to drive anyone to depression along with the general stress of everyday living and paying one’s monthly bills, most people are being denied their humanity. Accepting that our humanity is key in healing, accepting that it is okay to feel broken, deep sadness and the spectrum of emotions that bring us the gifts of questions and answers, help us to get closer to our own inner truth, what is really good for you? What do you really need? How do you really feel? What is really important for the human creature and for the Earth? It is okay to be totally honest and let go, to allow raw emotions to flow through, to just be free to feel what comes through, it’s not normal to keep marching on while a war on consciousness is ensuing.

(6 ) William Manson explains that in 1968, Erich Fromm prophesied “The year 2000, might be the beginning of a period in which man ceases to be human and becomes transformed into an unthinking and unfeeling machine”. -In the context of a prevailing dehuman syndrome, spontaneous human expression becomes pathologised: Being open in speech; being unashamed of one’s body; relating to nature; hugging, touching, feeling and making love with other people; refusing to serve in the army and kill; and becoming less dependent on machines are generally considered ‘disturbed behaviour’ by a society of robopaths”. Of course, behavioural modification is facilitated through ideological training, expanding law enforcement, and emotional anaesthesia (psychopharmacology).

In my view, revitalisation of one’s desiccated human-ness first and foremost requires a renewed contact with the web of evolved life, with Walt Whitman’s ‘primal sanity of nature’. Transcending the blinkered, bourgeois-utilitarian (mechanistic-industrial) world-view, one can embark on a purification of consciousness, a purging of the detritus of cultural pollution (and a recovery of emotional innocence). Withdrawing from the world of urban commerce (and its mind-numbing “messages”), one severs the flow of media propaganda and ceaseless “information” (relating to the ubiquitous ‘buying and selling’). Compulsive ‘having’ is the pathology of deficient ‘being.’ Aesthetic simplicity means disconnecting from repulsive superfluity. Seeking sanctuary in wilderness surroundings, one rediscovers the gentler rhythms of low-cost rural living: walking instead of driving, and prevention of disease through a style of living consonant with ecological wisdom.’’-William Manson.

We definitely need to change our psychological and status values in Western society to values that have more depth and meaning for the human spirit. An ecological natural economy would influence and cultivate healthier values for individuals as well as establish stronger communities, people could cultivate a self-value that can be attributed to feeling part of a community caring for the environment, values not based on status, or on consumerist needs and wants that are never deeply fulfilling.

Being as honest with one’s self and others as is possible is important, we are not robots, and we are not machines. Being in nature, being creative, painting, writing, singing, and making things; developing projects that could contribute to a better and more harmonious world, playing music or getting involved in a community project or doing something that aids deep relaxation, meditation or trance, all of these things can help bring feelings of deeper fulfilment and bring us more into the moment, reconnecting us with the joy that comes from just being and connecting with others on a deeper level. Reaching out as much as possible to friends and family, without feeling humiliated or the stigma that is carried with the label ‘depression’ and the negative stigma that go with it such as the words ‘mental illness or mental disease’.

Inner work is really important for all of us, not just those of us suffering from depression, but those of us suffering from denial which seems to be the greater problem in human society.

”There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” ~ Carl Jung

More importantly, understanding all of this in the larger context of human evolution, shows us that we can become re-empowered again once we see that each of us has something valuable to contribute to our holistic progress. This is all part of a process leading to a more highly evolved level of human consciousness, in order to continue to survive in harmony with Planet Earth rather than living off of Pacha Mama, like parasites. We need to learn to become reconnected to and part of Earth and Cosmos again, in order to continue our existence here on this beautiful paradise. In order to create diamonds, coal endures a great deal of pressure to transmute and change into something stronger and far more beautiful that can reflect and channel all the colours of the light, that which is already within us .

by

C S
Author of
The Silent Ecocide,
a crisis of human consciousness.

Further reading

Dr John Grohol

2 Dr Stephan Harding- deep-ecology-hub available online.

3 E.O. Wilson. ‘Biophilia’ (1984) Published by Harvard University Press

4 Douglas Radmore (2014) Examination of The Biophilia Hypothesis and its implications for Mental Health.
Ecopsychology.org

5 David Orr (2004) Love It or Lose It: Earth in Mind. Island Press

6 William Manson (2003) Biophilia: Towards Dehumanisation. Published by theanarchistlibrary.org