Our Future: Nature, Children, and the Moral Imperative of Saving Trees

By Nina Beety
Global Research, December 23, 2015

This is a magnificent universe. It is alive by its very nature. And in your bones, you know that. It is your deepest dream and desire.

Everything is alive and conscious. Children know that. Indigenous people know that. Atoms and particles are alive. Where else would life and consciousness come from? Everything around us has life, from the atomic level on up. You are surrounded by friends and allies. You are not alone.

How is it that we turn our backs on such a glorious reality? Why do we cut ourselves off from such knowledge, learning, communication, and friendship?

The secret life of plants

Westerners often wonder how indigenous people know what plants to use for healing. The simple answer is: the plants tell them. Indigenous people cultivate relationships with the creatures around them. All of us can do that.

In 1966, polygraph expert Clive Backster hooked up his house plant to a lie detector machine to see if it would indicate when it needed watering. Instead, he made very different discoveries. He found that plants have profound awareness, they feel pain, they have a range of emotions, they go into shock when overwhelmed with events or emotions, they exhibit compassion and love, they communicate with each other instantaneously across distance without regard to distance, they telegraph threats to each other, they care about the people who care for them, and they connect with those people across distances. These discoveries, as well as those by other people, are detailed in The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird.

Biophilia is the birthright of every human – real fellowship with all living beings. It is no wonder that many humans, particularly in Western society, feel so lost and alone. This level of relationship is what we’re made for.

Nature is reality and wisdom

Trees, plants, and mycelium are chief examples of the highest species on Earth.

They are integrated into existence, into life. They are rooted and Interact and interface with the very elements which are the foundation of life. Think of that.

Their interaction with the earth includes this essential rootedness to a place and to the Earth. Humans, the most mobile species, are the least connected. Mobility comes at a high cost: connection and belonging. When home and rootedness are removed, with its related earth wisdom, humans are lost — uncertain who they are, unhappy, refugees and aliens in their own land, prey to hucksters, reduced to survival, their moral base gone. Look around.

The wise thing to do is to root and land, to learn from trees and plants, to connect to place, and to spend time outside sitting, listening, and seeing.

Children are most connected to rootedness, and they grow deeper, stronger, calmer, wiser, healthier, more compassionate, and more independent the more time they are in nature and with trees. They are our teachers. The most important thing for communities and our world is to free children to spend their time outside so they can show us how to be connected.

In a healthy society, every child would have a connection to trees, would have their own garden, would have special places outdoors, and would be expert in the nuances, the seasons, the species, the sounds, and the wisdom of those places. Those places would be laboratories of learning and study. Each child would be a teacher of his or her discoveries. Children would be leaders in our communities.

The more connected humans are, the more content and capable they are and the less need for material things, for status, or to be placated or soothed. We become free when we are connected.

Freedom is our birthright. Examples surround us — wolves, horses, prairie dogs, coyotes, snakes, streams and rivers, mountains, trees, and children. These are our teachers and mentors.

Happiness and creating the future

Plants and trees harm no one in order to live. Think of that. This is true of bees and butterflies and other species. They are life-positive. They take what they need to live and harm no one. Their lives are a constant and beautiful gift, full of abundance, and they are essential for the rest of us. The oxygen alone from trees and plants makes our lives possible.

What vast wisdom is in these life-nourishing people that use no violence. To create thriving, diverse, happy, and healthy societies, we begin by sitting at their feet and listening and learning.

Universities of life

Skills permeate every bit of life from the atomic level, as well as

  • resources
  • insights, knowledge, and wisdom
  • community
  • values, and
  • love

They are intrinsic to life, a part of the “is-ness” of reality. They are in cells, molecules, atoms, particles, and light. They are part of all beings.

The highest education is the most connected to nature, the most rooted and local-based, the most integrated, and the least technological, with only the most porous of walls. The true universities are outdoors and integrated with nature. The best universities would be the forests.

Can you talk with trees and plants? Can you hear nature’s wisdom and messages? Are you rooted and connected to a place? What do you know about your home? These are the most important skills and knowledge.

Places of learning would be typified by diversity and teaching flowing back and forth; all would be students and teachers. No degrees or pieces of paper. One’s life is the only reliable proof of learning and wisdom.

This type of education would be free. No college debt. And no SAT, GRE, or ACT tests required.

Real world skills would include creating new healthy systems of food, water, energy, building, and production, eliminating waste, and recycling. Each person would discover for themselves what is good and valuable and important.

These learning places would be characterized by languages, community, healing arts. They would be everywhere — vibrant, pulsating with honest, open dialogue, with life and happiness, authentic, open, heart-based, and earth-based, for all ages and species. Each would learn many skills.

Trees, plants, mycelium, and other species transmute elements by the “technology” of their own beings. Water responds to spoken or written words. What incredible skill sets to include in any curriculum.

Trees

Trees are very special among Earth’s people. Wise and beautiful, their deep, abiding qualities have been honored throughout time, and many regard them as sacred.

As a long-lived people, they acquire a deep wisdom and perspective. Because they are place-based, they embody and create home. They are protectors, strong, often tall, fragrant hiding places for people large and small, with fruits and flowers available to all, and amazing voices. They offer deep and soul-nourishing friendship to all who wish it.

They are our hope for the future. The Ents of J.R.R. Tolkein’s stories were not a huge stretch of the imagination. Trees are wisdom keepers, mentors, teachers, and friends.

Trees are people. They are not fuel or building material or oxygen factory. They are not extra or unimportant.  They are living, breathing, feeling, tremendously wise and good people. When humans cut down a tree, they murder a person. Protecting trees is of the very highest importance.

Trees can help us be at home, wherever we are on Earth. Their friendship can bring us joy, fulfillment, and peace. Trees are willing to be a part of our lives into the future.

Trees are the master teachers living everywhere who can help us create life and peace, prosperity and health beyond the 7th generation. They stand ready to be partners in creating communities brimming with life and happiness.

Healing life

The only hope for the world is if we realize the reality and goodness that surrounds us, if we start paying attention to all the people, whether they have leaves, bark, fins, wings, horns, fur, scales, feathers, cilia, many legs, or no legs, and understand, in the midst of all the other benefits, that we belong to a community of extraordinary people.

Our partners wait. The future is possible. The rest is up to us.

Nina Beety is a researcher, writer, and public speaker on foreign policy, the environment, and wireless radiation hazards. Her 2012 report for public officials “Smart Meter and Smart Grid Problems: Legislative Solutions” is on her website www.smartmeterharm.org. She lives in Monterey, California.

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Nina Beety, Global Research, 2015

http://www.globalresearch.ca/our-future-nature-children-and-the-moral-imperative-of-saving-trees/5497589

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Ukraine on the brink of a nuclear disaster; Ukrainian saboteurs nearly caused another Fukushima

  1. When Ukrainian terrorists blew up power lines to Crimea last month (to punish Crimeans for seceding from Ukraine) [1], the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant was “one millimeter away from an emergency.” Nuclear reactors require grid electricity   to keep reactor cores and fuel rods cool. Without it, they will overheat, explode, and meltdown, just like Fukushima.
  2. Ongoing gas and coal shortages in Ukraine and the resulting electricity blackouts threaten the nuclear power plants in Ukraine every day.[2]
  3. Necessary preventative maintenance, including replacing worn parts at the plants, is not being done or is delayed, creating a dangerous situation.

From Fort Russ

In the coming year the world will observe a sad date, the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl explosion. Could it happen again?

Pavel SHIPILIN,

In Экспресс Газета, December 15, 2015

Translated from Russian by Tom Winter, December 25, 2015

Come January 1, Europe will start draining the last juice from the “Square.” Few gave noted the fact that cutting the power lines to de-energize Crimea nearly led to fatal consequences at the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant, which is located in the Mykolaiv region, – an accident on a Chernobyl scale. A miracle saved us all: workers at the station succeeded in a few hours to restore the electricity to the security system. [Nuclear power plants produce electricity, but they need a constant supply of it to avoid meltdown, as in Fukushima, for instance — tr.]

For nearly two years now Ukraine has been teetering on the brink of default, techno disaster, popular revolt. And every time that there is a miracle, and the dire predictions don’t come true, a cure is declared – a victory over Russia, over the elements with the unpredictable laws of nature, over the skeptics. But in the end – common sense.

Last winter was surprisingly warm. As if the one who is responsible for the top temperature, specifically decided to lull the already careless Ukrainian government. Today it is once again assuring the public: there is enough gas — unless there’s a problem.

And it may be right – if a miracle happens again. Experts also warn that if the miracles do not happen, and the temperature in the apartments can’t be maintained at least at + 14 ° C, a catastrophe is imminent. Pipes will burst; heat and electricity will go off-line. In response, experts are declared fear-mongering pessimists. After all, last year they said the same thing – they warned and frightened, backing up arguments with some tricky formulas incomprehensible to the ordinary Maidanists.[the Maidan coup d’etat members who overthrew the elected Ukrainian government and brought to power the current regime]

There is only one thing: for the power system go off line for decades, would need only a couple of weeks really severe frosts – lower than -15 – 20 ° C. At least at night.

Such cold weather is rare, but still it happens. This is what experts are always taking into account, because no one of them can confidently forecast, but a technological disaster in the middle of winter – is inevitably a tragedy with deadly outcomes. Therefore, the gas must be redundant and not “just enough.”

The lack of gas and coal can lead to accidents in which the entire metropolitan area will be without heat and light. Unfortunately, the amateurs in Kiev may well make a more global catastrophe whose consequences will impact not only the public, but residents of neighboring countries. We are talking about the atomic energy plant.

There are four of them in Ukraine – a total of 16 units. That is 16 potential nuclear bombs. Experts say that it’s thanks to a miracle that new Chernobyls haven’t yet happened.

Vasili Volga, Ukrainian politician and nuclear-energy specialist: “What happened when these, so to speak, “activists” brought down the power lines? Immediately the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant lost a huge amount of electricity, which the system has to have. According to the accounts of shift managers, the guys were on one millimeter away from an emergency. Only the dedicated work of the station staff prevented it.”

A state of emergency was miraculously avoided. But Kiev have provided us all with new problems connected with nuclear power. As Vasily Volga spelled out, the specific operation of nuclear power plants requires precise timing of preventive maintenance. Otherwise, every time there is a risk of accidents on the scale of Chernobyl. “As for the core of the nuclear reactor and all the systems and mechanisms that serve it, we just can’t say,” You know, we do not have money just now, and you work, the way you have, and we’re putting off scheduled preventive maintenance.”

“If it clearly states that the gasket in the main centrifugal pump should be changed after a year, then it should be changed after a year.” All the systems and mechanisms that are around Ukrainian nuclear reactors, are produced either in Ukraine or in Russia. Today, due to the rupture of relations, there have been huge time lapses, when scheduled preventive maintenance at nuclear power plants has not been carried out. They know about this in Kiev, but are silent about the problem, because in order to solve it, you have to call Moscow. Or they do not realize how dangerous it is to finance nuclear power on installments.

The eternal question of our Svidomy opponents is why we are so keenly interested in Ukrainian affairs, instead of dealing with our own problems, has a simple answer: because you’re close. Because your refugees are with us. Because thanks to Maidan our trade and economic relations, which made both our countries stronger, have been disrupted. Not to mention the friendship and kinship between our people. Finally, because your problems are directly linked to our own. After all, Kiev does not pay its debts and yet asks worldwide for offensive weapons.

It is understandable that systemic problems come up here and there – Ukraine has no money. However, there is one more miracle in Ukraine – for the second year it has managed to avoid a default. A fact the talking heads and the Kiev politicians proudly remind us of. Moreover, on December 8, the IMF decided that even a default can not be an obstacle to Ukraine getting more credit [!].

Neo-Nazi and far-right organizations and individuals are involved in the current Kiev government, in the military, and in the security forces.]

That is, the entire civilized world, led by the United States, has defended the winners of Maidan. Pessimists and “Moscalis” again notwithstanding. That’s where the real win lay. Let us, however, remember how many loans have been promised and how many have been issued: The European Union promised in 2015 to provide $1.8 billion., USA – $2 billion. Nearly one billion promised to other countries on a bilateral basis. From the IMF, Ukraine was to receive $10 billion. The World Bank has promised to lend $500 million for injection of gas into underground storage [just like in Los Angeles, where over 2000 residents have been evacuated due to leaking methane gas?], but recently began to doubt that this would happen.So actually this year, Ukraine has received less than half of the promised amounts, two tranches of 6.7 billion from the IMF. Catastrophically short. All other potential lenders under one pretext or another have not fulfilled promises.
No one is sure that Ukraine pays debts.[The Ukraine economy is in a state of collapse since the coup [3]]

However, the decision of the International Monetary Fund to continue the lending program says that global players will not desist until that unfortunate country undresses to the skin. Kiev will receive new loans so it can pay the old ones — weights hung around the neck of future Ukrainian generations.

“Square” optimists nailed it: declaring a default is not allowed. They will kill Ukraine. The problem can be solved only if nenka* learn how to produce and sell their products, filling the budget with the taxes of successful entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens. But there are practically no prospects.

From 1 January, 2016 a free trade area (FTA) will be in full force between Ukraine and the European Union. Where previously only Ukrainian duty-free goods were sold, now, the direction of trade changes – European goods crossing the Ukrainian border also will not be surrounded by cushioning duties.

To protect its market Russia will put up a customs barrier starting next year. Therefore, in Kiev, they very much expect compensation in Brussels. And Yatsenyuk’s regime has received signals that there will be compensation. We have heard rumors that the EU will allocate $ 600 million. Not much, but at least something.

However, recently the European Union dropped its promises. “We will say frankly, already since we agreed on an FTA, it was no secret that after the introduction, the Russian Federation could act in response, whether we like it or not. And there was plenty of time to prepare for this,” said the European Commissioner Johannes Khan, cynically.

The year and a half that the FTA has been acting in one direction – from east to west, has demonstrated very feeble opportunities for the Ukrainian economy. The miracle did not happen – trade with the West simply collapsed, and was not able to compensate for the loss of the Russian market.

And it’s not working, of course – it was not for this that the Ukrainians were lured to the Association Agreement, to lose money. Come January 1, Europe will begin to receive attachments back. As is customary in the civilized world, ten times over, sucking the last juices out of the colony.

Now Johannes Hahn can afford to speak plain, without hints. In Ukraine there is no way back – just to the economic abyss a millimeter away. Or maybe it is not.
______________________________
*Ukrainian slang term for Ukraine. I’ve been getting used to it. — Tr.

Accident at Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant: radioactive steam release, panic, evacuation and reactor shutdown

From ENE News
December 22, 2015

Mass panic as radioactive cloud pours from nuclear plant — Radiation levels reportedly spike near reactor after emergency shutdown — Traffic jams as people evacuate area — “Everyone got very worried and rushed to get iodine” (PHOTOS)

Express, Dec 21, 2015 (emphasis added): Russians flee Chernobyl-style plant over fears of radioactive leak — Russians took iodine and caused traffic jams… amid fears officials were covering up a radioactive leak. The panic followed the emergence of pictures showing a cloud of vapour pouring from Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant, some 50 miles from St Petersburg. The authorities insisted that the was no radioactive leakage… but people did not believe the “no danger” claim. Radio Svoboda reported that in the wake of the incident on Friday locals in Sosnovy Bor started withdrawing money from their credit cards. They said locals were in panic mode despite statements from officials that the radiation level was normal… One local said: “Everyone got very worried and rushed to get iodine.”… There were traffic jams as residents left the area and headed for St Petersburg… The plant manager (not pictured) insists there are no reasons for evacuation. [Oleg Bodrov, chairman of Green World ecological group] said: “They know well that the officials’ first task is to say all is normal but not to report about danger, even if there is one. All those who understand a bit about nuclear energy know that it was an attempt to mistake the wish for the reality… this vapour is surely radioactive… Bodrov called for medical checks for staff at the power plant. Interfax reported that a special commission was working at the nuclear station aiming to find out the reasons for the emission.

Daily Mail photo captions: A cloud of vapour pouring out of Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant in St Petersburg caused mass panic… Russian radio reported St Petersburg residents rushing out to buy iodine to protect against radiation poisoning after spotting the steam flowing out of the power station… The billowing vapour spreads across buildings

QHA, Dec 19, 2015: Accident occurred at Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (PHOTO) — Eyewitnesses of the accident and the inhabitants of the Russia’s northern capital are scared. The second unit was stopped at the station… The accident occurred at the second power unit when a pipe with steam cracked in turbine hall yesterday. The steam filled the room, and leaked beyond the power plant. The employees of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (LNPP) had to go home… According to specialists, the release was radioactive, because the waste steam entered the so-called loop reactor coolant. However, the population was encouraged not to panic.

Baltic Newsletter of the Green World, Dec 20, 2015: An emergency stop of the second power unit of Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant took place… The reason for the stop and cooling of the reactor was a sudden leak of radioactive steam from a faulty pipe in one of the rooms of the turbine shop… During the cooling – down step, the reactor steam was ejected through the pipe into the environment. A south – southeast wind of 5 meters per second (not typical for this area) blew the radioactive steam toward the Gulf of Finland… Thus, the five millionth city of St. Petersburg, located 40 km east of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant was fortunate this time. According to some sources , the radiation level rose a few times higher than the background radiation only in the NPP area.

Watch video from the Director of Leningrad NPP here

http://enenews.com/mass-panic-radioactive-steam-pours-nuclear-plant-radiation-levels-spiked-area-plant-traffic-jams-people-evacuate-area-everyone-very-worried-rushed-iodine-photos

 

Declassified U.S. government report prepared a week after Fukushima accident: “100% of the total spent fuel was released to the atmosphere from Unit 4”

Global Research, December 11, 2015
Washington’s Blog 10 December 2015

We reported in 2011 that the International Atomic Energy Agency knew within weeks that Fukushima had melted down … but failed and refused to tell the public.

The same year, we reported in 2011 that the U.S. knew within days of the Fukushima accident that Fukushima had melted down … but failed to tell the public.

We noted in 2012:

The fuel pools and rods at Fukushima appear to have “boiled”, caught fire and/or exploded soon after the earthquake knocked out power systems. See this, this, this, this and this.

Now, a declassified report written by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on March 18, 2011 – one week after the tidal wave hit Fukushima – states:

The source term provided to NARAC was: (1) 25% of the total fuel in unit 2 released to the atmosphere, (2) 50% of the total spent fuel from unit 3 was released to the atmosphere, and (3) 100% of the total spent fuel was released to the atmosphere from unit 4.

FukushimaNARAC is the the U.S. National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center, located at the University of California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. NARAC “provides tools and services that map the probable spread of hazardous material accidentally or intentionally released into the atmosphere“.

The fuel pools at Units 3 and 4 contained enormous amounts of radiation.

For example, there was “more cesium in that [Unit 4] fuel pool than in all 800 nuclear bombs exploded above ground.”

Investigative report on U.S. nuclear weapons complex’s ‘legacy of death on American soil’

Not mentioned in this article is the damaged DNA which is passed down to children and succeeding generations, as well as birth defects. Then there is the radiation brought into their homes by these workers because they are contaminated by working with radioactive substances.
Global Research, December 11, 2015

New investigative reporting from McClatchy has exposed the hidden legacy—and “enormous human cost”—of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, providing “an unprecedented glimpse of the costs of war.”

The reporting, which comes as the nation prepares to upgrade its aging nuclear arsenal to the tune of $1 trillion over the next 30 years, reveals the abundant health and safety risks from radiation exposure at atomic weapons facilities. It’s based on more than 100 interviews at current and former weapons plants and in the towns that surround them, as well as analysis of more than 70 million records in a federal database obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

According to McClatchy, 107,394 Americans have been diagnosed with cancers and other diseases after building the nation’s nuclear stockpile over the last seven decades. And at least 33,480 former nuclear workers who received compensation from a special fund—created in 2001 for those sickened in the construction of America’s nuclear bombs—are dead.

Declaring that “the great push to win the Cold War has left a legacy of death on American soil,” McClatchy notes that the death toll “is more than four times the number of American casualties in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

“Now with the country embarking on an ambitious $1 trillion plan to modernize its nuclear weapons,” the investigation reads, “current workers fear that the government and its contractors have not learned the lessons of the past.”

Among the investigation’s other findings, as per journalists Rob Hotakainen, Lindsay Wise, Frank Matt, and Samantha Ehlinger:

  • Federal officials greatly underestimated how sick the U.S. nuclear workforce would become. At first, the government predicted the program would serve only 3,000 people at an annual cost of $120 million. Fourteen years later, taxpayers have spent sevenfold that estimate, $12 billion, on payouts and medical expenses for more than 53,000 workers.
  • Even with the ballooning costs, fewer than half of those who’ve applied have received any money. Workers complain that they’re often left in bureaucratic limbo, flummoxed by who gets payments, frustrated by long wait times and overwhelmed by paperwork.
  • Despite the cancers and other illnesses among nuclear workers, the government wants to save money by slashing current employees’ health plans, retirement benefits and sick leave.
  • Stronger safety standards have not stopped accidents or day-to-day radiation exposure. More than 186,000 workers have been exposed since 2001, all but ensuring a new generation of claimants. And to date, the government has paid $11 million to 118 workers who began working at nuclear weapons facilities after 2001.

McClatchy produced this short video to accompany its piece:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/special-reports/article49009200.html/video-embed

The new reporting adds fuel to the call for global nuclear disarmament, which reverberated across the world on the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki earlier this year.

“This 70th anniversary should be a time to reflect on the absolute horror of a nuclear detonation,” Ann Suellentrop of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Kansas City said at the time, “yet the new Kansas City Plant is churning out components to extend U.S. nuclear weapons 70 years into the future.”

And along with those components, McClatchy‘s exposé suggests, “more unwanted fallout.”