Category Archives: 7 Holonics and LOHAS

5 feet of snow and zero degrees in every US state. “I’m not a scientist”, but that’s not normal.

Freezing temperatures were recorded across all 50 US states, including Florida and Hawaii, and a massive snowstorm dumped 5 feet of snow in the Buffalo area (North East US).

Snow covers a street at daybreak in Buffalo

It’s pretty.  But deadly.  So far 7 people are dead.  Three had heart attacks while shovelling snow – which is a sad commentary on health, diets and fitness.  Please be careful if you’re not a bit fit.

This weather is a month early.  Maybe it’ll warm up in a day or so.  Maybe it’ll get damn cold again soon.  You can be sure that it’s not predictable and it’s another sign of climate volatility that is beyond our control.

We need to start listening to nature and living within it’s laws.

BBC: Deadly snowstorm hits northern US

We’re ALL living next to slaves. 36 million of them.

Walk Free published the 2014 Global Slavery Index which makes for sad reading.  167 countries have them, including some which really shouldn’t:

Japan 240 thousand
South Africa 110 thousand
Singapore 5 thousand
USA 60 thousand
Italy 11 thousand
Germany 11 thousand
France 9 thousand
UK 8 thousand
Ireland 300

The report defines slaves as people subject to forced labour, debt bondage, trafficking, sexual exploitation for money and forced or servile marriage, none of which sounds like it should be acceptable in the countries above.

What can you do?  Be aware that it happens.  Don’t turn a blind eye.  And if you see signs of it, tell someone in authority.

Global Slavery Index Report – findings

Walk Free

BBC: Almost 36m people live in modern slavery – report



Omnivore’s Dilemma – Meat is sooo good but it’s killing the planet.

I love meat.  But I don’t eat it any more.  My parents still make fun of me for being vegetarian and might still think I should see a shrink.   Ha ha.

Why would a meat and potatoes guy who liked steak for breakfast quit meat?  There were reasons and the most important is that I knew the livestock industry was killing the planet. and I could be healthy and happy without meat.  That was nearly 20 years ago and I’m still alive – without meat.

meat_graphic4 meat_graphic3
meat_graphic2 meat_graphic1


dustymeatlotNational Geographic is pursuing a worthy series of articles on The Future of Food and how to feed the growing population.  The story for November, Carnivore’s Dilemma,  caught my eye because of the easy to understand charts that show the cost of beef, in particular, to the planet.  The cattle industry is turning the planet into a desert.

The NG article received  criticism because it was lenient on the current industry from meat producers to feed producers to drug providers and GMO purveyors.  But the message is clear:  the human population can NOT be sustained on the current meat diet  and system of food production.  It’s everyone’s responsibility to take a step in the right direction of reducing consumption of the planet.

I used to make fun of Vegetarians and Tofu Eaters … now I’m one. :-)

National Geographic: The Future of Food


Malnutrition costs the global economy over 3 years’ GDP growth

The Global Nutrition Report said that  globally, malnutrition led to “11% of GDP being squandered as a result of lives lost, less learning, less earning and days lost to illness.”

And the numbers are made more appalling by the fact that they cut both ways: not enough food and too much food.  Every nation except China (whose regions could probably be included if you separate urban and rural) had crossed a “malnutrition red line”, suffering from too much or too little nutrition.

On the sad side of the spectrum the UN World Food Programme estimates that poor nutrition causes nearly half of deaths in children aged under five, that’s- 3.1 million children each year.  In addition lack of food restricts brain and immune system development.

_78913064_overweightwoman2paAt the fat end of the wedge the problems include obesity, diabetes, vascular disease.

Ironically half of the countries are grappling with under-nutrition and also over-nutrition problems!

You would think that bi agribusinesses and food companies would have helped but they seem to exacerbate the problems by pushing sugar to the overfed and pulling livelihoods from the underfed.

The global nutrition report.

BBC: World is crossing malnutrition red line, report warns

Only the strongest can kill themselves for peace.

In a Japan, a man set himself on fire to protest a change in policy allowing Japan to fight overseas, which goes against the constitution which bars the country from using force in conflicts except for self-defence.  It follows another self-immolation in June, in an apparently similar protest.

Suicide is not an easy option.  It demands the greatest courage because you do not want to die, but you want to kill even less and you want to show the world that violence is wrong.

Many people have self-immolated in Tibet over the past few years to protest the authoritarian regime which steals property and livelihoods, incarcerates innocents and encourages rape and violence.  Few people hear of this and no nation cares to influence its cessation.  They are more likely to pursue violence and belligerence themselves.

BBC: Japan man self-immolates ‘in protest over military shift’

The power of thought can flip a switch.

The study upon which this report was made is unusual, but the message is clear: thoughts have power.

In the study, brainwaves from human participants activated a tiny LED light which had been implanted in mice which then activated light-sensitive genes.

This study is the first to combine the thought control technology and the light sensitive genes technology.  The light-sensitive engineered genes sound a bit unnatural to me, but the idea of thoughts influencing external objects seems intuitive.  Maybe if we can understand the science better, telepathic skills could be developed.

This kind of emerging technology has potential applications for patients who can no longer communicate with the outside world other than with their mental activities and brainwaves.

It also proves that our thoughts do make the world.

BBC: Scientists develop thought-controlled gene switch

The benefits of skills training.

Admittedly the title The One Thing Electricians, Chefs, and Entrepreneurs Have in Common attracted me because I’ve played electrician, cook and entrepreneur, so it caught my eye.  The article reinforces the knowledge that nurturing head, heart and HANDS is important to become a whole person.

The One Thing Electricians, Chefs, and Entrepreneurs Have in Common

You’d be hard-pressed to name three jobs that seem to have as little in common as an electrician, a chef, and an entrepreneur. But even though the work couldn’t be more different, these jobs share one important trait: they all require practical skills that can be gained through hands-on experience in the real working world, not just books or theory or classroom study.

These are just a few of the well-paid, middle skills jobs that represent the opportunities of tomorrow. Many people think of middle skills jobs as menial, low-paying jobs with no opportunities for advancement. This couldn’t be farther from the case. The reality is that today, there is a bevy of respectable, well-compensated, upwardly mobile careers that don’t require a traditional four-year education.

In many countries, vocational study unfortunately has a history of being seen as less respectable than attending university. But with unemployment and underemployment rates of college graduates at such high levels in the U.S. and elsewhere, it’s time for this perception to change. It’s time to spread the word that skills training, perhaps now more than ever, is possibly the most reliable pathway to an interesting and rewarding career.

3 Good Reasons to Consider Skills Training

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Data shows global growth now past tipping point. Global collapse occurring. Whole systems change imperative.

Economic research published by the University of Melbourne analysed the predictions made in the ground breaking 1972 book Limits to Growth, and notes that the actual trajectory followed in the four decades since has followed the worst case scenario.

The 1970s computer model has proved remarkably accurate in predicting developments in the world economy, population and resource consumption, according to the study published by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute.

The Limits To Growth business-as-usual scenario foresaw the beginning of “overshoot and collapse” in about 2015, predicting a death rate rise would start about 2020, with the half-billion-per-decade population declines kicking in from about 2030.

As average standards of living fall at rates faster than they have historically risen due to disruption of normal economic functions (note the global financial crisis) enormous social tensions will rise, especially where wealth inequality is greatest.

Recent data shows that the life span in developed countries is already declining, principally because of diseases caused by over eating.  Surely that is decadent.

Sadly, cynics, like me, can point to a silver lining – that reducing the population is the cure for a planet being consumed by humanity.

The opportunity to enlighten global management systems is waning.  I strongly urge leaders to adopt integral and holonic thinking in renovating systems and policies.  Common Sense must be applied.

University of Melbourne: “Is global collapse imminent? An updated comparison of The Limits to Growth with historical data”  PDF

EU- Environment: “Limits to Growth” predictions borne out, analysis finds

Genetically Modified Organisms and the deterioration of health in the United States

Genetically Modified Organisms and the deterioration of health in the United States by N.L. Swanson, 4/24/2013

Read this pdf: GMO-health


Peddlers of both chemicals and genetically engineered seeds claim that GMO food is “identical to non-GMO products.” They claim that genetic engineering is no different than plant hybridization, which has been practiced for centuries. It is the reason they gave, and the EPA accepted, for not having to submit GMO food to rigorous testing to obtain EPA approval. It’s up to the companies that manufacture GMOs to research and determine the safety of their products.

Not only are the bacteria genes themselves potentially toxic, but the plants can be sprayed directly with herbicides, the herbicide-resistant plants absorb the poisons and we eat them. It’s difficult to understand how this can be considered “essentially” the same as plant hybridization.

Of the 144 crops approved by the FDA, 75% have been genetically engineered to either withstand direct applications of herbicides or they contain an insecticide Bt toxin, or both. In the mid-’90s, scientists figured out how to combine more than one trait in the same plant. These were first released in 1997 and are called “stacked gene traits.”

In 2012, 93% of all soy, 88% of the corn and 94%U.S. was genetically engineered.

Glyphosate use increased 6,504% from 1991 to 2010

Glyphosate residues of up to 4.4 mg/kg have been detected in stems, leaves and beans of glyphosate-resistant soy, indicating metabolism of the herbicide. This means that the Roundup ReadyTM plants are absorbing the herbicide and you cannot simply wash it off

Cancers of the thyroid and liver especially seem to track with the advent of GE crops and associated glyphosate applications. Thyroid cancer seems to affect women more often, while males are more susceptible to liver cancer.

The Academy of Environmental Medicine has issued a position statement on GMO food stating, “…several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.  “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation as defined by Hill’s Criteria in the areas of strength of association, consistency, specificity, biological gradient, and biological plausibility. The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.” They further state that “because GM foods have not been properly tested for human consumption, and because there is ample evidence of probable harm,” they call on physicians to educate the public and warn their patients to avoid GM foods.

People are ill and they are not waiting for scientists to tell them that GMOs are making them ill. Rachel Linden said in an interview on Weekly Women’s GMO Free News, “I don’t know why science has replaced common sense. I don’t need to check with my doctor to know how I feel when I eat GMOs and how I feel when I don’t eat GMOs. I don’t need a scientist to tell me forty years from now that they were wrong about GMOs. I’m going to decide for myself right now.” Case studies are piling up of patients who have shown dramatic improvement after taking their doctor’s advice and eliminating GMO food. Wouldn’t that be so much easier if they had labels?

Big pharma being paid to poison our planet. New GMO and agent-orange/glyphosate mix to hit earth in 2015.

Argentina-GM-human-pics4The US EPA is set to approve new GM seeds and toxic sprays made by Dow Chemical in the face of scientific opposition.

There are millions of dollars on the table.  Dow will take market share and expand the use of mono-culture and toxic sprays.  These initiatives are inherently unsustainable, but in the short term will make money for executives and shareholders of Dow.

GM, monoculture and toxic herbicides and pesticides are unsustainable because they require huge fossil fuel inputs to operate.

They are dangerous because they encourage the development of super-weeds and introduce risks of transgenic hybridisation which can decimate habitats and local species.

The extensive use in Argentina of genetically engineered soy crops combined with spraying since 1996 is well documented.  The tragic consequences of this strategy, which has enriched politicians and landowners at the expense of normal people, are visible.

According to Dow, heavy use of Roundup, herbicide Monsanto brand glyphosate, triggered an explosion of herbicide-resistant “super weeds” that are hard for farmers to fight and which can choke off crop yields. Such weeds now infest roughly 70 million acres of U.S. farmland.

OCA: Condemns EPA Approval of Dow Enlist Duo Herbicide

Genetic Literacy Project: Natural Resources Defense Council sues EPA to block rollout of Dow Enlist Duo GMO system and  Enviros file suit to block new Dow AgroSciences GMO herbicide and seeds and  Enlist Duo: Everything you need to know about new dual herbicide resistant crops

Scientific American: EPA Approves Dow’s Enlist Herbicide for GMOs

Forbes:  Dow Chemical Receives USDA Approval To Commercialize Its Enlist Corn and Soybean Seeds In The U.S.

Reuters:  U.S. regulator set to approve Dow’s Enlist herbicide

Dr Mercola:  Glyphosate: The Toxin So Dangerous It’s Causing Catastrophic Birth Defects and Argentina—A Poster Child for the Health Hazards of GMO Crops

CTV News:  Birth defects, cancer in Argentina linked to agrochemicals: AP investigation

Care2: Monsanto Pesticides are Making Argentinian Kids Very Sick

Sustainable Pulse: Dr Swanson: GMOs Cause Increase in Chronic Diseases, Infertility and Birth Defects

EcoChildsPlay: GMO soya causing birth defects in Argentina thanks to glyphosate

WTSP:  Argentines link health problems to agrochemicals

GMO Evidence