Ancient Cultures, UFO Abduction, Mythic Deities, Cosmic Wormhole in a Car Ad

2011 Kia Optima: One Epic Ride — Big Game 2011 Commercial

Check out this very cool ad for the Kia Optima which includes an alien, flying saucer, worm hole and ancient Mayans.  Apparently Graham Hancock is now writing ads for car companies.

Lester Brown on the collapse of the world food bubble


Over the last twenty-some years, in more than a dozen of his books and annual reports, Lester Brown has been describing the interlocking global economic/ecological changes that are converging in multiple ways to a variety of catastrophic outcomes – with rapidly increasing probability estimates.  Here is a (a selection from) a press release on his latest work – on the impending collapse of the world food bubble. His statistical work is impeccable and his perceptions and predictions are being studied by government and scientific experts around the world. They should be required reading for all – especially journalists, school teachers and those charged with the responsibility of educating the public.

“If we cannot reverse these trends, economic decline is inevitable,” notes Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental research organization. “No civilization has survived the ongoing destruction of its natural support systems. Nor will ours.

“The question is not whether the food bubble will burst but when,” says Brown. While the U.S. housing bubble was created by the overextension of credit, the food bubble is based on the overuse of land and water resources. It is further threatened by the climate stresses deriving from the excessive burning of fossil fuels. When the U.S. housing bubble burst, it sent shockwaves through the world economy, culminating in the worst recession since the Great Depression. When the food bubble bursts, food prices will soar worldwide, threatening economic and political stability everywhere. For those living on the lower rungs of the global economic ladder, survival itself could be at stake. …

“How much time do we have before the food bubble bursts?” asks Brown. “No one knows. If we stay with business as usual, the time is more likely measured in years than in decades. We are now so close to the edge that politically destabilizing food price rises could come at any time.”

“The new reality,” says Brown, “is that the world is only one poor harvest away from chaos. It is time to to reverse these trends on the scale and urgency of the U.S. mobilization for World War II. The challenge is to quickly reduce carbon emissions, stabilize population, and restore the economy’s soils, aquifers, forests, and other natural support systems. This requires not only a redefining of security but a corresponding reallocation of fiscal resources from military budgets to budgets for climate stabilization, population stabilization, water conservation, and other new threats to security.”

For decades, we environmentalists have talked about saving the planet. Now it is civilization itself that is at stake.

For the rest see:

Bill McKibben: Catastrophic Weather Events Are Becoming the New Normal

Are You Ready for Life on Our Planet Circa 2011? For two decades now we’ve been ignoring the impassioned pleas of scientists that our burning of fossil fuels was a bad idea. And now we’re paying a heavy price.

If you were in the space shuttle looking down yesterday, you would have seen a pair of truly awesome, even fearful, sights.

Much of North America was obscured by a 2,000-mile storm dumping vast quantities of snow from Texas to Maine–between the wind and snow, forecasters described it as “probably the worst snowstorm ever to affect” Chicago, and said waves as high as 25 feet were rocking buoys on Lake Michigan.

Meanwhile, along the shore of Queensland in Australia, the vast cyclone Yasi was sweeping ashore; though the storm hit at low tide, the country’s weather service warned that “the impact is likely to be more life threatening than any experienced during recent generations,” especially since its torrential rains are now falling on ground already flooded from earlier storms. Here’s how Queensland premier Anna Bligh addressed her people before the storm hit: “We know that the long hours ahead of you are going to be the hardest that you face. We will be thinking of you every minute of every hour between now and daylight and we hope that you can feel our thoughts, that you will take strength from the fact that we are keeping you close and in our hearts.”

Welcome to our planet, circa 2011–a planet that, like some unruly adolescent, has decided to test the boundaries. For two centuries now we’ve been burning coal and oil and gas and thus pouring carbon into the atmosphere; for two decades now we’ve been ignoring the increasingly impassioned pleas of scientists that this is a Bad Idea. And now we’re getting pinched.

Oh, there have been snowstorms before, and cyclones–our planet has always produced extreme events. But by definition extreme events are supposed to be rare, and all of a sudden they’re not. In 2010 nineteen nations set new all-time temperature records (itself a record!) and when the mercury hit 128 in early June along the Indus, the entire continent of Asia set a new all-time temperature mark. Russia caught on fire; Pakistan drowned. Munich Re, the biggest insurance company on earth, summed up the annus horribilis last month with this clinical phrase: “the high number of weather-related natural catastrophes and record temperatures both globally and in different regions of the world provide further indications of advancing climate change.”

You don’t need a PhD to understand what’s happening. That carbon we’ve poured into the air traps more of the sun’s heat near the planet. And that extra energy expresses itself in a thousand ways, from melting ice to powering storms. Since warm air can hold more water vapor than cold, it’s not surprising that the atmosphere is 4% moister than it was 40 years ago. That “4% extra amount, it invigorates the storms, it provides plenty of moisture for these storms,” said Kevin Trenberth, head of the climate analysis section at the government’s National Center for Atmospheric Research. It loads the dice for record rain and snow. Yesterday the Midwest and Queensland crapped out.

The point I’m trying to make is: chemistry and physics work. We don’t just live in a suburb, or in a free-market democracy; we live on an earth that has certain rules. Physics and chemistry don’t care what John Boehner thinks, they’re unmoved by what will make Barack Obama’s re-election easier. More carbon means more heat means more trouble–and the trouble has barely begun. So far we’ve raised the temperature of the planet about a degree, which has been enough to melt the Arctic. The consensus prediction for the century is that without dramatic action to stem the use of fossil fuel–far more quickly than is politically or economically convenient–we’ll see temperatures climb five degrees this century. Given that one degree melts the Arctic, just how lucky are we feeling?–_are_you_ready_for_life_on_our_planet_circa_2011

Child musical prodigy joyfully play-conducts Beethoven symphony

For a totally upbeat explosion of joy and laughter and music, watch this five minute video.

Richard Wolff on the meltdown of the American capitalist system

Richard Wolff is an Economics Professor at the University of Massachusetts, whose documentary film Capitalism Hits the Fan reveals with stunning clarity the undeniable and ever more glaring deficits in the inherent structure of the capitalist economic model. Viewing this film could be used as wonderful starting point for a discussion or series of discussions on our present situation. In the following article by Wolff, from The Guardian /UK, he expands on this theme:

Until the 1970s, US capitalism shared its spoils with American workers. But since 2008, it has made them pay for its failures…One aspect of “American exceptionalism” was always economic. US workers, so the story went, enjoyed a rising level of real wages that afforded their families a rising standard of living. Ever harder work paid off in rising consumption. The rich got richer faster than the middle and poor, but almost no one got poorer. Nearly all citizens felt “middle class”. A profitable US capitalism kept running ahead of labor supply. So, it kept raising wages to attract waves of immigration and to retain employees, across the 19th century until the 1970s.

Then everything changed. Real wages stopped rising, as US capitalists redirected their investments to produce and employ abroad, while replacing millions of workers in the US with computers. The US women’s liberation moved millions of US adult women to seek paid employment. US capitalism no longer faced a shortage of labor…US employers took advantage of the changed situation: they stopped raising wages. …

January 18, 2011 by  The Guardian/UK

Rare film footage of 1950s LSD studies

Journalist Don Lattin,  author of The Harvard Psychedelic Club, is writing a book about the relationship between the philosopher/writers Aldous Huxley and Gerald Heard, and their shared interest in LSD, which led to Bill Wilson being cured of alcoholism and founding AA. (Fortunately for the subsequent extraordinary success story of AA, Wilson’s original idea of also using LSD as part of the program, was dropped as too controversial).  The film footage shows psychiatrist Sidney Cohen conducting an LSD experimental therapy session with a woman in the 1950s  – and demonstrates the extraordinary disconnect of psychedelic experiences from the worldview and understanding of  mainstream psychiatry.

Just Vision:”Ten Unsung Visionaries of 2011″

Photo slideshow shows ten Palestinian and Israeli civilians who are using nonviolence to work against the occupation.