Thursday, July 05, 2012

TAKING THE STEP


Yup! I'm starting a new walk. I've been toying with the thought for awhile. I liked my previous retreat from the Internet and I'm doing it again, this time in an open-ended way. I'm not sure where the path leads but, as the sage says, a long journey begins with a singe step.

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Thanks to all and I hope to see ya down the trail.

(The photo above is from a lovely blog post called Gratidão!)

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

STILL CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS


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photo by Shanti Martin 

My old Oregon community. May God bless and keep them well.

AND it's important to note that there are ecological conditions that do or do not support this. For example, if there was no spraying in my tropical home of Rio Branco, Brazil, the result could be more denge fever or malaria. Obviously, there are limits to "crazy" and that's what we are trying to figure out nowadays as we enter the times of great change. One thing is for sure -- health and survival are local, one size does not fit all.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

EULOGY FOR RIO +20 AND A DECLARATION OF HOPE


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RIO +20 Collapse -- photo source

Powerful words from George Monbiot:

After Rio, we know. Governments have given up on the planet 

The post-summit pledge was an admission of defeat against consumer capitalism. But we can still salvage the natural world

Monday, June 25, 2012

THE CHINA PRIZE: IN BRAZIL AND IN THE USA


It's all about trade and commodities.

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Last week, on the sidelines of RIO +20, Brazil and China have jointly reinforced their financial cooperation with a financial reserves $30bn swap arrangement aimed at reinforcing trade and resistance to financial shocks from Europe and the USA.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

VIVA SÃO JOÃO - VIVA XANGO


More music for the night of São João and Xango:


VIVA! SÃO JOÃO

All across Brazil, tonight belongs to São João.  Here is some (sorry that it's incomplete) of Gilberto Gil's documentary about the traditions of the Nordeste.




RIO 1492 + 520

I didn't expect much from RIO +20 but it was hard to see the world leaders so unable to come up with anything but words that attempt to mask their inaction.

RIO 1492 + 520 
photo -- stage set for Verdi's opera, "A Masked Ball" (1999 Bergenz Festival)

It's been about 520 years since that day when Columbus made it across the Atlantic and placed a fatal foot on the America's. The killing of people and forests continues to this day. I sure hope that we may yet figure out how to be here on earth in a peaceful and sustainable way.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

AIR CONDITIONING FOR ALL


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Air-conditioning in Mumbai, India -- Photo: Kuni Takahashi for The New York Times

[UPDATE 22 June -- There's a follow-up debate today at the NY Times --  "Is it a good goal for everyone in the world to have access to air-conditioning — like clean water or the Internet? Or is it an unsustainable luxury, which air-conditioned societies should be giving up or rationing?"  The focus on the developed world is good. It really drives home how our lifestyles make us complicit.]


The likely response to a warming world is more use of air conditioning wherever it can be afforded. But, according to this NY Times report by Elisabeth Rosenthal and Andrew W. Lehren, the new non-ozone-damaging gases are by weight thousands of times more potent as CO2 and "up to 27 percent of all global warming will be attributable to those gases by 2050."

This is not only an urban Asian problem. Here in Brazil I am watching air conditioning follow the cars and rural electrification (Luz para Todos) into the Amazon forest where people want it for the same reasons as Asians, Australians, Europeans and North Americans do -- to deal with the heat.

Suely Carvalho, the Brazilian-born chief of the United Nations Development Program’s Montreal Protocol and Chemicals Unit, said: “The developing countries are already struggling to phase out, and now you tell them, ‘Don’t do what we did.’ You can see why they’re upset.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"DEFEAT OBAMA" IS THE LATEST PRONOUNCEMENT FROM THE PRINCIPLED POMPOUS PROFESSOR


I am no fan of Obama but the principled pronouncements of the pompous professor Roberto Mangabeira Unger fall clearly into my major "GIMME A BREAK" department.



Who is this guy?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DEEP LISTENING

... and much more from Rumi through Coleman Barks

UNDERSTANDING

The word "understanding" literally means to "stand under" or to be at the root of things.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

AYAHUASCA RESEARCH





EXCELLENT! Thanks to the production efforts of David Suzuki, who can be counted on to cut through the confusion and sensationalism to find a meeting ground between modern science and ancient wisdom.

(Hat tip to Hans Boger)

Saturday, June 09, 2012

A PILLOW, A ROCK AND MEMORIES OF A FRIEND


Late last night I was contemplating the up-coming RIO+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. I was, realistically (I believe), not feeling hopeful about what might emerge from this global theater of leaders, agendas and postures. Indeed, I was feeling rather depressed about where the world seems to be heading.

In the midst of a mood plunging toward grief, I stumbled upon a wonderful film and concert about two great 13th Century Sufi poets -- Rumi from Iran/Persia and Amir Khusrau from India/Pakistan -- both of whom transformed their grief into a great love that endures in spiritual practice, in artistic performance and in personal inspiration to this day.